New Care Concepts

I am so proud to be able to tell you that I had the honor to photograph the staff and clients for this incredibly compassionate and hard working group of individuals that make up the specialized care organization called New Care Concepts. They have an office location right in the heart of Old Ballard on Market Street.  Check out their website, they’ve totally revamped it. I love the logos that Susan Giordano came up with for them, Susan is the gal that orchestrated the entire effort of revising their online presence, she has done a spectacular job. The website is very easy to navigate, it’s concise and uncluttered and not complicated. Check out the New Care Concepts webpage here, wander around and see what you think.

And, if you are interested in rebuilding your brand, check out GKD

Ciao for now!

Evidence

We spent our 29th Anniversary weekend at the Lake Qunault Lodge in the Olympic National Forest.  The lodge was built in 1926 and in 1937 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt visited the lodge. The dining room then became known as “The Roosevelt Room” ever since. The menu of what was served that day for dinner is posted outside of “The Roosevelt Room.” There didn’t appear to be choices, it looked like a menu from a traditional supper club with the side dish being a gelatin vegetable ring and cottage cheese.

Although the rooms are not at all luxurious by today’s modern expectations, the lodge itself is beautifully kept.  There is no cell phone service in the area and there are no televisions in the rooms. There are in the rooms the old radiators that creak and rattle all night. The community area is spacious and inviting for what I imagine would have been typically a place to congregate in the evenings or on rainy days to keep dry and socialize by the enormous fireplace that was never without a fire while we were there. Reminiscent of an era that we literally watched evaporate in our lifetime with the advent of social media.  And although there is no television nor cell phone service in any of the rooms nor in any of the community areas, there is wi-fi.  It’s a wonderful place to bring the kids to experience “what was” and the natural beauty of the Olympic National Forest.  Leave the social media devices behind if you dare.

You’re probably thinking by now, what do I mean by “evidence?”

I had listened to a podcast of a business coach talking about documenting evidence of progress, her thought process was that – in business – you set some pretty lofty goals and it’s easy to not reach those goals when you don’t really see any evidence of progressing toward those goals. In effect, make a log of those instances that you can identify as ‘evidence’ that you are actually moving in the right direction.

There is a good bit of time to talk while driving to the Olympic National Forest and on our 29 year anniversary, what would be a good idea to discuss? We do have a business together and we do discuss how to progress with that, but what about our marriage? We are together, we are very content in our relationship and yet we hear about others that divorce well past 35 years. So on our drive back I asked my husband, “what evidence did you find that we would remain married another year?”  He thought it sounded like a silly question, probably because he didn’t listen to the same podcast.  Being me, I prodded for some kind of answer by telling him the small details that I noticed when things were done in for the sake of the other and with gratitude and kindness.

It would be easy to just be stubborn and comfortable by neglecting one another’s needs and desires, just being selfish while still complaining of the same old same old, knowing that it’s cheaper in the long run to stay married and miserable, content without effort. It is complicated to be assertive and aware, facing new challenges together, appreciating old ideas with new gratitude and fresh thoughtfulness. As we get older and wiser we also become forgetful and lazy.

So here’s to another year, 29 in and 29 to go!

Lake Quinault
At the Lodge at Lake Quinault
Olympic National Forest
Lake Quinault lodge in the Olympic National Forest
Rainforest at Olympic National Forest area near Lake Quinault
Rainforest at Olympic National Forest area near Lake Quinault
Lake Quinault as the fog lifts
Lake Quinault as the fog lifts
lots of ash trees
lots of ash trees
olympic national forest Merriman Falls
Merriman Falls near Lake Quinault
Walking in the Rainforest near Lake Quinault
Walking in the Rainforest near Lake Quinault
Cascade falls
Cascade falls
Lake Quinault
Lake Quinault
Rain Forest Lake Quinault
Tree Conchs.
Foggy Morning on Lake Quinault
Lake Quinault in the fog
Olympic National Forest
Cedars in the Olympic National Forest
Olympic National Forest
Into the Woods, the Rainforest at Lake Quinault
Olympic National Forest
Inside the Lodge at Lake Quinault

David and Brianna Wedding Album

This is a link to the preliminary setup for a wedding album, there are more more more photos and probably better ones, but the files are buried in my hard drives so I have to get to them –  that you may want to add or change out, but here is a preview of how I have it setup. It’s 20 pages and setup to be a 12×12 square lay flat album, open laying flat would be 24w x 12h.

The wedding pictured in this album took place in 2012 at the Antheia Ballroom in Snohomish

Click here to be directed to the Link to Album

The Pelican Briefly

Today in this cold, foggy weather, my mind has drifted back to New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Bright sunny days and so many birds. We were there last February and today I just remembered a few photos I wanted to look at again. Took a while to find them. I guess I take a lot of photographs!

My husband’s mother, Grandma Doris, lives in New Smyrna and she loves it there.  It is warm and sunny most of the days. Doris really enjoys going to this marina restaurant and especially loves to bring her out-of-town guests here. The food is fine but the atmosphere is what’s to love about it. The restaurant is on the dock and porpoise swim by, that is fun to watch when they show up. But, as annoying as they were, I do love to watch the pelicans.

Just a stone’s throw across from the marina restaurant, is a tiny island that is about the footprint of a small drugstore, the locals call it, “bird island” because it is covered with so many birds, lots of different looking birds. It gets quite noisy at particular times and during the regular mealtimes it is not unusual for the pelicans to be flying about looking for a hand out. There’s a variety of herons and cranes that show up around the trash areas once in a while, it’s weird to see beautiful birds with feathery crowns and colorful plumage digging through trash when you’re used to seeing dull grey seagulls and crows picking through the garbage.

Mostly there are pelicans. These are such peculiar birds with that long pouchy beak and a rather intimidating hook at the tip of it. They sit there and stare and beg like seagulls only the size of a very large goose. I didn’t feed them though, can you imagine these strange looking birds being so comfortable as to just come down and land on your table like a seagull? Yipe!

Pelican on the Pier  New Smyrna Beach, FL
Pelican waits nonchalantly for a snack on the piling off the deck of the Marina Restaurant in New Smyrna Beach.
Pelican hoping for a snack at the Marina Restaurant.
Pelican hoping for a snack at the Marina Restaurant.
Pelicans don't like to share.
Pelicans don’t like to share.
Topaz Glow filter - Dream
Topaz Glow filter – Dream
Pelican Begging at the dock
Pelican Begging at the dock

Pelican on the Pier
New Smyrna Beach, FL

Muench Workshops

I am excited to tell you that I have been selected to be part of the live audience for the Creative Live Workshop with Marc Muench, Landscape Photographer.  The episodes will be airing LIVE on the Creative Live Internet site this Thursday & Friday, January 8 &9 from 8am to 4pm. You are welcome to watch for free the day it is showing live and after that there is a charge to cue it up to view at your leisure.

It’s kind of a quirky coincidence that I was selected because back in August when Mike and I were spur-of-the-moment planning our jaunt out to Yellowstone National Park, Marc’s name came up in a search. I knew that I didn’t want to go into the park without a clue, I wanted to take some of the guided tours and at some point I found Marc was one of their regular photography tour guides. However, our trip did not coincide with his schedule at all.  That is my only familiarity with him, that I thought it would be cool to hang out with him at Yellowstone because he can show me where to take the best photographs.

Then, about a month and a half ago I got an email from Creative Live inviting me to be part of their live studio audience. I have no idea how I was chosen for this kind of slot. One of the questions I had to answer to apply to be chosen was, why would you want to be part of this workshop?  I’m completely unsure of whether or not I end that sentence with a question mark or not…but anyway….my answer was that I am mainly a “portrait” style photographer but I love to take landscape images and while I love the pictures I have from my past trips, I would love for them to be even more exciting. I want them to really capture the feeling of what I was experiencing to be able to convey that in a few pictures.

That’s the other thing, thinning the herd….of photographs I mean.  In trying to relay the excitement of a travel experience, showing MORE of the same similar photographs isn’t at all the same as showing just a few really GREAT photographs.  Anyone know what I’m talking about here?

I hope you’ll have some time to tune in FREE on the internet for the workshop. It is only free of charge to watch on the two days that the workshops are showing live, which is this week, January 8 & 9 from 8am to 4pm (with breaks for lunch, etc).  Check out the workshop at https://www.creativelive.com/courses/landscape-photography-marc-muench and to see some of Marc’s phenomenal work, see his website here. http://www.muenchphotography.com

Can’t wait to tell you how it went!

 

New Year’s Day

For the past four years on New Year’s Day, I have taken a night photo at Gasworks Park.  No particular reason but over the past couple years there is a noticeable change in the cityscape. One very noticeable change this year was that the tree on top of the Space Needle is already gone.  At first I thought it was just not lit but since I had also taken a day time photo at Kerry Park, I see that it’s not there either.  I wonder why?

About 6:15 pm, clear and cold and Lake Union is flat calm.  I brought my Xenon flash light gun and used a 10 second shutter then hitting my subject with the flashlight for about 1 second after 8 seconds had passed. Turned out pretty good.

An interesting happenstance after about 6:45pm, we were just packed up and leaving when I saw a gal swinging a pair of lit orbs. I stopped and asked her about them. Her name is Brie and she told me these glowing orbs are called “Pod Poi”  (and they’re made by a company called FlowToys, click on this link to check them out) – she swings them in circular motions the way you’d see a fire twirler doing at a Hawaiian Luau, she told us that the Pod Poi are used for practice so you can eventually move up to actually swinging the fire.  The Pod Poi have so many combinations of flickering or color changes, here are two of the many options. The purple/blue will pulsate so it gives an interesting dotted pattern then the rainbow colors give a smooth swirl. When I saw these on the back of the camera, I thought the dotted pattern was better but looking at them on a large monitor, I really like the smooth rainbow and the subtle silhouette of Brie. Both are equally fascinating to me, I love looking a the colors. Watching her do this was mesmerizing, and with the city lights in the background, it is a visual indulgence.

She was gracious to allow us to take some long exposures of her swinging the Pod Poi. So Brie, if you’ve found your way to the blog, thank you it was great meeting you and thank you for introducing us to PodPoi.

Here’s what I got, first at Kerry Park then at Gasworks on New Year’s Day, 2015

New Year's Day 2015 view from Kerry Park at 4:15pm
New Year’s Day 2015 view from Kerry Park at 4:15PM
Night shot from Gasworks Park, new year's day
Night shot from Gasworks Park, new year’s day – 24mm
Night shot from Gasworks Park, new year's day
Night shot from Gasworks Park, new year’s day 17mm – St. Mark’s the copper top cathedral at the edge camera left
Night shot from Gasworks Park, new year's day using Xenon flash after 8 second exposure.
Night shot from Gasworks Park, new year’s day using Xenon flash light on the boys for about 1 second after 8 second exposure, then
Night shot from Gasworks Park, new year's day using Xenon flash after 8 second exposure.
Night shot from Gasworks Park, new year’s day using Xenon flash after 8 second exposure. There is a Sailboat lined with LED blue Christmas lights gliding by off at camera left.
Brie swinging the Poi Pods at long exposure on the waterfront of Gasworks Park. New Year's Day, 2015
Brie swinging the Pod Poi by Flow Toys at long exposure on the waterfront of Gasworks Park. New Year’s Day, 2015
Brie swinging the Poi Pods at long exposure on the waterfront of Gasworks Park. New Year's Day, 2015
Brie swinging the Pod Poi at long exposure on the waterfront of Gasworks Park. New Year’s Day, 2015
Brie swinging the Poi Pods at long exposure on the waterfront of Gasworks Park. New Year's Day, 2015
Brie swinging the Pod Poi at long exposure on the waterfront of Gasworks Park. New Year’s Day, 2015

 

TOPAZ GLOW

When it comes to post processing and filtering, generally less is more. Simple tweaks to brighten up, add more or subtract some contrast intensity, a little sharpening, that is generally all that’s needed on a digital image if it’s a good one. Of course there can be some more specific portrait corrections, deleting distractions, adding vignettes or creating a particular look for a group of images.

But sometimes you might just want to get crazy, so when I got this Topaz email to “illuminate your photos with electrifying light” well, why not play a little. Why not let the mind wander and relax a little.

Some look really cool and some I just kept trying to make look cool but ended up exiting without saving. Below are a few recent images I’ve taken and thought I’d throw them into this trial TOPAZ GLOW blender and see what turned out.  I found that on a couple of images that are too soft focus or too grainy because the ISO was too high, adding something to distract from that quality was a way to actually make the photo interesting. (that’s a nice way of saying, the photo was pretty much, “duty” but now it’s “art”)

To try Topaz Glow yourself,  download the trial here and launch it from it’s own application. After you launch it once, the next time you open Photoshop you will be able to find it under the filters menu as a plug in.

 

 

Seagull at Marina Beach in Edmonds. Filtered with "Squiggle Lines" and saturated in Lightroom to look like a VanGogh painting.
Seagull at Marina Beach in Edmonds. Filtered with “Squiggle Lines” and saturated in Lightroom to look like a VanGogh painting.
Christmas Lights in Olympic Manor. Filtered with "Liquify" from the Topaz Glow
Christmas Lights in Olympic Manor. Filtered with “Liquify” from the Topaz Glow
Dog under wraps. Using the Airbrush filter as it is set in the Topaz Glow plug in.
Dog under wraps. Using the Airbrush filter as it is set in the Topaz Glow plug in.
This is the tree, the shooting starlight is a lens trick on the camera. The filter is Squiggly Lines in the Topaz Glow plugin.
This is the tree, the shooting starlight is a lens trick on the camera. The filter is Squiggly Lines in the Topaz Glow plugin.
Mike tuning up the Viola at Christmas Mass. Topaz Glow filter Graphic.
Mike tuning up the Viola at Christmas Mass. Topaz Glow filter Graphic.
Italian Christmas Dinner using the "Fur & Feather" glow preset with some tweaks.
Italian Christmas Dinner using the “Fur & Feather” glow preset with some tweaks.

 

 

Christmastime in Leavenworth

There’s something more interesting to me than just the Christmas lights when I see  this series of photos we took in Leavenworth on Tuesday night.  Look at the sky.

The last two, something appears in the sky over the hotel. What is it?

The first image, I’m testing my exposure (and i have to say that I was extremely proud of myself because it looks pretty good). However I didn’t set the auto timer long enough and you can see my arm streaked in the lower right corner.  And the flash didn’t go off either. Notice there is nothing visible in the sky.

In the second shot, I did manage to get into the frame but didn’t stand still the entire 5 seconds.

Third shot, we did really well, but a water drop is on the lens right on top of us.  This is also the frame when the light streaks start to appear in the sky over the hotel.

Last frame, nailed it. (four tries, not too bad) – and the streaks are higher and smaller than in the third frame.  Each frame was 5 seconds and in between were probably 20 or 30 seconds to check the photo and recompose. It was about 10:30pm, December 16, 2014

 

 

First Frame, Flash didn't go - notice there are no streaks in the sky over the hotel
First Frame, Flash didn’t go – notice there are no streaks in the sky over the hotel
Night Photography
Second Frame, exposure is pretty good but we didn’t realize how still we needed to be.
Looks pretty Good, but a couple rain drops are on the lens. I wipe them off. Notice the streaks in the sky behind us over the hotel?
Looks pretty Good, but a couple rain drops are on the lens. I wipe them off. Notice the streaks in the sky behind us over the hotel?
Best and final shot, lighting is great, we didn't move. It's not raining. And the streaks over the hotel are diminishing.
Best and final shot, lighting is great, we didn’t move. It’s not raining. And the streaks over the hotel look like they’ve floated up higher.

Suzy Petrucci | Seattle, Washington