Wordless Wednesday


Fall Leaves

Mary Denman Photography
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And, come back by on Fridays for Photography Tips!

Happy Wordless Wednesday!


Monday's Musings

In Need of a Solid Foundation

My house taught me a lesson recently.

An expensive lesson.

You see, we had cracks in our house. And several of them. Both inside and out.

There was only one way to handle it. We had to shore up our foundation.

So, I called multiple companies to get various bids. They used different techniques to promise me that my house would stop settling. One company wanted to use a Bobcat, so I would have lost all my azaleas and I would have to have paid several hundred dollars extra for them to remove and put my deck back together. Let's just say, they didn't win my job.

The company I did choose uses people to dig holes. I got to keep all my azaleas. And, they only removed part of the deck. And put it back. Included in the price.

Then, for one morning, my kids and I learned what was going on beneath our foundation. Some holes were dry. The next hole, two feet over had water in it. No wonder we had settlement issues!

What did I learn? That you have to have a solid foundation to have a solid building. I spent a lot of time and effort figuring out what the best course of action was to stabilize the foundation of my home.

Stop and think. If your house had cracks, you, like me, would put considerable effort into correcting the problem.

But do we notice the cracks in our lives? Do we put together that some of the problems in our lives are the result of a weak foundation?

Jesus talked about building a solid foundation. And that means in him. That means knowing the truth. That God does love us. That he will forgive us everything and anything when we ask.  That we need to forgive others.

I don't want a foundation based on me. I want something much more solid. I want a foundation built on truth.

I'm going to go dig into my bible, and find a solid foundation.


Photo Tip Friday

 Tip Friday : Macro, Part 2

There are a couple of ways to take macro shots. 

The first one involves using a setting on your camera. Whether your camera is a "point and shoot" or "SLR = Single-Lens Reflex", it should have a setting on the wheel that shows a flower. See the flower on my camera? That's your camera's indication telling you to use that setting for doing macro shots.

So, you need to set the camera on the macro setting. This will enable you to get closer to your subject. The closer you get to your subject, the more detail you can get. 

The caveat for this setting, though, is that the camera decides if you need a flash or not. And you can't overrule that. So practice using the "flower" setting and see how it works for you.

On to technique two. This just uses the regular setting on your camera. So, how is this technique preferable to your camera's macro setting? The obvious answer is that you control whether or not you need the flash. Because usually, it you're using a flash on a very close subject, you will tend to wash it out. 
Just move in closer to your subject. Your camera should focus for you. It will only let you get so close before it can't focus anymore. That's your clue to back up. 

And here's a macro shot of an apple. Notice how crisp and clear the stem is? Doesn't this shot just make you want to take a bite? 

You can use macro on just about anything. 

So grab your camera and start experimenting!

Hope this tip helps.

Keep on clicking.



Wordless Wednesday

Thanks for dropping by. I'm sorry I wasn't able to visit everyone last week. I only had intermittent internet while at the lovely cabin above! But I will do my best to return the Linky love and pop by your site! Happy Wordless Wednesday!


Monday's Musings

Green pastures and rain, or dry desert.

I live in the South. If you don't live here, I'll let you in our weather. It's what you might call humid. Not as much as South Florida, but it is definitely humid here. And as a result, well, we get lots of thunder storms in the summer and a fair amount of rain in the winter.

So what does our landscape look like? Lush and green. In the fall, colorful. We may have droughts every so often, but we like our rain. Humidity? Not so much, but it's part of our culture. Southern women don't sweat...we glisten. (But that's a whole nother story.)

I grew up here. I'm used to being in the South. So when I headed out West on a couple of trips, I got to see what the desert looked like for the first time. My reaction? Honestly? I thought everything looked brown and bland. But after spending a couple of weeks in different deserts, some things about life started to make more sense.

While the outer appearance of the desert looked duller to me at the onset, I came to discover that the desert has a very different beauty than that of the South. There may not be as much green, but there is a simplicity that is peaceful. And when mountains rise out of the desert, they are striking for sure.

Too, I found out that things don't decay as much when there's little humidity. This is a picture of  "The Oldest House". You can see the straw sticking out of the mud! Why is it still around? No moisture to speak of.

But just as I judged the desert by my first glance and thought it was dull, I learned to appreciate it for what it was. To see beauty in a way I hadn't before.

So let me ask you this...Do you feel like you're in a lush green state with God at the moment? Comfortable, used to your life and it's color. Or do you fell like you're in the desert? Dry, brown and thirsty. Well, being in the desert isn't always a bad thing. Yes, we may be thirsty, but learning to long for God in times of need is a good thing. Only his living water can truly satisfy us.

And sometimes we need the desert to  refocus our attentions back to what's eternally important. Then, when the dry season is over, and we get the life giving rains again, we can appreciate them more. And apparently, being in the desert also preserves things better. So don't waste your time in the desert. Build a monument to God, to remind you of how he provided. Then, when you leave the desert, you can look back to the what God did and remember how he got you through the difficulties of life.

And that's always a good place to be.



Photo Tip Friday

Photo Tip Friday : Macro
Mary Denman Photography

Today's tip involves learning to shoot macro.  What this means is bringing your focus down and making smaller things big.

So, how do we do this?

Well, let's start with the big picture. Literally.

Isn't this a gorgeous shot of a field of flowers? Notice the mountain in the background?

This is a great overall shot.

Photo tip Friday

But let's start bringing your focus down. Instead of the entire field, I'm focusing here on the clump of daisies. You no longer see the mountain.

I don't need the mountain in this shot. It's all about the daisies.

But they aren't the only flowers in the field.

Here is another flower. I hate to call it a weed. It may be, but it's still striking.

Notice how I looked up for this shot? You can still see the mountain, but it pales in comparison to the flower.

Finally, look at this close up of a daisy. This is what macro is all about.

You can see the center of the flower and actually count the Fibonacci numbers.

(Don't know what Fibonacci numbers are? Click here. Then go down to the bottom of the page and it shows Fibonacci numbers in a sunflower.)

Now, we can get even closer. But this week is for teaching the concept of macro photography. Next week, I'll teach you how to get closer with a point and shoot camera or with an SLR camera.

So, grab you camera and head out!

Hope this tip helps.

Keep clicking.



Wordless Wednesday

Sante Fe, NM

Wordless Wednesday

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Thanks for dropping by! If you link up, I will be happy to hop by your blog! Feel free to leave comments and I will return the favor!


Monday's Musings

What perspective do you view life from?

I've learned in photography that perspective makes a big difference in the shots I take. And I started thinking, the same is true in life.

My perspective about life events sure does make a difference in how I look at my life and respond to it.
So how does this work? Well, let's look at a common flower. The iris.

They bloom in the spring and only in the spring. They come in waves of beauty. This is how we tend to see them, colorful blooms in the midst of lots of green leaves. This is the normal, or average view of them. And unless they happen to be in our own yard, we often just see them in passing.


But what happens if we stop and get a little closer? What if we actually examine them? They are beautiful flowers full of amazing details. Yet, you have to take the time to look for those details.

So how can perspective make a big difference in how we view a common flower? Well, have you seen many pictures of irises with blue sky in the background? Probably not often. Why? Because a photographer has to get down on her hands and knees to get the shot. And sometimes she has to take several shots to get a really good one....

Do you get the drift? Same flower, three different views....

I'll be the first to admit that I often don't stop to think about what's really going on in my life and in my heart. I'm just cruising through, catching glimpses of beauty. Grabbing a bible verse here and there. Or, if things aren't going my way, I may not even catch the beauty.

But sometimes I do stop and focus closer in. I see where God is working in my life. But until I stop, I'm still missing some important details in my life that God wants to teach me.

Sometimes those details are best seen while I'm on my hands and knees, looking up to God.

It may not be my first choice, but when I find myself on my knees, it can provide a pretty unique view of life. 

Have a blessed day and stop to see how God is working in your life.



Photo Tip Friday

Today's tip for photography is about using reflections to create an interesting shot.

You'll notice my first two shots involve water.

The one to your right is just the reflection of a statue in the water of the pond.  But you can also see the pond plants in the water.  Look closely and you can see the blue sky and white clouds in the shot as well.  Or at least their reflection.

In this shot, you can see the water plants more clearly. But what I like about the shot is that the reflections of the iris are so dark. It adds a strong contrast to the photo.

Water and mirrors are fairly obvious places to use reflections. But keep an eye out. I did while taking pictures of my niece playing a piano.

You can see my niece's hands on the keyboard. But look who's listening....her grandparents. I couldn't resist the shot of the three of them reflected in the piano!

And, yes, well painted pianos provide a great opportunity for reflective shots!

In this one, a professor was teaching my daughter how to play something on an upright piano.

Look at how clear the reflection is.

So, look a little deeper with your shots and see when you can use reflections to create a more interesting shot!

Go grab your camera.

Hope this tip helps!

Keep on clicking!



Monday's Musings - Doors to Nowhere

I recently visited an old mill.

Something interesting caught my eye.

Doors to nowhere.

When this old building was functioning as a mill, the doors made sense. They probably had stairs that took a worker safely down from the second story of the building to the ground below.

But not any more.

The stairs are long gone.

One misstep out of these doors and you could end up with broken bones.

And there were multiple doors to nowhere.
Mary Denman Photography

But I thought about what it would be like to be on the other side, trying to get out of the building. Using one of these doors would be a bad idea. A really bad idea.

But it would seem okay from the inside since you wouldn't know the stairs were missing.

Then I thought about God and his foresight.

I may see a way that seems good to me. And then I may get frustrated because the way I want to go is blocked.

There may be a really good reason why God blocks my path. He is trying to stop me from making a bad choice or decision.

He will love me nonetheless, but I need to trust him that he is looking out for what's best for me.

And that may come in the form of a locked door.

So when your brain is saying, "I know where I'm going and can get out of this myself," take a deep breath when you find your way blocked.

God may be saving you from a really bad fall.


Photo Tip Friday

Part 2: Soft Shadows

Today's tip is about the use of soft shadows in photography to create a "mood" shot.

Last week I talked about the use of strong shadows to create interesting photographs. But you can also use soft shadows to enhance your pictures.

Let's get started.

Here is a head shot of an author and speaker. Notice how the right side of her face is slightly darker than the left side. This fits some of the topics she speaks about. Her life has had many trials and tribulations. While she is beautiful, peaceful and smiling, this shot hints that there is more to her story than first meets your eye.

Here's another head shot with mood in it. Notice how only one side of the face is well lit? This guy looks pretty serious in this photo. 

But look what happens when he is in more uniform light. Well, and makes a crazy face to boot! Same subject, very different feel to the photos.

One more head shot. This is an author. Want to guess her genre? She doesn't write childen's stories or romance. She's a mystery writer. The close up of her wonderfully intense eyes and the shadows playing around her face bespeak mystery.

Finally, here's a nature shot with soft shadows. Last week I used strong shadows with some flowers. In this instance, the soft shadows create a totally different feel. And how did I get soft shadows? I took this picture in late afternoon when the sun was dipping in the sky.

So, you can use shadows to enhance your photography, whether they are strong or soft. Go grab your camera and give it a try. Let me know what your results are.

Hope this tip helps.

Keep on clicking!



Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday

Zinnia with moth

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