Just Photoshop it.

Photoshop.  It’s not just a noun, my friends.  It’s also verb.

And oh, what an action-packed part of speech it is.

This nine-letter, digital gem can erase zits, turn a mountain into a mole hill and even make Kathy Griffin look like Gisele Bundchen. Metaphorically speaking, of course.  The Brazilian supermodel isn’t exactly a shining pillar of beauty after her Super Bowl outburst.

But I digress.

Tonight, I took the Photoshop powerhouse for a test drive on some of my images from Christmas and a recent trip to New York City.  I haven’t even skimmed the surface of what this hot rod program can do, but I’m hoping this is the start of wonderful things to come.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to photoshop myself out of that bolo tie I wore to senior homecoming.


An Unconventional Christmas

Cutting down a christmas tree conjures images of snow-filled fields, homespun mittens, hot cocoa and a strong man with an axe to chop the holiday cheer out of the ground and drag it into your home.

All those prerequisites went out the window with the air conditioning this weekend.  My family picked out a tree in unseasonable 62 degree heat – and my petite sister sawed down the perfect douglas fir like a true mountain woman.  Sticky with sap and dripping with sweat, we tied the tree to the roof and headed to the farm’s Christmas village to soak in the spirit with iced cider and melting chocolate chip cookies.

It was a beautiful, picture imperfect afternoon…and I loved every minute.

Days like this remind me that we can’t control soo much.  The world is hellbent on wreaking havoc on traditions and plans.   Despite all this, we can carry on – with laughter, family and friends.

Enjoy the photos from our very merry tree hunt!

Magic Martha

Over Labor Day, I packed my chic backpack and five dollar flip flops for an adventure to Martha’s Vineyard.

Everyone told me it would be beautiful.  Everyone was wrong.  It’s pure magic.

 The light hits everything perfectly, any time of day.  The dunes undulate with the same power and softness as the waves.  Most of all, the island seems wonderfully stuck in a time when people built homes, fences and gardens with imperfect hands and improvised plans.  It has that subtle, subdued wildness I love.

I spent most of the weekend tethered to my camera, attempting to snatch little glimpses of the island’s spirit.  These are just a few shots.  I posterized the last one just for a little artsy fun.

A Special moment

I’m a sucker for love…of any kind.  My mom says I’m a hug addict, and that’s an understatement.  Forgive me for going all hippy dippy here, but there’s an intangible piece of wonderful exchanged when two people find a moment to connect…in thoughts, feelings or both.

Last year, I caught this feeling in one quick snap.  It defines “a picture is worth 1000 words.”

I dropped into the Special Olympics in Evanston for a touch of inspiration.  April could not have delivered a more gorgeous day, and the athletes geared up to shine even brighter.  The coaches, local high school students who work with the athletes all year, stood close by to cheer and support.

Just as I was about to walk through the gate and take my seat, I spotted one particular coach trying to calm an athlete.  I stood back and watched as she leaned to tell him a joke…and click….there it was.

A horse of a different color

A couple of years ago, I followed a carriage driver as part of a college multimedia assignment.   I hoped to expose the atrocities of the “horse-for-hire” industry.  I was a starry-eyed coed who’d seen Erin Brockovich a few too many times, and this seemed like a noble cause.  Give me a break, OK?

Turns out PETA already had the “help our horses” market cornered, and the beastly beauties I met were quite loved. Bare in mind, I contacted every carriage company in the city with my request for a sneak peak, and only one agreed….so it could just be that I stumbled upon the most humane.

Although my big break in investigative journalism clip clopped and then promptly flopped, the resulting photos showcase one of the most magnificent animals on the planet.   I endured the coldest day in February to shoot these images, and I would do it again tomorrow…as long as I could bring a warmer pair of gloves.

Buffalo Bill(s)

I’d heard of Elvis impersonators.  Marilyn Monroe look-a-likes. Even moonwalking toddlers.  None of this surprises me.  But a gaggle of men channeling Buffalo Bill blew my mind.

My friends and I are adept at sniffing out some pretty bizarre adventures.  Last year, we wandered off the highway just outside Denver for a bathroom break.  Within ten minutes, we stumbled upon the the Buffalo Bill Museum and Ole’ Bill’s 164th birthday.  He’s still kickin’…times SEVEN (impersonators, that is).

The museum sits atop a gorgeous vista in Golden, Colorado.  Unbeknownst to us, it’s a hot spot in town, and the biggest event of the year is, of course, Bill’s birthday.  Local news media turned up, costumes abound and Bill blew out the candles on his cake…complete with printed bison photos on the icing.

Toward the end of the ceremony, all of Golden’s famed BB wannabes took the floor to decide who would be Mr. Bill 2010.  This event was, by far, the most odd encounter of the year, and it produced one of my funniest photos.

In case you were wondering, scowling Mr. Magoo did not win the grand prize.  His lackluster mustache precluded him from taking the title as the Wild West’s Best.

This is the life

I learned how to ski before I learned how to spell. Well…I still stuggle with the latter skill, but you get my point.  I immediately took the sport.  My parents recount a day in which I refused to come off the mountain despite a heavy rainstorm and a completely soaked, and consequently 75 pound, snow suit.

There are few things I love more than the sound of my boots click, clicking into the bindings at the base of the mountain.  I live for the anticipation that climbs right along with the elevation as I ride to ten thousand feet. That initial shove off the edge of a peak and into a whir of wind and white renders me completely cut off from the rest of the world.  This is my bliss.

The experience only gets better when you toss in old friends and hot chocolate.  Lucky for me, I enjoyed both this weekend in Vail.  Eight of my college buddies and I strapped sticks to our feet, helmets to our heads and gloves to our hands for three gorgeous days. I feel soo lucky.

Inevitably, friends of friends end up joining any ski outing.  We love adding to the crew!  This weekend, my friend Ali’s buddy Andy joined us.  I caught a reflection of all my friends in his goggles just before we took off down the mountain on Day 2.

 

My friends are total hams.  This was an impromptu photo shoot while waiting for others to catch up. 

The quiet on a ski lift never loses its effect.  It’s the best treatment for long-term city living.

Skiing makes us jump for joy!

 

There’s no crying in this sport.  All falls result in laughs. Usually at your expense.