Same Drive, Different Days

Those of us that still work, pretty much have the same routine when they have to go to work.  Get up, shower, eat breakfast, go to work, spend 9-12 hours at work, and come home.

It gets to be a way of life.  Some days are better than others.  We all know that.  It’s what makes us “Tick” so to speak.

There are many ways to commute to work, I for one have walked, rode a bus, rode a train, car-pooled and driven in my own vehicle.  I have commuted as far as 75 miles one direction.  And no, I do not miss that way of commuting!  

Which do I prefer?  Driving myself.  

If you’re going to make that commute no matter how short or long of a drive, there is always something going on.  Please pay attention to what is in front of you and please, no distracted driving!  

The first thing I do is of course turn on the radio.  I must have music while I am driving.   

The unfortunate part of my commute is I travel east in the morning, and west in the evening. And yes, the sun is an issue certain times of the year.  

I have two ways I can go to work.  Take the highway or take the side roads.  Weather is a huge factor in the winter on which way I go to work.    I tend to stay on the side roads in the winter. No, they’re not plowed, but I would rather have traction with snow, as I am not a fan of driving on ice.  It’s a personal preference.  I can go as slow as I want on the side roads and not have to worry about someone being in a hurry behind me.  

Living in the Southern Pacific Northwest, there is always something to see and watch out for.   This time of year it is the farming equipment.  Where we live, you are always on the look out for deer.  That is 365 days a year!  I just wish I could dodge the bugs!  

No matter which way I go it is beautiful.   I almost always come home the same way.  The side roads.  Mainly because if I take the highway I have to make a left turn off the highway, and there is no left turn lane, so I would rather be more safe.  

As a photographer, I notice things.  The sky, the trees, the migrating birds, the water levels and of course the sun position.  

I have  a favorite spot that I stop at most days.  It is at the top of a road called Township.  It is the eastern end of the road.  It’s at the top of a hill.  The view is beautiful every day of the year.  

I do stop.  I try to stop at the same place each time.  Sometimes I forget.  But no one says I have to take the picture everyday.  However, 365 days of the same place could be interesting.  

Since it is May, I will start with that month.   Spring and farming season.  

The skies are not dependable in the spring.  Amazing clouds, to gray skies, to the smoke from the farm fields being burned off for the season.  On the top of Township, you can see it all! 

5 7        Bug Spots on the windshield are common!  As is the burning of the farm fields.

5 15        Big Skies are abundant.  A hint of rain and sometimes snow, yes in May!

For some reason I didn’t take a picture in June. And I know I went to work that month, it was the beginning of butterfly season at work, so we were busy!

July and August were not our friends this past year.  The fire “Season” was horrible.  I did not take a picture in July either.  I will  post this one, it is our front yard.  And you can see the smoke and no sun.  I truly hate fire season.

7 24                                                                           July 24, 2018

8 9        August 9, 2018, you can’t even see the mountains in the horizon due to the smoke.

8 27                                                     August 27, the skies are getting clearer!

9 12                                                              September 12, 2018

9 25September 25, 2018, the sun is moving lower when I come home, usually this is about 4:50 pm or a little later.  See those mountains in the distance? Thats where I go.  It is a 7 mile straight stretch across to the highway!

10 9                                        October 9, 2018, the shadows are moving too!

10 29                                         October 29, 2018,  Fall is for sure in the air!

11 13  November 13, 2018 two weeks later, the sun is lower and there aren’t many leaves left!

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November 21, 2018, the wind is abundant, the fields have been harvested and the dirt begins to blow across the roads through the fields.  This time of year is a two hands on the steering wheel time.  Because of the wind.  The trees begin to give awesome silhouettes against the sky!

12 6December 6, 2018, yes that is snow out there and on the sides of the roads.  And it’s getting darker when I get home!

12 19December 19, 2018.  The snow melted, and I think we are already wishing for spring. However, it is a long ways away!

1 29January 29, 2019.  I am certain there were many snow covered roads between this picture and the last.  Once I reach this point, I just want to get home.  The sun is low, and the temperatures are cold!

2 5February 5, 2019, six days later.  Yep, these are the 15-20mph roads.  These are not my favorite days to drive.  Township does not get plowed very often.

2 18February 18, 2019.  By this time, we all knew the groundhog lied about spring!  But it’s still beautiful and the sun is much higher, and maybe warmer weather will be on the way?

3 4March 4, 2019.  Spring just has to be on the way, the farmers are starting to flood their fields!

3 19March 19 2019.  An odd cloudy day.  We did have snow the end of March. Just so you know!

4 10April 10, 2019, April showers bring May Flowers?  It brought cold temperatures a few snowflakes, and not much hope for spring!

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April 12, 2019, two days later, a hope for spring.  We love springtime on the mountain.  It’s unpredictable.  As I write this today May 19, 2019, its a rainy cool day with the chance of a few snow flakes.  Yep.   Gotta love spring in the Southern Pacific Northwest.

Do you commute to work?  How do you go?  Do you have a favorite route?  Find a place that you can safely pull over and see what you can capture!  Try it once a month.  Maybe twice.  I don’t take my big camera to work with me, (I would never make it on time)  so these are cell phone pictures.  You should try it!  Just for a couple months.  However, if you are stuck in heavy traffic, please don’t try it.

You could pick a spot on your street, or even in your front yard.  Do you drive by a park on the way home?   Take the pictures and notice the difference in the sun position, the leaves on the trees, the clouds in the sky.

It’s an amazing world out there.  Go capture it!!!

Be Nice Humans

Tlynn

Black and White

“The world is black, the world is white, it turns the day and then by night” sung by Three Dog Night.

Black and White photography has been around forever! It’s dramatic, it’s hypnotic, it’s amazing.  It’s what you need to do to get out of your automatic colored box!

Many of your DSLR’s and Point and Shoot cameras have a “creative zone” that allows you to change your settings to capture monochrome or black and white.  What is monochrome?

1. a photography or picture developed or executed in black and white or in varying tones of only one color. 2. (of a photograph or picture or a television screen) consisting of or displaying images in black and white or varying tones of only one color.

Thank you Mr. Webster.

Do you “shoot” in black and white? Or do you change your photographs on the computer?  I am guilty of the second.  I have a plug in program called Black and White Effects that I use in Photoshop, or I just take away my color saturation and create the black and white.  I also use Sepia.  Some pictures just need to be in black and white.

Old buildings seem to be a must for sepia or black and white. Landscapes with clouds, deserve to be in black and white. Channel your inner Ansel Adams! Multnomah b w signed

My inner Ansel Adams, loves Multnomah Falls in Black and White!

One thing I missed out on for sure was learning how to develop film in the high school dark room.  Something I always wanted to learn. I was very active in taking the pictures for the high school year book, but I wasn’t the privileged that got to “develop” them.  Either way, photoshop and other applications for your computers or smart phones make it way easy to change your pictures!

A Road Not Taken

Sometimes the results are amazing. I for one, wouldn’t want to walk this dark dreary forest alone.

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When I see an old barn, building, or shack, I think of the simpler times when there was only black and white pictures.  The tin pictures were awesome!  Could you just imagine? I mean how did they develop them on tin?  Now you can upload a picture to your favorite picture ordering site and you can get it on tin. Even on glass. Hmmmm.  The choices you have!

I still love the “olden” days of black and white.  There are even programs for yours smart phone or computer that add scratches, and textures to make your pictures look even older.

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If it weren’t for the fact that the cars are modern and the description on the side of the wall has espresso and cappuccino, how would you know that Mel’s Drive In on Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks, wasn’t around along time ago?

As I have stated in the past, I do not change all my pictures, and I only convert the ones I think need to have an added something.  Manipulated photos are not for everyone, and I hear this time and time again from many people.  Yes you can go overboard!  I get that, but I seriously try not to go overboard and over process when I do.  Sometimes, I will totally change the look of a photograph, and those are the times the hubby kind of gives the picture and me a “look” and I know he hates it!  But that just brings about my point of, its not for everyone!

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And it isn’t for everything or type 0f picture either.  I added the vignette and black and white to this eagle, because the sky was just very blue and no clouds in sight.  I could have added the clouds, but no, I wanted the majestic one to be different.

Smokey Trees

These trees with the smoke, ended up being one of my most surprised best sellers  to people I knew!  One of my friends sent me a picture of her baby girl, staring at the trees in the frame. She said she always likes to stare at it!  I felt and still feel very honored! This picture resides on the East Coast in Virginia now!  It’s also in southern California as well.
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This picture to me, represents a very cold windy nasty winters day!  And it was in October, but yes, it was cold and nasty.  Could you capture the same feeling in color?
To be honest, there wasn’t much color in this one to begin with, so that is why I chose it to become more dreary than it was.
Experiment with your photos! Don’t be afraid to change the “looks” of a picture. Take a step back in time.  Most of all have fun with it!
Remember to always work (adjust) on a “copy” of your photo!  You don’t want to change something that you can’t get back!  I know the iPhone has a way you can duplicate the original picture, which is what I do, and then I play around with the copy!
Don’t be afraid to try something new!
Have a Blessed day!

Tracy Lynn

What Does Music Look Like

Classical, New Age, Country, Classic Rock, Rock N Roll,  Gospel, Acoustic etc…  We all know what music sounds like, but what does it look like?

One of my favorite music movies to watch is August Rush.  August talks about the music “being all around us.”  This young little musical genius (my words) creates an amazing symphony all based on what you see and hear around you.  The trees blowing in the wind, the grasses moving in the wind, the water, the sky, the sounds of a city, everything.  It is a very heartfelt movie.  

So that brings me to, what does music look like?  If you know it’s all around you.  What does that awesome blue sky with the puffy white clouds sound like?  Can you imagine it?  

I love music, I have always been around it.  I can read it, play it, and sometimes sing it. (depends on who you ask) Some of my best memories are of listening to my brothers play the guitar.  I love a good old fashioned acoustic guitar.  One of my brothers could totally rock The Ventures Pipeline, while one would nail country, and my youngest older brother would make up songs, or sing The Troggs, or Bob Dylan.  I was introduced to music at a young age.  

I would sneak into my youngest older brothers room, and grab the electric guitar and strum until I had a blister on my thumb.  (insert Beatles “I Have Blisters on my Fingers” In that wonderful english accent) I still have that guitar. It belonged to two of my brothers.  Something I will always cherish! 

My sister and I would hold concerts in our bedrooms and sing to the #1 Hits of the 60’s.  I still love to listen to her sing.  

What type of symphony would you create if you could with your pictures?  Would you choose the rush of living in the city? Or would you scale it down and choose the country?  Would you create your life as living and working on a farm? We all know what that would look like!  Putting them all together, you can see what it should sound like!  At least that’s what I think.  I could write a song about Montana with my pictures, as well as Oregon, or any other place I have visited or lived.  Where would you choose to write your song with pictures?  The beach?  The mountains? Or just spending time with family?  All of them could make a wonderful song.  Try it!  

My symphony would be titled My Montana. 

I grew up on both sides of the state. The far east side in the Badlands of Montana, then in the beautiful Bitterroot Valley of Western Montana.  The best of both worlds in my opinion.

As a child I really didn’t appreciate it like I do now as an adult.  There were chores to do growing up, and now that we only plan “vacations” to go “home” it’s a lot different.  As an adult I haven’t been able to see as much of Montana as I would like.  I would love for hubby and I to go back and explore Western Montana.  There is so much to see, and so much I would love to share with him.

So to sum it up. Create your symphony. 

To you, I give “My Montana”

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Glndive 02 copyGlendive 01 copyBNSF copyBlack bridge copyGlendive 03 copyKONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAGusthauf copy copyMontana sky copyKONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAIntake copyPleasant view copyRosebud copyYellowstone 01 copyKONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERARiver in Missoula copyFLorence 01 copyCarolne lane copyBitterroot valley 01 copyBitterroot River copyBitterroot Valley 03 copy

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As you can see, My Montana is a symphony of beauty.  One of memories of growing up in the best of both sides of the state.  I relate Montana to always being home.  No matter where I live, it always calls to me.

Find your symphony.  Perhaps you may find it in your children, your animals, your place of worship.  It’s out there.  Its up to you to create it.

Don’t be afraid to embrace the music.  It really is “all around us”

Blessings to you all.

Tracy Lynn

 

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Birds Of A Feather…

You know the rest of the saying!

I never ever in my life imagined I would be so “into” photographing birds.

I am NOT a “birder“.

Not all birders are bad.

Definition of birder

1: a catcher or hunter of birds especially for market
2: a person who birds

 

I have met birders.

And I do not fit into the category of a birder.   For one I am considerate of others when driving (well, hubby is).  He goes slow, as not to raise dust, he pulls over to the shoulder as far as he can without freaking me out by thinking we’re headed into the marsh,  and we will close the dang truck door if we get out so if someone does drive by, they can get past.

Okay,  now that I have gotten that out of my system, shall we continue?

I have learned things this year while roaming the Refuge.  #1, you are never ever to old to learn! It keeps the mind growing!  I had absolutely no idea that Egrets and Herons nested in trees. Why did I think they were ground nesters? Because you always see them next to the bank of water right?  Ya, not so much!  The only thing I knew was Herons are bluish-gray and Egrets are white.  I know that both are skittish as all get out, when you try to photograph them on the bank, poof, they’re in the air.  Did you know that their wingspan can be up to 5.6 feet?  Pretty cool.  Egrets also fly at 25mph.

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Egrets nest in colonies.  The male is the nest builder, he tries to attract the female, so he builds her a nest for their young. (Pretty presumptuous I think)  Hey, wanna come to my nest?  Thats an opening line if I’ve ever heard one!  Mr. Egret likes to get to the colony first so he can get the best spot.  However, they also nest with other birds. Herons and Cormorants and more.  At this location Mr. Heron was at the top of the tree, so I think Mr. Egret wasn’t the first this year.

The colony

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Egrets are monogamous during the season.  It is not known if they are for life or not.

So, here is the reason of why I know these things.  Google haha…  well, hubby and I were out taking pictures, (okay I was) and we saw a Heron in the top of the tree.  So I had to partake in the moment!  When I got home I noticed a little tiny Heron head peeking out of the nest.  I was hooked.  So, that said, it became our weekend ritual!  Since we head that way every Saturday anyway, we made it a point to go through the Refuge and see what we could find to shoot.

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Yep, I was totally hooked.

Back to more fun facts.  During breeding season, long feathery plumes grow from it’s back.  They are called aigrettes, which they hold up during courtship displays.  The sad thing is, they were almost pushed to extinction because people in the “olden” days, wanted the plumes.  Boo Hiss for those people. Now I know where those feathers came from on those silly looking hats!

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Both parents feed their young.  The babies climb out of the nest around 3 weeks old and begin to fly at 6-7 weeks. And when this happens, I will become sad, because shortly there after I will have an empty nest until next year.  I am already sad thinking about it.

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My advice for you all is this; find a road along a marsh or a wetland.  Something with some tall trees perhaps.  And visit it often.  You never know what might show up.  I really enjoyed learning about these beauties this year!  And I totally loved capturing them in their natural state!

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Enjoy the rest of your summer!  It’s gotten to the hot part of the year on our mountain in the Southern Pacific Northwest, and I am not a fan.  However, I have many fans going in my house!

Empty Nest

 

 

 

Be Nice Humans!!

Happy Shooting

Tracy Lynn

 

 

High Dynamic Range – HDR

According to Wikipedia, “HDR is a technique used in imaging and photography to reproduce a greater dynamic range of luminosity than is possible with standard digital imaging or photographic techniques.  The aim is to present a similar range of luminance to be experienced through the human visual system.  

HDR images can represent a greater range of luminance levels that can be achieved using more traditional methods such as real-world scenes containing very bright, direct sunlight to extreme shade.  This is often achieved by capturing and combining several different exposures of the same subject matter.”  

In my lesser technical world,  HDR can be shot using 3 pictures on up to however many you decide.  My cameras will allow me to shoot 3 shot HDR photos.

The series is this; one at normal settings, one at a step up to capture the highlights, and one a step down to capture the shadows.  You are shooting the same photo composition 3 times.  It may sound silly, but sometimes you can get more depth, or feeling in a photo that has more shadows or detail.  IMG_5813

Normal Photo

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1 Stop down to capture the shadows

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1 Stop up to capture the light

 

Photomatix

Three shot HDR, processed using Photomatix

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Three shot HDR, processed using Aurora HDR

Yes, you need specific software to “merge” or “layer” your images.  I use mostly a software called Photomatix.  When I first discovered it, I had a fun time learning.  Yes some of the photos were a bit over processed, but it was still fun. You can indeed take one photo (instead of 3) and run it thought the gauntlet so to speak, and make it a new image to you.  This is a photo you may have taken 10 years ago!  It’s all about learning and trying new things for your old photos, and of course your current photos.

I use two programs.  Photomatix, as stated above and Aurora HDR.  I am still learning the Aurora HDR, and I find it a bit qwerky, but I guess it’s all in the learning process.  Photomatix was my first, and I do believe it was one of the first HDR programs.  Used by many photographers,  the Aurora HDR was created by an amazing photographer Trey Ratcliff, who I learned alot from watching his Photomatix video tutorials.  I think (but don’t quote me)  Aurora HDR was first created strictly for Mac computers.

How did I get into the world of HDR?  I used to be big into digital scrapbooking, and one of the guru’s that made all kinds of neat things for that hobby, was also a photographer.  He did some awesome amazing HDR of Montana, close to where I lived in Western Montana.  I followed his processes, and bought a few books.  Then I discovered Trey and took a course of his and thats how I got hooked.

There is something in HDR that is called “Ghosting” and sometimes this gets the best of me.  If you are like me and take mostly hand held photos, there is going to be some movement.

When you take the three picture HDR, there are great chances if you are not using a tripod, you will have movement.  So when your pictures are merging they also need to line up.  So if they don’t line up properly, you get “ghost” effects on your photos, it can be pretty ugly, and no amount of adjustments, will take away the failed photo merge. I know this because I have given up on trying to merge the three photo set numerous times.

I do not claim, nor will I ever claim to be an expert on HDR photography and processing. Because once you claim you are an expert, you quit learning.  I learn something new every time I process photos.  Once I really like the outcome of the HDR process, its time to step into the studio so to speak, I will remove any unsightly power lines, or spots that are on my sensor that come through. I will also remove signs, if I find them annoying.  The bottom line digital footprint is still there, but I am merely enhancing my photo.  It’s not for everyone!  And I don’t do it to all my photos.  Most of what I post online are “SOOC”  Straight Out of the Camera.

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Normal Photo

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1 Stop Down

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1 Stop Up

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3 Photo HDR

In this final photograph, I removed most of the power lines, removed buckets and trash, and cleaned up any other distracting objects that I felt were not beneficial to the photo. As a side note, this particular photo I entered into the local county fair in the Digital Manipulation category, and I am happy and proud to say, that it took Best of Show!  I was/am a very happy girl!

You can indeed as stated above, turn a one photo shot, into an HDR, similar photo.  I have done it many times just to give it a “pop”.

I have friends and family that don’t like the “digital manipulation” and that’s OK!  They’re entitled to like what they like.  They like the real stuff.  So do I, but sometimes a photo straight out of the camera just needs a punch of something.

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The world of HDR isn’t just for color photos either!!!!  While you process them the same, they can really make a Black and White Photo really pop as well.

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3 Photo  HDR Black and White

If you notice the signature in the above black and white, it is my husbands signature, with my camera of course.  He loves to shoot in HDR but refuses to learn the processing part.  That’s okay.  I give him credit, but the photo belongs to Tracy Lynn Hart Photography.  In case you are wondering why he was taking these,  I have a fear of all things ticks.  AND…  this was a field, in eastern Montana, with tall weeds, so I refused to go beyond the gravel road.  He was the one that took the shots for me!  Good job honey! You had a great teacher!!!

While HDR seems to be used in mostly landscape photography, I sometimes play around and use it for flowers, still life, and whatever else I think might work. If it works great, if not, there is that lovely delete key that will move the stuff to my trash can!

My advice to anyone wanting to try HDR. DO IT! You can download free trials of the programs, that is what I did in the beginning. You will need to learn your camera settings. Most DSLR’s have a custom setting where you can program it to take the 3 shots. Or however many your camera will take.  Read your manual, google it, find out how to make it work for you.

Experiment! It’s all about finding what you as a photographer like!

Alot of your cell phones now have an HDR feature, I know mine does, and I think it works okay, but it’s not what I am used to.

I spend hours in the studio, mostly when the weather is bad or early in the morning.  I would rather be outside taking photos or just being outside, instead of being cooped up inside.
It’s all a learning process and curve. I feel fortunate to have done as well as I have with my HDR processes.  I have done alot of research, watched videos, and took a course online.  I refuse to put alot of money into something that I don’t know if I will like. That is why the trial versions of the programs are a huge help!

Try something different! Be brave! Step out of that box!!!

Most of all, Enjoy!

Be Happy!

 

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Abandoned Homestead in Eastern Montana along Highway 200

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Abandoned Homestead in Eastern Montana along Highway 200

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Historic Hotel Meade, Bannack Montana

 

Happy Shooting!

Tracy Lynn

 

12 Months 12 Photos

Season’s Greetings to you all!  I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and I wish the best for you in the coming year!

The 12th month of 2017 is nearing its end.  So hard to believe another year has gone.

What were your favorite parts of 2017?  Did you accomplish all that you set out to?  As for me, I don’t make resolutions.  Mainly because I don’t want to set myself up for failure, so to speak.  I don’t want to tell everyone my resolutions and then come February 1st I get asked about my resolutions.  I don’t need that stress! (ha) So I merely make a mental list of things I would like to accomplish in the new year.  Some I do, some I don’t.

One thing I do though, is take more pictures than the previous year.  Not sure my computer is happy with that.  Guess that is why there are two external hard drives attached plus a reliable back up system.  I am trying to teach myself that it’s okay to delete a photo that didn’t work!  It’s not an easy task!  Baby steps I guess!

I decided this month to share with you 12 months of  iPhone pictures.  I almost always have my phone with me, because you just never know when you might need it.  Besides, what if I saw someone famous and no one would believe me if I wasn’t able to get a picture right?   Doubtful there would be anyone famous where I live, but hey, one can dream!

01 Jan                                             This is January.  January wasn’t very nice.

January brought about one heck of a snow storm. I think we had more than one good storm, but this one was volumes.  We even got a snow day from work.  For which I was thankful.  I don’t remember when I last experienced the joy of a heavy snow fall like this. I am thinking 1982 or 83 in Eastern Montana.  Either way, once the skies cleared, and we were able to make paths outside, it was beautiful to photograph!  May as well turn it into a photographic event!

02 Feb                                            Something new for me to learn in February

With the first experience of seeing the bald eagles up close this year, hubby and I decided it was time for that new lens.  I was ecstatic!  I still am!  But it’s been a learning curve.  It is an amazing lens.  One that only lets you shoot manual focus if you put the doubler on it.  I learned two important things.  I need to practice patience, and I needed an eye exam.  I am still working on the patience! There are still things to learn and I need to sit down and read about the lens and let it teach me.  I’ll get back to you on that!  I am learning little things.  I know that between my lens and my camera it weighs over 10 pounds and walking over a mile hurts my arms!  And I am learning the tripod is my new best friend.

03 Mar copy                                                       A hope for spring in March!

I did’t know there was such a thing as miniature daffodils, but there is. Either that, or my soil is bad enough that they decide to stay small.  March brought about hopes of spring and warmer days.  The new beginnings after a long cold winter.  Flowers, birds, deer, bugs, all those things you love about spring.  Searching for warmer days and nights!

 

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April kind of reminded us that March was only kidding.  We had various snow storms through out April.  Winter just did not want to go away.  It actually started to get a little old.  However on the plus side, some of the spring flowers looked quite nice with snow capped buds.  But by the end of April, we were out of the snow zone.

 

05-May-copy

May brought about new hopes of a nice calm spring, green grass and new planters. One thing I love to do is get my hands dirty with flowers and plants.  I have learned that things don’t bloom as early on the mountain as they do on the lower lands.  The first year we moved up here, I was reminded that it still freezes at the end of April and those pretty geraniums you bought for the back deck? Ya, they would die… I should have really remembered that from growing up in Western Montana. But I didn’t.  And now I think it’s more fun to plant the seeds than it is to buy the flowers. Unless of course, it’s a basket full of petunias!  Our spring lasted maybe 3 weeks before the heat of summer began to creep in and steal the season!

06 Jun copy

Hello June, hello summer.  Hello summer skies.  June was beautiful.  The thunderstorms, the rainbows, the beautiful clouds.  Time to plan the rest of the summer.  Plan a vacation, go fishing, take a road trip.  Of which we did one of those.  We planned our vacation.  Most of my cloud scenes were again, taken while driving to and from work.  I really need to take the good camera with me more often.  Guess I would also need to leave for work earlier and plan to get home later!  There are just so many cool things to shoot most days. From calves to birds to clouds!  The sky is literally the limit!

07 Jul copy                                                               My Montana Sky!

July brought us home.  Vacation from here to South Dakota and back.  Time to see family and friends.  Hubby and I hadn’t been on a vacation since 2013.  It was time.  We did a lot of miles in a short time and realized we didn’t give ourselves enough time to decompress after each travel day.  We were going all the time.  We were able to see a few things we wanted, but mostly we were just on the go to our next destination.  There were still many pictures taken.  Not all were out of the front windshield like the above one was!

 

08 Aug copy

August brought about the hint that fall wasn’t  far behind.  I had some amazing sunrises on the way to work.  I wasn’t even late!  We enjoyed what summer has to bring us on the mountain.  Long evenings on the deck, BBQ’s in the front yard,  watching the baby deer run around.  And enjoying those seeds I planted that bloomed into pretty summer flowers!

09 Sep copy

September was a busy Monarch Butterfly time at work.   We had a late start to our season this year, by about a full month. The weather wasn’t cooperating at all this spring.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get a lot of butterfly pictures with the big camera.  Mainly because I was at work and we were moving caterpillars, and chrysalis, and observing our butterfly season.  I do love this majestic Monarch.  And we are doing our little part to help them along.  Incidentally this is a male Monarch.  And if I remember right, the day this was taken, was his birthday.

10 Oct copy

October brought us fall, the end of our butterfly season at work, and our first snow.  At work we were able to enjoy nice fall day walks.  The days were warm enough you didn’t need  a sweater.  The deer were abundant and the way they were always bunched up you would think they really did know something we didn’t.  Like snow was on the way.   Walking at work is always a plus anyway, and the phone is most always with me.  These deer were enjoying the shade of the warm day. They didn’t want to move along to fast either!  So we slowed down and enjoyed them.

11 Nov copy

November brought us more snow and cold weather, and awesome sunsets and sunrises.  I will admit, I was later than normal getting home a few days.  This stretch of road I travel is a straight 7 miles of agriculture fields.  Potatoes, alfalfa, wheat, and I don’t know what else they plant.  But after the harvest, the fields are flooded and the migrating water fowl start enjoying the seeds and water.  This was one of the last fields that hadn’t iced over yet.  Tundra Swan, Canada Geese and lots of ducks I couldn’t identify were taking in the last rays of Gods light!  The skies were changing so fast I couldn’t keep up.  I did safely pull over the truck to take the pictures.  If you call stopping in the middle of the road safe.  I made sure no one was around.  Remember I don’t live in a city!  Traffic is sparse on this road!

12 Dec copy

December is always a busy month for most.  The hustle and bustle of the holidays, getting together with family and friends, and a shopping day with a friend.

Last year I had done a few craft fairs and sold mostly ornaments, centerpieces and my photo coasters.  This year I focused on my photography.  I was pleased with the success.  I met many wonderful people and heard a lot of encouraging words about my work.  I was happy.  I am still happy.  I have a great cheering section. My husband and my co-worker, who did the craft fair as well.  Between the two of them I branched out.  The greeting cards were a good fit.  My coasters sold faster than I thought, and we’ve come up with some ideas for next year.  I can’t wait to get started.  But first I must clean up all my messes from the garage so the husband can have his work bench back.  I hear rumblings.

My thoughts about next year for you.  Take pictures.  And at the end of each month, pick your favorites.  Print them out or put them in a special folder on your computer or tablet.  At the end of the year you will have a wonderful re-cap of your year.  There are so many affordable sources for photo books and memory type books that you could print a nice book out for yourself!  Of all those favorite photos, pick 12 and make a calendar for the next year!!!

Enjoy every day.  Capture it on your camera.  Don’t be upset that every picture doesn’t turn out.  And delete the bad ones!  (A note to myself)

There is something to take a picture of every day.  I would love to do a photo challenge but I am not sure I would post every day. (Just being honest)  Step out of the box!  Learn something new!

Do what makes you Happy!!

Blessings to you all in the coming new year!

Happy Shooting

T Lynnb916768ded54f754f422869425ee65ee

The View From Above

The last month and a half, our skies have been filled with smoke from too many forest fires.  The smoke on some days was so thick you couldn’t see down the road.  While it made for some unique sunrises and sunsets, and a few good pictures, it was sad.

The last couple weeks we’ve been feeling “fall” in the air.  This past week it was really starting to feel like fall with the change of the weather, our first freeze warnings, and a little bit of rain.

The blessing in the change of the seasons was in the higher country in the form of snow.  In my home state of Montana, they have lost over 1 million acres of beautiful forest land to forest fires.  I will not get into my opinion of why, because this is a happy blog.  They said the only thing that could help Montana put out the fires was snow.  Glorious snow.  We also got the snow in Oregon and rain in Washington state to help with the fires.

At work this past week, the clouds were just beautiful.  And we all know how I love clouds!  I thought it was a good thing I didn’t have my camera at work because I would want to be outside capturing the beauty.  So I waited.

Friday morning (my day off) the Hubby and I went into town for breakfast and it was awesome to see white puffy clouds and clear blue skies. No smoke on the horizon.  We did some shopping and while we were in the stores, we came out and our puffy white clouds were gone and our skies were filled with white and gray clouds.   I think they were calling to me.  So we drove home to grab the cameras and go above it all.

To the top of a mountain called “Hamaker”

“1958-1979 A Cold War Air Force Radar Station was first established in Keno, Klamath County Oregon.  Named Keno Air Station”

To me, the above sentence is merely a “golf ball” on the top of Hamaker that we can see from our house.  But, there is history up on that mountain top.

Hamaker 11

 

Keno Air Force Station.  Established in 1958 and became operational in September 1958, manned by the 827th AC&W Squadron.  The station initially had both a Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) and early warning mission.  The early warning mission involved tracking and identifying all aircraft entering their airspace while the GCI mission involved guiding Air Force Interceptors to any identified enemy aircraft.  Controllers at the station vectored fighter aircraft at the correct course and speed to intercept enemy aircraft using vice commands via ground-to-air radio.

I could go on about the logistics and big words I didn’t understand in the article, but it is pretty interesting.  You can find more information here:

http://www.fortwiki.com/Keno_Air_force_Station

My story is this… It was a beautiful day in the Basin and the clouds were abundant and we were going to the top of that mounting to get some fresh air and beautiful views, and hopefully some pictures too.

It’s about and 8.5 mile drive to the top which is about 6500 feet. Don’t quote me on that, I was looking at the GPS on my phone.

We had been up here before when we first moved to the area.  I know it gets a lot of snow.  Hubby decided one day in March, to go on an adventure and travel to the top.  I am extremely glad I wasn’t with him. The last mile or so isn’t maintained.  It’s bad enough without the snow.

Hamaker snow 02

He made it back slowly to tell about it!

Once on top of Hamaker, you can look to the northwest and see Mt. McLoughlin, which you can also see from Medford on the other side of the Cascades.

Hamaker 06                                      Mt McLoughlin with a fresh blanket of snow!

You look out to the north, you see the Klamath Basin, farmland, Klamath Lake, Klamath River, and points beyond.  I truly love it up here.  Except it was 43 degrees and a light breeze.  Once the breeze quit, it was quite nice!

Hamaker 01

Hamaker 03

Hamaker 07

Hamaker 10

Hamaker 08

Hamaker 12

There is one thing for sure, that you can’t deny.  It is beautiful here every season.  (except fire season)

My advice is this;

If it’s the beginning of fall where you are, put on that hoodie or flannel shirt, pack the camera, maybe a picnic lunch, and go find your view from the top!  You won’t be sorry.  If it’s not feeling like fall, wait a couple weeks!  It might skip fall and go right into winter.  I say this because it almost always gets really cold or snows before Halloween!

Enjoy fall.  Enjoy the Pumpkin Spice everything.  Enjoy life.

Just a girl and her suitcase 01_01

Happy Shooting

Tracy Lynn