Wordless Wednesday - Bleeding Hearts and Iris

By Mary Denman

Welcome Back for Wordless Wednesday!

Now it's time for irises to bloom.

Join me this Friday for more Photography Tips - Lighting Part 3

Join me with Linky below. 

I do my best to visit your site if you leave a comment. 

Thanks for dropping by!

Bleeding Heart by Mary Denman Photography

Yellow Iris by Mary Denman Photography

Bleeding Heart by Mary Denman Photography 


Monday's Musings - The Legacy Mom Left

By Mary Denman

I’m sitting here, searching for words.

A year ago today, I was in Italy with my husband. I knew mom wasn’t doing well. But she had wanted us to go on that anniversary trip.

I already knew she’d be gone before I returned. Strangely, I had peace about it. However, the trip was bittersweet. My heart was breaking.

I didn’t want to lose my mom.


Photo Tip Fridays - Lighting Part 2

by Mary Denman

Last week, I started a series on the dynamics of lighting. I took pictures of the same iris throughout the day to show how much different it looked, depending on the lighting.

Since we can’t always take pictures during the prime times, I want to help you understand how to work around that when taking photos of people. Plants can’t move around, but people can!

Let’s get started.


Wordless Wednesday - Tulips Abound

by Mary Denman

Thanks for joining me for Wordless Wednesday! 

More spring flowers are popping up. 

Come back on Friday for Photography Tips. 
(You can sign up for email notifications)

I will continue with Part 2 this week on it, I will show you how to handle people photography during the hardest time of day to shoot, from 
10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Also, join LINKY below! 

I will do my best to visit your blog if you leave a comment!

Tulips by Mary Denman Photography
Daffodil by Mary Denman Photography


Monday's Musings - His Mercies Never End

by Mary Denman

Last May, I went through one of the hardest times of my life. I lost my beloved mother unexpectedly. 

Two days after the funeral, my husband was supposed to leave with our youngest son to go to marine camp for a few days. The timing was difficult. But I chose to let them go. I didn't want my grief and sorrow to stop my son from going on a trip he had looked forward to for months. So off they went. 

I was having trouble sleeping. I was grappling with the fact that my mom was gone. It was lonely not to have my husband there, to have his shoulder to cry on.


Photo Tip Friday: Lighting - Part 1

by Mary Denman

Welcome back to Photo Tip Friday.

This week, I'm beginning a series on lighting in photography

Why? Because lighting is so important and is very dynamic. Especially sunlight. 

If you don't understand how lighting changes the mood of your photography, you may be missing out on some powerful shots. 

So this week is dedicated to helping you understand sunlight

Here's the big tip that you need to remember. 

The very best natural lighting is before 9:00 am and after 3:00 pm.
The light from 9:00 to 3:00 is known as devil lighting. 

Why? Because in the middle of the day, the strong sunlight creates stark shadows. You can use this in your photography, but it takes more work. And people don't photograph as well in the middle of the day unless they are completely in the shadows. But more on people photography in another post!
Mary Denman Photography

Let's get started.

In order to show you the effect of sunlight throughout the day, I took a picture of the same flower, from the same place, four different times during the day.  

This first picture was taken at 8:25 a.m.  

Notice how the iris almost looks like it's glowing? The long rays of the morning light illuminate the iris from behind since I was facing east for all of these shots. 

Mary Denman Photography

Then, I went back at noon. 

Notice that the shadows are much more stark? The stem has almost disappeared in the shadow from the iris. 

Mary Denman Photography

Then, I took a picture at 3:30 pm, once the sun was heading back down in the sky. By this point, the sun was behind me and so it illuminates the front of the iris.

Compare it to the noon shot. 

Mary Denman Photography

Finally, I took a photo at 7:00 pm when the sun had already set. There was no direct sunlight at all. This creates what is called a flat picture. 

Can you see the dramatic difference? You see almost no shadows, and it's harder to see the definition of the petals. 

The flower stands out from the background because it's white. But see how depth perception is flattened? 

To sum up: 

You can't always take pictures at the best time of day, but if you're aware of the effect light has on your photos, you can start trying to use the best lighting to improve your shots. 

And, the more you're aware of how lighting changes, the more you can learn to work with it. 

For bloggers: How could this flower inspire a blog post?

For cell phone users: Whether you're using a DSLR camera or a cell phone, you need to be aware of lighting. The newer a phone you have, the better quality optics you have and that means you'll be able to mimic a DSLR camera more closely. If your cell phone is older, you'll have to be more aware of lighting.

Cell phones read the lighting primarily where you focus. They aren't able to read the overall lighting as well as a camera. So, by knowing this, you can help your cell phone read the lighting where you want by telling it where to focus. In this case, it would be on the iris.

So, how has lighting been a challenge for you or when has it created a great shot? 

Which of these pictures do you like the best and why?

Hope this tips helps.

Keep on clicking. 



Photo Tip Friday: The Dynamics of Lighting in Photography (click to tweet)


Wordless Wednesday - Spring Blooms

Welcome back to Wordless Wednesday!

I have more beautiful spring flowers to share. 

I'm glad I got these shots because were going down to freezing tonight...they may not be as pretty tomorrow. 

Join me on Friday for Photography Tips

I will start a series on lighting.

Join LINKY below.

I do my best to visit your blog if you leave a comment!

Dogwood blooms by Mary Denman

Tulips and Azaleas by Mary Denman

Tulip by Mary Denman


Monday's Musings - What Does Tenacity Look Like?

by Mary Denman                  Twitter: @MaryDenman        Instagram:@MaryFDenman

We don't hear a lot about tenacity. 

Here's the definition: the quality or 
fact of being able to grip something firmly

We hear more about getting things done efficiently, being successful, playing well, maximizing profit. The list goes on.

But I witnessed tenacity. And that got me thinking. 

Do I give up and quit too easily? 

Do I give up before I even start the day?

I'm afraid the answer is yes. Way too many times.

But on Lake Como in Italy, I watched tenacity in all it's beauty.


Photo Tip Friday - Using Lighting and Perspective

by Mary Denman

Today, I really want you to start thinking about how lighting affects your shots because next week,
I'm starting a three part series all about lighting.

But before that, I want to show you how perspective can alter the effect of lighting. Or, how lighting can make you change your perspective. 

Let's get started. 

I visited Brook Green Gardens in Pawley's Island, SC. It's an amazing property. The owners, one of whom was an artist herself, set out to create an incredible outside museum with art. They only used American artists and built gardens to showcase the art. I went with my family the first day and then went back on my own to spend lots more time photographing.

This statue is so powerful by itself that they consciously made the surrounding area very simple. The reflection pool provided for some great shots. 

I walked the entire way around the statue, taking pictures from every angle. Why? Because of the lighting. You see, I was there in the middle of the day when lighting was the hardest to deal with. Natural sunlight is easier to work with in photography during the morning hours before 9 a.m. and the late afternoon hours after 3 p.m. (I will demonstrate and talk more about this next week in the first part of the series on lighting.)  But I couldn't be in the gardens only during those times. So I took pictures as best I could under the prevailing conditions. 

I started in front of the statue and worked my way around it. Notice the large reflection pool. I could only get so close, so I used the pool to add interest to the photos. 

Here's where I want you to start thinking. I want you to comment and tell me what's changing in the series of pictures. What do you notice about them? 

I also want you to tell me where the sun is. It's not directly in any of the shots, but it leaves enough clues so you can tell where it is. 

Which picture did I take with sun "behind me"?  Why do you think this?

So which is your personal favorite of all the shots?

I will answer any comments and make sure we cover all the clues left behind. But I'm pretty sure you will collectively figure it out. 

The reason I'm having you participate so much this week is because you will notice more about lighting before I start the series. Then, you'll be able to apply it more effectively. Plus, I love talking about photography! 

For bloggers: When you take pictures, you can use them for inspiration for blog posts. What would one of these pictures prompt you to write about?

For cell phone photographers: The same principles listed above apply to your cell phone.  As you move around your subject, the lighting will change and that affects your photos. Learn to use you phone camera just like a regular camera.

Hope this post helps.

Keep on clicking!


About me and my blog: 

I love writing, photography and teaching. I've tried to combine these loves on my blog. I talk about things I observe in life during Monday's Musings. On Wednesday, I participate in Wordless Wednesday which showcases people's photography from all over the world. Then on Fridays, I do Photography Tips.

Thanks for dropping by!


Wordless Wednesday - More Colors of Spring

By Mary Denman

Welcome back to Wordless Wednesday!

Enjoy these gorgeous colors of spring.

Come back on Friday when I discuss photography tips.

Join LINKY below!

I do my best to visit your site if you leave a comment!

Have a great day!
Tulips by Mary Denman Photography

Daffodils by Mary Denman Photography

Spring Flowers by Mary Denman Photography


Photo Tip Friday - Use PicMonkey

by Mary Denman

Today, I want to tell you about a free, online photo editing service that I think you'll be excited about.

It's called PicMonkey.

Why am I excited about it? Let me count some of the ways....

1) It's free! You can upgrade, but the free part is still awesome.

2) It's easy!!

3) It makes putting text on your photos fast and simple.

4) It gives you options for editing color, exposure, cropping, rotating, and so much more. I can do all those on my Mac, but I know a lot of people who can't. This is why I'm excited for you to learn about PicMonkey!

5) You can make collages, Facebook headers, and many other cool creations with your photos. 

6) They have great instructions.

7) Most important to me? PicMonkey never uses my pictures for anything, without asking for permission. There are quite a few free, online editing services that can use your photos that you upload to their site at will. It's in the fine print. That bothers me a lot. I'm not famous or the best photographer out there, but I do work hard at my craft. PicMonkey states very clearly that my pictures are my pictures. They made a huge fan with that alone!! Read the legal stuff here. It's actually funny.

8) The entire website has intelligent humor. 

So, on to some work I just created, just to show you some examples.

I've just started doing product shoots for someone who makes customized jewelry. This is an example of how I can show off what Amy does. Her website is here.

This next collage is just to show off the lovely daffodils that are blooming here in South Carolina. Spring is here!

This is one of the coolest things to do. I'm sure you've seen where people put a quote to a picture. I took this sunset picture, cars included. How many people were out and about with this gorgeous sunset going on, but didn't even stop to appreciate it?

So how does PicMonkey apply to you?

1) It's a great, free editing service.

2) It will help you if you have a blog, a Facebook page, or anywhere else where you have an online presence.

3) You can just use it to gussy up your pictures and print them if you like! Those can make great, personalized gifts.

Let me know how PicMonkey works out for you!

Hope this tip helps!

Keep on clicking!




Wordless Wednesday - Spring Continues

by Mary Denman

Welcome back to Wordless Wednesday.

Spring is getting prettier and prettier here. 

Hope they make you smile! 

Join me Friday for photography tips where I'll talk about Picmonkey.

Link up below.

And a big THANKS for all the kind comments you've left since my return to blogging. :) 

You make blogging a joy!! 

Happy Wordless Wednesday!