Documenting our outing: Mother, daughter, pink beach cruisers... and a selfie fail

When my daughter and I visited Morro Bay in California a week or so ago, we were treated to two single-speed beach cruisers — pink! — for a bicycle ride around the Embarcadero, to Morro Rock, and along the sandy shores of Morro Strand State Beach. All courtesy Farmer's Kites & Surreys.

The laid-back bikes provided a delightful ride along the beach, with stops here and there to watch otters at play and surfers attempting to master the waves. My daughter led the way on our one-hour wending and winding near the water's edge.

Being a photo fanatic who must document everything, I made Brianna stop to take a selfie with me on our matching pink bikes. Despite several attempts to wrangle our bee-yoo-tiful bikes into view as well as our happy faces, I was unable to capture the moment as I'd hoped.

mother daughter selfie 

A definite selfie fail. At least in terms of...

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More than grandkids: What else I found in the desert

When I visit my grandsons in the desert, I take lots and lots of photos of them.

Bubby, Mac, and Jak may be my primary focus, but the flora and fauna of the relatively foreign land in which my grandkiddos live get my camera (iPhone and otherwise) clicking now and again, too.

Here are a few of my non-grandchild shots from my recent desert visit, all taken in my daughter's front and back yards, all things I've never found in my own front or back yards... or anywhere in Colorado, for that matter:

desert flower

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Perfection... no effort required

“About the only thing that comes to us without effort is old age.” 
 Gloria Pitzer

Most days I agree wholeheartedly with cookbook author Gloria Pitzer's quote above. I put in a fair amount of effort — and thoughts on how to most effectively put forth said effort — toward being a halfway decent wife, mother, friend, human being.

The same is true regarding my attempts to achieve something at least halfway close to pleasing when fiddling about with photography. I take a jazillion photos, choose one that's perhaps meh, then...

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Kids and cameras: 9 tips for beginner photogs, from National Geographic Kids

kids and cameras

As long as my grandsons have known me, I've had a camera in my hand more often than not. I may not be a pro, but taking photos is one of my favorite activities.

I like to think it's my penchant for taking pictures that encouraged my grandsons to enjoy using various cameras—from their kid camera to smartphones to my DSLR—for shooting shots around their place now and then. 

I'm pretty good about explaining to my grandsons the basics of using a camera, but as a true and untrained amateur photographer myself, I'm not the greatest at sharing with them sure-shot techniques for composition and more, in easy-to-understand snippets they'll understand and remember.

Enter National Geographic Kids book Guide To Photography by Nancy Honovich and National Geographic Photographer Annie Griffiths (which I...

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2 things I learned while up on my roof

I have lived in my house nearly eight years but had never been up on my roof.

Until the Fourth of July.

On July Fourth, Jim and I decided to sit on our roof to watch the many Fourth of July fireworks displays that take place to the east of us and to the west of us. Here's what I learned while up there:

ONE: I need to learn how to photograph fireworks.

These are the best fireworks shots—of more than 70—that I got:


Not so great. I'll be...

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Saturday movie review: 'Finding Vivian Maier'

I enjoy photography and consider myself a hobbyist photographer. Yet you needn't be a photographer of any degree to appreciate street photographer Vivian Maier's work or FINDING VIVIAN MAIER, the documentary on Maier's mysterious and fascinating story.

 Finding Vivian Maier poster

I hesitate to share many...

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Forgotten photos: Splash!

I recently purchased an external hard drive on which I can house a big chunk of my photos. I take so many pictures — and have a horrendous time hitting the delete button, even if I have 26 of the same shot — that I came perilously close to crashing my laptop under the weight of the mega megabyte-sized pictures I've been hoarding.

 swimming pool jump

As I went through the pictures folder...

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What a catch

My oldest and youngest daughters, Brianna and Andrea, flew to the desert with Jim and me for Jak's baptism a little over a week ago.

One of the days we were there, I gave Andrea my camera to snap pictures while Brianna and I swam with Mac and Bubby at the community water park. Upon returning home and going through my photos, I was pleasantly surprised by the following photo Andrea took of Mac practicing his swim moves.

bird at swimming pool

What a catch — for Andrea and for the Cheetos-nabbing blackbird.

Today's question:

When it comes to Cheetos, do you prefer the puffed ones or the crunchy ones?

Mini photogs, crowdsourcing and GRAND Social No. 110 link party

Mini photogs

Bubby received a child-sized digital camera from Aunt Brianna a while back, and I've enjoyed watching both Bubby and Mac put it to good use in documenting baby Jak's first days.

toddler photographer 

child photographer

I like to think...

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Wherein I attempt to master the selfie

I like to check my baggage when I travel. I know a lot of people prefer to carry on their items, but I prefer to check. Reason being that when I travel, I take my laptop (it's not an iPad or notebook by any means) as well as my DSLR camera. Once my camera is in a bigger bag with my purse, that bag and my laptop constitute my two carry-on items, while clothes and more are checked.

That said, I didn't check my baggage for my recent trip to Dallas for Bloggy Boot Camp, a fully paid trip I won from The SITS Girls. It was a quick trip with little chance I'd be leaving the hotel (which I didn't) so I left my camera at home, packed my laptop in my suitcase and lugged it all upon the plane.

Having no DSLR along for the trip meant I had to use my iPhone for any photos. An iPhone 4S, so it's not all that great, but it works in a pinch for most things.

I'm not so sure it worked all that well for selfies. Or maybe it's the camera operator. I tried, I really did. And the following provides proof.

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