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.

    Photography Tip: Bargain Photos for Christmas

    This is such a great bargain, I have to share with everyone. It’s also time limited so you’ll need to order right away if you’re interested. Here’s the direct quote taken from Kodak.com for your information:


    Offer expires 11/27/08. Enter Coupon Code at checkout to redeem. One coupon redemption per customer. Receive 50 free 4 x 6” Prints with purchase of 100 4 x 6” Prints. Coupon redemption good for use on one quantity of 100 Prints only per order. This promotion is not valid with Same-Day Pickup Service. Purchased 100 4 x 6” Prints must be in the same order as the 50 free 4 x 6” Prints. Shipping and tax not included in this offer. Cannot be combined with other offers. No substitutions, transfer rights or cash equivalents will be given. We reserve the right to modify or discontinue promotions at any time. Coupon code or discount valid only at www.kodakgallery.com.


    If you didn’t order photocards to send to friends and family this Christmas, have a bunch of these 4 x 6’s printed and tuck them inside your Christmas cards and correspondence.

    And don’t forget about your chance to win one of my 8 x 10 prints. Visit THIS PAGE for details.

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    You Could Win One of These

    As promised, here’s your opportunity to win an 8 x 10 of one of my prints. I’ve struggled for the past year deciding whether or not to set up shop at Etsy. The main thing that has held me back is the time involved in responding to any orders, packaging, and getting things off to the post office in an efficient and prompt manner.


    I’ve decided to give it a try although in a small way to start. I’m thinking I’ll ‘open up shop’ with a single series or perhaps a pair of prints. I’m considering a poppy series but, based on previous input, have included several other photos of various subjects. Here is where you come in.

    I’ve got some of the images online in my viewing gallery and need your input. From the input I receive in this specific post, I will make a draw in two weeks from now on Friday, December 5th, 2008 from all the names accompanied with suggestions in this post. To be eligible for this free print (and I do have a second prize in mind but that will be a surprise), here’s what you do:

    1. Visit my online gallery in the “Possibles” (link will be provided below) and BE SURE to click on the “Slideshow” button located in the bottom navigation bar (that will allow you to get a look at what the 8 x 10’s will look like).
    2. Pick a pair of photos that you personally like best and they don’t have to go together as a pair (what you are especially drawn to the most). Make note of the file numbers so you can let me know your picks. (File numbers are visible when you go back to the grid view)
    3. Come back to this post and leave the numbers of your picks in the comments — be certain to leave a link to your blog/website or your email (add spaces to thwart the spammers) so I can contact you should you be the winner.
    4. Let others know — the more input I get from a variety of people, the better chance I have of starting my shop with the People’s Favourite.
    5. Now head over to the Possibles gallery.

    A few other notes:

    • The winner will be picked at random from all the entries in this post.
    • The winner will be able to select their 8 x 10 from any of the photos in the gallery.
    • The print will be mounted but not framed.
    • My watermark will not appear on the print but I will sign the back.
    • Only one entry per person to make it fair for everyone.
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    Self Portrait Challenge from Kelly Rae Roberts

    At this very moment it is minus 22. The reason that is important will be revealed as you read on.

    Today over at Shutter Sisters, as the title suggests, we have been challenged to create a diptych self portrait. In today’s post Jen Lemen gave us these guiding principles:

    “Today’s challenge is simple: go outside. Hold your camera down a bit and capture a shot of yourself with the sky as your backdrop. Then point your camera down and capture your feet on the ground. Put the images together to create a lovely diptych that reveals a small, telling moment in your day.”

    So, despite the minus 22 (yes that’s 22 below) I bundled up like the Goodyear blimb and froze my fingers to take some not-so-great photos to comply with this challenge. The tough part was taking the head shot with all the layers I had to wear plus a heavy parka, no mittens, and short arms. I got a few that were focused but it only caught my glasses or forehead so that wouldn’t have worked … since I thought I should at least attempt to show a portion of my parka, this was the best I had to offer. Horrible.


    surprise! I switched out the headshot -- headshot is gone 🙂

    This is pretty exceptional for me because I really dislike self portraits — they always look awful. This one (my first) out in minus 22 is no exception 🙂 And just so I don’t disappoint anyone with this horrible self portrait (I don’t mind the boots but the head – egad!), please stay tuned because in the next day or two I will be announcing a CONTEST — you could WIN one of two great giveaways.


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    An Attitude of Play

    Living on a remote rural farm I miss the company of people. Perhaps that’s partly why I enjoy blogging but also why I embrace every opportunity to do a photo shoot that takes me to someone else’s home or location. At this time of year, now that the yard and fields beyond are blanketed with snow, with many more layers yet to come, I balk at the added confinement.


    This year I’m trying something different as we enter this confining season — I’m drawing on every element of positive thinking in an attempt to break into the season with an attitude of playfulness. Much like this pair of horses I photographed while on a photo shoot this past autumn.


    Or in the way Henry, the American Bulldog, was so frisky during a delightful hour long photo shoot this past October (sorry this first one of him is blown out … I should have done some post processing to enhance it, but you get the idea!)

    Henry, American Bulldog


    Unlike these frisky dogs and horses, I know what is to come but they are totally in the moment. There really is truth to the benefits of living in the moment, isn’t there? I’ll have to try thinking less of my confinement and more about the beauty that is within these four walls (though I still envy everyone who lives in or near the city — any city.) 🙂

    ready, set ...

    ready, set ...


    got it!!

    got it!!

    I took this one day-before-yesterday while my husband was shoveling snow — Austin is crazy about leaping after the snow.

    (Don’t forget about the contest coming up … I’ll likely make the announcement Friday morning.)

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    Giving Thanks

    My mother died a year and a half ago and I’m still mourning her. I’m so grateful to have some snapshots of her but in her final year I felt afraid to take photos of her. She knew she was dying. I felt she may feel uncomfortable that it was like a souvenir or that I was taking it because her time was near. It was important for me to honour her feelings and so didn’t take my camera when I’d drive to the city where she lived.

    There’s a song by Jim Croce, “Photographs and Memories”. We all remember the moments when those photographs were taken, going back in time to experience it again in our mind. Replay the moment.


    My loving, gentle mom and her second great granddaughter

    snapshot taken by another family member: My loving, gentle mom and her second great granddaughter



    When I was little, I remember how she’d hold me, rub her hand over mine, look me in the eye. In this photo that someone else took of my Mom she is holding her second great granddaughter. She held me that same loving way. I’m grateful to have had a mother who loved me so much she allowed me to find my own way, to guide me when I was going off track, to hold me when I needed to be held, to encourage me always. She was gentle, kind to a fault, and had the most amazing giggle.

    Stephanie Roberts of Little Purple Cow Photography is doing a series called “Giving Thanks”. She has called upon anyone else who would care to join in giving thanks as she is doing for 10 days. I may not post each day though couldn’t allow today to go by without giving thanks to the one person in my life who has meant the most to me — and still does.

    Our Thanksgiving is long past but any day is a good day to give thanks. I’d love to read about who or what you give thanks for today.

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