Category Archives: Photography

Happy (late) 4th of July!

I had never been a big fireworks person, to be quite honest.  But around 7 years ago, my parents started making it a tradition to go see one of the biggest fireworks displays in the state every July 4th.  It was a familiar town, right next to where I grew up, and at first I grumbled and thought it wouldn’t be fun.  But then it became an excuse to invite all my friends along, catch up with everyone, eat fried food, and just generally guarantee at least one big party every summer — along with celebrating our nation, of course.

We got to see some pretty good fireworks displays this July 4th thanks to the Macy’s display for New York City, and a high rise apartment with a great view of the Hudson River where the fireworks barges were.

One thing that was awesome about our location was that we could see the barges where they were actually releasing the fireworks.  I hadn’t realized how many “low” fireworks they set off, which we’ve always missed in past years from being at ground level with them.

It made for a nice evening.  And, I have to say, watching the fireworks every year for the past 7 years has made me feel a little more patriotic — you can only watch beautiful bombs bursting in air, set to  “God Bless the U.S.A.” by Lee Greenwood, before you really start to appreciate all that our country has given us :)

I love summer!

It wasn’t a bad winter over here on the East coast, except for that pesky snowstorm in October so far. But over the last few weeks the weather has really been heating up and I an loving it!  Yesterday I only wore shorts and a tank top all day and I didn’t even need a sweater.  Pools are opening up all over the place, it’s humid everywhere, and it’s awesome!

Earlier in the spring when my mother-in-law visited, we went to the Statue of Liberty.  I had never been before.  We went on a warm sunny day, perfect for the short ferry ride over to the island.  Of course, since the ferry is full of other tourists, you have to struggle for a clear shot, but that’s part of the experience too.

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There is also an area in back of the museum on Ellis Island, where they have a little memorial with names of the immigrants who came through.

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F-stop, etc.

I’m not a great photographer.  I’ve, like, heard of most of the applicable terms, and I have the “For Dummies” book for my camera (but haven’t read it).  So I have to confess that I usually let the automatic settings on my camera do all the work for me.  I think I’m fairly good at seeing the image that should be captured, but the camera kind of knows how to capture it better than I do.

Still, it’s fun to mess with settings once in a while and see what happens.  There was a gorgeous sunset the other night that seemed like a good opportunity to switch away from that automatic landscape setting that is my absolute favorite.

My favorite is the first one, which is, unfortunately, that automatic setting I was talking about.  But the third one isn’t that bad, either, and I think it’s actually a more accurate picture of what the sky really looked like at the time.  I kept the middle one because it’s super eerie.  Obviously it looked nothing like that in real life, but it’s cool that just switching around a few camera settings can cause such a drastic change in the image.

If I were better at photography I would comment on how which settings I changed affected each picture.  I am sorry to say, I can offer no such help!  Maybe if I ever get through that “For Dummies” book …

On a little vacation

I am up in Cape Cod for a few days at a friend’s house.  It’s always fun to come here with her because she spent all her summers here, so her family knows all the best places to eat and shop and hang out, and I get to just go along for the ride.  Plus, the off season is nice since it’s so much quieter, and just as beautiful.

Cape Cod beach
I actually thought about setting my next book on Nantucket – yep, I kind of wanted to combine werewolves and a fancy tourist island … I’m not 100% sure of what I’m doing with that yet, but I’m leaning towards not putting them on Nantucket because there’s just so much history associated with it.  This would be the perfect opportunity to do some “research” on the area to make sure though.

Phew

So, I finally got around to updating the page about me and adding some personalization to this blog.  It’s about time!  The header picture that I added, by the way, was taken at 5AM when we were on a hike in Peru.  (I was sick, so I was pretty much up all night.)  Here’s the full picture.

This hike, by the way?  One of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.  We wanted to do the Inca Trail, but there wasn’t actually any space, so we did a hike through the Lares Valley instead.  I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal — I’m a healthy enough young gal, and the tour guides provided food and set up our tents and everything — but I was totally wrong.  The altitude really does crazy things to your lungs (and, also irritatingly, your head, and even your stomach).  Altitude sickness + no sleep + unable to eat food = very difficult hike.

Got some really great pictures, though!  The lighting in this one is maybe not ideal, but considering it was still almost dark out when I took it, it’s not so bad.  Any guesses as to what those little dots in the foreground are?  They’re the llamas that helped carry our stuff, and camped out right there with us.

Anyway, I did not realize that you needed to buy an upgrade to even use CSS on WordPress.  I was all prepared to dust off my very rusty skills, but although I would really like to change a couple of fonts, I don’t think that’s quite worth $30 to me … yet.

The point of all this (although it may be hard to believe I have one at all) is that Lone Wolf will be released next week, on October 5th!  (If that seems non sequitur, why do you think I finally got around to updating these pages?)  In fact, it’s already on the Coming Soon page at Cobblestone.  Eek!  I can’t believe it’s coming up so soon.