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

 

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

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

Spring Tulip Posters

tulips WC poster BDI take photographs through every season but there is something magical about spring. I love it when the tulips burst forth with vibrant colours and stand tall in the crisp breezes.tulips fence 16x16 WC BDI had the opportunity to go to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival near La Conner, Washington, last week. The fields were gorgeous and filled with row after row of a myriad of colours.tulips yellow red 16x24WC BDUsing Photoshop, I created these lovely posters of some of the visions I captured with my camera. tulip single darker blur BDIf you have photo editing software you will be able to add a slight watercolour effect and a border to make your own posters.  tulips tree fence 12x12WC BDGive it a try and enjoy!

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

© Copyright Marion McCristall, all rights reserved

Spring Tease

Just dropping by to tease you with a little spring colour.  It’s supposed to snow here on the west coast tonight but I am thinking fresh, perky, brilliant flowers.

I added a watercolour effect to these images using Adobe Photoshop CS5.  I like the way the edges melt together ever so slightly and the colours pop a little more than in the original photos.

Think spring and smile…it’s only a few weeks away.

To see more of my photography, check out the Galleries in the Portfolio section of my website http:marionmccristall.com

© Copyright Marion McCristall, all rights reserved

Celebrate Spring

Have you had time to stroll in parks or wander in nurseries and admire the variety of plants ready for your garden or patio pots?

spring in Stanley Park, Vancouver

We had a mild winter here in Vancouver so the bulbs have been bursting through the earth in what seems like a frenzy of wild abandon. The colours are especially bright and the flowers are begging to be admired.  School holidays and Easter have come and gone and it’s time to take visual breaks and enjoy the freshness and beauty of spring flowers and buds.

Mother Nature never fails to amaze me. I often take my camera when I go on walks and recently created this slideshow to remind me of the lovely images I’ve seen along the way.  I added a little watercolour effect to some of the pictures when I edited them.

Next time you go for a walk in your neighbourhood, local park, or even your own backyard, take time to breathe in the fresh air and look for the delightful signs of spring.

spring in La Conner, Washington

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Earth laughs in flowers” … I hope this slideshow brightens your day.

Enjoy!

Slideshow: created using Smilebox.  Music: Santa Fe by Ottmar Liebert.


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All photographs © Marion McCristall