NW Michigan Explored - A Lensbaby Blog Circle Post

I visited a friend in NW Michigan in early June, the first time I have been to that part of the state in many decades. I wanted to travel light, so I took my Canon 6D and two Lensbaby lenses. I intended to bring my Burnside 35 with me, but discovered when I arrived that I picked up my Velvet 56. This is the second time I have pulled the Velvet instead of the Burnside, but it performed well for me. I also had my Edge 35.

Frankfort Pier, Velvet 56

Frankfort Pier, Velvet 56

I was amazed by Lake Michigan. It is huge! It seemed like an ocean, and the sunsets were superb! I got lucky with the image below when the bird flew into my shot.

Velvet 56

Velvet 56

I was told by my friends that the image below is “so Michigan.” People sitting on the beach wrapped up in blankets to keep warm. I had just traveled from Washington, D.C. where the weather was heating up, so I appreciated the moderate temperatures.

Velvet 56

Velvet 56

I did not know this, but Lake Michigan has some steep sand dunes. We took a look at the lake from the top of one of its most famous ones, Sleeping Bear Dunes. The sign on top of the viewpoint said, “Enjoy the view from here, or expect a two-hour hike back up or a sea rescue.” Needless to say I stayed at the top.

Edge 35

Edge 35

There were a few people who decided to walk down the dune. You need to look closely, because they look like miniatures in contrast to the size and steepness of the dune.

Edge 35

Edge 35

The lake’s water was an interesting combination of blues and greens. It was so impressive!

Edge 35

Edge 35

On another day we went to the State Hospital in Traverse City that has been shut down for many years. It is being converted into shops and condos, but they have a tour of one of the buildings that hasn’t been renovated and the steam tunnels. I took my Velvet 56 along with me.

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The steam tunnel was interesting and challenging to capture images due to lack of lighting. I was impressed with how my Velvet 56 performed.

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I had a great four-day break in NW Michigan and look forward to coming back again to explore the upper peninsula, which I am told is a photographer’s dream. I loved capturing images with two favorite of my favorite lenses the Velvet 56 and Edge 35. Perhaps I will be more careful when I dip into my drawer of Lensbabies and take the Burnside 35 out for a spin. It must be feeling a bit neglected.

I love hearing from you, so comment below, post on my Facebook page, or send me an email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com.

About Lensbaby Blog Circle: Once a month photographers from around the world post their Lensbaby photos and comments in a blog. Take a moment and read Janet Broughton’s post. It is a great read and you can keep following the Lensbaby Blog Circle.

If you would like to receive my blog posts please send me your name and email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com. I would be happy to add you to my list of followers.

An Urban Walk - A Lensbaby Blog Circle Post

I have been playing with several of my Lensbaby lenses over the last couple of weeks to capture the early flowers and sunny mornings, but this past weekend I decided to explore the city with my Edge 35 lens. I was surprised at the images that I was able to capture as I walked to the Pike Place Market. I especially enjoyed the reflections on the buildings.

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I eventually made it to the market just as the shops were getting set up. There weren’t many people, which was a plus, and it was very colorful.

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I enjoyed playing with the tilt to get more blur in the image. This one of Rachel, the Pike Place Market pig, was fun. I followed the hoof marks to find her.

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There are always so many wonderful flowers at the market and this weekend they were flourishing.

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As I was getting ready to head home, I turned and took this shot. The Edge 35 captured the magic of the moment.

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While I made my way, I ducked into side streets and found some interesting building art like this one below. The speech bubble that was just to the left of this image said, “I don’t care what they say, I KNOW we belong together.”

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Although this image below is not really street art, the colors caught my eye.

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I am really new to the Edge lenses, but I am enjoying the versatility they offer. I have much to learn and I look forward to exploring more places to see what I can capture. I love hearing from you, so comment below, post on my Facebook page, or send me an email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com.

About Lensbaby Blog Circle: Once a month photographers from around the world post their Lensbaby photos and comments in a blog. Take a moment and read Janet Broughton’s post. It is a great read and you can keep following the Lensbaby Blog Circle.

If you would like to receive my blog posts please send me your name and email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com. I would be happy to add you to my list of followers.

Bloomers - A Lensbaby Blog Circle Post

This weekend a local gallery opened a show featuring some of my flower images. I must say that I was humbled and honored to have eight of my images selected. With the exception of the white rose, which was taken with a Lensbaby Velvet 56 lens, I used the Velvet 85 to take the rest of the images. Many were captured on my daily walks around my neighborhood and several from a Kathleen Clemons' workshop that I attended in Oregon a couple of years ago. I want to thank Kathleen for introducing me to Lensbaby while I attended her Creative Live course. She has helped me understand how to look for the personality and character in each flower, and how to use textures to transform them into impactful images. It has changed my photography for the better.

Beguiling

Beguiling

Mesmerizing

Mesmerizing

Hello There

Hello There

Spring Debut

Spring Debut

Glam

Glam

Luscious

Luscious

Bashful

Bashful

Alluring

Alluring

The evening party was fun. I received many wonderful comments about my flowers, which was humbling and encouraging at the same time. Although I love sharing my photos online, I must say that seeing them printed on fine art matte paper and posted on the wall was a wonderful experience! I love hearing from you, so comment below, post on my Facebook page, or send me an email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com.

About Lensbaby Blog Circle: Once a month photographers from around the world post their Lensbaby photos and comments in a blog. Take a moment and read Birgit Franik’s post. It is a great read and you can keep following the Lensbaby Blog Circle.

If you would like to receive my blog posts please send me your name and email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com. I would be happy to add you to my list of followers.

Fresh Start

I signed up for a six-week online course this year to give my photography a fresh start. That was the name of the course given by Matt Kloskowski, a very talented photographer and instructor. Although not all of the weekly sessions were right on for me, the majority was and it got me out of my comfort zone. I would like to share some of what I discovered during the six weeks, and hope that you can find a way to challenge yourself as well.

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The first week was not only fun but also tasty. We were challenged to take photos of food. I haven’t done much of that and I found it interesting to create the space inside my home to take photos. I bought some black matte wrapping paper to use as a backdrop and moved around various windows until I found a couple of spots where I could feature the food. I used some glassware and dishes from my various trips to Russia to create moody images that I liked.

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I experimented with different lenses, but found that my Lensbaby Velvet 85 was the one I liked the best. It compresses the background while focusing on the subject. I added a texture to the one above to create a different backdrop. The worst part of the first week was that I was left with some very tasty chocolate and cookies to consume. Oh well, what we do for art.

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Another week we were tasked with photographing our hobbies. Since most of my free time is spent on my photography, I reached out to one of my friends and asked if I could photograph her painting. One thing that I learned from this week was a quick trick to brighten my photos in Lightroom using the auto function in the basic slider. It is an easy way to start and then adjust the highlights and shadows from there.

The next session we focused on eliminating distractions in our photos in Photoshop. Matt encouraged us to take some animal shots to experiment with, so I dug deep into my files and found some images from Woodland Park Zoo to use. Here is the original shot of a giraffe I took.

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Although this image is fun, using Matt’s instruction to edit in Photoshop, I filled in the background with black and then added a texture to create what I think is a more impactful image.

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I took one of a penguin that wasn’t bad to start with, but playing with shadows and highlights I was able to create a more mysterious mood in the second image.

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The last week was about framing the subjects when we capture them in camera. It was a good refresher and I found that I generally do think of framing when taking an image. Here are a couple examples that I shared with the group.

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I found the course was inspiring, especially since the weather wasn’t very inviting to go outside. I am eager to take other courses this year to jump start my creative juices. It is a great way to affirm your skills and learn new ones. I love hearing from you, so comment below, post on my Facebook page, or send me an email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com.

If you would like to receive my blog posts please send me your name and email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com. I would be happy to add you to my list of followers.

Snow Walking - A Lensbaby Blog Circle Post

I live in Seattle and we rarely get much snow in the winter, but this February we had over two weeks of it! Not just a few inches, but at least a foot on my hill and much more in the outlining areas. I don’t drive when it snows, so I was on foot a lot. To make the most of it, I took my Burnside 35 and Sol45 out on several of my walks to capture the snow scenes.

Capturing the Needle - Sol45

Capturing the Needle - Sol45

Although I took my regular route around the hill, the snow transformed everything into a different place.

Through the neighborhood - Sol45

Through the neighborhood - Sol45

My favorite tree - my dancing tree - looked even more beautiful with snow on its limbs.

Dancing tree - Burnside35

Dancing tree - Burnside35

The western viewpoint from Queen Anne, was full of surprises.

Overlooking Puget Sound - Sol45

Overlooking Puget Sound - Sol45

Plenty of seats to see the view - Sol45

Plenty of seats to see the view - Sol45

Up close - Sol45

Up close - Sol45

Few walkers along the way - Sol45

Few walkers along the way - Sol45

I loved capturing the houses along my walk. This one called out to me with its red trim.

Snow house - Sol45

Snow house - Sol45

I must admit that although the snow was beautiful, it took a lot of work to make my way around the hill. After weathering our third snowstorm in a week, I was happy to see the sun come out and temperatures rise. But while the snow was here, the Burnside 35 and Sol45 were great lenses to capture images.

I love hearing from you, so please comment below, post on my Facebook page, or send me an email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com.

About Lensbaby Blog Circle: Once a month photographers who use Lensbaby lenses post their photos and comments in a blog from around the world. Take a moment and read Seonaid Teal’s blog. It is a great read and you can keep following the Lensbaby Blog Circle.

If you would like to receive my blog posts please send me your name and email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com. I would be happy to add you to my list of followers.