While many of you are slogging through years of classes in pursuit of your MFAs and sketching outlines of your first novels, my 6-year-old niece Lilly is already one step ahead of you. With only a kindergarten education, she has penned numerous short stories and is well-known in her North St. Paul neighborhood. Lilly travels door to door, selling her work for 50 cents, which everyone knows is minimum wage for authors.
I was honored to receive a first edition copy of her novel, The Missing Pig, while visiting her last week. She wrote, illustrated, and self-published it. The Missing Pig is the first book in her Pig Trilogy. The second one, The Pig Knocking Food Down, was also recently released and gifted to her Grandpa Hanson. Rumor has it, the third and final installment, yet to be named, will be on the shelves around the Christmas holiday.
Keep your eyes open for Lilly Maendel, publishing world!
The painterly quality of a shallow depth of field can turn a simple photo into a canvas – appropriate, considering tulips have long been popular with artists, and some varieties have even been named after them.
The Rembrandt Tulip, featured here, was popular in Holland during the tulip frenzy of the 1600’s, even though the Dutch painter is not actually known for painting flowers.
The tulips are here! Every spring, for a few short weeks, the Skagit Valley glows with miles and miles of blossoming fields. My friend Sarah and I visited the RoozenGaarde fields last night for some photos. I’m in the middle of sifting through a couple hundred and plan to post more this weekend as well as provide some information on the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.
A quick note to photographers who may visit these fields: If you are a professional, or intend to post your photos to a website or display your work in some way, you are required to download and sign a consent form . You will need to take it to the Washington Bulb Company office, which is a short walk from the main RoozenGaarde 3-acre garden.
I have wanted to upgrade my camera equipment for quite some time, but I’m not what you’d call a “professional”, just an enthusiastic amateur who gets little pleasure from making money off of my photography. I know! Crazytown. So, being that the IRS considers what I do a hobby, I didn’t feel justified spending thousands of dollars on the Nikon D800 I really, really wanted.
So, what is a bleeding heart photographer to do? After much consideration, I bought a D7000 (much more reasonable price point, more mega pixels, and fast shutter speed than my D90) and bought a new 35 mm lens. I wanted the lens because I can get an f-stop of 1.8 and I’ve been dying to play with bokeh (that blur you see in the background of some photos). Here are some of the first shots with the new camera and lens. Now that the weather is nicer, I anticipate many hours outside with friends, hunting for subject matter. I’m thinking I’ll call this The Year of Bokeh.