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New Photo Friday - Maddee Week 10

New Photo Friday – Week 10

jennifer forbus - new photo friday

Happy Friday friends! We’ve hit a little milestone today at week 10 of the New Photo Friday feature. I hope you’ve been enjoying the photos. It’s keeping me on my toes and reminding me to practice, practice, practice. This weekend the Erie Shores Photography Club is heading out to shoot some waterfalls, so I may have a lovely nature photo for next week’s post.

Earlier in the week I was able to see the movie of A Man Called Ove. If you’re not familiar with the book or my fan girl obsession with it, check out my review from a few years back. My review was blurbed for an ad in the New York Times. My claim to fame. 😉 I’m working on a movie review, which I’ll hopefully post for you next week. Stay tuned.

Now on to the main event…


I worked on some portraits of my sister and her kids this week, so I thought I’d share one of these. My niece is a joy to photograph as she’s so natural in front of the camera. My nephew is a little more challenging. His smile often looks forced and he never seems to be able to relax when the lens is turned on him. So a number of pictures I caught of him that were unplanned ended up being some of my favorites. This one. I like the way the shadows play on his face and the contemplative expression he has.

I took this one with my 50mm lens. I used an ISO of 100, an aperture of 1.8 and a shutter speed of 1/640 of a second.

New Photo Friday - portraits

Maddee J.

Maddee has a beautiful nature shot for this week’s photo. Here’s what she has to say about this one:

“Taken with my iPhone on a cloudy/rainy morning walk.  When I took this, I tapped the iPhone focus to get the drops on the leaf in the best focus (as opposed to the flower in the foreground).  I was amazed at how beautifully clear some of them are.  I’ve taken [or rather, tried to take] many photos like this and it’s hard to get the focus to really kick in so I was happy about this!  I also LOVE the colors!!”

Me too!

New Photo Friday - Maddee Week 10

How about you? What do you think of this week’s photos? Do you have one to share with us? Leave us a link in the comments if you do. We’d love to check them out.

New Photo Friday - Bokah

New Photo Friday – Week 9

Happy Friday, friends! The leaves are turning colors here and I’m off this morning to take pictures. I hope you’re looking forward to a wonderful weekend. I’m going to dig right into our pictures today because I’m super excited about today’s selections. So here we go…


This year I joined my local photography club, Erie Shores Photography Club. And on Wednesday we did a workshop that centered around focus, depth of field and bokah. I had seen bokah before but had never done any photography with it. So we got this video ahead of the workshop. And another club member mentioned doing cut-outs for her lens, so I looked up information on that and found this site.

Armed with that information, I made myself some cut-outs and created this photo:

New Photo Friday - Bokah

My hearts didn’t come out quite as defined as I would have liked, but I was delighted at this result for my first time. These are actually Christmas lights in a clear vase. I shot the picture using my 50mm lens (on a tripod), aperture 1.8, shutter speed 1/40 sec, ISO 100.

Have you tried bokah before? I’m taking a Photoshop class right now and I might try some of my blending mode activities with this image. I’ll let you know how the results come out.

Maddee J.

This week from Maddee we have a picture from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (I love this frog!). She says, ” I’m a huge fan of fountains and take photos of them every chance I get. I just adore off-kilter images but I wonder if I would like it even more if I had gotten the entire fountain and cool frog sculpture in. Not sure; I kind of like it as is. What do you all think? (taken with iPhone, no filter)”

New Photo Friday - fountain

New Photo Friday - Carmel

New Photo Friday – Week 8

jennifer forbus - new photo friday

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you had a great week. We had a lovely week here in Northeast Ohio. I’m trying to soak it all up because I know it’s not going to stay for much longer. *sigh* I’ve had an especially busy photography week, doing more work on my class project and taking some pictures of a Halloween house. I had hoped to post a Woollybear Festival picture this week, but I didn’t end up staying long at the festival because it was SO crazy crowded. At least a half a dozen people told me Rufus looked like a woollybear. Too funny.

Anyway, this weekend is going to bring some photography excitement for me as I’m going to be a second shooter at a small wedding. Cross your fingers for me, and pray I don’t mess up. I’m a wee bit nervous.


Since I just posted about my project last week and I put the Halloween house on Facebook, I’ll share a picture I took this week of my spider. She comes out every night on my porch and spins her web. I’m trying to capture her for a creepy-crawlies competition with our Erie Shores Photography Club. This one isn’t going to cut it–it’s not very sharp–but I’m going to keep trying. I shot this one using my 50mm lens at ISO 6400, aperture f1.8, shutter speed 1/100s.

New Photo Friday - creepy crawlies


This week Maddee has switched to her Canon Rebel, which she says is “the original model, actually, which shows how old it is!” She took this stunning image in Carmel, CA, just after the sun went down. She used her automatic setting and no filter. I love the clouds in this one!

New Photo Friday - Carmel

And that does it for another New Photo Friday. I hope you enjoyed our new photos for this week. Let us know if you have a new photo from this week that we can come and check out. In the mean time, I’m off to practice for tomorrow and try to keep from hyperventilating. Have a great weekend!

new photo friday - love of story

New Photo Friday – Week 7

jennifer forbus - new photo friday

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you’ve enjoyed a good week. It’s been a little rainy in my neck of the woods, but alas, summer has vacated the area. I saw our first signs of leaves changing colors. I love fall’s palate, but I always mourn the loss of summer. To alleviate a little of my melancholy, I’m hoping to take Rufus to the Woollybear Festival this weekend.

I also had an, um, interesting run-in with a possum this week. It wasn’t pretty–for me, the possum is just fine. 😉 And I registered for Murder & Mayhem in Milwaukee this week. Anyone planning to be there, too? Should be a grand time.

Anyway, we’ve got some fun photos for New Photo Friday, so let’s get on with it, shall we?


I mentioned earlier that for my current photography class we have a special project. I’ve been working on that project and wanted to share one of my current iterations today. In the past three weeks this has already morphed quite a bit and I see more significant changes in the future, but thought I’d get your thoughts on it at this point. The theme of my project is “Love of Story,” and I’m trying to evoke a comforting, reassuring emotion in reading.

I’m using a couple of light sources and have been playing with their placement and power. The ring in the gutter of the book is a new addition and I am still working on getting the lighting on it correct so it creates the heart shape evenly in the shadow.

I shot this time around with a 2.8 aperture, an ISO of 100 and a shutter speed of 1/160. When I go to work on it next, I’ll be removing some of the clutter — the post-its, the bookmark. My eventual plan is to have tea in the cup, but I want to get the composition right before I move on to that step. And obviously the lighting needs work so my entire background is not black and the highlights on the book aren’t blown out. Other thoughts about things you like or don’t like? All constructive criticism welcome!

new photo friday - love of story


Maddee really loves taking flower shots. And she is sharing one with us this week for her new photo. This is what she told me when she sent the picture: “Taken with my iPhone, no filter. I just love the balance of rich colors and textures with the background faded out. I decided to start naming my photos for fun… this is Flower Candy.” I love that name, especially since the flowers look good enough to eat!

new photo friday - flower candy

And there you have it from us this week. Do you have a new photo to share for this week? Let us know in the comments so we can stop by and see your work! All photos, all levels of ability welcome.

Have a super weekend, friends.

New Photo Friday - mardi gras beads

New Photo Friday – Week 6

jennifer forbus - new photo friday

Happy Friday all. I hope you’ve been enjoying a nice week. I know a lot of folks returned from their big party weekend in New Orleans for Bouchercon. I hope you’ve recovered successfully.

I’m typing this after my photography class and all giddy because I’m learning to use off-camera flash and it’s pretty amazing. I’m looking forward to playing with it this weekend and seeing what I can do on my own at this point. But I’m going to share a picture from class for today’s new photo. And Maddee’s returned so we have a great contribution from her as well.


My flash is the Cactus RF60 with the V6 transceiver. I shot with my 18-55mm lens using an aperture of 5.6, a shutter speed of 1/4 of a second and an ISO of 1600 in evaluative metering mode. I also had an umbrella on the flash at 1/32 power for this shot.

While I know that this picture is not perfect by any means, it is ground-breaking for me. To have gotten the ambient light behind her (she’s standing in front of a plate glass window) without completely turning her into a black blob of shadow is so exciting. Oh and the “her” is my adorable niece Payton. She was such a good sport coming to the class and serving as a model.

New Photo Friday - off camera flash

Maddee J.

This week Maddee really gave me a challenge. I had to pick from several pictures she took in New Orleans. They were all great and I had a hard time picking, but I settled on this one because it just made me happy to look at it. In her words, “They’re all arty and taken on the iPhone with a filter.” And about the image I chose, “love me some Mardi Gras beads!” Me too!

New Photo Friday - mardi gras beads

I hope you enjoyed the images for today. As always, feel free to leave your constructive criticism in the comments as well as links to YOUR new photos this week. We’d love to see. Have a super weekend!

New Photo Friday - Elyria Mural

New Photo Friday – Week 5

jennifer forbus - new photo friday

Sorry for the late post today, folks. My computer was being uncooperative this morning and then I had to run to watch HARRY. Is anyone watching that along with me? I don’t watch TV but this week Harry Connick, Jr. started his daytime talk show. He may become partly responsible for me losing weight because I climb on the treadmill for an hour while I watch his show. Anyhoo…

It’s Bouchercon weekend, so some of our regular posters (including Maddee) probably won’t be active today. But I still have a photo to share with you. This picture is of a segment of a fantastic mural that is going up in Downtown Elyria. It’s being painted on brick walls right outside our photography class building, so I’m watching the development as I go back to class each week. You can see in this image that it’s not complete, but even incomplete it’s amazing. I love the detail of the produce in the window behind the two men. And the incredible effect of dimension on a flat brick wall. I’ll get some pictures each week and do a post in the future on the progression of the mural. It’s pretty stunning. In the mean time, this photo was taken using my 18-55mm lens at an ISO of 400. Aperture 5.6 and shutter speed 1/80 of a second.

New Photo Friday - Elyria Mural

By the way, the grass along the bottom strip of the image is actual grass–everything else is the brick wall.

In our photography class we’re starting into our “project” so you may see updates here on that. My theme right now is “Love of Story.” Stay tuned for more on that!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and be sure to share your photo links in the comments so we can take a look!

Camp Unleashed - photography

Labor Day Dog Camp Vacation

Rufus and my 2016 dog camp trip to Camp Unleashed has come and gone now. *sob* Like last year, it was a deliriously wonderful weekend. There was one tiny blip where I almost let a not-so-nice woman and her not-so-social dog ruin the weekend, but after a little pouting and venting I got it together and decided she wouldn’t prevent us from enjoying our favorite weekend of the year! It also helped tremendously that the instructors and behaviorist and camp staff are just so fabulous.

So here’s a little rundown on what we did this year. Yappy Hour continues to be a favorite of Rufus’, so I make sure I drag my bones out of the bunk each morning and take him to the field to romp with the other dogs. And he earned the nickname of “Yappy Hour Ambassador” because he would run over to greet each new arrival and then speed back to continue playing.

Dog Camp - yappy hour

This year there were sessions on scent-type activities: indoor and outdoor, tracking, finding personal belongings–anyone need to train their dogs to find their car keys? We attended a lecture session on how your dog smells the world, but most of the other classes were 2 activity sessions long, so we opted to go with other classes.

One of those other classes was Parkour for Dogs. Have you seen Parkour for humans? It’s similar. The dogs are trained to jump on, bounce off of, go through or under all kinds of obstacles that occur in the everyday environment. Rufus had no trouble with the jumping ON obstacles. Going through and under took much more enticement.

Dog Camp - Parkour

We also learned…or rather started learning…flyball. This is a relay race with dogs. If you’ve never seen it, the dogs run over four hurdles, pop on a box that discharges a ball. They have to grab the ball and run back over the hurdles. Rufus has the hurdles down from agilities, but we have to work on his interest in the ball. He didn’t want to pick it up and take it back with him. Our instructor, Kathy Nieves show us some ways we can practice and hopefully get Rufus more interested in the ball. The turn on the box is a process too, but he was starting off pretty well. We’ll definitely try more with that in the future.

dog camp - flyball

Another new class we tried this year was Tricks. Rufus does a lot of obedience type things, but I haven’t worked with him much on tricks. So we really enjoyed this class. He learned (or rather relearned) to bow. And we started working on sit pretty. So we’ll practice more with both of these now that we have some idea of how to approach them.

Our must-do-again events included Freestyle for Dogs, of course! Here we started learning to march and “backup.” We’ll be working on those more. We also took several of the regular moves that we already know and combined them, which looked great. I also discovered that before I had only asked Rufus to do weaves when I was walking forward, so when I wanted him to do more of a figure eight weave, he was unsure how to do the back half. We have to practice that some more, too. This really is the highlight of my camp. I’ve so enjoyed learning this. I don’t dance except with my dog.  Jenn Michaelis can work miracles!

We couldn’t miss out on the mindfulness hike. I just love walking through the woods with Rufus, and him being off leash, allowed to explore, sniff, run and just be a dog. All his happy signals are on full power during these walks.

And for me, I had to partake in the photography class again. This year we had a fun dress-up activity coordinated by Chelly Campbell. I thought it was great fun; Rufus might tell you a different story. But the class was in the last session of the day, so Ru was pretty tired and didn’t fight the dress-up too much, and we got some cool pictures.

Dog Camp - photography

Rufus spent time each day in the lake, of course. We still didn’t manage to do a canoe ride, though. We had a chance to attend a fascinating session called “Doglish” on how your dog communicates. Plus, this was a very nice addition this year: my roomies, Kat and Pippa, and I spent time at our cabin chatting, playing a cool domino game called Mexican Train and watching Arrested Development. They had some episodes on the iPad and insisted I had to be introduced to the show. My introverted self appreciated this time very much.

Once again we left exhausted and wonderfully happy! As I’ve said before, I can’t recommend dog camp enough. We save to go; it’s not a cheap getaway, but it’s worth every penny.

New Photo Friday - sunflowers

New Photo Friday – Week 4

jennifer forbus - new photo friday

Happy Friday, friends. And thanks to everyone who stopped by when I was off camping with Rufus. I’ll share a post about our weekend on Monday. So much wonderfulness again this year—plus fun photos to share. And a special thanks to my fellow shutterbugs who still posted along with us even though I was out roughing it. You guys are fantastic! So now let’s move on to this week’s new photo!



Since I’ll be sharing dog photos with you on Monday, I opted for a picture I took on Wednesday at the Prayers for Maria sunflower Field of Hope.  I’m going again at a better time of day, but despite the challenging lighting, I managed to get this shot that I really love. I took this with my 18-55mm lens: 100 ISO, 5.6 aperture, 1/250 shutter speed.

The little holes that some bug chewed out of the leaf are what attracted me to this flower, but I really love how the depth of field worked out in this one—both foreground and background. I also like the various textures in this shot. The area I still want to improve on is the lighting to get those colors to pop a bit stronger, but while last week I wasn’t so thrilled with my image, this week I’m rather smitten with it. But you can still feel free to chime in and say what you might have done differently or what you think would have made it even better.

New Photo Friday - sunflowers

Maddee J.

Maddee nailed the atmosphere in her picture this week. This is what she had to say about it:

“I took this at Castello di Amarosa in Calistoga, CA. It’s a newish winery which is built to look like an old Tuscan castle. Super cool place for photography—I’ve taken literally hundreds of photos there. The only thing that’s bad about taking pix there is that there are always so many people around, so I work hard to angle the shot to not have people in it! While sometimes people are good for scale, I generally like artistic shots without people.

Anyway, I adore their gargoyles at the front gate!”

New Photo Friday

And there you have it. Our new photos for Week 4. Like usual, if you’re posting a new photo today—or you posted one Wednesday—let us know in the comments and I’ll be stopping by to check them out. I’m having so much fun sharing photos with you all. Thanks for playing along. Have a great weekend.

jennifer forbus - new photo friday

New Photo Friday – Week 2

jennifer forbus - new photo friday

Happy Friday friends and photo lovers. I’m excited to share my new photo with you today. I had another great opportunity to take pictures this week: we went to the Lorain County Fair.


jennifer forbus - new photo friday

I actually picked a picture that wasn’t my favorite. I’ll be adding some of my favorites to the gallery soon (I hope), but in the mean time, I chose this one of the swing ride. It was a lovely day, but because I was working on stopping the movement of the ride, I used a 400 ISO with a shutter speed at 1/4000 sec. My aperture was 5.0. This time I was using a wider angle lens, my 18-55mm, with spot metering.

I was happy with the dynamic range I got in this picture. I have a tendency to blow out the highlights in my sky in pictures like this, but managed to capture that well. I like the sharpness. I was able to stop the action. And I really like the bold colors.

That said, I wish I wouldn’t have cut off the swings on each side. Those pull the attention off the picture. And maybe if I was higher (elevated physically, not chemically) taking the picture, I might like the perspective a little better. I also wish I would have gotten the shot with some people on the opposite chairs. They are weighted all to one side, but all of the shots I ended up with had them on the same side of the ride I was taking the picture from. I did prefer the shots from this side of the ride because of the tops of the booths opposite. I was standing in front of game booths and they didn’t have the same colorful appeal that the food booths and rides did.

What else do you think I could have done to make this picture better?

Maddee J

new photo friday - jennifer forbus

Maddee knew I would use one of my fair pictures, so she chose one of fake hanging farmyard animals that she took in a cheese shop at the Oxbow Market in Napa. I have a feeling I’m going to have fun taking pictures when I go to visit Maddee! Hers was taken with her iPhone and she applied a sepia filter.

Kaye B.

Kaye sent me her photo for this week, but I want to encourage you to visit her site to see her picture. I’m trying to share the links both in the comments below and in my social media right now while the feature is still in its infancy. So I hope you’ll toddle over to Kaye’s Meanderings and Muses to see her picture. And she even used the theme for this week!

If you’ve posted a new picture this week–even if it’s not today–share your link in the comments so we can stop by and see it. And if you’re considering participating, please join in. We’d love to have you. Don’t feel you have to participate every week if you don’t want to or simply can’t. Join us when you can. We’re celebrating our love of photography, no rules, just fun!

Have a great weekend everyone!

jennifer forbus - new photo friday

New Photo Friday – Week 1

jennifer forbus - new photo friday

Happy Friday! I hope everyone’s had a nice week and are looking forward to the weekend. I’m excited to kick off the first New Photo Friday. My niece and I went to the Cleveland MetroParks Zoo on Wednesday, so my choice for this week’s photo is coming from our photography day there.


I was quite excited with the pictures I got at the zoo. It was my first zoo visit with my new Canon: a Rebel EOS T6i. I’m switching from the T3 and boy is this an experience now. I shot all day with my 75-300mm lens. This picture of the grizzlies is with auto white balance, spot metering and a 5.6 aperture. It was a bit overcast and I wanted to get the action of the bears playing in the water, so my ISO was set at 400 and my shutter speed was 1/640–no flash.  I was happy with the action I caught, but I was in continuous shooting mode, so there were some other shots I discarded. This was my favorite and I was especially delighted with the composition given I had to shoot from above the bears (you know, pesky things like safety and all that). I didn’t crop this at all, but I did reduce the size for posting.

jennifer forbus - new photo friday

Maddee J.

I’m delighted to have my friend and employer also participating with me in New Photo Friday. She’s a bit of a photography buff, too, so she’s going to be motivated to take pictures for the weekly feature as well. Her picture comes from another great photo op event–a fair, the Nevada County Fair to be precise. So from grizzlies to cows. Love the rich colors in this one, and that barn dance poster is great.

maddee james - new photo friday

If you’re participating on your own blog, I hope you’ll post a link in the comments. I’m going to work on getting a linking program before next week’s post but for this week, just let us know where you are so we can come take a look at your image! And I’m interested in your feed back on my photo. I want to learn from this exercise, so what would you have done differently? What did you like? (Just a reminder to keep comments constructive. Anything cruel or inappropriate will be removed.)

Thanks so much for stopping by and taking a look at this inaugural post of New Photo Friday. Have a wonderful weekend!