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Red moon

I took this photo last Saturday night, but forgot to post it. The moon was so red that night due to the wildfires burning burning in the region, including the 130-acre Mother Lode fire and the 4,500-acre Dollar Lake Fire burning on Mount Hood’s U.S. Forest Service land. It was incredible.



Is it really almost September? Already, the white anemones in our front yard are in bloom, the last of our plants to flower before fall and winter come. Other than the heat wave we had recently, the summer has been pretty mild. Too mild, maybe, since our tomatoes plants are still only laden with green fruit.

This has been an unusual month for me. I guess something is out of whack with my system, and my body is letting me know it. Usually I feel fine. Hopefully it is nothing to be alarmed about, but the advice nurse at the clinic scheduled some tests and an appointment early next week. At this point, I’m happy to go.

I inspect the garden every day. Although we were sad to loose our backyard trees earlier this year, the garden is flourishing. I’m often surprised by even the day to day changes, and especially the details. Take a look:

Have a great weekend!


Rain forest, detail

I was looking through our recent Lake Quinault camping photos again and noticed that I didn’t include any of the detail shots. It’s easy to be bowled over by the big picture (so green! giant trees! lots of rain!), but a lot of what makes the rain forest such a special place are the little things – the carpets of clover, the furry mosses, the delicate unfurling of a fern frond – all those tiny lives being forged out of the clouds and mist. It’s amazing. I think its worth a second look, don’t you?


When a little discretion is advised…

Check out the Cloak Bag. The photographer in me is really tickled by this, but if I saw someone actually shooting with it I’m sure I would think it strange. However, it does partially fulfill my desire for a small, lightweight bag to conceal my equipment when I didn’t want to be so obvious (which is often). That is one thing about dSLRs. They are so in-your-face when I’d rather they be as  discreet as point-and-shoots. I guess that’s the price we pay for better quality and control.

What do you think? Would you carry this bag? via


Art Exhibit Event Postcard

Check it out! My photograph made the cover of the The Living River art exhibit postcard! I smile just thinking about it, and can’t wait to see the full exhibit in person. You can download a pdf of the postcard which includes accompanying events like a documentary film and speaker series here. Does this mean that I can call myself a real artist now? 🙂



I’ve been feeling a little bad about the last post. Some days are just harder than others, and I realize that there are a lot of people that would happily exchange their problems for mine. So today I’m just concentrating on happiness and I’m finding a lot to be happy for.

Happiness today is…

  • Chloe going back to sleep after waking up early
  • Spending that extra time snuggling with my honey
  • Watching Chloe’s happily explore during her art class
  • Driving downtown to pick up my professionally printed photo for the Living River juried art exhibit. Can you believe it?! My photo was one of 80 works (from textiles, sculpture, photography, paintings, etc) selected out of over 350 submissions. I’ve never “shown” my work like this before, which is kind of thrilling.
  • Treating myself to a mocha and bressane from the Pearl Bakery.
  • Chloe falling asleep on the way home, and then taking a second nap later in the afternoon.
  • Finding out my mother-in-law is coming for a visit!


A Visual Guide to Stylishly Modern Camera Bags

Just a round-up of some pretty snazzy camera bags available. I own the Crumpler, a gift from my husband, which is a good fit for my lifestyle right now (aka camera/diaper bag). However, in a perfect world, I’d love to be able to design my own. If you feel the same, check out KATA’s Dream Bag Challenge. You can submit your own original idea for the chance to have your bag hand-built, and to win a professional photo kit worth $5000 (including a Canon 5D Mark II DSLR body, 2 Canon lenses, Gitzo tripod kit and Litepanels Camera Light).


Crumpler 6 Million Dollar Home

Jill-e Medium Chocolate Brown Suede


Epiphanie Lola Shoulder Bag

Emera quilted bag

The Kelly Moore Bag


KaTa 123-GO-10

Tenba Messenger: Small Photo/Laptop Bag



Clik Traveler



Acme Made Montgomery Street Backpack

Oliday Dark Brown Canvas Camera Bag



What nifty device can you make with paper, film and a Coke can?

I found a very interesting book on the new arrival shelf at the library yesterday. A book called Build Fun Paper Cameras: Take Eye-Catching Pinhole Photos. My first thought was Hmm, those look pretty cool! My second thought was They still make 35mm film?! It is almost hard for me to believe that everyone just doesn’t use digital these days. I love the instant satisfaction of seeing an image onscreen (especially handy when I notice a detail that needs fixing). Film cameras don’t give you that amount of control, and that idea is… intriguing.

So, I’m curious. I decided to check the book out and experiment. What if I had to physically rely on myself to manage the exposure (and not just tell my digital camera how long to do it for me)? I mean literally open and close the shutter by hand, and not with the press of a button? What would it be like to manually make my own equipment? And wind the film myself? I’m guessing the worst that can happen will be that none of my photos come out, but even so I’ll have made some pretty nifty little paper cameras. So, if you’ll excuse me – I have a Coke can to cut and pierce, film to find and purchase, and 8 sheets of freshly printed card stock to cut, fold and assemble.

To be continued…

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Eeny, meeny, miny, moe

(1) Maple leaves in the forest  (2) White flowers, Smith Rock
(3) Indian Paintbrush at the grandparent’s  (4) Miniature Rose in our yard

I’m thinking about putting new photographs in the four gallery frames hanging in our living room. Over the years they’ve held illustrations, photos, artwork, magazine pages and right now they’re displaying fabric. However, you’d think with all the photos I take, I’d easily fill those four frames with new photographs. But, no. The issue? Finding four vertical shots to make a set. Since I don’t often photograph vertically, there is a limited number to choose from. Choosing a matched pair is easy. A set of three, fine. Finding four that look good together? That’s a challenge.

I briefly considered doing four shots of Chloe, but it seemed too shrine-like in our little house. Then I considered texture shots, but now I’m thinking about the four nature scenes above. I think what ties these together is the sunlight and glow of color, plus the combination of crisp foreground and softer background.  I also like that Chloe and David are represented in one of them, but not overly so.

Someday I’d like to  shoot a set of nice black & whites – maybe architectural in theme – bridges, buildings, cityscapes. I like the set of three France photographs donated to Craft Hope’s Etsy shop (they sold!), but they are all horizontal, too. Or maybe I just need to scrap the current frame layout and turn them all sideways. Hmm… there’s a thought.

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Maternity Session

Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to photograph a maternity session for a friend of a friend (see more photos). I tried to capture her gorgeous shape the best I could, but I know I have a lot to learn. On top of my list is focus, photo-editing, and how to better use my speedlite. This past week I attended a Canon Intermediate Discovery presentation and am excited to practice all I’ve learned. Sadly, it has already been several days and I haven’t once cracked open the workbook. Just where does all the time go?


Mother + Daughter Photographs

As the main photographer in my family, it is rare to find both Chloe and I in the same photo. Luckily, a couple months ago my talented friend Greta took some wonderful, keepsake-quality shots of the two of us. And check out that watermark – I am proud to say that her new logo is one of my designs!

Here are just a few of my many favorite captures:

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Olive Hill Photography Logo

I don’t often blog about my graphic design projects, but I figured my friend Greta wouldn’t mind if I shared the logo I created for her up-and-coming child photography business. I think it depicts a nice mix of fresh, youthful and modern, and most importantly, she likes it too! I’ll be sharing some of the lovely photos she took of Chloe and I in the next post. 🙂

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Photographs from France

Looking back at our France photos (to find one for this post), I was reminded of how many good ones there were. Here are a few of my faves. But really, is there such thing as a bad photo of Paris?

Fountain at the Place du Concorde, Paris

Daily Menu, Au Vieux Châtelet, Paris

Château de Chenonceau

Mont Saint Michel, detail

Arc de Triomphe, Paris

From Marie Antoinette’s Hameau,Versailles

Skyline view, Paris

Eiffel Tower at night


Just sharing…

I really enjoyed the photography class I took at Newspace. I chose it thinking that I wouldn’t want to be stuck in a full-semester college class, but now I’m kind of sad it’s over. It was a lot of information to digest in only 4 weeks. I understand more now, but at the same time, I don’t really feel that my shooting has improved. Actually, I’m still frustrated a lot of the time. Shooting in manual mode is a challenge. Although I have an idea of what I want my image to look like, I can’t always figure out how to get my camera to do it. There is still so much to learn.

After each class we had homework assignments. I thought I’d share some of them:


Leading Lines
“Leading Lines”


“Tell a story”



“Rule of thirds”

“The future”




I am the proud owner of a new Canon EOS Rebel XSi! David got it for me as a Mother’s day/birthday gift and I am so giddy about it. It took me forever to process the possibility of getting a digital SLR. I kept questioning myself – was it too much camera for me? Would I use it? Would it be too technical? Do I even deserve it? All these thoughts kept swirling around in my head (for months!), until I finally accepted that it was okay to want a nice camera, especially to document one of the most important people in my life right now. I also knew I was frustrated with my ancient point-and-shoot. It just couldn’t offer the creativity and flexibility I was looking for (although it is fine for throwing in the diaper bag!)

Just like everyone else considering an entry level dSLR I researched both Nikon and Canon. David’s dad, who is always good for advice on these things, recommended the Canon, I think because they are rated so highly here on Consumer Reports. He was also the person who planted the idea in my head in the first place (thanks Alan!). I also got good advice from Anna who suggested a Nikon D60 or D90. Then there is my friend Greta who also recently decided to go with a Nikon. However, the final decision for me was made because David already owned two Canon lenses, thus it made the most sense.

What do you think of my new strap cover (finally using some of my patricia fabric from Ikea)!? There is a great slipcover tutorial at Made by Petchy. And that little velcro pocket I added was a must – otherwise it would be so like me to lay my lens cap down and forget where I put it!

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