Monday, November 10, 2014

Photography Secrets Under Changing Skies

We've had unsettled weather for the last few weeks, 
with plenty of wind and rain. 

It was a welcome change, when Saturday dawned
clear with the rising sun turning the skies
over the Cascade Mountains a rosy hue. 

Some of our trees are bare now, due to our windy 
weather, but the native Cottonwood, Alder, and Maple
 are still holding on. 

The Big Leaf Maple by the deck has given me 
plenty of work sweeping up her leaves
in between rain storms.

I just sweep them right off the end and leave them
as mulch on the path.

Some of the leaves are as big as dinner plates!

I will wait until they all fall before I attempt to rake
the grounds, and only in those places where plantings
are smothered.

(Can you see Whitey Bear photo-bombing at lower right?)

These large trees are lovely in the landscape,
lighting up the evergreen forest
with their golden leaves.

Every morning and every evening for as many years
as I have lived here,
a large flock of crows fly over to their roost
somewhere in the uninhabited foothills.

It is a lovely sound to hear them coming and going
as they call to each other along the way.

Here they are traveling towards the farm fields
early in the morning.

This beautiful hawk flew over at mid-day
showing us the wonderful patterns
on its wings and tail.

He was riding the thermals, and was soon joined by
3 crows who successfully drove him away.

I have a 'new' camera - a Canon EOS 40D SLR - a generous gift
from my son, Gabe.
He found it too big and bulky for his needs,
so I am the new lucky owner.

I am having fun playing with it and this is one of my first photos.
I love the crisp details.

My Beauty Berry in the garden.
 I am learning how to focus
this amazing camera.

 Barberry and Dusty Miller are growing in a pot on the deck
and the camera has picked up the intense colors.

A cabbage I have in a pot, also on the deck
taken with my new camera.

I have 3 different cameras for 3 different needs.

A Nikon Cool Pix 520 takes most of my zoom photos.
It zooms in across many miles and remains crisp and clear.

This camera also takes excellent photos in low light settings,
such as inside, or at dusk, without a flash.

It has excellent focus over a wide area,
which I love for landscape shots.

This glowing Maple in a sea of Douglas Fir
was taken during twilight, when the last sun rays
were lighting this tree on fire.

An example of a low-light situation.

You can see how far I have zoomed in.
The sky was cloudy and the sun's rays
were finally low enough to shine below them.

Here I have really zoomed in and the shot is a bit blurry
due to the low light, but the bare branches and fir tree
in the foreground are very clear.

This is logging land and these evergreens were planted for harvest.
The Maple is a beautiful interloper.

I have one more camera and you might be very surprised
to know that I use this one the most.

It is a small pocket camera - a Canon Power Shot ELPH 300 HS.
It is red and I call it my 'little elf'.

This little camera goes everywhere with me and it took this shot
of a cloud shrouded Mt. Rainier with lenticular cloud
hovering over the foothills like a UFO.

I took these photos on Saturday night, with my 'little elf'.

As you can see, he also zooms in quite nicely.
I captured a jet trail in between cloud and mountain.

Beam me up Scotty!

The setting sun has lit the shrouded Mt. Rainier
seemingly from within.

Even the best of cameras cannot capture
the real life beauty of this.

But I try.....

The last rays light up the lenticular cloud.

I chose my little Canon Power Shot for another reason, though. 

It takes excellent photos inside under low-light conditions
without a flash. 
Even better than the Nikon. 

There are many times you don't want a flash inside
as it reflects and distorts images 
next to glass and also throws unnatural light. 

We had driving rain one night that created this hologram
of my wind-chime the next morning. The sideways rain had caused 
the dust from the screen to leave this imprint 
on the glass! The early morning sunshine brought it to my attention. 

Isn't it amazing? (And also embarrassing to know how dirty my screen was!)
My 'little elf' was perfect to take this shot from inside
as it didn't require a flash which would have reflected in the glass. 

(The strap hanging from the bookcase is from my binoculars! 
We keep two at the ready for impromptu viewing)

So now you know my photography secrets :) 

Keeping my pocket camera with me at all times 
enables me to capture fleeting moments. 

I take this little camera with me whenever I travel, too. 

All of these photos were taken over the weekend, 
showing the changeable skies. 

Within moments, these scenes were gone. 

They were magical while they lasted. 

Next I will be playing with Macro images. 

I love having new toys! 

What kind of camera do you use? Do you have more than one? 


Thank you, my Friends for your dear congratulations
on our upcoming little bundle of Grandparent joy! 

I also enjoyed reading your lovely comments about 
Forget Me Nots.

With every little comment I get to know each of you 
a little better. 

You are all so wonderful. 
Very, very special. 
I hope you know....



  1. Dear Karen,
    wonderful pictures from Autumn in your landscape!
    To use 3 different cameras could be really helpful ....:O) I am glad to get it done with my old one ....and I still don't know, what I also could do with it!
    Should sit down one day and learn ;O)
    Wishing you a wonderful week,
    sending Love and hugs and blessings,
    Claudia xo

  2. I also try to manage three cameras for all needs but my big love is my new Nikon for the moment.It's the first time I experience this kind of camera which recieves different lens. Your surroundings are pure delight. The beauty and the scents of the forest create the cozier wintry atmosphere.
    Have a nice day Karen!

  3. I have a power shot I keep with me wherever I go. You have taken fabulous photos here.

  4. I have two cameras, a little tiny one that goes in my bag pretty much all the time and my big one that I also have a tendency to carry around quite a lot too! They are both great in different ways. How great that your son passed on his camera that wasn't for him so that you could make use of it, it seems as though you are getting on well together! You and the camera that is!! xx

  5. Great photos, beautiful scenes. Impressed with your 'little elf'. I just rely on my Panasonic's auto features to do all the hard work, and my mobile phone if I don't have my camera with me!

  6. New toys are always exciting! Congrats and have fun!

  7. danke für die bilder und inspirationen!!! iebe grüße von angie aus deutschland und einen schönen dienstag

  8. Wonderful pictures of a fantastic place. Oh you're a lucky one to life in this area. O.k. three cameras can be fine - I have one and to tell you I'm bretty satisfied!
    All my best and a wonderful time

  9. I always enjoy the natural beauty that you capture with your camera. It must feel so good to live so close to the mountains. Thank you for sharing with us.

  10. Your photos and skies are just amazing, and love all of the color that you still have around your house. What an amazing gift from your son! and know you are going to have a wonderful time with this new DSLR! Just don't get in to my habit and start buying lenses. Now that can get you in to alot of trouble I can say for sure..... but, those lenses can make a LOT of difference in what you capture too.. What fun and what a wonderful gift! Looking forward to seeing many more shots of your great work and surroundings

  11. Well, you have answered a lot of questions for me this morning, Karen. I was thinking of doing a post asking for opinions on cameras. I desperately need a decent camera. I am using one that has been dropped and the settings will flip back and forth as I shoot. I love your little "elf" and think that might be perfect for me. Thanks for all the info. You take amazing pictures.

    What a wonderful gift from your son. Just think maybe he will buy a new car and won't like it!!!!! Think how much fun it would be to get THAT!!!! xo Diana

  12. with all the magnificent views around you and all the beauty in your very own yard, you need an arsenal of cameras at the ready. and you share it all well. :)

  13. Well, your photos are all wonderful, Karen! They make me long for the woods. You live in such beautiful surroundings. I am in the same camp as your son. I have a big camera that I have never taken from the box. Like you, I have a small pocket camera that goes everywhere with me. I really should get a replacement now, because when this little camera is finished, I will be lost without it. But I do admire your skills!

  14. Your photos are gorgeous with any camera you use. Thanks for sharing your beautiful sky with us.

  15. Karen,
    I'm so glad that you have a new camera! You are going to have so much fun taking pictures of nature. And I am enjoying all these beautiful nature pictures. You live in such a lovely area. I have a Canon too, and I call it my friend haha. It surely is nice to take so many wonderful pictures, but I try to never forget that it's God's world that allows me to do so. The glowing maple is gorgeous, and at first I thought it was a fire. The berry picture in your garden caught my eye, it is so lovely.

    Have fun with your camera, Karen, and whenever you see anything that is full of wonder, just CLICK!


  16. You lucky thing! Have lots of fun with your new toy! I have two cameras, my larger one is a Fujifilm HS20 EXR for macro shots and to experiment with, and my tiny Canon point and shoot for when I want to be more discreet. I'm looking to upgrade the Fujifilm to an HS50 as I do love this make of camera. Beautiful shots of your perfect place on this earth x

  17. This is more than your pictures!
    Have a happy week, take care...

  18. I have one camera, I'm a point and shoot person but i enjoyed your much better photos, they were lovely.

  19. hola amiga querida!! se nota que llego el otoño por alla ..lindas imágenes.y deseo que tengas un bendecido resto de semana

  20. Beautiful photos. I'm rather lazy about learning the intricacies of camera settings. I got some of my best photos with a pocket Canon--which sadly was pushed off my desk and broken.

  21. Dearest Karen,
    Living in such an area you better be prepared in different ways for capturing perfect shots.
    You are so right about photos without flash inside!
    We only have the new Nikon D3300 DSLR Camera 2 Lens Bundle from Costco and I use the iPad at times and sometimes the iPhone...
    Hugs to you,

  22. Just beautiful pictures Karen! The colors of your trees and leaves are gorgeous, and the skies just beautiful. I'm a little embarrassed to admit I only just use my iPhone for my pictures. Maybe one of these days I will upgrade and learn how to use a real camera.
    Now I'm off to find out your grand baby news!

  23. I will be referring back to this post friend as I need a camera badly!! Your photos with your new camera are oustanding!!! Loved that beauty berry and your potted cabbage is stunning as are all of the many beautiful foliage shots you captured!!! Wishing you an outstanding week friend!! Nicole xo

  24. Oh my goodness, these are all such beautiful views. Congratulations on being the lucky recipient of the new camera! And I agree, that no matter how great a photo is, it can't adequately capture the magnificent images we see with our eyes. But, they're a wonderful thing to have, especially with the memory of what your eyes captured. I have a Panasonic point and shoot and my smartphone . I think I need more cameras. :-) I so enjoyed your photos!!

  25. Your new camera is doing a great job! And so are your other two. :-) You have a good eye, and have some lovely things to shoot. When we got our new camera, I had hoped for better macro capabilities, but was disappointed in that regard. The zoom is amazing though! Most of the photos have been very good. We have a Nikon CoolPix.

  26. Hi Karen,

    Thank you for your photography secrets! I have a Canon Powershot camera as well which I use now and then. I agree with you. The quality is really good! Especially the zoom is very powerful. The Cascade mounains and moun Rainier look very impressive. I especially like your first photo with the red glow. Really beautiful!

    Wishing you a lovely day!

    Madelief x

  27. So many wonderful photos to view here today. I loved them all. You have gorgeous foliage and the mountain shots were beautiful.

  28. danke für die schönen bilder und inspirationen!!! liebe grüße und einen schönen tag wünscht angie aus deutschland

  29. I have just found your blog. and loved seeing all your lovely pictures, and a big thank you for your camera information. I'm thinking of buying another camera. I'm an aim & shoot photo taker, I won't ever be a photographer, but love taking photos. I have a pocket aim & shoot camera and a Panasonic DMC FZ48 but find the zoom shots are not too good., So I'll be looking at the cameras you use. I'll be following you to keep upto date.

  30. THe sunset pictures are so soothing. I love the colors.


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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