Saturday, December 31, 2011

Audubon Bird Count Day

Spent several hours today feeder watching to contribute to the Christmas Bird Count for the Portland Audubon Society.  This slope is definitely getting slipperier!  But I had a fun time and learned to recognize a lot more birds than I've known before from just casual watching at mealtimes.

This is a male Downey Woodpecker.  No surprise there.  It was one of the better photos I got from the ID snaps I took for reference on for birds I didn't know.  From today's session I learned about various Vireos and the Ruby Crowned Kinglet.  The Kinglet actually bent over and showed me his red crest!  It's an odd looking photo but perhaps I'll post it tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Another Architectural Abstract

Can't get this Marin County Building out of my head.  Here's another image made from the first floor of the Marin County Civic Center (Frank Lloyd Wright designed) looking up past three levels of balcony to the skylight.

I was incredibly lucky to be able to be there on the one day of the month the tour was scheduled and to have the time, in a small tour group, to take plenty of photos.  I was also fortunate to have a brilliant, sunny day, which gave me such stark images when shooting up into the light.

In post, I adjusted Levels just a tiny bit toward blue.  And cropped until I liked the flow of the shot.  Otherwise, this is as I saw it that day. A tad dark, though, so perhaps it won't be a long-term favorite.  But for now, yum!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Neskowin River

Took this at the beach last week in Neskowin Beach State Park while we were looking for the "ghost trees" that were drowned in the Cascadia Earthquake in 1700.  Here is your basic pregnant belly river bend shot at the beach.  I loved the rim reflection on the water's edge!  If I were 12 feet tall or equipped with hovercraft, I would've been able to get an angle that would've highlighted the entire right edge.  Alas, I must be content with the highlight I got.

Shooting directly into the sun turned this into a natural silhouette.  I emphasized my nearly colorless photo in post by asking Photoshop to tone down the reddish brown elements.

Friday, December 23, 2011

In The Deep Mid-Winter

Took this at the beach yesterday, December 22, on the tidal flats just north of Depoe Bay.  It was one of those lucky days at the Oregon Coast--bright, with strong sun, and 50ยบ!  The Cascadia earthquake in the 1700s drowned a bunch of ancient trees here.  The relics of their bases sometimes poke out at very low tide.

I did a bit of prodding with individual RGB  levels adjustments to bring back the color I remembered from yesterday.  The big 'S' curve in the photo was the juice of the shot but it was hard for me to narrow it down while shooting since it was such a large tidal area and I liked so much of what I saw.  With three non-photographers waiting for me in the car, I took as many shots as I dared then used the crop tool today to put the 'S' curve into the framing I liked most.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


An experiment with Photoshop on part of a photo I took at Marin County Civic Center back in November.  This is part of the architectural detail from the eave.  The building is actually painted pink and blue so I pushed that color to more of an extreme.  I also cropped it looking to find just the juice of the shot.  I think I have the juice from the cropping but perhaps it needs to be lighter.  Not sure I like it much but I'm just experimenting with Lightroom and Photoshop just now.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Presenting Bluegrass

Selecting and resizing photos for our yearly family calendar.  Couldn't resist framing and posting this one of Dear Hugh thoroughly enjoying his concert presentation at the end of his year-long group violin class.  The class, presented by Greg Stone and called Taborgrass, is for beginning and intermediate Bluegrass players in Portland who want to improve their skills or learn another instrument.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Leading Library

Another architecture shot from Marin County Civic Center.  The library room itself is a 360° dome with stacks like spokes on a bicycle.  Ah....the wonders you can work with precast concrete.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Wright Design

 Abstract from Marin County Civic Center designed by Frank Lloyd Wright as the last commission of his life.  Built 1960-62 by Aaron Green, Wright's protoge´.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Never thought I'd start photographing birds.  However, Hubby has been putting feeders of various types outside our dining room window.  The cats started watching (and residing on the dining table) immediately.  On Father's Day, our kids got us a couple of charts illustrating various local birds.  Then, I put my old camera nearby to catch the quick flyers to give us something to look at to identify the birds.  As you can see—a slippery slope has started.

These flickers have captured my imagination, though.  They stay year 'round here in Portland and will nest in our yard if we provide a house for them.  When they fly, their entire under wing is crimson!  Shot through the window screening on a cloudy day with my old Canon Rebel XT.  Post in Photoshop Elements 9.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Yoga Bhoga

One of my current passions is yin yoga.  And one of my best discoveries is yin yoga classes with Leigh at Yoga Bhoga over on Water Avenue in Portland.  Leigh's yin class is stress reducing and pain relieving.  She teaches using a light and gentle manner but offers lots of encouragement and support.  I snapped this moment of calm between classes as I was leaving Monday evening.  Yoga Bhoga has interesting and unusual classes, I think, such as flying yoga and sleeping yoga as well as ones you're used to hearing about—hatha and vinyasa.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Her Majesty

Took this a couple of weeks ago on our driving trip back home from Glen Ellen, CA.  Presenting Mt Shasta on a dry day with no shroud!  The photo could have been better with blue skies but this was what was there then.  Still, this mountain is impressive!  At the tail end of the Cascade Range, Shasta sits out in the open, rising 14, 179 feet above us.  If you click to enlarge the photo, you can see the cinder cone, the second peak, on the front right side mountain.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Season's Lights

Spent the fifth day of SUN stringing holiday lights and running electrical cords.  The Oaks Bottom Holiday Steam Train moaned its goosebumpley whistle in the distance and neighbors were out catching rays and happily walking their dogs.  iPhone photo at dusk, post in Lightroom.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Magic on Water Avenue

Coming out of yoga class on Water Avenue, the view of downtown from across the river at twilight on a clear day is a treat!  Took this with iPhone and post adjustments in BeFunky.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Creekside Shops

This is a trial photo post from my phone. Took this on our last day in Glen Ellen. I loved the worn look of the sign and am off in a minute to locate some photo editing app tools so I can change levels or crop easily. You'll see if I was successful of not in subsequent posts.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Time Machine

Made this composition in my photomontage class for a created background assignment.  We had to take an image of our choosing, duplicate it, flip it, then run it through the blending modes.   I used a macro shot of the glass orb lamp bases I made last year at Hotel DeLuxe in Portland.  (Great hotel, btw!  They have yummy, yummy martinis at Gracie's bar.)  You can see the original photo below.  I loved the natural light reflecting and distorting through the orbs as well as the soft sand colors of the drapery on a cloudy day.  And I spent an hour or so in my hotel room happily making other variations on this shot.  The blended photomontage with difference mode is quite a thing to look at, isn't it!  I love it!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Double Dare

Trying my hand with some photos I've taken and photomontage skills from my recent online class.  A bunch of weird elements in there!

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Final assignment for my photomontage class; a letter montaged with a background I created previously.  Not wow, but a start.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sun Blend

Combination of a sun graphic from a restaurant on the Ohio River in Indiana and a created background I made in my photomontage class.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Starry Sky

Another photomontage with my teacher's two crows.  And a cement wall, tree, two bits of scratched metal with holes, and street art.  I like this one!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Another photomontage assignment.  This time we were given the file with two crows on a wire in a white field.  Our job was to make some kind of photomontage using it and the tools/techniques we've learned so far.  My effort, quite garish, I know.  It may not be a favorite for a long time but for now, it'll do.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Old Fashioned Photomontage Assignment

A photomontage I created using the Portland sign at the Schnitzer Auditorium.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Flowers In Vase Project

Taking a Photomontage class from Carol Leigh.  This is a decent first effort on the Flowers In Vase project using layer masks and a hue/saturation adjustment layer.  Whew!  And I'm supposed to be frosting a birthday cake instead!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Aloes On Jessica Drive

On a day of dramatic stormy light in Los Angeles earlier this week, the aloes were glowing. During a break in the rain, I shot this with my iPhone 3Gs.  Yum!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Oaks Bottom Slanting Light

January--a time of year of jaw dropping gorgeous light. The mausoleum shines starkly over the wildlife refuge.  Taken with my new iPhone 3Gs