Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Smile

We are half way to Friday!
Playing along with

Tuesday's Wise Words

With today's wise words I would like to encourage all 
to live life to the fullest, love and be loved.
Embrace each moment, create precious memories. 
May each of you experience a life filled with love.

Falls Park at Night

Tonight I had the opportunity to run down to Falls Park and snap a few night shots just before the we got hit with a nice little thunderstorm.  I thought I would share just one more view of the beautiful falls for those that enjoyed Sunday's four season photos of the Falls. This is the first shot I took. At first I thought I had ruined the shot by getting a finger print on my lens, but it wasn't on the other shots. When I looked closely I realized it was the flood lights reflecting off the rain. If you click on the image and click again to see an even larger version you can even see a rainbow near the building. For those of you that would like to see live footage of the falls click here for the live web cam.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memory Monday: Photo Restoration

It is a fact of life that not every photo will survive unscathed and while that doesn't take away from the memory the photo elicits, it can bring a touch of sadness when viewing the photo. Take for example this wonderfully fun shot of my niece and nephew. My brother aptly titled this photo 'Driving Ms. C'. The photo still captures the joy, fun and laughter shared by these two siblings, and yet the discoloration and damage leaves me a bit sad and wondering how much longer till the discoloration and damage effects ones ability to make out the joyous expression on my niece's face.
Being in the business of preserving photographic memories I just had to save this bit of my niece and nephew's childhood memories. The first step was to repair the damage.
Once the damage was repaired it was on to the task of adjusting the discoloration so that the image was closer to its' original color.
Having restored the photograph and creating a digital back up of the photograph I am now confident that this precious memory will be around for many more years. Years from now when their grandchildren want to know what they did for fun when they were children they will be able to show them this photo and talk about the experiences they had as children.
It is the little memories, all those brief special moments that when combined together paint the mural of our existence that truly matter. So go out and make the memories, capture them with your camera and preserve them. And if along the way one should get damaged photo restoration can help you preserve the photo and memory.

I did not create a linky for this weeks Memory Monday but you may always share by posting a link in your comment. In the future as I grow if an interest is shown in Memory Monday's I will create the linky and make it a blog hop.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

In Honor of Memorial Day

This composite photographic art piece is available as a free wall paper size 1600x900 pixels.
If when you save the image it does not save at full size email me for a full resolution file.

Sunday In My City: Falls Park

I am a West Coast girl transplanted eighteen years ago in the Midwest and although I greatly miss the mountains, ocean and all the beauty that can be found in California, Oregon and Washington I love this city. Sioux Falls has a rich and lengthy historical past much of which is centered around the cascades of the Big Sioux River. These cascades are now referred to as The Falls and are located in a beautiful park just blocks from down town Sioux Falls. The falls provide a natural beauty to our city which is enjoyed by many all year round. Today I would like to share this spot in our city that is for me a favorite.



Linking up with

Unknown Mami

Happy Virtual Travels!

Rescuing Moldy Photographs

Photos of Comfort Suites, Hagerstown
This photo of Comfort Suites is courtesy of TripAdvisor

If you live in a region that is prone to humidity it is likely that you have experienced the heartache of finding one or more of your precious photographs has been attacked by mold. Even if you do not live in a humid region this mold can become a problem. Mold as I am sure you will agree can lead to very serious problems both for our family's health and for our photographs. The first step in protecting photographs from mold is to prevent possible infection through safe storage of photographs. If you are not familiar with these steps please refer to my previous article on protecting your valued photographs.

But what do you do if your photos already have mold on them. If you are not able to immediately start the mold removal process you should  isolate the photos that have mold on them so that the mold does not spread to other photos. You can do this by putting all affected photos in an air tight zip bag or box. Before removing it you will first need to de-activate the mold. Please remember mold is a dangerous substance and should not be touched with bare hands or inhaled. Use of gloves and face mask or respirator is strongly recommended. Also if you have respiratory problems please have someone else handle the situation.

There is a great deal of information available on killing mold in our homes using such products as Lysol, Clorox or another chemical that is proven to kill mold. However, using these products to remove mold from photographs will ruin your photograph. Instead of killing the mold you will need to use gentler methods to de-activating mold so it can be removed from the photograph. You may be wondering how to tell if mold is active or inactive. Active mold will smear when brushed but inactive mold is powdery.  Three effective ways to de-activate mold are freezing, air drying and exposure to UV light. Direct exposure to UV light can fade your photographs so if you choose this method you may not want to leave the photo in direct light for more than one hour.

Once the mold has been de-activated you will need to either vacuum it up or wipe it off. Keep in mind that the mold spores are only inactive they are not truly dead and they can become air borne transferring to another location to lay dormant until conditions are right to re-activate them. For that reason you may want to do this out doors, and throughly clean vacuum filter according to manufactures recommended process if vacuuming. If you use cot rags to whip off the mold, be sure to change rags often and wash the used rags in bleach and hot water afterwards. If after cleaning and removing the mold you discover that your photo has become damaged don't despair photo restoration has come a long way. The photographic artists at Artistix Network LLC are ready and willing to help.

On an end not, as an extra precaution to avoid possible re-activation of any missed mold spores you may want to isolate the infected photographs after they have been cleaned of mold in a previously unused archival safe photo storage box or bag. Another option is to scan the photo and destroy the original. However only scan after removing all mold spores both active and in-active otherwise you run the risk of spreading the spores to your scanner. If your photo was in a frame or on a shelf don't forget to throughly clean those areas with a product designed to kill mold, it would be a shame to return your photo to it's original spot to have it become re-infected.

I hope that you have found this article helpful and will share this information with others. One rescued photo can equal many rescued memories.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Weekend Reflection: New v Old

When I came across the Weekend Reflections blog hop I was thrilled as photographing reflections is something I love to do. Although I love photographing people and nature, one of my dreams is to travel around America photographing interesting architecture. At one time I preferred historical buildings as they were more apt to 'Speak' to me, yet in recent years architects have gotten back to making statements with their designs and I find myself being drawn to both old and new. So for this weekends reflection I have chosen the new reflecting the old.

 This post linked to Jame's Weekend Reflections #88
Hop on over to visit some of the amazing submissions.

Friday, May 27, 2011

My Perfect Room

My perfect room…
Have you ever wanted to have a special room all to yourself? One where you could go and escape the wildness of day to day living. For some time now I have thought of just such a room. I have dreamed of how it would look, how it would smell and how it would feel. Here is my perfect room, what would yours be like?

In my perfect room the walls would be covered with a continuous mural of a mountain forest with a stream running through it. The stream would run from one wall around the one corner and up to the top of the other side of this wall so that it would blend into a fountain positioned in the corner. The fountain would be made to look like a miniature waterfall that reaches half way up the wall and falls into a pond with planter boxes staggered among the rocks. The planter boxes would be full of beautiful ferns and fragrant wild flowers.

The pond would be large enough to actually lie in and float. it would also be heated and have a switch to control jets in the pond so that I could enjoy the relaxing sensation of a jacuzzi any time day or night.

The floor would be covered with a lush moss green carpet that is thickly paddy so that every footstep sinks a good inch into the soft warmth. The ceiling would be a full skylight with a mechanical screen that I could use to operate a canvas of the deepest midnight blue with a constellation cut into the fabric, so that during the day I could have it night or day and so that on starlit nights I could create my own starry sky. Along the outside wall there would be artfully hidden air vents that could be opened on ice days to let in the fresh outside air. On the remaining wall would be an artfully camouflaged door and cabinet. The cabinet would be large enough to contain novels of far off times and places and art supplies as well as writing supplies. The cabinet would also contain a sound system with CD's of relaxing mood music such as nature sounds, harp or flute, classical and new age music. Near the cabinet would be an overstuffed recliner with massage capabilities and a pole lamp that looks like a vine with leaves and wild flowers. Near the pond would be an incense burner to bring the smells of the forest and wild flowers into the room.

Awwwwww, to have my perfect room. Especially on days like today when old age just sneaks up and smacks you right between the eyes. OK, so I am really not that old but boy today I am sure feeling ancient as my children like to call me. Here it is barely 6pm and I have been in my comfy clothes for over an hour. Yes I feel as if I could crawl into my soft bed with a good book and dream away, and who knows I just may do that. I was going to wait to do my grateful for post tomorrow and just put up "My perfect room" post but seeing as how at this moment I am really feeling grateful for Down Time I decided to combine them.

This weeks gratitude is Down Time especially down time that includes comfy clothes, a soft bed, a good book and of course my imagination.

Linking up to Maxabella's "I'm Grateful for" blog hop

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tin Can Computing!

I know I am lucky. I keep telling myself that, over and over but today I sure wasn't feeling the luck. Yes we have broadband, or at least that is what the service provider keeps telling me. I however call it Tin Can Computing! Honestly, some days I am tempted to look and see if there is a piece of string coming out the back of my computer connecting it to the internet. I swear it would probably be faster if there was.
Alright, now that I have gotten that out of my system I can finally share what I have been trying to share all day long. I have been practicing creating memory videos and decided to put the memory photos from our 2009 Family Vacation photo book into video format, and would love to know what you think. I am rather new to creating video's usually I leave the video creation to my wonderful daughter and partner Val. Sorry the video resolution isn't too good, I couldn't get it to upload at the higher resolutions and had to go with the lowest, thanks to my wonderful BROADBAND internet.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Memory Monday

My weekend of rest and fun definitely refueled my creativity. Which of course I am thrilled about, however I do wish it could have waited until this morning. But no, something I don't remember what triggered a memory of my Nana, after I had gone to bed. Of course I just had to get up and create a special memory photo to capture at least some of the memory and add to it a written record of the memory. While I was doing that, it clicked in my head that it would be fun to create a link up with a memory theme.  How better to share memories and learn a bit about all the new friends we are making. So here it is folks, I do hope you like the idea and will join in with me and share some special memories.

I couldn't have been much over five years old the last time I sat at the small wooden table with the hand embroidered table cloth in my Nana's kitchen, but the memory is still as vivid as if it was yesterday. I can see Nana in her blue cotton dress and white apron standing at the old stove, flipping the corn tortilla's as she cooked them on the cast iron griddle, the whole room filling with their warm rich aroma. The warmth in Nana's little house was so genuine, and emanated not only from the fresh tortilla's and homemade tamales steaming on the stove but from the loving woman who resided within this home. To this day the smell of fresh hot corn tortillas takes me back to Nana's kitchen and the love she showed to all her children and grandchildren. Though I had but a very short time with Nana, she is my inspiration and model for the type of grandmother I strive to be.

Memory Monday

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My Sunday Best - Photo

Linking up with Your Sunday Best, a terrific photo blog hop. It was hard to decide which photo to showcase from this week but I really love this one and it turned out just the way I imagined. As soon as I saw the mirrored entrance at one of the buildings down town I just had to shoot for a double reflection.

Playing along at

Sunday Smiles in Sioux Falls

Having fun around town on a Sunday afternoon.

 I thought it would be fun to join

Unknown Mami

So the kids and I went down town to do their photo shoot. 
Hop on over to Sundays In My City to enjoy visiting other places.
I would like to also give a shout out to:

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Day of Play

After a long week with a creative block I decided it was time to surround myself with nature and play with my camera. It was very relaxing wandering through the Japanese Gardens, taking pictures when the mood struck me.

 While there I met a young boy and his mother, he was just so cute that I had to ask if I could take his picture. Other than to be reduced in size all of the above shots are unedited. This next shot is the original photograph of the young boy and his dog.
I love this photo so much but knew I would love it even more after a bit of editing.
So here it is. What do you think, before or after?
I am grateful for:
1. Nature and all the beauty it has to offer.
2. My eyesight for without it I would miss so much.
3. My family for understanding my moods.
Sorry almost forgot

This post is part of a linky at Maxabella Loves.
Hop on over and check out some of the lovely posts.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wednesday's Wisdom

Here in lies the wisdom in declaring No-Work Wednesday's, can you think of a better way to get through a difficult week than to have a day mid week to relax?