March 17, 2012

March 14, 2012

Witch Hazel is a Delightful Border

Here are two examples of Witch Hazel from my neighborhood. One family has left theirs to grow free form, the other hedge has been trimmed in a shape. As you can see, the bush does well under both circumstances, but has a completely different look.

This shrub is easy to grow in most climates and blooms twice a year in Georgia. The spider like flowers are a reddish-pink or yellow.

March 13, 2012

Keywords are Key to your Website Ranking

So, what are your keywords on your website? Here's how to find out. Open your website in Internet Explorer. Click on the Page down arrow on the right side of the screen. At the very bottom is a "View Source" choice. Click that.

Do you see my keywords there in red? Now go try it with your website. And, go look at your competition's keywords when you are in a marketing mood. By the way, if you don't have any, I would call your web designer and ask for your money back. Or call me to add your keywords.

March 08, 2012

Studying the Subject - Peach Trees

I have found some really beautiful flowering peach trees on Peachtree Road in Atlanta. The trees are new to me and intriquing. Their color is amazing; the petals are hot coral, white and pink mixed and a white. So I have visited these trees three days in a row to capture their essence.

By doing that, I have discovered what shots I want and what time is best to take them. Each day I have studied my pictures from the day before deciding what I like and what works and doesn't work. By returning multiple times, I am improving the final photographs. I am not leaving as much up to chance and getting that "lucky" shot. Here are a few of my photographs.

March 05, 2012


A good word -- focus. Focus on what you want. Focus on where you are going. Focus on how you will get there. And, then there is the ever important piece of -- What is in focus in my photograph?

One of my "secrets" is that I manually refocus every single shot before I press the shutter. I use a very narrow depth of field, so focus is critical. I can easily photograph two flowers right next to each other and one be out of focus. Part of my job is finding flowers far enough apart to pull this off or rearranging so that they are both right in the focused area.
But, lately, I have been leaning towards leaving the photograph out of focus. What do you think?

February 27, 2012

Magnolia Frost

I read a post yesterday on Momastery blog. She's kindly explaining that she is more spiritual, now, so she's including that in her blog posts. This woman has a nice style. Go read.

She could have written:
Go read someone else's blog.
Or, go write your own.

But she is kind.

Today I am sad. My favorite thing is photographing the magnolias. And, the frost has gotten them twice this year. I've waited a whole year to visit these beautiful trees in Atlanta and Marietta. But I am in the mood and have been out photographing. You can see some magnolias I salvaged on facebook.

How could God destroy what he took years to create? Or maybe we are destroying the magnolias.

February 20, 2012

My son asks, "Why would we want to watch a movie about kids killing each other?" about The Hunger Games upcoming release

I said "I'm not sure. But maybe we will know as we finish listening to the book." But perhaps the answer is...

The Hunger Games is, in its simplest, a story about adults making children "hurt" each other, so indirectly the adults hurt the children. And, there are true stories of this atrocity. But perhaps, in a smaller way we stifle their curiosity, ruin their plans, don't allow them to watch R movies, say no to staying out late, control their lives... still in 2012.

So in some ways the book, Hunger Games, is their life.

Here's an interesting read from the New Yorker about dystopian fiction for young adults (shared by my child's English teacher) Take a look if you are writing and/or a parent.

February 18, 2012

What to do with QR Codes

In designing the brochure for my photography class, I wanted people to go to the link to sign up. It's a long path etc, so a QR Code seemed appropriate. Here is the brochure for the next class.

The QR code is in the bottom right of this brochure. Scan the QR code to find the web address about this class. This is the first application I have found for the codes. A QR code can contain an email address, website URL, a phone number or other information.

Another obvious use would be to include a QR code for my website address on my "About the Artist" that I have hanging on the wall at art festivals. There technical savy folks will pull up the site, book mark it, and remember me.

Where will you put the your codes? I created the code using You need to download the software for your phone to scan the code. 

P.S. If you live near Watson Mill Bridge Park (Athens, Georgia), please print the brochure and take it to a coffee shop to hang.  Let me know you did it and I'll send you a thank you! The pdf is here. To view the web page about my photography classes, click here.

February 01, 2012

War Horse is a Photography Must See

War horse is a riveting film. Each shot could be a photograph in itself. The countryside is amazing. The movie is filmed in Dartmoor in Devon, England. The area is protected by National Park status. The filming was planned for additional locations, but the beauty of the place altered these plans. The movie is set during World War I. It is based on a book by Michael Morpurgo. The movie has been nominated for 6 Academy Awards.

A play partially adapted from the book is currently playing on Broadway. The play is now on an open-ended run and received 5 Tony awards including best play.

The story begins with a young boy, Albert, watching a colt grow in the fields. His father purchases the horse, which begins the plot. The weaving story and delightful climax teach about perseverance, love of animals and collaboration even with enemies.

The play and film bring to light the disturbing fact that over 9,586,000 horses were victims of WWI.

January 08, 2012

Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

So, I am working on a Mac for the first time learning about app development. (This doesn't mean I have bought a mac.) But I am very used to a couple of keys on my personal computer, so I thought I would share my findings.

The [delete] key on the Mac functions like the PC [backspace] key. To use it in reverse, press the [command] [delete] buttons together.

The [End] key is also missing. The arrow keys on the Mac serve home, end and tabbing functions.
 Press [option] [arrow key] to tab through your words. Press [command] [arrow] to move to end or beginning.