Home Sweet Home

Monday, February 28, 2011  at 7:00 AM
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This photo is of an evergreen tree that is literally in my backyard! 

I have owned a digital camera of one kind or another for the past six years, yet I realized recently that I have never read any camera guide all the way through.  Chris and I bought a new camera only last summer and I still did not know all of the buttons, so I resolved to work my way through the manual in an effort to better understand what makes it go 'click.'  At the very least, I wanted to understand how to turn my photos from mediocre snapshots to a photo that I would enjoy looking over a few years down the road, instead of continually complaining about the 'confusing newfangled digital camera' (at my heart, I am a crotchety old woman).

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This has been one of my projects as I ramp up for my years of travel.  Besides reading my camera guide (which was actually one of the most helpful books I looked at), I have been baffled by numerous photography books and have admired many professional photographers' work, usually to the tune of 'how on earth did she get it to focus there?' or 'ah HA!  The law of thirds, I see it!'

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These photos are all from around my hometown of Seattle, Washington, USA.  I love seeing my own backyard as a tourist!
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Evergreen Sketch

Friday, February 25, 2011  at 7:00 AM
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A quick sketch I did up at the ski lodge last weekend.  I love my small, truly pocket-sized sketchbook (by Handbook) and my selection of pens and portable watercolors.  There is no sensation quite like sinking into observation, focusing all of your attention on one point and truly noticing how one line flows to another, how the colors blend.

Even now I can recall exactly where I was when I made this sketch; Sitting, legs up, on an old bench.  Musty, nappy orange carpet covered the wooden planks, threadbare throughout.  Looking out of the frosted glass, I concentrated on the small stand of trees, ignoring the muddy cars parked at their base and the power lines just beyond.
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Adventures in Skiing

Thursday, February 24, 2011  at 3:24 PM
Timeline for this past weekend:

Saturday: Drive up to the Ski Lodge, have an early night in preparation for an even earlier morning.

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Sunday: Learn how to cross country ski.  Get very grumpy as I have only just gotten the hang of down-hill skiing and this is completely different.  Then get very excited as I realize that this is a world easier than downhill skiing.

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Monday: Pack for two nights of snow-camping.  Rent a set of entirely different skis meant for skinning up the side of a mountain (read: snow-shoeing, but with extremely wide, long and unwieldy skis on).  Get a crash course in skinning.

Hike across avalanche fields, over streams, and up a mountain in waist-deep snow, only to realize that we are off trail and are in prime avalanche conditions.  Plunge-step down the mountain in a fraction of the time it took to crawl up. Make camp.

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Tuesday: Wake battered, bruised, and surrounded by fabulous feathery snow.  Take a vast number of photos, then cross a delta of frozen streams in our meandering route back to civilization.  Excavate our car from the multiple feet of snow accumulated over the past twenty-four hours and head home.

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Softly Sweeping Snow

  at 2:20 PM
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After Chris and I hiked on skis with skins all afternoon, Chris decided that the avalanche danger was too high to continue towards the ridge, so we made camp underneath old, fragrant pine trees.  In the morning I watched the flakes slowly collect on our skis outside of our snow camp, relaxing my overstressed legs.
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