Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Writing With Light

I spent a full day this Saturday followed by another full day Sunday learning more about the art, craft and science of photography at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography's Photo Weekend in Bellevue (Seattle) WA. I inhaled it. I soaked it up. I absorbed the enthusiasm of the instructors and that of others attending. I took pages and pages of notes. I'm kind of a nerd that way.

Within the first few pages I had written things like 'Wow!' and 'Makes Huge Difference!' and 'very cool tool!' My use of exclamations marks far exceeded what is typical as I underlined, circled, capitalized and starred **  my way through two days of classroom lectures.

I chose sessions that highlighted Adobe Lightroom, Utilizing The Zone System Ansel Adams made famous, Understanding Light, Designing a Great Photo and Photographing People. There were two instructors working two conference rooms at all times, so I actually had twice that many choices. A couple of them were kind of tough. I take a lot of photographs and know the guts of my camera pretty well.......but I am open to the reality that there is so much more I can learn. That I both want and need to learn.

One reason I'm attracted to this field is that each scene and situation presents it's own unique set of challenges. And each photographer is unique in how they decide to convey what compelled them to compose the shot in the first place. Thought, planning and intuition are at play when choosing the combination of light, color and movement  ......or lack thereof......in order to get the feeling just right. To find the sweet spot. To make a photograph that causes the viewer to think and wonder and ruminate about that singular moment written in light; to create their own story about what happened before and after the shutter clicked.

I enjoyed this weekend......being surrounded by those who find photography as fascinating and exciting as I do...... and have been floating on all of that education and inspiration ever since. And guess what....in a few days I get to do it again in Missoula, MT with another RMSP workshop. Plenty of photos to follow!

Wishing you a wonder filled week full of surprises. Mine sure has been so far!

Warmly, Margaret

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

For a Rainy Spring Morning

I just love the following feature in the Missoulian today about one woman's  Little Free Library. What a novel and genius idea! I admire this woman; her initiative and her desire to make free books available to those who want them. We should all be so generous in order to foster a love of books and reading in others. I hope you'll take a look.

I vividly remember getting my first public library card at nine years old. It was just after we moved to the place my parents still live. I could easily ride my bike to the brick building that was shared with the town's fire station, and although sometimes I would go with others, I was just as content to look, browse, dream and decide by myself. Growing up I was surrounded by books and by family and friends who were active readers. I am happy to say that I still am.


Banana-Blueberry Muffins:

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup ripe mashed bananas

3/4 cup blueberries, rinsed and patted dry

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Coarse sugar

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix well. Add vanilla, then mashed bananas.

In separate bowl combine dry ingredients. Toss with blueberries. Fold into creamed mixture until just blended. Divide into greased muffin tins and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake in preheated oven at 350 until done, 20-25 minutes.

Makes a dozen.

Enjoy your week!

Warmly, Margaret

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Happy Easter / Happy Spring

Well, the flu....or what I'm assuming was the flu......grabbed hold here and the stubborn virus, it just didn't want to let go. My best intentions to do anything at all were sidelined and my favorite couch blanket and new mattress were appreciated more than ever. Marc spent two days home sick from work which is almost unheard of.

As luck would have it, we had Easter dinner on Palm Sunday. It just worked out that way being the one day we had someone home. And that someone made sure I knew that although he felt a little bad about leaving before the holiday itself, that he would indeed appreciate the full holiday meal before he left.

Thank goodness I mustered up the energy to make the above cinnamon rolls Easter morning. I pretty much can't imagine a holiday without them......so even though our meal that evening was from the take-out barbecue place.....I kept at least an ounce of tradition intact! In my rush to enjoy one warm from the oven I forgot to take a picture after they had been turned out of the pan and onto a foil lined baking sheet, pecan halves clinging to the caramel syrup they were baked in. The rolls that, to me, make holidays...... holidays. 

I'm now on the mend and looking forward to spending some time out of doors soon.

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!

Warmly, Margaret

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sick Day

So many pictures I had hoped to take during this week before Easter! Recently I've noticed curved lanes lined with white fences and cherry trees blooming pink. Yellow and white daffodils nodding their heads. Blue hyacinth growing next to a bulb whose flowers are shaped like little white stars.

Unfortunately, a virus has taken hold in our house and I have moved only from the couch to my bed to the couch again during the past twenty-four hours. Extra blankets, chicken soup, tissues and Advil sit nearby.  As does the current book I'm reading (The Big Year) in which I haven't turned a new page.

The best I can do today is to link to a couple of favorite posts from about this time last year: Unfinished and Unpredictable. I hope you enjoy re-reading them.

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

Warmly, Margaret
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