Valentine’s Day on the West End

For Valentine’s Day, we decided to head out to La Push for the day, hoping the rain would subside and the sun would come out.  Boy, did it ever!  The tides were insane, though; First Beach was blanketed with huge, pounding waves in the early afternoon. 

First Beach

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Happy Valentine's Day!

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We took a drive around the prairie and let the girls play for a while at a dead end road.

Taryn & Kariya

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Kariya

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We headed to Rialto Beach, and the girls were fascinated by the waves and seafoam!  Despite all the solemn looks on their faces in the photos, they really did have fun!

Taryn

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Seafoam Shoes

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Seafoam at Rialto Beach

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We finished up our day back at First Beach with a beautiful view of James Island.

James Island at First Beach

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Favorites of 2009

Part of the reason I started this blog was to give myself an outlet for what I’ve been learning in photography.  I’m diligent about keeping a chronological catalog of the photos I take, and I’ve decided to post my favorite photos from each month of 2009.  I feel like I’ve learned quite a bit over the last year, and I hope there’s been some progress.

January:  We took a trip with the girls and my brother and his family to the Big Island and had a wonderful time.  As far as composition goes on this one, I think it’s good but not great.  I do like the curve of the palm tree, and it reminds me of the fun we had there.  This was taken with my Canon PowerShot.

January 2009

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February:  This was the first time my girls got to experience Chuck E Cheeze, and they had a blast with their friends.  My neighbor’s daughter was having so much fun on the stage, and her expression is so darned cute in this shot!  This was also taken with my Canon PowerShot.

February 2009

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March:  I started playing around with indoor natural light, and Taryn was giving me all kinds of facial expressions the day I took this photo. 

March 2009

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April:  We took a big, old family trip out to First Beach in La Push with all of my nieces.  It was a beautiful, sunny day out there, and the girls had so much fun playing in the sand. 

April 2009

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May:  There’s nothing technically special about this photo, but I just love the energy that my daughter exudes when she’s having fun.  This was also taken with my Canon PowerShot.

May 2009

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June:  June is a beautiful month for gardening here, and my chives were going bananas.  I was on my knees trying to get the right angle for this chive blossom, and I was pretty excited to see how sharp it came out.

June 2009

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July:  I went on a 3-day backpacking trip to Seven Lakes Basin with a group of friends, and I am so glad I had my tiny little Nikon Coolpix to pack along.  There’s no way I could have packed my heavy DSLR camera, but oh, there were so many times I wish I’d had that camera with me.  I was so happy I was able to capture this scene with my lightweight camera, though!

July 2009

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August:  My husband and I took a road-trip to Utah, and I had so many opportunities to take photographs at all of the national parks there.  This is the infamous Delicate Arch at Arches National Park.

August 2009

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September:  I wish I’d gotten this one a little sharper, but I had just gotten my 50mm lens the day before and was new to shooting with a prime lens.  I still love the serene look in my daughter’s face in this photo, and I’ve been practicing and practicing since then to get consistent, sharp images. 

September 2009

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October:  We took the girls to this year’s Farm Tours in Sequim, and Taryn looked right at home standing next to the barn!

October 2009

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November:  While I was watching my niece, I decided to work on indoor natural lighting again.  Her eyes are so captivating.

November 2009

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December:  More indoor natural light practice, except this time, I bumped the ISO way up.  It’s amazing what you can do when you actually make a point to fiddle with the settings in your camera!

December 2009

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Spruce Railroad Trail

Saturday morning, Travis and I decided to head out for a hike with the girls.  It had been a while since I had picked up my camera last and the rain had subsided for the day.  The Spruce Railroad Trail runs along the north shore of Lake Crescent, and it is an easy trail for little kids.  The fall colors have been amazing, and I was able to capture some of it with my camera while most of the leaves are still hanging on the trees.

Fall Foliage on the Spruce Railroad Trail

Fall Foliage on the Spruce Railroad Trail

My best guess is that this is a Western Sword Fern

My best guess is that this is a Western Sword Fern

The girls had fun running along the trail and were fascinated by the large maple leaves strewn all over the ground.  We made it to the arched bridge, and I’m kicking myself for not taking pictures of that beautiful structure over the lake!

Kariya and Taryn taking a break on a moss-covered rock

Kariya and Taryn taking a break on a moss-covered rock

We found Taryn's named etched on a Madrona tree by the arched bridge.

We found Taryn's named etched on a Madrona tree by the arched bridge.

And you can’t go on a hike west of Port Angeles without stopping by Granny’s Cafe for a soft-serve cone.

KariyaTaryn