Meetup Magic on Lake Norman



I hosted my first event for my very own Meetup group here in Charlotte this evening.  Nothing too complicated, just a half dozen photographers prancing about the lawn at the water’s edge followed by drinks, nibbles and some suitably photo and photoshoppy conversation.

Thankfully the weather, sun and lake all co-operated beautifully and some great shots were to be had.

It proved to be a lovely introduction to some new folk and I have high hopes for the group going forward!
I think my neighbour got a bit of a shock to see the adjacent yard littered with camera creeping creatures, all toting tripods hither and thither but after a quick explanation of the going’s on she was fine and might even join the complement for the next adventure, so that is good!

Here’s hoping you all had a great weekend too!

Alison - Great,so happy it all went well

Joanne Thieme Huffman - It sounds like the beginning of many lovely times.

gotham girl - How fun! I’m sure this is just the beginning!

Chris - HA! I love the image of neighbors wondering what was going on out there!
So cool to be able to have friends at such a beautiful place all playing with what they love.

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Scouting About

I spent today checking out some fun Art Fairs that were going on in and around Charlotte and capped the day off with some scouting around for locations for Photo-shooting for my upcoming workshop.  Checking out the good spots, how the light lies at certain times of the day and picking out places of interest that will serve as good vantage points for premium pictures.


One place I stopped at is The Green, which is a lovely lush spot in the middle of the city, however since the focus of the workshop is “Black and White” Creative imagery I was looking for pictures that would serve for more than just the usual tourist fare, so some great lamp-post graffiti combined with some stellar stones netted a fun and interesting graphic composite.


On the corner of North College street, you can screw your neck up and see the interesting shape of the blue’ish building above and then check out the BW photoshop interpretation.  Lots of fun pulling out the detail in the image and then melding it into a creative composite.

Before leaving the City we stopped off a Rooster’s for a bite to eat.  And for those of you who know me well, you also know that I am notoriously picky about good restaurant food. I have to say that this was THE best dining experience ever in Charlotte.  Not because it was the fanciest or most expensive, but simply because the food tasted GREAT!  An interesting menu, loads of local produce and a pan fired to table turnaround that was second to none.  Lovely waitstaff and a perfect coffee after dinner.  Highly recommended indeed!

So, all in all and in Black and White terms, not a bad day at all!

Joanne Thieme Huffman - I love your black and white work. I like that you showed the composite pieces for the cat.

gotham girl - Ditto Joanne’s comment about showing us the pieces! Love that! One day, one day…I will work towards photo shop!

Chris - Ooh! How appropriate that you were ‘Scout’ ing on Scout’s mom’s birthday! ha. I was out at my family’s get together in kansas city, so at least SOMEONE was Scouting! Scout was missing me, I’m sure.

I absolutely LOVE that tower image. holy moly.

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Friday Night Frolics


I skipped out to join one of my Charlotte Meetup Groups tonight to have some serendipitous photo fun.

The “Creative Lounge” as it’s called is held at a pro photo studio that spends it’s days taking cutesy pictures of babies and what not.  Once a month it turns into a playground for creative minds with cameras where there are a variety of models (usually fairly inexperienced, but not always) who are willing to just “mess about”, get made up, pushed and pulled and even frolic in beds of rose petals.

The downside is that it does get a little crowded and some folk are pretty “pushy” and hog the model, but for the most part it’s quite good fun and Lightroom always dishes up a few 5 Star images after the fact!!

Here’s hoping your weekend is off to such a stellar start!

(and thanks for comments  and emails regarding my previous post!  rather honored to be considered anyone’s Mentor – way cool indeed!)


Bren - Love seeing the results of these staged photo shoots you go on, such wonderful shots. love the play of shadow and light in the rose petal one and colour tone in the second is just dreamy. good stuff as always!

Joanne Thieme Huffman - Great photos. How cool to have access to a modeling session.

gotham girl - Now how fun would that be! I did go to a sketch event in Philly once and we had drag queens to sketch. Lots of fun with friends! But a photography shoot would be super super fun! Love the images. Oh, you’re welcome on the comment. So true you know.

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Some Venetian Colored Thoughts


I think I have taken some 70,000 photos since I got my 5D Canon camera in 2011, seriously thinking about photos and not much else since I went to Venice last year in February, 2012.

Previously I had been all about take the picture, to hell and hindmost and FIX it in Photoshop.  Nowadays it’s all about getting that perfect image, shooting in manual, getting the depth of field and the shutter speed right, cracking the action and catching the light.

I’ve spent a year entering photography competions and after some early teeth wrenching disappointments finally started figuring out the game and winning medals and honors for my submissions.

Gratifying to say the least.

However, I find myself coming somewhat full circle and whilst there are some competitons that lend themselves to creative explorations I did find that I had to tailor  my “style” to fit the rest.

So …….  having achieved some sort of “offical” validation in my pocket (PSA Stars and whatnot) I  now think that it’s time to go back to being “ME”.

Creating photographic images and digital derivatives that are a little more true to who I am and less about “pandering to group think and judging standards”!

Who knows what that means.  Fewer competion entries going forward (as they are expensive and time consuming) and probably a LOT more time spent on creative pursuits, Meetups and Workshops…….

One thing is for sure, there will still be plenty of camera snapping as I lurch forward ….


mary bailey - Such good observations about priorities, Marie. There is so much to do and learn in photography and PS I find it is easy to get myself scattered and spinning in circles. Good to take stock and assess what is most important.

Joanne Thieme Huffman - I think every true artist works in cycles, working on building new skills and then incorporating them into an expanding knowledge base.

Bren - First off, congratulations on your successes, you seldom mention competitions your enter and their results. You’ve worked hard and it’s wonderful to know you have met with success. I know I have enjoyed the visual journey you’ve been on. And now with this redirection, I’m looking forward to ‘more of Marie.’
Love the painterly effect of this Venice piece, such wonderful richness in colour.

Karen Burns - I applaud your awards and I applaud your direction to stay “true to you” even more ~ I have been in the “take the shot, fix it later” mode, knowing more about PhotoShop than my camera. I’m fixing that now and trying to learn more about my camera ~ This image is so very Venice, and I love your post work on it! I do believe you should sell mini-tutorial/pdfs for this type of work (and more) ~ you know me, I love to pick your brain 🙂

Marcie - Gorgeous work – Marie. I have such fond memories of my time in Venice…and somehow the way in which you’ve processed the image speaks more clearly to my memory than the photographs themselves.

Love your ‘creative’ style!!

gotham girl - In so many ways we are on that same path…don’t get me wrong, my photography and creativity is NO WHERE close to yours…but after entering a few shows (and my work being selected!) and listening to what curators are looking for…I dumped the whole thing of entering. Plus it was too much time and money involved. Now I shoot for myself and to hell what others think of my work. Thank you for being one of those mentors!

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Swinging High at the State Fair, Asheville NC


Cruising up in the Blue Mountains again today to check out the State Fair at Asheville.  A beautiful and balmy day, lots of fun eye candy in the Ride department with expressions of glee galore and helter skelter movement in abundance, folk tossed hither and thither, upside and down.  Love, love the sleek and sexy design of the new fashioned ferris wheel as well as the glamour of the older styled rides.

Followed the Fair Ground event with a meander around Asheville, checking out the myriad artsy stores and innumerable lovely galleries (remember Mary?) and topped the day off with a fab Tapas dinner at Zambra – uber delicious.

Now contemplating lease end lifestyle change from the Lake to the Mountains…. perhaps!

Alison - Fab pictures OXOX M

Joanne Thieme Huffman - Love the intensity of these.

gotham girl - Love the all of course, but the last one is my favorite! Your work is so beautiful… Can’t wait to hear more on your contemplation! 🙂

Bren - I use to love going on all the rides with our kids and grandkids!
These photos are wonderful, brought back a lot of great memories. How can you not smile at all that colour and excitement!

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