Thursday, June 30, 2011

Poe-a-tree Blog Event

Welcome to the Poe-a-tree Blog Event sponsored by Roy Durham. Here's the idea behind the Poe-a-tree Blog: Each blogger will post a verse to the poem topic and the links to the other participating blogs. Sounds like fun.

Per Roy, the theme of the poem is: “I am standing on a beach looking out to the horizon, what are my thoughts”. “What do I see, what do I feel, what is calling to me.” These are the questions to ask yourself and then write a verse. As many lines as you feel like. 

Melissa Tandoc has the post position just prior to me, and Jan Neel is just after me. We didn't collaborate so let's see how this goes!

Here's my contribution and the links to all participants is below my post. Hope you enjoy all the posts and please leave comments for everyone as you view this adventure in Poe-a-tree!

I pause at the ocean’s edge 
Open to my fate
The horizon looks unreachable
And totally unbreachable
Should I swim out and trust in fate 
Are you my gentle wave or my riptide

Clara Garza
Sue Larson
Melissa Tandoc
Mari Sterling Wilbur
Jan Neel
Megan Johnson
Sulekkha Rawat
Roy Durham

Digital art copyright: Mari Sterling Wilbur Photographs

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Leading Lines

Keith Wilbur is our guest photographer today. All images are by Keith who has a natural eye for photography. Check out more of his photos using the link below. Thank you, Keith, for allowing me to use your images in my post.

Today's post discusses leading lines, another form of photographic composition.

Below, the sun forms a line on the water drawing us into the image, straight to the dock, mountains and clouds. Our eyes are lifted up into the photo to a beautiful view.

The shape and direction of strong lines create powerful images. The lines created by the rise and fall of rolling hills or tanned bodies lying on the beach are sensuous. Tall buildings or columns, stair steps or bridges are stable and formal.

There are many different types of lines we can use in our photographic compositions: straight, diagonal, curvy, zigzag, and circular. Each can be used to improve our photo's composition.

Below, the pylons lead our eye into the photo, through the fog to the sailboat moored in the distance.

Looking at a photo containing strong lines naturally draws our eye along them. Think about how you place lines in your photo and you can affect the way the image is seen. The viewer can be pulled toward the subject, through the scene or into the picture.

Lines pulling us diagonally from the corners of the photo make a strong composition.

One of the most common and graceful lines used in composition is called the S curve. Below the river forms an S curve and draws our eye to the truck on the highway.


The undulating lines of the country road draw the eye into the image. The road disappears around a bend into the trees inviting us in.

Lines have many uses in a photograph. They can unify, divide, or accent a composition. If they are interesting enough, they can become the subject of the image themselves. 

View more wonderful photos by Keith 

I'd love to have more guest photographers! Leave me a comment in a comment box below if you are interested. Submit from 1 to 7 photos per post. Have some fun. Copyright remains in your possession. 

Links to other posts on composition:
And Matt Considine's informative guest post : Capturing a Satisfying Image

Don't forget - post a photo with your comment below if you are so inclined. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Stylish Bloggers Award

Wan, from Cooking Varieties, has awarded my blog with the Stylish Blogger Award. What an honor! 

I'm to tell you 7 things about myself and give this award to 7 other bloggers. 

 My birthday is on Halloween, the night for full moons, ghosts and goblins

I love zombie movies!

I live near Puget Sound in the State of Washington

In the country

I love to sail

And ride my horse, Mica

And I'd love to own a really fast car!

Digital art and photos by Mari Sterling Wilbur Photographs

I love trying new and different foods and Wan at Cooking Varieties Blog offers wonderful and tasty recipes. Be sure and take a look at her blog and try her recipes.

Now to name 7 other blogs that I love:

Aaron Outward
Alfandi's Photo Ramblings
Climb To Nowhere
Cruise Pictures
Erin Is Love
Raising Amelie

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fiery sensuality and eroticism...

This weeks post is part of the Blog-A-licious Blog Tour organized by Pandora Poikilos. The theme for June 18 is “The Book that Inspires Me The Most” .  

After much deliberation I chose Love Poems by Pablo Neruda.

Pablo Neruda’s poems are charged with fiery sensuality and eroticism. His words create passionate images of love and loss.

As a photographer and digital artist this book is my favorite “go to” book when I’m creating digital art.  His words inspire my creative juices and motivate me to produce some of my finest digital art. I hope you enjoy his poetry and my digital art both:

The Queen (La Reina)

I have named you queen.
There are taller than you, taller.
There are purer than you, purer.
There are lovelier than you, lovelier.
But you are the queen.

When you go through the streets
No one recognizes you.
No one sees your crystal crown, no one looks
At the carpet of red gold
That you tread as you pass,
The nonexistent carpet.

And when you appear
All the rivers sound
In my body, bells
Shake the sky,
And a hymn fills the world.
Only you and I,
Only you and I, my love,
Listen to me.

The Dream (El Sueño)

Walking on the sands
I decided to leave you.
I was treading a dark clay
that trembled
and I, sinking and coming out
decided that, you should come out
of me, that you were weighing me down
like a cutting stone,
and I worked out your loss
step by step:
to cut off your roots,
to release you alone into the wind.

Ah in that minute,
my dear, a dream
with its terrible wings
was covering you.

You felt yourself swallowed by the clay,
and you called to me, and I did not come,
you were going, motionless,
without defending yourself
until you were smothered in the quicksand.

Afterwards my decision encountered in your dream,
and from the rupture,
that was breaking our hearts
we came forth clean again, naked,
loving each other
without dream, without sand,
complete and radiant,
sealed by fire.

Night On The Island (Noche En La Isla)

All night I have slept with you
next to the sea, on the island.
Wild and sweet you were between pleasure and sleep,
between fire and water.

Perhaps very late
our dreams joined
at the bottom,
up above like branches moved by a common wind,
down below like red roots that touch.

Perhaps your dream
drifted from mine
and through the dark sea
was seeking me
as before,
when you did not yet exist,
when without sighting you
I sailed by your side,
and your eyes sought
what now –
bread, wine, love, and anger –
I heap upon you
because you are the cup
that was waiting for the gifts of my life.

I have slept with you
all night long while
the dark earth spins
with the living and the dead,
and on waking suddenly
in the midst of the shadow
my arm encircled your waist
neither night nor sleep
could separate us.

I have slept with you
and on waking, your mouth,
come from your dream,
gave me the taste of earth,
of sea water, of seaweed,
of the depths of your life,
and I received your kiss
moistened by the dawn
as if it came to me
from the sea that surrounds us.

Choosing one book was extremely difficult - I'm an avid reader and love a variety of subjects. Thank you for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed my post. If you like what you see and are interested in weekly photography tips please sign up to follow me and subscribe via email.

I am honored to be part of the tour along with 16 amazing blogs. I've listed links to this weeks other participants below.  I encourage you to visit them all. 

1. Roy -
2. Sulekha -
3. Dora -
4. Shaeeza -
5. Mari -
6. Paula -
7. Karen -
8. Keiko -
9. Catherine -
10. Kate & Ashley -
11. Desiree -
12. Sonia -
13. DK Levick -
14. Kelley -
15. Tosh -
16. Lucy -
17. Dora -

Thank you kk for your original creative commons models for me to create from. You know how much I appreciate your sharing your work!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Frame your subject

One of the easier compositional techniques in photography is the use of framing your subject, in your photo, using elements in the scene. This is one more tool in your arsenal of compositional techniques.

Framing draws the viewer’s eye to the main subject and provides more depth to the picture. The result is an image which draws your eye naturally to the main point of interest. Framing often intrigues the viewer and causes them to linger on your image. Framing can offer context of who, what, when and where your photo was taken.

In the photo below the Robin in the birdbath is my main subject. The flower pots, flowers and small statue in front draw your eye in and up to the splashing bird.

Frames in photographs can include using anything from windows, trees, tunnels, arches or doorways. Use your imagination – take advantage of serendipitous opportunities. Don’t limit yourself, experiment.

Framed by trees:

Look over the bike's seat and the helmet for a nice ocean view. 

Photo credit John Sterling Jr.

Shooting through the dead grass framed the new bikes parked at the abandoned gas station. I love the contrast here between new and old.

Photo credit John Sterling Jr.

Framing can give your image the feeling of depth: 

Framing can tell a story. Below the newborn colt huddles close to mom, probably trying to figure out what the heck his new world is all about.

Whether or not you use framing for composition in your photograph will depend on the subject and location. What you use as a frame in the scene will depend on your surroundings or what you are trying to convey. Often I just get lucky with a shot and find it frames itself.

Photo credit John Sterling Jr.

To my advanced readers:
When using framing decide if you want the frame itself in focus. A blurred frame adds a sense of unique mood and depth to your shots so use a large aperture. Use a narrow aperture if you want your frame in focus.

Links to my other posts on composition:

And Matt Considine's informative guest post : Capturing a Satisfying Image

And as always, read, read, read and practice, practice practice!

Here's links to suggested reading. Also, your local library may have these books.

Suggested reading: David duChemin's books are great - I have several. They are easy to understand and follow and packed with information. 

And another good one:

Composition Digital Field Guide

Post a photo in the comments section using any of the composition techniques or any photo you'd like to share. Here's how:

You can upload a photo in a comment box.  Click into a comment box. See the plus sign (+) in the lower left corner of your comment box. Click it and follow the instructions. It will upload a thumbnail photo. Click the thumbnail to enlarge the photo for viewing. If you have trouble let me know :D

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Time out for gardening...

Recently I posted in The Ladies Club, one of my FaceBook Groups, that I've gotten behind in my posting and commenting but I'm scrambling to get caught up. My reason for getting behind is that our rainy season ended and I’ve been having fun working in my yard.

Several Ladies Club members asked to see photos of what I’ve been up to. A few said they live in the city and don’t have yards and would like me to share mine in photos. Sometimes I wish I lived in a big city! I love the hustle and bustle!
This is a great chance to share my world with you in photos. 

Then I would like you to post url links in the comments section of this post showing photos of your surroundings. What a fun way to get to know each other better! Take a photo of your yard, the street you live on, your city's skyline, a meadow, a local park, a pond, lake or river, beach, anything that represents home to you. You can post the direct url link to your photo or make a TinyURL on my blog's home page and post that. There is no time limit on this. You can post at any time in the future.

Hubby and I live on 1.5 acres in the Pacific Northwest woods, in the state of Washington, USA,

across the Puget Sound from Seattle, Washington:

Seattle Skyline and Puget Sound 

To truly give you an idea of our yard I must start with last year’s landscaping work. We'd been overrun with weeds so we decided to tackle mother nature head on. 

First I laid 5,000 square feet of landscape paper. I had to dodge the trees and plants we'd installed a couple of years ago. 

Then we had 30 cubic yards (2 large trucks) of bark delivered:

It took hubby 25 days to spread the bark. He wore a face mask for protection. See how nicely he's dodging my flowers! 

He rested only one day:

Now on to this year. The bark looks great - no weeds. I put chicken wire around new plants to keep the rabbits and deer from eating them. Once the plants are established the chicken wire is removed. 

My new herb garden and part of the hiking trail we made around our property:

And..... drum roll please..... summer is finally here and flowers are starting to bloom:

Remember – I’d love it if you took a photo of your world and posted a url link to the photo(s) in the comments section at the end of this post. Then we can all share a bit of our lives with each other. Take a photo of your yard, garden, your street, city's skyline, a local park, a pond, lake or river, beach, anything that represents home to you.

I’m really excited to announce that I will soon be setting up an easier way for us to share url links to our photos!!! Stay tuned.