Category Archives: Barn

Happy New Year! | Elk River Nature Photography

This holiday leaves me a little happy, a little sad, and somewhere in between. I’m sad because every year I promise myself I’m going to get back at my nature blog and post. And every year I manage to break that promise. I started a 52 week challenge at the beginning of 2017 and it peetered out.  Working 3 jobs has clearly taken its toll on my nature blogging.  I am missing my parents and my brother so much this week. Holidays are so rough when you have loved ones in heaven. I wish Heaven had visiting hours and wasn’t so far away!

So many things happened in 2017. Good and bad.  I had a tremendous year with my senior and family portrait photography business.  Check out my website here if you wish, www.frommomentstomemories.net. It keeps me busy and adds income in the summer months when I’m not working at the school. It also supplements my income in the fall months. However, it takes me away from so much. My sidekick, my nature walks and blogging, and “me” time.

On a somber note, my sidekick has been diagnosed with POTS (Postural Orthastatic Tachycardia Syndrome), EDS (Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome), Chronic migraines with seizures, Chronic Fatigue, Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis and a plethora of other chronic issues.  All due to her HPV vaccination she received in 2013. She has been going downhill health wise since the end of her freshman year in high school. Unfortunately she had to leave school physically in the middle of her junior year and start online studies.  She has a debilitating neurological disorder that doctors still are challenged by.  She suffers from migraines and seizures every day. All together it is called “Dysautonomia”, which is an umbrella term meaning she has a dysfunction of her autonomic nervous system. There is no cure.

I graduated from my online degree program in December of 2016 and ending up getting a job as a Personal Care Attendant for her.  I work part-time in the mornings at the school while she is sleeping, and go home and take care of her in the afternoons/evenings as my job.  I am fortunate that my state recognizes family members as PCA’s, because I can’t leave her home alone for more than a couple of hours at a time.  This summer and fall, I scheduled portrait sessions around my PCA schedule. When she felt up to it, she came along and was a tremendous help with posing, putting kids at ease, playing with the little ones, etc. She helps so much with the administrative side of my business.

She was able to attend her senior prom in May, and graduated from high school in June, and I couldn’t have been prouder.  It was so hard for her, and I saw what she went through just to get it done. Now her friends have gone off to college, and she is stuck at home with this debilitating health issue.  She is not able to keep a job, as she is always having to call in sick. We have been to the Mayo and several specialists. She has also tried 13 different meds and 3 bouts of Botox. Sigh. It has been so difficult to see her deteriorate when she was such an active, vibrant, social teenager. She has her good days and bad days, and I pray for more good days. We have an upcoming appointment with at Neurologist at the University of Minnesota, who specializes in Autonomic Disorders. We are hopeful.

I started selling my nature prints through my website, and may join the crowd on getting them onto Fine Art America in the upcoming weeks.   I am really hoping to at least try to blog a couple of times a month in 2018, but I am not going to promise anything anymore.

I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, that is not my intent, just wanted to explain a little about my life and whereabouts the last few months.  Nature photography has gotten me through many things, including the passing of my mom, and soon after, my dad. It is so relaxing and refreshing to be able to get out into nature and just be.  I have found a little time throughout the year to take a nature photo here and there, and will share my year with you here.

I enjoy popping on once in a while and reading up on my fave nature photographer/bloggers here on WordPress.  I may not always comment, just know that I am lurking every now and again and hope to do more in the coming year!

Here are a few of my faves from this past year.

I sincerely hope you all have a safe and happy new year!

 

 

 

 

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52 Week Challenge – Week 2 – WINTER

Or as I fondly say, Winter From My Neck of the Woods!  I am a day late and a dollar short as usual on getting this one out!

I have to say this was a good week to have WINTER as the category in the 52 week challenge. In Minnesota, we had plenty of different weather (as usual) this week! I took a few photos of what winter means around here!

Earlier in the week, we were blessed with three days in a row of the white stuff. It made for difficult driving commutes. I am really lucky in that I leave later than most, and come home earlier. I am not stuck in traffic most days, lucky me!

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My drive in to work on Tuesday.
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Shoveling the sidewalk on Monday at work.
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HA my car buried at the end of my shift. Looks the same on the other side.
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After the snow cleared so did the sky, there was a sunset, off my deck.
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If I were to pick my favorite of the week, it would be this one. A male Northern Cardinal Wednesday morning before work. Again, off my deck.
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Yes, I know it’s corn.
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Again on Wednesday, it cleared up when I left work.

Then it got COLD. C – O – L – D. COLD. Thursday morning it was -9 below, with a -26 below windchill. Loved this one I grabbed on the Mississippi.

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This is what happens when the air temp is colder than the water temp.
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Friday night at the local ice skating rink, it was still pretty chilly. I am going to do another blog post about “the Pit”.

In Minnesota, winter to many of us means winter dance team competitions. My daughter doesn’t dance anymore, but we took in some dance team action on Saturday.

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If I had to pick my favorite of the week, it would definitely be the Northern Cardinal. HA, not a surprise.

Next week’s category is “Drink”. Should be interesting and fun!  Here is another glimpse of the categories!

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Finding the Beauty

So after three days of snow fall, people are definitely complaining around here.  While we are still below average for snow fall on the year, it has been coming at the most inopportune times. Like rush hour. I hear stories of 1-3 hour commutes. I guess I am one of the lucky ones. I don’t travel far for work, and never during rush hour.

Rather than whining, I have learned in the past few years there are worse things to complain about.  Life is too short to cry about first world problems like traffic and long commutes. There are more important worries in the world.  Instead, I choose to find the beauty in it all.  It is here to stay for a while, so we may as well embrace it.

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Boat house on Lake Orono in Elk River, Minnesota

52 Week Photography Challenge

52 Week Photo Challenge From Moments to MemoriesHappy New Year to Everyone!  I have been out of the blogging world for a while now, but I’ve been itching to get back in.  I have a little (stress the word LITTLE) extra time now and want to get back into getting to know my camera again. Yes, I am a portrait photographer. However, I miss getting out and taking photos of nature, still life, people in their element.

While I thought about doing another Project 365, it just is not feasible at this time. However, a 52 Week challenge, this is doable.  Then I thought, why don’t I just do my own from my blog, FB page and Instagram?  I mean, we all want traffic and followers, correct? I need some place to put my photos. Win-win in my book.

Do you have an interest in photography? Did you get a new camera for Christmas? Are you wanting to learn more about it? Have you always loved photography and are looking for a challenge?  Do you love taking photos with your awesome cell phone? I mean, let’s face it. Some of the cell phones out there outperform DSLR’s in some instances! You just have to take the time to learn how to use it!  In fact, these photos were all taken with my iPhone 6+ this past year.

Zumbrota Bridge From Moments to Memories

Elk River Minnesota Winter Landscape From Moments to Memories

Duluth Minnesota Barn From Moments to MemoriesDowntown Minneapolis From Moments to Memories

Are you interested in all of the above?  Then this challenge is for you!

One of the things that I still talk about with my Project 365 is that I learned so much about my camera during that year.  If truth be told, I learned a lot about myself and life that year as well. I improved my skills and became more familiar with the different settings and aspects of my camera and photography in general.

So this is what I am going to do.  I have come up with 52 fun ideas for us. It may be a technical challenge, it may be a color challenge, maybe a shutter speed or depth of field challenge. “Take a photo of a bird.” Easy peasy, right?  Whatever the case may be, it will be a hodge podge. Don’t sweat it. You only have to spend a few minutes a week on this challenge. Whether you upload it to Facebook, Instagram or your own blog, that’s up to you.  All I ask is that you use the hashtag #FMTM52weeks,  blog tag FMTM52weeks or mention my blog.  If I get enough takers, I will feature here (with your permission of course), on my Facebook page From Moments to Memories or Instagram (@frommomentstomemories) Don’t have a blog or Instagram? Just post it on your Facebook page, or post it on MY Facebook page.

Don’t know where to begin? Here are a few tips to help you start:

  1. Follow me on social media and/or check out my website:
    Wordpress blog – From Moments to Memories Nature Photo Blog
    Facebook – From Moments to Memories
    Instagram – @frommomentstomemories
    Website – From Moments to Memories Photography & Design
    Reblog this post!
  2. Read your camera’s manual. Seriously, I have read mine front to back 3 times. Those of you who know me personally do not find that surprising. If you are using your phone, scour the internet for phone photography tips. I’m actually working on an iPhone tutorial/infographic to share with you all. Here are a couple that I just found doing a quick google search National Geographic Camera Phone Tips and iPhone Photography School.
  3. Follow photographers you like on social media. Not just your friends and pets. Do a search of what you may be interested in! This will help you find out what type of style you really like, and what niche you may be interested in. Whether it be nature, portraits, sports, street photography, etc. Believe me, there is something for everyone on the internet! Some of my favorite bloggers (I am partial to nature, but follow others):
    Photos by Donna
    Birds of New England (love my birds)
    Texas Tweeties (again with the birds, and Bob is an awesome person)
    Quiet Solo Pursuits
    Some of my favorite Instagrammers:  @jennddesigns, @chandra_whitfield, @quark_track, @street.activity and so many more I can’t list. Instagram has so many talented photographers!
  4. Check your settings before you get into the shoot. Check Pinterest! a TON of info on there! I am also working on a tutorial of settings as well. Am I an expert? No. But I have ideas and know what works for certain captures.
  5. Remember this is not a contest. It’s a challenge. There is no right or wrong photo. During my Project 365, I had to remind myself that not every photo is a masterpiece! Sometimes I just needed a photo of my shoe. True story!
  6. Keep learning and growing. You can certainly tell the difference from start to finish in my Project 365. Some of my best work came out of that year.

I will post the 52 week themes tomorrow, Monday, January 2.  I will post my own photo along with the new theme on Mondays. So everyone will have one week to do your challenge.  I am also going to try and post in between my normal stuff as well!  So…long story short…follow this blog!

Thanks for stopping!

Sheila