Happy New Year

It’s hard to believe that 2014 is drawing to a close and that we are looking ahead to the new year. I hope you will be blessed with good health, prosperity, creativity, fulfillment and all you wish for.

When I was in Kyoto, Japan, I was lucky to see people of all ages happily strolling in gardens and admiring the profusion of cherry blossoms. Since before the 8th Century there have been many meanings attached to them. For me, they represent freshness, rebirth, growth, and, sadly when they fall, the end of the wonderful moments in time when we are touched by their exquisite beauty and grace. It’s a reminder to be optimistic, make plans for happiness, seek what is good in each day, and to let things go when the time has come.2015 New Year eCardI made this e-card with a photo I took of a cherry blossom last spring. There is a small rural road, not far from my place near Ft. Langley, BC, lined with cherry and plum trees. I try to go there every year to make images before the blossoms fall.

Wishing you all the best and Happy New Year!

To see more of my images, please visit my website http://marionmccristall.com

© Copyright Marion McCristall, all rights reserved

 

Happy Holidays

Christmas day is just around the corner and I’ve been busy making preparations to celebrate with family and friends. I like to send e-cards and created this one from a photograph I took of an angel on a pillar in the chapel of the Tile Museum in Lisbon, Portugal.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays and all the very best for the coming year. Marion

To see more of my images, please visit my website http://marionmccristall.com

© Copyright Marion McCristall, all rights reserved

Looking Beyond the Obvious

Sometimes we go places with our camera in hand and expect to capture images of the usual or those similar to what we have seen before. We may look for iconic scenes or subjects but forget to take the time to see what else may catch our eye.Sintra National Palace POR 2014 BWI’m back from spending a month in the charming village of Sintra, Portugal. I was fortunate to attend the annual Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk on the grounds of the National Palace with 20 friendly Portuguese photography enthusiasts. Our leader, Jose Antunes, (http://joseantunes.com) gave us some guidelines that included only capturing images from within the grounds of the palace but not inside the palace or gardens where entrance fees were required. Kelby Walk pigeon feeder POR 2014 BW It was fun to walk along the lane at the back of the palace and see the ruins and overgrowth. I also enjoyed people watching and capturing some scenes of young and old having a good time relaxing or exploring the environment.Kelby Walk man cane POR 2014 BWTo see more of my images from the walk, check out my new eBook, Two Hour Challenge, at http://issuu.com/marionmccristall. Kelby walk title page copyNext time you’re out with your camera, I hope you will take a few moments to look more closely and make images of things that do not normally catch your eye. You may be surprised at how interesting it is and enjoy the fresh new photos you come home with.

Please visit my website http://marionmccristall.com to see more photographs and slideshows.

Some of my photographs can be purchased at http://marion-mccristall.fineartamerica.com

© Copyright Marion McCristall, all rights reserved

Memories of Istanbul

I have countless images in my photo library that call out to be edited and shared. Now that I have finished my photo essay on Portugal, https://mccristall.exposure.co, and created an eBook on Lisbon, http://issuu.com/marionmccristall, I am starting to process some of the images I captured during my recent visit to Turkey.

Sultanahmet Mosque

Sultanahmet Mosque

Istanbul is a fascinating city that blends modern and old worlds on both sides of the Bosphorus Strait. Formerly called Constantinople, it has been inhabited for thousands of years and includes land in both Europe and Asia. Everywhere you turn there are remnants and artifacts of previous civilizations as well as incredible museums, mosques, bazaars, and markets. There are limitless rich treasures waiting to be explored and enjoyed by visitors and those who live there.

Below are three images I will be including in my photography eBook on Istanbul.

Sultanhamet Mosque also known as the Blue Mosque

Sultanahamet Mosque also known as the Blue Mosque

Doorway in the Blue Mosque

Doorway in the Blue Mosque

Fresco in the Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora

Fresco in the Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora

I hope you have the opportunity to visit this vibrant, amazing city one day. I’ll post a link when my Memories of Istanbul eBook is complete and ready to share. Enjoy.

To see more of my images, please visit my website http://marionmccristall.com

© Copyright Marion McCristall, all rights reserved

 

 

 

Lisbon: The City of Seven Hills

Capturing the essence of a place is something I love to do with my camera in hand. Not only do I create mental visual memories but also images that I can look at and enjoy for years to come. After returning from my travels, I like to make sideshows, greeting cards, calendars, prints, and photo essays that depict my experiences.

My photography e-book called Lisbon: The City of Seven Hills shows some of the countless sites I saw during my visits there in the last two years.Lisbon VistaI added post-processing effects in Photoshop CC and created the e-book in Lightroom 5 Book Module.  You can browse my e-book, Lisbon: The City of Seven Hills, here http://issuu.com/marionmccristall/docs/lisbon_ebook_by_marion_mccristallLisbon: the City of Seven HillsImagine the clang of the No. 28 Tram as it weaves through the neighbourhoods, brilliant terracotta rooftops, exquisite tiled facades, lemony coloured walls, twisty cobbled streets with laundry flapping in the breeze, leafy plazas with cafes, and historical sites at every turn. Enjoy walking in the streets of Lisbon through my eyes. Hopefully you will go there one day and take in the wonderful ambiance of such a magnificent city.

To see more of my images, please visit my website http://marionmccristall.com

© Copyright Marion McCristall, all rights reserved

 

Once upon a time … a Photographic Journey in Portugal

Every photo, every “once” in a time, is also the beginning of a story “once upon a time. ~ Wim Wenders

Sharing stories and images of everyday activities as well as exciting adventures is one of the many ways we remember them and re-live the experiences again and again. Sometimes when we travel it takes a while to sift through the rich memories and countless photographs to bring it all into focus.Village Street POR 2014 A collection of some photographs from my recent trip to Portugal is ready to share with you. I’m thrilled that the tour I organized was such a wonderful experience for everyone. Jose Antunes, our expert photo pro and guide, and Fernando Picarra. our friendly, extra driver, were encouraging, patient, and more than willing to help all of us create images that will give us memories for years to come. Jose took this photo of me as we were walking towards the sea in Ericeira, a colourful, little fishing village on the Atlantic. Marion McCristall Tour Leader in Portugal by Jose AntunesI hope you will take a few minutes to enjoy my photo essay with images ranging from seascapes to quaint villages, palaces, botanical gardens, Roman ruins, and more of the treasures that “say” Portugal. Click the link to view “The Charms of Portugal, A Photographic Journey”. https://mccristall.exposure.co/the-charms-of-portugal

(Click on images in the article if you want to enlarge them.)

Note: If Portugal is not on your list of places to visit, you’ll want to add it. However, you must be careful as one visit there can captivate and charm you and you’ll likely find yourself returning and telling your own story of “Once Upon a Time”.

If you’re interested in doing some photography in Portugal, contact Jose Antunes to arrange individual or small group outings. http:joseantunes.com

To see more of my images, please visit my website http://marionmccristall.com

© Copyright Marion McCristall, all rights reserved

 

 

Photography Through the Eyes of Others

Going on a small group photography tour is an exciting way to see a specific location through the eyes of others. Being in the presence of those who have a passion for making images can get our creative juices flowing and inspire us to think about what we’re looking at and how to tell the story of what we see.
I lead a photography tour in Portugal in March with Jose Antunes, an esteemed photographer and writer there. As our photo guru and guide, he helped us hone our photography skills and took us to special places where he loves to photograph. During the week we explored everything from landscapes and seascapes to small villages, city life in Lisbon to 2000 year old archaeological artifacts and geological formations from 72 million years ago.FOTOdigital July cover 2014The summer issue of FOTOdigital is online now. Jose showcased a selection of images that my group took during our week in Portugal in the spring. It’s so interesting to see how unique we are and how we pointed our camera at different things that caught our eye.
When you go out with your camera be sure to look at your surroundings with fresh eyes and see what you can capture.
Enjoy photographs taken by our group from Canada, (Gerry, Kitty, Norah, Judith and myself,)  in FOTOdigital, (pages 14-47 and 50-63,) and share the link with your friends and family. https://issuu.com/joseantunes

Check out Jose’s website for more information on day tours, eBooks, and the Lightroom and Photoshop courses he offers. http://joseantunes.com

To see more of my images, please visit my website http://marionmccristall.com

© Copyright Marion McCristall, all rights reserved

Inspired by Spring Flowers

Spring is such a remarkable time of year. Although we may have lots of windy days with showers of rain, there is a promise of newness that gives us fresh optimism and joy. The flowers start by peeking out from under the earth and, before we know it, they are standing tall and waiting to be admired and photographed.   Poppy in Bamboo Grove Glades May 2014Jose Antunes, my photography mentor and friend, gives workshops on flower photography. I recently tried one of his techniques that involves using a zoom lens and am pleased with the results. I’ve always been a fan of shallow depth of field with flower images and really like the soft backgrounds I was able to get using my 70-300mm lens. The flowers look like you could reach into the frame and touch them.Flower5 white blossoms May 2014You don’t have to go very far to find flowers to photograph. They could be growing wild on the side of the road, in a nearby park, or in your own backyard. I like to choose a single flower to focus on. I take my time and explore various angles, look for the light touching the petals or leaves, and check to see what is behind the flower to create the most pleasing effect. In this image you can see that I was able to capture the purple salvia against a backdrop of yellow daisies.Glades purple salvia3 May 2014I like the juxtaposition of the purple flower and turquoise and green muted colours in the background of this exquisite yellow poppy. It had just stopped raining and soft light fell on the petals and raindrops.Glades orange poppy1 May 2014If you’d like some photography tips and to learn more about ways Jose creates beautiful flower images with everything from a point and shoot, to a smart phone, to a DSLR with a long lens, check out his newest eBook, The Best Secrets of Flower Photography. It’s only 7.50 Euros which works out to about $10.50. You’ll enjoy his images and be inspired to go out and create your own. http://joseantunes.com/my-ebooks

Jose is a professional photographer and writer who offers a variety of photography workshops in Portugal as well as online tutorials. http://www.joseantunes.com

To see more of my images, please visit my website http://marionmccristall.com

© Copyright Marion McCristall, all rights reserved

Portugal Through My Eyes

Today I’m happy to share the May edition of FOTOdigital with you. In an article called Portugal Through My Eyes, Jose Antunes included some of my images from my time in the Sintra area doing photography with him in 2012. You’ll find it on pages 15 to 36. It brings back fond memories of an amazing trip. http://issuu.com/joseantunes/docs/fdmayl14_issuuFOTOdigital May 2014 title page

I’m still sifting and sorting through the photographs I took the end of March when I led a group of photo enthusiasts there. There are so many that it is taking me quite a while to edit my favourites. I plan to have them ready to share soon.

I hope you enjoy the article, and others in FOTOdigital, and sign up to receive Jose Antunes’ inspiring monthly ezine. It’s free and enjoyed by thousands of readers all over the world. Jose writes photography tutorials for a variety of online sites as well as eBooks. He takes small groups on outings to learn more about photography and to capture images of the fauna, flora, seascapes, and landscapes of the remarkable area of Portugal he lives in. http://www.joseantunes.com

To see more of my images, please visit my website http://marionmccristall.com

© Copyright Marion McCristall, all rights reserved

Happy Easter!

Easter marks that time of year when everything in nature seems fresh and new again. The buds are bursting open and bright flowers are dancing in spring breezes bringing promises of change.

Today I want to wish you a Happy Easter by sharing this poster. I created it with a photo I took during my Photography Tour in Portugal in March. The image was taken in a lovely little park near the National Palace in Sintra. The flower, with all of the luscious overlapping petals, reminds me of the layers and layers of rich memories I have of my time there as well as how a moment contemplating one bloom can bring happiness.

Spring Bloom in PortugalWishing you and those you love a Happy Easter!

To see more of my images, please visit my website http://marionmccristall.com

© Copyright Marion McCristall, all rights reserved