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A Time To Renew...

A Time To Renew...

I like to have plans.  I love to have lists.  I enjoy the learning opportunities found via internet exploring.  And I thrive in a world of creativity.  Whether it is being inspired by a new project idea that strikes out of the blue, sharing stories and images on my blog, perusing Pinterest, and in my case, a new appreciation for Instagram.... all move me forward and make my heart sing.  When I see a picture that captures my attention, my mind and eyes begin to look deeper as to why the image caught my attention...was it the colors?  Or perhaps it was the beautifully plated food shot?  Or, could it have possibly been the complete "new to me" WOW moment of the picture styling?  Nine times out of 10, it is all of the above....

I LOVE photography, especially still life images.  I cherish time spent gazing at the styling, the lighting, and the composition.  Trying to capture a physical image from a swirl of still life styling ideas in my head, watching the composition and colors come to life, letting myself believe the photo is "good" just the way it is without mountains of editing in Lightroom or Photoshop are all personal creative accomplishments and produce feelings of happiness like none other for me.  

Being confident enough to share my images with many through a variety of internet venues and humble enough to hear and learn from critiques...these are the bits that make my photography journey that much more exciting...

I treasure my collection of style coffee table books, my past issues of Artful Blogging magazine, and the Pinterest boards I have developed over the past year.  Not being as social media driven as most, I have recently jumped into Instagram (full on NEWBIE), and am learning everyday.  I love the connecting with those that inspire the hell out of me!  

Exploring new ways to take images with my DSLR and iPhone, learning more and more about Manual Mode,  creating still life compositions, watching YouTube Photoshop and LR tutorials, following photography/design blogs...ahhh yes, these contribute to my personal creative heaven that I NEED everyday somewhere in the back of my mind.  

Finding new thrift store props, a gorgeous piece of countertop for food shots, rusted metal or weathered wood backgrounds, a rustic wood bowl, natural fabrics for styling, or clippings foraged from nature...all are gasoline in this girl's creative engine....

It has been a wonderfully fantastic year with this blog.  The new friends made, the creating of a small business and having the freedom to explore with a creative heart and mind.  At the end of the day, my passion is photography and always will be.  

I was sorting and backing up my images in Lightroom today and ran across a photo I had taken about 4 years ago.  It was an abandoned farm that had such an attractive character.  It seemed a shame that it was forgotten so what else could I do but pull the car over and see how close I could get.  The weather was beautiful and despite the "no trespassing" signs, I was literally drawn down the driveway to take a couple of innocent photos.  Nothing disturbed on the property by myself aside from stealing a minute to get a quick moment in time captured with my camera....

What caught my attention with this image today was the editing I recall doing when I unloaded my memory card to my PC.  I remember being curious about textures and with a few free texture downloads found online, I played around with layers, blend modes, etc. and managed to create this image.  I love the grungy look of the sky, the brittleness of the dried out vine growing on the stone silo and the weathered wood on the windows....I vividly recall loving that editing process and was taken by my novice attempt....

It has been a long time since I explored textures, taking my own texture images, and learning the finer details and tools in Photoshop with layering and blending.  These are just a few of the many areas I plan to explore further again.

So as this blog gets very quiet throughout the holidays, I will be watching Lightroom and Photoshop tutorials, experimenting with still life composition and taking a bazillion images, playing with "dark and moody" shots, food photography, and continuing to learn more and more of my camera's settings in manual mode.  I will be baking bread, devouring Pinterest, learning how to join in on the awesome Instagram hastags, and contemplating a new lens purchase.  All of this while continuing to follow your amazing blogs, Instagram/Pinterest feeds, and telling you how lovely you are in all you do.

I will be back again closer to the New Year with some new plans, lists and images to share.  Stories and dreams, projects and visions and a revived level of excitement.  A little break if you will, to grow and be renewed.

 So, an early Happy Holidays to each of you, my deepest thanks for all of the support and encouragement this past year, sincerest appreciation for your comments and time spent following me and much love and happiness to you and yours this holiday season

I will be back again soon....

xoxo

JoanMarie

Juniper and Rustic Props

Juniper and Rustic Props

Creating a Still Life Farmhouse Kitchen

Creating a Still Life Farmhouse Kitchen