Archive for category Nature

Ruby Beach

My boyfriend and I decided to take a day road trip around the highway 101 loop. Something both of us have been wanting to do, but never taken the time. It’s quite the trip to make in one day, but nice to catch a glimpse of some places that we might want to plan a full-length trip to at a later time.

My favorite stop along the route that day was Ruby Beach. We stopped in on a whim, thinking it looked like a cool place on the map. Yes, we had to use a REAL paper map due to the lack of cell reception on that highway. You know, the kind that you have to unfold and then figure out how to look at it without blinding the driver? Yeah, one of those. It was great, and I was pleased to find that I still knew how to use one properly. We didn’t even get lost!

So, back to Ruby Beach. It was beyond beautiful. We pulled in just before sunset, so there were not many people, and the tide was out. We practically had the beach all to ourselves, so we took our time strolling along and taking pictures. I would love to come back and enjoy this beautiful piece of Pacific Ocean beach.

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What is in your backyard?

What I love most about photography is that it opens people’s eyes to the beauty around them, and even to the beauty within themselves. Photography makes you take a step back, slow down, and look at things, people, places in a different light. Often something that hundreds of people walk by every day without a second glance, if captured in an image in a different view than the “everyday” view, will capture people’s attention once transformed into the medium of a photograph. So many times someone has seen one of my photographs, gasped, and asked me where it was taken. I would then point out a window or day “On the corner of 4th and Capital” and they would be amazed. “I never noticed that there!” they might say, or “I had no idea something like that could be so beautiful!”

A while back I had been sick and housebound for a while, and I was going a bit stir crazy. I was desperately wanting to take photos of something…. Anything…. So I stepped out in the backyard with hopes of finding something to fancy my interest. At first glance there wasn’t much… lawn, bushes, rocks, moss, fence… but then I slowed down and really looked. Walking the perimeter of the little suburban yard, I found some amazingly beautiful things, that I hadn’t even realized were there…

Beauty is everywhere. It is around us, and within us… we just have to slow down, open our eyes, and look.

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Tolmie State Park

Tolmie State Park is another one of my favorite places to go to when I just need to wind down… I visited this beautiful little park the same day as as my previous post about the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge. The sun was shining, and I spent the day clearing my mind by looking at the world through my lens for the day. It is therapeutic for me, and always sets my soul at ease.

On this day I was lucky enough to have a Great Blue Heron grace me with his presence. These magnificent birds have always been one of my favorites. They remind me of when my dad used to take me fishing as a child…

He kept close for quite some time, not seeming to mind my lens pointing at him most of the time I was there!

You can almost hear the seagulls…

A beautiful end to a wonderful day!

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Nisqually Wildlife Refuge

I think I can say with confidence that anyone that lives near Olympia, WA and enjoys taking photos with any type of camera has been to the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge. The miles of boardwalk through the marshy portion of the reserve adds a fantastic element to the greenery that surrounds you on your relaxed stroll.

I love bringing clients here for portrait shoots. The atmosphere is perfect for helping people feel at ease and have that beautiful, natural smile for my camera lens!

On this particular day, It was only me, my camera, and my 70-200 2.8 Canon lens. The sun came out after a long, dreary stretch of western Washington weather, and I had the itch to get out and shoot something…

I love the old barns on the refuge…

This little guy seemed to think I had a treat for him!

A sweet couple on the boardwalk saw my “big fancy camera” and pointed out this lovely bird to me. They figured I would love to get a picture of her… They figured right!

And then just as I was getting close to the end of my stroll, there was a huge flock of Canadian Geese right in my path!

Needless to say, as always, The Nisqually Wildlife Refuge once again proved to be as beautiful and relaxing as always…

 

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Seagulls Can Be Beautiful Also!

What’s the most common, obnoxious bird in the Pacific Northwest? Many would say the Seagull. I always thought they were pretty, but many only think of them as the dirty little scavengers they have become. And that is exactly why I like to photograph them. It is a challenge to take something that people see every day and make it into something original.  

A few weeks ago I was able to go visit a friend that lives close to Seattle. Knowing that I love photography, I was taken down to Lake Washington for a few hours with hopes of some good photo opportunities. It was windy, cold, almost raining (you know… when it is “misting” here in Washington) and very gray out. In the past I might have thought “Yuck! Who wants to see photos of this dreary day? It’s cold! I want to warm up!” But one of my recent goals has been to get out and shoot. Period. Open my eyes, and realize that just because I have seen it before, someone else may not have. Or just because someone else has already seen it, they probably haven’t seen it through my lens. I have found myself too often passing up photo ops this past year because I simply wasn’t opening my eyes and allowing myself to become inspired. That mindset is gone… I am getting out and shooting… and what I have been capturing through my lens has honestly surprised even myself.

So… nasty little dirty birds, or beautiful creatures of nature? I choose the  latter.

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Almost Home

I was able to go back to my “Home Town” for a week last month. I hadn’t been there for more than a day or so at a time for the last ten years. Now mind you this isn’t really my old “Home”… that is 43 miles north of here, but that is for another blog posting.

It’s funny when you’re gone for a long time, and then come back… so many things change, yet everything still seems the same. I took a walk through town with my mom and my camera, looking at all of the “landmarks” that I never really appreciated before. Colville, Washington really is a cute little town.

I never even knew that this sign existed until I went on this photo walk…. Amazing how you can visit a town once a week for 18 years and still find new places…

This was my favorite store in all of Colville… the Flour Mill had everything a girl could want: Horse tack, feed, pet supplies, farming books, etc..etc..

Here’s the view looking over the Colville Fairgrounds. Yes, this is the county fair that I mention in my “About Me” section of my website. My very first photos were displayed here! 🙂

Almost sunset at the park I used to go to as a kid…

And here’s just a few of my favorite park “toys” …. I think they are older than I am!

My favorite swing set they had at the park… (there were three different ones!)

And last but not least, have you ever seen one of these before?? They call it a merry-go-round… you stand inside those metal bars somewhere and you run as fast as you can…. then you jump up on the bar and hang on for dear life! I got hurt so many times on this thing! I doubt they are even legal anymore in parks…. safety hazard!!

I’m so glad I had the opportunity to capture “my little town” on such a beautiful day!

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Railroad Tracks: The Essence of Nostalgia

Railroad tracks are the essence of nostalgia. I don’t know what it is about them, but people always seem to have the same reactions when they are near them or viewing a photograph, painting or drawing of them. Maybe it’s the “contained freedom” they represent, for lack of a better contradicting metaphor. It’s always a wistful feeling, isn’t it? You see there are the rails, ready to take you somewhere, yet you don’t know where they will lead you. There’s really no beginning or end, so where do you start? Where will your journey lead you? What if you see something on the way that you want to look closer at, but you’re stuck on the path you already chose?

I think railroad tracks remind us all of life… all aspects of life; where we would like to go, where we have been. Those endless miles of rails also remind us that no matter what direction we are going, there is still something guiding us along the way.

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