Archives for category: Camera+


Holy sea cow! Debby sure stirred things up in Marco Island last week!

My family and I vacationed on the small island on the southwestern gulf coast of Florida – right in the midst of a gosh-darned tropical storm.

But no matter how big those waves got, or how horizontal the palm trees were, it didn’t keep me and my fam from having the time and storm of our lives.

I took tons of photos using Camera+ and Instagram. I highly recommend these two apps for instant vacation gratification. My folks got into the iPhoneography  groove.




After weathering Tropical Storm Debby, getting stung by a baby jellyfish, getting surf rash on my arms and legs, and braving monstrous waves, we are home – safe and sound and already missing that pretty sand between our toes.





I literally ran for my life from the beach- about 3/4 of a mile away- to this tree by the pool. I saw the storm coming in from the south side of the beach. I wasn’t wearing shoes. I knew I’d be in a mess if I got my camera stuff wet. When have I ever run that hard and fast? I don’t know if I ever have. It was actually scary. Just look at the before and after!! I made it to the stairs in the nick of time with about 5 seconds to spare.



With the storm came great opportunities to explore the island. Old Marco is just as you’d imagine an old fishing town to look like, quaint and sweet and right up my ally. While the other side of the island is what you’d expect to see from all the rich folks buying Florida-peach winter homes and would be right up my ally if I could afford it. Beach exploration was a must and amazing shells were everywhere after the storm. I also found a shark’s tooth!

Calling all shark experts!!! Identify my shark tooth please! 

We think it’s a Tiger or Bull shark. 






We ate awesome seafood at Quinn’s and CJ’s on the Bay.



We breakfasted at Mango’s which is the cutest family restaurant ever. The whole family works there – aunts, cousins, grandparents! How sweet is that? Then we found the coolest little fish company that also cooks their fresh catch. They are the only fisherman/restaurant combo on the island. Lee Be Fish was awesome… “Fish for the People”!! The fish n chips dipping sauce was a tartar curry explosion. Thanks Lou! And the fun mailbox guy from upstairs – Keep up the good work!

Have you tried using Camera+ and Instagram for your vacation pictures? How did you like it?












Made with turkey from Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch • Tampa, KS

If you’re like me, you really do appreciate where your food comes from. I mean, let’s be honest. I can’t drive five miles without seeing some kind of farm animal! My dad, uncle, and granddad raised cattle and had a turkey hatchery for crying out loud.  I’ve always been aware of my food and a little too aware when I’m standing downwind of a cow pie… But, as a working mom, loyal wife, blogger, teacher and small business owner, it’s easy to get sidetracked with all those attractive little boxes of food everywhere.

When I can have local and organic food, I know it’s special. Not always possible, but it really makes a difference. Tomatoes taste better off of my backyard vine, strawberries are sweeter picked from a patch, lettuce is crispy and earthy, and burgers are juicer.

Detail from Local Burger’s lovely mural by Heather Reynolds

Local Burger in Lawrence, KS makes it easy to feel good about the food on your plate. The food comes from local farms, and local vendors. Even the ketchup is local.

Bison, elk, venison, turkey, chicken, all local! And if you want to take some home, you can.

When I’m ready to try red meat again, I’ll be getting it from Local Burger.

I know meal planning can be a challenge. In my world, quick easy take-out meals are essential at times. But even still, I try to be conscious, healthy, and aware of my food.  There’s really nothing quicker than a banana or an apple.  Or a delicious meal from Local Burger.

Today, I had the most amazing turkey burger; even the pickles were special. It was classic: lettuce, tomato, onion, and of course, ketchup. My side salad was tart with vinegar and apples. The service was fast and friendly. Thank you, Jess.

It really is the World’s Most (delightful) Local Burger. At least here in Kansas.

 More detail from Local Burger’s mural by Heather Reynolds

Symphony in the Flint Hills with guest blogger coming next week! Today I used Camera+ for the photos you see here.

Don’t know if you knew this, but Kansas’ state flower is the sunflower! How sunny and cheery. I love it.

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As an art student, experimentation was expected, the norm, a must. I was into cyanotypes, sepia toner, Polaroid transfers, hand coloring, fiber paper, etc. I’d experiment with temperature (weather) and its effect on sepia-toned photographs. At school, I was told to do those chemicals outside, so it was always a test of my scientific consistency (ha!) and the weather.

If you wanted to experiment the way I wanted to experiment, you had to constantly try new things. And I wanted to try everything by the time I was through with school.

Take the 8×10 camera – blah! with those perfect studio images! I’d much rather use that 8×10 Polaroid back to make transfers. And I did. And it was amazing. I fell so hard for the gritty washed out look of Polaroid transfers. They looked like they’d been wrung out through the ages of time: crumpled up, spit out, spilled on, and scraped off of someones’ old boot.

Today, the process is less complex. In a way, I’d say it’s more stable than it used to be, and I wonder if that’s a metaphor for being 31 as much as it is true about the nature of digital photography. Much of the complex thinking is removed from today’s process and it’s easy for me to focus on that “one thing” that was so difficult for me 10 years ago. Look at PhotoForge2, Hipstamatic, and Camera+. I can make images look gritty, just like I did in the darkroom with contrast filters, only instantly. Instagram is the same. Gritty and raw with that toy-camera look. It took weeks to get things to look like that with film. With these new-fangled apps, it’s literally seconds. This gives me the opportunity to both experiment and focus on technical skills.

With access to all these apps, two feelings emerge. First is: great! people get to appreciate photography in a new way. Second is: a little saddened that I have all these processing apps in my virtual camera bag and no access to a darkroom. Even if I did, would I want to spend all that time there? Probably not! These days, I’m partial to bright warm sunshine and being better to the environment – certainly not toxic chemicals and days in darkness.

Maybe someday, Zone photography will reemerge from those picturesque Ansel Adams quaking aspens and people will want to get out that old dusty 8×10, adjust the bellows, set that F-stop to 64, fasten on that Polaroid back and take some test shots with a gray card. For me, I’ll just remember all those formulas and leave that to Old Ansel. Or I’ll see if there’s an app for it instead.

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90° in early May is just too darn hot for this Kansas (by way of Missouri) girl. But the best thing about this weather, besides the fact I get to enjoy my garden and take all the photos I want while I’m on vacation, is that fruit starts to ripen! Or wilt, if you don’t hurry. My early greens weren’t too happy today, but the little rabbit that pilfered my kale before I got to it sure was…

The two best parts about today was 1. watching my little 5 year old run in the sprinkler and play on the tree swing and 2. picking the first of this seasons’ strawberries! Holy moly were they delicious. We barely saved any for my husband! Oops. There will be more tomorrow, and perhaps I will share a little more. Maybe.

I fiddled around with Camera+ today, the iphone app that is edging its’ way to being more like a real editing software than instagram. Not sure how I feel about it, but that’s only because I haven’t really used it to give it a fair chance. So far, so good.