Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sissy at Japanese Gardens

Have you ever had an off day when you decide on the spur of the moment to do a photo shoot and wind up forgetting important things? Well, I did. I wasn't going to post these as they are certainly not the quality I would expect from myself, but I thought it might be a good way to show what not to forget. Can you tell what I forgot?

 Although they are not the quality I would prefer I did get some cute shots of the kids.

So as you have probably already figured out not only did I forget to bring my reflectors and use flash for fill light I also was not making the proper aperture adjustments. Do you see anything else that I may have forgotten?
What I learned: Make myself a check list so next time I don't forget important things like fill lighting and reflectors.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Montezuma's Castle

Earlier this month on Artistic Composition I posted a bit about my vacation last month in Arizona, today I would like to focus on Montezuma's Castle. Located high on a cliff this ancient home shows the forethought and ingenuity of the people who once lived here. The location must have offered the residents a great deal of protection.
The only access was made through the use of tall ladders starting at the base of the cliff and extending to ledges either natural or man made in the side of the cliff at which point another ladder would be placed to reach the next ledge. 
I can only image what life must have been like for the residents that were not in the prime of health, for they certainly would have been confined to one area of the castle.  
Walking along a paved walkway at the base of the cliff  one can see glimpses of many small caves in the cliff wall. Some are semi-sealed off with windows in the outer wall and others are open. According to the brochure many of these would have been used for storage and may have been used for individual confinement. Talk about one heck of a "Time Out" spot.
Benches have been placed in various spots to allow visitors to sit and rest or just soak in the soothing atmosphere.
I could not help but wonder if the foliage in the canyon has changed much since the castle was built. There were some trees that looked very old and others of course were not so old but the foliage was very thick in areas.
Not too far from the base of the cliff just a short way off the path we could see the river that supplied the ancient people with water.
This park although small is most surely a spot I could find myself returning to often if I lived closer because of its' extremely peaceful setting. If you find yourself in Northern Arizona I strongly recommend visiting this historical location.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Arizona Wild Life

One of the things I miss about country life is the abundance of wild life of the non-human variety. Here are a few of the creatures I came across while on vacation in Arizona.

Of course these little lizards were seen in abundance.
 The bird feeders where rarely free of these pretty little birds. I was hoping to see the hummingbirds my father in law speaks of but unfortunately it was the wrong time of year.
 I did see a lot of deer as they roam the area coming right down into the yards. There was a group of three deer that came around every day. I was very surprised one day when the three deer seemed to be concerned that one of the little dogs was wandering too close to the edge of the property and they watched him. At first I thought maybe they were watching because they felt the dog was a threat but as the dog wandered past the drive and close to the brush on the hillside the deer actually came toward the dog chasing it back to the yard.
While at the Grand Canyon I was surprised to see that this elk actually wandered calmly around the buildings and walkways without seeming to be disturbed by all the people.
Thankfully I didn't come across any rattlesnakes, but I did see this sign with a rather odd looking rendition of a rattlesnake.
My In-laws often see fox's, wolves and other wild critters roaming through their yard but these were all I got to see. What wild life do you see where you live?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Photo Walk

With overcast skies and a chilly wind blowing I decided it was a good day to get caught up on a few tasks I have avoided during the last few months, like archiving my photos. Lo and behold I discovered that I had completely neglected to share the photo walk I took on the last Sunday in September. So I hope you enjoy these.

I had met up with four other photographers for a photo walk through the Freemason District in downtown Norfolk. Hanging back from the group a bit I was happy to capture this reflection of the others in the side of a docked ship.
Weekend Reflection Submission
It was a beautiful afternoon with the long shadows and gorgeous reflections off the water.
 We were not the only once enjoying a peaceful Sunday afternoon.
You know the art is most important when the photographer isn't afraid of a little dirt or odd looks from passerby's.
As it was almost October I was a bit surprised to see the Japanese Gardens still had a few flowers.
 Sorry this one is a tad fuzzy, but this doll is just too cute not to share.
 The buildings in this area of town all have such a warm historical feel to them, both old and new.
 Am I crazy or do pumpkins on a doorstep that just ooze warmth?
 Of course I couldn't pass up this tower, isn't it just amazing?
We did get a few odd looks along our walk. But that is okay, gives me a chance to capture some interesting human shots.
We ended our walk with refreshments at Hell's Kitchen. Overall it was a very enjoyable Sunday afternoon with some wonderful women.

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Unknown Mami

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Summers End

Before I get to more of the Arizona photos I wanted to share a few end of summer shots taken around Norfolk in late September and early October.

With the kids all back in school and the weather cooling down the ocean front was very quiet on this weekday afternoon.
On another afternoon I went wandering and came across this peaceful neighborhood full of beautiful homes and calm waterways.

I am hoping to head back to this neighborhood for some Autumn photos as I can just imagine how beautiful it looks with the trees ablaze in autumn colors.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

SHS: Arizona Adventure

I am so glad I decided to stop on by Ashley's Scavenger Hunt Sunday post before putting together today's post. As it turns out I was easily able to find each of the prompts from pictures taken this past week while I was on vacation in Arizona. So here they are:

Although wild the deer near my In-Laws home are very tame and wander almost up to the front door.

Soft lights and open arms welcomed me on my arrival at my In-Laws home in Northern Arizona.

My husband often spoke of the vacations with his parents as wild adventures and now after a week exploring Northern Arizona with them as guides I completely understand. 

When we first got to the Grand Canyon I was a little disappointed that although the rock formations were amazing it all looked very dull. Then as the sun moved across the sky and the angle of the rays changed the canyon leaped to life with vibrant hues of blue, purple, red, orange and green.
Sunday Best Submission

In our adventures we visited this quaint shopping center built in the style of a classic Mexican village.

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