Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Shore Bird
July 2018 Orations
Hope you all had a great 4th of July celebration. A lot of those in Arizona were canceled due to our forests being so very dry.  We had little rain during the winter and none to speak of for Spring.  We are hoping for a good Monsoon season.

My featured photographs this month have little to do with the patriotism we applaud and celebrate here in the U.S. this time of year. I have decided to bring you an "almost" black and white series. The Photo of the Month is a shore bird walking along a beachfront, and I just happened to catch him at the right moment. He is nearly black & white but with highlights of blue and tan in his feathers, and he is walking across white sand, which is cream in color. I spent a lot of time "separating" him from the sand and producing a distinct body and beak - the latter of which blended in to the sand. He is a beautiful bird and I was pleased with the characteristics I was able to capture with my camera and bring out with techniques I love to use.Then I had the dilemma of whether of "give" you more birds for this month, or stick to the black &white. I decided to do strictly black and white, or almost black and white.

My featured series is an interesting presentation of patterns and shadows, originally shot in black and white, but to make them more interesting I have a touch of color added. Two are truly shadow patterns, the third is a wonderful lake on the Canadian border with a lot of deadwood along the shore, and just a hint of color added to the water. I have a lot of fun creating these and I hope you will enjoy them. Please view them at

Until next month . . .

Peace from the desert . . . Karen

Sunday, June 10, 2018

June 2018 Orations

Happy Summer!  Hopefully, wherever you are you are enjoying the warm weather, looking forward to school being out and planning some summer vacations. It seems the weather is pretty erratic this spring. I hope the current subtropical storm does no harm in your area.

This month I am exploring some fun variation on flowers, with the base subject [in most cases] the daffodil. The double daffodil is frilly and elegant and perfect for applying different effects. I particularly had fun with a colored gradient in different degrees of intensity.  Check them out in our new Photo of the Month (which really is a different photo each month) and in our Featured Series of the Month, which is a series of three different photos often a similar subject related to Photo of the Month. 

While you are exploring, please remember that all of the photographs on our site are for sale.  The Portrait Portfolio contains both portraits that have been taken for stock and are for licensing and some which are examples of the types of portraits we can take for your stock needs. Our Smart & Sassy section features some beautiful African American women all available for licensing.  Our Spirited Seniors section holds examples of our favorite senior citizen models in a variety of happenings.

I hope that you had a nice Memorial Day remembering those who served for our country.  I hope that you summer is pleasant, and I will see you again next month.

Peace from the Desert… Karen

Monday, May 7, 2018

May 2018 Orations
Lest We Forget—
This Memorial Day remember those who have dedicated their lives to the freedom of this country; those who have been proud to serve in the various military branches of the United States of America.  We have always been a proud Nation, proud to serve wherever we were called to fight for the freedom of all mankind and relieve suppression and tyranny.  Our views should still be to that end, and we should honor all those who have sought those goals.

Our Photo of the Month is of the Veterans Memorial in Anthem, AZ which represents all five branches of the US military.  The individual monuments all have a cylindrical hole in them through which the sun shines down on the Great Seal of the United States.  It is perfectly situated so that at 11:11 a.m. November 11th the sun is perfectly aligned to shine directly through the circles onto the Seal. The Featured Series includes views of other memorials to our military.  They are the Arizona Vietnam Memorial; the Arizona Enduring Freedom memorial; and the Purple Heart Memorial located in Wesley Bolin Plaza, Phoenix, Arizona.
Please remember to thank our veterans for their service this Memorial Day and always.

Peace from the Desert… Karen

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

April 2018 Orations
Spring has sprung!  My garden is blooming. Iris are always among the first to come up and bloom.  They flourish so beautifully and in a variety of colors.  Not only am I going to feature them as my Photo of the Month and in my Featured series, but I am going to start a whole new page in the Flowers and Foliage section featuring only iris.  For our Photo of the Month I have chosen a brilliant white iris which I took in black & white. The Featured Series will be an array of purple iris.  Not all purples are the same when it comes to iris.  I have chosen macros or close-ups of these particular blooms to show the beard on the petals, hence giving them the name bearded iris. Others will be featured on the new Iris page, showing a garden with rows of purple iris and individual iris in an assortment of colors.

I hope that you enjoyed Holy Week leading up to April 1st, and Easter or Passover which ever you celebrate.  Lilies are the flower most closely associated with Easter, and I have featured them in prior years; this year I was drawn to the iris. 

Think Spring!  Think [be] Cool-Do Good. Help our less fortunate and provide a smile or a hug if you cannot provide anything else.

Peace from the Desert… Karen

Monday, March 26, 2018

March 2018 Orations

March, the windy month; and still wintry in many places.  It features the beginning of spring on the 20th of the month this year, and we begin to look for flowers popping up their heads, crocus blooming, birds chirping and warmer days.   Just for fun here are some of the weird and serious holidays for March:  March 1st is National Pig Day as well as Peanut Better Lovers’ Day.  March 2nd is World Day of Prayer, as well as National Salesperson Day.  March 14th is National Potato Chip Day, as well as National Pi Day. Why Pi Day – because the March fourteenth is 3.14 the value of Pi.  Whether Irish or not, we all celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th, and it is [of course] Corned Beef and Cabbage Day. March 24th is National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day. Palm Sunday falls on March 25th this year as well as the Feast of the Assumption, Pecan Day and Waffle Day.  Good Friday is on March 30th, and Passover begins at sundown.
I am featuring one last look at the Maroon Bells area of Colorado.  The Photo of the Month is of the Maroon Bells with a reflection in Maroon Lake.  The Featured Series consists of three views of Maroon Creek, from its calm exit from Maroon Lake to the roaring stream it becomes.  I hope you have enjoyed our journey through part of Colorado over the last few months.  Be sure to check out the links to other sections and see our exciting collection of fine art photographs.

Peace from the Desert…Karen

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

February 2018

Here we are in February, the month of valentines, chocolates, Presidential birthdays, and Ground Hog Day.  Other silly holidays include Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day, Stuffed Mushroom Day, Thank a Mailman Day,  and Bubblegum Day to name a few. This year Ash Wednesday falls in February. Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, and is also known as Shrove Tuesday. It is a day when people eat all they want of everything and anything they want as the following day is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of a long fasting period for Christians.  February is also Black history month, and Superbowl Sunday falls in there too.  That ought to be enough to keep everyone busy for the shortest month of the year.

I am still featuring Colorado pictures this month.  The destination of desire for this trip was the Maroon Bells. The Maroon Bells are two peaks in the Elk Mountains, Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak, and both are fourteeners.  Maroon Peak, at 14,163 feet (4317.0 m), is the 27th highest peak in Colorado. North Maroon Peak, at 14,019 feet (4273.0 m), is the 50th highest. Unlike other mountains in the Rockies that are composed of granite and limestone, the Bells are composed of metamorphic sedimentary mudstone that has hardened into rock over millions of years. Mudstone is weak and fractures readily, giving rise to dangerously loose rock along almost any route. The mudstone is responsible for the Bells' distinctive maroon color.

It was cloudy and rained the first day we went to the Bells, but the reflection in Maroon Lake wasn’t bad.  The second day we went was clear but breezy, so the water was rippled as was the reflection. It is still one of the most beautiful areas in Colorado, and the nearby Sievers Mountain presents an alternate of jagged red rock which is captivating.  Sievers consists of contorted Triassic redbeds which form the north wall of Maroon Creek Canyon between Crater & Maroon Lakes.   

The Featured Series this month is three views of Sievers Mountain.  Our Photo of the Month is one of the Maroon Bells. I have placed some other views in the Trips & Travels-Colorado section, so check it out.  I may feature a few more of the Bells next time because they are so fascinating, and still retained large patches of snow in August. But what else would you expect from mountains higher than 14,000 feet?

Peace from the Desert… Karen

Saturday, January 20, 2018

January 2018
Happy New Year! Here's wishing you a bountiful, safe and healthy New Year. Don't make any New Year's resolutions because you won't keep them anyway. I bet you have already broken the ones you solemnly vowed to keep on New Year's Eve! For the new year: Keep a smile on your face; be forward looking and don't look back at past mistakes, learn from them and move on; be considerate to those in need, and lend a helping hand when you can. Be wise in your investments; be careful how you spend, and save for the future when you can. Take care of your health, that is most important.

For January I am continuing my views of Colorado taken in August 2017. I am taking you along Rt. 133 to Marble, Colorado. The old mill site in Marble is a National Historic Site. A lot of marble was mined here and such historic monuments as the columns of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are made from marble taken from this area. The mine was closed for quite awhile, but recently was reopened and they are mining marble from Colorado once again. What's left of the town of Marble is quaint, and a few who actually mine the marble live there. You can visit the old mill site, and the featured series this month shows some of the some of the images I took there. We will continue to show a few more views of Marble next month. The Photo of the Month is of Mt. Sopris showing the recent snow. It was taken on a rather cloudy, ready-to-rain day, but still shows the majesty of this mountain.

Be sure to visit the Wyoming Mountains link under the Mountains, Canyons & Caverns tab. That particular link offers some of the magic and mystery of Yellowstone National Park, with its steaming springs and geysers. What a place Mother Nature has wrought.

Peace from the desert . . . Karen