Photography 101- Days (8-12)

Days 6 and 7 were over the weekend, there were no direct themes associated with these days. I am enjoying this month-long challenge. I enjoy thinking of images in themes like this and using images that first come to mind when I read the theme. Although, with my schedule as it is during the week, there isn’t really time for me to take a theme related image most of the time. These images are all very recently captured. Here are this week’s posts.


Photo By: Carrie

Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary, Arcata CA

My connection to nature is undeniable. I have felt a tight bond since I was a little girl wandering through the ferns, stumps and rock paths in my backyard. I need to see its untouched beauty everyday or I start to feel like something big is missing. I notice this need in my boys too. There is a beautiful silence that washes over them when we are looking at beauty like this. They don’t stay silent for long, really just mere seconds but they do acknowledge it, and appreciate what is in front of them. I am grateful to share such a powerful connection with them.

The connection between the reflection and the sky is so mighty in this image. It was an obvious choice for me for this theme. I took this photograph on Sunday afternoon. On Monday I read a post from FATman Photos pressing the point to not shy away from dark space in an image. When I was processing this my finger slipped and pushed the shadows bar in Lightroom 5 all the way to the left. I instantly ran with it and appreciate the dark space in this image as much as the layered well-lit sky.


Photo By: Carrie

Lady Bird Johnson Grove, Redwoods National Park

When driving either north or south on Highway 101 there is a point in the journey where you notice a remarkable change in scenery. Redwoods, appearing almost out of nowhere, and you know you are here, the lost coast of Humbolt County. In some places they are literally narrowing the roadway. They are majestic, wild, impacting and beautiful. They take my breath away.

Day 10- The Natural World

Photo By: Carrie

Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary, Arcata CA

The theme today is huge for me. This is why I take photographs, why I am always the last one to our destination when my family is hiking, exploring, biking, adventuring somewhere. I can’t help myself, our natural world is so inspiring. I happily wander through nature’s details as often as I can. There is so much to see! My most exciting moments are when there is something small hiding along the sides of a trail, waiting for me to come along and admire. I get down low, I get up-close, I slowly move my viewfinder around the new-found treasure, trying to find just the right angle.

This photograph is of a thistle that has gone to seed. I have never seen the inside opened up like this or the white tips develop on the ends either. As I was photographing this beauty an elderly man walked by, he reminded me “you know, that is just a thistle.” Yes, I smiled, it is remarkable up close. He then went on to tell me artichokes are part of the thistle family which I didn’t really know. We found ourselves walking a similar path for a while. When I would stop to admire another something, he would chime in over my shoulder with special facts about it. I learned a lot, I hope he is there the next time I am wandering at the marsh.

Day 11- WARMTH

Photo By: Carrie

Arcata Community Forest, Arcata CA

Another great theme. I love playing with light like this. One of the most interesting parts of taking an image like this, well at least in my case, is I have no idea what it is really going to look at until I get home. When I shoot directly into the sun my viewfinder blows out in my camera, just like your eye would be if you were looking directly into the sun. So, I have to find something like a leaf, a tree branch or trunk, or something else to block portions of the sunlight. It is always a surprise to see what comes home with me.

I am always drawn to images with sun rays streaming somewhere in them. I think they are magical and one of the few times I like seeing more than my eye can see, when looking at a photograph.


Photo By: Carrie

Fern Canyon, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

What a sight as we rounded the bend of the creek. Rock cairns, perfectly placed, reflecting in the clear creek water. I felt like I needed to take a moment, bow my head and give thanks. It took everything I had to keep my boys from plowing through the creek and knocking down every last one of these. Honestly, everything I had. But, they survived (my boys and the cairns).

I made such a big deal about their sacredness, well that is how I saw them anyway. After I got up from taking this photograph, I found both of my boys eagerly collecting their own beautiful rocks. They quickly got to work, in a new area of the creek, constructing their own cairns, one beautiful smoothed rock at a time. We will visit their offerings soon.



  1. These are all gorgeous pictures. The colour, the light, the subject – perfect. And I’m just the same when out on walks. I’m always trailing behind everyone else snapping photos every few steps!

    1. Awe, a kindred spirit. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I really appreciate it. Yes, trailing behind…I am so guilty of that. But, my family knows it makes me really happy, so they tolerate it most of the time πŸ™‚
      Thank you again!

  2. After studying these photographs and reading your explanations of each (I love the glimpses you give me of a photographer’s thoughts and processes, unknown territory for me.) the pivotal sentence for me in relationship to all the photographs was “I happily wander through nature’s details as often as I can.” Thanks for taking your readers along when you do so, Carrie.

    1. Janet, you are so thoughtful. I am happy to hear that you appreciate wandering through nature with me. I am honored to have you as a companion πŸ™‚ Thank you!!

    1. Thank you so much, Cybele. I take that as such a compliment. The forest is a very special place for me and it’s spirit is something I hold very dear. I am falling in love with this marsh as well.

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