Full Moon Maiden

The other night we happened upon clear skies (unusual  at the moment), the moon was full and ripe for “shooting”…..

This was a hand held shot using my 70-300mm lens and I am totally amazed at the detail that I arrived with in the Moon’s surface.  Really makes you wonder what’s up there – even if scientifically, you know it’s not much!  Looks pretty anyway!

And so I used this shot as the basis for a creative piece.  Model, mountains, grassy fields and a judicious amount of the liquefy and warp tools to get her dress right.  Add some textures, soak, layer mask and bake over one glass of wine…. and you have it…

Joanne Thieme Huffman - I love the feel of fantasy in this.

Robin aka Gotham Girl - Oh my…this is soooooo awesome!

Jean Hutter - I love this image Marie. That is an amazing moon shot but what you did with it I am in awe.

Chris - This is an amazing work of art. I don’t know how you do it all. But that’s part of its mystery.

Alison - Love this,she can hang on my wall any day. A

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Blue Mountain Majesty

Getting up horribly early the other morning did net some benefits, in that the light was lovely and lent itself for snapping some pretty landscape images to work with.  If I’d not been hell bent on getting to the race, I could have easily spent an hour or two just stopping every 5 mintues to take pictures of the wonderful scenery the Blue Mountains has to offer.

    Here is the SOOC image which was twiddled and tweaked in Photoshop to contrive a Watercolor effect and then cropped to achieve a landscape Pano.

The prep work for the final piece included multiple Curves adjustment layers to bring out the various tonal ranges in the mountainous parts of the image before adding the color and painterly effects.

mary bailey - Soooo love this one, Marie!

Joanne Thieme Huffman - Your “painterly effects” are absolutely beautiful.

Vicki in Michigan - One of my daughter’s friends does this sort of thing.

You’ve made it more understandable why someone might want to do this, I think, and your pics are excellent.

Nice photo essay. I bet you could sell this to a magazine……


Vicki in Michigan - Oops! My comment above was meant for the race, not the mountains. Sorry!

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Spartan Racing in Virginia

On Friday night DH and I headed up to the wooly wilds of Virginia so that we could be up bright and early to check out the Spartan Race at Wintergreen Resort and see what sort of pix could be found.  It’s an 8 mile endurance and obstacle race, in this case hosted at what would normally be a ski resort, so you can imagine the kind of terrain was on the cards!!  It’s a massive event with 6,000 runners expected to start the course over two days.

Our 5:30am start saw us driving to the resort and  being marshalled into general parking from where we were all shuttle bused up to the main resort area.  At 8:00am the “Elite” runners started off on the course and I understand the best time of the day was 1hr and 50mins, which is no mean feat at all.  From then on they started packs of 1 to 2 hundred runners in 15 minute increments.  Given that the terrain is normally given to downhill traffic on skiis or a snowboard, traversing it backwards, on foot to chase the runners was an “interesting” test of one’s general fitness, to say the least – thank heavens for swimming and running to stay in shape!

Fortunately the physical effort paid off handsomely in being granted excellent access to all points of the course, and for whatever reason, toting a big camera with a long lens seems to lend you some sort of credibility towards taking pictures and the organizers where pretty happy to let me wander wherever I wanted to.

So there were long treks up ski slopes and down, lots of obstacles to climb up and down (points lost if you went around), mud baths, slippery slides, fire beds to jump over, ropes to climb, barbed wire fields to traverse, you name it, it had to be done.

And whilst there were many a pained face about the place, everyone seemed quite determined to forge on and complete the course …..  No nahmby pambhy whinning at all!

And, the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains was just glorious, as was the day altogether.

One of the things that was particularly notable or incredible about the day was the number of TEAMS that participated on the run, the caring attitude and support that existed amongst ALL the runners.

One group of note was the Enduring Warrior crowd,  who serve to movtivate wounded and injured armed forces  members through physical, mental and emotional rehabilitative activities.
I saw a loads of participants from this group and if you ever wonder IF you CAN DO anything, you would only have to look to this group for inspiration.
There was a young female war vet, on crutches, doing her damndest to finish the course, a number of participants missing limbs and going hell for leather and to top it all, one incredible young man, minus both legs and an arm, completing the course.  It was totally mindblowing!!

I have to say though after watching this race and seeing the (arduous) fun they have running it, I might have to give one a go ….. a bit like a bucket list thing maybe?  I don’t know. ….. I’m thinking a short course that they have here in Charlotte in March….  we will see!

Bren - My God this is extraordinary! Talk about the will of the human spirit, I’m in awe and completely in awe of the fantastic moments you caught with your camera. ‘Enduring Warrior’ an amazing group of men and women. thank you my friend for your endurance in chasing down these stunning shots and sharing this event with us, I’d never heard of it before.

joanne thieme huffman - I don’t even think I have enough stamina to get the photos you took. Great photos.

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Slipping back into the comfort zone of editing and creating images the way you want to, without any consideration for comp specs …. making something cos you can, and because it floats your boat!

joanne thieme huffman - So beautifully done!

Bren - Well I love it, and the title is terrific too. Very compelling

gotham girl - So fascinating!

Chris - I love this so much.

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Life Lakely V6

It’s been a while since I bored you with another LAKE shot, but the last few days the sunsets have been spectacular and as a departure from the usual SOOC image I decided to share a little painterly treatment.

I  never tire of tripping down to the dock to dip my toes in the water as the fiery evening light adorns the soft waves at sunset, the Blue Mountains in the background and the lush Summer foliage rendered to a perfect silhouette.

A backyard to die for indeed!

gotham girl - This is so awesome!!

Karen Burns - Save a sunset for November 🙂


Joanne Thieme Huffman - Lovely.

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