12.22.2015

Wordless Wednesday: What a Week

by Mary Denman  @MaryDenman

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday! 

Here's a brief view of my week. 
To start off, my daughter is fine. But, she needed some IV antibiotics. 
So, we spent a couple of days in the hospital. 
We're home and she's doing great! 

Our cat Lady is the first of the cats to think about accepting our puppy Liam. :)

Enjoy the fun Christmas light shots!
MERRY CHRISTMAS!



My daughter getting a Christmas Bear

12.18.2015

Photo Tip Friday: Use Your Photography for Personalized Gifts

by Mary Denman     @MaryDenman

With Christmas fast approaching, I wanted to give you some ideas of how to use your photography for personalized gifts. 

It's a great way to share your talent and give a meaningful gift! 


Let's get started.

12.15.2015

Wordless Wednesday: Our New Puppy

by Mary Denman   @MaryDenman

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday! 

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I'm sorry that I haven't been quite as active as usual here on my blog. 
My daughter had her third knee surgery of the year on 11 December. 
Then, probably in a state of mental exhaustion, we went to another state to get a puppy on 12 December.
As if we don't have enough going on in our lives.....
So let me introduce Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy to you. 
We call him Liam.
And he is perfect! 

Pray for my daughter's recovery. 


12.14.2015

Monday's Musings: Powerful Christmas Quote by Winston Churchill

by Mary Denman  @MaryDenman

Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection. ~Winston Churchill

These are powerful words spoken by a powerful man. 

Words that hold much truth. 

Christmas is a season of rejoicing, of celebrating Christ's birth, of sharing family time, of giving gifts of love. 

Christmas is also a season of reflection. Not the "have I been naughty or nice" kind of reflection. But the kind of reflection that goes deeper. The kind that makes you think about your family, loved ones, and about the past year. 

12.08.2015

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas is here!

by Mary Denman   @MaryDenman

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday! 

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12.07.2015

Monday's Musings: Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall ~ Longfellow

by Mary Denman   @MaryDenman

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow says in his poem, The Rainy Day, "Into each life some rain must fall." He spoke very true words. 

While I love a good rainy day, not all rainy days are created equal. 

There are the ones when the sun hides and the clouds drop gentle waves of nourishing moisture to replenish the earth. 

Others leave behind banks of fog, to shroud the trees and blur the horizon. 

Some are accompanied by wind, lightning and thunder. 

Others leave destruction in their wake. 

They are certainly not created equal. 

12.04.2015

Photo Tip Friday: Understanding How to Crop Photos

by Mary Denman  @MaryDenman   

Why is it important to understand how to crop photos? 

There are a couple of reasons. 

1) By learning to crop a photo properly, you can remove the unwanted parts of the picture. The distractions, the business in the background, the clutter, and thereby improve the composition of the shot. (More on this in another post.)

2) You need to understand cropping if you are planning on printing your photos. 

Today's article is going to cover reason two. 

Why? Because the holidays are fast approaching and you can give your photos as gifts to loved ones! 

Let's get started for a better understanding of how to crop your photos. 

11.30.2015

Monday's Musings: Life Lessons from a Morning Glory

by Mary Denman  @MaryDenman

I used to think morning glories were just a weed, a nondescript flowering vine to be pulled from a
garden. 

Now, I realize I love them.

Their colors.

Their leaves.

Their tenacity.

I've learned life lessons from morning glories as I've spent time photographing them.

11.27.2015

Photo Tip Friday: Tips for Active Pet Photography

by Mary Denman   @MaryDenman


If you have pets, you know how hard taking pictures can be. They love to run and play and move fast. 

We're going to go over tips for taking active pet photos.

While stopping the action can be great, catching some of your pet's motion can reflect their personality. 

Let's get started.


11.24.2015

Wordless Wednesday: Cute Cats

by Mary Denman   @MaryDenman

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday! 

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This Friday's tip will be: Tips for Active Pet Photography

Here are my four cats...Each has a distinct personality.
Enjoy! 


Lady looking intently at a raccoon hat.

11.22.2015

Monday's Musings: Ann Voskamp Quote on Always Being Thankful

by Mary Denman @MaryDenman

With Thanksgiving coming up here in the United States, our thoughts turn to being thankful. 

While it's easiest to be thankful for the good things in life, as Ann Voskamp says, "There is always, always, always something to be thankful for."

In the face of challenges, whether they be relational, health issues, or the loss of loved one, there is always something to be thankful for. We may have to look for it, but it's there to be found. 

And that's the key. 

We need to look. 

11.19.2015

Photo Tip Friday: Shooting Family Gatherings in Low Light

By Mary Denman   @MaryDenman

Today's tips are for helping you shoot the best pictures you can at family gatherings in low light. 

With a little forethought and an understanding of low light situations, you can capture wonderful memories this Thanksgiving and at all you holiday events. 

I have a huge family. I'm one of 6 siblings and when we all get together, there are 37 of us. Even if a family or a few people can't make it, we have a big family gathering! And I love every crazy minute of it.

Let's get started with learning how best to photograph indoor family events. 

11.17.2015

Wordless Wednesday: Last of the Fall Colors

by Mary Denman   @MaryDenman

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday! 

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Once it stopped being cloudy and rainy for about 10 days and the sun finally came out, most of the fall leaves were gone. 
However, I found a few leaves that were left...

11.13.2015

Photo Tip Friday: 3 Tips to Help Understand the Focal Point in Photography

by Mary Denman  @MaryDenman

A friend graciously offered to take pictures with me to help teach you lessons about paying attention to the background in your shots. 

Why? So that you can understand how the focal point in photography makes a difference. 

She would take a picture first, not using anything she's learned from my blog, and then I would take a photo after her.  

Hopefully, you'll be able to see how just a little adjustment when you take a shot can improve your photography by honing in on the focal point of the picture.

Let's get started.

11.10.2015

Wordless Wednesday: Foggy Sunrise

by Mary Denman   @MaryDenman

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday! 

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After my daughter's surgery, I had to drive her to her 8:00 a.m. class. 
I had an hour and was able to photograph this gorgeous foggy sunrise.
Enjoy!



11.09.2015

Monday's Musings: Can One Person Make a Difference?

by Mary Denman  @MaryDenman


Recently, I thought about the question, "Can one person really make a difference in this world?" 

Or, more personally, "Can I make a difference in this world?"


Not long ago, I found myself in the small town of Bishopville, SC. We had dropped our son off at a Math and Science Camp and were headed out when my husband and I noticed topiaries down the median of the main street in town. Interesting, we thought. A bit unusual. But interesting.


Then, I saw a name on a sign as we drove out of the town. Pearl. 


I couldn't believe it. We had just driven by the road where Pearl Fryar lives. 


We turned around. 



11.03.2015

Wordless Wednesday: Fall Leaves

by Mary Denman   @MaryDenman

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday! 

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It's been an odd fall here, the leaves had just started turning and we got hit with lots of rain...so most the leaves have been knocked off the trees. 
But there's still plenty of beauty.

Enjoy!



11.01.2015

Monday's Musings: When You're not sure Where the Road is Taking You

by Mary Denman   @MaryDenman

Riding through the mountains recently taught me some profound lessons about life.

Have you ever been on a road when you're not sure where the road is taking you? Not the physical road necessarily, but the road your life is taking. 

You may have an idea of where you're headed. But the road changes or you make a wrong turn. Or maybe you're just along for the ride with someone else in the driver's seat. 

I know I've had times like that in life.

10.30.2015

Photo Tip Friday: How to Photograph Ghosts, Part 2

by Mary Denman    @MaryDenman

Photo 1: Guess how this was done.
Today's tips are part 2 of how to photograph ghosts. Last week, I explained about needing a trip-pod, using a high aperture value, and using a longer exposure. A link to that post will be at the end of today's post. 

This week, I'll show you a couple of other ways to create ghostly pictures for Halloween and how to use long exposures to make people do a double take at your photos!

I'm not going to tell you how I took the shot I used here (photo 1). But after reading the post, offer your best guess as to how I did it. The only change was the color. I made it sepia post processing, otherwise, this is straight out of my camera.

Let's get started with learning how to photograph ghosts.

10.27.2015

Wordless Wednesday: Shades of Fall

by Mary Denman   @MaryDenman

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday! 

This Friday, I'll do photo tips on how to take GHOST SHOTS, PART 2!
Here's a link to How to Take Ghost Shots, Part 1 

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10.20.2015

Wordless Wednesday: Fall Colors

by Mary Denman   @MaryDenman

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday! 

This Friday, I'll do photo tips on how to take ghost shots! 

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Here are a couple of shots from the mountains and the fall leaves!


10.13.2015

Wordless Wednesday: Mountain Stream and Fall Leaves

by Mary Denman   @MaryDenman

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday! 

My apologies for sporadic blogging.
We've been working on getting the house ready for crutches and my daughter moving downstairs after knee surgery.

Before Halloween, I'll do photo tips on how to take ghost shots! 

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Anyway, here are a couple of shots from the mountains in North Carolina where the leaves are starting to turn for fall....finally! 

Enjoy! 


9.30.2015

Wordless Wednesday: Nature's Beauty

by Mary Denman   @MaryDenman

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9.27.2015

Monday's Musings: Take time to Enjoy Life

by Mary Denman @MaryDenman

Everyone I know has struggles of some sort. Whether it's life, death, financial, medical issues, relationship issues, work or school problems, we all have troubles. 

I know I've had my share. 

But I'm learning that I need to step back and take a breather. I need to take time to enjoy the life I have. Often, I just keep going, focused on my problems. 

Today, I want to encourage you to just stop for a few minutes and appreciate the beauty around you. 

Appreciate someone special. 

Go jump on a trampoline.

On a mountaintop.

9.24.2015

Photo Tip Friday: Hold your Lens Parallel to your Subject

by Mary Denman  @MaryDenman

There are times in your photography when you need to be aware of the relationship between your lens and your subject. 

Specifically, when you want to make sure that your subject is uniformly in focus, but you're using a narrow depth of field/focus.

Let's look at some examples.







9.22.2015

Wordless Wednesday: Bees and Flowers

by Mary Denman   @MaryDenman

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9.15.2015

Wordless Wednesday: Summer Storm

by Mary Denman   @MaryDenman

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I took these shots from the passenger side of our car.
It was quite beautiful to watch. 
Enjoy!

Stormy clouds

9.14.2015

Monday's Musings: The Power of Habits

by Mary Denman     @MaryDenman
Recently, I had a lesson in seeing how much of my life is a myriad of routine. In seeing the power of habits. In not seeing much at all. 

Don't worry, my eyes are fine.

But my electricity wasn't. 

We had some very powerful storms come through and it knocked out power to over 14,000 customers. We were some of those. 

Our power company is usually pretty good about restoring power quickly. This time, we ere at the tail end of the 14,000 and went 24 hours without power. 

Really, I'm not complaining. 

9.11.2015

Photo Tip Friday: Using Perspective in Photography to Create Better Photos

by Mary Denman   @MaryDenman

Brookgreen Gardens
Today's tip is about using perspective when taking photos.

I'm going to use one subject that I walked around to show you how much difference perspective can make. In this case, I took all the shots at the same eye level, but the entire way around the subject.

We were able to visit Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina. These are some of the many amazing pieces of artwork on the property and my example for today. This statue of Dionysis is covered in gold. Yes, real gold.

I was able to get shots from so many directions. I also photographed the statue at slightly different times of day, over two days while visiting the gardens to try and get the best shots I could. 

I hope these photos get you thinking about how to actively look for new and different perspectives.

Let's get started.

9.08.2015

Wordless Wednesday: The Feel of Late Summer

by Mary Denman   @MaryDenman

Thanks for dropping by for Wordless Wednesday!

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Sorry I've missed a few posts recently. 
I'll be back Friday with fresh photo tips!

Bird House

9.01.2015

Wordless Wednesday: Flowers of Summer

by Mary Denman   @MaryDenman

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These are roses from my yard. They may be small, but they're pretty!

Joseph's Coat Rose

8.25.2015

Wordless Wednesday: Moss, Lichen and Fungi

by Mary Denman   @MaryDenman

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Here are some interesting lichen, moss and fungi.


8.21.2015

Photo Tip Friday: Review of Cell Phone apps for Manual Camera Control

by Mary Denman    @MaryDenman

Have you ever wondered if there are apps out there that allow you to control your smart phone like a DSLR camera? 

Well, I'm happy to tell you that there are and I'm going to review them today. 

This post will let you see what the interface on each app looks like and I'll let you know what I like about them. 

I'm going to review three apps: Shoot, Proshot and Manual. 

Let's get started:

8.18.2015

Wordless Wednesday: Roses

by Mary Denman  @MaryDenman

Thanks for dropping by for Wordless Wednesday!

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This week's tip will be a review of a couple of cell phone camera apps
Sorry I missed posting last week, a migraine got the better of me.

Enjoy these rose shots! 

Rose and bee

8.11.2015

Wordless Wednesday: Beach Sunset Clouds

by Mary Denman  @MaryDenman

Thanks for dropping by for Wordless Wednesday!

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Recent Friday Posts: 
How to use your Photos for Memes for your Blog

Recent Monday Posts: 
Learning from the Storms of Life
When Life is Out of Control

We were on vacation last week and here are some gorgeous cloud formations.
Enjoy! 


Sunset clouds

8.10.2015

Monday's Musings: Learning from the Storms of Life

by MaryDenman  @MaryDenman


"There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm." Willa Cather was so right when she wrote this. 

While I may prefer to live in calm, storms enter my life. They enter everyone's life. 

But what do we do with that? 

Do we run and hide or face the storm and learn during its onslaught?

As I said, I prefer calm. For the most part. 

I do like excitement. But I don't generally want to have to face a storm. 

Yet, they happen. 

Some are worse than others. Some hit hard and blow over. Others are long and drawn out. 

I know. I've been through both kinds. 

8.06.2015

Photo Tip Friday: Why Photos Turn out Blurry and Tips to Help

by Mary Denman  @MaryDenman

Have you ever experienced the frustration of taking shots that turn out blurry? 

There are several different reasons why your photos can end up blurred. 

Today, we're going to cover the 4 most common causes of out of focus pictures and what to do to correct for each one. 

Let's get started.



8.04.2015

Wordless Wednesday: Stormy Beach Weather

by Mary Denman @MaryDenman

Thanks for dropping by for Wordless Wednesday!

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This week's tips will be understanding different reasons why your photos are blurry. 
Recent post: How to use your Photos for Memes for your Blog

7.31.2015

Photo Tip Friday: How to use your Photos to Create Memes for your Blog


by Mary Denman  @MaryDenman

Have you ever seen great looking memes online and wish you could create them for your blog? 

Well, today, I'm going to teach you a few things about how to create memes using your own photos. 

We'll cover a couple of different aspects about creating memes. 

One part will be about thinking ahead and learning to frame shots for use as memes. Another part will be about cropping shots you already have to create great memes. 

Let's get started.


7.28.2015

Wordless Wednesday: Flowers of Summer

by Mary Denman @MaryDenman

Thanks for dropping by for Wordless Wednesday!

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Monday's Musings: When Life is out of Control
Photo Tip Friday: Horizontal versus Vertical in Photography

Enjoy the summer flowers! 


Zinnia

7.27.2015

Monday's Musings: When Life is Out of Control

by Mary Denman  @MaryDenman

There are very definitely times when life is out of control. 

Times when we can't muscle through. Try harder. Work smarter. 

I know. I live that life at times. 

You see, I have migraines. 

They aren't all exactly alike. 

There are the ones where I  have to shut down and move to a dark, cool room to try and reduce the stimuli. For hours. Even walking hurts my head. 

Or, I may have a simmering migraine that won't go away for days. 

Then there are the ones that simmer for days and then flares. 

I've had to of the the Emergency Room because of them. I've actually been hospitalized to try and stop them. 

They are hard to live with. 

Yet, I do. 

I do live with them. 

7.23.2015

Photo Tip Friday: Horizontal versus Vertical in Photography

by Mary Denman  @MaryDenman

Have you ever wondered whether it was better to compose a picture from a vertical or horizontal position? (Also known as portrait versus landscape.)

Today's photography tips will help you know whether to use horizontal versus vertical to get the best shot. Or at least teach you how to try it both ways to get the photo you most want.

Let's get started:






7.21.2015

Wordless Wednesday: A Day at the Lake

by Mary Denman    @MaryDenman

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday! 

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I hope you enjoy a few shots from a couple of days at the lake I enjoyed recently with my writing friends. 

A Day at the Lake

7.20.2015

Monday's Musings: 5 Life Lessons I Learned from my Cats

by Mary Denman      @MaryDenman

Recently, I realized that I've learned several life lessons from my cats. Especially our most recent additions. They were rescue kittens and I'm so blessed to have them. 

What could a couple of furry felines teach me? 

Let me count the ways and share how they apply to my life. 

I've learned:

1) That it feels great to have someone greet me at the door. Seriously, they come running when I get home. They are just so happy I'm back and want to see me. 

7.16.2015

Photo Tip Friday: What to do with all your Photos

by Mary Denman @MaryDenman
Photo Tips
Once you've been taking pictures for a while, whether it's months or years, you may start wondering what to do with all the photos you've taken. 

While this may first make you think of storage and organization solutions, I'm talking about putting your shots to good use. 

Today's photography tip is seeing how many different ways you can use your photos for both yourself and for others. 

If you think of your shots as a way to bless others, it's more fun to figure out how to put them to good use! 

Let's get started: 

7.14.2015

Wordless Wednesday: Birds on a Feeder

by Mary Denman

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These birds were on my dad's thistle feeder. 
Enjoy the American Goldfinches and House Finches!

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American Goldfinch by Mary Denman

7.13.2015

Monday's Musings: New Year's Resolution Check-up

by Mary Denman

Resilient flowers by Mary Denman Photography
So it's the middle of 2015, give or take a few days. How are your New Year's Resolutions going? Do you even remember what they are? 

Maybe you went the one word route. Instead of a lot of resolutions, you picked one word of focus for the year. 

This is what I did. 

My word? Overcome. 

But it hit me recently that I had almost forgotten my one word. That meant it was time for a mental check-up.

7.10.2015

Photo Tips Friday: Photographing Special Events

by Mary Denman

Documenting special events 
Today's photography tip is learning how to photograph special events. These are special times in our lives that we want to document. Some special events are recurring like Christmas, Hanukah, or birthdays. Others occur infrequently like each child's graduation from high school. Others are once in a lifetime. A wedding or special vacation trip.

Photographing special events is fun. At least to me! It's a challenge to photograph small details and meaningful shots that capture the feel of the event.

What are some tips that will help? 

Let's get started.

7.07.2015

Wordless Wednesday: Fireworks!

by Mary Denman

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These were shots from 4 July 2015! 

Enjoy and join LINKY below! 

4th of July fireworks by Mary Denman