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“I get my best ideas in a thunderstorm.  I have the power and majesty of nature on my side.”  Ralph Steadman

The Island of Kauai was enveloped by a huge storm front with rain and thunderstorms.  Interestingly enough, the storms skirted around the eastern side of the Island and left the North Shore virtually untouched.  However, we could see the storm off in the distance as it ventured it’s way east over the ocean.  Headed for the mainland I guess!  The lightening lit up the sky like it was daylight – even from our vantage point.  We quickly gathered our tripod, camera and Neutral Density filters to try and get some lightning bolts.  It took quite a few attempts and long exposures but we were finally successful.  

Another shot I wanted to try was using the pop-flash technique.  Glen held an off camera flash unit, as did I.  I set the self timer, and during a long exposure (almost 7 seconds) each one of us popped the flash at a different time.  When I was editing the photos I realized I only had one good lightening shot, and it wasn’t in any of the pop-flash shots.  So – Photoshop here I come!  I combined two of the best photographs, created a layer mask and masked in the lightening bolt.  

Love the magic of Photoshop!

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“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”  Mahatma Gandhi

Bathtime is one of my favorite times with Baby Girl.  She so loves the water, and is so joyous and happy when she’s in it.  For this shot I used my Gorillapod and hung the camera from the shower door frame to get a perspective from above.  I then processed it using PS CS6 filters to get this grainy effect.  I had to be careful which photo I used, as I discovered that from this view . . . most of the shots were not appropriate for posting on the internet!  

My Grandchildren are so very important to me . . . and I want them all to grow up  knowing that they are loved completely by their Grandma/YaYa.  That’s why I don’t just talk about it.  My actions back up what I say.  I don’t buy their affections, I give them my time and my love.  I’m well aware that I am compensating for something I feel I lacked growing up.  No matter, as it’s a win-win situation!

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“The wonder of a miracle from which this love began.  There is so much found in the touch of holding a grandchild’s hand.”  Unknown

We’re on the second day of our four day trip to California, staying two nights at my Son’s house just south of Portland, Oregon.  We picked my 5 year old Granddaughter up from Kindergarten and took her shopping at CostCo and Fred Meyer.  Since it was lunch time we thought we’d stop somewhere to eat.  Well, she had her mind set from the moment we mentioned CostCo!  She LOVES their hot dogs.  She says NO ONE makes them like Cost Co.  And she ate the whole darned thing!  Then off to Fred Meyer we went to try on anything pink . . . she ended up with a pink quilted vest and a pink sparkly hat to wear with it.  Quite stylin’.  Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get a picture of her in it.

Isn’t she just so cute??

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“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Road Trip!!

We’re on our first leg of a 4 day road trip to California with the baby.  This picture is taken at the Pacific Border Crossing between Surrey, BC and Blaine, WA.  We’ve got a six to seven hour drive ahead of us to just south of Portland, OR.  Baby Girl is snuggled in and happy.  What an awesome little traveler she is too.  It took an hour to get through the border, and another 20 minutes to Bellingham where we gassed up.  She’d been in the car two hours by then, with no fussing what so ever.  I let her out to run around at the Fred Meyer in North Bellingham while hubby gassed up the car.  The rest of the trip was uneventful with just a couple of rest stops for food and stretching our legs.  I did load up my iPad with a few of her favorite shows, which kept her entertained during part of the trip.  For much of the time she either slept, or chatted with us or herself, and sang songs . . . one of the most fun drives south I’ve had in a long time.  We’ll be two days at my son’s south of Portland before we head out again.  

The Road Trip continues . . . 

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“We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.”  Oscar Wilde

Today’s 365 photo is quite a switch for me.  I don’t usually go to the “dark side” . . . but I couldn’t resist this when I was fiddling around with different presets and editing in both Photoshop and Lightroom.  One of the guys in my 365 group does some pretty far out and amazing things so I’m just channeling my inner “DigiMax” on this one.  

I liked today’s quote when I read it because I really do believe that to be true.  I make choices every day that create my experience of life.  That experience can be pretty darned wonderful, pretty darned awful, or somewhere in between those two extremes.  Bad things happen in life . . .they just do.  However, I have choice in every moment in how I am going to act or react in any given situation.  That choice impacts everyone within my sphere of influence – be it intimate or casual.  I strive to wake up every morning thinking with a positive mind, looking for the good things in my life and the lives of others . . . I am so very grateful for every moment of my life leading up to today because each of those moments add up to the person I am now.  Some of those moments aren’t so great – I’m not proud of every decision or action I’ve taken . . . but I strive to move forward and learn from each and every one . . . to be better and to be a positive example and influence for those whose lives I do touch.  I’m no saint and I’m far from perfect, but I am happy and ever so grateful for all the love and abundance I have in my life.  

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“Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.”  George Bernard Shaw 

I’m spending so much time in the water these days . . . I thought another “wet” shot would be appropriate!  

I’m doing Aqua Aerobics up to five days a week (45 minutes of Deep Water & 1 hour of Shallow Water on M, W, F / 45 minutes of Aqua Bootcamp & 45 minutes of Water Walking on T,Th).   I miss a day here and there.  On those days I hop on the treadmill and do 3+ miles.  I reserve one or two days a week for recovery depending on how I’m feeling.  

In the meantime . . . I think I’m growing webs between my fingers and toes!  

I processed this using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2, and then a bit of tweaking in PS CS6.

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“The rain began again.  It fell heavily, easily, with no meaning or intention but the fulfillment of it’s own nature, which was to fall and fall.”  Helen Garner

And the rain continues . . . I had this vision for a photograph in my mind when I woke up this morning.  I had my camera on the tripod and covered in plastic – it was a bit of a challenge to get the shot.  

I didn’t like it in color because of the color cast from the red umbrella on my face.  So I converted to B&W and tweaked a bit in LR4, then took it in to Photoshop CS6 where I ran a High Pass Filter to bring out a bit more detail.  I’m learning so much about how to process my photographs without going overboard.  (It’s so easy to do!)  I think I’ll run a couple of different filters on this just to see what happens . . . so much fun!

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“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”  Christopher Reeve 

Yeah, well – so I’ve been back to working out lately after about an eight month hiatus.  How impressive is this!!!  I know, pretty crazy.  What’s a 60 year old Grandma to do??  

OK, truth is . . . Photoshop is amazing!  

It all started with one of the guys in the 365 taking his picture with the Rocky statue in front of the Museum of Art in Philadelphia.  The next day, he posted a shot of himself standing in the imprint of Sylvester Stallone’s shoes in the sidewalk.  Soon, there appeared a photo of another one of the 365 guys (our resident Photoshop Guru) with super pumped up triceps.  Not long after that photo was posted, one of my fellow female 365’ers posted a shot of HER super uber pumped triceps.  So I just had to get in on the action.  The other’s weren’t wielding a weight so I grabbed a 15lb’er, set up my tri-pod, set aperture, focus and timer and captured this shot.  

Well, maybe not exactly this shot.

I  processed it using Nik Software Silver Efex Pro in LR4.  I then exported it to Photoshop CS6 where I used the Liquify Filter to “enhance” my triceps, and added a photo mask by Liv.eDesigns.  

Not much . . . just a bit . . . I mean . . . a girl can dream right?? 

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“[Kids] don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.”
Jim Henson

Today was a quiet, hanging out kind of day.  I’m busy trying to get our business financials ready for the accountant, so the baby has been quietly and busily playing at my feet as I work.  I decided to take a break and play with her for awhile.  Of course, my camera is always present and ready!  This shot is the result of us just having some fun in the dining room, which has some great window light.  I did process a bit in Lightroom and Photoshop.  My reflection is in her catchlights.

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“Boys are found everywhere—on top of, underneath, inside of, climbing on, swinging from, running around or jumping to. Mothers love them, little girls hate them, older sisters and brothers tolerate them, adults ignore them and Heaven protects them. A boy is Truth with dirt on its face, Beauty with a cut on its finger, Wisdom with bubble gum in its hair and the Hope of the future with a frog in its pocket.” Author: Alan Beck

I had the opportunity to spend the day with my little 2.5 year old Grandson today.  What a little sweetie he is.  Such a joy.  So full of energy, and love.  I took many pictures of him today but this one seemed to epitomize his energy, as he climbed and climbed and climbed and climbed!  So fun! I love my Grandchildren so much . . . and feel so incredibly blessed to be able to spend the time with them that I do.

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