RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life


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Magical Memories – #7 – Santa Fe, New Mexico 2014

April 2014 I attended a photography conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I extended the stay by a couple of days so I could walk around on my own to take some photos. This was my third visit to the area and at the time I decided I didn’t need to go again. But six years later if somebody asked me to accompany them on another trip I wouldn’t turn them down! 

The top photo was taken on Canyon Road where a lot of artists live and there are many galleries of all kinds. 

I discovered this lovely doorway as another student and I were wandering around town on a break between classes.

I got out of the general tourist area and found myself at the railway station just as the Railrunner Express was pulling in to make the perfect photo.

To see more of my Santa Fe photos from this trip, follow this link!

 


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Magical Memories – #6 – Miami 2013

Palm trees before a storm is my favorite photo from a trip to Miami in April 2013. I had my DSLR for about 4 months and didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I was still using it in Automatic mode like a point & shoot camera and only shooting JPEGs, not in RAW. I didn’t know much about photo composition either, but as an artist and graphic designer I suppose it was innate. Nevertheless, looking at this photo today I can see if I had moved around a little I could have done a better job positioning the buildings. I had it printed on canvas and hung it in the bathroom where I still enjoy looking at it. 

You can view the original posts (4 of them) with more photos by starting here: https://onegoodlifetravels.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/miami-an-unexpected-love-affair-part-one/


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Monday Magical Memories – #4 – Snow in Yosemite 2018

The rain started during the night… yes, actual wet stuff! It’s been raining on and off all day and is still raining this evening. It may be tapering off now and there is no more rain in the forecast for the foreseeable future. It’s been chilly too, only a high of about 48° F (about 8.8° C). I’ve been thinking about snow and how wonderful it would be if it snowed for just one or two days in the flatlands of Los Angeles (we do get snow in the mountains and foothills). Well, that is unlikely and also fortunate because people don’t know how to drive in the rain, let alone snow! But in the meantime, I’m looking back at my trip to Yosemite National Park in February 2018.

On the last morning of our trip I woke up early (as I usually do), opened the drapes and was surprised to see it was snowing. It had been cold but we weren’t expecting snow. I woke up my roommate by yelling, “It’s snowing!” She stirred in her bed and said, “Yeah, right,” and went back to sleep. She didn’t believe me.

I ran outside with my camera and started shooting. Such a wonderful sight. The scene above was the view from our window. It doesn’t get much better than that! I was back in Yosemite at the same time this year but no snow in sight.*

 

Yosemite is magnificent in any weather but in the snow it is magical! I feel fortunate to have been there at the right time in 2018.

*Correction: just to set the record straight, looking at my photos from this year I now remember there was some light dusting of snow at the higher regions but nothing we could walk in.

 

 


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Monday Magical Memories – #1 – Lake Waterton in the Smoke 2018

After spending over an hour to get back to WordPress Classic here I am! I hope I can remember how to do this next time. I’m told WP will support this version until at least 2022 or “as needed.” I will require that “as needed!” I was about to build my own website from scratch as creating one with HTML and CSS and doing all the layout and graphic design would be easier for me than figuring out this Gutenberg block content manager mess. But that’s just me!

Anyway, as I won’t be doing any traveling for a while I thought it would be a good idea to start a weekly (or whenever I can get to it) post with some photos from previous travels. I’ve been having fun re-processing some of my older photos as I gain more experience with Lightroom, Photoshop and Topaz. Although I adore going places and taking photos, my bigger pleasure is in the post processing.

In my twenties I set up shop in the bathroom at night with a makeshift darkroom with all the stinky chemicals… I fancied myself as the female Ansel Adams! My long-suffering partner at the time had to make an appointment to get access to take a pee. But hey, I had to put up with his stuff too… so it was more than an even exchange as far as I was concerned! Probably not from his perspective… 

In 2018 some friends and I took a trip to the Canadian Rockies with wild fires raging all around us. There were times we weren’t sure if we could access certain areas. After spending a night in Calgary in Alberta, Canada, we left the next morning for Waterton Lakes National Park.

When we got out of the bus and stood on the shores of Lake Waterton I was so disappointed. The smoke blocked our views. But I just kept clicking to see what I could redeem in Adobe Lightroom when I got home. Chances were I wasn’t coming back.

I shoot in RAW and JPG. The top photo is the interpretation my Canon DSLR camera served up as a JPEG. The next photo is what I managed to salvage in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Not too bad.

But as I am now using Topaz Labs (an amazing program in so many creative ways) as a third step after Lightroom and Photoshop, I wanted to push the image a little further.

And I’m happy with this dramatic version. When I took the photo my eye was attracted to the snowy ridge behind the lower ranges of mountains and that’s what I wanted to focus on. The camera can only do so much. It’s up to me as the artist/photographer to present what I saw in my mind’s eye! 

 

 

 


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Beauty around the neighborhood

As a member of the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, I miss strolling through the acres of plants, trees and flowers during the closure. In the meantime I feel fortunate to live in a beautiful neighborhood where a lot of homeowners take their landscaping seriously. Last Saturday I took my 50mm fixed lens for a stroll along Braddock, looped around Carlson Park and back along Farragut… a little over 2 miles.

Here are the results:

When I first bought the 50mm (1.4) lens I thought I had made a mistake. I didn’t like being trapped in that focal length after being used to my go-to 18-135mm lens. But as usual, with the camera equipment I buy, I left it too long to return the lens. So I had to make the best of it. Now it’s my second favorite lens next to my zoom. It forces me to see everything from one perspective. I have to physically walk up to my subjects or back up to get the view I want. It’s a challenge I enjoy.

Within the next week or so I intend to retrace my footsteps with my 18-135mm lens and see what I can capture at the wide angle and telephoto ends. Of course when I walk the neighborhood I am safe. I am wrapped up from head to toe like a mummy. I am sure I look like the angel of death with a black hat, black face mask, scarf, wearing a high neck sweater and jacket, etc. I notice since I have been wearing my face mask people tend to distance themselves from me more often, which is fine with me!

During this strange time in our lives we need all the beauty we can get. I hope you can all step (safely) outside in your own neighborhoods to appreciate the gifts nature gives us.


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An eight and a half minute walk down the ramp at Culver City Park

With my knowledge of Los Angeles a friend suggested I should make short videos of the neighborhoods. I’m very new to making videos so I can only improve from here. This is a walk I did on March 22 at Culver City Park which is just a couple of blocks from my house at the end of the street. Right now I’m staying in my own neighborhood but when we get the all clear for the coronavirus lockdown I hope to be walking around other parts of LA. I did hardly any narration on this but I intend to talk about the architecture and history of the areas I visit.

 

Anyway, this is my first experiment. If you stand up and march in place you will get an 8.5 minute outdoor workout without leaving home!


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Yosemite National Park in February by popular request … part one

These days I post my photos to Facebook because it’s easier. But I have those holdout friends who don’t want to utilize FB for whatever reasons… so I am acquiescing to their requests to see my photos of my latest trip to Yosemite. Y’all had better appreciate this!

yosemite

I feel very fortunate that I was able to visit Yosemite in February. It was between the virus that ate the Ahwahnee Hotel in January and the coronavirus that closed the park in March.

This is the first view we always see when coming into Yosemite on the motor coach. Half Dome and a peek at the valley.

We arrived at the Yosemite Lodge just as the Golden Hour descended on the mountains. I rushed outside with my camera.

The next day we hiked up the Bridalveil Fall trail. Because of the lack of rain the Merced River was just a trickle but it gave us a chance to see the beautiful rocks.

Good thing I brought along my crampons and ice pick! Ha ha ha… no chance…

My friend and I ate lunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel Saturday and Sunday. I ordered the same sandwich both days… I think it was called the Californian or something like that… a salad between two pieces of bread plus a side salad and purple/orange chips. Worked for me!

Half Dome through the trees.

Besides the natural beauty of Yosemite I always love all the plane trails overhead.

Because of the drought there was very little water in the Merced River but still enough for good reflections.

Mountain climbing lessons are offered at Yosemite. See the teeny weeny people halfway up? I’ll enjoy the view from ground level, thank you.

Beautiful stained glass windows in the lobby of the Ahwahnee with a view of the mountains outside.

All we had to do was step outside the back door of our room at Yosemite Lodge to walk along the trail by the Merced River. Paradise.

Ahwahnee Hotel through the trees.

Below are images of the plane trails as the evening crept up on us. You can call them plane trails if you like, but I think it’s the spirits of the mountains sending messages to commune with the universe.

My friend did a couple of quick sketches in our room. I liked them and asked her if I could share them. See below.

Yosemite Falls: walking back from the Ahwahnee.

View from our patio.

Me just before we boarded the bus to head home. I’m ready to go back already!

Of course, I have a ton more photos that I can post at a later date but these will have to do for now.

We were very fortunate to be able to visit in February just after the virus attack at the Ahwahnee in January and the Coronavirus that shut the park down in March. I had three other trips planned this year that have all been canceled. But I’m grateful to be stuck in Culver City! It could be so much worse…

Stay well, keep safe, my friends, and carry on!

 


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Floating down the Snake River

Floating down the Snake River affords some great views… and the scenery is spectacular too! Aside from being very cute, our float guide was personable and knowledgeable and made the trip even more interesting. The Snake River flows from Yellowstone National Park meandering southwards to the Grand Tetons.

Last year I survived a similar float trip down the Bow River near Banff. It’s a terrific way to get up close and personal with nature.

Floating along listening to the waves lapping at the sides of the raft and the sound of the oar dipping into the water is extremely relaxing.

Civilization seems to be a million miles away.

Sit back and enjoy a peaceful trip down the river…

We encountered several fishermen along the way.

The skyscape in this part of the country is as gorgeous as the landscape.

As I mentioned before, this was my second visit to the Grand Tetons. The area is so amazing I hope at some point I will have the opportunity to make it a third time.


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Craig Thomas Center in the Tetons

The grand expanse of the Teton Range rises above the The Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose, Wyoming, USA. Inside, interwoven themes of place, people, preservation, mountaineering and Native American Indians encourage visitors to contemplate the past, present and future of this place.

I have to admit the views from this location are why I love to come here. See my previous post on this area here.

I love the dramatic sky in this part of the country. Back home in LA we mostly get postcard blue skies. Pretty boring.

When I got home I bought some butterfly-attracting plants for my deck. I wouldn’t mind if one of these guys decided to visit.

A great place to sit and contemplate the world. But knowing me I would be up and around after a couple of minutes!

I remember being totally blown away the first time I saw the Grand Tetons a few years ago and I still have the same reaction.

A bucolic scene… I can image sheep just beyond the fence.

Time to move on.