Life, Lemons and Southern Tea

Sweet Southern Tea - With Lemons

Sweet Southern Tea – With Lemons

Life, lemons, sweet tea and a southern girl. . . with the heat index over 100 degrees, I am enjoying my sweet ice tea, with lemons of course!

Yes, in the South we use hot water to make the tea, then cool it down with ice.  Sweeten it a good amount, and then add lemons for a bit of tartness.

Many times you plan for something to go one way only to have it turn out completely different than you expected.  The choice is to add a bit of sweetener and to use the lemons to your advantage.  A bit sweet, a bit tart, life is full of both flavors.

After shooting this image, I have a lot of respect for those who photograph food.

In my case, all the items in this image were real, not artificial props.  The sweet tea had been refrigerated, but the ice still melted quickly.  It took several tries and several glasses of tea to make this image.

Thanks for stopping by and taking “A Second Look”.  More images available at http://www.stephaniehalstead.com.

Advertisements

Taste and See

I just returned home from the natural candy store.  Yes, I am referring to the local produce market.

Surrounded by the vast array of colors, shapes, and textures my creative spirit goes into overdrive. Unfortunately, on more than one occasion, this has resulted in more fresh fruits and vegetables than we can store and eat before it spoils!   I did better this morning.  Bought just the right amount, although I confess I wanted one of everything in sight!  Some of my friends just look at me and shake their heads when I tell them how the beauty at the produce store excites me.

Taste-and-See

Taste and See

“Use glass, mirrors, and other reflective surfaces for a fun way to experiment when taking pictures.”  For day seventeen in the Photo101 course sponsored by WordPress, I chose to use a mirror underneath this pear.  This image also illustrates my love of macro photography.

The green background is a piece of burlap fabric.  A shallow depth of field directs the eye to the star of this image, a beautiful pear.  A few drops of water slowly roll down to the mirror.

Growing up there were certain foods I didn’t like, sometimes because of the look or smell.  It did not matter how often my family told me it was delicious.  Not until I actually tasted the food, was I was convinced it was good.  Psalm 34:8 reminds me that I personally can taste and see God’s goodness when I take initiative to investigate Him and open my heart to Him.

Thanks for taking “A Second Look”  Look for more images of fruits and vegetables at http://www.stephaniehalstead.com.  Cherries, blueberries, apples, pumpkins, gourds and strawberries are on display there now.  

Landscapes – The Setting is the Star

“Landscapes generally focus on wide, vast depictions of nature and all of its elements, from formations to weather. In this genre of photography, you won’t find much of a human presence: nature itself is the subject. A focus on nature isn’t mandatory, however — you can capture a sweeping panorama of an entire city, town, or industrial area.”

The challenge for day fifteen of the Photo101 course: “Snap a picture of a landscape.  Focus on the gestalt — the entire setting as a whole rather than a specific subject or focal point within the scene. The setting itself is the star.”

Sugar-White-Beach-of-FL-Panhandle

Northwest Florida

The sugar fine white beaches of Northwest Florida are the best!  Sea oats catch the golden sunlight.  The sand was undisturbed yet, showing no sign of  human footprints.

This area is also called the Emerald Coast.  You can see why!  Snapped this image while standing at the top of the Destin Bridge.  I could see all the way to the bottom.  The patterns in the sand beneath the water were a form of art themselves.

From-the-top-of-Destin-Bridge

Florida’s Emerald Coast

One of the reasons I share my photography is to showcase the beauty God has created.  His art is everywhere.  My hope is that the images God has shown me will help you to slow down and take “A Second Look” in the midst of your busy lives.  Thanks for stopping by and letting me share with you.  More images are available at http://www.stephaniehalstead.com.

Postcards from the Beach

Have you ever wished you could freeze those special moments in time?  Wouldn’t it be great to play them over and over with the same clarity as when each one happened?  Those moments are fleeting.  Often, it is these small moments, this motion, that we love to document in photographs.

If you have looked at much of this blog, by now you know I like photographing the beach, especially the Gulf of Mexico.  Here are a few moments of motion I captured.  Consider these as postcards of the beach from me to you.

Surfing

Surf, Gulf of Mexico

Here is one of a young man in the edge of the surf.  Yes, the water really was this color of green.

Waters-Edge

Water’s Edge, Ripples in the Gulf of Mexico

Ripples in the water’s edge are so fun to walk through on a hot day.  It is a momentary work of art.

Taking-Flight

Taking Flight

I followed the bird with my camera, keeping it in focus and forgetting about the background.  This is called panning.  Notice the bird’s back foot.  It took only a few seconds for this bird to start flying.

Today’s assignment (day thirteen) for the Photo101 course was “Moment and Motion.”  Hope you enjoyed these postcards from the beach.  More beach photography is available at http://www.stephaniehalstead.com.  Thanks for taking “A Second Look.”

Day Twelve: Architecture and Monochrome

Pictured here is an external hallway at the Flagler Museum in St. Augustine, Florida.  Notice how the design elements of arches and light fixtures are repeated numerous times.  The symmetry gives both structure and creates beauty.  The eye and brain like repeated elements.

Flagler-Museum-Arches

Arches at Flagler Museum in St. Augustine, Florida

The following text is from the lesson assignment.  It explains it much better than I can, since this type of photography is still very new to me.

“Geometric patterns on skyscrapers to the ironwork on historical buildings, there are many opportunities to capture the beauty and complexity of architecture.

Black and white, or monochrome can be very dramatic!  Black, white, gray, and shades in between interact in dynamic ways.

When we talk about monochrome in photography, we’re referring to images developed or executed in black and white or in varying tones of only one color.

Train your eye to look for architectural elements that translate in black and white: sharp lines and patterns, defined shapes, large surface areas, and a mix of very light and very dark colors.” 

I like to look at these type of images, but rarely shoot them.  Sounds like another opportunity to try something new, to take some risks, to learn and to expand my horizons.

Thanks for taking “A Second Look”.  http://www.stephaniehalstead.com

“Do One Thing a Day That Scares You”

Sunflower-Pot

Sunflower Pot

I read or heard that advice somewhere last week.  Don’t remember where or even who said it.  Possibly it was Eleanor Roosevelt.

Sometimes, it is doing things I am scared of doing.   More often, it is stepping outside the box of what I am comfortable doing.  It means being proactive and taking risks, some big, some small.

It is stretching and invigorating, at the same time. Some things I try do not turn out well.  Some do.  The results are often a surprise.

Day Eleven in Photo101 class was to shoot an image with a pop of color.  Instructors challenged us to choose one bold color against a neutral background, instead of several colors competing for attention in a scene.

I do so enjoy colors, lots of them, and usually together!  Neutral backgrounds are not what I gravitate toward. The exception would be when I use a black velvet background to make the colors and details of a flower “pop”.

Decided to try something different for this sunflower.  The flower pot I bought at a yard sale.  Love all the texture in it.  Paler background, more texture, and fewer colors, not my usual flower photo.  Glad I tried something new!

Thanks for taking “A Second Look”.  More images available at http://www.stephaniehalstead.com.

Two Faces, Two Different Lights

Mystery-Lady

Mystery Lady

Photography means “drawing with light”.

Whenever you or I snap a photo with our phone, camera or tablet, we use and record light to create an image.

A photograph can create a certain mood.  It can communicate an idea transcending its subject.

It has been a busy week, so I decided to combine assignments for Days 9 and 10 of the Photo101 WordPress course.  I wanted to share two images of the same person.  One person, but two different faces shown. The combination of the two in one post shows the difference the type and quality of lighting makes.  The mood of each photo is very different.

The black and white “Mystery Lady” image captures a sense of mystery (day 10).

Sunshine-Girl

Sunshine Girl

Day nine’s assignment was to make an image that showed warmth.

The second image, “Sunshine Girl” was taken outside in the bright sunlight.  The model held a reflector to bounce light onto her face.  Without the reflector her face would have been in deep shadows. The sun was high overhead and the day was very bright.

Thanks for taking “A Second Look”.  More images available at http://www.stephaniehalstead.com.