What’s the Best Camera?

Answer: The one you have on you.  For most of us, that’s our mobile phone.  Sure, there are limitations, but it’s still possible to get some good shots!   

“Jolene’s Life in Focus” actually started as an experiment in mobile phone art early in 2010.  Long before I ever owned a DSLR, I had my Motorola Droid.  So, I decided to launch a simple, 5 megapixel project in creativity.  Using only apps available on the Android market, these pictures were taken and edited right in the palm of my hand!  It really taught me a lot about lighting and composition, believe it or not.  This is a collection of some of my favorite shots during that time period. 

When you have no fancy lenses available, what can you create?


I’m Back!

After struggling to keep up with my blog for several months, I had to admit defeat and step away for a time.  But, I’m happy to report that I’ve successfully completed another quarter, and I’m taking the summer off!  No more teachers, no more books….

So, back to blogging! 

There’s a lot I want to do this summer.  I want to get a side photography business started and actually do some writing.  I’d like to catch up on world events and read a few good books.  Imagine doing that – reading for fun!!    And, of course I’ll begin the process of getting caught up on the blogs I follow again.  I may actually be able to keep up – for the summer at least.

Fun with Nikon

Bitterly cold winds blew through Whatcom County a couple of days ago…but no snow.  Meteorologists promised, and for a while some flurries got my hopes up…but there was no snow.   I had been hoping to take pictures with my new Nikon D90.

30 minutes south in Skagit County, however, so much snow fell that a stretch of the freeway was closed after dozens of people abandoned their cars, and snow plows couldn’t get through to clear the roads.  Fellow co-workers in the area spent hours digging themselves out, and schools were closed.  David got some great snow pictures.  But, not me.  Not up in poor old Whatcom County.

Today I finally made it down to Skagit County, and there was still plenty of snow.  (Yay!) Ironically, it was the icicles that caught the attention of my camera on its first photo walk and not the snow.   You can see by the shape of the icicles that Skagit County must have had its share of cold winds.  I loved the formations!

Chocolate Makes Me Happy

I can finally breathe again after 5 solid days of studying.  I think I nearly had a caffeine induced panic attack before my exam tonight.  So, I deserve chocolate.  And maybe a glass of wine.  Or two.  I’m not making any promises to be good tonight.  It’s time to unwind!!

P.S. There’s one small thing that bugs me about this picture:  the dust in front of the bunny in focus.  Perhaps I need to do some cleaning now that I have a few days in which no books will be opened…

Trespassing with Purpose

Andy and I took a long drive through Skagit County the other day for photos – and also to hit up the small shops in LaConner for a belated birthday gift I’d had in mind for a friend.   On the road to LaConner, we passed an old barn that had been marked, “no trespassing”.  Well, if you follow my blog at all, you know that I’m not easily deterred by trespassing signs.  I thought these two windows made an interesting shot, so I think it was worth the stop.  Plus, if you’re kind of in the road is it really trespassing?

Little Hands


This post is an experiment to see if I can upload a photo and blog directly from my phone, the original Motorola DROID.

Tonight, I’m at Red Robin in Burlington, Washington with some friends and their children for a birthday.  These little hands belong to Rick and Angela’s son, Alex.  It was amazing – he sat perfectly still, poised for some serious coloring action so I could take the shot.  

After Dark Art

Tonight I pulled out the new tripod and headed to the marina for my first attempt at after dark photography.  Long exposures, low light…what fun, right?  Yeah….I have a LOT to learn.    I played around until a herd of skateboarders came barreling through and disrupted my quiet concentration. 

This shot was probably the best attempt, but had to cropped because of some lens flare I just couldn’t live with.  I know, David will hate be annoyed by this because the entire reflection of the large boat isn’t captured!   

Anyway, considering the slow shutter speed, how do I combat the flare from the lampposts and other light sources that will then become over exposed?   Suggestions from those with experience with low light photography?

Frosted Outline

I had to take a break from roller derby photo editing to do something artistic.  This lead me to an area called Sudden Valley, where it remained cold enough for the frost to survive the day.    It outlined the foliage in a way I found very beautiful.

This has nothing to do with the picture, but I just realized it’s February 1 already – which means I can now say I’ll be back in Ireland next month!   I’m actually looking forward to returning more than the Nikon I plan on buying later this month.  I know, weird!   Life for me is still more about the experiences and the people.  Photography is hands down my favorite hobby, but it can never fill that void I’ve felt since leaving Ireland.    

Super Brawl

Last night, the Whidbey Island Roller Girls hosted the “Super Brawl” in Oak Harbor – The Big Hair Bandits vs. The Red Lipstick Mafia.   Julia, a.k.a. Effin’ Magic, (a.k.a. Andy’s sister) asked if I’d take pictures.   Well, of course! 

Roller Derby seems to be growing in popularity here.  I originally became interested in it when I learned of the Bellingham Roller Betties.   They do a great job of explaining how the derby works, if you’d like to visit their website

I tossed the idea of joining the Betties, but ultimately I didn’t have the time to invest, and my skating skills would have probably killed me or someone else.  I skate fast – but stopping has always been a challenge. 

Anyway – I have a lot of pictures to edit, and will be working on them throughout the week.   Here are a few I’ve worked on so far.  The lighting was awful, and of course people were moving fast, so not the easiest task!

It’s not good to land on your own team mate…

Neval has one of the most famous backsides in the derby!

Sometimes the competition talks a little trash.

Effin’ Magic tries to thrwart the Red Lipstick Mafia’s plans.

Things are gonna get ugly…fast!

Direct hit to the face.

Nana Nana Bruise You!