Portraits: Ning

The other day a work photo shoot led into a bit of portrait practice with the lovely Ning. It was a super fun mini-session and Ning is a natural in front of the camera. Read between the photos for a bit more about her!

Ning is from Taiwan, but is attending college here in Oregon. I asked what she liked about Oregon: My favorite things would probably be the pretty trees and scenery in general.

What’s your major and what do you want to do after college? My major is psychology, and I want to be a counselor after I get my degree. I want to work with families and kids (part of the reason is I love kids so much).

Describe your personality. I am pretty easy going, friendly, positive, joyful and energetic.

Beauty! Thanks again, Ning. πŸ™‚


Project 52 (41)

You may remember me saying I wanted purple tulips, in a previous post. Well, my friend Deborah took that as a challenge, and last weekend I had these waiting on my doorstep! Yes, she’s very thoughtful!

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Thanks, Deborah!

Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm

The other day I went to Woodburn for a work-related photo shoot. It didn’t occur to me until I was arriving that I should try and stop by the tulip farm before I left town. I hadn’t been in a couple of years, and going on a weekday is ideal (it’s so crowded on sunny weekends). I was grateful for the opportunity that lined up so perfectly with the work assignment and the peak of tulip season.

You would think a place so picturesque would be easy to photograph, but I have found that it’s really hard for me to get creative when I visit the tulip farm. I feel like all of my photos end up looking the same. The result is a lot of snapshot-quality photos that thousands of people have taken. Oh well, at least you’re getting a look at the place, if you’ve never been!

Hey, sexy.

I’d really love to take portraits here sometime. In fact, I was on the verge of asking strangers if I could photograph their kids. πŸ˜› I just didn’t want to creep anyone out or make them think I was just trying to trick them into purchasing photos from me.

Cool how the focus of this photo is the ditch. Oh me and my mad skillz!

Gosh, there must be over two dozen tulips at this farm! Perhaps it’s in the triple digits!

The first time I visited this tulip farm was in 2006. It was raining and miserable, but I had driven all the way out and was determined to get some photos. (This sounds like a Pop Up Video fact.)

Back then it didn’t seem to be as big of a production as it is now. They’ve added so many tents, stands and kid attractions that it kind of annoys me, but it’s still nice to be able to see so many tulips at once. I think I’ll just stick with weekdays any time I visit in the future. It’s cheaper that way, too.

This one’s probably my fav.

Have you been to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm? What about another tulip farm? Tell us alllll about it.

This has been a very tulippy spring for me!


(And a little pink.)

We’re getting to that time of the year when the green reaches its peak. It makes rain and clouds more tolerable, and the clouds just made everything more vibrant. So today I took a few photos of a nearby golf course and the grounds by my place.

If I had to marry a color, of course I’d choose green.

There are so many shades! Something for everyone. Or all for me–that’s fine too.

Oh look, some of my future homes! I’ve always thought it would be awesome to live on a golf course. Or above one, in a mansion. πŸ˜‰

Now I’m home!

It was really windy today, so the blossoms were all blown off onto the water. Yesterday, I was imagining snow that’s made of blossoms, but then I remembered the cleanup factor that makes it less appealing to have piles of flower petals. So then I thought, what if in heaven there is snow that is like blossoms, but they melt? And they aren’t cold or made of ice. They’re more like cotton candy, without a sticky residue on the ground. And that’s my snow story. The end.

I also went to the tulip farm today (busy Wednesday!) and will show you a few photos later on. How are you? What’s been going on? Do these photos look dark to you?

Project 52 (40) + Oregon Garden

I know that this is a poor photo, technically speaking, but it seemed like the best representation of “everyday life” that I had this week. Especially for kids this time of year. It all happened so fast that I had no time to adjust my camera’s settings (and then the frog jumped out of the girl’s hand), so there you go.

That was taken at the Oregon Garden yesterday, so I’ll put the rest of my photos in this same post.

This is the only photo I took of flowers. It was an unusual visit. I had a weird day, and due to the weather, many animals were out that I usually wouldn’t see, so I ended up just taking creature photos and not bothering with the rest.

(If you don’t like snake pictures, you’ll want to just skip this post.)

Another bad photo (sorry, but it’s true!), but I wanted to remember this silly koi in the pond. It kept going around the edge and sucking at the rocks. I’ve never seen my parents’ koi do this. You could even hear the sucking noises from across the water. It’s a plecostomus in training, I guess.

At first I couldn’t see any frogs, but there were several tadpoles/pollywogs/whatevers.

After missing a photo op of a heron catching a frog, I was feeling grouchy at myself for not being prepared and sulkily walked back behind the pond where I found not one but two garter snakes hanging out in the sun. That sort of made up for my heron miss.

Then there was this woodpecker.

Later I saw a/the heron again. This time I was determined to get a picture of it catching a fish or frog, but gave up my resolve after standing there for like ever while it basically stood motionless.

I should note that the animals at the garden must be extremely used to humans, because I’ve never been this close to a heron. Instead of being skittish when someone walked nearby, it was like he thrived on the attention. For that reason, these photos seem kind of cheaty and less rewarding, like I was at a zoo.

There were plenty of red-wing blackbirds out.

Finally I started noticing the frogs. It’s one of those situations where once you see one of them, you better know what to look for and you see several that have been out all along.

I’m sure I’ll be going back soon to take photos of the actual garden areas. By the way, did you know there is a resort at the Oregon Garden? (Too bad about their website, though. :P) I learned only a couple of months ago, though I think it’s been around for at least a couple of years. It looks nice (I had to go to the front desk to get some passes). I wouldn’t mind staying there, even though Silverton is only half an hour from me.

Unrelated: last night I dreamed that I saw two pink and purple hummingbirds (I’m sure they exist, but not in Oregon). I kept trying to get photos but then would notice my camera was off, or it was backwards (?), or I couldn’t focus. Typical photography dream. But eventually I did get a couple of photos. I only wish I could show you!

Flowers (Deepwood Estate)

Okay, last installment of DE photos (until next time I go, of course). My flower photos are a bit on the predictable side. Shallow depth of field, lots of singled-out flowers, etc. Especially in this batch, as I was trying to get some petal detail. Next time I’ll try to be a bit more creative. (I say this half-heartedly.)

During most of my stroll around the gardens, I was thinking of my sister R, who loves tulips. Who doesn’t? Armload of purple tulips, please!

(I don’t even have purple tulip photos in this post, I just always
thought it would be beauty to have a big bouquet of them.)

Yes, these last two are very similar. I posted them both anyway!

Hi, Mom! You know all my orange flower photos are for you.

And sure, the peach too.

This is probably a weed. πŸ˜›

This picture is so clichΓ©! But I loved the color on this tulip.

Thank you for looking! Have a great weekend, everyone. πŸ™‚

PS Happy birthday to my childhood friend Jennifer, who may see this blog sometimes. And also to my friend Lori!

20 years ago…was I even born yet?

Happy TWENTIETH anniversary to my sister R and her husband C! It seems unpossible that I could have a sister married that long! I remember the very windy wedding day like it was only ten years ago. Twelve, tops.

Here’s to 50 more years. *clink* Oh and hey, maybe by the time you celebrate your 70th anniversary, I’ll be planning a wedding of my own!

PS Happy half-birthday to me. πŸ˜€ It’s my blog, so I get to bring the focus back to myself and my non-accomplishment.

More Deepwood

Yes, I still have more photos to show you. Sometimes I feel I lack blog material, and other times I have way more ideas than energy or interest in posting them.

Not a fantastic photo, but I love when I can catch the shiny coloring of the male hummingbirds. They have to turn their heads just right.

Mom, these are especially for you. These are the same birds that were eating from your hummingbird feeders, and now I know why! They also eat from the same flowers as the hummingbirds.

Oh hey, Robin. I only took a photo of him because it was so easy. Robins are kind of like Mallards–I feel bad about finding them mundane, and I end up taking pictures because they’re so willing to pose.

Okay get ready for several of these. I kept this one because it’s kind of funny.

I didn’t want them to go to waste. πŸ™‚

Bees like these flowers too.

Here’s a closeup of the last photo. Hi, little girl!

Ookay, I have one more installment that’ll go up later this week. If you’re sick of hummingbirds, the good news is that it’ll just be flowers (as far as I can remember). πŸ™‚

Project 52 (39) + a little about my week

On Easter evening, I went out in hopes of seeing some beavers, but just saw a bunch of salamanders instead. There are lots of them at the edge of the lake. For some reason, I don’t think I’d ever seen a salamander until a year or two ago. I’m sure they are in California, but I don’t remember seeing any growing up. We were more likely to find pollywogs and crawdads.

For funzies, here’s a bit about how the rest of my week went.

I took Monday off work (I really think it should be a holiday anyway), and used part of the time to go back to Deepwood Estate and try out one of the work cameras/lenses. I have become so used to bringing my own [Canon] camera for work purposes that I feel like I’m re-learning Nikon. It’s worth it, though, because we now have some equipment that’s better than mine (even if it is Nikon ;)). It’s fun to use some fancier stuff, and I’m hoping to take it out for practice regularly over the next several months.

I was happy that a male hummingbird was flying around and showing his nice coloring, but I wasn’t super happy with my resulting images. I need some practice with that heavy lens.

Tuesday, I went out to do some practice shots for a work photo session I had the following day. Hollie helped me out with light tests, because she’s very cooperative about stuff like that.Β  (NOTE: I’m really looking forward to doing another portrait session with her soon–we’ll take advantage of her old prom dresses!)

It was such a nice day, that on our way down the path we saw this little guy sunning himself. Hollie was not thrilled, but I count it a lucky day when I manage to get a snake photo at work. I think that’s only happened about 4 times in the past 6.5 years of working there. Someday I’ll actually get a decent photo.

Friday morning, I had a creepy dream and woke up early, so I headed back out to see if there were any beavers. Typically I watch beavers from my deck, but I’m more determined to get a photo of them up close. My ultimate goal is a good photo while they’re fully out of the water.

I did end up seeing three beavers swimming around, and even getting slightly up on shore, but the photos aren’t so hot. I love my camera (although, yes, I’d like to upgrade), but I’m not exactly set up to photograph distant moving objects in a darkish setting (R, you might be able to relate ;)). I’m going to use the work camera and try again soon. Fingers crossed!

Every spring I get the renewed urge to travel. I took a month-long road trip around the US when I was 19, and so often I wish I could repeat it now that I’m into photography. Back then we just had a few film point-and-shoots. My daydream is to travel around taking tons of pictures, blogging regularly, and also stopping to see friends around the country to do portraits of them. I have several friends all over, due to moving, friends moving, online interaction, and college. It would be so fun. How can I make that happen?

Well, this is probably the most I’ve typed here in awhile. How are you? What are your traveling daydreams? (PS I also want to travel more outside of the US, but that’s another post.)

Various flowers

I have lots of pictures, but I wasn’t really sure how many to post at a time.
We’ll see what happens here. Most of these are flowers from Deepwood Estate, though some came from work or maybe even Bush park.

R, here’s another one of those camellias with its perfection. Only striped!

Not striped!

I had a good Easter. The fact that it was sunny made it a million times better than usual, but it was also a good balance of quietness and social time. Church was good, the day was good, and then I took Monday off and took some of these flower photos! All weekends should be three days.

How was your Easter?