Wildfire, 1 Year Later

Nearly a year ago, a brush fire whipped through our extended backyard.  They called it the “Springs” fire and burned straight through the valleys we hike straight to the ocean we surf.  I happened to be in one of the burn areas this morning and thought I’d share how it’s coming back compared to some of the images I shot last year during and just after the fire.

Last year…during an just a few days after the fire…

This year…

Filters to Film Packs

Lately I’ve been shooting on my iPhone 5 more than anything else.  This is mostly because it’s the camera I have with me when I walk the dog and am out and about.  I’m really starting to love the filter affects achieved with the Hipstamatic App.  The contrast and rich color makes me want to shoot everything with filters, but I’m really missing the clarity and higher quality photo I get with my “real” camera.  (My “real camera” is a Nikon D7000, which isn’t even full frame, but it’s still a few cuts above my iPhone.)

I had spied a new portrait location on my way home the other day and couldn’t wait to take my daughter out to test it.

Here’s a few shots from my iPhone:

I was pretty thrilled with these and couldn’t wait to upload the images from my Nikon.  I pulled the memory card out and waited the eleven agonizing minutes for the files to upload and import into Lightroom and…


They were flat.  Yes, the photo quality was clearly better, but none of the richness I was looking for was there.  I played with the sliders for a while to try to create a similar result to the Hipstamatic settings, but it wasn’t working.  I was so frustrated, I knew it was time.

The next morning I purchased and downloaded the VSCO film pack #4–slide film.  I chose to start with this one because I really like when colors pop–and I knew I would get the color richness I was looking for with the films in the pack.  Here are some shots off my Nikon done at the same time applying the film processing tools in VSCO 4.  I’m pretty happy with the results–I think they are cleaner and more realistic than the iPhone shots and can’t wait to purchase the VSCO 5 pack next month.   See more from this session here.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument

Even though it’s Spring Break, the nature of my husband’s work means we are pretty homebound this week.  This meant I wouldn’t be in the vicinity of any monuments for shooting something in the literal sense of this week’s theme.   So, I looked up the etymology of monument and found it to stem from the root monere–to remind, also to warn or advise.

One could argue, photography is monumental by it’s very nature.  Especially portrait photography.  It’s a way we share our memories, revisit good times and loved ones past on.  Photographs document our lives and bring life to our personal legacies.

In that spirit, here is a photo of my daughter in one of her favorite places:  up a tree.  Even though she’s quickly becoming an adult, I will forever remember her dauntless spirit anytime I see a climbable tree.



Pucker, Peel, & Split

This was one of those times when I was glad I’d charged my phone.

I needed to get my dog out for a quick 20-minute walk. It was on this walk when I noticed the bark of a tree rippling with texture. I had to stop. My dog sniffed around my feet as I shot this series with my iPhone 5 using Hipstamatic.

I’m headed back with my real camera hopefully later this afternoon.









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