May Serenity Blog Circle - 4 AM wake up calls

At the end of April, I attended my very first destination landscape photography workshop. You know, the ones where the entire workshop is centered around chasing the best light, so mornings are early, evenings are late and sleeping and eating are secondary to the shot? And at the end, you are exhausted, yet exhilarated.

The workshop was held in the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon with Don Smith and Gary Hart, both seriously talented landscape photographers. Sunrise shoots meant waking up extremely early! I am not a morning person and when that alarm went off at 4 am, I won’t lie, it was hard to get myself up and dressed! I had myself extremely organized with all my gear and clothing set out for the morning, so I could spend as many precious minutes under the covers as possible.

Our first sunrise location was Trout Lake, with snow covered Mt. Adams (actually a volcano) in the distance, standing tall and reflecting in the calm water. As we waiting for the sun to rise, we were treated to the sounds of birds, geese and ducks waking up and starting their day. The colours of the sky slowly changed and as the sun rose higher it painted the volcano and the foliage with light.

This is one of those locations, that if I had access to it regularly, I’d want to shoot in all 4 seasons, as I can imagine how different it would look in each season.

Once that initial shock of the 4 am wake up call wore off and I was standing in nature, watching and listening to the world awaken, I could appreciate the serenity of an early morning.

The Serenity Project is a collaborative photography project featuring images that bring a sense of peace and calm. Please continue our circle to to see what has brought my friends serenity this month.

Next in the circle is Nancy Armstrong, Kansas Photographer. Click the link to see what serenity looks like for her this month! Thanks for being here.

July Serenity Circle - Serenity in Sunrise

I am not a morning person - I really really wish I was.  

Earlier this month, I found myself awake at 5 am and happened to look out the window and see all the misty fog laying low over the ground.  I had a short internal debate with myself about whether to crawl back into my cozy bed or grab my gear and head out to the back field to try and capture the beauty of the foggy sunrise.  The sunrise won! I could nap later. 

The fact that I could just go into my own backyard made the decision pretty easy.  I didn't even have to brush my teeth! No drive to a shooting location, fighting for a spot! 

It was worth missing a little sleep.  It was peaceful watching the sky change, listening to the birds and seeing the dew before it evaporated in the warmth of the sun. 

Click on the images to see a larger version. 

one of the old horse shelters, no longer used

Waking up and drying off.

looking away from the sun

The Serenity Project is a collaborative photography project featuring images that bring a sense of peace and calm. Please continue the circle to Wendy May in Scotland to see what has brought her serenity this month. 

June Serenity Blog Circle - A morning at Reader Rock Garden

Life has been busy lately and I was feeling like I never had the time to just get out and explore with my camera on a walk or a drive.  So I booked off a Friday morning and headed to one of my favourite little places to explore, Reader Rock Garden.  The Garden is tucked into the hillside next to the Calgary Stampede Grounds, close to downtown.  The gardens were restored in memory of the man they are named after, William Roland Reader.  Mr. Reader was the Parks Superintendent for the City of Calgary for 30 years and started the Calgary Horticultural Society.  The gardens are located on the original piece of property that he and his family lived on and their home has been restored into a lovely little cafe.  I hope you will follow the links and read a little about this recently designated National Historic Site and the man who had a passion for plants and gardening. 

Wandering the stone pathways with my Lensbaby Sweet 35 and then my macro lens, on the beautifully sunny morning was the relaxation I was looking for. 

Double click the images for a larger view. 

The sound of a babbling stream is always so peaceful! 

A little bit of light leak on the peonies

Stone pathways guide you through the gardens

Lilacs still blooming here

Peekaboo blue!

Reader Rock Cafe

The Serenity Project is a collaborative photography project featuring images that bring a sense of peace and calm. Please continue the circle to Nancy Armstrong Photos to see what has brought her serenity this month. 

May Serenity Blog Circle - Finding Serenity in a Large Urban Park

I am excited to be sharing my first blog post as part of the Serenity blog circle.  The circle is made up of a group of talented women photographers who share their beautiful art together every month.  

I recently took a long weekend visit to Vancouver, BC.  It's a beautiful, bustling city on the West Coast of BC.  A trip to Vancouver wouldn't be complete without time spent in Stanley Park, an urban oasis on the edge of downtown.  At 1,000 acres, it's bigger than Central Park in New York City! 

I visited the park on a Saturday morning - it was full of people walking, biking or inline skating along the seawall, hanging out in grassy areas,  playing cricket or rugby.  I decided to take one of the quieter trails into an old growth forest area away from all the people.  It was there that I found my serenity!! I thoroughly enjoyed taking my time to absorb nature and its sounds, smells and sights, shooting as I went.  I put my Lensbaby Velvet56 on my camera and played to my hearts content! 


Please continue through our Serenity blog circle to see what my friends have shared this month.  Next in the circle is Eileen in San Antonio