Yellow iris, lots of words, a screenshot and smoothie

Yellow iris

These were taken earlier this season from the garden. Taken with the D70s* + 105mm lens, which gives it the smooth out-of-focus areas. Love the 105mm for that. I've started using both the D300 and D70s this past summer, with a wide(er)-angle on one and the 105mm or 18-200mm on the other. I have a fear of changing lenses in the outdoors for fear of dust on the sensor.

Yellow iris 3

This one was taken with the Nikon D300 + 35mm 2.0 lens. I love this little lens. It gives me more room on the crop sensor D300 vs the 50mm. And the way it handles light is amazing. I think the ƒ2.0 was being replaced by a ƒ1.8 version. I remember having to search around a bit to find the 2.0 (so worth it).

I was hoping to get more into the rhythm of blogging, but this week has been so busy. We had the roof replaced and got a new car and I've been following an online course put together by creativelive.com. (They offer all sorts of free streaming online courses, check out their calendar at the link. Live streaming is free, you can select to download but they charge for that.)

The course I've been watching this week features Jasmine Star, wedding photographer. It's been really interesting and informative over the last four days (today is the fifth, and last day) seeing her photography background, mistakes she made and things she did well, her business branding, her gear and software, how she preps for a wedding, shoots a wedding (interacting with wedding couple and guests), and edits photos from the wedding. They actually shot a real wedding on Friday. Kudos to the all involved for pulling it off so successfully (quick side note: thanks to zack arias, I can no longer use that word without thinking of his sucksessful vids. Heh.)

I think the most compelling take-away for me so far, has been Jasmine's 'Repel or Attract/Connect' mantra. She knows not everyone will like her and that's okay. She only wants to attract the people who want to work with her, who appreciate her style. It's a big world, photo-wise, and there are a lot of options for people. Why do we all have to be the same? Not everyone is going to like your work and you aren't going to like everyone's work either. We can spend an inordinate amount of time and energy trying to make everyone like us, not being authentic, afraid to post or censoring our words. Stop. Be true to yourself. It all comes down to keeping it real, as she would say, in action.

In light of the above revelation, the most surprising/not-surprising (if that makes sense) take-away from the last few days is how many haters she has. LOL, I get that she's not everyone's cuppa, but c'mon. There are a lot of people online who like to hate. And you know, I understand and appreciate why they're upset, the issues they're hating on with respect to some of these 'photo-rockstars' (i.e., selling workshops after having been in business one year, actions out the wahoo, books that claim to make you an overnight sensation, you-name-it). In light of all that, I get the push-back. I get it. But at the end of the day, really, all that negativity is just not a place I want to spend my time.

Overall, watching Jasmine Star this past week I'm more impressed with her attitude than anything. I've followed her work for a long time now and I'm in the 'like her' camp, but wow. She has one great attitude/outlook on life.

And freaking amazing arms (toned like no one's business.)


Smoothie beforeSmoothie in the making

One other quick note. I've read about green smoothies/bloggers doing green smoothie challenges over the years, so I decided to give it a try a few weeks ago. The thought of putting that much spinach in a fruit smoothie seemed off-putting. Well, as it turns out, you can't really taste the spinach. Win! (Except for Andi, who likes spinach. ;-) However, the way it makes me feel is a revelation. So, so, so much better. And not in any specific way that I can articulate. Lame, I know.

I experiment with different fruits, but keep coming back to this basic concoction:

1 banana
1 C wild blueberries, frozen
1/2-3/4C strawberries, frozen
1 1/2 C water, maybe a bit more to thin if required
5 large handfuls of baby spinach

This makes two large glasses.

Seriously, I can't believe how drinking these a few times a week makes me feel. I would not have believed it if I hadn't tried it.


  1. Wonderful set of photos, O. You have a finely honed ability to see the images that can be made from the raw materials around you (like surprisingly gorgeous smoothie photo on the left).

  2. Hey, thanks A. I think this may be the longest blog post I've ever made (including my old blog). Thanks for sticking around to the end ... ;-)

  3. I love that first photo! If I ever decide to redo any room in my house with a splash of yellow I will be contacting you for a massive print, for sure.

    I can understand why j* has haters too but the most amazing thing about her is she doesnt try to pretend that she is the greatest photographer or that she knows every thing there is to know about the business. I also love the connect/repel mantra and hope to use it in my biz and my life.
    and her arms, yeah, I think I spent half the time admiring how perfectly toned those suckers are!

    That smoothie looks delish! I have a strawberry, banana, blueberry one every morning but am now tempted to throw some spinach in, thank you!!!

  4. Hi there Stacey! Thank you so much. :)

    Your blog post recap was so inspiring. Great to see all the energy and enthusiasm from the workshop. :) I agree -- her attitude about everything was really positive to witness. Even in the face of so much stress, she was class. (Did you see her break down in JD's arms at the very end once the microphones were cut?)