Week 16, #5 Macro (Technical): Hot Lips

My sister has a quirky little salt shaker sitting on her stove.  The fish lips were so pronounced they just spoke to me….Me! Me! Take My Picture!  So I did and now those luscious hot lips are larger than life!

Photo taken December 29, 2018, Handheld iPhone, Xenvo macro lens.  Processed in Waterlogue app, imported into PS for cropping and color saturation.

waterlogue-2019-01-17-16-49-11 copy


Week 15, #27 Movement (Composition): Surfs Up!

Enjoyed watching the kite surfer at Turtle Beach this week. He was moving right along…..more like flying! I was trying to keep him in focus in order to catch his tricks:  impressive leaps on the return to shore.

He was pretty far off-shore and I’m pleased with the results of my lens.  It took some editing to bring out the details–wake from the board, water droplets, him holding the board, and the kite tether.  I can only imagine the strength it takes for this sport.

No idea how he kept his ball cap on!!!

Technicals:  Photo taken January 9, 2019, Turtle Beach; Nikon D3200, Nikkor 200-500 lens @ 480mm, 1/1000 SS, ISO 400, F5.6.  The original is underexposed and he was he was a good bit off shore.  Extensive cropping and editing in LR & PS.kite surfer6 turtle bch jan 2019

Week 14, SOOC (Technical): Dazzling Sky

When the cold front blew through earlier this week, it brought one of the most dazzling sunsets that Mother Nature can produce.  Sunset lovers know that the real colors come after the sun has dropped behind the horizon and this was no exception.  With the wind up and temperatures dropping there were just a few hardy souls on Turtle Beach.  We were all going  “oooh!”  “ahhhh!”  It was worth freezing……OK, that’s probably a little exaggeration….I’m a baby about being cold.

I took about a dozen shots, changing the F stop, shutter speed and ISO trying to capture the colors as I saw them.  This photo comes closest.  

The photo is SOOC.  The image darkened when I converted it from RAW to JPG.  Hmmm…..it’s lighter on my laptop.

Technicals:  Photo taken January 9, 2019; Nikon D3200, Camera Raw, Nikkor 16-80 lens @ 16mm, 1/1000 SS, ISO 400, F4.5, Metering Mode-Pattern, No Flash, White Balance-0.sunset turtle bch 1-9-19

Week 13, #8 Wild Card (Wild Card): Laundry Through the Eyes of a 4 Year Old

Every picture tells a story so closing out 2018 with a photo and story that, hopefully, puts a smile on your face!  🙂

As I’ve previously posted, I am a Lucky One in that I get to spend quality time with a cute, inquisitive and active 4 yo boy—Jax.  The week before Christmas was a busy one and I had him a good bit.  You may recall we had some majorly crummy weather so Jax and I made the best of being indoors.  

By Friday afternoon we’d exhausted just about every indoor activity,  the weather was still crummy and cabin fever was creeping in.  That morning we made cookies (he was more interested in eating the topping than decorating), had lunch on the bed while watching a TV show (a treat for being good), put together a puzzle, colored, played with Legos, read, raced cars down the hall and watched the rain.  

At about 4pm and I started a load of laundry and to my surprise, he was very interested.  Why is the water running?  Why did the water stop?  Where does the water come from?  Where does the detergent go?  Why did it stop?  What makes it go?  I couldn’t answer many of his questions.  With an engineer Mom and contractor Dad he likely knows more about machinery than me!

He stood on his stool and peered into the tub while I loaded the washer.   Shortly after the load started, he wanted to see better so I lifted him up.  I’ve never been so glad to have a glass top! 

As I realized how special the moment was–a small child consumed by an appliance I take for granted—and sometimes cuss at—it occurred to me that I was observing wonder.  

I grabbed my phone and snapped this photo that says it all.  This isn’t great photography….it’s a great moment captured by the camera.

Photo taken December 21, 2018, Iphone in my laundry room!  No editing needed.

Sending wishes for a Happy and Healthy 2019 to my photo challenge family!  🙂

Jax & The Washer

Week 12, #6  Forsaken (Creative): The Marina

This is an abbreviated and simplified story about a marina “that was”….but first, a little history….

In the mid-60s—to escape dismal public schools in Jacksonville–my family moved to brand spanking new apartments in Orange Park on the St. Johns River….after a year, we moved away then in mid-’69 returned.  During our absence, the property owners began to build out the old Colgate-Palmolive Estate (now Club Continental).  Condos appeared.  Then the marina.

And I love marinas!  I love looking at boats, talking to people, the smells of fresh fish, river water, diesel fuel and the sounds…..halyards clanging in the wind, the squeaking sounds from bumpers….gurgling boat engines.  There’s just something about that environment that speaks to my soul.  In the early days, the marina was a lively place with impromptu dinners, parties and all around fun. Life was good.

Fast forward to the early 2000s.  Through a complicated and bizarre series of real estate and legal actions, the docks, walkways and all the improvements, except the breakwaters, were demolished.  All with the intent of rebuilding.  Then the recession ravaged the complicated, bizarre real estate deal and dreams for the marina.  Sadly, it has looked like this for more than 15 years. Abandoned. Forgotten. Forsaken.

Two days ago a derelict boat was removed.  It’s been there for 2 years.

Amazingly the palm trees are thriving.

There is some hope.  A new real estate deal was recently consummated and word is that the new owners intend to rebuild.  There are many issues to overcome. In the meantime, I’m going to continue to admire the view from the terrace of my Mother’s condo and to remember better times.

The St. Johns isn’t typically calm for long.  It’s about 3 miles wide at this location and the wind has a long fetch.  The long shot (106.5 sec), overcast day and B&W make it seem a bit eerie.

Photo shot December 29, 2018, F22, ISO 200, 106.5 sec SS, tripod.  Edited in LR & PS including converting to B&W.

(Trivia:  The St. Johns and the Nile are the only rivers in the world that run north)


105 sec 12-29-18 BW LoRes

Week 11, #3 Fill the Frame (Composition): December Moon

Got up early yesterday morning in order to get to Lido to, hopefully, capture the moon setting over the Gulf.  It was stunning as hubs and I drove over the Ringling Bridge, but by the time we pulled into the parking lot and I hobbled down to the beach, I only had time to get off 2 poorly executed shots before December’s Cold Moon dropped behind the clouds as it headed toward the horizon.  Dang.

I had another chance this morning from my back yard.  Yes, folks, this is my ‘big sky’ view.

Although I’ve taken this shot many times, today I stood on my kitchen ladder, which added about 2-1/2′. It gave a nice perspective on the reflection which had been missing in previous shots.  When I saw this on my screen it looked like a candidate for Fill the Frame.  I edited the colors a bit to represent exactly how I saw it through the camera.  No cropping.  I think the framing of the tree line, water, moon and moon reflection make a nice composition.

Photo taken December 23, 2018.  1/60 SS, F8, ISO 200, 16-80mm lens @ 24mm.  Hand held on my kitchen ladder.

Full Moon13 12-23-18 Color LoRes

Week 10, #4 Wild Card (Wild Card): Rain!


Rain10 HG 12-20-18 BW LoResAfter two days of totally ‘wild weather’ it felt as if a Wild Card shot was in order.  The rain was coming down in:

  1. sheets
  2. buckets
  3. cats and dogs
  4. all of the above


  1. the bottom fell out
  2. it was a gully washer
  3. frog strangler!
  4. all of the above

Mote’s rain gauge recorded 4.4″ for the storm through 5pm today.  A few more squalls may come through over night.  And then there’s the wind. Holy cow….hold on to your hat!  Mote is also reporting 26 mph winds (now) but further down the coast, gusts are higher…..63 mph at Boca Grande!

Back to yesterday morning…….hubs pointed out the rain coming off the roof and mentioned it might be a cool shot.  It was still dark (6:51a date stamp) and I had some trouble keeping the lens dry while huddling under the porch canopy.  Glad I listened and made the effort to get out there!

The shot straight out of the camera was pretty nice, but I wanted to show the drama!  Edited in LR, converted to B&W, cropped and further edited in PS.

Photo taken Dec. 20, 2018, Nikon D3200, f3.2, 1 sec SS, ISO 200, 16-80mm lens @ 32mm, w/ tripod.  Lighting from wall mounted outdoor lights next to garage door