Fall…Ohhh…Me! Day 23

_mg_0461

I just cannot get enough of the beauty of fall.

Fall…Ohhh…Me! Day 22

img_5536

Okay, I put this off for as long as I could. What is fall without pumpkins? While I am not a fan of all the pumpkin-flavored foods, drinks and snacks that seem to take over our supermarkets, I do enjoy a good pumpkin-spice latte and of course pumpkin bread but really, I just love the pumpkins themselves. I find that wandering through the maze of different colors and types has the same calming effect that a bookstore does and my favorite place to browse…The Red Barn Farm in Weston, MO. Not only do they have an amazing show of pumpkins, gourds and squash, they offer the whole experience. Apple cider from their own orchard, hay rides, farm animals and an adorable little shop…all on a real farm.  Aside from our friends and family in that area, this is one of the things I miss most about our years spent there.

Do you have a favorite pumpkin patch? Let me know! If it’s in the Des Moines, Iowa area, I might just check it out.

Fall…Ohhh…Me! Day 21

This beautiful shade of blazing  yellow is a reminder to me to not waste time. Cornered by the Meredith buildings on the South and East, this little green space is one of my favorites. Surrounded by one-way streets heading east, it is a beautiful and welcoming entrance into downtown. Running along the east edge of the space is a row of trees. While they are pretty in the spring and summer and provide nice shade for those waiting at the bus stop, in the fall is when they really come to life as they turn this wonderful warm color that captures the sunlight in an amazing way.

The only drawback is that once they turn, your opportunity to catch that aura while still on the trees is short lived. I’ve been watching and waiting for the perfect time, hoping to capture it at just the right moment. Having made the choice to spend time at home over the weekend, I was hopeful as I approached the area Monday morning, on my way to work. Rounding the curve of Grand Avenue and approaching the stop light just in front of Meredith, I saw it. Rich, golden, and capturing the morning sunshine perfectly. I even hesitated for a moment, thinking I should just stop and try to get a shot with my phone. The trees were perfect and even better, the sidewalk was covered in a carpet of yellow.

Regrettably, I did not stop. Reasoning that I wanted to walk down over my lunch when I wouldn’t have to rush. At 2:00pm, late for my lunch and knowing that I had to be back by 2:30pm for an afternoon team meeting, I rushed out the door and headed west. The breeze had picked up since the morning so I was already concerned that I had missed my chance. As I got closer I became even more disappointed. The sidewalks had been covered with the richness of fall that morning but most of the leaves were now blown up into piles on the edges of the lawn and curbs. When I was within eyesight of the trees I was headed for, my heart sank. The breeze had blown the tops almost clean of leaves and the leaves themselves were scattered onto the grass or in small piles like this one along the edge of a flower bed.

It only takes a blink…don’t let those perfect moments pass you by. Capture them when you see them. “Perfect moment” is only perfect for the moment before they are gone with the breeze.

Fall…Ohhh…Me! Day 20

foggy-fall

Just enjoying the peace.

Fall…Ohhh…Me! Day 19

day-19

Very excited as I begin learning to use Photoshop for editing my photos. Instead of using the photos that come along with the online course, I tried using my own. Sort of a ‘two birds, one stone’ concept. While this represents only a tiny little portion of the tools available in Photoshop, I love how much more control it offers me. I still very much prefer to get the best shot possible with just the camera but the ability to adjust certain components and remove items that I cannot avoid because, well, I just cannot pull out all of the electrical lines. (Believe me, sometimes I wish I could. While obviously necessary, they sure can muck up great scene.)

I drive by this beauty every day and was sad to learn recently that the land has been zoned for a commercial business park. While that process could take many years, I still get a little emotional at the idea that the trees and the stoic old barns may someday no longer grace this site and in their place could be large nondescript warehouses and concrete.

For the edit, as it was my first lesson, the changes were minimal. I purposefully chose a shot that I was not especially happy with, so I could see how the edits might change my attitude about the photo. A little white-balance adjustment here, some tonal adjustments there and then a little sharpening and I was impressed with how just those subtle little options were able to let me get closer to what I was seeing but unable to capture at that moment on camera. (See before picture below.)

_mg_3862

I still have a ways to go but this has been a fun way to spend those darker evenings that accompany this change of season.

Fall…Ohhh…Me! Day 18

We need a little sunshine,

A little light to pull us through.

Something better to believe in,

When possibilities seem so few.

A world awash in chaos,

Struggles at every bend,

Cruelness and evil dominate,

When will the sadness end?

If only we would listen,

To the still small voice inside,

And hear our Father calling,

Oh, child why do you hide?

Within you lies such power,


If only you would see,

Stop leaning on your worldly guides,

And put your faith in Me.

 

 

Fall…Ohhh…Me! Day 17

_mg_0106

Ever feel like you just need a new perspective? I like to take walks over my lunch hour. It’s a chance to get up and step away from what can be a frustrating and stressful job. It’s also a perfect chance for me to scope out photo sites. After a rough morning of long conversations about insurance, I was thrilled when my lunch hour finally came around. I needed a reboot and, if I’m being honest, an attitude adjustment. One of my favorite walking routes is to head west and walk around the Meredith building and garden. The trees are amazing this time of year and I love stealing glimpses of the gated garden. Still feeling a little aggravated by a particular conversation from that morning I took out my phone and just started snapping pictures of everything I saw. Then I started trying weird angles. Standing on tip toes and getting my phone as far up into the tree branches as I could, twisting and turning for different angles. I had to laugh as I caught one business man eyeing me like I was nuts, then shaking his head as he passed by. If only he had stuck around for this shot! Laying flat on my stomach, my phone resting on the pavement, head tilted and chin almost on the ground, I’m sure I looked quite silly in dress pants and top but again I caught myself giggling and realized that if you want to get a different perspective, sometimes you have to be willing to physically change your point of view.