52in2016 week 6

WEEK 6 Artistic: Candy – Your artistic interpretation this week should be inspired by something sweet. A great chance to play with macro photography.

A couple of years ago, the dinosaurs had a battle with the Elf on the Shelf {click here}. So when it was Candy Macro week, it was a perfect time to bring out the dinos!


The kids had a half day of school; we needed to kill some time. I asked them each to set up a ‘photo shoot’. It could be inside or outside and they could use any props as long as it included candy.

Sean {age 6}


Will {age 9}


Charlie {age 10}


Out on the 560 submissions for this challenge, so far, my entry has one of the top ‘likes’, I think it is in 2nd at this point. I’m pretty happy with that!

After the photo shoot, we headed to the Fells Reservation, it was a gorgeous 55* afternoon with a snow storm headed the next day.

fells pic

(picture pulled from my FB wall)

Sunset after a snow storm

We just received about 8 inches of snow, all day…


Our neighbor didn’t appear to be home. Ed is meticulous. During the fall, he is cleaning up the leaves twice a day, every day. When it snows, he is out there on and off all day. No Ed. He couldn’t be home. So I snow blowed the end of his driveway and asked the boys to start shoveling. I finished up our driveway and went over to start brushing off their cars. The boys came up to help me so I sent them to the walkway. Right when we were all getting tired of all this blowing, shoveling, brushing the sky started turning a beautiful color.


I ran, grabbed my camera and drove to Wright-Locke Farm


and saw this… as we walked up the path


around the building, we saw this…


and up the hill was this spectacular view


The sun was going down fast… so we walked down to say hello to the goats, they thought we had food.


just a piece of snow unfortunately


my companion


and walking back to the car… this is where we buy fresh eggs, veggies sometimes and the lamb chops…ummm.




52in2016 first 5 weeks

While scanning through Facebook, I stumbled upon the Dogwood 52 week Photography Challenge. I put a call out to my FB friends to see who would do it with me, I got a couple takers. Basically, we are going through a list of Landscape, Portrait and Artistic Impression challenges week by week in an effort to improve our skills.

WEEK 1 Portrait: Self Portrait – Start things off right with a “selfie”! Explore the self timer setting on your camera.

This was definitely a challenge for me. First, I’m the one behind the camera, not used to being the ‘subject’.  I went to the back porch to get as much natural light as I could, put up a black background and put the tripod on top of the table (to have a slight angle). The trick was trying to get the focus right with nobody there. I ended up using a floor lamp to focus on. I hit the self timer and ran, moved the lamp, sat down on a bench and smiled. I had to do this at least a dozen or so times until I figured out where to angle the camera and get a nice smile. Hope you like it!

p.s. Didn’t like seeing the age lines and wished I picked a different necklace… but good enough!

85mm, ISO-400, f/2, 1/125 sec.


WEEK 2 Landscape: Traditional Landscape – Shoot a beautiful landscape and share it with the world. Find a nice foreground and don’t forget the sky.

It is a cold, dreary, grey January day. The sky had zero interest but it didn’t stop me from going downtown to snap this shot. I’m sure it would look much better in the spring with everything blooming and a blue sky and puffy clouds. In post processing,  I think I may have pumped up the greens a little bit too much trying to get some life in here.

30mm, ISO-4,000, f/16, 1/125 sec.



WEEK 3 Artistic: Red – Shoot whatever inspires you. Red should be the focus of the image. Don’t be afraid to be creative.

Looking around the only red I saw were the fire hydrants along the street. Figured I start there. They asked us to be creative so I shot it at a different angle with a low depth of field focusing on the top ‘open’. Being a newbie, I am sure there are some things that could change, like the bright highlights could go down, maybe the crop/angle would be better, etc, but this is a learning process and I think it is a great start. I’m starting to get really excited about photography again!

30mm, ISO-100, f/5.6, 1/160 sec.


WEEK 4 Portrait: Headshot – You shot a selfie, now shoot a “selfie” of someone else!

This time, I set up the black background inside, between two door ways {wide opening}. Turned on the ceiling fixture in one room and the other room was dark, trying to play with the lighting. I had a semi-willing model for the shoot. We did it in less than 3 minutes.

85mm, ISO-1,000, f/1.8, 1/125 sec.


WEEK 5 Landscape: Black and White – Look for a scene with great contrast that will make a great black and white.

Living in the the burbs close to the city, there are not that many traditional landscapes around. I’m going to have to get creative this year scouting out locations. Right around the corner is a 300 year old working farm that is now owned by the town. The main crop is raspberries but my favorite things are the fresh eggs and the lamb chops. I had a lovely morning walking around with gorgeous bright blue skies with snow on the ground. Here is my favorite shot.

30mm, ISO-100, f/14, 1/250 sec


Hello! {again}

Its has been a couple months since my last post… why?… well, over the years, I have struggled with privacy issues sharing our life on the www. My viewership isn’t large but I have views from all over the world down to local stalkers {wink}. When the kids were young, they were a part of me, like another appendage but as they have grown, they have become completely independent, fully functioning humans {another wink}. I started feeling that it isn’t right or fair of me to share our lives so openly. I needed a little break to think about how I would go forward with MonkeyMania3. I think I’d like to get a little more creative with it. I started a 52 week photo challenge that has me excited about photography again. I think I’ll start there…


there is an app called boomerang

it takes a quick 4 second video and loops it over and over

the kids had a ball with it

p.s. no one was hurt in the making of this video, just using their stunt double acting abilities.

October iPhone pics

Will invited a few guys over for a movie night



Sean building and playing


Tuesday nights, I drop Charlie off at lacrosse, then Will off at swimming, then Sean off at karate. Then the pick ups. I spend most of the time in the car but they have fun!


Sean showing off his missing tooth

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Sean also had a movie night with a few of his buddies

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Coaching Will’s soccer, I made player position signs so we would know who was out of position to help them know where they should and shouldn’t be on the field during a game.


Sean waiting for his karate class to start

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