My Year In Pictures: July Week 3

After seven months of staying close to home and really stretching to make my daily images appear interesting I finally got out to take some pretty island photos.  One of the creative challenges about keeping up this daily/weekly series is what to do when busy days mean no time for photo scouting so I made the most of our trip away and now you get to see the results.

I’ve had the great fortune to visit ten of the San Juan Islands and even though they are close geographically each one is unique as they host a wide variety of artists colonies, farmers, military bases, marinas and wonderful opportunities for outdoor recreation.  This year we returned to Lopez Island, known for its friendly residents (don’t forget to wave at each passing car and cyclist) and laid back atmosphere and spent as much time as possible hiking and relaxing by the water.

This week starts with a beautiful sunset over a butterfly sanctuary and Monday’s photo is my peek-a-boo view through the rocks at Watmough Bay.  Tuesday’s picture is the lovely end to a bike ride and Wednesday I posted this shot of Ryan and his cousin Emma enjoying a quiet moment from the rocks at Iceberg Point.  Thursday night we returned to the sanctuary around Otis Perkins park and Friday’s image was snapped at Horse Drawn Farm where we bought fresh vegetables for dinner.  Saturday’s shot is of the wispy fog that almost blocked our return home… more shots from that trip next week. 🙂

Coming soon I’ve got a great set of new photos almost ready to share here from our latest adventures and if you’d like to follow along in real-time don’t forget I post my daily photos on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.  If a once-a-week blog read is more your speed my weekly recaps will continue here along with caption notes containing editing information for each photo.



Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Challenger’s Choice (Shades of Finn)

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve joined Sally’s weekly photography challenge but I’m ready to end the year on a high note and jump right back in with two images for this week’s theme of challenger’s choice (animals).

When I opened our Etsy store in November I knew it would mean a lot of extra work and that my hands would have to make a choice each evening between blogging and creating something new to list in the shop but sometimes these two endeavors can coexist and last night I found a way to do both.

Of all the things John and I have learned to make this year and of all the big ideas we have on our future “to do/to learn” list I never expected these little wool dryer balls to be our most viewed and best-selling item.   I hand-roll each ball but my fingers can only take so much winding before cramps set in so after each ball I take a little rest to shake things out.  Last night I discovered this is just the right amount of time to edit a photo so today you get to see my break-time handiwork.

I like both images for different reasons so since I missed last week’s black and white challenge I decided to go ahead and share the pair.  The original photo was taken over Christmas weekend with my iPhone 6 while Finn was waiting for John to come back inside.  The black and white was edited in VSCO cam using the LV2 preset while the color version was edited in Oggl using Ray Mark II and Estrada 83. I like elements in each photo but would love to hear what you think.  Black and white or color?

A Surprise Everyday: Shaking Up August With Hipstamatic (week 4)

It’s been a crazy week here in the Pacific Northwest and my choices of trees for the first and last images in this series is no accident.  We’ve faced blazing hot weather, unhealthy levels of smoke in the air, end of summer berries and a record setting windstorm.  I’m writing this Sunday night while we are finally catching our breath, trying to prepare ourselves for the new week ahead while looking back at everything that happened in the past seven days.

Sunday started our week with more hot temperatures and air filled with smoke from the wildfires burning across the eastern half of our state.  As of today almost 700,000 acres are on fire with no end in sight.  Hundreds of homes and structures have burned, thousands are evacuated and on August 19th three firefighters lost their lives…

Monday’s photo is a reminder that Seahawk Football is almost here and Tuesday we see Ryan enjoying the last few days of summer lunch outside before he starts High School on September 9th.  Wednesday I stopped at this little Blackberry patch while Finn took care of business during our morning walk.

Thursday’s image is another morning walk find, this time a cute little garter snake.  Friday morning I stopped to document the end of this roadside sunflower and Saturday I jokingly called this photo “the calm before the storm.”  Little did I know how true that title was as an hour later we were hit with 61 mph sustained winds knocking trees down right and left accompanied by drenching rain leaving half of a million homes without power.  We spent some tense moments wincing at every crack but our only casualty was a set of lawn furniture crushed under heavy branches.  Our power was out for 15 hours (Ryan counted. 🙂 ) but we feel lucky compared to many of our friends who will have to wait up to three more days for fallen trees to be removed and their power lines reset.

Each photo was taken with my iPhone 6 using Hipstamatic’s “shake to randomize” function then posted without any additional editing. If you like a particular combination and want to try it at home just click on the image to see the lens and filter used.  For variety I continue to add new lenses and filters so if you want to try Hipstamatic but are unsure how to start let me know and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.


Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Street Photography (A Quiet Memorial Day)

iPhone Friday 5-29-15


Most of our downtown businesses were closed Monday in honor of Memorial Day leaving anyone looking for afternoon entertainment with the choice of coffee at Starbucks, some tasty Gelato or the matinee showing of Tomorrowland in a 91-year-old theater.  We went to the movies. 🙂

Posted as part of Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge:  Street Photography.

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White Succulent

iPhone Wednesday 5-20

I’m always looking for something new to share as part of Sally’s weekly mobile photography challenge and while some weeks find me stretching for ideas other days an interesting composition is literally in front of my face.  This little succulent was part of a pretty display of air plants hanging in the middle of a shopping mall in Bellevue, WA and today it’s my entry for Black and White week.

Photo taken with my iPhone 6 using the Hipstamatic combination of Kamial Mark II & D-type Plate.

iPhoneography Tuesday: Nature’s Cycle in the Tulip Fields

iPhone Tuesday 5-5-15

The showy blooms have faded and it’s back to work for these hardy rows of tulips.  The Roozengaarde family has farmed tulips in Holland and the US since the early 1700’s and their 1,000 acre farm in the Skagit Valley is filled with tulip, daffodil and iris fields earning them the title of the largest flower bulb growers in the United States.

Posted today as part of Lens and Pen by Sally’s weekly Phoneography Challenge:  Nature.

iPhoneography Thursday: Black and White Tiki and Happy Birthday Wishes

iPhone Thursday 4-23-15

Each spring two Robin families make themselves at home below our decks and build these lovely nests raise their babies.  Last fall John moved the old ones up to the back porch and they’ve weathered the winter protected from the worst of our wind and rain.  This nest has a new resident reminding us it’s almost time for summer BBQ’s and happy evenings outside. 🙂  I’m sharing our newly hatched Tiki baby for Sally’s Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Photo Challenge:  Black and White.

iPhone Thursday 4-23-15 Happy B'Day Ryan

I also want to wish Ryan a very Happy 14th Birthday!  Because he’s such a great kid he posed for a quick photo this morning and said I could take a few action shots at the track meet this afternoon.  I think it’s going to be a wet and cold couple of hours on the field but tonight we’ll celebrate with his favorite dinner, movies and a few presents. 🙂






iPhoneography Challenge: Macro (Spring Trillium)

iPhone Monday 4-13-15

When we lost the large trees in our front yard I thought my favorite patch of shade loving trillium was finished but we carefully transplanted a few hardy specimens to the back side of our house and this little seedling is growing strong tucked away under a leafy rhododendron.

Posted as part of Lens and Pen by Sally’s Photography and Non-SLR Digital Photo Challenge:  Macro.

iPhoneography Monday: Travel (Underground in Seattle)

iPhone Monday 3-23-15

The fourth week of every month is Challenger’s Choice at Lens and Pen by Sally’s Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge so for March I’ve chosen this shot of the upper walk way through Seattle’s Bus Tunnel and Westlake Station.  I visited the tunnel a few weeks ago looking for material to finish a day of random shots for my “shake it to randomize” project and while I eventually selected a black and white image of the a large clock for my recap post I’ve been waiting for this week to share my favorite color shot looking down the tunnel.

iPhoneography Challenge: Black & White (Afternoon Light on the Washington Coast)

iPhone Monday (Th) 3-19-15

This was a hard view to leave behind after a wonderful summer day on the Washington Coast so if you have the opportunity to visit the Olympic Peninsula be sure to plan a hike out to First, Second or Third beaches. Bring your cameras and make the most of wide open vistas, intriguing sea stack formations and very few tourists because the only access is on foot through the forest.

Posted as part of Lens and Pen by Sally’s Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge:  Black & White.

iPhoneography Challenge: Macro (cork it)

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

Pinterest is full of crafty projects using old wine corks and while I’ll admit there was a time last year when I thought it might be fun to make something I can’t seem to get past the “save the corks” stage.   Our bags of corks may never grace the walls as a DIY bulletin board but they made a great subject for Lens and Pen by Sally’s weekly phoneography challenge:  Macro.

iPhoneography Thursday: Nature (Spring Blooms in February)

iPhone Monday (Th) 3-5-15

As you can see from the title I’ve missed my usual iPhone Monday posting schedule by a few days and I also have to admit I never posted the last Black and White Challenge photo from my promised series of 5 images in a row back in February.  Hopefully today’s image makes up for both of these issues. 🙂

This is an outtake from my “shake-it-up” series of random Hipstamatic photos and thanks to Lens and Pen by Sally’s wonderful Phoneography and Digital Devices photo challenge as well as a kind invitation from Bebs at Taking a Deep Breath  to rejoin the black and white challenge I’m sharing it with you today.  Yes it’s Thursday night instead of Monday but this is what my weeks are like these days;  running a bit late but I eventually get there!