away for the weekend: October 2016

Monday, October 31, 2016

photo challenge week #1 - self-portrait

When I set up this challenge - I didn't realize that this would be my Halloween post.

I've never been much of a "selfie" person
nothing wrong with it - just not my thing
so when I noticed that the first prompt on the photo challenge that I planned to use
was a self-portrait - my instinct was to remove it
because - you know - it's my challenge and I get to choose what I want
- but then -
 what's a challenge without the challenge?

yeah - this was - ummmmmm fun...

It took me a while to get it all figured out -
lighting, focus, pose...
What I originally wanted to do was completely different, 
but for the life of me, I could not figure out the angle.
Maybe I'll try again later - but then - yeah, probably not...

I took this shot as I was beginning to feel a bit frustrated
- and as I rushed to sit down (again), I started to laugh
- which probably explains why the focus could be better
But - this is me - curled up in my living room chair - downtime comfy
My favorite part of the photo - the blurry colors in the window!
I didn't plan it, but I really like the way it looks.

All adjustments were made in Adobe Lightroom
(my very, very, very favorite program - thanks, Greg!)
I like to keep things as real as possible, so do little more than a "clean" edit -
white balance, exposure, contrast, clarity, sharpness...

Whew - week one - check
Next up - clouds... hmmmm....

Your responses about camera lenses were so helpful - thank you!
so now - how about camera bags?
When you're out shooting - what do you carry with you and how?
Backpack? Purse? Tripod? Nothing but a camera?

Happy Halloween - don't eat too much candy - or do, and enjoy it!  :-)
(none of that guilt stuff)

EF50mm f/1.8 II
1/13 sec at f/2.5

Thursday, October 27, 2016

my little town - part 2

Main Street - Rowley, Massachusetts
This weathered picket fence belongs to one of the many historic homes in my little town.

It looked sort of "Halloween" to me - maybe it would look cool decorated
- or not -

I kind of like it the way it the way it is

Willy Nilly 5 - blogging and commuting - a match made in ...??

- My typical day includes 3+ hours of commuting to and from work
(I know - sympathy is much appreciated)

-  But - it's not completely terrible - on the train, I mostly read
- both books and blogs

- And many thanks to the iPhone blogging apps that keep me in the blogging game

- Except when the train moves from great service to no service to mediocre service -
and my phone gets confused and starts doing that annoying spinning thing -
 usually right after typing a long-winded (but heart-felt)
 comment on your blog post - only to lose it (grrrr)
yeah - if you ever get a comment from me like "nice!"
blame it on my poor connection... the original comment was much better

- and then, those times when everything I type is complete gibberish
- or the word "shot" is misspelled
yeah - auto-correct fail
I don't mean to swear on your blog - I promise!

How about you? Do you use mobile blog reading apps? Any tips or tricks?

I'm joining TexWis for Good Fences
and Tanya for Willy Nilly Friday 5

Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 24, 2016

rambling the quebec countryside

after our adventures at the border,
our ride to Quebec city was almost as fun as visiting the city itself
- tooling along the highway 
- until one too many oooo's and aaaahhhh's
 - and then, we have got to get off this highway!

yeah - that was a good idea!

this pretty lady was auditioning to be the star of my show
 - but the foliage was stealing her thunder...

and I wonder - if this were the view from my kitchen window
- would I ever take it for granted?

 For fans of Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache mystery series,
I soooo wanted to meander the countryside looking for Three Pines
except - you know - it's fictional (darn!)

but this place was very real
- and even though I didn't get to sip a cafe au lait in Gabri and Olivier's bistro,

getting Greg to actually exit the autoroute,
and roaming the French Canadian countryside was the next best thing.

In an effort to keep myself focused (somewhat)
- and hopefully improve my photography (somewhat)
I will be starting a photo challenge for myself
(mimicking  many I've seen on various blogs and photography sites)
My plan is to post on Monday's - details are in my new tab

Thanks so much for all your responses about your favorite lenses!
Your answers provided me with food for thought (and research)

Happy Monday!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

j'adore quebec!

oui oui!!

and that's about all the french I know - except for maybe bon jour
- which the shopkeepers had a very melodious way of saying
- and I was never quite successful at imitating
(le sigh...)

without further ado - here are a few things I loved about Quebec

which reminds me of a castle - but it's not
It's fun to look at anyway - and is beautiful lit up at night

and looms over the city

2) window shopping

3) outdoor cafes
even when it's only 50 degrees outside
(french onion soup, please)

4) art where you least expect it
-on the side of a building

- in alleys

and last but not least
5) ornate fences with bright autumn foliage

actually - I could go on and on
(coffee shops, creperies, waterfall, river views...)

On another note - as we roamed about the city taking photos,
it seemed I always had the wrong lens in my camera.
- kit lens lacks enough zoom
- zoom lens is often too zoomy
and the nifty fifty - while very, very nifty - is somewhat limiting when walking around
I'd kind of like to buy a good walk-around lens
I'd love to know what your favorite lens is (walk-around or otherwise)!

I'm joining Theresa for Good Fences

Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 17, 2016

the northeast kingdom

- and fun with border patrol 

An early morning breakfast in Lyndon, Vermont - part of Vermont's Northeast Kingdom,
before heading up to the Canadian border for Greg's appointment with
U.S. Customs and Border Protection

and while no post about a Vermont diner is complete without a photo of the regulars

ummmm - yeah - stealth photographer I am not

Next stop - Derby Line, Vermont
and while Greg was completing his Global Entry interview,
I wandered around town.

As I was snapping photos and wondering what would happen if I ventured
to the other side of these pots (a photo looking into the U.S. seemed like a neat idea),
 a border patrol agent drove up and parked right next to me.
Well - alrighty, then...

 built to straddle the border (long before all this border security hubbub)
Unfortunately it was closed - I was curious to see whether any 
restrictions existed inside the building.

and then, a couple of blocks down the road,
here is Greg so fascinated with the bonjour! on the welcome sign,
 that he had inadvertently walked into Canada
- which earned us a trip back up the street to the U.S. Border Inspection Station
you know - to check back in to the U.S. (sheesh)

And then we intentionally drove into Canada to begin our
long weekend in Quebec.

I'm joining Signs, Signs

Thursday, October 13, 2016

my little town

Many thanks to Christopher Columbus for exploring the world
- for which we celebrate in Massachusetts
- with a day away from the office
-inspiring me to do a little exploring of my own

A sunny day with my camera in hand, I headed out the door for a walk through my little town
Although I'm not a big fan of cemeteries,
the Rowley Burial Ground dates back to 1639
many of the stones are unreadable - but others have interesting stories to tell

I loved the play of the light on this fence
- and the bokeh in the trees - (lucky bonus)

- and the friendly exchange of hellos with passersby.

Greg and I are headed to Quebec City for a long weekend
- kind of a late anniversary celebration
We both have such busy work schedules, lately, that trying to find a few 
days to get away together has been a bit of a challenge.
I wonder whether that's normal, or maybe we took a wrong turn somewhere...

Either way - I'm happy for a little time away!

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

scattered saturday

Happy Saturday!

I'm joining Tanya - a little late - for Willy Nilly Friday 5

1. When I arrived home from work on Thursday - the photobook I designed for
Laura and Jeff's wedding had arrived  :-)

- yeah, awsome...
To give my daily step count a boost, I've started getting off the subway a mile from my office.
- not a terrible way to start the day.

3. My daughters gave me a Book of the Month membership for my birthday.
Awesome gift, girls!
I just finished my September selection, A Gentleman in Moscow - so beautifully written!

4. If you enjoy reading current fiction, please join me on Goodreads
- disclaimer -
my ambivalence towards social media makes me a pretty unreliable "friend"
(how's that for an invitation?)

5. Karen was a common name in my generation.
Maybe not so much anymore...

That's it for me - I hope you enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

chain link - city style

So - is blogging kind of like riding a bike?
- because, I'm feeling like I've pretty much forgotten everything
- or maybe everything has changed
-or maybe...

Anyway - it's been a very long time since my last post -
in a nutshell:
Greg and I moved from our home near the city to a town up the coast a ways (aka Major Upheaval)
I was promoted at work (aka Death of Blog),
and our daughter got married in August (aka Summer of Laura)

But, hey - otherwise life is the same - and we're still heading to Away for the weekends
(well, sporadically...)
So now, I'm not really sure where to begin
- let's see - how about some urban chain link fences

Scenes from my weekday life -
(NO idea what that graffiti means - but I do applaud the colors on this dreary day)

Ah yes - the orange line - I could probably write a sonnet
How do I despise thee? Let me count the ways...

I actually took these photos a few months ago during a lunchtime walk
- and found them sitting on my computer

but I'm dusting off that big girl camera
- and getting back on that bike (so to speak)
- and probably needing to relearn lots and lots of things (my head hurts thinking about it...)
I'm happy to be back, though, and looking forward
to seeing everything that's going on with you!

Have a wonderful day!