PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY: Blog en-us (C)Patricia Dennis Photography [email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) Mon, 06 Jun 2022 22:22:00 GMT Mon, 06 Jun 2022 22:22:00 GMT PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY: Blog 91 120 A Different Light A different light

Infrared photography creates images by capturing a different type of light than the one you naturally see.To elaborate on that: photography is done by capturing the light that bounces off the objects in front of the camera.This can be done using a digital sensor or a light-sensitive film. ‘Regular’ photography captures the same type of light that we see.

Infrared photography is able to see and register IR light that’s invisible to the human eye. This is done either through specially made film for analog (film) SLR cameras, external IR filters for DLSR cameras, or with digital cameras modified to capture this part of the light spectrum.Using any of these means, you can recreate very unique visual recreations of IR light. The resulting effect can be very different from the way you see things, which makes it highly appealing for its creative potential.

  I started this ‘toes in the water’ infra red adventure and purchased a Nikon 3300 that had already been converted to infra red.  It is a small enough camera that it could be readily hand held during a simple walk about and had the extra benefit of having a reverse IR filter that when put on allowed pictures to be taken normally.  I have to admit being a first timer with this and at a pretty fast pace, I seriously did not have enough time to do settings correctly or sit and absorb the atmosphere to the extent I would have wanted.  This was just fun with a chance to create a different mood for the scenes that surrounded. 

Calvin Coolidge Park in Vermont was the perfect location for this type of photography. The skies were at their utmost with billowy clouds and sun peaking out intermittently.  So off we went with this little camera in hand,and here are some of the results!

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[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) infra red Wed, 27 Oct 2021 02:17:36 GMT
Five in Seven It was Mr.Toad’s wild ride for sure with spectacular sights and trails to explore.   Though I must confess when we started down the ‘trail’ at Bryce with the canyon of hoodoos I thought Len was being caring and watching out for me when in reality I think he was holding on for dear life.  Not a trail for those afraid of heights.  It was probably quite amusing for the true hikers!  We both opted to go the easier route which still gave the views)  At the end of seven days i was very aware of what my body can and can’t do now.  The trip was a sensory overload of stunning rock formations and to celebrate Catherine’s last year in the 20’s!  

RED ROCK CANYON: This park features scenic desert cliffs, buttes and spectacular rock formations. The park is located where the southernmost tip of the Sierra Nevada converge with the El Paso Range. Each tributary canyon is unique, with dramatic shapes and vivid colors. Close to Vegas with lots of hiking trails!  Didn’t see that herd of wild burros but did see the evidence.


ZION: Situated in the southwestern corner of Utah near the Nevada and Arizona borders,is Zion National Park. The highlight of Zion National Park is an expansive canyon. Rock formations are visible from the road.  The more interesting parts of the park can only be accessed by Shuttle. But beware of 5:00pm when everyone is trying to make it back to their cars.  It’s a long wait in between buses.  

Mt.Zion Canyon treesMt.Zion Canyon trees

BRYCE CANYON: In Southwestern Utah is famous for the largest collection of hoodoos—the distinctive rock formations at Bryce—in the world. With snow still on the ground the pinto effect of the hoodoos and canyons was spectacular!


Bryce overlookBryce overlookThis weathered tree stands guard looking down from inspiration point

On the way back into Vegas was VALLEY OF FIRE: A small but beautiful park very close to Las Vegas known for it’s “Firewave”, a spectacular geological formation between the rocks.  Here we were graced with the sight of a herd of BigHorn mountain sheep. 


Valley of FireValley of Fire Red Canyon Bighorn SheepRed Canyon Bighorn SheepForaging in the canyon

DEATH VALLEY: In this below-sea-level basin, steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes with a virtual mix mash of shapes, textures and dashes of color.  Having visited the park before my focus was on capturing the shapes and shadows!  You could spend days doing that and unfortunately we only had one.  We did manage a sunset and sunrise at Mesquite Dunes and were caught up in a small wind storm of sand.  This was the only place I really had time to bring out the tripod and I’m glad I did for the winds were so fierce I needed something to steady myself.  Next on our list are the Arches!  Thank you again to Len, my  trusty chauffeur and navigator!


Death Valley Sand PatternsDeath Valley Sand Patterns



[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) landscape patricia dennis photography scenery Sun, 28 Mar 2021 16:23:47 GMT
Happy Holidays  

Happy Holidays


Its the year 2020

And all through the house

We are cloistered and confined

even down to that blasted mouse


No traveling, no family, no friends,

Gatherings like that have to end

Santa?  I think not

Even the reindeer haven’t a thought

Flying through the air just has to stop


But hark, dear friends

Have faith that this too shall pass

Nasty virus’ surely aren’t made to last


Health, happiness, and good fortune I pray

To grace your house even in this dreary of a day


Dear ones, through thick and thin 

We continue to give thanks for family and friends!


So 2020 move over for a new beginning

and Bless this Year with a Happy Ending


Best to you all!


Patricia Dennis



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[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) Aegis Art Christmas Coastal Dennis Gallery Holidays League Nikon Patricia Photography Wed, 09 Dec 2020 18:28:12 GMT
Reminiscing when travel was an option  

Reminiscing and missing my fall trips. Feeling deprived of color right now but have the opportunity to revisit some of the places we went to! Quebec being one.  



[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) Thu, 24 Sep 2020 21:50:04 GMT
A gift to you free download  

Lovely friends: We all need a bit of uplifting at times don't you agree?  In the hopes of brightening YOUR day, please accept this free download as my gift to you.  I have paired a few inspirational sayings to my flower images.  Clicking on the link downloads the file to your computer.  Please enjoy and remember somewhere someone is thinking of you!  If you chose to print, it is in a 5x7 format 

Click on link below.

[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) camera dennis hobby landscape nikon photography scenery Wed, 29 Jul 2020 21:03:33 GMT
Slides and notecards I really like using slideshows in posts.  I'm a visual person and enjoy the story telling process.  During the last few years I have used FantaShare, Lightroom, Mac, for these endeavors.  FantaShow was the most fun, however, after they were short-lived.  I purchased a lifetime license and a year later they discontinued the product and replace it with Fillmore. Reminded me of the extended warranties purchased over my lifetime.

 I'm a dabbler not a videographer.  I need something easy and fun.  The latest used has been adobe's Spark.  Its simple, allows texts, and has the music as well. The only disadvantage I see is that font type is tied to the theme.  Recently our local Saratoga gallery chose to open and also offer art on line. Virtual galleries seem to be the thing now. So with that in mind I created a few new notecards and presented them in this slideshow. See what you think.


Framed note card

[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) camera dennis hobby landscape nikon photography scenery Fri, 19 Jun 2020 16:43:53 GMT
A cat's tale They start off as comical little kittens full of energy and cuteness and just like kids go through various stages before reaching adulthood.  Our pets are our family and each one is endearing to their owners, or should I say, their hosts. I can’t tell you how many friends are quick to pull out their cell phones and show the latest shots of their furry family!  I’m no exception that is for sure.

Most of us do not have studio lighting or a set up to capture professional shots of our pets.  What we do have is opportunity and time!  We have watched them growing up, we know their habits.  Take advantage of this and be patient. Wait for that moment that shows their personality!  You really don’t have to be a professional to do this. Pets are creatures of habit and have their routines.  Just observe their favorite spots and try shooting from different angles.  Zoom in to capture those beautiful eyes, or the detail of their fur and whiskers.  

With tongue in cheek, I say I am fortunate for my models.  Only one of which was a ‘made selection’.  The others came to our household by various circumstances.  Scooter, the kitten with the mittens, has charmed us with his 6 toed antics. He came to us as a feral from a warehouse and grew up to be quite a photogenic guy. His feet are one of his highlights and  that’s what we try to focus on. Actually it is not that hard, you can’t miss them. He is everywhere and into everything.  So friends, continue to enjoy the fur folk in your lives!  Bore the people around you with their photos and movies but never stop capturing those special moments!  







[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) animals camera cats dennis hobby landscape nikon photography scenery Sat, 30 May 2020 21:37:21 GMT
Alien or not?  

Have you ever wondered if there is life on other planets? Has your imagination gone wild with the what if and hows? Don’t feel alone. There are a lot of us out there with over imaginative minds. We came from the original generations that grew up with Star Wars. The one where William Shatner was still young and dashing. You weren't part of the crowd unless you had used the phrase  ‘Beam me up Scotty’ at least once!  Now a days we have a different type of alien world to deal with, but enough about that. Time hasn't really been an issue lately and I had nothing to do yesterday other than sit in my backyard and browse possibilities.  Did I want to battle the breeze ? Though very refreshing, its' periodic blast of air would make photographing anything a bit tricky. The other choice was just to sit, relax and enjoy the colors and aromas of all the flowers that were just starting to bloom.  Oh that orange tree with it's fragrant smell was heaveningly!  As it ended up, I did a little bit of it all.  I relaxed in the yard, and  basked in the present. I then closed my eyes and let my imagination go. The yard was coming alive with color and after awhile the lure was just too much. Each variety of plant had something to offer. I’ve always felt that the center of a flower has a runway and at the helm is a little alien pilot.  Iris, snapdragons, and orchids are good examples of this.  Does it look that way to you too?  In reality the anatomy of a plant is simply geared towards reproduction. The bright runway is meant as an attractive ‘come hither’ to the local pollinators. Take a look around your own yard, or when doing a neighborhood walk and see if you can spot those little aliens behind the wheel.  Enjoy some of my finds.

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[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) camera dennis hobby landscape nikon photography scenery Tue, 28 Apr 2020 16:20:50 GMT
One day at a time Time.  There seems to be lots of it lately.  Enough so that it allows me to go back through the years and revisit some galleries. Sante Fe Mexico was one of those. We took the trip with the ever adventurous travel guide April Bielefeldt, (fall photo trips and tours 4 women)  The weather was cold, raining and snow at time but the views were wonderful. They ranged from desolate desert to the bright colorful buildings and art within the City.  I felt that due to the times we are all going through right now that this slide encompassed what many are feeling right now. The road ahead feels lonely but we are all in this together in some form or another. Across the States we see people joining together in these times of hardship. It’s a time of shake up and wake up to the changing of the times.  Keep the faith, there will be better days ahead!  See you down the road:)




[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) desert hobby landscape nikon patriciadennis photography scenery travel Wed, 08 Apr 2020 20:17:54 GMT
What Cha going to do?  

What cha going to do in times like this?   

1)    Count your blessings  

2)     Stay positive

3)    Pick up the phone and check on family and friends

4)    Take a walk

5)     Grab a book

6)    Create some art

7)    Finish those chores that have been put aside

8)    Count your blessings

Think about the days when there was no electricity, no video games, no cell phones, and no fast-food. Even during shelter in place, we still have access to the essential/and non essential things of life. Look on the bright side, we as a society have alot more going for us than others.

First day of shut down, I took a serious look on how to make the most of my time.What is a bored photographer to do but to go out to the garden and come up with all kinds of ’s-t-u-f-f ‘ to take pictures of. You have to keep a sense of humor in situations so  I picked one item that seemed to be the ‘subject’ of everyone’s hoarding and shopping experiences.  A simple but needful item that proved it could be used in many scenarios. 

Look at this!

It can hide anywhere

It blends in beautifully

Has many uses

Has a bright outlook despite it’s predominate view 

Can be used as a prop for Pet photos

The dog loved it

The cat tore it up

Fits into my wine carrier like it was made for it

What about the baker man planter! Ready for the oven:)

Keep positive and know that with our combined efforts of diligence, abiding by the recommendations and looking out for each other that ‘this too shall pass’. 



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[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) Aegis gallery camera Coastal gallery hobby nikon Outlook patricia dennis pets scenery Wed, 18 Mar 2020 16:16:46 GMT
Stop and smell the roses Slow down and smell the roses.  


We are in a micro wave society. The days of slow cooking on the stove are taking a back seat. In an effort to get everything in in a short amount of time, we run the danger of missing and enjoying what is around us!  

Isn’t this the same with most aspects of life? Hence the message, slow down and smell the roses!  Let’s apply the same to photography.

There are the snap and shoot photos meant to capture a quick moment and then there are the images that take time.  Time to see the intricate details and time to capture the mood.  Most of us know this, but its easy to forget in the effort to get the job done.  I like to remind myself when things get hectic and i start to loose focus.

I for one benefited from a lesson taught by one instructor  Stand still, imagine you are stuck in a circle.  What can you find within that space to focus on?  Look deep.  Is it the cracks in the ground, or an old trowel that has been cast away?  Immerse yourself in that spot and not only see, but feel.   You'll be amazed at what turns up.

On a lark, I did this during a hike and was pleasantly surprised with what I saw.   Of course, the arguement could be that the area was scenic to start with!   It was beautiful, however by standing still I had a new opportunity of looking at the vegetation that surrounded me.   


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So what about those not so pretty locations?  Take this warehouse scene for example.   It was a typical fix me upper special!.  Groody and full of junk.  When I stood still, I was able to see the details of the textures and lines.  There's no award winning photo here but lesson of   'stand still, take a breath, and look around you' came out loud and clear!  If you give yourself the time, there is always something interesting surrounding you.

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[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) aegis camera coastal elegance reflections landscape nikon patricia dennis photography scenery Sat, 29 Feb 2020 18:28:52 GMT
The art of photographic art  

The Art of photographic art                       

You have taken the image.  Now what can happen to set it apart?  The way that the photograph is processed and presented can have a huge impact on the perceptions of potential buyers.  

In photography, photoshop can be used to enhance the image.  Wrinkling your nose at the word? Don’t kid yourself, 99% of serious photographers have used photoshop or another sort of software to some degree. It’s the degree used that pushes a ‘’natural’’ looking image to something with a simple enhancement or goes a step further utilizing a technique that pushes the image over to the surreal. 

Dodging, burning, texture, color can change the whole feeling of the image. Take Zebras for example. Stripes going every which way add intrigue and a sense of wild abandonment. While the basic image may be one of value, it takes on a whole other dimension when texture and color are added.  That color pop can give your photo that needed ‘seven- second’ edge towards a sale.  

After the shoot, I enjoy playing with an image to see where the potential may lay.  Sometimes it will only take a few seconds to see what direction I will go with it, other times, hours if not days. The extra bonus is it’s fun and  amuses me while my significant other watches football.

 See how the Zebra image changes with the different techniques and then decide for  yourself which is the one that catches your eye! In this case follow the white!    

First impressions matter — a lot! You only get one shot to make a first impression. I’m of a mind that the same theory applies to the first impression of ‘art’ as does when you are interviewing for a job. While the studies don’t agree on one specific number – they all agree that you have less than 30 seconds to impress someone. Some studies even state that you have only ‘seven- seconds’ before someone makes a judgement.  For paintings or photography that ‘seven-seconds’ can equate to whether the viewer stops and decides if the art is worth a second look or better yet, a purchase.

After deciding on the post processing mode, the photo needs to be matted or framed in a way that isolates the image giving it a sense of importance.  Just like post processing techniques, presentation methods also will give a total different feel to the image. Canvas and Metal give an entirely different feeling and not all images lend themselves to those mediums. 

People act on their perceptions as much as on their knowledge so the wow factor in processing and presenting is an important one!   

Want to see the finished Zebra products?  Visit Aegis Gallery Saratoga-two examples will be up Feb-April.  

For more realistic landscape of natural beauty  check out Reflections Elegante Gallery in Willow Glen!



Zebrauntitled shoot-1031-EditZebrauntitled shoot-1031-Edit








[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) animals art camera digital galleries hobby nikon patriciadennis photography scenic zebra Sun, 02 Feb 2020 04:00:00 GMT
Flowers  I volunteer at Filoli Gardens in Woodside, and have the privilege of watching the gardens throughout the seasons.  It’s a soothing experience to go out and just stroll through the isles of vegetation that has been lovingly tended to.  I, for one, am thankful for the gardeners that do the weeding, planning, and planting.  It’s a tremendous job and the results are so appreciated by the millions of visitors. 

On my many visits, I have come to realize a simple fact. A flower is not simply a flower.   Flowers celebrate life!  They are vessels of love, energy, and healing.  Regardless of where they are, in the garden, on the table as a centerpiece, or in growing wild on the hillsides, they are in some form or other enmeshed in our lives. Flower macro photography takes it a step further giving it a unique perspective on a subject matter that most people take for granted. 

As a subject matter I find flowers mysterious and am drawn to them like a magnet. Can I grow flowers?  No.  I have neither the patience nor green thumb!  In the garden, I take on the role of admirer rather than cultivator!

There are  unlimited number of designs that can be created with the colors, patterns, and lines of a single blossom!  I never tire of the possibilities. And what better way to start off the New Year than to start exploring!


1 January1 January

[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) camera filoli flowers hobby landscape nikon patricia dennis photography scenery Wed, 01 Jan 2020 16:22:58 GMT
Tis the season Here come the holidays and with it a time to pause and reflect on the things we are thankful and grateful for. 

We all have so much going on, that it’s easy to whiz through the day without taking a moment to think about the good things in our life.   The sun was out today, the warmth, the brightness all gave me a reason to pause and think about all that I am thankful for. Family, Love, Friends, health, and all of the comforts that makes getting up in the morning easy.

I am so thankful for the opportunity of getting out each day to be a part of nature, and to be a silent witness of the day. Photography has its time and place and for the most part I am simply being in tune with what is around me. Nature is like an empty palette.  To fill it or not, is my choice.  Sometimes it is better to just sit, but then there are those times that I find myself muttering 'Oh I wish I had my camera.'   A silhouette of migrating birds winging by or a deer appearing from a grove of trees and the urge to capture that grace instantly wells up inside.    

The other day Len and I did a spontaneous trip to Monterrey.  Neither of us had been on the scenic 17 mile drive in ions and decided to splurge the $10.50 charge and go for it.  It didn’t take me long to realize that this was one of those moments to be thankful for.  The weather was great, and seeing the old sights after many years was a real treat.  The lone Cyress was still there as was the rock that harbored multitudes of hungry seals barking up a storm. Sometimes the time is right,sometime it fleets by but the experience and warm feeling of realization that you are a witness remains.  With all said and done, simply be thankful for the here and now.  Happy Holidays to all!





[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) camera dennis hobby landscape nikon photography scenery think about the good things Sun, 01 Dec 2019 16:00:00 GMT
Up Up and Away  

If you ever want to be surrounded by color and textures go to the Albuquerque Balloon Festival!  It truly is the adult version of DisneyLand and the happiest place on earth.  For nine days in October, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta creates an enchanted world of special-shaped balloon rodeos, twilight balloon glows, and colorful balloon-filled skies. This is the largest balloon convention in the world. “Dawn Patrol” Balloons take off before sunrise and fly until it is light enough to see landing sites. It’s impossible not to be spellbound as you watch the mass ascension of so many colorful displays.

There are downfalls though.  In order to get parking and see the Dawn Patrol we left the hotel at 4:30AM.  Albuquerque mornings were brisk!  Actually that is an understatement, they were downright cold.  When the balloons were being fired up crowds turned on a dime oohing and aahing as they scurried towards the ones preparing for ascension. In between the cheering, a flurry of hands would raise and wave wildly. I thought at first it was a kind of salutation but quickly realized they were all running towards the fire for warmth. It didn’t take long for me to join the crowd!  For the amount of people at the festival, and believe me, I can honestly say I have never seen that many bodies in one spot before, there were very few incidents  of disruption.   

From 6:30AM to 8:30AM the area was electric with excitement.  People simply stood  mesmerized as one by one balloons would take off.  It seemed as if the sky had opened up and poured colorful candy skittles everywhere. 

9:30AM and we were back in the hotel to rest.  I really have to give a kudos to our guide, John Grusd of image adventures.   He was very accommodating and really if it hadn’t have been for his guidance in making this such an enjoyable experience, I’m sure the alarm might not have gone off at 3:15am each morning  and we would have missed some of the excitement!  

Albuquerque!  A magical experience and really a bucket list for photography.

More photos can be seen on Fine Art America or look for gallery on this home page.  Enjoy. I know we did!





[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) balloon color dennis festival hobby landscape nikon patricia photography scenery texture Sat, 02 Nov 2019 00:17:29 GMT
October and it's gonna be a gourd time! October equates not only to FALL bu the time of year that we see the most pumpkins and gourds. The familiar orange shapes can be found in the fields, on fenceposts,  doorsteps, and in the windows.  Last year we were in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine where pumpkins resided everywhere and were decorated to the hilt.  Seeing them gave me that warm feeling.  You know what I am talking about;  the kind of feeling that reminds you of comfort food like  mashed potatoes and gravy, or the smell of hot apple pie with cinnamon. Oh my taste buds are going overtime.   Lucky us, a pumpkin fix is always close by because we can drive over Highway 92 to Half Moon Bay, the California pumpkin paradise.   Do you remember as a kid running through a pumpkin patch trying to pick the perfect one to carve?  Oh, the thrill of that!  So many to choose from and then that special moment of finding just the RIGHT one! Nowadays we watch the newer generation of grandkids experiencing the same joy. Pumpkins continue to bring out the child in us allowing us just to be silly and decorate their faces to suit our moods. 

In addition, what a treasure of textures gourds and pumpkin have.  How fun it is to take pictures of all of the interesting varieties as well as those finished characters, “the pumpkin wanna be’s”. Bumps, lines and squirrelly faces can lend themselves nicely to applying as a texture mask in photography.  A quick way of doing this is to save your background photo and then drag and drop your ‘texture’ onto the main photo.    Use the opacity slider or add a filter mask to  tweak the shot or ‘’paint’’ in the focus.  I may have many layers before the final outcome.  It totally depends on the desired outcome. There are some great tutorials on layering on You tube as well as on creative cloud. I also find it interesting to try out the different filters that photoshop offers! 

I think one of the most fun shot I ever got was in Arkansas where the Country bumpkin resided!”  He was definitely a classic! Then in Vermont there was the homey bucket of white pumpkins sitting in the perfect country setting.  You can go on and on.  Some interesting facts: As gourds and pumpkins belong to the same family, they do not differ much. A gourd is mainly used as a vessel or a container at home. Or you can see them at Aegis Gallery in Saratoga i  gracing the wall in as cats and scarey faces.  Gourds are also used as musical instruments such as drums and stringed instruments. When comparing the two, gourds are mostly ornamental in type.  Unlike gourds, they are edible and can be eaten when ripe.  Which is good to know because if all else fails and the pictures bomb out you can make Pumpkin pie! Yum!!  Enjoy the season )





[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) #aeigus #Coastalartleague #halfmoonbay fall Gallery#art#pumpkins#photography#fall harvest nikon patricia dennis photography pumpkins Tue, 01 Oct 2019 15:33:38 GMT
Gallop Gallop

As a child I remember playing cowboy and Indians and grabbing the broom pretending it was a galloping horse that transported me from adventure to adventure.  Later pastimes included collecting plastic horses along with cowboy and Indians.  I loved my collection and even nibbled away at the horses little legs trying to transform some of them into ponies. 

Years later we did have a pony and I realized that a horse is not a ‘free ride’ by any means.  There’s work to be done.  The reward was when they would put their heads over the corral, give a gentle woof and shake their manes waiting to hear your secrets.  All for the price of a carrot:) Alas, our equine ownership was very short lived but  when around stables, I can never pass up the opportunity  of a chance to stroke a soft nose and look into those dreamy eyes.

Some horses are well kept pets but then there are the others that were left to fend for themselves. The horses from Return to Freedom wild horse sanctuary once roamed the plains.  They along with many others are being removed from our public lands throughout the country.  Some end up protected on a private preserve a in Lompoc California where they are fortunate to have a dedicated crew care for them.  The sanctuary welcomes the chance to educate the public and offers tours, one of which I took.

As this was my first time at the sanctuary and the fact that I would be lugging the camera  along over a dusty terrain, I paired it down to the D500, 24-70 and my fav 80-400.

  I would have been better off bringing the 2nd camera already set up as there wasn't a lot of time for switching lenses.  The difficulty was magnified by the fast motion  and the horses coming within a short distance.  All in all, it was very similar if not the same thing as bird photography in which you latch onto a focal point and stick with it.  I like to say that familiarity of a scene breeds content and I am sure that a second trip would produce better results.

Walking through the pastures among the different herds was an experience.   The herds were distinct and varied in color and stature. It was touching to watch the band interact and the distinct personalities that came through.  Horses are social herd animals and most had their own buddy system going on.  

For my picture of the month well I got greedy and I chose two. First, I was intrigued by this dapple gray mare as she trotted around with the setting sun hitting her mane and then by two bay’s as they galloped neck to neck past me.

I ’m not an expert on equines by any means but this was well worth the trip to see how important it is that we preserve not only our open spaces but the animals that inhabit it.  Conservation is ongoing and it is up to us! 

For those that wish to help, the Sanctuary welcomes donations.


2019JulyHorsepdennis-3820-Edit-Edit2019JulyHorsepdennis-3820-Edit"Return to Freedom"

[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) animals burros donkeys freedom herds horses land mustangs range return to wild Sun, 01 Sep 2019 17:43:16 GMT
Hide and Seek untitled shoot-1602-2untitled shoot-1602-2Don't give me up! Hide and Seek 

Without a doubt it is the unexpected surprise expressions or actions that help tell the story.  

Another photo moment in Havana! This young man was engaged in a game of hide n seek and he had made the rounds of the park hiding where-ever he could find a spot.  He jumped down on the side of the wall, and was  crouched ready to take off when he spotted me.  He didn’t want his cover blown so with a finger to his lips he indicated we were to keep quiet.  The park wasn't that big so it was kind of amusing that his friends really didn't see him especially with me a few feet away with a camera pointed in his direction..  A split second later he was up and running to another spot and the game continued.

It is  tricky taking photos of minors, but who can resist the expressions and light heartedness of kids at play.  I guess there is an advantage of street photography in another country but still courtesy should always remain upfront. If we shoot a scene from a distance  the flow and interaction of people are not interrupted.   If our eyes meet,  I simply lift the camera a bit and if it's a real no go for them, they will indicate so.  In the States with kids involved I would definitely be looking for a nod of approval from a parent.

In this day and age of selfies, everyone is used to having their picture taken and kids learn early on to strike a pose when a camera faces them. My goal is to look for a natural reaction in a natural setting.   

Let's turn the children's game around a bit.  Who is doing what?   In my mind, the photographer is the one really engaged in a game of hide and seek.

 They are training themselves to be aware of  what's going on around them and look for the unusual keeping in mind that there is always a story lurking. One has to be ready and open for the possibilities.  

 Bottom line, I think you will agree that nothing beats capturing a spontaneous burst of energy and action like this young boy playing hide n seek!   






[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) colors cuba hobby landscape nikon patriciadennis photography Street Thu, 01 Aug 2019 13:12:24 GMT
Photo of the month July untitled shoot-2065-Edituntitled shoot-2065-EditYou would find musicians scattered throughout the area

I visited a few other photographer's websites and saw a few featured 'photo of the week' blogs.  Well, that's a little too aggressive for me, so I'm going to try for photo of the month, and if that doesn't work, then photo of the every other month:)  This will give me an opportunity to share with you one photo that I feel has an interesting story.  

I'm still traversing around the Cuba photos and there were two photos that were a toss up.  As Len is a musician, I settled on this one.  I think the beauty of street photography is how it gives the photographer an opportunity to focus on the story telling.  While a lot of it is what if's, some of it is the hard truth but the fact is, imagination will always play into a good story.

This subject was intense on his clarinet playing.   He handled the instrument like a mother would a baby.  Careful, caressing and loving.  For my purpose, he couldn't have been situated in a better location.  That blue background made everything pop.  I loved the old worn letter case next to him which also indicated the number of years he had engaged with his talent. So in my mind, this old man leaves his wife behind in their modest living accommodations to wearily shuffle to town. Every day, he goes to the same spot where he sits on the curb. The clarinet is his only companion. With her in hand, the music he makes surrounds him in pleasant peaceful solitude.  Notice there is no jar for tips anywhere to be seen.




[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) camera clarinet corner Cuba curb dennis music nikon patricia photography street tips Sun, 14 Jul 2019 03:23:58 GMT
Yellowstone National Park a Family story 2019 Yellowstone Pronghornmp4 Len and I just returned from a ‘’photo safari’’ of  Yellowstone.  He hadn’t been to the park in ages and I was hoping to capture some animal pictures.   Oh my, the area was hopping with new babies, hungry and curious critters and the magnificent geysers the Park is known for.  The scenery was breath taking but the animals were a bit more elusive and while abundant, didn't always cooperate for that perfect picture opportunity. While  I didn’t get all of the pictures I wanted, the experience and thrill of watching a Mama Grizzly with her cubs or a wolf lurking in the shadows more than made up for it.  Some times its more than ok just to have the experience and not worry about the camera.     We all know that with every great picture or memorable one there is a story that goes with it.  This scene I am going to describe was absolutely hands down my favorite.   It was not taken in the Lamar Valley or actually inside the park. The scene happened right  in a field right before the Gardener entrance into Yellowstone where a small herd of Pronghorn had been hovering.  Upon closer inspection, there was a mother with her two newborn fawns who alternated hiding in the grass to bouncing on wobbly legs after Mama.  Mom headed off in one direction and only one fawn followed her.  The smaller settled into the grass and then bounced up seemingly confused.  From the background Papa appeared.  We held our breath wondering what would happen.  What we witnessed next was nothing short of parental love or preservation of the species):  Dad was clearly manuvering the fawn were he needed to be and the curious little youngster showed no fear.  At one point the stag was actually standing over the fawn in a protective mode.     Then he reached his nose out and  butted baby a bit to get him moving more towards the direction Mama was crying for him.   The ending of the story was a reunited Mother with her two fawns. This is what made the trip special.  It wasn’t the chance of a great picture, it was the opportunity to watch Nature in motion and realize how the family/herd bond works. Not so very much different from our own):  Enjoy the slide show.


[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) blog camera dennis geysers hobby landscape parks photography pronghorn scenery wildlife yellowstone Sat, 15 Jun 2019 04:12:40 GMT
A Modern day twist  

Modern day twist 


The Bread and Puppet Theater (often known simply as Bread & Puppet) has been active since the 1960s when it began in New York City. It moved to Glover, VT in 1974 and still remains there today.   For those interested in more details:

I thought I was open minded and somewhat adventurous.  One step into this old barn museum immediately banished those thoughts from my head.  I’m a woos. 

It started off with the old bus across the street advertising “Cheap Art”.  A clever piece of advertising that gave a slight hint of the weirdness that was to follow.  We tromped through a batch of wet grass around the outside of a large barn and looked up at old crusty windows to see the outlines of puppets trying to escape.  It was close to Halloween and let me tell you they probably could have made a fortune on this as a haunted house.  Ok.  Deep breath and we walked in the entrance. The floorboards creaked under our feet and the dusty cobwebs floated from the rafters hitting us in the face.   Little signs indicating turn off the lights when you leave were posted next to old rusty light switches solidifying the fact that you were on ‘your own’. 

  I hesitantly walked into a room and  there they were.  Hoards of them.  All In various ghostly positions. Two creepy floors of them.  The things nightmares were made of.  They were “grouped according to theme, color, or size, in an attempt to recreate dramatic scenes from bygone shows”.  Most if not all had a political statement which was quite interesting.  However, I have watched too many horror shows to really relax and believe me, my mind was racing. Freaky. Just plain freaky.   

From a photography stand point what a treasure of shapes, textures, and lighting that screamed “capture me in Black and White”. Alas, I really didn't get too many images in focus I was in such a hurry to get out of there.


With the conditions of the 150 year old barn and mustiness, there doesn’t appear to be any attempt to preserve these pieces of ‘art ‘and it didn’t appear any more were in the making, so if you are in Glover Vt…check it out, but you might want to take a buddy): But do check out the slideshow link below! 



BreadandPuppet.fsprojectA modern day horror story:)


[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) camera dennis Fall hobby Museum nikon photography Scenic Vermont Mon, 12 Nov 2018 04:22:10 GMT
Glorious Fall Glorious Fall 

We just returned from a whirlwind trip to Montreal/Quebec City with Len  followed by a visit to Main, Vermont, New Hampshire  with Fall Photo Trips.

It was definitely a situation of sensory overload.  The colors had peaked in Canada and were truly breath taking.   Len stated he was a leaf peeper from way back and this reminded him of his childhood in Ohio. 

The folks in Quebec weren’t as happy with the splendor as we were and laughingly stated that it just reminded them that winter was coming. 

We visited sections of the Laurentians region,  including Parc National de La Maurcie, a vast natural territory with it’s beautiful foliage and many hiking trails.  

 I was especially impressed with the  architecture and cobblestone streets in Quebec City.  The best view point was on the on/off bus as we were able to do the complete circle more than once.  Most of our time however was done walking.  Everything within the city is pretty accessible by foot allowing you a better feeling of the history.  

50 minutes from  Montreal, was  PARC RÉGIONAL DE LA RIVIÈRE DONCASTER which had it all.  Water rushing, leaves falling and trees garbed in full color.I would venture to say that this was my favorite stop of the Parks.

At the end of the week, Len boarded a plane to come home while I took a greyhound bus ride from Montreal to New Hampshire where I was to start the second half of my trip.  The bus ride was just a bit longer than the flight and comparing $37.00 to $300— well it was a no brainer.  With munchies on hand, a kindle in case I got bored I was set.  I have to say it was a day well spent.  The transitions of scenery and color could not be seen from the air!   

We then met up April of Fall Photo Tours in New Hampshire who orchestrated a sampling of the  Maine, Vermont area.   Maine was my biggest surprise.  They sure know how to celebrate the lobster and go all out with seasonal decorations.   It was almost like going down Willow Glen and looking at the Christmas Lights.  The signs storekeepers put out were hysterical and so catchy.   I think the coop de Grau was the sign in front of the cemetery-Ocean Scenic View— I mean would the residents care?  One of the favorite spots however was the B&B “The Farm Inn” in Woodstock Vermont.  I  highly recommend it.  The comfort, quaintness, and culinary skills are simply wonderful.   

So what about the scenery?  

Fall is my favorite time of the year.  My color palette even says so!  This trip I decided to try something different with ‘creative’ blur shots.  Actually that is kind of funny as when I started out in photography 5 out of 10 of my shots were blurs. While I passed them off as creative they were just bad focusing. This time, the exercise was intentional. The only problem being that when I went to review the shots I forgot what my goal was and out of habit deleted some before catching myself.   You’ll see a few of these “intriguing creations” in the video below.   

 That aside, there really is nothing than can beat the purity of nature and the chance to just take a deep breath and embrace the glory!  We are already looking forward to planning a fall trip next year!

2018 Fall Trip.fsproject



[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) camera hobby landscape nikon photography scenery Wed, 24 Oct 2018 19:12:00 GMT
Thinking about As I sit back and contemplate my life, I wonder if there is something wrong with me. . Maybe it’s the fact I am older and things become more important.    
I want to believe that the simple things of courtesy and caring for one another still exist.   


There are a few things about me that my closest friends know.  I have a lot of creative projects going on.  Some would call them messes. I call them works of art in process. 


 I am an emotional  sentimental. I cry at sad movies.  I want to adopt all of the mistreated animals and kids.  I relish birthdays.  It’s the one day in the year that is really yours.  And my friends ARE on my mind!  


 I remember names and faces, though maybe not as quick as I used to.   Some say that remembering names does not come easy.  Some have the gift of being able to associate a face with a name, others do not.  One thing is clear, the most wonderful words someone can hear besides I love you, is the sound of their name! 


I think Listening is an art that should be practiced. Starting a conversation off with “let me show you what I have been doing, or look at our newest line of product” takes the human element out of the equation.  


I remember appointments.  I have to or I’ll lay in bed with nightmares.   It wasn’t always so though. Life is easier since I started keeping calendars within reach):  I’m still fearful enough that I need an old fashion desktop calendar along with google/outlook.   My time is precious and I make a diligent effort to respect other’s as well.


I believe in generosity though it is apparent that a fine line needs to be drawn. There are the givers and the takers. The takers however don’t feel they are taking.  They just feel a sense of entitlement and that their needs are more important.


 If an activity comes up that I think someone would enjoy, I extend the invitation. It’s really not so hard.   Maybe it’s something as simple as ‘let’s do dinner’.  I’d like to think they would do the same or think of me when they carpool or go on an excursion.


I am happy for the accomplishments of people that I know and I try to let them know that.  It is so easy nowadays to send a quick email or respond with a text, or better—an actual phone call.   And it means so much!


 I applaud the doers of the world while not disregarding the dreamers.  I run with the philosophy of getting out there and experiencing what you can.  It is more my style than sitting and making endless plans that never materialize.  The truth is to keep the juices flowing, everyone needs a goal or something to look forward to.  It’s their choice whether to experience it in their mind, or with their bodies.


Day after day I give thanks for the people in my life.   I cherish my tribe of fellow creators. I think a-lot of them suffer from the same maladies that I do.  And if you’re in another tribe, not to worry, I think you are pretty special too):



[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) camera dennis hobby landscape nikon photography scenery Thu, 30 Aug 2018 03:53:19 GMT
Henry Many Feathers  

Years later we revisit an area and usually see it in an entire new light.  This was one of those times in which the camera was set aside and I was able to laugh again at this humorous family incident which happened so many years ago.  Thank you to SAAS who generously published our story.   Enjoy! Henry Many Feathers for OutlookHenry Many Feathers for Outlook   

[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) Arizona Canyon Grand Landscape stories Trips Thu, 02 Aug 2018 01:05:38 GMT
Faces of Cuba 3 days in Cuba was hardly enough!   Being on a cruise we did not enjoy the hospitality of the local Cuban B&B’s and only made it to one authentic restaurant.  Our experience was defiantly glammed over.  A 5 hour walking tour of Old Havana gave a nice taste of the surroundings and we were then free to wonder around on our own.  I felt we only got a peep into the nice side of Cuba, and to see the real story we would have had to venture to New Cuba and the out skirting villages. Between visiting a cigar saloon where we experienced the Cuban tradition of cigar smoking complete with the Mojito, Rum, Cuban Coffee and a Romeo/Juliet Cigar then off to see the very talented cabaret dancers at the Parisian, there just wasn’t enough time to take it all in.  I would have loved to see the museums! There was always the guilt factor too.  Here we were on a ship that had gourmet meals laid out and these people were working their tails off for whatever they could get. Needless to say obesity in Cuba did not seem to be an issue.  

It was very apparent that Old Havana besides being rich in culture and architecture was the tourist hub.   The streets were constantly being cleaned for the tourist and we only noted a few incidents of begging.

Cuba has a two tiered currency system : the moneda libremente convertible (CUC), and the moneda nacional (MN or CUP).In general, the CUC, which is pegged to the US dollar, is used to purchase luxury goods. For tourists, that means just about everything, from internet to hotels to meals at restaurants.

The CUP, which is equivalent to CUC by around 25:1, is used primarily by Cubans for staple goods like rice, beans, and flour. Obtaining a few CUP can be useful for paying for street food and public transportation, which Cubans also pay with CUP. The system is intended to keep necessities cheap for Cubans, while keeping luxuries expensive.

Cubans working for the government are paid a monthly salary in CUP, equivalent to around $40.00 a month. The system has pushed a vast percentage of Cubans to let go of their government day jobs in favor of working in  tourism, where they have the opportunity to be paid in CUC and earn a month's salary in a day.

 You tip for everything.  Toilet paper is a commodity so a $1.00 per trip to the Lou is pretty normal.  Those smiling colorful people aren’t smiling for free.  They are counting on your tips and believe me they notice as soon as a camera shifts in their direction. As much as we loved looking at them, they reciprocated and there was always someone watching the tourists from windows and doorways! 

 Dogs and Cats. Oh my goodness Cubans love their dogs!  Little bowls of water and food are left out and it's a community effort to feed the many free roaming canines.  It was explained that the dogs with little signs around their necks had been altered and were now considered ‘government’ property.  There  was no barking, and there was no fighting.  The fate of the overpopulation of cats were another story.  I seriously doubt that many of the little kittens would ever make it through the diseases to adulthood.  As much as I love dogs and cats, I had to refrain from touching any of them.  

What else I noticed was that everyone had their place.  That included people and animals.  Doorways and poles were always claimed.   

Old cars were abundant!  What a step back memory lane seeing the old Chevys and Buicks!  The taxi services were a mixture of horse & buggy, old cars, newer taxis and the bus system.  They all used the same stop lights and abided by the same ‘rules’.  

The Architecture coupled with the color and a splash of graffiti here and there were impressive. For this trip as I really did not know what to expect so  I brought the D500 and 18-200 Lens combination. Using a tripod was out of the question.  What would have been more of a benefit is to engage the long lens to shoot but that would have entailed hauling it around.. From a photography viewpoint I have to say the ‘’living faces of Cuba were captivating!  You see that school kids are school kids acting out just like at home.  There is a place and a time for everything. There are so many layers to history and culture of Cuba and it would be well worth it to go back.

What I would do different?  More time obviously, but lots of change.    What we had was a brief taste of Cuba and not even that!  We had an opportunity to talk to a woman whose daughter was in Cuba as a missionary and those stories are the true day to day struggles!  


[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) architecture cuba landscape people scenery. Wed, 06 Jun 2018 18:37:05 GMT
Tis the season The season is changing!  The bees are buzzing, the birds a humming and the weeds in my garden sprouting!  Natures seasons keep us spellbound and the cast of birds is always intriguing.  If you are like me, i love watching the changes of spring.  The bird's color are dramatically enhanced as they become garbed in their breeding plumage.  The ducks head become more irridescent and shimmering, the avocet's tan deeper and that funny knob appears on the pelican's bills.  Bird photography is always a challenge but I can think of nothing more fun than trying to catch these winged gems in their natural habitat!  While out in my yard a familiar old tune came on and i felt it appropriate to use it as the background of this short slide show.  Enjoy! Its in the air.fsproject

[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) 80-400 birds colors d500 d810 feathers nature nikon spring wings Wed, 02 May 2018 15:09:05 GMT
Red rocks of Sedona  

Our April destination was none other than the red rocks of Sedona and phenomenal vastness of the Grand Canyon.   In our bag, a Nikon D810, 24-70, 16-35, 28-300- and a Siri Tripod with a right stuff ball head. The latter we were only able to use on a feeble night photography attempt.   Most helpful piece of equipment was the Polarizer which helped to reduce the glare of the afternoon sun and brought depth and color to the rocks.  I truly was not anticipating doing any panoramic shots but the technique helped in displaying the scene that we were seeing first hand.  There is something so serene about the desert.  As you walk along the trails, you are surrounded by a gentle flow of calmness and serenity. It is like stepping into another world. 

In order to make the most of our time and get a lay of the land, 4 tours were taken.  First off, we had a general view of upper Rim Sedona, Sunset Tour, and a 10 hour tour of the Grand Canyon.  I’m not a fan of carnival rides so the upper rim Jeep tour was a bit too bumpy to my liking!  The views however were outstanding and each guide was a wealth of information.  They love those rocks!   Helpful piece of advice would be ask your tour company ahead of time if they are actually stopping so photos can be taken.  We found the stops for the most part were short and there was no opportunity to use a tripod .  Our limited water shots were taken by asking a cottage rental that boasted creekside locations if we could go down on their property and take advantage of the views.  Motel and camping site officials were more than generous. One of our last stops was the Enchanted resort which nestles right at the base of the mountains.  What a gorgeous place and an extra bonus in being able to see the owls there.   In closing, there simply was not enough time to take it all in.  At home, I had a fun time with the post processing and utilized Topaz studio for a painterly effect on some of the shots.  Slideshow below.  Next stop is Cuba!



[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) arizona canyon grand landscape nikon red rock scenery sedona Mon, 09 Apr 2018 22:56:52 GMT
Kaena Point Albatross Sanctuary Len and I just returned from a tropical retreat in Oahu Hawaii.   While rain is a shortage in California, this was not the case in Oahu! Warm showers drizzled down on most of the days we were there. The scenery was still wonderful and the balcony of the condo gave a view that many could only dream of .  On many a night we were able to watch the setting sun glisten against the water indicating another perfect ending to the day.

We visited quite a few areas and one of the highlights had to be the hike to Kaena Point Seashore & Albatross Sanctuary on Oahu . Kaena Point is a natural area reserve where you can get up close to Hawaii seabirds and monk seals and is home to about 400 Laysan Albatross birds.

After the rains, the path to the nesting location was extremely muddy and partially flooded in areas.  The final stretch to the sanctuary was a little sketchy and had you climbing against the cliff on uneven ground.  Don’t look down!   I’m sure that more avid hikers would be laughing at this point but it was about 2 1/2 miles before we reached our uphill destination and Len and I were both tired! Within minutes after entering the wire gate enclosure we saw the white heads of the Albatross poking above bushes. ’The Laysan albatross is colonial, nesting on scattered small islands and atolls, often in huge numbers, and builds different styles of nests depending on the surroundings, ranging from simple scoops in the sand’.  This particular colony had simple nests scooped in the sand.

 Close to the road was a nesting hen with her chick poking out from under her feathery skirt.  There is only one egg laid so this little downy covered guy had a prime seat.  Overhead adult birds glided by keeping a watchful eye on us.  The view of an albatross, with wingspans of close to 6.5 feet,  in flight is nothing more than spectacular.   And yes, at this point I missed not having a long lens but this trip really wasn't about the photos, it was the experience.

All in all it was  a magnificent opportunity to get a glimpse into the wonderful world of the nature surrounding us.   An extra benefit was that the hike back down was a lot easier than the one up): Would I do it again?  Absolutely, but I'd look at taking the other entrance point.

[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) albatross birds hawaii hike scenery Wed, 28 Feb 2018 21:31:51 GMT
Looking back at 2017 Click here for slide show:

  As I sit and reflect back on 2017, I have such fond memories of all the places visited and friends and family that accompanied me on these adventures.  While the scenery was lovely, it was ever more special having like minded folks to journey with. And for those that weren’t photography buffs—thanks for putting up with me!  The photos compiled in this short slide are just a sampling and more can be seen on my web.  I relied on the Nikon 800, 810 and Nikon D500.  Without a doubt my favorite two lens were the 24-70 and the 80-400.  The 28-300 came in handy as a general go to but lacked the sharpness of the more prestigious lens. I also picked up an infra red conversion D3200.  Definitely a different perspective and when used in the right circumstances can produce some very interesting images.  Pleased to say in the juried shows I entered took some nice 1st places as well as honorable mentions.   Then never in a million years did I think I would be a ‘’birder’’, but the thrill of capturing our feathered friends in action is fast becoming another love.  It also gets me out with long time friend and neighbor talking, walking and stalking:)  So bring it on 2018!  Looking forward to more adventures.



[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) landscape nikon photos scenery travel wildlife Tue, 02 Jan 2018 15:38:37 GMT
Once Writing this brought back so many fond memories of childhood friends! What a pleasant surprise  to have it published by NLAPW.  Leslie, Lisa, Dianne do you remember when?:)


Poem of the Week: Once

March 7, 2017 By  3 Comments

Patricia Dennis, Santa Clara Branch NLAPw


We were young girls
holding hands
playing hop scotch
whispering secrets
sneaking into forbidden rooms
trying on the jewels of our mothers
and dressing up in their gowns

With skirts held high above our knees
we would twirl and swirl around
landing only for a brief second
just long enough to strike a saucy pose

With hands on our hips we would wiggle our derrières
Then turn around tilting our heads this way and that
Puckering our lips and blowing silent kisses

We’ll never be old! We would cry
Always young at heart and
meeting adventures head on
We gave nary a thought of what lay beyond

Years later, children grown, I see you again

We cry in unison, Where have you been!

Our minds flicker to when we stopped trying to stay in touch
when other needs and wants filled the space.

A silent prayer of gratitude for here we are again.

No longer youthful, no longer slim. The years have added wisdom to our faces.

Giggling and laughing we take a moment (to) step back in time
pause and remember those years of innocence
It seems just like yesterday
we were those two young girls
prancing unsteadily in mother’s high heels
and playing make believe

A long heartfelt embrace and a vow: to not let time separate
friends of the heart. Distance and time should never tear apart.


[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) Wed, 08 Mar 2017 02:00:42 GMT
The Christmas Puppy  


It was a couple of weeks before Christmas, a friend had lost her cat. I told her I would check Craigslist to see if there was any mention of a found kitty matching Mitten’s description.  Instead what I came across was an ad that read  ‘Urgently needed!  Foster home for a 2 pound dog over Christmas’ . That’s interesting I thought.  A 2 pound dog.  Maybe we could help out.  Len’s daughter was coming over the holidays and  this would be perfect to keep her occupied.  She confirmed it sounded like it would be fun.


The plan was in motion and Catherine and I contacted the rescue center and made arrangements to foster this 2 pound dog over the holidays.   ‘We’re really a cat rescue’ the lady explained ‘but someone dropped this dog off and he is so small he wouldn’t make it without extra help.’  She then brought in a little crate and sat it down.  When the door was opened out stumbled a puppy that couldn’t have been more than 5 weeks old.  Not a full grown 2 pound dog like I imagined!  Catherine and I both exclaimed at the same time, ‘he is so little and so cute! ‘  ‘Only for the Holidays ‘I quickly chimed.

He was a strange looking puppy with a small head, and an underbite that made him look like he was smiling the whole time.  His body looked like it was sandwiched between his head and tail and his legs were way too long for such a structure. He also had a very needy personality, which was probably to be expected considering his young age.  There was no doubt he was cute at this age, but it was questionable how good looking  of a dog he was going to be in the future. 

The first few days he cried and cried and cried.  Catherine would pick him up and just cuddle with him on the couch.  He quickly developed entitlement issues and the couch was to be his domain.  To this day, he hasn't given up that spot.  There were some adjustments, but for the most part, Cricket, the poodle tolerated him.   The cats were horrified and  most important the grandkids loved him.  

Christmas came and he frolicked among the presents tearing at the wraping paper. He made himself at home and admittedly looked quite cute when his head would poke out of a gift bag.  I had to remind everyone we were just taking care of him until a home was found. This statement had replaced ‘only for the holidays’  and soon began to stretch out longer than I anticipated.  Christmas came and went as did New years and Easter.  Brody hadn't budged.   I mean we really, really tried to find him a home.  Each new candidate  just wouldn’t work out for one reason or the other.  I would screen families. They would sound really interested and then they would see him and back out. He wasn’t what they were looking for. Granted he wasn’t the most attractive dog but he was a good dog. The issue was each time we had a prospective family Brody was given a bath, fed his favorite meal, and we would all take him on a last family walk.  He was getting to be a pretty clean little dog. After the last 'no show'  Len just put his foot down.  ‘Look ‘ he said, ‘Brody can’t handle this anymore.  He has feelings. He is getting way too many baths and a little pudgy from all of the last dinners. You get his hopes up and they are dashed.  He’ll just stay here.’  Brody must have known what that meant.  He jumped up on the couch, turned his head up and gave us that 'smile' as he posed for his first family photo.   I could have sworn I saw him wink!  Brody the Christmas puppy, was here to stay! 

[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) Brody christmas dog puppy rescue Fri, 02 Dec 2016 05:12:06 GMT
Working with the light The use of light in a photograph can be a major factor in whether a digital photo turns out and makes its way to print or finds instant demise with the delete button.   My favorite time to shoot is early morning or early evening because the rising sun or setting sun can have such wonderful tones.  I also love reflections and find myself drawn to using them in my subject matter. Different angles can give totally different results so it is a definite plus studying the area and seeing how the light plays out.  While I can always click away and hope for the law of averages, the great shot is the one in which I feel connected with the subject matter and there is that intake of breath that says OMG this is so beautiful.  Of course there are those instances in which for all due respects a shot should simply not have worked and it does.  One day we were shooting Sand Hill Cranes flying overhead. They headed directly into the sun and while I’d rather work with the light than go towards the light the result worked and produced some pretty cool silhouettes!  Not everything can be fundamentally and technically right all the time but if it has captured something special then it’s a job well done!

[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) camera dennis digital hobby landscape light nikon patricia photography scenery sunrise sunset Tue, 03 Jun 2014 00:29:05 GMT
New Orleans a day at a time New Orleans is a city brimming with so many different cultures and styles.  The joyful colors, wonderful sounds of jazz, blues, and rock and roll echoing throughout the day and night.  A musical mecca with many no cover charge clubs and of course the street performers were on every corner, tapping their feet, and playing the tunes.  This guy parked himself down and was oblivious to the crowd that was coming done the street.

SmokinSmokinTaking a drag oblivious to the oncoming crowd down the street


  The mule drawn carriages lined the front of Jackson Square beckoning the foot weary tourist to jump on board.  At first I hum humed this.  After all what more could we see after walking the area for the last few days.  Wrong!  The guide, with his New Awleans drawl, added a different twist to the tales of the City. It was over too quick.  Definitely a must do.


Horse Drawn carriageHorse Drawn carriageThis is a must! A city tour that includes the famous graveyard where the voodoo priestess is buried. The guides give a real insight on City lour.

 Of course what trip to New Orleans isn't complete without a tour a plantation!   Our lovely docent with her southern accent gave another lesson in history on our plantation tour.  Here she strikes a classic Scarlett O'Hara pose!

Docent at Houmas House Plantation and GardensDocent at Houmas House Plantation and GardensStraight out of Gone with the Wind! Our guide was charming and informative!


More later!


[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) New Orleans d800 denis drawl hobby landscape patricia photography rain southern vacation Mon, 14 Apr 2014 14:07:43 GMT
Rain Rain Rain Crazy weather now days!  When it should be cold, it’s hot.  When it should be hot it’s cold. We learn to compromise and adjust.  . 

I love moody atmospheric shots and a light rain, or early morning fog gives just that opportunity. Rain (in moderation) presents a whole different set of challenges for photography. I'm dealing with the number one concern - You! One should be dressing for the occasion to start with, but having these extras with you can be invaluable when traveling in a car.

My own vehicle ‘’suitcase’’ contains:


Ear muffs

Light weight rain pants

Rain coat (a poncho is great for emergencies!)



For snow:  Shoe treads for traction and to help prevent slipping! COPYRIGHT_PDennis

Water and energy snacks.

A fun experience can take a pretty rapid about turn if you are not prepared.   Camera equipment needs to be protected too!   While they have the covers specially made to fit over the body and lens, in a pinch, a good old plastic shopping bag can be used.   

The main thing of course, is have fun and be safe...and dry:)

Happy shooting!



[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) Rain adventure camera hobby photography waterproof weather Sun, 02 Mar 2014 16:14:38 GMT
Take a breath...and laugh! I took today way too seriously.  My stomach was in a knot, my head ached.  It really was so silly.  My GPS failed to work and without it, there was no sense of direction.  Or common sense.  Yep, sad how we rely on modern technology too much.  It was only a 1/2 hour of wasted time trying to find our locale, but so frustrating.  Around this block, down this street, around and around.  Now how hard could this be?!  Lost in Golden Gate Park.   Eventually the puzzle fell into place and we arrived at our destination.  The scenery was still there.  No big deal.  We simply  had taken the wrong turn.

  I took a deep breath and started laughing.  It was so ridiculous.  AND then it struck me how great it felt to laugh this away!!  I mean how beneficial is that!  What does a laugh mean?  It is a healthful exertion.  It takes the focus away from anger, guilt, stress and negative emotions in a helpful way.  We all have experienced the wonderful cleansed feeling after a good belly laugh!   So today I vow to have a daily dose of laughter! 

A simple solution to a healthier, happier you!

  1. Laughter is a  tranquilizer with no side effects.  Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones and increases the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T cells. All this means a stronger immune system, as well as fewer physical effects of stress
  2. Laughter is part of the human survival kit.  I invite you to remember the time you felt like you’d have to laugh or I’ll cry!  Laughter provides a physical and emotional release. In addition, our response to stressful events can be altered by whether we view something as a 'threat' or a 'challenge'. Humor can give us a more lighthearted perspective and help us view events as 'challenges', making them less threatening and putting them in a more positive light.
  3. Shared laughter is a powerful tool:  Laughter connects us with others and it is rip roaring contagious. If you bring more laughter into your life, you can most likely help others around you laugh more.  They in turn will benefit by an elevated mood and reduced stress levels as well.  
  4. Laughing is also the best of entertainments as it livens up many a situation and brings people together in the moment.


[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) 24-70 800 Nikon adventure camera day dennis fun gps health landscape laughter photography Sun, 09 Feb 2014 04:28:48 GMT
Fall travels and tales While there is always something interesting to photograph, the fall holds special promise with the many variations of autumn color.  The vegetation and scenery unique to an area take on their own individual display and offer something different.   But where to go?  My research on the internet was definitely interesting but how is one to tell when the peak autumn actually hits an area? Having to plan time off and arrange plane flights don’t always coincide with Mother Nature!  But, we gave it a shot!  It wasn’t until I took a breath and looked back at my calendar that I  realized how much travel I had packed the two months in search of those autumn colors!!  And as I reflect back I realized that somewhere along the way, the focus of the quest for the  'perfect leaf' diminished and I was content to savor the moment.

It all started September 21st when I went with Suzanne to Oregon. We stayed at the Red Lion on Janzen Beach where restaurant view looked out at the bridge crossing over into Vancouver Washington.  The weather kept true to tradition and rained off and on.   Pretty forceful at times, but  in the end , it resulted in some pretty magnificent clouds.  We joined an 8 hour tour of the Columbia River Gorge. We stopped at Chanticleer Point and were able to see the incredible views overlooking the Columbia River.  The historic Vista House was on the route and awarded   another spectacular view of the river.  Stopped at several waterfalls, including Latourell, Wahkeena and Multnomah where we were able to walk up to the Benson Bridge for a view of the upper and lower falls.   Then onto Bonneville Dam to see the migrating salmon and onto the Hood River area.   The finale of the day was   Timberline Lodge, at 6000 feet.  It was too foggy to see the alpine views but we had a chance to walk through the historic lodge best known for the location of the thriller the ‘Shinning’.   Throughout the tour our guide, Jeff, gave us an ecological history of the area.  Did you know that the largest mushroom in the world is in Oregon?  AND that mushroom is underground and co mingles with the roots of the trees in a symbiotic relationship.    Well worth the $74.00 tour fee!!  But alas, just a few dashes of color among the greenery.  The following day we drove to Albany Oregon to meet up with Jan who then took us to some of the famous covered bridges of the region as well as to Newport Beach where the spectacular Yokina Bridge loomed proud and tall.   Bay Boulevard on the wharf is a popular tourist area, where restaurants, galleries, shops, and attractions such as Ripley's Believe it or Not; the Waxworks Museum and the Undersea Gardens are side by side with working canneries and fish-packing plants.  We watched as shrimp were being unloaded and fish packed.  It reminded me of Pike Market Place in Seattle.  The stay was too short and before I knew it, it was time to head on back to California.  


October 6th I took  a day trip joining a boat tour of the Elkhorn Slough at Moss Landing. No leaves here but certainly an assortment of wildlife!  Elkhorn Slough is one of California's largest wetlands and located in central Monterey Bay, California, just a short trip from the Monterey Peninsula and the Santa Cruz area. The wildlife rich reserve winds inland many miles and provides an important feeding and resting place for wildlife. Expertly guided by Captain Yohn,  it was delightful to see otters with pups in hand cavorting in the water. In the background a lone dolphin glided through the area.  Pelicans were in abundance as were the sea lions and harbor seals. The tour is only an hour and definitely one that can be enjoyed by all ages.  The only motion in the ocean was the sway of the boat as photographers shifted angles!  I vow to take my grandsons on this tour!

October 11th and there was time for another day trip.  This time towards Napa. The leaves had started to turn and we were hoping to capture some shots there along the Silverado trail.  It wasn’t as fulfilling as we had hoped, but none the less we were graced with some spectacular views of red ivy climbing up old buildings. We stopped at a few spots of interest to capture a lingering grape or two.  Peju winery is always one of my favorite places in Napa as the interior of the building is so colorful!  Then, there is Chimney Rock with those vine planted hills in the background.   The vines at both locations were just starting to change color and the grapes remaining were dried.  We were late for those plump grapes and too early for the full affect of the autumn colors.  

October 17th  Len and I were holding our breath that the Government would re open the National Parks and we could take our mini vacation.  Luck was with us and on the 18th we headed into Yosemite.  One of our first views was of Bridal Veil Fall.   This fall flows all year with the peak flow in May.  What we saw was nothing short of spectacular. A glorious rainbow against the rocks which was pretty amazing considering how little water was actually flowing down. 

We then continued visiting some of the standard points of interest in the park. Word to the wise, read the signs that a lot of the lakes and falls are dry during certain seasons.  We failed to do this and after a mile hike, ended up at Mirror Lake only to find it dry as a bone.    Yosemite is as always a magnificent place to visit and from one day to the next the colors changed before our eyes.  The dusky greens changed to orange and gold.  I held my breath.  There was promise of the illusive fall foliage but we would not be there long enough to get the full glory of it! 



From the heart of Yosemite, we headed into Tuolumne meadows where the mountains of the Sierra near the meadows have some permanent snowfields. We stopped at one point and there was still ice covering the streams!  The temperature certainly had become chilly enough to warrant a sweatshirt. We drove onto  Lee Vining where a glorious cove of aspens fluttered at the end of the road revealing a utopia of delicate color.  A little  further up the road and there was Mono Lake.  This is a large, shallow, alkaline lake.  It is impressive enough from a distance but close up has added interest in the form of unusual tufa (calcium carbonate) pinnacles. The sedimentary rock loams from the bowels of the lake with an eerie out of this world look.   The color around the lake was limited to a few wildflowers but oh my goodness how fascinating these tufas are!

After Mono Lake, Len was a sport and made the detour towards the historical town of Bodie.  No leaves here in this desert town, but well worth the drive.  Bodie is authentic Wild West ghost town which runs on highway 395 near Bridgeport, Ca. To get to the actual town you must travel the last 3 miles of it on a rocky dirt road.   Slow going to say the least and definitely a kidney buster.  As hard as it is getting to it by car, you can imagine how difficult it was to the gold miners.  Today, Bodie is preserved in a state of suspended decay.   There are about  110 structures still standing, including one of many once operational gold mills. Many of the interiors remain as they were left and stocked with goods.  This town is a  prime candidate for HDR shots!  If you look real close you can see Len standing next to the old building.

 From Bodie we headed through Bridgeport and over to Highway 89 towards Lake Tahoe.  At the peak of 89 there was a glorious pink sunset that was a perfect ending to the day.  

But wait, we are not done!! On October 24th we hopped in a plane towards Oklahoma. Ah, yes a lot of eyebrows rise on this one.  I have relatives in that area and had read that the fall foliage trail was a good one.  I was joining up  with my cousin Barbara who is also a camera buff.  Well we must have gone the opposite direction of the acclaimed foliage trail.  We headed from Oklahoma City to Shawnee, through Little Rock Arkansas, Memphis Tennessee to Behula Mississippi. With all due respects,  I must say that Arkansas with it's mountains was absolutely lovely. Well known for Bass and crapie fishing, the lakes in Arkansas were huge and there were many little swampy outlets.  For this California native, it was very intriguing.  A bit spooky at times as local hikers at one park on the Davenport Lake would all say the same thing “watch out for the alligator”.   As we stopped at one swampy location I felt as if I could feel the eyes of the critter upon me but luckily he kept hidden.  

  And there are wineries in Arkansas as well!  We stopped at a cute little German one, had a sumptuous meal and I managed to convince Barb to stop so I could photograph a  few hay bales.  She took it in stride.   We continued our adventure to visit another relative in Mississippi who assured us that the fall color there was glorious.   The only problem was the frost hadn’t hit yet to turn those leaves and the color he was referring to were vast oceans of poison oak.  There was however an absolutely marvelous garden spider that I spent way too much time photographing.  Those things are huge! We did get a chance to go to the outskirts of Memphis and stopped to see the Mississippi River which is over a mile in width.  It was large and grey.  Did I say it was really large and grey and the famous Beale street is only two blocks long?  It was something new that I hadn't seen though.  Back in Oklahoma City, Will Rogers Park also had some lovely views with trees and ponds.  The trees  were just starting to show promise of full color when I left.  One week more and it would have been prime.  The time I treasured the most was the visit with my relatives!

Back home on the 31st and then off again to Sonoma wine country where there was still color among the vines.   The scenery as always was lovely  and as an extra treat, we delighted in tasting wine along the way.  Mixing wine with photos in my case does not work.  The results become an artistic blur.  A fun time though!

Here it is November and I must say as I look around my own little neighborhood, fall is truly at its peak.  The apricot tree outside my window is laden with shades of yellow and amber hues.  Across the yard, I see Chinese Pastiche glowing in bright orange. Further down the road, other trees glitter in  shades of gold  and  a splattering of Holly berry trees with their red fruit  can be seen here and there.   The crip air causes you to draw your sweater a bit closer.  Driving down the street, even with the telephone wires emmeshed in the striking foliage, I catch my breath with the beauty of it all.  Here is one place where we did hit the perfect timing.   We just had to sit and wait. 




[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) Autumn Bridges California Elkhorn Fall Lakes Napa Oklahoma Oregon Photos Swamps Travels adventures hobby landscape Fri, 15 Nov 2013 14:59:51 GMT
The modern day Granny  

The fresh air, the exercise are all extra bonuses of being a photo tog.  Most of all, I would say that photography has allowed me to really take the time to really ‘see’ and appreciate the things that are around me.  It is also a hobby that will never be lacking for companions.

There are tons of meet ups, seminars, and gatherings that are always available, and there is never a lack of what to talk about.  As much as Len expresses an interest in my hobby, it is just not the same going with him on a trip as it is with someone who has a camera around their neck.  I am sure he feels the same way about his music. 

I’m fortunate that my neighbor and friend of many years also picked up the same hobby.  The funny thing was that neither one of us found out that the other had gotten a digital camera until almost a year after the fact.  We lost no time making up for that and it goes without saying that it makes it a lot of fun having a like minded person to share with.        

She recently told me a story about sharing our upcoming slough safari trip with an acquaintance.  Their mouth dropped open in surprise. “You are going on a kayak with your expensive gear?”    They must have missed the part that it was a paid tour and we were sitting high and dry.

 Our photos of various wildlife, bears, tigers (all taken at the zoo mind you) can give an exaggerated vision of how we are perceived.  I must admit I had a brief moment of a romantic vision of camera slinging, mountain climbing, kayak boating grandmas swinging from the mountain sides and paddling down rivers looking for the best shot. 

It goes without saying though that having a hobby that gets you out and about is not only medicine for the soul, but keeps one ‘young at heart!’ While we are adventurous and do get out as much as we can, the caveat is that we really prefer that it doesn’t involve heights, or  deep water , and there are definately times that we would love to have a camera caddy that likes driving:) 

[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) adventures friends hobby photography Mon, 04 Mar 2013 17:59:12 GMT
What a difference an hour makes Last week we trudged over the hill to one of our favorite spots!  Santa Cruz is always brimming with good opportunities for image taking and we were holding our breathe for favorable conditions.  Now granted, we are limited in the amount of days we have free to do this trip, but I can tell you the weather forecast is not always correct.  What the morning news may say is favorable ends up being a challenge for us.   Sun can be no fun.   Give me some good old fog any day!

 I love that 2nd cup of coffee, so it wasn’t too surprising that we got a late start.  The sun was beaming before we arrived at our destination.  The ocean however was in rebellion, and the waves crashed angrily against the rocks

 We stayed at Natural Bridges for an hour or so then headed off to some other locations. Come afternoon, we were getting ready to leave but decided to head back for one last look, and what a look it was!  It was hard to believe that this was the same place we were at just hours before.  And harder to believe in all of our years in the area we rarely stuck around long enough to see the spectacular sunset!  (Of course that’s before we got the camera!) Wheres the sunset you ask?  The opposite direction of the rock)

 So here we were gazing at the awesome sight of Natural Bridges through the mist.  The ocean had now resided and the sand glistened like a new walkway.

 I had never thought of going ‘’through’’ the Bridges before, but here was our chance.  It stunk like moldy seaweed, but to see the molecules against the rocks up close was a real treat.  It was a rush to think that a few hours earlier this would have been impossible if not fatal.

 We also had an extra visual treat watching surfers, silhouetted against the setting sun, riding the now rolling waves to shore.

So what’s the story here? Foremost, research sunset and sunrise times-- but give anything a few hours, take a few breathes and the outlook will be different.  Just stick around long enough to see it through.




Natural Bridges Sunset

[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) Beach Camera D800 Fog Natural Bridges Nikon Ocean Santa Cruz dennis landscape Fri, 01 Feb 2013 14:53:41 GMT
Looking forward to 2013 Christmas came and I was my own Santa.

Starting this year off shooting with a Nikon D800.  W O W.  So as much as I enjoyed my DS50...I was years behind and took a real quantum leap.  For my purpose maybe it was an overstep,( but don't take it with you when you go, so kids, I am spending your inheritence:)

There wasn't one thing the same except the name Nikon and color black.  Live view...OMG...knock me over with a feather.  I still haven't used it...but its there. 

First thing I noticed was the ease of switching ISO settings and toggling between programs. Nikon put all of the controls not only in the menu, but the main ones are right there within easy reach.  What had given me so many problems before, not now - I can switch iso settings in a breeze. Hand held at 3200 problemo!!!   Not that you shouldn't be using a tripod, but it's just not practical when you are breezing in and out of crowds or following a bevy of geese. 

 Oh, I didn't stop there--after careful deliberation, I also purchased a 24-70 to add to my collection.  Christmas time and after the first 100 clicks of ecstacy...everyone was glaring and shouting 'get that thing out of our faces'.   At least the geese weren't as vocal. 

Yep, as always...old dogs take a little bit longer to train, ( I admitting I am narrowing in on the senior citizen category?) and we are still plugging through the owner's manual.  Highly recommend David Busch's photography for Nikon 800/800E.  It truly is a bible...packed with information and it may be my imagination, but the font is easy to read.  This isn't any little pocket manual though..nor something easily transported, but well well worth it. 

Off to shoot:)!!

[email protected] (PATRICIA DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY) 2013 D800 Nikon birds camera dennis landscape ocean patricia photography senior Wed, 09 Jan 2013 16:44:59 GMT