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.

    Still Photography

    The first thing that likely comes to mind when you hear the term still photography is photos of inanimate objects that are not live subjects, such as food, ornaments, furniture, and all manner of a world of objects. The weather-worn dove gracing the top of a gravestone that I shot below is a prime example of still life.


    {photo taken at the Valhalla Cemetery, Valhalla, Alberta}

    Still life is always a very cooperative subject for a photographer; the object is eternally posing and well, still. Although not at all considered still life, this photo taken earlier in the summer is one I humorously refer to as a dog being still (soaking in her cool pool after a rigorous workout).

    Cooling off, being still

    Cooling off, being still

    I very much enjoy the challenge of taking photos of live, moving and far-from-being-inanimate subjects. Whether it’s people, pets, livestock, or some sort of vehicle.


    I’ve been fortunate that some of my photos have been published in a few newspapers and in horse and dog magazines, though I am always seeking out additional opportunities. If you have a photographic need, I have the cameras.

    {This post is another participating in Springtree Road’s November in Black & White.}

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    November in Black and White

    I love challenges and calls to action. They get me working harder, thinking more, experimenting more. And I’m a firm believer that the more a person experiments, the further ahead we get in a particular endeavour. So, to take up Springtree Road’s challenge, here are my first November offerings in black and white.

    workhorse at the end of the day

    workhorse at the end of the day

    three sisters

    three sisters

    These were converted using Lightroom2 but since they are old jpeg files they could have been even better if I had shot them originally in RAW. I seldom shoot in jpeg anymore.

    Thanks for visiting Life’s Sweet Ordinary.

    All photos copyright © Diane Schuller. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy or download. Permission required, thank you for respecting my copyright.

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    An Apple of an Idea

    You know there are some real advantages to working from home. One advantage are the obligatory breaks outdoors to walk my three dogs — actually they walk me. It gets me away from the computer and outdoors where I can take in all the natural beauty that surrounds us.

    warm autumn light illuminating dried grasses

    When the dogs get me outside for their romp, I take my camera along more often than when leaving it inside. I couldn’t resist the warm autumn light illuminating this dried grass. I also took some of that old grey log but it’s the backlit grass that really grabbed my attention.

    Those who live in warmer climates will expect this to be an apple that fell from the tree. The reality is, although it’s possible to grow about a handful of hardy apple varieties way up here north of the 55th, at the time this was taken we had already had numerous severe frosts and any apples that might be on the ground would be pure mush at the time. This was one I took with me for our walk and thought it would make a nice subject in the golden autumn light.


    apple nest

    apple nest

    “If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

    In that spirit, since I’ve just begun to share tips on photography, I would love to know if there are particular aspects that any of you might like me to include. Also, if you have an apple photo, share by leaving a link to it here!

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    Life laughing at us …

    When taking photos of pets or livestock, one of the challenges is as simple as catching them at the right moment. Often that means following along walking, half-jogging, and with the lens stuck firmly in front of your face! 


    Pearl and Maggie, autumn

    Pearl and Maggie, autumn

    That way, when the dog or dogs are in a position you think works,  you’re ready to snap away. It’s often easier taking real action shots of animals because they’re usually performing in a confined space. That way, as the person on the other end of the lens you can set yourself up in a spot or easily move around and reset … then simply snap, snap, snap.

    I laughed when I took this photo and realized a large poplar leaf was stuck on the hip of Maggie, the Springer. Although Pearl is the focus of this photo with Maggie intended as an echo, the laugh is on me with that leaf creating a new focus. Sometimes we get it right and sometimes life has a laugh on us.

    Sure I could erase it out in Lightroom2 or Photoshop but I like it there as a reminder of the serendipity of life.

    Show me one of those shots where you thought you had it right but then something surprising showed up in the final image. If you don’t have an image to show me, tell me about one.

    {Pet photo taken in natural light NW of Hythe, Alberta – Canada}

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    Lest we Forget


    Today I didn’t make the drive to the city to take in the Remembrance Day ceremonies though I did watch the CBC special plus the Remembrance Day ceremonies from Ottawa. Ever since I was real young I’ve always been touched by the ceremonies and the reasons behind this important day.

    On October 30th, on my way home from running errands in town, I drove by and was compelled by some inner stirring to stop at a cemetery that I’ve driven past numerous times. I unpacked my camera, got out of my vehicle and began walking through the old rural cemetery. There isn’t anyone buried there whom I knew that I know of, it was simply one of those moments when a person feels impelled to do a certain thing.


    Occasionally a songbird of some sort could be heard from across the road, the sun was shining as if to welcome me, the air was crisp and clean.

    I took several photos that day, most of them of the worn and cracked gravestones and some of the worn embellishments. The photo of this stone was purely to capture the thoughtful words some loved one left behind as their loving thoughts.


    I love the act of taking photos, the visual result, and like the gravestones in that cemetery, the photos are a remembrance of that day and time.

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