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”

Montana 01 copy

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

Caroline Lane 02 copy

Famiy copy

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

 

Flag in Glendive copy

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!

 

04 Apr copy

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 Enchanted Highway

Life’s like a road that you travel on
When there’s one day here and the next day gone
Sometimes you bend and sometimes you stand
Sometimes you turn your back to the wind

There’s a world outside every darkened door
Where blues won’t haunt you anymore
Where the brave are free and lovers soar
Come ride with me to the distant shore

We won’t hesitate
To break down the garden gate
There’s not much time left today

Life is a highway
I wanna ride it all night long
If you’re going my way
I wanna drive it all night long

Lyrics by Rascal Flats

Recently the husband and I went on vacation.  It was a wonderful trip!  We seemed to spend most of it on the road, not really stopping long enough to decompress.  It was all go, go, go.  We were able to stop and spend the 4th of July with a dear friend and her family, and we managed to see family and friends in Montana and South Dakota. (That’s always the bonus!)

As you all know I was born and raised in Montana, and my husband was born and raised in South Dakota.  So, this route from Eastern Montana through North Dakota and into South Dakota was familiar to us both.

Along a highway in Western North Dakota is this little offshoot highway called;EH SIgn 02                                                          “The Enchanted Highway”

“The Enchanted Highway begins at exit 72 on I-94 near Gladstone and terminates 32 miles down the road in the small town of Regent”

I have always wanted to tour the Enchanted Highway but never had the opportunity. Same with my husband. So this trip we planned our little tour towards Regent North Dakota.

My question was Why?  What was the reason for these sculptures along this little highway?  I did my google research and this is what I found.

“I saw the town was a dying community,” says sculptor Gary Greff, who grew up in Regent ND., population about 200, and returned in 1989 after working as a teacher and principal. 

I personally think it is a sad reason to have such amazing sculpture, but in turn, Thank You Mr. Greff, for your amazing work.

Sit back and enjoy our little tour down the “Enchanted Highway”

The first stop that you can see off I-94 is Geese in Flight.  The “eye” catcher to the highway tour.

Lines of geese copy                                                    The road is lined with metal Geese

 

And when you get to the top of the road and turn to your left… you see the Geese in Flight

Stop 01

It was pretty spectacular to see up close for a change, instead of flying by it at 70mph.  This was built in 2001 as a billboard to the highway route!  For once a billboard you don’t have to read!

With EGTo show you the size of this “Little Sculpture” I made sure to put our truck up against it.

It’s a not so tiny when you see it against a vehicle.  I would love to see it in the winter with the snow!  However, I’m not quite sure I want to make the trip to North Dakota in the winter.

The second piece of art, is something pretty common to the area.  Something you always have to watch out for.

Stop 2 from hwy                                                                “Deer Crossing”

You can see it from quite aways off the road.  Deer Crossing was built in 2002.

The anticipation of what it really looked like was building.  It was a great representation of what you get on the roads and interstate.  You must watch out for the deer and antelope on the roads!

Stop 2

Also at this site was a metal crafted Maze of Enchantment.

I hope my husband doesn’t get lost.  I am sure it was built for the younger generation, but it was still fun!

The Maze

Amazing Husband                                               My a Mazing husband leading the way.

I think I can do this, however my sense of direction is something to be seen.

Tracy in Maze at E H copy                           Almost to the end! Whew!  (I only went the wrong way once)

It was fun.  I kind of hope there aren’t any more on the road, we will never make it to our destination.

Back on the road we head to the next fun sculpture.  What will it be?

Grasshopper 01                                               Grasshoppers in the Field built in 1999

A not so friendly reminder of where we are.  Grasshoppers can be not so nice when it comes to fields.

The amount of detail and imagination in these pieces is awesome.

Grasshopper 02

How did Mr. Greff ever come up with these ideas?  I don’t know but I am glad he did.

Tracy and hopper copy

I felt very secure under this guy!  Except I might want to re-think that if there was a thunder and lightning storm.  I imagine these metal sculptures are lightning rods!  Wouldn’t you just love to see it though?

The artistic side of me, when it comes to photoshop, kind of wanted to see what one of these sculptures might look like on a cloudy night, with the moon breaking through.

Grasshopper at night bw

It was kind of eerie, but really cool!  I could make some great Halloween pictures with these as a background!

It would be really cool to see these on a dark night with only the stars in the sky.  This part of  the prairie has no light pollution to hinder the view of the stars.  Guess I need to add that to my list.  I wonder where the nearest hotel is.. hmmmmm

Next up on the road is another common site, more in South Dakota that we’ve noticed, but right after we stopped here and were headed to our next cool destination, we saw a rooster on the side of the road.

Stop 04 02                                                   Pheasants on the Prairie built in 1996

The colors in the hen and rooster were so true.  How did he do that? Magic perhaps?!

Stop 05                                                        The little ones are so cute too!

Tracy Shooting Pheasants               Me, shooting the pheasants legally in North Dakota out of hunting season.

What could be around the next corner? Although I must tell you, there weren’t many corners on this stretch of road. Just a lot of beautiful prairie and farm land.

ND Prarie

A lot of tourists to Montana and the Dakotas, love to hunt and fish.  There are so many beautiful lakes and rivers.  Something for every type of fisherman!

Stop 4                                                         Fishermans Dream built in 2006

This was to big to fit in one picture frame.  The sun was fighting with us at the time, but we managed to enjoy the big catch!

Stop 4 02

Stop 4 03

It might be hard to fit those fish in the back of the truck. I might have to get rid of the suitcase. Or the beer cooler.  Um, nope I think we’ll leave these fish right here for the next traveler!

Theodore Roosevelt was a big part of Dakota Territory. Leaving the east coast after losing his wife and mother almost at the same time. He left politics and became part of the “Rough Riders”  The states that were part of the Dakota Territory were Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.

Our next sculpture was for “Teddy”

Stop 06                                                    Teddy Rides Again, built in 1993

I would love to see this if it were lit up at night!   I did read that Mr. Greff (the sculptor) started a fire on the prairie while welding this in the summer.  He no longer welds in the summer due to the dry conditions.

North Dakota is also home to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  If you’re leaving Eastern Montana into North Dakota, it is well worth the trip!

Our last stop on the Enchanted Highway was to see The Tin Family.

LAst Stop 01                                                           The Tin Family.  Built in 1991

How cool are they?  The curly hair is all wire.  The little boy (Not so little) eating his sucker, and the farmer ready to go pitch some hay!

Showing how big the sculptures are copy                                                       Not so little Tin Ma and Pa (and me)

I was sad that our 32 mile side trip was coming to an end.  I have no idea how long we were, but long enough for the clouds to burn away and the sun to rise higher in the sky.

We ended up in Regent North Dakota.  Regent ND

A quaint little farm town.  We were pretty early, so we didn’t stop at the “trinket” shop, but we fueled up and got some refreshments.  You know, the bad for you food you have to have while on a road trip!

Mr. Greff is working on another sculpture!  We will go back and see that and add it to the photo collection!

We hopped into our truck and headed southeast to our destination in South Dakota.  I only  wonder what else we might see off the beaten path.

Our trip was 3400 miles total, and most of it was on the little highways.  From Eastern Oregon to all over Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nevada and California.  It was another wonderful trip in our book of road trips.

I know summer is almost over for most of us, and just beginning for other parts across the oceans.

School is back in session, the county fairs are starting up. Enjoy what’s left of summer.

Welcome Autumn with open arms and make it memorable!  Find some really neat fall colors to photograph, pumpkins and scarecrows too!

Vacations don’t always have to be about going somewhere far.  You would be surprised what you can find in your own back yard.  We have some amazing lakes and mountains in ours!

Pick a direction, go 50-100 miles and see what you can find!!

Most of all, capture it, enjoy it and remember it!

Best of all…Have a great day

Have a Great Day doing it!

Happy Shooting

Tracy Lynn

 

 

 

 

Every Picture Tells A Story

Sorry to steal the words from Rod Stewart, but indeed every picture does tell a story,  be it happy, sad, funny, or serious.  There is a story behind every picture that you take.  Why did you take it? Where were you when you took it?  Who was with you when you took it? What was happening at the time you took it?

We all take pictures and in this day and age more and more pictures are taken with mobile devices.  I think its kind of sad really.  I understand that not everyone can afford a digital camera, or not everyone has a way to download their digital photos.  I totally get that.   I have had a conversation with an older lady that said she refused to stare at a computer to look at her pictures.   I understand!   But how long before you can’t replace your film camera?  I miss the days of dropping off the film and waiting two weeks for your pictures to come back.  That was the longest two weeks ever!  And then, you had to nervously open up the envelope and see which pictures actually turned out!  I remember many stores having a “Goof Proof Picture Policy” where you didn’t have to pay for the blurry ones!  This day and age, the blurry ones go in the trash can.  My trash can is getting full!

I have mentioned a couple (or more) times that my favorite thing to do is to go out shooting with my husband.  Sometimes he has a camera, and sometimes he uses his phone.

So what’s the story behind this picture?

4931 His

Where are we? Why the heck am I on my knees and how the heck am I going to get back up?  Who is going to help me up? What was I trying to capture at this very moment?

T A Moulton Barn

This was the result of that on the knee photo!  The T.A. Moulton Barn in the Grand Tetons of Wyoming.  This barn is one of the most photographed barns in America.

https://www.nps.gov/grte/learn/historyculture/mormon.htm

We were on vacation in 2012 and neither one of had ever been to  Mormon Row.  We had been in this area but before we were “us”.   Dear hubby even hiked and camped in the Tetons in his younger days.

This was one of our stories.

2068 His

What more can you say about these gorgeous mountains?  We spent hours driving through Grand Teton National Park.

2068 Hers

Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Wyoming

We had an amazing day in the park.  I think there are still photos that I haven’t even touched.  I shot a lot of HDR back then.

Fast forward many years ahead and hubby and I still have a wonderful time where ever we go with the cameras.  I might add, we don’t need the cameras to have a wonderful time.  But there are stories behind everything we do!

1234 His

No.  I am not a fan of being in front of the camera, and the spouse is quite sneaky at times.

1234 Hers

Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge

But it’s kind of fun to see what I was taking a picture of when he was taking a picture of me taking a picture.  Whew!

Finding two photos that matched up before I wrote this blog was an adventure.  The times are off on the cameras so a couple pictures are off by an hour or two.  So if you are thinking I am making this up.  I am not.  The EXIF data is a wonderful thing.  It is the data behind the picture.  Date, time, settings, and other information I don’t know what I would do with even if I knew what it was!  Even your cell phone has this data.  And with cameras and cell phones, you can turn on the GPS information and you and the rest of the world will know exactly where that photo was shot.  Sometimes it’s a good thing, most times its not.

If you are an avid social media poster and you are gone from home, sometimes the bad guys can know you aren’t home.  There are always things to be cautious about, and that is one of them!

9366 his

Husband and I find adventures where ever we go.  We can drive into town and make it an adventure by taking a dirt road we hadn’t been on before.  Life is indeed what you make it!

9366 Hers

Oregon Skies, Medford Oregon

I for one, want to make it count!

I want my pictures to tell a story long after I am gone.  Someone will see something that will remind them of me.  Where was I when I took a picture that reminded them of me?  What was it about that certain photo?

9809 His

9809 Hers

A view from our Mountain

Have you ever taken the time to look through the photo albums from your parents or older siblings?  It is really kind of a neat thing to do.  I have my mother’s photo albums and one from my father.  Seeing them at a young age, seeing what they looked like and where they went were really kind of cool.  And then seeing their photos once they got together!  All those photos tell a story of their life. Life before they met and after they met.  After they met the photos were of my older siblings.  Explore your family history!  Read their stories in those pictures!

9845 His

 

9845 Hers

Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, Tulelake California

Remember to make your pictures count!  I don’t mean all those millions of selfies that are posted everywhere.  I personally don’t quite understand the self absorbed love that some people have for bathroom mirrors!  But then again, I am of a totally different generation.

No matter what generation you are from.  Take sometime to make some memories and write your own stories!

You will never be finished writing your story as long as you are still waking up in the morning!

And at the end of the day.  Kick back, put your feet up and plan a new story for tomorrow.  Or reflect on your story of the day!

Photographer no camera

North Rim of the Grand Canyon

2 photographers taking in the view

Happy Shooting!

T Lynn

 

The First of Many

I have been doing a lot of reading about marketing “myself” as a photographer, and everything falls back on getting a blog.  I have my personal blog, so I decided what the heck. I will start one for my photography.  Once I get it up and running I will have previews of my work, old and new.  This is something that means the world to me and I would love to be able to do it on a more regular basis, (photography).  My go-to  for photography is mainly landscape photography.  Being that I live in the desert, it can get quite frustrating when it comes to taking landscape photos.  I have started learning and experimenting with still life photography and I find that I really enjoy this as well.  Once we get out of Southern California and move back to Montana, I will be on a mission to do even more landscape photography. I have shot a few weddings, mainly for family and close friends.  I am a candid photographer. While you must have your posed wedding pictures, I find it much more satisfying to capture people in their real element. You know, kind of like sneaking around and getting them being who they really are.  Cute, Dorky, Funny, and Loving.  I hope you’ll follow me on my photographic journey.  Let the games begin!!!

Thank you all in advance!

tracylynn