Friday, July 30, 2010

Sunset on Kauai

"With hurricanes, tornadoes, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thurnderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Alligiance?" Jay Leno

Well said, Jay! If you don't want to say the word God, then don't say it, but don't expect it to be removed simply because you don't believe in God or don't want it there. It's not abusing your rights by leaving it in, but it is abusing ours by being forced to remove it. If you don't like it, just do what the kids do these days, and put your hands over your ears and say, blah, blah, blah.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kite Surfers

Kite surfers are sure fun to watch, especially when they're as good as these guys were. Unfortunately, we didn't find them until our last day in Hawaii. We were able to watch them for an hour or so, though. The challenge was to get good pictures of the guys and also enough of the scene to show the viewer what was happening. In this picture I was focusing on the surfer and didn't worry about showing the kite. In other pics, however, I showed both to get a good sense of the skill these guys possess. It was a fun time. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Camp of Man

"How hard to realize that every camp of man has this glorious starry firmament for a roof! In such places, standing alone on a mountain-top, it is easy to realize that whatever special nests we make - leaves and moss like the marmots and birds, or tents or piled stone - we all dwell in a house of one room - the world with its firmament for its roof - and we are sailing the celestial spaces without leaving any track." John Muir (1838-1914) Scotland/USA

This picture was taken in Hawaii. It's part of the Waimea Canyon. It's a beautiful area with a variety of colors. There was a haze present most of the time we were in Hawaii and I should have used my polarizer to cut through the haze, but I didn't. So, if you're in a similar situation, get out your polarizer and put it on your lens. It'll give you a better picture.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Riding the Waves

Wind surfers don't try to tame the power of the ocean. They learn how to use that power to achieve their goals. We can do the same thing when we encounter obstacles, whether it be weather, difficult people or business issues. We need to analyze the situation to see if there's some way to turn the problems into avenues to success.

When my husband and I were in Kauai a few months ago, we spent part of our last day there watching wind surfers. We watched these guys fly into the air, come down on their feet and continue to ride the waves. They were absolutely remarkable! My primary challenge was to catch the leaps into the air, while still keeping the sense of what was guiding their actions. There had to be a trade-off sometimes between taking a close-up shot & the sense of place shot that included the parachute that was pulling them. I ended up taking a lot of both, so I could document the power of the waves & the skill of the men who were riding them.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Be Happy!

"Be mindful that happiness isn't based on possessions, power or prestige, but on relationships with people we like and respect. Remember that while money talks, chocolate ice cream sings! " Author Unknown

Live well, love much and laugh often - Be happy!


"Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars . . . . and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy. Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance. Look at the flowers - happy for no reason. It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are." Osho (1931-1990) India,USA

It's too bad that we can't just be happy for no reason. Why can't we? Do we just make things more complicated than they need to be? Do we constantly strive to have more, to do more or to be more? Do we complicate our lives unnecessarily and, as a result, cause unhappiness and dissatisfaction? Perhaps we need to examine our lives and determine if we're causing ourselves unnecessary unhappiness and stress. If we are, maybe we need to work on being a little more like the flowers, the birds and the trees, and be satisfied with what we have. Does that mean we shouldn't strive to do better and shouldn't have goals? No, it just means that we need to determine what's important to us and do the things that will help us achieve those goals instead of stressing about those things that aren't important.

Monday, July 19, 2010

What is life?

"What is life? It is the flash of the firefly in the night. It is the breath of the buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow that runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset." Chief Crowfoot (1830-1890) his last words, Canada
Bison often stand next to hot pools in Yellowstone to warm themselves. Using a long lens allows photographers to get good images without endangering themselves or the animals. Unfortunately, people are injured every year because they ignore the guidelines regarding maintaining appropriate distances from the wildlife. Bison may look like they're slow and sluggish, but they can move very quickly when they want to. Always remember that they're wild animals & animals are unpredictable. They can be quiet and calm one minute and denting the side of your truck the next minute. Enjoy the wildlife when you visit Yellowstone, or any wildlife area, but be safe.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Wild Grasses

"I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer. My bank of wild grass is majestic and full of music. It is a fire that solitude presses against my lips." Violet Leduc

Although we may be tiring of the heat of summer, it's beauty and warmth is something that stays with us and helps us endure winter's cold.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

"The glories and the beauties of form, color and sound unite in the Grand Canyon - forms unrivalled even by the mountains, colors that vie sunsets, and sounds that span the diapason from tempest to tinkling raindrops, from cataract to bubbling fountains." John Wesley Powell (1834-1902) USA

I know this isn't the Grand Canyon. I haven't been there for many years, and don't really have any good pictures of it, so I thought I'd share this picture of the Canyon of the Yellowstone.
Although it isn't as large, it is still a beautiful place, one that makes you realize how powerful and majestic nature can be. One of these days, I'm going to get up early enough to be there at sunrise, when the light brings out the magnificent colors of the rocks. That would, of course, require getting out of bed at about 3:00 a.m., since our motel is not close to the spot. If I ever make it, I'll be sure to share the images on my blog. If I were you, though, I wouldn't hold my breathe.

Friday, July 16, 2010


"Mountains are to the rest of the body of the earth, what violent musclar action is to the body of man. The muscles and tendons of its anatomy are, in the mountains, brought out with force and convulsive energy, full of expression, passion and strength." John Ruskin (1819-1900) England
If you follow this blog or visit my website very often, you've probably seen this picture before. I shot this one at Glacier National Park last year, late in the evening as the sun was setting. I used my tripod and took several shots so I could process the images in HDR. Some of the colors that you see in this image, were not even visible when I looked at the scene. Processing in HDR, however, brought out the colors that were hidden from my eyes. I processed this particular image a little differently from the previous version to accentuate the warm colors.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What Music Will You Make?

A camera, like a guitar, is just a box with a hole in it. Until it is placed in the hands of a true artist, it will not make music, only noise. Author Unknown

What do you want your music to sound like today? What effect do you want your images to have on those who view them? We can influence others through the pictures we make. Let's make sure we're sending them in the right direction.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Importance of Photography

"If a day goes by without me doing something related to photography it's though I've neglected something essential to my existence, as though I had forgotten to wake up." Richard Avedon

I was watching a photo webinar last night and they mentioned this quote. I thought it was quite appropriate for a photo blog. Of course, this photo blog addresses much more than photography. Would you rather I have more photo-related information and skip some of the quotes? If you're a regular reader, or plan to be, I'd really like your opinion.

By the way, this picture is on a building across from the Jackson County County Courthouse Annex. I thought it was an interesting composite of Independence history.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


"Vision is not enough. It must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps, we must step up the stairs." By: Voclav Havel (b.1936) Czechoslovakia

This reminds me of something my mom used to say regarding goals and planning. "Just do it!"
Yes, you've probably seen those words before, perhaps even associated with a NIKE commercial. Mom was saying it long before NIKE started using it, though. She was a very wise woman who was always willing to share her knowledge and experience with others. All you had to do was listen.
This is an unusual view of the historic Independence Courthouse. Sometimes it's fun, and challenging, to see how many different views you can come up with using the same subject.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Eyes & Beauty

"If eyes were made for seeing, then beauty is its own excuse for being." Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), USA

This is Spouting Horn on the island of Kuaui. It's a beautiful spot and these picture shows a little different perspective than what you'd usually see. As is often the case with nature photography, particularly seascapes, I don't think you could ever get two pictures alike at this location. The waves are constantly changing & the horn spouts indiscremently and unpredictably. In situations like this, you have to focus and shoot right before you think the water is going to shoot up; otherwise you won't get the shot. Nature photography can be challenging but, in my opinion, it's definitely worth the time and effort.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Beauty of the Sea

"I asked the earth, I asked the sea and the deeps, among the living animals, the things that creep. I asked the winds that blow, I asked the heavens, the sun, the moon, the stars and all the things that stand at the doors of my flesh ....
My question was the gaze I turned to them
Their answer was their beauty."
St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), North Africa

The beauty of the sea is boundless. When we were in Hawaii recently, I could have spent days just gazing at the sea, each wave being different from the one before. Whether or not I took pictures was irrelevant, because it was the beauty of the sea that was important. I did, however, take as many pictures as I could, because I wanted to document the beauty & share it with those who weren't there to experience it.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Which Wolf Will Win?

A Native American was talking to his grandson about how he felt.

He said,
"I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart.
One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one.
The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one."

The grandson asked him,
"Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?"

The grandfather answered,
"The one I feed."

Native American parable

Isn't this true with all of us? We have two sides - one which wants to do good and serve humanity and the other which is self-serving and maybe a little bad (dare I say evil). We can choose which force to listen to and control which personality wins out. The future success of our great country depends on those who listen to their "good side". So, feed your good wolf & let the bad wolf starve.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


"Not to have control over the senses is like sailing in a rudderless ship, bound to break to pieces on coming in contact with the very first rock." Mahatma Gandi (1869-1948) India
Calmness or chaos is something you can control. Take control of your life today & improve your chances for achieving success.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Strength of Water

"Nothing in the world is more flexible than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful. Everyone knows this, but no one can do it."Lao Tzu (c.604 - c.53/BCE), from the Tao Te Ching, China

Have you ever tried walking across a river? My husband's a fly fisherman and, a few years ago, he decided that we needed to cross the Madison River, in Yellowstone, so we could fish & picnic on the other side. So, we both started out with our walking staffs, hoping they would tame the wild water & allow us to cross. My knuckles were white, not only from hanging onto the walking stick, but from fear as we made our way carefully across the river. There were many times when I thought I was going to fall, be rushed downstream & slammed into a large rock. Lukily, although the water was powerful, it wasn't deep, so we did make it across, but I have a very healthy respect for rushing water & hope to avoid crossing another river. I'll just fish & picnic on the "safe" side of the river.

Have you tried paddling out to catch a wave when the surf is coming in? Have you tried swimming
against the tide? Water is stronger than we are. We cannot conquer it. We may be able to channel its' strength at times but, when it comes right down to it, we have to change our actions in order to work with.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Remember the Reason

I was watching Sunday Morning a few minutes ago as Ben Stein did a tribute to Independence Day. His message was that our founding fathers developed a document in 1776, The Declaration of Independence, which epitomized the aspirations of the human heart - freedom and diginity.

We should all remember the reason for this holiday as we have our picnics, light our fireworks and gather with family and friends. Many people have died, and are dying, to protect the freedoms that we have today. I hope you'll join me in giving thanks to God, and to the brave men and women who are, and who have been, fighting for the freedoms we have today, and pray that we never lose the freedoms that we treasure.

I wish you all a safe and happy 4th of July.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Moods of the Sea

"I have seen the sea when it is stormy and wild, when it is quiet and serene, when it is dark and moody. And, in all its' moods, I see myself." Martin Buxbaum (1912-1991), USA

I thought this was a nice quote. If you think about it, the sea does seem to have moods, just as we do. If you follow that form of reasoning, though, I guess that means that Mother Nature has moods too. Sometimes she's calm & easy to be around and other times, you just want to hide from her. Do you know anyone who's like that - easy to be around some days & terrible on others? Interesting analogy.