Gifts for under $35!

Some great gift ideas for under $35.  Coffee mugs are great even if you only drink tea. There are pillows available for any decor.

Americana in Black and White

There is no Tuesday Trekkin’ this week since I was out of state for work last week. I decided instead to bless you with some black and white versions from previous travels.

All photos are available as prints here.

 

 

Tuesday Trekkin’ – Norris, TN

Tuesday Trekkin’  – November 7 – Norris, TN

We changed plans several times for this Tuesday Trek due to weather concerns. We were originally going to go to Norris, then on up to Rugby. After checking the weather and the rain possibilities were looking good, we decided to just go to Norris, since nothing in Rugby would be open anyway. Apparently Tuesday is an off day for everybody! This morning we got up and it was a pretty steady rain, so we decided would stay in Knoxville and maybe go downtown for lunch and an afternoon movie. We’ll have a leisurely coffee and hang until about 11am then head downtown for lunch. Uh, yeah, the coffee pot is broken. So, my packrat husband found his grandma’s old percolator and we made coffee with that. It was fine coffee, if not a little messy.

 

After a bit, the rain stopped. So, we debated whether we should try for Norris or stick with the movie plan. We decided to go to Norris, skip Rugby, and go to a movie when we get back into town. On the way to Norris, we stopped at a place called Rural King so the husband could buy some oil for his car, he likes to change his own oil. We were taken with the place, but didn’t buy much. I did have to drag my husband out. We finally made it to Norris. I found a little cafe in town that was supposed to be great, we went straight for it. They had some interesting appetizers, trout cakes with butter cabbage (?) and a pecan cheeseball, on the menu that we wanted to try. But guess what? They were out of both. No worries, we ordered some sandwiches. I ordered a Philly Cheesesteak and Walt ordered the grilled cheese with bacon and pickles (blech). The philly was fine. He liked the grilled cheese okay, too. We haven’t hit any home runs in the food department of Tuesday Trekkin’. But I think Tuesday seems to be an off day for most places. We will keep trying.

After lunch, we walked around the small town square for a few minutes. We found a museum connected to the library. So, it’s only open on Tuesday and Thursday, but it doesn’t open until 2pm. It was 1pm. We had to laugh about it. We left town to go to see Norris Dam. On the way, we spotted the Norris Musuem and around the corner an old Grist Mill and Barn with a thrasher, both moved piece by piece from other locations. The museum was closed, of course, the mill and barn were locked but we were able to walk around and get some great pics!

We finally made it to the dam where we met a nice man showing off East Tennessee to his visiting family. I had to take some pics of the visitor center with it’s midmod architecture. We made it back in town in time for Walt to take a quick nap before heading out to the movie, Thor 3: Ragnarok. The movie was great! It was patently ridiculous and silly, but I loved it. Afterward, we picked up pizza from our favorite pizza joint, Dazzo’s Pizzeria. It was perfect!

Prints are available here.

Selective Color

I enjoy processing my images with selective color. I often try to make it subtle and not so in your face. But there are times when I like to push it. It can help a boring image come alive and grab attention.

Pink always wins!

Pink and red  usually stand out on their own. I like to give them a little help sometimes. When I took the pic in Budapest, I really did not notice her. That happens a lot when I’m traveling. They tend to become happy accidents for me. The pink flower just needed something and I was in a rut, so I stepped out of my comfort zone and went wild. The  woman in red pants in Old Town Square caught my eye as soon as I saw this photo. I still don’t know which one I prefer. And red doors always make me happy!

 

Blues and greens are fun too!

The American flag should always have selective color. Always. As in the case with the Bijou reflection, the selective color is already there, it just needed a little push. A green rabbit on top of sausage vendor’s stall. I wanted the eye to go right to that rabbit and not the bright red coat below. The blue wagon grabbed my attention when I was processing the photo later.

As always, I love feedback. I would also love to see your selective photos. And remember have fun with your art!

 

 

Temporarily there

The Weekly Photo Challenge is Temporary. Street photography is all about catching a moment. Because once that person or people move just a hair to the left or right, the image changes and becomes something else.

Before and After Photos

My husband often says he likes the original photos before I work them up. What he really means is that he likes the ones where I’ve done some work, but not too much. Raw photos are dull as dishwater and usually need some work. There are also plenty of folks who feel “straight out of camera” is the only way to go. Like it’s some kind of sin to crop or remove a sign or other unwanted thing. I used to be one of those people.  I did not like HDR or anything I considered “overworked”. Now I love it!

Before Digital

I started out using film. It was more of a what you get is what you got world. Sure there were ways to cut, paste, burn, dodge, tone, etc. But what a pain in the ass most of it was. Also, the chemicals. Ick. I know people who still use film. I don’t miss it. Digital has given me a whole new way to express myself with photography.

Here are some straight out of camera shots (raw), before I straighten, lighten, or fix color. Then the basic versions, after I do those things. And a few of the ones where I “overworked” them. I love them, but some people don’t enjoy them quite the way I do.

Feel free to share your own before and after. I would love to see them! Any feedback is also welcome!

Tuesday Trekkin – October 31

The second installment of Tuesday Trekkin’ features the Foothills Parkway in the Great Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee. We decided it’s fall and the leaves might be ready for viewing. We left the house with a plan to eat lunch at a Cuban place in Maryville, a small town on the way. We went the wrong way and ended up a little out of the way. A slight argument involving the words, “I will not turn around!” may have happened. I will just say that I was not driving and leave it at that.

We finally made it to the Cuban place – The Aroma Cafe. We placed our order at the counter and grabbed our number. It’s a small place and our food was made to order. We both had Cuban Sandwiches with Cuban coffee. I also added fried plantains and a guava and cream cheese empanada. Raiders of the Lost Ark was on the TV and I admit it made me want to watch it again. It seemed the perfect movie for our lunch. The food was fine. The sandwiches had mayo, not something either of us expected or cared for. The plantains were yummy and the empanada was fine. If we go back, I’d definitely try something different. I hear the flan is pretty darn good there. We finished and got back on the road.

We made our way to the Foothills Parkway with intent to stop at Look Rock and take pictures. We missed it some how. We did stop at several spots and got some great views. Photos of mountains and trees are pretty, but not my favorite. I prefer something that tells a little more of a story. We made our way down and came out at Chilhowee Lake where the Chilhowee Dam is located. The lake was beautiful and it would have been a great day for a picnic. We stopped at the Harley Davidson store and I took pics of the old building beside it. Did I mention the area is a well known place bikers of all kinds, motorized and manual. We saw motorcyclists and bicyclists making their way up the mountain. Kudos to both.

Back in Knoxville, I remembered that we needed beer. We stopped at the Casual Pint in Bearden, grabbed a few six packs and had a pint while there. A low key trek but a great day anyway.

Fine Art Photography by Sharon Popek