Author Archives: Jill

Havana, Cuba

This was taken on our recent trip to Cuba. This is in Havana.

Havana, Cuba


Olympus OM-D

I have a new camera!! I’ve had a little bit of time to test my new Olympus OM-D and so far I like it. I’m going to put together some review photos and hopefully I can highjack my husbands Nikon D90 and do some comparison shots. I think many of you will be impressed with this little mirror-less camera. Stay tuned! In the meantime, here’s a photo I took in Las Vegas using one of the art filters, this is straight out of the camera.


‘Tis the season!

Happy December 1! The day I officially welcome the Christmas season. It’s been awhile since I’ve made any posts on this blog, so here are a couple to kick off winter!

Platinum filter - soft focus

Hoar Frost on the trees!

Red shoes

Red Shoes!

Do you edit photos?

Dear World of WordPress,

Do you edit the heck out of your photos? I for one, hardly touch my photos. I might adjust the contrast or vibrancy of a photo but beyond that it’s all foreign ground for me. I met a lady who is a Photographer and I asked if she has a webpage that I could check out, she said yes, gave me the address and then told me that she Photoshops everything. That had me curious, I was wondering why someone would take a perfectly good photograph and make it look like anything but a photograph. As I was looking through her gallery, it occurred to me that the majority of people don’t hang actual photographs on the wall (aside from family photos and such) they hang art on the wall, and what I was looking at on the website was indeed art.

So I decided to try my hand at editing some photos. Keep in mind, this is my first attempt. I use Paint Shop Pro X4 and I haven’t explored all of it’s editing features yet. What are you thoughts on edited photos in general, what are you thoughts of my edited photos? Constructive criticism is always welcome, but don’t be too harsh, I may cry.

Posterized HDR

Selective focus, Black & white HDR

HDR with increased vibrancy

These are just a few that I’ve done, you can check out my Facebook page for more!

Country life

I went for a motorcycle ride in the country on the outskirts of Calgary. This is what I found.

Really old barn

Grain storage barns

My motorcycle in a canola field

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Quinoa & seared Scallops

Lately I’ve been posting pictures of flowers and nature, I thought I’d switch it up today and give you a recipe!

1 cup of white quinoa
4 tablespoons of Olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups of mushrooms
1/2 cup of white wine (dry) or juice from one lemon
2 cups of broth (any kind you want)
Lemon zest (optional)
1/2 cup of cooking cream or more broth (I used half & half)
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet heat the oil.  Brown the garlic, onion, and mushrooms.   Add the white quinoa to the skillet mixture and toast the grains for about 30 seconds.   Add the wine or lemon juice and let it be absorbed.  Quickly add half the broth and cover over low/med heat.  Wait until absorbed to add the remainder of the broth and cover again.  When almost all of the broth is absorbed, add the heavy cream, lemon zest (optional) and parmesan cheese.  Mix together and serve.

I added the scallops as an optional item.

Melt butter in a frying pan, add garlic and lemon juice to your liking. Next add the scallops, turning over once to brown each side.

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Colorful pattern

If the peacock were to look at its feet, it would stop him strutting.
~Spanish Proverb~

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Seed and flowers

Happiness held is the seed; Happiness shared is the flower.

~John Harrigan~

Please note that this blog is being phased out. I have created a new website and blog for you to enjoy. If you are currently subscribed to this blog or you would like to be subscribed to it, please visit my new site and subscribe. Thank you.


It’s been awhile since I posted anything on here. I’m actually in the process of selling all  DSLR camera gear, so picture taking has been lacking. I plan to purchase a Sony NEX-7 (or similar) in the near future, so hopefully the smaller/lighter mirror-less camera will prove to be more convenient for me to carry around.

I thought this picture would make a nice spring time picture in the meantime. Enjoy!

Odds & Ends from Hawaii

I recently went on a trip to Oahu, Hawaii. It rained almost every day that we were there, but here are a few shots that I took.

Rain drops


This was taken from the top of Koko Head Crater trail


White Anthurium


Palm Tree


Tile art at the airport


Brazilian Cardinal


Makapu’u Lighthouse


Writing that I found at the top of Koko Head Crater Trail.



Off the beaten path

I’m sometimes concerned about global warming, but I’m really enjoying this warmer than average winter we’re having in Alberta. Today was a beautiful day for a bicycle ride around the Glenmore Reservoir. Here’s a few shots from my afternoon.

At first I thought this was some sort of fungus growing on a tree. I was wrong.

This fence guarded a secret pathway that we found

The secret path led to a place where the Chickadees felt safe.

Unfortunately, Curtis was unable to see all the Chickadees 😛

Cell phone photo creativity.

Here are a couple of shots that I took with my cell phone. They’re both taken from Show homes that I toured last week. I’m hoping to get out and take some shots with my Nikon tomorrow, there’s only so much you can do with a cell phone 🙂

This wall sconce was mounted on fireplace stone that ran the whole way up to the ceiling (about 10 feet high). It created a  cozy feel.

I was hungry, and this was a fake bowl of pasta, so disappointing 😦

Master lock

It’s been awhile since I’ve picked up my camera, I suppose you could say that after my year long “photo-a-day” project I needed a break. Today is the first day in about 3 weeks that I actually felt like taking a picture, but I still haven’t picked up my camera (Nikon D90) to take a photo, this one was taken with my cell phone with an HDR app.


Master baker….not yet.

I can’t believe how easy it is to make bread in a bread machine! Throw a few ingredients in the bread pan and turn it on. The machine mixes and bakes. Thank you Santa for the bread maker!

Since I had so much spare time left after making the bread, I decided to try a new muffin recipe too.

Apple spice bread

White chocolate cranberry muffin

365/365 – 2011

So this is it…the last photo for my 365 Photo blog!! Originally I had set out to climb a mountain and get a spectacular photo from the top to end my photo blog, but that didn’t happen, the snow and lack of trail got us a little off track. Now you get to enjoy a Disney snow globe!

So now what?

I will continue posting in 2012, the title of my blog will change to something other than “2011 photo -a-day”. I will NOT be posting a picture for everyday, this experience has taught me that I do not enjoy taking photos every single day. In the last few months this photo blog has become more of an obligation than a simple pleasure.

What to expect if it’s not a photo-a-day?

I will go back to my old photo shooting style. This means that as I do things in life, I will take my camera along for the ride and snap a hundred photos (or more)…at the park, at the zoo, on a mountain, on a motorcycle trip or doing any of the other activities that I enjoy doing. Then I will post up the best photos I took that day (or weekend), it could be a couple photos, it could be ten or twenty. But there will be a consistent theme to every set of photos that I post up. I’ve found that I take much better photos when I’m out doing things I love rather than when I’m out taking photos just to take a photo.

Happy 2012 everyone!!


364/365 – Moss

I always think Spring is just around the corner when I can see moss peaking through the snow.

363/365 – Pine tree

We went hiking through a section of forest that had been burnt. This tree is no longer alive, but all it’s needles remain on the branches.

362/365 – IQ test

This was in my stocking for Christmas. As you can see, I’d rather take a picture of it than attempt to take it apart and put it back together 😛

361/365 – Spirals

Can you spot the spirals? I almost missed them! I was about to throw away this flower, since it’s past its prime, and I noticed spirals as the sun hit the flower. I thought it was pretty cool, I don’t know why they’re there, or what they’re for, but I like them.

360/365 – Stir fry: Yum!

This isn’t really that interesting in the food department, although this may look like a creative little meal…it came frozen in a bag. I just wanted an excuse to try out my new frying pan!

359/365 – Jingle bells

This is the last of the Christmas decorations, the tree is down and the presents are put away. No, I’m not a Scrooge or a Grinch or bah hum bug in anyway, but there were more tree spills on the floor than what were actually left on the tree, so it was time for the tree to get some fresh air.

I’ve noticed that there are 4 days left in 2011, yet it appears that I’m on picture number 359, which means that I have 6 pictures left to take. I must missed a couple pictures somewhere along the way. I’ll have to make up for that in the next 4 days 🙂

358/365 – Mystery Switch

We’ve lived in this house almost a year and we still have NO clue what this switch is for.

357/365 – Christmas day ride

~In Canada, we don’t wait for a warmer day~

Not the best quality photos but this has been the icing on my Christmas Day cake, so it’s my photo of the day!

356/365 – Santa’s hat!!

OMG I found Santa’s hat!! He must have lost it on his way out of the North Pole! I sure hope he doesn’t get cold tonight.

355/365 – Earring

This is a macro of my new earrings. No, I didn’t open a Christmas present early, I know you were thinking it though. They were a birthday present 🙂


354/365 – Wine with a sparkling moon

OK…not really. Wine, yes. Moon…not so much, but I think the reflection of the light in the wine sort of looks like a moon.

353/365 – Pumpkin pie

Yummy! With a side of flower 🙂

352/365 – Rojo

I still think he’s cute!


351/365 – Christmas ornament

I promise this is my last Christmas ornament picture (this year)!

350/365 – Candy dish

Say Hello to 5500 calories of pure chocolatey goodness! (yep, seriously…5500 calories, I did the math!)

349/365 – White lily

So pretty!

348/365 – Cindy Cat

Yes, I really named my cat Cindy. Yes, I actually put the word cat at the end of her name 🙂

347/365 – Rojo: the cutest dog ever!

This is Rojo, he’s our house guest over the holidays. He weighs in at a whopping 5lbs and my 12lb cats are scared of him!

346/365 – Ice sculpture

This was also at Zoolights. It’s the only sculpture that was back lit, so I snapped a photo.

345/365 – Glowing heart

The Calgary Zoo has a Zoolights event that it puts on every year, they decorate a portion of the zoo grounds with millions of lights. I found a lit up heart that I liked and this is what happens when you chose a low shutter speed and zoom out while waiting for the camera to snap the picture. I like the effect.


344/365 – Christmas wreath

This is portion of a wreath. I didn’t like the picture showing the whole thing, there was too much other stuff going on in the picture.

343/365 – Beads and Poinsettias

This is the best I could come up with hand held in low light.

342/365 – In the snow

We went hiking today, there was much more snow in the mountains that we had expected.  Snowshoes would have the what a prepared person would have added to their collection of necessary hiking gear for the day. We had fun anyway.

341/365 – Old meets new

I love how the corner of this building looks. One painted flower on a rustic brick wall; one painted flower on modern stucco. The last few photos have all been taken in the community of Inglewood (Calgary). I love being able to walk along a street full of independently owned stores with big glass store fronts. Sadly, Calgary has only 2 or 3 other streets like this in the entire city! This is a city of 1 million people, we really should have more streets that are walkable.

340/365 – Wall art

This was outside of an art gallery in the community of Inglewood, here in Calgary.

339/365 – Christmas tree

I liked the sparkle of the tree with the reflection of the glass.

338/365 – I do not agree!

This caught my eye as I was window shopping. I prefer to think warm sunshine.

337/365 – Wine holder

This is a mighty fine wine holder!

336/365 – Old zoo sign

I’m not sure if Yogi bear was considered a mascot for the Zoo at one time or not. Maybe the sign was painted when Yogi was at the peak of his cartoon popularity and some marketing genius thought it would be a great way to advertise to kids. Either way, I think it’s a cool sign.