Photography: Morning Walk

“Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’ve found a new walking path near my house which is kinder to my healing hip. There are beautiful old trees, a view of the mountains, lots of birds, and a pond with ducks. I’m grateful for the beauty it contains and the gentle slopping path I can walk and think.

My childhood best friend lost her father recently. He was like a father to me too, a loving and beautiful man who loved to fix and collect things. I’m working on a poem to honor him, but it’s not ready yet. Instead, I decided to do another photo post this week and share my special place with you.

May you find a moment of peace today.


  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW

52 Photo Challenge: Week Five

“When I was a kid I believed everything I was told, everything I read, and every dispatch sent out by my own overheated imagination. This made for more than a few sleepless nights, but it also filled the world I lived in with colors and textures I would not have traded for a lifetime of restful nights.”
― Stephen King

Welcome back to the 52-week photo challenge. This week our assignment was to capture texture, which is something I naturally look for when taking photos. My daughter and I visited a park near our house and the sun was really too bright. While I got a variety of shots, I was ultimately disappointed with my offerings. The colors were either over-exposed or simply too bright. The images below are the ones I could salvage and edit.

I can only share one photo with the challenge group. I’m leaning toward either the lichen or the oily water shot. Which photo do you think best illustrates texture? Thanks as always for cheering me on and have a wonderful week.


NOTE: To my regular followers, life has been a bit on the stressful side lately. As a result, you may see me posting two posts a week for a while instead of three. Thank you for your love and understanding.

  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW
  • If you want to join the 52 Photo Challenge, you can find all the information at nicolesy.com.

52 Photo Challenge: Week Four

“Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” -Neil Gaiman

Welcome back to the 52-week photo challenge. This week our assignment was to photograph motion blur, which was something I’d never attempted before. I was required to get more comfortable with using my camera in manual mode and to use a slow shutter speed. Mistakes were made. Lots of them.

While most of my photos were an epic failure, I did learn a lot. Next time I’ll need to buy or borrow a tripod and perhaps a flash. So many of these images are so close to being good but are blurred in places I don’t want them to be. Not quite there. I went out twice (once during the day and once at night) and these are the best images I was able to capture. While I love the one with my daughter, I think the one with the fire is the best example of motion blur. Let me know what you think.

Thanks as always for cheering me on and have a wonderful day!



Here are some bonus photos not using motion blur also taken this week:

  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW
  • If you want to join the 52 Photo Challenge, you can find all the information at nicolesy.com.

52 Photo Challenge: Week Three

“January is the month for dreaming”― Jean Hersey

Welcome back to the 52-week photo challenge. This week the assignment was to photograph something in black and white. Since I was already in downtown Sacramento this week, I went on a hunt for things I thought would translate well to black and white. I looked for interesting lines, shapes, and buildings I thought looked out of time. While some of the images really didn’t work, I did find some I felt good enough to share here.

As I can only submit one photo to the challenge, I’d love to know which of these is your favorite. My favorites are the first three images and I’m leaning toward the train station. What do you think?

Thanks as always for cheering me on and have a wonderful day!



Here are a few bonus photos I liked better in color:

  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW
  • If you want to join the 52 Photo Challenge, you can find all the information at nicolesy.com.

52 Photo Challenge: Week Two

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.” —Michel Legrand

A dear friend of mine invited me to participate in a 52-week photo challenge and I happily agreed. Each week a different aspect of photography will be explored. I’m excited to play along and hopefully learn as I do.

This week we were asked to feature a silhouette. As it’s been raining and stormy outside, I did my best to use a sliver of sunlight to backlight some trees and birds. I’m not sure these are successful, but I had fun trying. As I can only submit one photo to the challenge, I’d love to know which of these is your favorite.

Thanks as always for cheering me on and have a wonderful day!


  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW

Week One’s assignment was to create an image that shows bokeh or shallow depth of field. I used the freeway image from Stormy Downtown Sacramento as my first submission. It wasn’t my best bokeh shot ever, but I’m trying to stick to photos taken within the week of the challenge.

Finally, my camellia has its first baby bloom and it’s too adorable not to share.

  • If you want to join the 52 Photo Challenge, you can find all the information at nicolesy.com.

Photography: Stormy Downtown Sacramento

“The night is darkening round me
The wild winds coldly blow
But a tyrant spell has bound me 
And I cannot cannot go”
-Emily Brontë, The Night is Darkening Round Me

To say I’ve fallen in love with photography is an understatement. Not only do I love it, but I get giddy with excitement when I see something interesting I might be able to play with. It’s an adventure every single time I grab my camera and head outside.

This week I took photographs during a rainstorm in downtown Sacramento. It was filled with challenges—navigating fallen branches, stepping in puddles, looking for a safe place to park, and getting soaked. However, it’s totally worth every second for the thrill of downloading the images and seeing what I got. It’s like Christmas every single time. Magic.

While some of my images are blurry from raindrops, and others are far too dark, I liked the overall feel of my images. I spent a fair amount of time today editing them—experimenting with contrast and exposure to give them each a slightly different feeling. I’m still a novice in every sense of the word, but I adore the process of learning.

I hope you enjoy this walk through the rainy city.

Here’s a bonus photo with a little color. The red was from the reflection of my brake lights as I pulled over to snap a picture of a puddle.

  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW

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Photography: Snow Day

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, ‘Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.’”― Lewis Carroll

A storm blew through this weekend bringing rain to our town and snow to the mountains. On Sunday, my daughter and I drove until chains were required to play in and photograph the beauty of the first flakes. Not having ever lived in the snow myself, it’s easy to romantize the way the white clings to the green of the trees. It felt truly like the spirit of the winter season and I wish we could have stayed all day.

Please enjoy this selection of images below and have a wonderful week.

  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW


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Photography: Sunday Drive

“All he needed was a wheel in his hand and four on the road.” -Jack Kerouac

Yesterday I took a leisurely drive with my daughter through the more undeveloped parts of our area. It was a clear, beautiful autumn day and I stopped occasionally to take photos when the roads provided enough space to pull over. My photos this week are the best of those images. I edited them all to have a similar tone. Is it my best work? No. Is it okay to simply like them and not love them? Sure. I’m learning and growing. It’s all part of the process.

These next few days are the final push to finish up NaNoWriMo. I’m behind. I’ve got to write 7,652 words by Wednesday. I’ve reached the “Brain, activate Deadline mode” phase. Here’s where being an unpublished writer gets tricky. Nobody really cares if I make this deadline except me. I have to be the one continuously digging deep to make my deadlines. There are really no consequences if I fail. Yet, I don’t want to fail. I don’t want to let myself down.

To everyone giving me support and cheering me on, thank you. You have no idea how much I appreciate it. May everyone have a wonderful week filled with the things you love best.


  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW

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Photography: Monochrome Nature

“Well, we all make mistakes, dear, so just put it behind you. We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us.” -L.M. Montgomery

Yesterday I took family photographs of a dear friend and her beautiful family. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to stretch my photography skills and offer this service to people I love. What I learned was…I need to learn a lot more. Although it went well, as far as flow and everyone staying in wonderful moods, I didn’t do great with lighting or poses. While some of the photos were beautiful, others fell short. Ultimately, I failed in a lot of big ways.

When I woke up this morning I felt defeated and upset. I wanted to do so much better. While I could let this setback derail me, after coffee and a long hot shower, I’ve decided to keep going. I think after the new year I’ll enroll in some photography classes, invest in some new software, and keep trying. Everything is a learning experience and the only way to get better is to keep going.

My photos this week were all taken before the family shots and were edited to be black-and-white. I hope you enjoy them and have a wonderful week.


  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW

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Photography: Effie Yeaw Nature Center

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.’”―Sylvia Plath

This morning my daughter and I visited the beautiful trails around Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Carmichael. A lot of uncertainty circles us right now and being in nature provided a much-needed respite. We saw five baby deer leap across the trail. Two large bucks slam their antlers into each other until one relented and ran off. Squirrels scampering up and down the trees. Salmon jumping out of the river. It felt magical to have this time together.

I hope you enjoy this selection of images and may it bring you a moment of peace.


  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW

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