Phoneography Challenge: Architecture



The fourth Monday of every month is Challenger’s Choice at Lens and Pens by Sally. This is my first submission in Architecture.  Our pier in Huntington Beach is usually packed with people taking pictures both above and below.  It’s iconic in our community.  Besides being beautiful and fun to photograph the pier is truly a beautiful work of architecture.  Standing under it at sunrise or sunset is magical.  The water creates these wonderful reflections on the wet sand. I love the way the columns form lanes extending out into the ocean and depending on where you stand on the beach the light, the depth and the waves look completely different.




30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

Great list for anyone interested in improving their life.

Pearls and Paris

I found this article on LifeBuzz & it is a MUST read:

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself.

Marc and Angel, two passionate writers, life-hackers and “admirers of the human spirit,” have come up with an amazing list of 30 things to stop doing to yourself. If you like their list, make sure you check out their site and sign up to their amazing newsletter.

#1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth.  And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your…

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Friday Find: Slow Shutter Cam

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I took this photo with my iPhone5 using the Slow Shutter Cam app.

This app is fun to experiment with, but the controls are limiting and in many cases automatic.  If you want to get great long exposure photos use a DSLR.  I think it’s fun to experiment and sometimes I don’t want to deal with the process of using a DSLR.  This app is a good alternative.

I used a tripod which is essential for taking long exposure photos.  Within slow shutter cam you can control the exposure time, but the app automatically adjusts focal length and f-stop. You can see how it blurred out the water movement using the motion blur feature.  I chose a strong motion blur.  There are other capture modes of light trail and low light.  I found it best to just experiment with these to see what they do because their titles aren’t helpful.  Trial and error worked for me.

I edited the photo using Snapseed. The original colors were muted and I wanted it to be vibrant. I also brought up some of the shadow detail so you can see the glow on the rocks.

Slow Shutter Cam is available through iTunes for $1.99.  It’s a great app for the money and if you like to experiment it’s lots of fun.





Redwoods in Orange County?

Redwood Grove in Brea, California

Redwood Grove in Brea, California

My love affair with trees started as a kid growing up in the Pacific Northwest.  I grew up camping and hiking in the national forests of Oregon.  I love the fresh clean air, shade and endless trails the forest provides.  When I found out there was a small grove of Redwoods here in Orange County I had to go see them for myself.

The trees are in Brea, California inside Carbon Canyon Regional Park. The trail isn’t what I would consider a hike, but it is an easy walk well worth doing to see the trees.  The paths are well maintained and good for all skill levels and young children.  In the middle of this dry, dusty canyon rises a small grove of beautiful sequoia trees.  I took the photo above from the hillside using a wide-angle lens to show the size of the trees and the terrain outside the grove.  The surrounding landscape is dry and the plant life appears dead except for a few struggling cacti.

The moment I stepped into the grove I noticed a dramatic difference.  The air was much cooler and the trail became damp and even muddy in some areas.  The air was fresh and sweet too.  The day I went there was a nice breeze and it felt wonderful after the dusty walk to get there.  I could have spent all day under these big beauties.

The story behind the grove is interesting.  According to the park’s Nature Center, in 1975 coastal redwood seedlings were given away as part of a promotion from a local bank.  After the promotion ended, the bank still had 600 seedlings.  The bank donated them to the Fullerton College agricultural center.  Later the college donated them to the county.  The trees were planted, and the redwood grove was born.  Since being planted, many of the trees have grown to over 100 feet.  Although I’m not a tree expert, the trees seem to be too close together to grow to their full height of 400 feet.  Many of them are struggling to survive and there is a large amount of dead underbrush, but this may just be part of the drought we’re experiencing in California.

If you need to beat the heat or just need a change of scenery I would recommend this trail.


Phonegraphy Challenge: Black and White

B&W Daisy


The challenge this week was a choice of either black and white or winter.

February in Southern California is spring no matter what the calendar says so I chose black and white.

I love the way these daisies look in black and white.

 I added light to the first one using an led light which gives it a softer, more delicate look.

I shot both photos in color then converted them to black and white using Photoshop.


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Everyday I read about people who are creating great products or doing some really fun things. On Friday’s I share my favorites. Today, it’s Everest.

Everest is an online company that inspires you to live your dreams and achieve your personal goals.  I love their attitude and their tag line: Everyone’s got their Everest. We help you climb yours.  I don’t know about you, but I could use some encouragement when it comes to my dreams and goals.

One feature I like about Everest is they encourage you to capture moments (i.e. photos) as you chase your dreams. The idea is to inspire others with photos of you accomplishing your goals. They believe that through social engagement we’ll be more motivated to achieve our goals. I’ve done this with other apps and it does work for me. Accountability helps keep me on track.

The App has a feed of public challenges for you to choose from or you can create your own. I’ve included a few below.

Everest MenuI picked Get Out of Your Comfort Zone as my first “dream” along with 113 other people.  There are only seven steps so I have a shot at actually accomplishing it!

Everest challenge

Here are the steps:

Everest stepsI’m planning to start tomorrow that’s why there’s been no progress.  Does that sound like procrastination?  Maybe that should be my next challenge.

Check it out and if you sign up, let me know what you choose.  In the interest of full disclosure, the app isn’t perfect.  It’s new and there are some bugs that need to be fixed, but give it shot and see if it helps you accomplish your goals.

We can succeed together. 😉

A Word A Week Challenge: Violet

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One of the things I love about living at the beach is the color of the light.

 Every day is a new opportunity to capture the color of the sky as the sun rises or sets.

Sometimes the moon is setting while the sun is rising as in the photo above.

Posted as part of Sue’s A Word A Week:  Violet.