Prairie Whispers

The prairie softly whispers in hushed tones as the brisk air of night surrounds our world.
Snow2013-9634moonblendsantaclssnow8x10cloststarlt2

Photo info: Canon 5d Mark 2 / 70-200 lens / aperture 5.6 / shutter 1/200 / Time of day – 11 a.m.
Blended with cloud images and snow added from Albums DS art

Advertisements

You don’t choose your life… you live it.

~The Way

Another phase of my life goes by… taking a career break from traditional portraiture.

mirror-1050817blendpopblogend

This has been in the planning stages for the past 4 months and I was going to wait until mid October to announce my future plans, but I guess now is as good a time as any.

It’s been 16 years of growth and transformation, starting with 35mm and medium format film, darkroom processing and now the digital age with Lightroom and Photoshop. It is time to move on, so I will be closing the traditional portrait studio as of October 15, 2013.  All sessions scheduled up to that point will go on as planned and the current website will be up until May 1, 2014 to facilitate senior orders.  After that, I’ll start working on a new website reflecting the art of both Randy and myself.  The studio will then be transformed into Randy’s painting studio and workshop.  It’s his turn now.

I still love photography and hope to continue learning and exploring new, unusual techniques and push for a more and more creative style. Maybe even try an impressionistic painting style of photography.  I also plan to continue showing art work in galleries, promote the arts,  and hope to find time to put together other products using images.  (Greeting card line?)  I may ask to borrow some of your kids if I get an idea for some prairie photography because, after all, southwest Minnesota/Eastern South Dakota is a great place to raise children and that is a theme near and dear to my heart.

I will not be twiddling my thumbs and eating bonbons by the truck load, as I move into this phase of my life.  I’ll need to complete this year’s photo orders, try to be Randy’s farm hand/gopher, occasionally Granny Nanny (Grandkid #2 is expected in March 2014), clean/organize/paint inside the house and sheds (long overdue), continue involvement with community and art organizations, garden and go back to the classroom environment as a substitute teacher – look out, G-D!

Then, in my spare time, I’ll learn Spanish, how to knit/crochet, bike/hike or maybe even jog, work on songs with Randy (maybe my sister will dust off her accordion and we can hit the nursing home circuit!), read the books I haven’t had time to read and travel / hike anywhere I can, as well as visit friends and relatives.  Yep, lots to do.

Don’t worry, I’ll still blog about whatever trail I’m on or something that wanders through my mind and conjure up some “thought for the day” to amuse myself and the world from time to time.  Hey, I may even bring back “Photo Friday” with educational topics.

Thank you to all who have been on this journey with me…  It’s been a good ride.

When past and present collide…

6771-12b1-blind-school-auditorium-blend[1]

The above image is a blend of images taken before renovation of the former South Dakota School for the Blind located in Gary, South Dakota and a wedding dance scene in the same room upon completion. Buffalo Ridge Resort has done an amazing job restoring the facility for modern purposes while maintaining the historic architecture and  feel of the former campus.  It is now used for wedding receptions/dances, conferences, family reunions, retreats, etc. and has lodging on site in the form of hotel rooms and camping.  The Rock Room Bar & Grill, located on site, is a unique dining experience with occasional local entertainment. In the summer the entertainment moves outside to the patio for a low-key, summer fun experience.  For more information about Buffalo Ridge Resort you can check out their website:  http://buffaloridgeresort.com

Make some noise ~ it’s Photo Friday!

If a picture is so boring that you notice the noise, it’s a boring picture. ~ Rick Sammon

Noise can be present in images. Electronic noise will be present in camera sensors, and the physical size of the grains of film emulsion creates visual noise. This kind of noise is referred to as “grain.” ~Wikipedia

art-7011alibiblend5moon_x2infl“Conversation”

I occasionally check out Rick Sammon’s photography blog and noticed this leading quote.  It stimulated some thinking about my own images and noise. I guess I’d say an image is a keeper if the noise does not detract from the impact of the image.  I’ve had some horribly noisy images especially with older digital cameras that did not perform well at higher ISO’s  but still had some keepers due to the strength of other elements of the image.  Or, sometimes it was just the best I could do under circumstances which deemed a photo “good enough.”

The image above is a blend of  6 images plus a very faded texture layer.  The image of the bar crowd is very noisy – shot at 6400 ISO. With all of the other activity within this piece the noise doesn’t jump out but I’m not sure if I’d enlarge this to a huge size.

It’s Photo Friday and Red Riding Hood is Sad.

RRHW-9345blend2snow2cr

ISO 160 / F 3.5 / 1/400

Combination of two main images plus treeline layers added and blended while the subject was flipped horizontally for more a pleasing composition. Creek was removed as I found it distracting ~  I wanted the emotion of the subject to be the main focus. Color was desaturated enough to give a vintage tone, wanted the dress color to tie in with the trees and a slight warming filter was added. Falling snow was added in layers with a motion blur added to the final top snow layer. Eraser tool removed any distracting snow on face.

My dilemma was whether to remove any snow in front of the face to emphasize her expression or leave some to appear more realistic. Hmmm…

I would love to give this a painted look.  Any suggestions?

It’s not the same road…

We all have our own roads to travel, don’t we?

It's all the Same Road

It’s Not the Same Road

The good thing about starting a new year (at least in our minds)  is the opportunity to evaluate life and how we are living it.  Resolutions, lists of things you wish to accomplish or goals to attain may have occupied your thoughts the past 24 hours.  How long the effort to work on these items may waiver as the year goes on, but we still must live our life until the end.  We can make all the plans and goals we want but sometimes life can make the decisions for us and we just have to roll with it.  So here’s to the new year and may your path be easy and smooth.  Hopefully, we don’t trip on our own feet!

It’s Photo Friday ~ Vintage ~

Here comes little red riding hood…

F3.5 ~ 1/500th ~ ISO100 Canon 5D Mark 2  70-200 L lens

F3.5 ~ 1/500th ~ ISO100 Canon 5D Mark 2
70-200 L lens