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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!

New Photo Friday

I know, it’s not Friday. Most days I have a hard time remembering what day of the week it is. When you work from home (and don’t have kids going to school or activities), those logistical details start to blur together. But today I do know it’s Tuesday. I’m talking about New Photo Friday today to introduce you to this weekly feature and invite you to join along if you are interested. I’ll have the first official post–first official new photo–this Friday.

I’m starting this feature as a way to motivate myself to purposely make time each week to work on my photography. To look for new subjects and techniques, try new equipment when I’m able, etc. If you’d like to participate you can use this feature however you’d like. If you’d like to use it as a reason just to post a photograph on Friday, that’s great. If you’d like to request feedback from your audience on your photo, super. I’ll be talking about what I liked or disliked about my photo–I may not always post my favorites. I may post ones I was disappointed with for one reason or another and talk about what I might have done differently, or ask for suggestions on different ways to approach my subject. For me, I’d like it to be motivation and learning and improving. For anyone who participates, I want it to be what you would like to make it. Let’s celebrate photography and just have fun with it–together!

I’ve also had requests for specific topic ideas for each week. I, personally, have found I don’t stick with those. I’ve tried to do the photo-a-day with given subject ideas, but I fall off quickly. For those of you who like that structure, I’ve made this list for each of the Fridays to the end of the year. You can use this for inspiration if you like, but please don’t feel like you can’t participate if you didn’t use the assigned subject.

Also, there will be people who are not bloggers participating. They will be submitting their pictures to me and I’ll include them with my image. So if you’d like to participate that way, you’re welcome to do so, I’ll just need your pictures and whatever you’d like to say about them, ask about them, etc., by Wednesday evening to be included in that Friday’s post. And if you’re interested in participating that way, please send me a couple sentences about YOU with your first picture.

I think that about covers it for New Photo Friday, but if you have any questions, please just drop me a line. And finally, I made this graphic you can use if you’d like. If you’d like me to send you the original image file or just code you can paste into your posts, give me a holler.

jennifer forbus - new photo friday

Whether you’re participating or not, I hope you’ll stop by on Fridays to check out the photos. I look forward to your thoughts and insights.