The White Queen by Phillipa Gregory and Book at the Door Winner

The winner of this month’s Book at the Door and two prints of mine has been announced, pop over to take a look!

Behind the Willows

And the winner is…

Rosie Amber!

Rosie is none other than the wonderful Rosie of Rosie’s Book Review Team, of which I’m proud to be a member. Her blog ( is full of book reviews from all genres and you should certainly stop by if you are looking for your next book to read.

Rosie will need to be on the lookout for a package in the mail with a copy of The White Queen by Philippa Gregory as well as these beautiful prints by Amy Maranto!

Now that you have seen these photos again I’m sure you would like to go visit Amy on her blog Photography Journal Blog  ( where she shares her thoughts on her photography and photo editing journey!

Rosie she says she hasn’t read any Philippa Gregory books yet, which is a terrible problem to have and I am so happy to…

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And now, a line from the Little Mermaid

I’d like to share this post featuring the writing of Theresa Barker and a photo of mine.
Cheers! Amy

Theresa Barker - Lab Notes

Photo by Maranto Photography is used by permission of the photographer, all rights reserved.Photo by Maranto Photography is used by permission of the photographer, all rights reserved.

One of the blogs I follow is Photography Journal Blog, where the blogger, Amy Maranto, posts the most amazing photographs.  She also generously provides information on how the photograph was created, sharing her knowledge with other photographers and image-creators.  The image above came from Amy’s blog.  Please take a look at Amy’s message in “About this post” at the end of my story!

In Search of Fairer Sights

She has traveled.  Though it is little known, the mermaid of Copenhagen, Den lille Havfrue, visited China in 2010.  She wishes to see the sights beyond her home location positioned on a rock near the promenade, but so far, Shanghai has been the only acquisition in her tourist portfolio.

It is a matter of some vexation.  She is considering placing an advertisement in a global publication…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Shine

After a downpour it’s hard to miss the shine of the sun. I got this photo after a fairly heavy rain.  The few raindrops left on the petals stand in contrast to the bright sun:

ISO 800 4.3mm f/8.0 1/1250

ISO 800 4.3mm f/8.0 1/1250

I left the editing of this photo to a minimum.  Here is the original:

ISO 800 4.3mm f/8.0 1/1250

ISO 800 4.3mm f/8.0 1/1250

The change here was done using split toning in Lightroom.  Split toning allowed me to give the autumn colors a bit of a warm glow by using the highlights to bring out a bit of an orange tone.  I added a bit of the deeper blue in the sky by darkening the blues in the shadows.  Split toning also has a balance slider that allows you to change the balance of the edit you are applying making it either more in the highlights or more in the shadows.  In this case it is adding more to the highlights.  I got the idea to give the balance slider a try after watching this short tutorial.

How do you like the edit?  I like the original, but I really like the orange tones in the edit.  I think they appeal to me right now because it is fall here and orange is a color that I have always associated with fall.  Feel free to leave a comment below.


New Year, New Look

If you stop by this blog regularly you will have noticed that I changed my theme a few days ago.  I am using the theme Able, and so far I like it and I think I will be sticking with it for a little while at least.   I would like to thank those folks who responded to my post, Tinkering with my blog.  Several bloggers offered their thoughts on what would make a good theme for this blog.  For fun I thought I would share a link to a recent post from all of them: catbirdinamerica, Lignum Draco, Cardinal Guzman, Northwest Frame of Mind, Unique So Chic, Behind the Willows.

If you are wondering about my new header image, I wrote a post about it this past summer and it can be found here. The lesson learned there is that sometimes a snoozing lion isn’t really asleep, so pay attention.  I switched themes in part to be able to display bigger photographs, and I am still working on the exact size that I think fits the theme, is big enough for the viewer, but not too obnoxiously large.  If you have an opinion on sizing, or other aspect of this new layout, please feel free to leave a comment below.

I will leave you with one of my favorite photographs from my blog this year.  It was originally posted in an entry chronicling the nest. I hope that you have a wonderful New Year!


ISO 800 14mm 0ev f/5 1/60

ISO 800 14mm 0ev f/5 1/60

SortaMadLib E-Card Creations

I don’t usually reblog, but I thought I would share this post from Queen Creative. The third e-card created is “mine” in that I filled out the form and hit submit. This blog, and the individual blogs of their contributors are great and geeky, so consider checking them out!


Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry

Geometry, that was my favorite math in high school, and it is also the topic of this week’s photo challenge at WordPress.  I don’t do a lot of architecture photography but this shot is a picture of a stairwell in the St. Louis Art Museum that caught my eye.  I think it fits for this week’s challenge as well:

ISO 1600 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/40

I took this photo with my point and shoot.  I tried the shot on a few different settings, but my favorite was this one using the blue tone in the black and white setting.


Fall is here

It is getting cooler and the leaves are turning.  It was raining and I got this shot in front of my house:

ISO 320 70mm f/5 1/13

I love the color of fall!