Photography

Grateful for Sunshine and Sunflowers

After a season of cold weather and snow like we haven’t had in at least a decade, it is time to enjoy sunshine and plan for the sunflowers. The weather has been teasing us with warmer days and more sunshine – very happy about this! To embrace the warmer days ahead, here’s some pictures of sun shiny days and sunflowers. Two good reasons to be grateful! 🙂

Gratitude = happiness. May you find both.

Have a wonderful day!

All photos are originals by Kim Lawless

Photography

Back Yard Photographer – Butterflies and Warmer Weather

Weather can be quite the funny thing. Last week we had negative temperatures and this week most days are near 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). Warmer weather gets me thinking about Spring, flowers and butterflies. Basically – I want some time outside, enjoying the weather and taking photos. 🙂 There is still plenty of snow on the ground, so flowers and butterflies are still a few months away. So flower and butterfly photography will have to wait a bit yet. So I went through some past butterfly photos and picked a few of my favorites. (Is it bad to have favorites of your own photos?)

These pictures have been taken over the past three years, so they are varying degrees in quality. I still like them as there are some fun memories in these photos for me. In the beginning, I was excited to just capture the subject clearly enough to recognize it. Since then, the excitement isn’t just about the composition of the photo but also the quality and the steps taken to get those photos.

I hope these photos make you think about warmer weather and/or some happy memories.

Hope you enjoy the photos! Thank you for stopping by and checking out my blog!

All photos are originals by Kim Lawless.

Photography · Writing

Back Yard Photographer – Snow way!

The two to three inches of snow became almost eight inches in about four hours. This time however, the temperature was slightly below freezing (around 30 degrees Fahrenheit / -1 degree Celsius). This meant I could go outside and take some pictures without having to worry about frost bite! This meant I could experiment with some camera settings and other things to see what I liked best. Thank goodness the camera stores the settings because I couldn’t remember if I had adjusted aperture or shutter speed for which picture. 🙂

For a little while the flakes were big and really pretty as the fell down. By the time I got outside to take some photos the snow had changed to more of a rain/snow mix so the big flakes were gone. I still tried to get pictures of the falling snow. Below are a few where you can see the snow falling. But with the combination of the smaller flakes and not the most ideal camera settings, it mostly looks like noise with a few bright spots. I still like how the below pictures turned out.

Look! Snow flakes!! (black and white seemed to show it best)
There is some noise in this photo, however a glimpse of snow flakes can be seen around the House Finch’s red feathers.

The trees became weighted down because of the heavy snow. In some instances the way the branches were intertwined, it almost looks like the branches are working together to hold the snow in place. Below are a couple examples.

There is nothing quite like the look of the trees after/during the snow fall. The snow did not last long on the trees. Within a couple of hours of these pictures the trees were bare again. Hope you likes these:

There were also some attempts made at capturing the landscape through a glass ball. I am going to experiment more with this as the weather warms and I work on more landscapes. The deck seemed to be the ideal spot to try this out today – everything else was covered with snow. After brushing off a small space on the deck railing, the glass ball was placed on the railing and a few photos were taken from different angles.

This coming week, most of the snow will melt away. Maybe the greening landscape will be coming soon! 🙂

Thank you for stopping by and checking it out!!

All photos are originals by Kim Lawless

Photography · Writing

Grateful and not Grumpy

Snow… after a several days of shoveling over and over again and/ or road conditions making it nearly impossible to go anywhere, it is difficult to find reasons to be grateful for it. However, snow does have a beauty to it that is hard to ignore. There is a sense of magic in the air when witnessing the falling snow – all those unique individual flakes are enchanting to watch. Then there is the landscape after the snow stops – the beauty and the serenity. What about all the opportunities to play – building snowmen, making snow angels and making ice cream out of the snow.? (Didn’t realize there was such a thing as ice cream snow. More proof you learn something new every day.)

Having gained a renewed an appreciation for the snow, I thought this would be a good day to stretch my photography skills and practice taking snow photos. I’ve been reading up on capturing snow in it’s most pristine condition. In the past, I have tried to take pictures of the freshly fallen snow, but have always ended up with very gray photos needing editing. Most of the time the editing really made the photos seem unrealistic. This, of course, was the result of the photo not being as good as it could have been and over doing it in the editing process.

After researching, it was time to go out and practice what I learned. Getting outside and trying some of the different techniques I had read about was exhilarating. Warm and layered clothing was needed for this quick excursion. It was cold outside. The destination was a short distance from my house, so I wasn’t worried about getting too cold. The snow had also stopped which meant less worry about my camera. Well, it was much colder than I had expected (hint – check the temperature before going out). The temperature was 7 degrees fahrenheit (-13.8 celsius). I had dressed for cold weather, but not this cold. This meant I didn’t get to try various techniques for snow photography. However, the ones I was able to do resulted in better photos with snow than I have taken in the past.

Not much editing was needed for the below photos – just a little cropping and some contrast adjustments. They are a little unclear in some spots as I didn’t have my tri-pod with me. This would have helped since I was shooting in aperture mode. Sometimes there is only so much that can be done. The weather around here is going to continue to be cold and snowy, so there will be more opportunities to try out different techniques in the coming days.

A couple of the photos are more gray than what I would like, but that means there are some adjustments that should have been done when I took the photo. Now I know what to try next time.

Admittedly, the snow has been getting to me and I have been a bit grumpy about it. There really isn’t anything I can do about it – so why waste time and energy on something I can’t change? Instead, I am choosing to be grateful for the beauty and the opportunities the snow has provided. 🙂

What do you think about the snow? Do you have a favorite activity to do in the snow? Does it make you grateful or grumpy?

Thank you for checking out this post !

All photos are originals by Kim Lawless.

Photography · Writing

Back Yard Photographer – Flower Garden

Purple Petunia

Last year the flower garden was a mixture of annuals and perennials. I tried to get flowers that would be beneficial to butterflies and hummingbirds. This needs more work, as there seemed to be more of the “those are pretty” flowers, than the ones with a purpose. Throughout the seasons there are several different types of critters that enjoyed the flowers and plants more than any butterflies. This Spring there will be another trip to the gardening store and a variety of flowers and plants to purchase. Gardens don’t seem to ever really get done. I’m ok with that. It is fun to experiment with a variety of garden plants. Maybe there won’t be as much to buy this year, as more plants may have survived than what I am expecting. 🙂

From year to year, I do not remember exactly what I planted. Thank goodness there are photographs to review. 🙂

Here are some of the things I planted last year. Seems that purple was the color of choice. This year other colors will need to be added. 🙂

I don’t know the name of this plant – I might be in trouble from a gardening perspective.
Blooming geranium
Pansy – It looks like a cartoon owl is on the flower petals. 🙂
Pink Rose bud
Mums – blooms in the Autumn, so the flower beds have color through most of the seasons.

Thank you for stopping by! Hope you like the photos!

All photos are originals by Kim Lawless