photographer. artist. author. singer. songwriter. musician. teacher. student. humanitarian. visionary.

Trees. Water. Sun. Cabin. Exhale.

ImageMy daughter-Brianna/Deam Lake/50 MM/natural lighting/manual exposure/manual focus

I’ve managed to book my favourite cabin in the world: “Coyote Hollow”. It’s a charming place tucked away in the heart of the Shawnee National Forest- located conveniently just around the corner from the Garden of the Gods in Southern Illinois. It comes with an oversized screened in porch, firepit, rocking chairs, ready-to-go grill, large private yard and surrounding woods- a fully equipped kitchenette; it’s your standard luxury cabin in the woods. (DVD player and popcorn already there and waiting.)

I’m so overdue for a “mid-week getaway”. I’m looking forward to it even more because Josh will be going with me. [Insert big grin here] Although we’re no longer “together”, we still enjoy each other’s company. Besides, he’s the best model a girl could ask for. He just looks good on film. 🙂

I was prepared to go alone (and was actually looking forward to it) but dang it- I need somebody to build the fire while I pour the wine!

We’re bringing fishing poles too and I’m completely expecting utter mayhem. What the hell could go wrong out in the middle of nowhere with fishing poles?! You’d be surprised. My life is nothing short of a circus, and I’m hoping that it’s the most hum drum, uneventful time of my life. I need utter stagnation for a while.

I’ll be gone until Saturday and I have a feeling that I’ll be coming back with a few stories to tell…

(but let’s hope not.)

Hasta la vista.

8 responses

  1. claude

    Well…All I can say is:

    “Run, Fishies…RUN!!!”


    April 24, 2013 at 9:12 am

    • Haha…exactly!

      Would you believe I can clean a fish with my bare hands? (It’s true.) I was raised on the banks of the Ohio (barefooted) fishing and exploring the fossils, etc. We would camp out for 4 and 5 days at a time. I’m outta here!

      See you in a few days, yo.

      April 24, 2013 at 9:26 am

  2. Wraith

    She looks like a lich.

    April 30, 2013 at 6:26 pm

  3. And that’s her happy face.

    April 30, 2013 at 6:50 pm

  4. More power to you for being able to have a man pour your wine and not fall completely madly in love with him again hahahaha. I’m jk. It’s hilarious how in the beginning of a relationship men open the car doors or pour the wine kind of deal. That somehow evaporates into thin air as time goes on doesn’t it lol . My husband has always been very sweet about complimenting me and telling me I am beautiful so I guess I don’t have much to complain about 🙂 Beautiful picture of your daughter ❤ wish you could teach me to take pictures like that! What is the best editing software that you would recommend for a beginner?

    May 9, 2013 at 4:01 am

    • I believe that too. I like to go to the woods, or out in nature, and talk with God. (Not “to” WITH…heheh..) We commune. And so when we do- rainbows pop up- it’s getting a little bizarre! But very, very cool. :0) And thanks for saying that about my pics! I like to step out of the bounds of “normal and acceptable” in photography- I like to muck up my pics a bit- add grain and ugly-ish textures. It injects a certain mood in my pics that I like. (I don’t like “tra-la-la everybody’s smiling…da da da…” it’s just not for me. I need more mood than that.) I recommend Picmonkey online. There’s some cheezy aspects of it that you should stay away from (text, bubbles, gimmicky add-ons) but some of their filters are awesome. Everything I do is all manual though, even after I take the pics in post processing- all of my tones, hues- I don’t use “filters” much- I use sliders in Photoshop to create everything I do- and many layers sometimes. (It’s a lot of work, but it’s harder to replicate my work that way.) But again, some of the filters in Picmonkey are great. Also, you can use a program called Photoscape. It’s totally free and a great editor. My strongest recommendation though is to get a camera that will allow you to shoot in all-manual. I can’t stress that enough to people. Post processing in Photoshop or other editors are great, and we all do that, but the lighting and exposure that I’m able to capture in my photos are done IN-CAMERA, not in Photoshop, etc. For me, the lighting and mood is everything- it sets the stage for all of the other necessary components. So, good lighting IN-CAMERA is one of the most important things to try to achieve with your pics. Photoshop can help, but truly good pics “done right” in camera- can go unprocessed- no editing at all- and they can stand on their own. I’ll try to take a pic later with different camera settings- straight out of the camera to show you what I mean. And I don’t mind at all sharing some of my tips and tricks that I’ve learned over the years! I just have to find the time- ugh. But I will, I promise. 😉 My Mom has just been hospitalized as of last night- she came close to having a stroke, so things are tight right now, but I’ll see what I can do. XO

      May 10, 2013 at 4:53 pm

  5. I’m really sorry to hear about your mother! How is she doing?! That is a really scary thing to have a family member go into the hospital. I think I would rather be in the hospital than someone in my family kwim? Thanks for all of that information! I was considering a Nikon dSLR. I know that the Cannons are supposed to be one of the best but I’ve had a SLR Canon Rebel and never felt like it took that great of pics. It’s film and I sitll have it. Should I try breaking it back out and practicing with it? I wonder if doing things in mannual with that would help because I could never grasp that consept. Here is why.. When we shot pictures we were told to write down the settings of each picture. We would then develope our pictures from film. I could never figure out which picture was which setting when I developed them. I know that sounds retarded but clearly I didn’t know what I was doing now did I understand which end the film role started on (so if I had a list of settings I would know to start at bottom or top of list to identify pictures on the strip. I will ask a heck of a lot more questions from now on in class hahahah.

    May 19, 2013 at 9:10 am

    • She’s doing so much better, thanks, M&M- still a little weak but it’s going to take a while to get used to the new meds. Her thyroid stats were blown as was her BP/blood pressure, but she’ll continue to recover.

      Film is so much harder than a DSLR. Do you have a DSLR? I’ve had several Canon Rebels (again, digital) and they’ve taken great pics. The camera I shoot with now is a Canon Rebel 3ti-EOS 600D- it’s ranked # 3 of 220 Canon cameras- 18 MP. It’s a great little camera and has HD video that’s astounding. Consider getting one of these if you’re wanting a new DSLR. Also, with one of these cameras, you can look right on the screen and see all of the camera settings. It makes learning your camera in manual so much easier. Feel free to ask me any questions you want! I’m self taught, but do have a decade of this under my belt. 😉

      May 19, 2013 at 9:28 am


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