Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

Travel theme: Big

As my sister Lisa reports over at “Northwest Frame of Mind,” she, our Dad (at “Around and About the Pacific Northwest“) and I all snap photos where ever we go, and since we’ve all been blogging here at WordPress, it’s become pretty obvious that we see the world through similar lenses, with our personal perspectives too though, of course. We all recently spent the weekend together and have all already posted many shots from the day trip up into the Mt. Baker Wilderness area. A big adventure with our kids and their BIG personalities. Perfect fodder for Ailsa’s travel theme: Big.

Dad presents an image of a  big old doug fir, and here I present the same big old fir with a dollop of big personality:

IMG_7631 And now some new additions to the array we’ve all added. First up, a big climb for little legs. We didn’t quite make it up to the top of Table Mountain, but a valiant effort was made by all.

IMG_7696Back down at the trail head of Artists Point, this image captures a moment of big intrigue for little ones: “Could we find snow bears in there, mama?” (She knows better, but can’t help imagining what might lurk under the mysterious “snert field”).

IMG_7762A great day full of big fun with big views and leaving us all with big ideas to share with the blog-o-sphere.

IMG_7786Summer in the Pacific Northwest offers up big opportunities, for sure. What a backdrop.


Weekly Photo Challenge: One shot, two ways

For the The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge “One shot, two ways” I waited for an opportune moment to try my hand. That moment arrived over the weekend when we decided to head up to the Mt. Baker Wilderness area for a mid-day hike. We first stopped off at the ranger station to check in and get our parking permits. Out back of the main building, this is what we saw:

Picture Lake was our next stop on our way up the mountain.  On clear days, the scenery is simply stunning, where Mt. Shuksan appears in duplicate, as a perfect reflection can be seen in the glassy water of the little alpine lake. That’s not what we saw though. Rather, the entire mountainside was banked in mist, but the glassy water did still reflect the trees along the banks.

And on the backside of the lake, we were struck by the mystical scene pictured here. I wouldn’t have been surprised at all to see a magical boat emerge from the mist, silently transporting the lady of the lake herself.

Once we reached Artist’s Point, we gathered up our packs and started to climb. Though it’s August, patches of snow are still abundant. What fun to hike in short sleeves, alternately crunching through snow and traipsing through rocky trails. Lovely sights, all around!

Though we didn’t make it all the way up to Table Mountain, we all had a ball – all 12 of us! A remarkable and wonderful group spanning three generations ranging in age from nearly-6 to 71!

Back to the challenge though — which images do you like better, the landscapes, or the portraits? I find that it depends on the shot.

Travel theme: Tilted, take two

Though I’ve already entered a post in response to Ailsa’s travel theme “tilted” I just can’t stop thinking about alternate views. My first “take” on the challenge — images of my daughter taking an off-kilter approach to her surroundings — was a fun stretch, but since that time, a desire for a more literal interpretation has lingered in mind. In particular, I love the diagonal angle of the surf at sunset and the lonely sloping tree Ailsa presents in her challenge.

So, the other day while we were cooling off at the beach (indeed, it was downright chilly!) I tried my hand at some imitation. What do you think?

slack tide at Indian Beach

slack tide at Indian Beach

strong wids and crashing surf make plumb lines the exception not the rule

strong winds and crashing surf make plumb lines the exception not the rule

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, right? I think I’ll happily continue to work on capturing tilts in my images. Thanks for the challenge, Ailsa!

© Erica K O’Shea at “”, 2013.

Phoneography Challenge: Black and White

When traveling over the mountains and through the woods (or through the Columbia River Gorge, depending on our starting point) to my grandmother’s house, the difference in landscapes between west and east never ceases to captive and amaze me. In Washington and Oregon both, the wet west side lushness contrasts starkly with big-sky expanses of the eastern desert scape. So for this month’s entry into the “Phoneography Challenge: Black and White” hosted by “Lens and Pens by Sally” I thought I would take Sally’s “tip of the week” and modify some snapshots by converting color images to black and white, to showcase the contrast in scapes.

First up: the densely wooded edge of the Wilson River cutting through the Tillamook Forest of Western Oregon. Even in black and white, the sweet musty smell of the damp forest floor comes to mind, doesn’t it?

First taken in Hipstamatic on my iPhone 4, then converted to black and white with iPhoto

First taken in Hipstamatic on my iPhone 4, then converted to black and white with iPhoto

In contrast to the dense forest, just look at the expansive sky, dramatically punctuated with towering windmills, clearly marking the states’ commitments to conservation. In this image I see timelessness and progress both.

Also taken in transit with my iPhone 4, but only converted and brightened with iPhoto.

Taken in transit along highway 84 with my iPhone 4, then converted and brightened with iPhoto.

Which image do you like best, and why? Though the color versions are striking, stripping away the color really does highlight each landscape’s essence.

© Erica K O’Shea at “”, 2013.

Travel theme: Simplicity

Ailsa’s travel theme for the week, Simplicity, brought to mind the moment captured in the snapshot here.  Sometimes less really is more– an important ideal to keep in mind as we wade through our too-busy, stuff-cluttered day-to-day lives.


© Erica K O’Shea at “”, 2013.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic

Though there isn’t a personality trait — in any scheme I am aware of anyway — called nostalgia, I can easily imagine one, perhaps ranging from “lost in the past” on one end of the continuum to “cutting-edge modern” on the other. In such a scheme I wouldn’t fall all the way over into the “lost in the past” side of things as I do enjoy many modern conveniences, but I would definitely fall left of center. Even as a child I loved all things old and still have the collection of antique “tiny bottles” I started when I was five or six years old. I recall spending hours looking through my Mom’s collection of antique books, gazing at her collectibles and thinking about what the families were like, who enjoyed our furniture before it became a part of our household artifacts. Once I could read, my favorite stories were of times long past.

In keeping with the personality theme, I am delighted to note that my daughter shares this sense of intrigue and interest in times long gone. In these last six years its been a joy to share with her stories, activities, and movies I loved as a child. I’ve toyed with passing along my antique dresser to her (the one my parents picked up at a garage sale when I was an infant and that I’ve kept with me ever since) but still am not quite ready to part with it, if even to move it across the hall.

Whether it’s nature or nurture that spurs on our sense of wonder for things from the past, we’ll never know. But I do know this: at present a favorite pastime of ours is to let our imaginations reach back along the time-space continuum. Nostalgia, for us, is not just in the past — it’s sure to be part of our futures too. What’s old is new again.

© Erica K O’Shea at “”, 2013.

Daily Prompt: Nature

An ongoing civic project in my town centers on natural reclamation — of wetlands, bird habitats, and native vegetation. A trail-head to one part of the loop through the project is just a couple blocks from home, so we spend quite a bit of time keeping our eyes on the natural growth. In the spirit of the Postaday prompt “The natural world” I thought I’d share a handful of images taken during our walks and rides. All photos taken with my iPhone 4, some enhanced with Instagram or Hipstamatic.


© Erica K O’Shea at “”, 2013.

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