Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

April 20, 2015

Spring Changes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 11:05 am
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Untitled

This quote is so true in so many ways. I’m here to focus on the beautiful this morning, despite the fact that today’s weather is less than beautiful.

Spring has been very slow to arrive in the northeast this year, but we have finally been experiencing some days of warmth and sunshine. Last Sunday was warm and breezy, and I took a little time just to sit outside and appreciate.

Out in the sunshine

I haven’t lifted a rake or anything else to begin spring cleaning, but I’ll get to it soon enough. Chives are poking through last year’s dead ones to make a new appearance this year!
Chives

It is school vacation week here in Massachusetts. Today is Patriot’s Day and Boston Marathon Day. A blogger that I read, Amy of “Plain Mama” is running this year. Best of luck Amy!

I got to kick off my vacation week in one of my favorite ways. Jennifer, Renae and I headed up to Pickity Place once again. Saturday’s weather was lovely and sunny and warm, and flowers were popping out all over, despite Pickity’s New Hampshire location. We figured they must have started some of these plants in their protected greenhouse and then brought them out.
Spring at Pickity (1)

Spring at Pickity (4)

These were not from the greenhouse of course:
Spring at Pickity (2)

Spring at Pickity (3)
I’m not sure what these are; they reminded me of a purple version of forsythia.

And I always share a picture of the beautiful dessert presentation too:
Pickity dessert

What beautiful changes are you experiencing this time of year?

April 6, 2015

5 Years of Blogging!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 5:21 pm
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Wow, it has been 5 years since I began this blog – WordPress kindly reminded me when I logged in today. I remember not knowing how long I would keep this up when I began, but here I am still blogging when I feel like it. You just never know when a post will show up around here!

I hadn’t planned to blog today, but since today is the 5 year anniversary, I thought why not?

Back when I began, Meghan was a freshman in high school, and Sarah was still a middle-schooler in 7th grade. Meghan is nearly finished with sophomore year of college now and Sarah will be graduating from high school in 2 months.

Back when I began, I was still shooting photos with my frustrating Olympus camera. Now I’m still using my first DSLR, my Canon Rebel, but I am happily learning and growing with new lenses for it. Has my photography improved? I hope so, but I’m still creating photos that make me happy!

Back when I began, I was very casual about my health and exercise routine. Today, I’m continuing my fitness journey. I’m happily maintaining the weight loss I achieved last year and I am working on building strength. I’ve moved on to weight-lifting routines and am hoping to achieve a new level of fitness.

Back when I began, I was still hoping to become a social studies teacher at my middle school. Those dreams are pretty much dashed now, but I’ve moved on to a new goal. I am actively studying to pass the state test that would allow me to become licensed as a middle school math teacher.

Back when I began, the Red Sox won their opening day game against the Yankees. Today I am enjoying watching the Red Sox beat the Philadelphia Phillies on Opening Day (it is the 7th inning with a Red Sox 4-0 lead as I type this post)!

Opening day

Back when I began, we were enjoying record-breaking high temperatures in April of 2010. It certainly has NOT been that way around here recently, but I have hope that spring is finally coming through. We have a cloudy but mild day today.
Today
I will take it! And a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee to go with it!
DD

Over the course of 5 years, much has changed but much has stayed the same!

April 4, 2015

Spring is Trying

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 2:19 pm
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Hey Robin, look what I found today under the melting snow!
Spring is trying!

Maybe they won’t be as late as I thought! :-)
Lots of snow melted around here yesterday with the 60 degree day. It isn’t quite as warm today and it’s rather blustery, but still above 40. Looks like temps are going to stay that way over the next week, so maybe the last of the cursed white stuff will finally be gone.

Happy Easter!
Happy Easter tomorrow, if you celebrate it. It is a get-together with my sister’s family and eat some good food day for me. Enjoy your day however you spend it!

April 3, 2015

Black and White Challenge Day 5

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 6:00 am
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I saved my favorite photo in my focal black and white series for last. I loved this photo in color, but I think it is pretty cool this way too!

cedric2

My wonderful fuzzy Cedric with his wonderful cat eyes peering out at you!

Thank you Robin for inviting me to participate in this challenge. I enjoyed learning about focal black and white, and now that I know how to do it, might try it more often!
Please let me know if any of you decide to give this technique or this challenge a try – I’d love to see what you come up with!

April 2, 2015

Black and White Challenge Day 4

Here is a photo I took for this challenge. I was looking for some texture and interest. As northern dwellers know well, it has been a long winter, and spring is slow to take over. Mud and brown grass are appearing, but we are still waiting for the snow to recede.

birdbath

I left my birdbath outside all winter. Not on purpose! Just by the time I thought of taking it in, it was too late. It seems to have survived. Hopefully the repeated freezing and thawing of water will not have caused any damage.

April 1, 2015

Black and White Challenge Day 3

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 6:00 am
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Day 3 of my focal black and white challenge, brings us back to the wintery Cape Cod weekend of this blog post. The snow had melted enough by the edge of the sea to reveal clusters of shells washed up on the shore.

shells

It was a cold walk on the beach, but there was still treasure to be found.

March 31, 2015

Black and White Challenge Day 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 6:00 am
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For my second focal black and white photo, perhaps I’ve gone a little cliché, but I chose this male northern cardinal hidden away in the shrubs in my backyard. Cardinals provide some much needed color around here during those so dreary winter days.

card

My cardinal is not in the best focus here, but I still thought it made an interesting shot.

March 30, 2015

Black and White Challenge Day 1

About a week ago, Robin over at Breezes at Dawn, kindly invited me to participate in the Black and White Photo Challenge. As I’m sure my regular readers know, I find black and white photography difficult because, for me, photography is so very much about the color. This is part of the reason I accepted Robin’s invitation, because it would be a true challenge for me. The “rules” of the challenge are quite simple:

1.On 5 consecutive days, create a post using either a past or recent photo in black and white.
2.Each day invite another blogging friend to join in the fun.

As I’ve often been known to do when it comes to blogging challenges or photo assignments, I like to find a way to make them my own. In a couple of Robin’s posts for this challenge she used a technique that selectively colors one small area of a black and white photo. Robin explained to me this technique is actually called “focal black and white”. It is something I’ve been meaning to try for a while now, and as it often the case, just never got around to it. I had a feeling in a cool editing program like Lightroom, there had to be a way to do it. I searched, I discovered, I tried!

So, for my black and white challenge, it will actually be a “focal black and white” challenge. I’ve chosen 5 photos to present in black and white with a pop of color somewhere in the shot for emphasis and fun. I will post one photo each day this week, Monday through Friday, starting today.
As far as inviting blogging friends, just as Robin did, I am inviting anyone who would like to join in to please do so! Maybe even make yours a “focal black and white” challenge if you’re interested in giving it a try.

Here is my first photo that I tried this technique on:
lips

This is my daughter Meghan and her ballroom partner Brandon at a ballroom competition that I attended (and took LOTS of photos of and fully intended to blog about, but have yet to do so, **sigh**) last weekend. I thought the intense look on Meghan’s face with just the red lips was a good place to give this technique a try.

March 14, 2015

A Wintery Cape Cod Visit

Filed under: Travel — Karma @ 4:37 pm
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Last weekend, the women of my immediate family and I had the pleasure of spending the weekend together on Cape Cod. My mother lives there and my sister, two daughters and I drove down to visit. We had two birthdays to celebrate as well – Meghan’s 20th, which occured a couple weeks ago and my mother’s (age politely not included here) which happens tomorrow. As always we enjoyed laughter and each other’s company. It was also an opportunity for me to spend some time getting to know my 85mm lens!

I tried a couple of candid portrait shots without my daughters’ knowledge. I adjusted these a little in Lightroom. I like the fine but soft detail on their faces.
mcandid

scandid

The weather was still quite chilly, but thankfully not raining or snowing. We visited snow-covered Smuggler’s Beach in South Yarmouth.

Meghan and Sarah took the opportunity to have their first-ever snowball fight at the beach. I appreciated the stop-action in these shots.
snowballfight1

snowballfight2
Can you see the snowball Meghan is tossing in the air here, ready to chuck it at her sister?

I found a couple bird photos to add to my collection (probably no surprise to regular readers here)
soaring
Gull against a winter sky

oddduck2
I have not been able to identify this duck yet, but I found it very interesting. Any thoughts about what he or she might be?

And a group shot of our bundled up crew:
group
From left to right: me, Meghan, Sarah (wearing her Totoro hooded sweatshirt, complete with ears!), my mother, my sister Jennifer.

February 21, 2015

First shots with the 85mm

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 7:35 pm
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I am thrilled with my new camera lens! I have absolutely no buyer’s remorse in the purchase of my Canon 85mm f1.8. Everything I read about this lens seems to be very true. Gorgeous sharp photos with lovely background bokeh. The descriptions said the lens is great for portraits and nature shots. Here are my first portrait “victims”:

Ted
Teddy

Daphne
Daphne

And probably my favorite of this group because I love the way Cedric’s fur frames his face:
Cedric

As for nature shots, I took these from my dining room window. Again I’m quite happy. The only editing I really did to these was to crop them tighter and up the contrast a little to bring out the detail on the birds against the snow.

chicadee
Black-capped Chicadee

chicadee

My favorite of this group, a female northern cardinal with snow falling – yes, more snow, grrrr…- I have to admit, however, I just love what this lens did with that snow:
female cardinal

I can’t wait to keep playing!!

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