“Paris is always a good idea.”

I have to agree. It has been many years since my last trip to Paris, and I have good news: My friend Diane invited me to join her in November in Paris. Pourquoi pas? I’m going!

Making travel plans again for the iconic city allows me to think back on my 2004 trip to visit my friend Louise, who was living there with her family. We walked all over the city together, starting with Le Tour Eiffel.

#paris, #iconic, #eiffel, #dofirst, #arrived, #seine, #travel
Fresh (or not so fresh) off the airplane, we went to see the Eiffel Tower from across the River Seine.

We hiked to the top of Montmartre for lunch, the art in the square and a visit to Sacre Coeur, a beautiful Catholic church.

#sacrecoeur, #montmartre, #paris, #travel, #summer, #france
View of the neighborhood from the tower of Sacre Coeur in Montmartre, Paris, 2004.

On Ile de la Cite, the first arrondissement, where the Cathedral of Notre Dame is located, we stopped for ice cream at Berthillon before wandering the narrow streets lined with elegant shops.

#paris, #berthillon, #june, #summer, #travel, #icecream, #glaces, #sorbets
June was the perfect month for ice cream in Paris at the well known Berthillon.

It’s hard to make a short wish list for my November trip, since I spent over a week in Paris in 2004 and toured countless museums, churches, gardens and neighborhoods. One things is for sure: I want to walk the city again. There is so much to discover on foot.

#art, #notredame, #paris, #seine, #walking, #travel, #explore
On the Left Bank of the Seine near Notre Dame, it is fun to peruse the art displayed in the vendors’ stalls.

Summer’s Bounty

#vegetables, #tomatoes, #peppers, #grass, #plate, #heart
After I arranged summer’s bounty in this heart shaped plate, I realized it would make a nice photograph.

As Summer turns to Fall, we will soon turn the cameras toward the foliage. But not before we remember the beauty and fresh taste of our summer harvest.

This image is available on a square ceramic tile in 4.25″, 6″ and 8″. It’s perfect for your kitchen, year ’round, and it makes a unique and personal gift. Contact Cathy at cathykellyphotography@gmail.com to place your order.

Walking Durham

I spent the day exploring Durham, England. I caught the train from Newcastle, and walked into town, finding the central square and market. Strolling up the road, I took some photos of lovely storefronts and stopped into a few shops. (I should have titled this piece “Shopping Durham,” as my “shopping” blog posts are the most popular!)

I explored the beautiful Castle and Cathedral – more on those in the next few blog posts! One of the outdoor cafe tables at Cafe on the Green, between the Castle and the Cathedral called my name. My guidebook and journal kept me company during lunch. Then, I had the good instinct to cross the River Wear and walk along the far side, looking up at the town and the Cathedral in its summer greenery. Why? I realized that the Cathedral facade would be lit by the afternoon sun.

#durham, #durhamcathedral, #durham, #wear, #riverwear, #riverside, #walk, #summer, #trees, #northumbria, #northumberland, #england, #travel, #travelphotography
This opening in the maple tree provided a natural vignette of Durham Cathedral.

I was even able to position myself just right so the construction cloth over the tower that is under restoration was blocked by the leaves. It was a beautiful and peaceful afternoon, part of an unusually sunny summer of 2018.

A Meadow Full

A meadow full of lupines stretch far into the dark edge of the woods. Here are a few compositional tips.  When you frame a photograph, it is a good idea to consider the foreground, middle ground and background, letting the foreground elements lead your eye through the frame.

Shallow depth of field makes the three well lit lupines in the foreground stand out. The countless lupines in the middle ground tells the story that the meadow stretches out a long way, and the dark background at the upper left allows the eye to exit.

Did you notice the star shaped leaves in the lower center? This helps to balance the composition. Did you notice the lack of distracting elements — Nothing that distracts or detracts from the main subject?

#lupine, #lupines, #june, #summer, #pennsylvania, #flowers, #flowerphotography, #nature, #naturephotography, #depthoffiled, #sony
Where does your eye go first in this composition?

As you consider these factors of light, fore/middle/background, S curves, shapes, lack of distractions and depth of field, you are well on your way to learning how to create a dynamic (rather than a static) image.

Lines of Growth, Lines of Shadow

Green is the color of Life and of Spring and Summer. This simple image made at the Naples Botanical Garden features patterns of  green tonality. The accordion texture of the fan palm creates repeated and predictable patterns, while the shadows of the sunlit overlapping fans are instantaneous and contrapuntal.

#fan, #fanpalm, #lline, #shadow, #green, #spring
Does this splash of green brighten your wintery day?

Early Hydrangea

My own hydrangeas around my house won’t bloom until the end of June, but a visit to the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh allowed me to dream of a summer day.

#yellow, #blue, #hydrangea, #summer, #phipps, #Pittsburgh #conservatory
This early blooming hydrangea reveals delicate shades of yellow and blue at Phipps Conservatory.

Does the lush hydrangea bloom evoke memories for you? A daughter’s wedding? Or perhaps a summer vacation in Cape Cod?

Super Friends

My Australian Shepherd Sophie has a great life. She winters in Naples, summers in Canada and in between lives the privileged life of a Sewickley dog. We also take her on family road trips to  Baltimore and New York City. All of this jet setting is only possible because Sophie is a quiet, playful, and adaptable dog.

Sophie is brushing up on her doggie manners this month while she hangs out with her canine mentor Freddie. She is bonding with our dear friends Louise and Doug again, swimming and chasing squirrels to her heart’s content and hoping for some quality time with Ian and his friends on the weekends.

#canada, #muskoka, #muskokalake, #aussie, #australianshepherd, #dock, #dogs, #summer
Sophie and Freddie are ready for happy hour on the dock. Canada is cool!

Charlie and I are off to Hawaii tomorrow for some paradise time, God and Hurricane Lester permitting, and I will stay a bit longer for a photography workshop on Maui. Stay tuned to this blog for some new photography from Hawaii and Maui in the coming weeks. And Sophie…be a good girl!