2019 The Year of Pollen and Pretty Flowers: Week 13

If you’ve ever tried to complete a year-long photo project you know each week brings a new challenge and today’s post is my answer to the seasonally specific question “what do I share when the focus of my blog is an outdoor PNW lifestyle but the arrival of spring means I can’t be outside because of the sneezing?” This is the third time I’ve set myself up to share a year’s worth of daily photos and while I might want to say I’ll only take and share pics from indoors until allergy season passes the truth is I need better choices or you’ll all leave me for more interesting reading.  Plus, the inside of my house is boring and spring in the Pacific Northwest is really lovely.  It would be a shame to not share.

This year I decided to risk the pollen induced sneezing and in one fast-snapping tour of the yard collected 6 images of what’s blooming now to create a fresh post all about flowers.  Our late start to spring meant the morning I made my flower dash there weren’t 7 interesting plants blooming so the begonia close up is from last summer. I like to think of the final result as a digital, sneeze free, bouquet.

All images were taken with my iPhone and edited in VSCO.  If you’re interested in more detail please click through each image individually as I’ve captioned them with the specific filter presets used within the app.

Shades of Blue: Part 1

If you’ve been with me for a while you might know I take all my photos with my iPhone and if you are a details person you’ve noticed I typically tag each photo or post with the editing app used in case a reader wants to try something new with their own work.  I’ve got more apps than I want to count and each has at least one unique feature that inspired me to download but when it comes time to edit images and post my results I skip over all of them and open one of these favorite three every single time.

In no particular order my favorites are Snapseed, VSCO & Hipstamatic.  Sometimes Oggl substitutes for Hipstamatic if I want to process a straight out of the camera shot into something with a Hipstamatic filter but really I like the immediacy of shooting and finishing all in one.

Snapseed is a great easy-to-learn app that quickly offers subtle balance corrections, straightening, cropping and some fun filter effects if you want a more dramatic change.

VSCO also offers corrective features, a large library of soft and pretty filters that mimic film photography and has a vibrant online community full of like-minded photographers.

While Snapseed and VSCO are my apps for subtle changes Hipstamatic is where I go to explore small moments in time.  When I’m overwhelmed and tired of the chaos that comes with a busy life I like how the square format directs my focus to just one or perhaps two things.  It’s a photographic chance to slow down and take a breath while tuning out distractions.  I know some people find the editing heavy-handed but I like it for just that reason because when I use Hipstamatic I’m not trying to capture a realistic image of the moment, instead I’m exploring how each little square is a work of art hidden in the day.  The lens/film/flash combinations add a painterly quality that transforms something easy to overlook into something that makes me think.

All of this is a long-winded way of introducing my next series of posts.  For months I’ve wanted to post more regularly but I was out of new pictures to share and as a result out of anything interesting to say.  Now I’ve got a series of Hipstamatic images ready to go and I thought I should give you a little behind-the-scenes insight into why they were shot this way.  Over the next week or so I’ll have several posts full of images from my daily escapes outside but instead of big, beautiful PNW vistas these are small in scale and more personal. Now you’ll see the one element in a big space that drew me in instead of a panoramic shot with something for everyone.  I have those too and will share them another day but this week will be all about Hipstamatic and shades of blue.

All photos shot with my iPhone 7+ using Hipstamatic and the Elijah/Love 81 combination.


A Surprise Everyday: Shaking Up March with Hipstamatic (week 2)

At least once a day I shake my head and wonder where the time went.  I know rushing through weeks, feeling let down because I couldn’t finish an unrealistic “to do” list is a bad habit but one of the benefits of this weekly series is visual proof that I did find time to relax even if I feel like I am always running (or driving) from one thing to the next.  I’m even starting to look forward to writing these Sunday afternoon recaps and the quiet hour spent thinking about where I’ve been and wondering what I’ll find to share next week.

Sunday was another atypical warm winter day in the Pacific Northwest so Ryan, Finn and I drove up north to Bellingham, WA for a visit with my parents.  We enjoyed a nice lunch together then my mom and I worked through the beginnings of a new project. Later Dad, Ryan and I went down the marina for coffee and a leisurely walk around fishing boats and Bellingham Bay. Monday is my latest attempt to capture these mossy trees in color and Tuesday is a shot of our early blooming Rhododendrons.

A big part of my Wednesday was spent in the car driving the round trip between Tacoma and Edmonds and after successfully navigating both work and traffic I still made it to Ryan’s school in time to pick him up after practice at 4:30.  Whew!  Thursday morning I thought the bright green moss on the road looked pretty even though it’s dangerous to walk across with an excitable dog on the leash.  I decided to risk a quick photo and Hipstamatic rewarded me with the BRAVE “muscle arms”. 🙂

Friday the 13th brought the good news that our favorite Fair Trade gift store is reopening and Ralph the guard dog is happy to announce he’s coming back to work.  The week ended with a stormy Saturday filled with rain, wind and a little sun so my photo is an inside the house shot and a little peek into Ryan’s room…the perfect hideout for a teenage boy who loves science, engineering and history.

Each photo is straight from my iPhone 6 and Hipstamatic’s “shake to randomize” function and 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 within the app.  I’ll be back next Sunday with 7 new photos and maybe even a few new favorites!

iPhone Monday: 3-10-14

iPhone Monday 3-10-14

In response to Sally’s March Macro Challenge I have a second view of the spring flowers from my Nature post last week.

I encourage everyone who is a fan of mobile photography to spend some time with the thoughtful posts at Lens and Pen by Sally.  Her Monday photo challenges include valuable tips and insight into the world of non-traditional photography and each week brings a new page in an ongoing discussion about art and photography between Sally and her readers.

iPhone Monday: 3-3-14

iPhone Monday 3-3-14

My husband surprised me with these lovely spring flowers Friday night and today I’m sharing them with all of you as part of Lens and Pen by Sally’s Phoneography Challenge:  Nature.