Thursday, November 29, 2012

Morning Fog................

Tuesday morning began a little overcast, but with more sun than clouds. I was spending some time with my daughter before we had to leave for the airport, when I looked out the window and saw that Sacramento's glorious "tule" fog had descended out of nowhere and was blanketing the neighborhood with a quiet hush.

After looking out that first window, I moved to a different room and looked out another window. I started to say "I will be right back"........when my daughter, with a smile on her face, interrupted me to say, "I know, you are going to go take pictures".

I assured her I would only be gone a short time and grabbed my phone and jumped in the car. Yes - I only took my phone/camera. I knew it was going to be a quick "shoot" and I wanted to keep it simple.

For those of you playing around with your iPhone, here are a few details of what I did.

First of all, I shot with the 645Pro app. There are two main reasons for this. The first one is exposing for fog can be tricky and I wanted as much control as I could get. This app allow me to lock my exposure, something the native iPhone camera does not do.

The other reason (and the main reason I am using this app quite a bit), is I can shoot uncompressed tiff files with it.

Don't worry if none of this make sense. The bottom line was I had a great time. This fog leaves as quickly as it comes, so I was grateful I had time to take advantage of it.

I went to a local park knowing there would still be a little fall color and I was not disappointed.

©2012 Dianne PoinskiI cropped this to make it a panoramic. I did not shoot it this way.
I created the "glow" of this image and the next one, with the "Dynamic Light" app, using the "Orion"filter.  It can be a bit much, but I still love playing around with it.

©2012 Dianne Poinski

These next two images don't have has much color, but the mood is perfect....................

©2012 Dianne Poinski

©2012 Dianne Poinski

Soon the fog began to lift. The quiet of the morning gave way to commuters and dog walkers and I went home happy I had quite a few images that I couldn't wait to play with.

I was also grateful that my daughter, who knows me so well, not only accepts that I may disappear at a moment's notice to take a picture, but completely supports and encourages me to continue to do so........

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's Getting Noisy Out There.............

I may not be the be the best business person, especially this time of year. I have an aversion to all this "Black Friday", "Small Business Saturday" and "Cyber Monday" stuff.

I have accepted that the world's economy, (as well as mine), depends on the buying habits of the general population. However, I was very disappointed that many stores chose to start their sales on Thanksgiving.

I spent part of Monday adding a smaller size to the print offerings on my website (possible "gift" size), as well as an option to receive a discount if you purchased 4 or more calendars. After doing this, I could not bring myself to post anything about it. It already seemed very "noisy" out there.

So what did I do this holiday weekend, besides enjoy a delicious turkey dinner with family?

On Friday, instead of shopping, we drove to the foothills to visit with my cousin and her family. After taking a walk we had a chili dinner then gathered around a bon fire for a ukulele jam. (Yep, I know a few ukulele chords......)

I did a little shopping at a local bookstore with my daughter on Sunday................................

Then took a walk along the American River Parkway....................

It was a thoroughly delightful weekend with a very healthy dose of down time.

I usually wipe away any benefits of time off by getting overwhelmed and then writing a very lengthy to-do list. I have quite a bit of work to do, but for some reason I am feeling quite calm about it. I feel my goal right now is to become clear about who I want to be during this season of excess.

I hope I am not sounding too preachy, and I in no way want to offend or come off as judging the way others spend their time. I guess I am trying to gain some clarity for myself and set an intention to go through the next 30 days with a little bit of grace, some compassion and patience. It really can be a beautiful time of year and I plan to enjoy it!  I will keep you posted on how that is going.............

PS I am going to do this quietly.......but if you are interested in seeing what I have on my website, click here:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I am.............

©2012 Dianne Poinski
Still playing with the "red leaves"..........(Nikon & Photoshop)

As I get ready to take the rest of the week off, I want to take a few minutes to celebrate all that I am grateful for.

At the top of my list is the support and love of my family.  I am also extremely grateful for friends that don't take it personally when I seem to go underground at times. They know I still cherish them.

I am also so grateful to do work I love and happily accept that when the flame of my passion for photography starts to flicker, if I am patient, something will swoop in to fan and fuel that fire. Happens every time................

And I also want to thank all of you that read my blog, comment and email me. This can be lonely work at times and knowing there are actual people out there makes it easier.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends! I also think it would be cool if the whole world took a few minutes this week to tell one person what they were grateful for. Warm fuzzies all around..................  Enjoy!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Calendars Have Arrived..............

Quick post today..................
I have a lot to catch up on before my daughter comes home next week. Her visits go by way too fast, so I like to take full advantage of the time I get to spend with her by minimizing the amount of work I need to do. However, I promised I would let you know when the calendars were available.

After getting lost somewhere between here and Utah, the box finally arrived. 

While waiting for the shipment, I struggled to find the words I would use to describe the calendars. Readers of my blog know all about my passion and obsession with iPhone photography, but how to convey that in a few short sentences to potential calendar buyers proved to be a challenge.

Here is what I came up with:

Take Time To………..
On January 1, 2012 I began a quest to take at least one photograph with my iPhone every day. This “Project 365” energized me and renewed my passion for photography. I began to slow down, observe and delight in the simple beauty around me. This awakened appreciation inspired me to include iPhone images in this 2013 calendar with the theme “Take Time To………..”  Enjoy!

Here is a composite showing all the images included in the calendar. 

For more information about the calendar, click here: 2013

"iPhone Art" prints are now available on my website too! Click here: iPhone Art

I know I can use some of the reminders I have included in the calendar. I want to enjoy these last few weeks of the year. The darker and colder days naturally beckon us to retreat a bit, but the pressure we put on ourselves during this time of year makes "taking a break" something to fantasize about doing "later". How often do you here the phrase "after the holidays I/we will (fill in the blank)"??

I for one plan to stay present and "celebrate with joy and gratitude"(and will not beat myself up if I miss the mark at times).

What do you want to "take time to.................." do as this year winds down?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

They Paved Paradise................

"They paved paradise to put up a parking lot".....................from "Big Yellow Taxi" by Joni Mitchell

When I am walking through my neighborhood I am very respectful of people's property. However, I sometimes feel frustrated when I can't get the shot I want without walking on someones lawn or driveway. I discovered this weekend that office building parking lots are great places to photograph, especially if you are looking for tree images.

My first "parking lot" image actually happened on Friday. I saw a tree I liked and made a u turn to go back. Feeling a little self conscious, (but not enough to stop me), I timidly parked my car, got out and pointed my phone toward the sky. (I am always wondering if people are looking up to see what I am photographing.)

©2012 Dianne Poinski

Saturday morning I decided to go back to the same complex, this time with my Nikon. I felt free driving around the empty parking lot, jumping out of my car whenever something grabbed my attention. I haven't worked on the Nikon images yet, but here are a couple of iPhone "companion" pieces to the one above.

©2012 Dianne Poinski

©2012 Dianne Poinski

On Sunday I decided to look for another parking lot and was not disappointed. In this shot I positioned myself so that the sun was blocked by the tree trunk.  I love the way the leaves are back lit and the tree is a silhouette. It looks a little scary, but also very dramatic.

©2012 Dianne Poinski

You may have noticed that I am still loving those autumn trees! I am having fun, but I know that very soon the branches will be bare. (Which is ok because that's another subject that I love to photograph!

By the way, I have gotten a little obsessed with the "Antique" filter in Pro HDR. It's my new "go to" app and it does not reduce the resolution in any way. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Trees, Leaves & More Trees...............

In a few weeks I will be celebrating my first year of iPhone ownership. That sounds sort of strange but it is something to celebrate (at least to me).

By the time I received my iPhone last year, most of the fall color was gone and the trees were bare. I love the landscape in the winter and filled up my camera roll with quite a few photos of branches against crispy blue skies.

Here it is November and I quite literally cannot stop making photographs of the beautiful light highlighting the colors of the trees in my neighborhood.

I also found new apps to play with. I mentioned "Dynamic Light" briefly last time, but I also started playing around with "Pro HDR".  I am not using it really for the HDR, but I love the filters that come with it. My two favorite are "Antique" and "Glamour".

The winds have picked up and rain is in the forecast so I don't know how much longer I will be out there with my phone pointed toward the sky, but I will enjoy it as long as I can.

Here are a few from this week....................

©2012 Dianne Poinski

©2012 Dianne Poinski

©2012 Dianne Poinski

©2012 Dianne Poinski

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day Pep Talk..................

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.".......... Albert Einstein 

First time voting by mail

Today is Election Day in the United States. Don't worry, this will not be a political rant. Instead I want to talk about how fantastic it is I have the power and the responsibility to choose - and I am not just talking about elected officials and propositions. I also have the ability to choose how I feel in any given moment.

Note: This concept does not apply to the victims of Sandy or anyone else experiencing the pain of loss, sickness and poverty. My problems are very, very tiny compared to what so many others are going through.

Being a fine art photographer these days is not for the faint of heart. These last few weeks of the campaign season found me reflecting back to the time leading up to the 2008 election. The seriousness of the economic meltdown was beginning to be felt by everyone. At almost every festival I participated in that year, the air was heavy with disappointment mixed with a little panic. 

Now here we are four years later and things are slowly improving. However, I believe the market for "non-essential" items (like art) will take take a little longer to recover. There is also a chance that the market for fine art photography will never fully return to the "pre-recession" days. There are a few reasons why I feel this way, but that is not what I want to focus on.

Instead, I want to turn my energy toward creative, optimistic problem solving. I am not a victim. I chose this path fully aware that the odds were not in my favor, but love for the medium is what keeps me going.

When I start to feel sorry for myself I know I have a decision to make.  I can either let circumstances send me down the rabbit hole, or I can choose to instead count my blessings and practice gratitude through my words and actions.

Of course it's not as simple as it sounds, but it is possible. I will also put this into practice if I wake up Wednesday morning and the election results do not match the boxes I marked on my ballot. I have a choice...................

Thanks for letting me give myself a pep talk! 

Speaking of gratitude, here is an iPhone shot I made after being struck at how beautiful my street looked the other morning................. 

(Playing around with a new app - "Dynamic Light")

©2012 Dianne Poinski

Be sure to get out and vote!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

61 Days To Go................

There are only 61 days left in 2012! Unbelievable! This also means only 61 days left for my Project 365. (I already took my photo for today, so only 60 more to go.................)

As is my custom, in this post I will share a few highlights from the month that just ended. (These are all iPhone images and processed using mostly Snapseed.)

What would October be without a trip to the pumpkin patch...................

©2012 Dianne Poinski

During most of September I was hobbling along with a broken toe and deeply missing my daily walks. Luckily, I was able to get out during October and capture a few shots along the way.

©2012 Dianne Poinski

©2012 Dianne Poinski

©2012 Dianne Poinski

I went hiking near Folsom Lake one Sunday this month......................

©2012 Dianne Poinski

©2012 Dianne Poinski

Here are October's "items from the grocery store" -  flowers and fruit:

©2012 Dianne Poinski

©2012 Dianne Poinski

©2012 Dianne Poinski

November will be the perfect month to "celebrate photography with joy and gratitude"! I am looking forward to the abundant beauty of the season as well as time with friends and family. Photo opportunities should be plentiful!