Thursday, December 30, 2010


Like wings of a butterfly

Pink petals flutter and sigh

Dawn Blanchard, December 30th, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Stars in a Storm

Tangled and twisted, lights on the line

Snow, whipped by the wind, paints the window

I am impressed by the impression I see

Captured with my camera, it is an artful show

Dawn Blanchard, December 28th, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Creative Season

It is that time of year again: Snowy and cold!

I began the season as I usually do, dreaming of hibernation or migration. I picture myself curled up for the winter in my fuzzy pjs, a stack of books ready to be devoured; I also picture myself hopping on a plane toward warmer weather, and not returning until May.

Neither of these is possible, however, so here I am.

To compensate, this is the time of year I focus on creating photos in my home. I keep my eye out for interesting colours and reflections, details of my daily life that I can capture without having to layer on snowsuit and fur boots. Inside, I do not have to think about how the cold and snow can transform into little terrors that leave damaging moisture on my camera.

Doubtless, I will get cabin fever and head out a couple of times, camera in hand, to capture those magical sparkles in the sunlight. But in the meantime, I will create - inside.

And so... A Jar of Jelly Beans!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Photography for My Self

Wow - am I ever long overdue for a post!

I just started reading this amazing book, Inner Excavation: Explore Your Self Through Photography, Poetry and Mixed Media, by Liz Lamoreux. I can't wait to really get into it - there are some great exercises for photography that I am anxious to try.

I've been trying to find a good photography book for a really long time. I've looked in bookstores and online, without success. It seems there are a lot of the same type of books out there, and I feel I've read enough of the "how-to" types. I was searching for something new, something that goes beyond how to use my camera - I already know that!

This book is exactly what I had hoped for. I happened upon it when I did a search on Chapters online, and now I want to purchase every other book it mentions, too!

Finally, a book that satisfies my need to learn more about expressing my self through photography, that looks at photography the way I do: As a way of exploring the world through this incredible medium. Thank you, Liz Lamoreux!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Speaking of Cleaning...

...I've started a Clearance Bin in my Etsy shop. Time to clear out some of my older photos to make room for new ones. That means select listings are marked down to half-price. There is only one listing of each of these, and once they're gone, I won't be renewing them.

Check them out at:

Monday, August 30, 2010

A New Look!

It is time for a change!

I've been madly cleaning my house these last few days, and I decided it was time to clean my shop, too. I've created a new banner and avatar for my photography, updating the image but keeping the colours and clean lines. I hope you like the new look!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Liquid Lumination

So I got out the glasses, water, the food colouring, and some lighting... To some, this may not be a recipe for artistic creativity, but the more I played around with these items, the more excited I got. The light reflecting in the coloured water, playing with the curves in the glasses; the possibilities were endless.

For me, these moments are what photography is all about: Losing myself in the moment, in the light and the colours, finding visual poetry in the ordinary.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Slipping-Away Summer

It has been an unbelievable gorgeous summer this year.

Summers are never long enough, even when the weather is miserable. But this year, we've been blessed with fabulous sunny days and perfect temperatures.

If only it would last!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Carnival, Check!

It's been a great summer for photos, so far.

A few things I've always wanted to capture, but due to uncooperative weather or running-around-children, I have not yet managed to shoot them.

Carnival (at night!): Check!
Fireworks: Check!
Butterflies: Not yet, but in the plans.
Clothes-on-a-line: Check!
Beach (always on my list): Check!
Shallow-depth-field-flowers (which I can now do much better thanks to my macro lens): Check!
With any luck, this gorgeous weather will continue and so will my list!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Changing Point of View

I have begun getting ready for my next craft fair: The annual Salt of the Earth Artisan and Craft Expo. In doing so, I have taken out and re-evaluated all my old photos. Many of them, I still like, and am proud of most. Time, however, has changed the way I look at them. Time, and I would say, experience. I have changed my mind about several of them, tossed some in the garbage, and put others in a "maybe" pile. I may be my own worst critic! Nevertheless, it helps me learn and continue (I hope!) to improve.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Lavender and Lime

This photo has only been listed for about a week, and it's been featured in three Etsy treasuries already!
Many thanks to all those who have included my pictures with their favourites on Etsy!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

When LIfe Gives You Lemons... Or, A Windy Day

I actually got mad at the wind yesterday.

Foolish, I know, considering I can't exactly control it. But I wanted to.

Try making stills on a windy day. Doesn't work so well. I even tried holding a branch in one hand while I pressed the shutter with the other. Not exactly effective.

So, once I'd given up wishing I could control Mother Nature, I decided to embrace the wind. Rather than futiley trying to capture pretty flowers, I sought out subjects that like the wind. It didn't take long - clothes on a clothesline love a breezy day.

And this is what happened...

Monday, May 31, 2010

Made It, But Missed It!

It's been over a year since I opened shop on Etsy. There are so many sellers that it can be difficult to compete at times, and I have been logging on daily to do what I can to increase visits to my shop. It seems to be working - to some extent atleast - since my work has been featured in several treasuries lately. This is always exciting, as it is satisfying to have my photography recognized.

Every day, I check the home page of Etsy, wondering how in the world people have their work shown there. Then, yesterday, I had a message from another seller (thanks, Julie of Such a Pretty Dress!) and she had put together a treasury that was picked for the front page. And one of my photographs was in it! I was a mixture of disbelief at having missed the treasury and excitement at having made it to the front page. Mostly excitement, though!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Make Some Noise!

There are certain "rules" of photography... Several of which I no longer follow.

One of these has to do with noise. Ideally, photographs do not have noticeable grain. I have found, though, that increasing the noise in my photos often gives them more interest and softness. It also allows me to be creative with my post-processing, lending my pictures more of an artsy feel, I believe.

These photos may not be stock quality or be desirable for some publications. The noise is also more obvious the larger the prints are. However, from the moment I turn on my camera to when I finish editing, the creative process is mine and the finished photo speaks to the way I feel about the subject.

Besides, who says I have to follow the rules?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Visual Literacy

A strange coincidence happened a few weeks ago...

I received an e-mail from an unknown sender, and was surprised to read that they were looking to use one of my photographs in their online publication. So I checked out their website, and was both surprised and pleased to find out that not only were they an educational site (I am a teacher), but one that promotes visual literacy (the main focus of my photography project last year).

Needless to say, I happily provided permission for them to use my photo.

And I have been making great use of the site in my classroom!

Check it out:

Many thanks to the creators of this site for such incredible material!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Perfect Day

Of course, it would have to be sunny and warm.

And there would be no cooking, cleaning, or laundry. But especially no cooking.

The coffee would be made when I woke up and I would have it curled up in bed with a good book. A breakfast of hot oatmeal, fresh fruit, and bacon. A long, steamy shower with no one knocking on the door.

Then I would spend the morning out picture-taking.

Lunch with my family at a good restaurant, kids on their best behaviour.

An afternoon shopping with a coffee break (with chocolate).

A relaxed supper with my husband in a nice restaurant, followed by a romantic movie.

A massage to end the day, then curled up in bed with a good book.

Sounds good to me!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Blooming Begonias!

My goal, each time I take out my camera, is to make photos that are better than the ones before. I am really excited about these ones... I think they speak to how I felt when I first saw these gorgeous blooms at the garden center today.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It Started Last Night

Some mornings I would rather take pictures.

I am up, getting ready for work, but feeling the urge instead to get out my camera. Last night on my way home from picking up my son at Beavers, I couldn't help but be mesmerized by the sky. It had rained off and on all day, and the clouds were lifting just ever so slightly where the sun was setting. Smoky gray clouds streaked across the sky, intermingled with puffy rain clouds.

Then, this morning, I glanced out my kitchen window and was met with the saturated colours that only happen when the sun lights the trees after a night of rain.

The light was right; my camera waits.

Monday, May 3, 2010

My Camera has a Shelf Life?

Wow - I can't believe an entire month (and then some) has gone by without adding a post.

I read something a couple of days ago that made me panic a little. It's about actuations and DSLRs. Scary to think the shelf life of my camera is limited, so unlike my manual SLR that could possible take pictures forever. I'm glad to know it, though - I'll be much more thoughtful in the images I create knowing this. That could be a good thing.

Here's the link for the article:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Closet Photography

In my forever quest to find new items to photograph, I noticed the buttons and seaming on my husband's jeans. Suddenly, a whole new area of possibilities was right before my eyes (and in my closet!). I photographed jeans, cordoroy, and wool, then inspiration took me to lacey items... I'm not done yet, either. There is still leather and children's clothing yet to explore. My theory that art is everywhere is confirmed!

Monday, March 15, 2010

One Bouquet of Flowers=Many, Many Pictures

It was $20 well-spent. A few days ago I purchased a pretty spring bouqet of pink, white, violet, and lime green flowers. Then I spent about 90 minutes one night, taking it apart and photographing them in all sorts of ways. Today, once again, I made some more shots as some of the blooms had opened up. I've always enjoyed doing this; with my new macro lens, it is even better!

Friday, March 5, 2010

I'm So Excited!

I finally have a macro lens!! Yippee!

Last night my darling husband came home with a brand new, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM and I am in love! (Yes, Dear, with you, too!)

This may seem cheesy, but I actually teared up, I was so happy. Then I found myself awake at 4:22am, thinking about all the things I can make pictures of now.

Now, if I can just get over this darned stomach bug I've picked up that's wasted away my March Break, I might actually be able to enjoy it.

Oh, the possibilities!

Sunday, February 28, 2010


I can hardly stand it. The snow we have been getting is clinging to the branches, just asking to be captured as one of winter's last shots. But it won't stop snowing long enough to get out there. I've been madly cleaning the house, trying to get the restlessness out, but it's not working. I desperately want to go out and take some pictures. I just don't want to risk ruining my camera in the process. If I'm lucky, the breeze that is creeping up will not knock all that beautiful snow off before I can get out there.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Picture Perfect

If ever there was a perfect winter morning for pictures, this was it.

A light snow had fallen through the night, coating each branch with white fluff. The clouds drifted away while the sun peaked through, creating a glow at the tops of the trees.

If only I hadn't had to work...

I knew it was pointless for me to grab my camera and try to get in a few quick shots before work; I could so easily have become lost in it. Maybe next time.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Note to Self

It is not productive cooking practice to become mesmerized by the shape and colour of a red pepper, thereby forgetting about the food that is on the stove.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Time Flies

A couple of nights ago I dug out some old photo albums. It had been awhile since I'd taken the time to look through the kids' baby pictures. My son, my daughter, and I curled up on the couch with these memories on our laps. Even though I know time flies, and I feel every day how fleeting their childhood is, I was amazed at how quickly they've grown. The baby faces have turned into child faces, their eyes a little more knowing and their bodies growing.

My children were keen to talk about the things they remembered, and hear stories about the ones they didn't. The pictures speak of moments of laughter and love, smiling faces and silly ones too. Firsts: First Christmas, Halloween costumes, visits to the beach.

We will add to these albums as they grow; as time moves on, we will continue to run for the camera to captures those moments.

So we can remember,

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Enriched by Photography

I am fortunate to teach at a school that values enrichment for all. Tomorrow, we begin a new block. It will be the first time for some of the students at Parkwood; others are looking forward to continuing the tradition.

Of course, I am teaching photography, teamed with another teacher. We will introduce the digital cameras to students from 5-12 years old. It is as fun for us as it is for them.

View my wikispace at where I share some ideas for ways to teach photography to children. It is a great way to teach kids to slow down and notice the world around them in this increasingly busy world we live in. I believe this can help them to focus amid other distractions, and to learn to appreciate the little gifts of beauty around us.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Meet Charlie

I am weak. I swore I would never have another dog, and yet here we are. It was totally unplanned; my cousin needed a home for her pug and we just happened upon the message on facebook. Before I knew it, we were driving home with the fifth member of our family (not counting the golfish).

He's a cutie, I'll give him that. And the kids love him to bits. They adore his "squishy" face and tear around the basement with him. I've no doubt they'll soon be dressing him up in doll clothes and making him part of their make-believe play.

Charlie has made himself quite at home with us. He is a guard dog, growling at his reflection in the patio doors; he is a vacuum cleaner, sucking up any stray crumbs (and there are many) after meals; and he is a teacher--the kids are quickly learning that if they don't pick up their toys, he will eat them!

Life with Charlie... It'll never be the same!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Taking Better Pictures: Round 2!

After some uncertainty about numbers, the second round of the night class I teach has begun. It's a small class, but enjoyable nontheless. Funny how quickly I had forgotten that I have as much fun teaching about photography as I do "doing" photography. It is so easy to get into a rut, hanging out at home and not having to get myself out somewhere in the evening. But I did tonight, and so worth it.

I began the night by going over the technical stuff, to get a foundation in there. Not as much fun, sure, but a necessary evil. Then I started my composition lesson, and that's the part I enjoy. That's where you can really talk about the good versus the bad, and all the (subjective) stuff in between.

As usual, I learned as well as taught.

That's as much a reason to do it as any.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

More than Snapshots

I happily received my Photolife magazine in the mail today. It's always full of great articles, and this one did not disappoint. Included in it were the winning photos of their annual competition. I took a moment to go through them, and it was a reminder (as seeing truly great photography always is) that I still have much to learn. I am often satisfied with my own compositions, but realize that in order to continue to improve my photography, I need to continue to study photography. I really want to make an effort to look at and understand great photographs. They are more than snapshots; they are a process involving feeling and knowledge. As such, they should evoke feeling and wonder.

I strive for this.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Maybe we could use some snow, after all...

This has to have been one of the mildest winters in years, with the least amount of snow on the ground. And I have enjoyed every minute of it. It is not too often I would wish for more snow. The roads are bare, the walkway doesn't need to be shovelled, and I look forward to having less snow to melt away in the spring.


My poor children cannot play outside because what snow we do have, is hard as a rock. Icy patches abound. And photo opportunities are becoming limited!

My father and I are waiting for some fresh snow to take our cameras to Pabineau Falls, a gorgeous waterfall not far from here. We may be waiting for some time, if this dry weather continues.

But I'm not complaining!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


To do wedding photography, or not to do wedding photography?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

It's a Great Night to be Inside

It started snowing this afternoon, and I don't think it's going to stop until Monday.

So much for a short winter. From the sounds of things, it's going to be April before the snow from this storm melts.

When I stand at our patio doors and peer out into the black and white night, the long shadows of the trees wave across the yard. The snow whips against the windows, and dresses the cars like fuzzy white bunnies.

Nights likes this make summer seem very far away.

They also make me very happy to be inside!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome, 2010!

I am loving these long, lazy days of Christmas vacation. I welcome the excuse to stay in the house in my comfy clothes and take the day as it comes.

This afternoon, I got my camera out and shot a few new things... I sliced up some fruit and did some detail compositions of the patterns in their centers. I also found a few bathroom items and made up some "bathroom art." Last night, I played around with fabric and letters and plan to do more with that as soon as the stores re-open and I can get my hands on some more stamps.

Going back to work next week is going to be hard!