N. Renee Brown

Part-time Author, Full-time Book Junkie

Photo Sunday 13-14

I am catching up on all the photos I have taken but have not posted.  Part of the dragging of feet on my part was justified, but I have let it go on too long.  Now it is time to pay the piper and share all the photos I’ve been hoarding.

Week 13 and 14 were both Hawaii Weeks, thus you get 4 Hawaii pictures today.

First up, Duke’s statue…Hawaii’s greatest surfer.


Next, a real wipeout!  This was taken on the Banzai Pipeline.

Third, an amazing landscape.  The red dirt really makes this shot.

Last, a spinner dolphin. Just think, I was in the water with those. You could hear them clicking and squeaking at one another. It was one of the best experiences of my life! Look how clear that water is, you can see bubbles if you blow it up.

For the rest of the Hawaii pictures just click on any of the pictures above they will shoot you right over to flickr. I hope you enjoy and if you do, please leave a comment.

Find your peace and live it…especially if it has a paradise.

Photo Sunday #10

It’s that time of week again, time to look at what I took pictures of…and it was yet another thin week. I’m hoping the next few that come up (with Cherry Blossom Festival and Horrorfind and Hawaii) will be packed full of good photos…but in the meantime I didn’t do too bad on this week with Day and her new stockwhip. Which, let me tell you, is a one of a kind Jeanne Fraiser Stockwhip made of kangaroo leather and very sweet.

Well, without further delay…

I love the texture and richness of this photo. The grain of her jeans, the crosshatch of the leather, and the studs on her belt buckle. It all just rocks when you blow it up…it is so full of energy/color/life! I often bemoan the fact that I kill photos…this one I did NOT kill.

A girl and her whip are not soon parted. This is not a crisp at the previous one, but the lines on it are fun and I love the ‘movement’ in this shot. You know what she is doing without her moving a muscle. I was impressed with myself. *lol*

OMG! I forgot!

I just realized that I wrote a blog post for Photo Sunday #10, with pictures and everything, and FORGOT TO POST IT!

It must have been around the time that the President of the University came to visit our office…I was losing my mind then. 🙂

Ok, so hold on and hold out I’ll have it up first thing tomorrow…and trust me, it’s worth coming back for!  (There are really sexy pictures of a whip weilding woman involved!)

Photo Sunday #9 (Now with photos!)

It’s Thursday and I am just now getting my photos free from the evil SD card…but in all honesty, it WAS my fault. Somehow I flipped the little lock button on the card. It makes it hard to use when it is locked down like that.

This week was another thin week with nothing going on in the event arena, which left me scrambling for something to take pictures of. Thank goodness for Spring! Our yard has started to explode, not only with grass that will soon need to be cut, but also with flowers we didn’t know we had, as well as the ones I had previously planted. The first up (always the first up), Crocus in a beautiful purple. What a treat to be out playing with the dogs and come across these sweet flowers. I had to sneak a few up pictures of them close and personal…but I was fighting the cold and even as I was snapping I could see them tightening up against the night. Very neat.

The next also in honor of spring and Easter and all those good things that bring flowers and warmer weather. Next up is a church I pass every day on the way to work which I think is just lovely. I mentioned wanting to take pictures of this place in a prior Photo Sunday post as the church that had an amazing look when the sun was setting. Then it seemed to sparkle…where as here it conveyed a sense of permanence.

Have a peaceful week and Happy Easter!


Photo Sunday #8 (UGH!)

This last week was the thinnest photo week since I’ve started (which, if you think about it has been 2 months now)! I honestly don’t know what happened, Day and I were both busy or avoiding being busy and time got away from us. It was cold and Day didn’t want to be out with me…thus the one say (Sunday) I had a chance to take photos my time was cut very short because she would have nothing doing.

I meant to take pix of the friends we had lunch with, but I just forgot in all the fun we were having talking and such. Oh well…as punishment I’ve got to put up at least one picture of what I did take this weekend, but as extra punishment and to remind myself to get out there and snap away I’m putting up two of them.


#1 Is a photo from Sunday. These geese had become accustomed to being fed, so they swam right up to the edge of the overhang beside the restaurant. They didn’t even care that the dog was right there, they just wanted the bread I had convinced Day to throw to them.

#2 This is a church I drive past every day. I got stuck at a light one night and loved the look of the light against the tree and chuch…this picture does not capture the quality of the light very well, but I needed another picture and I wasn’t going to put up more geese. I’m hoping to try this again some night but with Daylight Savings Time now in effect, I’m not sure when I will be at that spot near sundown again…perhaps in a month or so. We’ll see.

Photo Sunday #7

This weekend Day and I played with fire and my camera again. I know, I know, two weeks in a row with fire pictures, but I’m still trying to figure out what works and what does not thus the experiments continue.

I am still trying to balance the amount of ambient light around the subject and flame and the actual light from the flame. I’m not going for the classic look of subject lit by flame (leaving the landscape around them black)…but more subject and flame presented in the landscape, drawing from it and making it snap. I envision the flames highlighting not only the planes of my subjects face but also the metal on her belt buckle as well as the tree behind her, all the while our subject is drawn not by the flame but something off screen, something we cannot see but desperately want to.

It may sound hokey, but it’s my vision. *grin*

So, I am working up to this, trying to find out what works and what doesn’t…and along the way I’m learning new things and taking some very nice shots.

This first one is Day’s fire-portrait…which has given me a great idea for a series of element portraits (ice portrait, smoke portrait, water portrait, earth portrait, etc.)…we were playing with the batons and she pulled this great pose. I had her do it again and again until I got the one I wanted. It’s still a little fuzzy, but the flame here is just dazzling and the look on her face was just right. I couldn’t not choose it. I put it through flickr’s editing software, but it is still not the way I want it. I’ve got to say, this “it’s a great pic but fuzzy” thing is seriously making me reconsider getting Photoshop. Anyway, here she is…

My second picture is another day/fire picture. She just looks so great here I couldn’t help but share…

My second picture is stuck at home on my computer. I will fetch it tonight and post it while I work on my new laptop…oh yes, did I mention the new laptop had arrived? I want to wipe it before I add anything on it so that’s the plan for tonight.

Photo Sunday #6

Another week goes by and along comes another pair of pictures to grace my site. This week was a challenge…I spent more time in front of the camera showing off my fire rather than behind it taking the photos. Not a good idea when you’ve got pictures that need to go up on Monday. Ugh!

Well, I did manage to get some photos in…they are perhaps not my first choice for presentation but when times require needs must.

The first picture was taken after a rainstorm, facing one of the boarded up buildings on the College Park campus. I thought it a lovely sentiment, as that campus will (hopefully) be my pot of gold.
College Park as the land of dreams.

The second one is, of course, fire. I had so much fun taking photos of it and being photographed with it that I had to include one. It is unfortunate that they are all so fuzzy, more than just a low light photo. It is just too dark to accurately focus the camera, so I end up guessing as to when it is in focus. That does not always work. Anyway, I did get one good one with Day and I just had to share. Although it does not have any of the trails the others had, I really think this one has a great composition and is worth posting.
Day and fire, what a combination.

Photo Sunday #5


It’s a little late, but here are the photos of the week.

Now before you get all up in arms about my posting so late, I have a good excuse. I went to Missouri this weekend to give a presentation and see my parents (who I just realized I haven’t seen since the 4th of July!) and have been running like something that runs sorta crazily all over without any real direction since I got back.

Before I left a little bit of an ice storm moved through…it was beautiful and I got up a little early to capture some of the beauty before it melted away in the warm afternoon. I’m glad I did, because sure enough, I got home and none of the ice was left. Just water pooling on my front walk.


Ice on the bush in our front yard.

I love going back to Missouri, it is such a wonderful way to unwind…it’s a place the represents safety and nostalgia. I feel it represents MY history in a way D.C. never could. Yes, I am a part of this country and yes I feel like I have a stake in all the amazing buildings and landmarks here in the nation’s capital, but my own personal history is in the Heartland where I grew up. Thus, in talking with Dad, we realized there was a unique photo opportunity right up the road. Pickering Farm was once a huge 2000 acre farm owned by a local lumber baron until it was sold to the Good family. The Good’s raised donkeys for the military and cattle for everyone else…their daughter married a man named Owen and it became the “Owen-Good Ranch” and switched over to horses. Now, in the age of internet and highways, the ranch has been split into a number of parts but a few buildings remain…

A barn on the Pickering Estates side of the Owen-Good Farm.

Photo Sunday #4

This weekend offered a lot of opportunities to take photographs, thank goodness. After talking last week about how hard it was to get anywhere worth photographing, running into this trove was a relief.

Part of the reason I was able to use my camera so much, was because I actually had it with me. This week I decided to empty my purse (what would fit from my purse) into my camera bag. This way I would be forced to carry it with me everywhere I went…every meeting, every lunch, every car ride, every grocery store dash I would have my camera with me. Thus, if a picture presented itself, I would be in the position to take it. This goes a long way to get me back into the “photographers mindset”, one that I have been out of for too long.

Saturday I had to take a trip down to Thomas Circle to attend a meeting of the American Council of the Blind. While I was down there I skipped outside to take some photos, some were good, some were not. The play of shadow and light was interesting, but not sharp enough to really make it worth sharing…although it gave me an idea for this coming week. We got turned around trying to get to the Metro (ok, ok, we were talking and walked past our stop), and happened to walk past a beautiful church. I snapped some pictures there, but the sun sinking behind the buildings made it hard to capture what I was looking for. Oh well, there is always Sunday…

Sunday we took a trip down to Chinatown. It was the Chinese New Year! The wind gusts of 50 mph and the temperature dropping from a bearable 50 into the 30’s made this trip interesting to say the least. We missed the parade, but we got to see the dragon and lion dances and then the 5 story string of firecrackers. It was a riot of color and sound and people and smells…and yet it wasn’t so crowded that we couldn’t move around even with the dog in tow. That’s where I finally got my pictures.

Lucky Dragon:

I just happened to be in the right place at the right time for this one. They had left the stage and were making their way back to the fireworks area and passed right by me. I could not have been in a better position. I just held down the button and let her fly, this one was the keeper. A very lucky dragon, indeed.

A Chinese Dragon approaches!


This stairwell caught my attention, simply because of the diversity represented here. I first took the picture for the kids near the bottom of the stairs, but when the man in the center turned and smirked at me I quickly shifted my focus. He dominates this frame, and really brings it all together for me…I’m not sure this is the second best of the pictures I took that day, but it is a picture that reached out to me and I wanted to share it with you.

A rainbow of people watch the Chinese New Year.

Photo Sunday #3

It’s that time again.

This week we went to the Aspen Hill Memorial park. It is the 2nd oldest pet cemetery in America, with an estimated 20thousand pets interred there as well as 40 humans that couldn’t bear to be separated from their pets in death (and that is as it should be). Petey, the dog from the Little Rascals is there. Rags, a World War I Army mascot is there. J. Edgar Hoover’s dogs are also there, 6 of them.

I went there to take pictures and I took nearly 70 of them. Still, I still need more work…a lot of the pictures, while interesting to me, were sadly lacking in composition. *sigh* I find it so frustrating to see something, and think I have captured it in my lens only to find I have leeched all life from it. I would like to revisit this place to try and get the shots I was really looking for, but I don’t want to wait too long. They seem to be taking down a lot of the trees in their efforts to reclaim the place from the past. As they are doing this, they are destroying some of the markers, and are deconstructing the peaceful feeling of the land. Personally, I’d love to see them put a brick wall all around it…and tame the trees not kill them. It is VERY obvious that a lot of these trees were planted in memory of a beloved pet and it makes me sad to know they are removing those testaments to love.

Saddest picture I took…a memorial that said, “For the only companions I ever had.” Heartbreaking. Saddest thing I saw…a memorial that said, “My heart is buried here.” *sniff*

#1 The Guardian (He who stands outside the final resting place of a couple and their beloved pet dog. This was actually a quite elaborate crypt, but desperate for come tender loving care. I may have to plant flowers and flowering bushes in my yard just to take up there to this place. The vases behind this little guy looked so lonely and empty.)
Standing guard outside the grave of a couple and their beloved dog.

#2 Bunny on Patrol. (Bunny, the bulldog, watches everyone wandering through her part of the cemetery. I want to go back to get better pictures of Bunny, this one did not capture what I loved best about her. She has such great texture, surely the best of the statues we saw that day. The moss on her gave her a reality the others didn’t have. This is one of those sculptures I could see coming to life. And on a purely technical note…how is it that I made her nose blurry but nothing else? HOW? Ugh!)

Bunny, the bulldog, watches over the cemetary.

And in a macabre twist of fate, we discovered a dead squirrel in the middle of the cemetery, I didn’t have the heart to take pictures of it but it was quite the sight. Vivid. *sigh*