My family’s favorite getaways are the many state parks around Ohio. There are a bunch within driving distance and they have great activities for families. And some really nice lodges/restaurants; no camping for me!
On our last trip pre-kids, we spent a long weekend at Mohican State Park, hiking the trails and enjoying the beginnings of fall color. And enjoying sleeping in. I look back fondly on that part as well.
Burr Oak State Park was the site of an extended family trip with my in-laws. We’ve also visited Maumee Bay and Deer Creek as a large group; the lodges or cabins are a great way to vacation together without too much togetherness.
Punderson Manor was another lovely getaway for me and my husband. It was November, so the trails were a bit muddy and the fall color was past its prime. It was, however, also NaNoWriMo, so I took the opportunity to treat it as a bit of a personal writer’s retreat. I remember how excited I was that I was able to complete one really key scene in a different, more interesting way than I had originally thought. Sometimes it takes some new scenery to get out of a writing rut!
This week’s challenge is quite a challenge for me: I have never shot in black and white! Aaaaand I still haven’t. I don’t have time to try to figure out my phone’s settings, though I would like to sometime.
Instead, I used Google Photos editing to convert some of my previous photos into black and white by setting saturation to zero (and also playing with the contrast). This is also something I have never really done, and I was quite pleased with the results.
I took this photo recently at my mom’s house and thought the lighting and shadows really made it suited to black and white. I liked the sunny yellow of the flowers but this is also a cool way to see it.
I also thought my cat Juhani would be well suited for B&W. She is in fact mostly white, so I think this medium helps capture her various contours better.
For this week’s challenge, I first thought of boats. Picturesque boats, like the one on the harbor (or is that harbour?) in Dingle, Ireland.
One of the best times I’ve had on a boat was our tour of the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. We spent about a week on the ship, traveling from island to island, even crossing the Equator. There were about a dozen of us university students, plus our professors, sharing a charming little yacht called the Coral I.
As zoology students, we were of course interested in sighting animals on the water. We saw sea birds, turtles, penguins, sea lions…and lizards. Yes, that’s right, the Galapagos have a swimming lizard, called the marine iguana.
Marine iguanas mostly spend their days sunning on the shore, but to feed they dive down and use their blunt teeth to scrape algae off rocks. They have some really cool adaptations for this lifestyle, including bradycardia or slowing of heart rate while under water, and “sneezing” out excess salt when back on land.
This week’s photos are brought to you courtesy of the Google Photos editor. Being a scrapbooker as well as someone who uses my phone as my camera, I am big on photo editing and it is amazing to me how easy it is nowadays. I did all these edits on my phone with one hand while feeding my 9-mo-old at 3:30am. (Hey, I’ve got to stay awake somehow.)
I was skimming through photos of flowers from my yard and decided to do some editing to make some look extra special. First we have this shot of a quince bush which had nice color but was quite backlit. I cropped it, then used the Bazaar filter to make it pop more.
Next we have my weeping cherry tree, which I cropped, then Enhanced, and then added some vignette effect around the edges to give it even more focus.
Do you think the edits were an improvement? I’m happy with how they turned out. Do you guys normally edit all your photos, at least a little, like I do? Or are you more of a purist?
When I was in Spain, I had the opportunity to attend a bullfight. While I am not a proponent of bullfighting, I was able to appreciate it as a cultural experience. Tickets to the corrida are sold as “sol” or “sombra” meaning sun or shade, shade being the more expensive since you will be more comfortable!
We learned all about the steps and stages of the fight, from the initial parade of the toreros (above) to the capote or cloak (below), and on through the famous red muleta and the death of the bull.