From The Kitchen Sink

Greetings from the kitchen sink!


If we were at the kitchen sink, I would tell you I have always had a thing for water. From the time I was a child, I got my kicks from stealing water from the kitchen sink and pouring it into my play kitchen sink in my bedroom.

I would tell you that I got in trouble for that a time or two.

If we were at the kitchen sink, you would tell me that I look like a dork and we would laugh at me and the way I have things set up. True, I have my dress flopped over a box on top of the counter. True, I have the paper towel holder on top of the dress to hold it in place such that it doesn’t fall/slip off the box.

And then you would whip out your cell phone and capture the whole scene just to have proof of how silly the whole thing looked.


And I believe I’d tell you I’m on my search to capture that perfect drop of water.

And if you know anything about me, you know I’m up for a laugh at myself and welcome all to join in. My days of getting embarrassed are no more.


While changing backgrounds several times, I would like to continue searching for “the drop”. Have you any idea how many shots it took to capture the three shots above? I would have tell you it’s upwards of 500 + shots. Makes me wonder how many thousands of shots it’s going to take to get the perfect drop.

Perhaps I’ll wait for another really good rain and catch the drops as they fall in the garden. I believe I’ll add that to my list of things to do.

If we were at the kitchen sink. I’d tell you that I just got home from a little lunch date with the hubs. And that I just finished stocking the fridge and cupboards with groceries.

And if we were at the kitchen sink, I would tell you that I believe it would be time to prop our feet up poolside with some sort of umbrella beverage.

But since it’s just me, I believe I’ll go recline with a fresh spot of coffee and dig a little deeper into my textbook. Speaking of textbook, I’m still loving my Kindle. It’s a lot lighter than carrying that 800 + page book around.

With that, it’s time for me to turn the page to chapter 3.

Blessings – Debbie

A Day of Photoshop Lecture and Play

It’s the start of a brand new week. And it’s a really good start! I hope you too are making your way thru this Monday with a spring in your step.

Well I was so eager to start my photography lesson in class today. I had my pictures all ready such that I could jump right in and start processing. However, it seems I have some things to learn.

So it turned out to be an amazing 3 hour lecture. I was scribbling notes as fast as I could scribble. While listening closely with both ears. That sounds funny, who doesn’t listen with both ears? I guess what I’m trying to say, is that I could not pay any closer attention than I did in class.

And about the time I think I’m ready to edit, there is still cool stuff to learn.

But that did not keep me from starting up my Photoshop program once I got home.

And I played with some of the shots I took this week.

I cropped this a bit and tweaked it a bit. I still don’t know what I’m doing or if I’m doing it right. But I look forward to learning how to edit like a pro one of these days.

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In the shot below (taken yesterday) I added a filter and made some cool adjustments.

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I did the same with this shot. This is one of the many fruit shots I took last week. But how fun is it to change it up a bit in Photoshop? I’m sure this will not be allowed in class. Nor will I try to turn something in looking like this. But it sure is fun to play when the professor is not looking.

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Sometimes I feel a ball of stress when I try to wrap my brain around the process. And I wonder “will I ever get there”. Then is when I have to slow my thoughts and try to just absorb this stuff one day, chapter and class at a time.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to snap pix, play in Photoshop (even if I’m doing it all wrong) and hope that I continue to grow and learn in the process.

Blessings – Debbie

Do It Again

What is it with never being satisfied when we discover a new thing. Just like children who want to “do it again” over and over and over.

It was a magical day as the sun came out. And how awesome would it be shooting this subject in the sunlight vs the cloudy rainy day we had yesterday? Epic, I just knew it would be epic! And I could not imagine not giving the splash another whirl, especially since I’ll be going to class tomorrow and need to have my subject ready for work.

And since the hubs was willing to lend a hand by dropping the lime and keeping the glass filled, while I shot and he dropped the lime on the count of three. It made me want to “do it again” over and over and over.

Each new shot speaks to me in different ways. When I look at the splash in this shot, the water almost comes across as ice in the glass.

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And there is something about the way the water is falling in this shot. It’s almost as tho the glass is making a performance with a hula-hoop.

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I love the grand splash, there is just something special here.

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It looks as tho the water formed a bird taking flight.

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It’s hard to tell where the glass ended and where the water begins in this shot. It almost looks like a crystal vase.

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I’m still amazed how there are no two shots alike.

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Up close…

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It’s shots like these, that cause me to want to find other things like this to shoot.

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At the end of the day, I feel blessed to have my willing hubs to do whatever it takes to ensure I get the shots I want.

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It’s days like this behind the lens that make me wonder, what in the world will I come up with next?

On that note, I have over 60 favorite shots (I don’t plan to share them all on the blog) on my thumb drive. Hopefully by the time I get to class tomorrow, I’ll know which one I want to process in Photoshop.

Cheers to having too many, than not enough!

Blessings – Debbie

Splish Splash

We’ve had more fun on these rainy days. And there is no such thing as letting this bring us down. The hubs and I had another wonderful day. We went shopping, out to lunch and then we took a moment to run over to the mall to check out an item in the Apple Store.

We also brought in some wood from our big stash out back, as we plan to throw the logs on the fire and stay nice and warm the rest of the evening.

But it was the break in the rain that allowed me to get out and shoot. Originally I wanted to shoot single drops of water, but we could not come up with a solid plan for that.

So my next idea was to drop a lime into a (small juice) glass full of water.


But I needed a helping hand. So the hubs gladly gave his time to continue dropping the lime.

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As soon as it hit the bottom, he reached down in, rescued the lime, filled the glass with water and proceeded to do the whole thing all over again.


 Talk about me getting my kicks, there are no words.


Over and over we played.


as each and every splash is different than the last.


That’s what made this so much fun.


Splishin’ and a splashin’

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It’s hard to put into words the joy that came from this little project.

Have you any idea how I wish I had yet another hand? I believe I could do this all day long and never get bored.


We stopped playing as soon as we felt more raindrops.

I believe I should have at least one shot to make the cut for my homework assignment.

Question: If you are reading this, do you have a favorite? Any suggestions are much appreciated. It’s difficult for me to narrow it down to just one.

Thanks in advance!

Blessings – Debbie

Friday Reflections

My shot of the day turned out to be this leaf just outside the door. It was looking rather forlorn on this peaceful rainy day. This is the shot that spoke to me. And I like that there is beauty on such a rainy day.


I have ideas rolling around in my head. Ideas that the hubs is working on to help me create the perfect set-up such that I can take the shot I want to capture.

We went to sleep on it last night. We are still brainstorming on how we can pull this off. Leave it to us, I’m sure between the both of us we will surely find a way.

In the meantime, I’m thinking up different mundane things to turn into a masterpiece. I just need two shots for the project. And here I’ve taken 500 + shots in the last couple of days. Surely I have enough, but I want more! After all, I have until the 13th of February to complete the assignment.

I read something the other day. I can’t remember who said it, but it stuck. When a photographer was asked the question “what is the best shot you’ve ever taken” his answer “my very next shot”. My wish is to never stop growing, to never stop learning and to never lose the passion that grows deep within. I want my next shot to be better than the last too.

As far as today goes, the hubs took off work to spend the day with me. He’s working from home a little + he asked me out for a lunch date. Makes my day and weekend brighter when I get to have a little more quality time with him.

On that note, I’m off to spend the rest of my day with the hubs.

Blessings – Debbie

First Day of Homework

Good afternoon! Its been a day of homework for me. I’m just happy when I talk about homework, that it feels more like playtime. As I’m doing something I love.

Our day started off with a nice rain shower.

And I thought it was in my best interest to start working on my Masterpiece Assignment.

So I practiced with the rain.


During the rain, I was thinking about something else (mundane) around the house that I could use for the masterpiece assignment.

And that is when the fruit hit me. I thought of oranges, limes and lemons. My how they would make a nice colorful masterpiece.

Then I thought, how shall I display them.

So I searched high and low and as I looked up on the very top shelf of one of the cabinets, this cake plate said “pick me”! So I did.

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This assignment is far from finished. I have yet to apply the Photoshop requirements to get a good grade.

But for now, I’m just shooting around while I figure out what I want to use.

I have a while to work on the assignment as it’s not due until Feb 13th.

I also have an assignment to read the first two chapters of my Photoshop book. I can’t get over how much I learned from reading today.

They say “you learn something new every day.” Well I can’t begin to tell you all the cool stuff I learned, just today alone. Cheers to learning and a brand new semester.

Blessings – Debbie

A Masterpiece From the Mundane

It’s the first day of school this spring semester and I’m sitting on the edge of my seat with  anticipation of all the things we will learn.


We covered a lot of ground in the three hour class, but I can only begin to imagine the ground we will cover by the end of the semester. I’m so excited!


Professor Bob, I like that he is a no guff sort of guy. He laid out the ground rules for the class and emphasized the manner in which he expects students to be respectful in his class. That starts with the golden rule of no cell phone use in the class. After one reminder, he stated that he would show that student to the door.

In reading over the Expectations…Class Rules, I got tickled when I read “Dear students, I know when you are texting in class. Seriously, no one looks down at their crotch and smiles…”

We got our very first assignment today. It’s a bit more detailed than just taking shots like last semester.

Photography assignment titled A Masterpiece From The Mundane: Around your house

Home can be a place of refuge and relaxation. Maybe it is a place of tension. Is home a place of creative seeing? Many times we do not look at our places of familiarity with the eye of a photographer. This assignment is to turn your eye toward the mundane, familiar and often overlooked potential of your home space. Use your photographic vision to transcend the ordinary and create something special from your common place.

He has a list of requirements that he expects us to perform in Photoshop as all images need to be shot in RAW and each photo must be adjusted to his standards. Each photo we present during critique, will be graded on the criteria as seen below.

  • Image
  • Concept
  • Presentation
  • Structure
  • Focus
  • Print Quality
  • Evocative
  • Craftsmanship
  • RAW
  • Follow Photoshop Directions

My wheels are already turning as I’m beginning to brainstorm about the masterpiece I get to find around the home. Actually, we will be presenting in class two matted pictures as well as a total of 40 shots total on contact sheets. Professor Bob said it can be anything from indoors to our yards. Should be fun!

And with that, I’m off to create a masterpiece.

I leave you with the shot I took while making the hubs lunch. My favorite way (for years) to leave a note for my hubby. I took this shot to remember what I said on the first day of my class. He deserves much more than a Thank You. And I really do appreciate his support behind my passion. I’m one blessed lady.


Blessings – Debbie

I’m Learning

One thing I do know is this. Photography is a work in progress. And I’m learning something new each day.


I took a boat load of pix over the holidays of family and friends. But some of the picture quality is not what I had hoped for.


So today I took myself out in the light and shot from several locations.


 And I found first hand that shade is my friend in the bright light.


 And I learned that facing the light source is also my friend.


And since I was in the shade And facing the light source, I was able to open my eyes without so much as a squint.


I see so many of my photography buddies out there (in my blog world) who use their children/family as subjects to practice on, but I’ll be using myself as I study and learn more about lighting.


So bear with me while I post and learn.


As I look to the future, I’m excited to think about all the stuff I get to add to what I already know.


I’m also excited that our spring semester classes start today. I’m looking forward to making some major improvements this year.


These shots did not require editing in photoshop. I tell you, lighting and position make all the difference in the world.

Blessings – Debbie

My Lenses are Failing

My lenses are failing and I’m not talking about my camera lens.

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I’m talking about my progressive lenses.


With all the photography processing that I got wrapped up in, I discovered my progressives were not able to keep up with me and my computer.

And I realize I’m getting a little older. I realize my eyes continue to fail. And for the first time, I got a pain in the neck from doing too much work on the computer.

Sitting on the computer for hours at a time, I realized for the first time that I have to tilt my head back to use the lower portion of my frames to be able to see the monitor.

Little did I know that could cause such pain. So much so, that for the last three nights I have not been able to use a  pillow.

And the only comfort I could get in the night was to sleep on my back with my head on the mattress.

And the last two days the pain in my neck was a constant nagging pain. I hated complaining to the hubs, but he could tell I was suffering. And all weekend long he continued to try to make me comfortable as best as he knew how.

But the sun did shine down on me today. While I can still feel pain when touching the area, I would have to say I’m 95% better.

Per the hubs request – I made an appointment with the optometrist this morning. The cool thing is this. When I arrived, he already knew my style and had a selection of frames pulled out just for me to get started. Turns out, I fell in love with his #1 pick.

How awesome is it going to be to have a pair of lenses such that I can work as many hours as needed on the computer? Epic, I declare, it’s going to be epic!

Blessings – Debbie

Family Memories

While moments build memories, pictures capture those moments and they will forever be stamped in time. Makes me wish I had taken more pictures, but I’m thankful for the ones we do have.

Christmas spent with family = priceless.


And taking family pictures turns out to be a lot of fun. This is our “normal” family and that makes me happy.


My Pop, he’s the kind of guy who can do just about anything. He’s good at what he does and doing something half way would never occur to him. He’s taught me a lot and I do take after him in many ways. I’m known to be a “little” fussy when it comes to some things. I wonder who I got that from?


I come from a family who loves to laugh. And there will always be someone to fill the bill, like my nephew. Who by the way, takes after his father, aka my brother who takes after our pop.


Niece and nephew


Are they cute or what?


He’s a charmer no doubt. And I love his funny side.


My little brother with his family. We missed their other daughter (she’s out of the country doing her calling.)


My brother and his beautiful wife. We truly enjoyed our visit with them.


Nephew using his sister for some added weight for his squats.


Having fun…




A lot of air.


And I leave with this black and white of my niece and nephew


While we enjoyed our holidays with family, it came to an end. It was time to pack up our stuff in “Sunny South Florida” and head to “Sunny Southern California.”

We’ve finally settled down after our trip and we’re getting back into the swing of things. While 2013 is well underway, I’m thankful for the wonderful times and memories we made.

Blessings – Debbie

Finding Me

Is it me? The cap. These caps (the name of them slips my mind) are so in style and my photography friend Sarah (here in San Diego) has one on at all times. But the question remains, is it me?


So the nephew flew out this morning and I needed a moment to find me. A time to get away from house and home for just a bit as I felt the need to spread my wings.

And Seaport Village was just the place to fill that order.

Apparently Seaport Village is still in the Holiday Spirit. I’m not so sure what to think about that. But I enjoyed the day and view no less.


Restaurants were busy with customers and what a lovely day to sit on the patio while taking in the harbor views.


And that is exactly what my girlfriend and I did over a nice 2 hour lunch and visit. We sat next to the harbor taking everything in.

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I also enjoyed just shooting at this and that, while strolling thru the Village.

The coastal wind chimes were fun to snap.


And the day would not be complete if I didn’t stop to enjoy the flowers.


And as I look back over the day, I found me in peaceful paradise and it proved to be a wonderful discovery.

Now it’s time for the hubs to walk thru the door and spend the remains of the week with me. Cheers to tomorrow being his Friday off. I’m really looking forward to it.

Blessings – Debbie

Beauty Is Only Skin Deep

So the nephew picked up this box of beautiful looking clementines. They are just ok for me, nothing special, other than how beautiful they are to look at.


When the nephew tasted of the real fruit hanging from our trees, he decided to snub his fresh box of fruit. In fact, he announced this morning that the oranges from our trees are amazing after an early morning hike. He proclaimed with conviction as tho I needed convincing. I just smiled and said, “I’m so happy you are enjoying the fruit.” He wasn’t up early enough to know I already had 2 myself.


With plenty of fruit to go around, so much so that it’s rotting before we can get to it all.


It almost seems a shame that these beautiful guys are going to rot in the trash. If I didn’t know better, I would say this is a tasty box of fruit. But I know better, and the nephew will never buy another orange, so long as he is visiting with us.


It’s true, sometimes all you have to do is peel a little to learn a little.

Blessings – Debbie

X 2

Good Morning and Good Day! I hope all is going well with you wherever you may be.

There are days where it may seem I’m going in reverse. It may not only appear I’m in reverse, but indeed I am.

I had plans to finish the photo editing of our nephews wedding on Monday, this week. But if you were around, you see I went to the beach instead.

But finally I’m able to put the wedding photos behind me as I wrapped them up and will have my snaps off to the bride and groom soon.

So the blog title is x 2, that’s because I’m having a difficult time figuring out if I like the color on some of these shots over the black and white. And because I could not decide, I’m posting x 2 for you too.

One of my favorite shots of this cutie patootie…

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The hubs brother with his wife and their four boys, grandson, and two daughter-in-laws within the last 6 months! They have such a beautiful family.

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Nephew and his bride – I love the sweetness…

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I have no clue who this little darling is. She in all her cuteness attended our nephews wedding.

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X 2 – One of my favorite shots of the day.

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What a happy family.

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Cheers to getting caught up little by little. And while I’m still posting here and there in the New Year, I still have a little more editing from Christmas last year. So indeed, I will be going in reverse (here and there) for maybe another week or so?

Thanks for stopping by and my wish for you is that you are a step or two ahead of me. I’m getting there…

Blessings – Debbie

I’m Not Doing It

Those were my words yesterday when I came face to face with the job I planned to do.

And that in and of itself is quite shocking. Is it old age that changed me? What is it that caused me to dump my job? I really don’t know. Even the hubs was shocked. I can’t begin to put a finger on it. But I do know this about me. It’s hard to press forward with anything when something else takes up residence on my plate. While I’m shocked I put my foot down, I’m happy I took the day to just breathe in peace and paradise.

So on a whim, I asked my nephew his thoughts on going to the beach. And within seconds, we were in the car with our noses pointed in the direction of the deep blue sea.

Upon arriving, we walked out to the end of this pier. And the only camera I had in tow was my trusty cell phone. In fact, my cell was the only thing I had on hand, as my nephew offered to drive. So I had no purse, car keys or anything to tie me down.

Right after I took this shot, he asked if we could walk all the way out there to the cliffs. Sure thing, was my reply.


It was a beautiful day to let go and reflect.


A portion of the pier at low-tide.


Nephew under the pier.


Under the pier


Looking back on how far we had already walked. In fact, this shot does not include where we started.


See the large building in this shot to the far right? Our start line was even further out than that.


Looking ahead, we really climbed over these rocks and made it past that curve (up ahead) and nearly to the end. We wanted to reach the tip, but the rock and hike proved to be a bit overwhelming the closer we got to the end. My nephew suggested we turn around, as I had a couple of close calls (slipping and nearly falling) so we did. He kept saying “step on the big rocks, they don’t move so much.” I must be a slow learner.


 From large rock to smaller rock, we made our way back.


I’m happy he was just as eager to get out of the house as me.


Soaking in the beauty


A journey begins with the first step, I’m glad we took that step.


Ah, finally back to a nice beach where he could slip off his shoes and socks.


From here, we walked another mile or two without having to deal with walking on rock.

He is really good at skipping rocks and I am really good at pulling out the cell phone to capture the moments.


The nephew mentioned staying until sunset or even having dinner at one of the restaurants dotted along the beach. But I could not find it in me to hang at the beach with him, when I wanted to spend the evening with the hubs. So we headed back home.

Surprisingly, the hubs called to see if I would be up for a dinner date last evening and could I be ready to meet up with him in 15 min. 15 min? Not a problem, I’ll be ready!

While sitting over dinner, the hubs asked “how was your day?” It was a fly by the seat of my pants kind of day, all the way down to my last min date with the hubs, and I loved every min of it. And then after dinner, he treated me to Cold Stone for our sweet tooth.

There are times when flying by the seat of our pants is freeing. The liberty to let ourselves go with the flow can be rewarding when we put our foot down and say I’m not doing it, not today.

Blessings – Debbie

My Happy Place

It’s the place where I find peace.

One of my happy places is when I’m alone with my camera. There is something about being behind the lens, viewing the world in the direction I want to see it.

There is no other way to describe it other than my Happy Place.

It’s autumn for our sweetgum tree.

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While pine needles fall year-round, I was in the mood to snap an unusual shot. Pine needles atop the fire pit.


These leaves, while vibrant and beautiful, don’t have much time to hold on.


After our huge windstorm the other night, it created such a mess. But I like this unexpected shot of beautiful fallen leaves as the colorful backdrop for this rose.

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And just for today. I’m thankful I got to spend it with the hubs. And for the nice extra special date we had. And I’m thankful that the special moments I get to spend with him each day are the moments I’m in my Peaceful Happy Place.

Until next time, keep smiling and be Happy!

Blessings – Debbie