observed by Diane » photo journal for those who enjoy vignettes of an ordinary life

  • Welcome to my photo journal

    Living on Vancouver Island in B.C. Canada Diane loves the scent of forests and rain, the rhythms of the sea, and holds discoveries and stories in high regard.

    Where mornings begin with a drum roll! --Diane M Schuller

    Updated on random Mondays ... simply an online journal of an ordinary life. Come on in to enjoy a breath of West Coast air.


    I learned something new today. I’ve been making diptychs through Big Huge Labs mosaic maker but I’ve been bound and determined to teach myself (finally!) how to make my own diptychs using Photoshop. Today, thanks to a great online tutorial by Debbie at Splash of Style, I did it!

    Here is my first attempt at it:


    The unfortunate thing is that with such a limited width on this blog, the photo has to be so compressed that all the great detail is lost in the photos. But  … you get the idea anyway. (To see the dog with more detail clicking here will do it.)

    I was a bit slow creating this one, although now that I know how they’re done, I’ll speed up plus will no doubt experiment some more. I especially want to figure out how to have one side smaller than the other for greater effect. But now that I’ve taken the first baby step, I can hardly wait to get up to a brisk walk!

    So tell me what have you taught yourself or challenged yourself to learn recently?

    Late Latin diptycha, plural, from Greek, from neuter plural of diptychos folded in two, from di- + ptych? fold
    1 : a 2-leaved hinged tablet folding together to protect writing on its waxed surfaces

    : a picture or series of pictures (as an altarpiece) painted or carved on two hinged tablets

    : a work made up of two matching parts. ~ Merriam-Webster dictionary.

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    Shaking off Cabin Fever


    tag, you

    tag, you're it! ... no, you're it!

    What a huge relief in the weather on Saturday! And what made it even better than having a minus 14 degree day bathed in sunshine was our neighbour coming over and plowing out our driveway! Even the dogs were excited to be able to move without bulldozing through a couple feet of snow.





    whoa ... is that a deer I smell out there? ...

    whoa ... is that a deer I smell out there? ...


    minus 12 is so warm! I

    minus 12 is so warm! I'm going to soak up the rays

    As you can see, the dogs found great relief in this warm weather. Sure beats minus 24 or minus 35!

    I took 90-some photos on this single outing on Saturday! (But we were outside a LOT on Saturday.) Got a few gems too. I posted one over at Flickr already but will dribble a few in here and there.

    I hope you all had an enjoyable weekend. Our Saturday was definitely a chance to shake off some of the cabin fever our household has been experiencing.

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    Natural light, camera, action …

    Just a few old action shots for your enjoyment. Have an action-filled weekend!

    {Austin, one of our Australian Shepherds. He is crazy about leaping after the snow! A little sepia version.}


    {A mule deer escaping from a scary looking human dressed like the Goodyear blimp (me)! A bit of selective desaturation: deer left as-is but the background is black and white.}


    {Pearl, our other Australian Shepherd, having a ball digging in the snow. Full colour.}


    {I took this for a photo assignment last year to demonstrate use of low shutter speed to project the sense of speed to the viewer. I thought using the horses feeding in the background added to that.}



    This weekend I plan to get into action too. No mouse-potato for me. It’s not going to be 25 to 35 below for a change! It’s actually supposed to go all the way up to minus 12-ish and I can hardly wait. My dogs will be thrilled too. Have a fun weekend!

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    Inspired by the Past

    Ever since I was young, I have been intrigued by photographs. When I was a little girl, the only photos I saw were black & white and a few were sepia. Photographs held my attention perhaps because they focused on the subject and not the colours. To this day, I’m still drawn to black & white photos, sepia photos, or those lovely aged and faded ancestors.

    One of the beauties of digital photography is the ability to do our own processing. I have had Photoshop for a while using it to add my copyright or to do some minor post-processing. This past year I finally purchased Lightroom 2 and have been thoroughly enjoying learning the software but the best part has been seeing what I’m capable of doing with my photographs. The software is so logical and easy to work with. It’s like going back to film and doing my own adjustments in a dark room — only easier and more fun!

    The best part of all is that when I want colour, there it is.


    When I want black and white, I can have that too.


    Or, if I want a degree of sepia, voila!


    I didn’t add a link in this post, but you’ll likely notice I’ve been doing a fair amount of black and white photos over at my Flickr site. Feel free to check them out. Now I think I’ll go pore over one of my Ansel Adams books!

    “Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun!” ~ Mary Lou Cook, calligrapher / author.

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