Serenity Project - August 2019 - Life in the Desert

Welcome to our Serenity Project for the month of August 2019. The Serenity project is a collaborative photography project in which we want to share images that convey peace and calm.

It has been a little quiet around here, and photography in general. Much has happened since April, but that is a blog post on its own; maybe I will share that some day.

An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.
— Henry David Thoreau

Although it is still very hot here in Arizona, I got up early on Saturday morning to go to one of my favorite parks close by. I equipped my brand new Canon 6D Mark II with my favorite lens, the Velvet 56. I had to walk around the park to find something to photograph. I didn’t come out with much, but the light was wonderful in the early morning.

Canon 6D Mark II - Velvet 56 - SS 400 - ISO 400 - f8.0

Canon 6D Mark II - Velvet 56 - SS 400 - ISO 400 - f8.0

As I was walking around the park, I came past a patch of yellow desert wild flowers that were still blooming in August. (have I mentioned that I love back-light?)

Canon 6D Mark II - Velvet 56 - SS 800 - ISO 400 - f8.0

Canon 6D Mark II - Velvet 56 - SS 800 - ISO 400 - f8.0

Canon 6D Mark II - Velvet 56 - SS 800 - ISO 400 - f8.0

Canon 6D Mark II - Velvet 56 - SS 800 - ISO 400 - f8.0

Canon 6D Mark II - Velvet 56 - SS 160 - ISO 640 - f5.6

Canon 6D Mark II - Velvet 56 - SS 160 - ISO 640 - f5.6

The last image is something that I don’t usually photograph; however the light was just perfect to pass this up. A spiderweb with a large spider in the middle.

Canon 6D Mark II - Velvet 56 - SS 200 - ISO 400 - f5.6

Canon 6D Mark II - Velvet 56 - SS 200 - ISO 400 - f5.6

Thank you for stopping by today. And now, please follow along this month’s circle by visiting my sweet friend Eileen Critchley, Ohio Photographer, as she found serenity during a Getaway in Albuquerque.

As I mentioned above, life has changed for me. However, as my husband’s health continues to improve, I am ready to get back to my passion of photography. I am ready to restart my business, serving people in the Valley of the Sun.

Until next time, find the serenity in your world; it is worth it.

Iris (TGTG)

Serenity Project - April 2019 - New Inspiration

Welcome to our Serenity Project for the month of April 2019. The Serenity project is a collaborative photography project in which we want to share images that convey peace and calm.

I did not participate in the March Serenity blog circle due to the fact that I was uninspired by my work. Nothing really resonated with me. I had to switch gears after Click Away in California, shooting in a big city and the desert.

About a month ago, I received my own little camera (I had borrowed my hubby’s micro-four-third for our weekly walks). I always wanted a Fuji camera, and on March 20th, Fuji released a new camera, the X-T30. Needless to say, I am still learning to handle this little piece of joy in my hands, but I am getting there. The only real complaint I have about it is that the quick menu button is located in an odd place. With this being said, the good outweighs that little issue.

I love the focus tracking (great for street photography), the colors, the electronic level, and so much more. I have been shooting a lot of street photography, and once I get really comfortable, I will share more about it. For this month’s serenity circle, I went to one of my favorite places to find serenity: the Riparian Preserve in Gilbert.

Here are some of my favorite images from last Friday’s outing…Yes, these images were taken within 30 minutes. Our Spring weather has been insane. I started off with a blue sky and fluffy clouds…30 minutes later I had to scramble to get to the car, dry.

Fujifilm X-T30 with 23mm Lens - SS 1/500 - f6.4 - ISO 125

Fujifilm X-T30 with 23mm Lens - SS 1/500 - f6.4 - ISO 125

Fujifilm X-T30 with 23mm Lens - SS 1/320 - f/4 - ISO 125

Fujifilm X-T30 with 23mm Lens - SS 1/320 - f/4 - ISO 125

Fujifilm X-T30 with 23mm Lens - SS 1/400 - f/3.6 - ISO 125

Fujifilm X-T30 with 23mm Lens - SS 1/400 - f/3.6 - ISO 125

Thank you for stopping by today. And now, please follow along this month’s circle by visiting my friend Eileen Critchley, Ohio Photographer, as she found serenity in the Spring in Ohio.

Until next time, find some serenity in your life.

Iris (TGTG)

Serenity Project - February 2019 - Click Away Edition

Welcome to our Serenity Project for the month of February 2019. The Serenity project is a collaborative photography project in which we want to share images that convey peace and calm.

Last weekend I was able to get away for a few days. The Click Away conference of 2019 was held in Dana Point, California. The great part was not only the location (50min flight from Phoenix), but that I was able to meet up with several members of our Beyond Portraits group, and some of them participate in our serenity circle.

It was so fun to meet Joan, Nancy, and Susan for the first time; to room with my good friend Diane Wittenberg; and meet up with some of my long time online friends, Leah, Nadeen, Kathy, and Jennifer. My heart was full just hanging out with women that speak my language…

With this being said, the first late afternoon I was on my own; which was great. I walked down to the very close marina of Dana Point, and soaked in the last sun rays of the day. Some may know what I am from a marina city in Northern Germany, and I miss it dearly. So walking the marina made me feel like home (well, except it mostly rains in Bremerhaven - haha).

Some of the images I am sharing here, I have already shared online. However I still wanted to share some of my personal favorites here in our serenity circle. This month I found serenity in spending time by the water, and with some great friends that I have made over the years (I only missed one person there - my sweet friend Eileen (maybe next year Eileen)).

The resort we stayed at was amazing…

Room with a view…

Room with a view…

Here are some of my favorite images from my first late afternoon at the marina of Dana Point.

Don’t you just love the light…and the sheriff boat coming in reminded me of my dad.

Don’t you just love the light…and the sheriff boat coming in reminded me of my dad.

This means serenity to me: watching the sun go down over boats

This means serenity to me: watching the sun go down over boats

This image I took when my dear friend Leah and I went down for breakfast…

I love the shadows and the sun peaking through the tree

I love the shadows and the sun peaking through the tree

On the second day I loaned the Fuji X-T20. It is a very small camera, yet powerful. I loved the blues and how fast it was capturing the scene. I usually don’t feel comfortable photographing strangers, but this camera made me brave…

Stranger to me…but I loved the stride she was walking the beach with

Stranger to me…but I loved the stride she was walking the beach with

Don’t you just love the blues? Not a lot of editing with the   Fuji X-T20

Don’t you just love the blues? Not a lot of editing with the Fuji X-T20

Here is my absolute favorite image I took at Click Away…my trusted Lensbaby Sweet 35 (can I tell you that I LOVE that optic!!!) This image actually means a lot more than what the eye shows you (I have to talk about this one in a different post)

Reach for your dreams….

Reach for your dreams….

Thank you for stopping by today. And now, please follow along this month’s circle by visiting my friend Janet Broughton, Lensbaby photographer in the north of England, to see where she found serenity this month.

Until next time, find some serenity in your life.

Iris (TGTG)

Serenity Project - January 2019

Welcome to our Serenity Project for the month of January 2019. The Serenity project is a collaborative photography project in which we want to share images that convey peace and calm.

Here were are; a new year, a new month…and a new Serenity Blog circle. I love this group of women; not only do they inspire me with their work, but they are also so supportive. You need that in a sea of photographers. Finding women that are dancing to the same beat of a drum is cheer joy.

I have continued baking; sometimes the goodies are flop, other times they come out delicious. Like the bundt cake that I baked this past weekend. For the first time, I used a bundt pan from Nordic Ware. Let me tell you: the cake comes right out of this bundt pa, and it is very easy to clean (that is a great plus in my books).

Here are some of my favorite images. The first ones are taking in my kitchen (with horrible light)…

Canon 6D -   50mm lens   - SS 1/125 - ISO 640 - f2.0

Canon 6D - 50mm lens - SS 1/125 - ISO 640 - f2.0

Canon 6D - 50mm lens - SS 1/200 - ISO 640 - f2.0

Canon 6D - 50mm lens - SS 1/200 - ISO 640 - f2.0

After the cake baked for about 50 minutes, I took the bundt pan over to my little studio, letting the cake cool for 10 minutes.

Canon 6D - 50mm lens - SS 1/80 - ISO 800 - f2.2

Canon 6D - 50mm lens - SS 1/80 - ISO 800 - f2.2

After the cooling period, I had a little fun with the cake…

Canon 6D - 50mm - SS 1/80 - ISO 1,000 - f2.0

Canon 6D - 50mm - SS 1/80 - ISO 1,000 - f2.0

The last image is my favorite of my bundt cake session. You may wonder why. Well, I wanted to try some “moody” food photography, and the Lensbaby Sweet 35 gave me what I was looking for. I had promised myself that I will be more creative with my food photography (and more daring). Sure, this image is not my “normal” work (whatever that may be), but it was so much fun to experiment with lens, light (OCF), and composition.

Canon 6D -   Lensbaby Sweet 35   - ISO 250 - f5.6 - OCF

Canon 6D - Lensbaby Sweet 35 - ISO 250 - f5.6 - OCF

To see more contributors of this month's serenity circle, I invite you to visit my talented photography friend, Lori McLellan, Calgary Photographer to see where she found serenity during her warm winter walk.

Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you will find some serenity in your day, and maybe baking a bundt is in order.

Until next time…

Iris (TGTG)

Serenity Project - December 2018

Welcome to our Serenity Project for the month of December 2018. The Serenity project is a collaborative photography project in which we want to share images that convey peace and calm.

I cannot believe how fast 2018 came and went. They say the older you get, the faster the years fly by; I have to agree with that.

So, you may wonder what I have been up to the last month. Well, it seems like I have been concentrating more and more on food photography. I love it!!! You know why? My subjects hold still and don’t move spots unless I move them. There is just so much peace on creating work that is fulfilling and peaceful at the same time. And, I have started baking again. So much fun. Although last weekend I had a little accident in the kitchen trying to melt chocolate. Let me tell you: the stove top is the better option. I have a setting on my microwave, but it was not safe. I burned my hand because I was trying to not get the chocolate all over the counter (bad move I might add).

At any rate, I have been searching the web for baking recipes. I have found a German website that I have tried a couple of recipes from. Dr. Oetker has some great baking recipes, and they do have an American website if you want to give their recipes a try. Here is the link to the American website: Dr. Oetker

First up are the jam filled cookies. Although I had to alter the shape of them (I don’t have a pastry wheel), these came out yummy.

Canon 6D - Tamron 90mm Macro lens - SS 1/100 - ISO 400 - f5.0

Canon 6D - Tamron 90mm Macro lens - SS 1/100 - ISO 400 - f5.0

Canon 6D - Tamron 90mm Macro lens - SS 1/125 - ISO 400 - f4.0

Canon 6D - Tamron 90mm Macro lens - SS 1/125 - ISO 400 - f4.0

This past weekend I made some treats for my coworkers. I was disappointed that the cookies didn’t look like the ones on the website, however they were tasty. Instead of adding cute little dots of chocolate, I free styled the decoration on them.

Canon 6D - 85mm - SS 1/80 - ISO 640 - f2.0

Canon 6D - 85mm - SS 1/80 - ISO 640 - f2.0

Canon 6D - 85mm - SS 1/125 - ISO 200 - f3.5

Canon 6D - 85mm - SS 1/125 - ISO 200 - f3.5

Have you ever baked Madeleine cake cookies? These cake cookies are my vice. I love them, and finally baked them myself. The first recipe I used was a sheer disaster. They didn’t bake at all, and looked terrible. However, after I searched the internet, I found this easy recipe by Entertaining with Beth. Trust me, if I can do it, you can do too. Give it a try.

Canon 6D - 28 mm - SS 1/400 - ISO 640 - f3.2

Canon 6D - 28 mm - SS 1/400 - ISO 640 - f3.2

Canon 6D - 50mm - SS 1/400 - ISO 640 - f3.2

Canon 6D - 50mm - SS 1/400 - ISO 640 - f3.2

To see more contributors of this month's serenity circle, I invite you to visit my talented photography friend, Joan Showers of Joan M. Showers Photography to see what brought serenity to her month of December.

Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you will find some serenity during this Holiday season; maybe bake some cookies.

Until next time…

Iris (TGTG)