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)

Serenity Project - November 2018

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

Since I purchased my first DSLR in 2007, I have been interested in food photography. I tried my hand on some images in 2012, but very quickly noticed that I was not good at it. Here is an image from 2012 (I thought I was the best food photographer in the world - giggle).

Holiday Brunch in Hannover, Germany - 2012

Holiday Brunch in Hannover, Germany - 2012

Couple of years ago, I started looking at food photography again; I just couldn’t let it go. I started small, with just some pastry from the store, cookies shipped from Germany. I looked at successful food photographers, purchased several books, and took a couple of online courses. At the beginning of 2018, I cleaned out a little corner in our laundry room, and started shooting food again. In August I took Michelle Turner’s CM Workshop - OCF so that I can use flash during the hot summer months and the long winter days in my “studio”. I still have a long way to go, however I have come a long way from my first attempts. Food photography is truly my zen place; I can take my time to arrange, re-arrange my scene. It makes my heart happy to photograph food at my own pace. Here are some examples from the past few months:

Natural Light -  Canon 50mm 1.4  - SS 1/80 - f2.5 - ISO 320

Natural Light - Canon 50mm 1.4 - SS 1/80 - f2.5 - ISO 320

Natural Light -  Canon 50mm 1.4  - f2.8 - ISO 320

Natural Light - Canon 50mm 1.4 - f2.8 - ISO 320

Natural Light -  Canon 50mm  - SS 1/160 - f3.5 - ISO 400

Natural Light - Canon 50mm - SS 1/160 - f3.5 - ISO 400

Natural Light -  Canon 50mm  - SS 1/320 - f2.2 - ISO 400

Natural Light - Canon 50mm - SS 1/320 - f2.2 - ISO 400

And here is my favorite from last weekend:

OFC to the left -  Canon 50mm  1.4 - SS 1/125 - f7.1 - ISO 200 - Food from   Ginger Zing   in Mesa, Arizona

OFC to the left - Canon 50mm 1.4 - SS 1/125 - f7.1 - ISO 200 - Food from Ginger Zing in Mesa, Arizona

To see more contributors of this month's serenity circle, I invite you to visit my talented photography friend, Emily Hamson of Lavender Lime Photography to see what brought her serenity the month of November.

Thank you for stopping by today. Until next time, find your serenity.

Iris (TGTG)

Serenity Project - October 2018

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

This past weekend, one of my dear photography friends was in town. I met Leah through the Clickin Mom’s forum. Leah is an amazing photographer, and it was so much fun to watch her how she approaches a subject. We decided to go to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. We were first a little worried that we may have to scratch our outing, because it rained all day on Saturday. Thank goodness, we had amazing weather on Sunday.

With all the rain, we were able to play with some water drops we didn’t had to spray on the flowers. It was magical. And of course hanging out with Leah (the master of Lensbaby lenses), I had to put mine back on as well. To be honest, the last time I have used my Lensbaby lenses was this past spring.

Here are some of my personal favorites from our outing, and these were perfect for our Serenity project for the month of October.

I couldn’t resist to shoot an out-of-focus image with all the water drops:

Lensbaby Velvet 56 - SS 1/200 - ISO 400 - f4.0

Lensbaby Velvet 56 - SS 1/200 - ISO 400 - f4.0

Lensbaby Velvet 56 - SS: 1/640 - ISO 250 - f 8.0

Lensbaby Velvet 56 - SS: 1/640 - ISO 250 - f 8.0

Lensbaby Sweet 35 - SS 1/1000 - ISO 200 - f8

Lensbaby Sweet 35 - SS 1/1000 - ISO 200 - f8

The last image is my personal favorite from our outing. I noticed how the sun was hitting the little seed pods. I positioned myself to have the pod backlit (one of my favorite lighting techniques), For this image I used my Tamron 90mm macro lens.

Tamron 90mm Macro - SS 1/500 - ISO 320 - f6.3

Tamron 90mm Macro - SS 1/500 - ISO 320 - f6.3

To see more contributors of this month's serenity circle, I invite you to visit my talented photography friend, Eileen Critchley how she found serenity admiring the Fall season in Ohio.

Thank you for stopping by today. Until next time, keep calm and find some serenity.

Iris (TGTG)

Serenity Project - August 2018

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

My first thought was that I could not participate this month, because I didn't go out to a serene place. However I thought about where I feel calm, collected, and have peace from the bustling of Phoenix: my little home studio.

On Monday, I stopped at my favorite food store, AJ's Fine Foods. To my delight, I spotted red currants in the produce section. I may have squealed out loud when I saw them. They are really hard to get here in Arizona, and are pricey. However, I got one little container. Those little berries are so good (if you like tart fruit).

With this being said, red currants were the star of my serenity share this month. For the first time in months, I put my Tamron 90mm macro lens on my camera body. You see, macro lenses are not only good for macro, but also for close up images. Here are my three favorite images from my little session.

Tamron 90mm Macro Lens  - SS 1/60 - f7.1 - ISO 400

Tamron 90mm Macro Lens - SS 1/60 - f7.1 - ISO 400

For the next two images I paired my red currants with blueberries, sprinkles of Cinnamon & Sugar, and Silk Vanilla Almond Yogurt Alternative.

Tamron 90mm Macro Lens - SS 1/125 - f7.1 - ISO 160

Tamron 90mm Macro Lens - SS 1/125 - f7.1 - ISO 160

Canon 50mm 1.4 - SS 1/125 - f5.6 - ISO 125

Canon 50mm 1.4 - SS 1/125 - f5.6 - ISO 125

To see more contributors of this month's serenity circle, I invite you to visit my talented photography friend, Eileen Critchley how she found serenity in her new home in Ohio.

Thank you for stopping by today. Until next time, keep calm and find some serenity (even if it is just in your home).

Iris (TGTG)