Tarynscapes Photography: Blog https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog en-us (C) Tarynscapes Photography taryn@tarynscapes.com (Tarynscapes Photography) Mon, 27 Feb 2023 03:59:00 GMT Mon, 27 Feb 2023 03:59:00 GMT https://www.tarynscapes.com/img/s/v-12/u907539139-o884840133-50.jpg Tarynscapes Photography: Blog https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog 80 120 Land of Ice and Snow https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2023/2/land-of-ice-and-snow I've come from the land of the ice and snow and the experience was just as incredible as I had been told.

I wrote that line after returning from my first trip to Iceland in early 2019, with the full intention of writing about my trip. But then life got in the way and writing became a distant memory. I’ve since come back from my 2nd trip to Iceland (and several other amazing trips) and I’ve renewed my excitement for writing and sharing. So I’m going to do my best to remember this trip that was almost 3 years ago.

Day 1 - Reyjavik

My good friend Sarah convinced me we should go to Iceland so after long months of planning, we were off on Iceland Air. This would be her fourth trip and my first. We arrived at Keflavik Airport at 7 am on a Monday morning. This was my first overnight flight since I was a kid and I was too excited to sleep any of the 7 hours. We were greeted by a large puffin coming down from the ceiling in baggage claim! Sarah had arranged a ride to Reykjavik so we avoided a taxi and the large shuttle buses. We knew we couldn’t check into our hotel but they were able to lock our bags up and were still early enough to have the continental breakfast of cold meats, cheeses, hardboiled eggs and yogurt. With a bit more energy, we started wandering downtown.

Taryn and Sarah wearing glasses and siting in Iceland Air coach seats.Icelandair Flight Large puffin sculpture that appears he has broken through the ceiling above baggage claim.airport puffin Display case showing a gray bone approximately 6 inches with "Icelandic Trolll written beneath it.Icelandic troll penis 5 foot sperm whale penis in a glass container on a stand with Sarah, who is about 5'5" standing next to it.Sperm whale penis and Sarah

Most shops weren’t open yet but they time we arrived at the Icelandic Phallological Museum. Seriously every type of penis you could imagine and then some! There was a sperm whale, a cast of the Icelandic National Handball team from the 2008 Olympics, a Nordic troll, an Icelandic troll, Rustic elf.

Lunch was burgers and beers at the Lebowski Bar which was everything I wanted it to be! Even the bathroom was cool. We wandered, shopped, had a Guinness at the Drunken Rabbit across from our hotel for dinner and finally got checked in to relax.

Lebowski bar napkin with the Big Lebowski likeness on it.Lebowski bar napkin Pint of Gull Icelandic beerPint of Gull Icelandic beer Women's bathroom with Vikings holding bowling balls on the stall doors.womens bathroom Sarah and Taryn with a pint of Guinness.Guinness time

Day 2 - Not the Tour We Expected

We grabbed a taxi to the Reykjavik Regional Airport. We had a day trip that consisted of flying up to Akureyri, then going to Goðafoss (waterfall), Lake Myvatn, Ludentsborgir Crater Row, Lava field hike and then the Lofthellir Ice Cave with GeoIceland tours

Unfortunately, there were high winds and after our flight was delayed 2 hours, we cut our losses, got a refund for the tour (since we were already going to miss the first 2 stops) and headed back downtown. We wandered some more and enjoyed the local art. We went in and up Hallgrímskirkja for a view of downtown and found a delicious vegan restaurant. We decided to spend our afternoon whale watching. That was the worst idea ever. Never ever ever go whale watching where there are such high winds that planes cannot take off or land. The seas are going to be ROUGH! I’m pretty sure most of the ship got sick or was at least very green. We did not see a single whale but saw a dolphin.

Hallgrímskirkja, the famous volcano church.Hallgrímskirkja Downtown Reyjaik from the top of Hallgrímskirkja churchDowntown Reykjavik Colorful artwork of a mermaid on a city wallColorful artwork of a mermaid on a city wall Colourful squiggly path painted on the cobblestoneColourful squiggly path painted on the cobblestone View of the sea and skyline and railing of a boat.View of the sea and skyline and railing of a boat. Sarah and Taryn bundled up on a boatSarah and Taryn bundled up on a boat

We settled our stomachs with an Irish coffee and then found a bar called Bastard doing Taco Tuesday! I had duck and brisket, Sarah had the cauliflower and mushrooms. They were unique and delish along with a Bastard Mule (vodka, lime, ginger beer, red grapefruit juice). We wondered some more and found Dillon Whiskey Bar, which was hoppin’ and ordered an Icelandic Fire and Ice.

Duck and brisket tacosDuck and brisket tacos Bastard mule and Norm, a tiny gnome in an Icelandic wool sweater.Bastard mule E39A404A-AB06-4B75-BEDB-EEA575F309D5_1_105_cE39A404A-AB06-4B75-BEDB-EEA575F309D5_1_105_c

Day 3 - South Coast Tour

Today was the South Coast tour with Your Day Tours and our driver Almar. It’s a small family-run company. There might have been 16 of us, it’s hard to remember. The first stop was Vik’s Black Sand Beach and the giant warning about sneaker waves since there are no significant land masses between this spot and Antartica! We went up to the Dryhólaey Peninsula where the winds almost knocked several of us down the hill!

Black sand beach with waves crashes. In the distance sea stacks. In the foreground people walking dangerously close to the waves.Black sand beach Taryn and Sarah selfie with the blacks and beach and waves in the far distanceTaryn and Sarah on the black sand beach Danger sneaker wave signn warning people to stay way from the waterline due to the dangerous sea currents and a recent tourist death.danger sneaker waves

Black Sand Trolls sea stacks in the far distance, surrounded by rough waves. In the foreground moss covered lava rocks.Black Sand TrollsReynisfjara, Iceland

Sunlight beams through a break in the sky between the dark stormy skies. Sea stacks are in the distance and the waves have a white foam.storms breakKirkjufjara Beach, Iceland  

Our next stop was a 20-minute hike to Myrdalsjökull glacier. This is where we truly experienced Iceland’s weather! In our hour stop it poured, sleeted, snowed, and was so windy we were pelted in the face with ice while trying to get a picture. We gave up and turned our backs to the camera! On the walk back the sun came out and got so warm we had to peel off layers! And then the weather changed again!

Taryn and Sarah with out backs turned to the camera, looking at the glacier. Sleet can be seen flying towards us.Glacier Close up of a glacierGlacier

Then it was off to the waterfalls, Skógafoss (Forest Falls),  Seljanlandsfoss (Selling the Land of Waterfalls) and what the locals call Steamer falls.  It was too windy go behind Seljalandfoss without getting drenched and possibly ruing my camera. Steamer falls was a unique stop, Almar had never seen it go completely upwards like that due to the wind!

Skogafoss waterfall with the wind pushing the waterfall up and overSkogafoss Seljanlandsfoss waterfall being blown by strong windsSeljanlandsfoss Skógafoss waterfall with a pale rainbow in front of it.Skógafoss   A tall skinny waterfall but the water only goes done about 1/4 of the way and then is blown back up above the falls.steamer falls

Dinner was at Bryggjan Brugghús for local brews and in true Icelandic fashion, we got ice cream from Valois and walked back to our hotel in the snow. That night black sand was falling out of our hair after being embedded in our scalps from the crazy wind!

A cup of ice cream in a cup that says Valdis. In the distance there is snow on the groundValdis icecream

Day 4 - The Bubble tour!

Today was probably our most anticipated day. We had breakfast at Café Bablú and then off to Mink Viking Portraits! We had limited time, but he worked with us so we got our awesome pictures!

Close up of Taryn, with half her face out of frame. She's holding a Viking sword.Taryn with swoard Sarah pulling back an arrow with a Viking bow.Sarah with bow and arrow

Then we went back to our hotel to meet our Bubble Tour driver, Egill, who picked us up in a Suburban for the Golden Circle Tour. We were able to keep our hotel for our luggage (we were only allowed 1 small bag per person) because it was cheaper to book for the 6 nights than to break it up into 3 nights and then 2 nights. He picked up a 2nd couple from Malaysia and we were off. The third couple who was meant to join us was flying in on WOW Air that morning and it happened to be the day they went under. Our first spot was Þingvellir National Park (Assembly Fields). Then Geyser Hotsprings and my favorite stop, Gullfoss (Golden Falls). Gullfoss was breathtaking with the fresh snowfall. I could have stayed there for hours, despite the cold. We warmed up in the Secret Lagoon, although it was a very cold walk from the locker rooms to the hot springs!

Landscape view of Thingvellir National Park with the parliament buildings in the distanced, all covered with snow.Thingvellir National Park Teal waters tumble into smooth white streams surrounded by a snow-covered landscapeIced GullfossGolden Circle, Iceland

We had dinner and of course beers at Myka Restaurant and asked for a group photo. 2 of the other drivers decided to take one of themselves instead! One of my favorite pictures of the trip! Then we were off to see our bubble! There was a tiny chance of lights so we stood outside in the road for at least 2 hours hoping for a show. We got the tiniest glimpse and that was that. We finally gave up and went back to the warmth of our bubble. Just as we were going to bed, the clouds parted and I snapped a shot of the stars and then just as quickly, the stars were covered again.

Two middle aged men sticking their tongues out at the cameraOther bubble drivers Two Mylasian people, our Icelandic guide Egill, Taryn and Sarah standing in the snow.Mika group photo A single bubble that looks like a clear igloo amongst the leafless trees in the fading sunlight.Bubble at sunset Sarah looks up inside the bubble, You can clearly see the evergreens behind her through the clear plastic.Sarah in the bubble The light has faded and a small lamp lights up the igloo like bubble. There are sillouettes of trees nearbyBubble at night Taryn and Sarah bundled up in the dark. Taryn is wearing a headlamp.Taryn and Sarah

Day 5 - Downtown Reykjavik

We drove back to Reykjavik and spent another day exploring and drinking. I had an Icelandic Hotdog and later we got chips on a stick. Then off to Skúli Craft Bar for a beer flight. This is where we discovered Leifur Nordic Saison. It was so delicious we each bought some at the airport to bring home. We finally made it to the craft bar near our hotel, Loftid, and tried so many delicious cocktails!

Taryn taking a bite of an Icelandic hotdog in front of the famous standdowntown A pink cocktail with egg white foam floating on top and a light yellow cocktail in a coupe glass.2 craft cocktails

Day 6 - Blue Lagoon

Spa day at the Blue Lagoon!  We got on the bus at about 8 so we could have a full day soaking. We upgraded our package for robes, extra masks and drinks and a reservation at Lava Restaurant with complimentary champagne. It seemed a waste to get dressed for lunch so like many others, we dinned in our robes! The food was incredible. I opted for the Icelandic Gourmet meal with Arctic char, lamb and a chocolate caramel dessert. Sarah was equally happy with her vegetarian meal.

Icelandic Gourmet Menu: Birch and juniper cured arctic char, lamb filet and shoulder of lam and caramel chocolate mouse with vanilla ice cream.Menu Fresh bread with fluffy butter on a volcanic stone.Blue lagoon Lava Beet saladBlue lagoon lava Arctic char with cumbers and white sauceBlue lagoon Cauliflower dishBlue lagoon - cauliflower Tender lamb dish with greens and carrotsLamb dish Caramel and ice cream dessert.Blue lagoon caramel dessert Strawberry dessert with cream Blue lagoon Teal water in the foreground, with steam coming off it. In the distance, a bridge, mountains in the background and a dark stormy sky.Blue lagoon Taryn and Sarah submerged in the blue lagoon with our face covered in a black volcanic mask.Blue lagoon - with lava mask
We went back to Loftid for more cocktails and finally took a shot of Brennavin. It was as gross as I expected. It reminded me way too much of Aquavit.

Norm the travel gnome in front of an orange cocktailNorm and an orange cocktail Pink cocktail on a loftid napkinpink cocktail Taryn, eyes shut and mouth in a grimace, holding an empty shot glass.Taryn drinking brennavin Sarah with her eyes closed and tough out in disgust holding an empty shot glass.Sarah and Brennevin

Day 7 - Last Day

Our last day it poured on us! We had to keep ducking in shops to not get socked. We had a leisurely day wandering and then got to the airport. We made a mistake here and after getting through security, sat down for a drink. We had no idea there was a 2nd security line! Sarah got pulled out for a TSA check and I was told I was not allowed to wait for her and hod to go to the gate. Luckily we had wifi at the airport, so I texted her when we started boarding. I wanted to wait, but again the gate agents urged me to get on the plane. So I walked down the jet bridge and onto the tarmac only to climb on to a bus!  We were then driving to our plane a ways out. Too far for the wifi to reach! I was sure Sarah’s husband was going to kill me if I came home from Iceland without her! Meanwhile, Sarah was getting patted down and questioned (like many people from our flight). It seemed like they questioned one person per party! She had already decided if she missed her flight, she was spending the night at the blue lagoon! Luckily they held the plane and eventually she arrived to take her seat next to me. I have never felt so relieved! Especially since she had driven us to the airport!

Northern lights Iceland Air plane sitting at the gateNorthern lights iceland airplane Chocolate egg with a chick on topChocolate egg with a chick on top

I even finally got to see then Northern Lights! It just happened to be on our Iceland Air plane.  We made it home safe and sound 7 hours later and even got a chocolate egg for easter!  I immediately started looking for a flight back to Iceland!



taryn@tarynscapes.com (Tarynscapes Photography) Canon EOS 5DS Iceland Iceland Air travel Iceland wanderlust https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2023/2/land-of-ice-and-snow Mon, 27 Feb 2023 01:11:44 GMT
Expressions of Vera https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2013/5/Expressions-of-Vera I once thought that taking pictures of people, especially kids wasn't my thing. They wiggle around and make faces. Landscapes have to be much easier, right? They're just there. The only way they move is if I move. Lately I've been working on my techniques for portrait photography. I'm starting to learn that taking pictures of people and kids is much easier than I thought, especially if I let them wiggle around and make faces!

baby black and whiteVera 8

So this is my friend's daughter.  I spent an afternoon with them not long ago and decided to play around with my camera. I just let her do her thing while I snapped away.  Her expressions are priceless. Even better than the first picture is what her mom said of her expression. "She looks so disillusioned! Like a retired race car driver with a hangover." I always love her curious yet articulate comments!

What do her expressions say to you?

babyVera 7

baby toesVera 6

Vera 1

Vera 2

taryn@tarynscapes.com (Tarynscapes Photography) 50 mm lens Canon EOS 40D baby photography black and white portrait photography expression photography nifty fifty photography blog portrait photography unique photography https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2013/5/Expressions-of-Vera Mon, 13 May 2013 03:48:03 GMT
Christmas in Yosemite, Part 2 https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2013/2/christmas-in-yosemite-part-2 While we were cozy at our cabin, Yosemite Valley was getting IMG_3501 covered in snow.  I decided a day full of snow flurries in the park was just what we needed.  I underestimated the snow.  It was beautiful but heavy. Our first stop was Bridal Veil Falls, a short but slippery hike.  I was well equipped with a rain sleeve and umbrella  to protect my Canon from the snow.  However, I couldn't stop the snow from drenching the lens or keep it from obscuring the view.

I battled the snow all day and lost, but it was a fun and memorable fight. 

IMG_3540   yosemite 261   I was able to catch some of the snowy magic of that day. And so ended our second trip.  

We had one day left before we headed back to San Francisco. I was determined to get amazing photographs.  This time nature complied.  Our last day the sun would shine on the valley.  

Knowing it was my very last chance, I convinced my parents to go early to get some early morning shots.  4:30 am came and I jumped out of bed.  We managed to leave the cabin by 5.  Dawn broke just as we were nearing tunnel view and the full moon was setting between the mountains.  Where is this breathtaking picture, you ask? Here's the thing about mountain roads, there's never a chance to pull over when there's a break in the trees and you see the view you want.  If I knew the lay of the land I would have planned better. Next time.

We arrived back in the valley just in time to see the sunlight hit El Capitan. Of course when I say "just in time," I actually mean I stood on the bank of the Merced for a good 20 minutes in 19°F. My new thinsulate fingerless gloves are were not ideal.  I'm pretty sure frostbite tried to set in several times but I wasn't going to miss my shot. My parents were in the car keeping things warm for me.

Sunlight Strikes El Capitan

The next early morning stop was Swinging Bridge with the view of Upper Yosemite Falls. The calm of morning gave me a near perfect reflection.

Winter's Musing on Yosemite Falls Sentinel Bridge gave us another reflection, this time of Half Dome.

Half Dome YosemiteFrosted Half Dome

What trip to Yosemite would be complete without a hike to Yosemite Falls?  Only about a mile away, the ice path was slippery and treacherous.  My new Benro Mefoto tripod was an excellent stablizing device.  Without it, I would have busted my ass more than once.

Lower Yosemite FallsLower Yosemite Falls

In one little spot, I could frame all of Yosemite Falls.

Yosemite FallsYosemite Falls Another trip to Bridal Veil Falls yielded one of my favorite shots of the trip.  It was not without difficulty.  I basically had to climb, slip and slide up a 10 foot skateboard ramp of ice.  Good things don't come easy.

IMG_3616  IMG_3614

Bridal Veil FallsBridalveil Fall Tunnel View gave me my final look at the stunning valley vista. I can't wait to see this park again in the spring!

Winter Abates on the Valley

taryn@tarynscapes.com (Tarynscapes Photography) Ansel Adams California Canon EOS 40D El Capitan sunrise Yosemite National Park half dome iPhone photography merced river nature photography photography blog unique photography winter https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2013/2/christmas-in-yosemite-part-2 Tue, 12 Feb 2013 04:09:41 GMT
Christmas in Yosemite, Part 1 https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2013/2/christmas-in-yosemite-part-1 Sometimes you plan something and no matter how hard you try it just doesn't work out.  You can either accept it or wallow in self pity.  Accepting some things are easier said than done sometimes. I think the secret is practice.  I got plenty of practice this Christmas.  My original plan was to spend Christmas on a tropical beach with a friend.  Circumstances out of my control changed that.  Instead I chose to escape to Yosemite National Park with my parents.  They offer a photography class, In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams, that I decided I absolutely had to take. I was so excited I planned the entire trip around it.  

The first day was the day of the class. We stayed just outside the park and took the two hour drive up. It was gray and overcast but the roads weren't too bad. The first sight I saw of the valley was from Tunnel View.  

yosemite 19

It was beautiful.  I could only image what it looked like without the heavy clouds and mist.  We arrived at Yosemite Village and it was pouring down rain.  It was easier for me to jump out of the car and walk to the gallery where the photography tour started.  My parents were to meet me back that when it was over.  I walk the little ways to the Ansel Adams gallery, prepared with a rain jacket, umbrella, and water resistant camera bag.  I was the only person IMG_3398 who showed up.  They canceled the class due to the rain, something the website said would never happen. The guy told me if I stuck around, someone would show me how to use my camera.  Ha! I made it clear I was there to go to Ansel Adam's favorite spots, not to learn my camera. I felt utterly destroyed. I won't say I WAS destroyed because I wasn't.  It just felt like it for about 15 minutes while I wandered aimlessly in a downpour. That class was why I traveled about 1,000 miles. After 15 minutes I let it go. You see, that's all I let myself have. Don't get me wrong, I was still bummed but I knew there was absolutely nothing that could be done.  I was soaked by the time I found my parents nice and cozy by a fireplace in the Awahnee an hour later.  By the time we left, any view I might have had was obliterated by the fog.

Kings Canyon RoadKings Canyon Road We rented a cabin near Bass Lake, about 45 minutes from the edge of Yosemite.  It was everything we expected and more with the exception of only having rain and no snow.  If you ever get out that way, I highly suggest the Tall Red Cabin. I'm already planning to go back there one of these days.  Besides being in a great location outside of a small town, it was only a few hours from Kings Canyon National Park as well.  I spent the day with family friends not too long ago and was told it was a breathtaking place.  So of course we had to go.  We drove down on Christmas Eve which happened to be the first sunny day since arriving in California.  I knew most of the road would be closed due to snow but I still had to experience as much as I could. We never got to see any of the actual canyon but the sequoias were incredible. Even without the breathtaking canyon view, standing beneath a grove of giant sequoias is awe inspiring itself. We truly were in the land of giants.

Kings Canyon EntranceKings Canyon Entrance Sequoia Groe

General GrantGeneral Grant














As you can see, these trees are utterly dwarfing. The tree to the right is General Grant, the second largest sequoia in the world.  President Coolidge called it the "Nation's Christmas Tree," a fitting destination for Christmas Eve.  My iPhone panoramic app doesn't even begin to give it justice. My wide angle lens never even had a chance.  This time I didn't let disappointment take over.  I enjoyed the moment for what it was and captured it the best I could.  Sometimes that's all we get.



The day after Christmas it finally snowed at our cabin. Our drenched yard turned into a winter wonderland. We spend a day or two just enjoying the cabin while the snow fell softly outside.  I split my time between reading a Stephen King book and a photography lighting book by the fire.

yosemite 142 Part 2 of my winter Yosemite experience will be coming soon…




taryn@tarynscapes.com (Tarynscapes Photography) Ansel Adams Bass Lake California Canon EOS 40D General Grant Tree Kings Canyon National Park Sequoia National Park Yosemite National Park cabin in the woods, dealing with disappointment iPhone photography nature photography photography blog sequoia grove sequoia trees, unique photography winter https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2013/2/christmas-in-yosemite-part-1 Sun, 03 Feb 2013 18:29:45 GMT
2013 Calendar https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2012/12/2013-calendar 2013 is almost upon us!  Where did the time go?  Much of my time went to photographing beautiful places. Without further adieu, here are the pictures that made it into my 2013 calendar.

Stopping By Woods



La Push Sunset




Stone Ascent


Snohomish River


Stillness of Summer


Missouri Twist


Forest Light


Montana Autumn


Through the Veil


Rainier's Snow

If you're interested in gazing at this beauty for the next 12 months, send me a message and we'll work out the details!


Rainier's Snow

taryn@tarynscapes.com (Tarynscapes Photography) 2013 calendar 2013 landscape calendar Montana Washington buy calendar fall fine art landscape calendar forest photography mountain landscapes spring summer winter https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2012/12/2013-calendar Wed, 05 Dec 2012 05:18:06 GMT
Little Firemen https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2012/11/little-firemen With my first portrait session, I was extremely nervous. I did it and realized it wasn't quite so bad and I did a pretty good job.  When my cousin got married this summer, I decided to use the opportunity to practice taking pictures of people. I knew at the very least my cousin Casey and the rest of the family would love seeing two days worth of pictures in the mountains of people they loved. I was more than pleasantly surprised with the results. So when I flew to Montana to visit Casey's sister Kirsten for a long weekend, I was excited to take pictures of not only the beautiful fall colors, but also of her family.

The first photo shoot was all Kirsten's idea. Her husband is a fireman, so she wanted her boys in his turnouts. The littlest guy we stuck in a bucket to keep him upright and stuffed the jacket around him. His older brother got the boots, pants and suspenders.  We didn't really do much posing, I just snapped away and let the boys be boys!

little firemen 4 They seemed plenty entertained.  I struggled with the light moving from bright sun to shadows quickly but still got good shots.  These wouldn't be quite the same if they were indoors.  

little firemen 16 little firemen 18


little firemen 57

Throughout the weekend I surprised her with a few more shots of her and her boys that I'd taken while on photography expeditions for fall colors.

little firemen 106 little firemen 95

I love this last one.  The colors are so vibrant!  
little firemen 198

My last day in town we were relaxing at home when I realized it was snowing!  Kirsten rounded up her family and we stepped outside.  This one probably won't make it on the wall anywhere, but it's my favorite.  I love the props that were pulled in before anyone realized!

little firemen 201 cropped

How, you might ask, did I keep my camera dry with the giant snowflakes floating about?  I borrowed a little fireman's umbrella, of course!


taryn@tarynscapes.com (Tarynscapes Photography) photo session portrait photography https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2012/11/little-firemen Mon, 05 Nov 2012 01:35:40 GMT
Seaside Sunrises and Sunsets https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2012/10/seaside-sunrises-and-sunsets My first trip to the Olympic Peninsula was entirely different than I expected.  I went to see Olympic National Park, expecting mountains and waterfalls and of course the rain forest.  I wanted to see everything.  Now this park is about 4 times the size of Mount Rainier National Park.  I've lost track of the times I've been there and I've yet to see everything.  Seeing all that I wanted on this first weekend was impossible unless I wanted to spend most of my time in the car.  Instead it turned into a leisurely trip that focused on the coast.  

The first night was spent in Lake Quinault Lodge.  The night was planned entirely around the time of sunset. 

Lake QuinaultLake Quinault Sunset

Being so close to the coast, I couldn't resist trying for a sunrise shot.  I wasn't going after the sun itself,  just the glowing light that would hit the beach.  I also knew we'd get there after sunrise, but hoped the mountains would give me a little time.  First stop was Kalaloch.

Kalaloch, WashingtonKalaloch

Not a single cloud on the horizon, but the pink glow and birds were still a pretty sight.  I wanted more so up the road we went to Ruby Beach.

Ruby Beach The hike down was pleasant put chilly.  Luckily I was prepared with my fingerless glove.  I must for any photographer who shoots in the cold! 

After a full day of exploring more of the coast and checking into out hotel, we went to La Push.  I wanted one of those breathtaking sunsets I've seen so many times of the coast.  Of course, for the spectacular ones, you need clouds.  Once again, I had a perfectly cloudless sky.  We arrived early so I'd have a chance to scope out where the sun would set and where to get the best angle.  After about 30 minutes, I decided to pull out my camera and take some other shots.  I open my trusty Canon backpack and no camera!  I search it again, just in case it was hiding.  I tried to keep calm as I walked back to the car, hoping it had slipped out of my bag.  Nothing. Nada. Zilch.  I was devastated. I even thought of running back to the hotel to grab it, since I realized it hadn't been in my bag–i'd carried it in separately.  The hotel was at least 20 minutes away and I had maybe 30 minutes until the magic.  

I new my iPhone would do great.  A few of my favorite pictures were with my iPhone (yes, another time I thought I had my camera and didn't), but it's only the 4, so there is a limit on how much I can enlarge a print.  Thankfully, I was with a friend who had the iPhone 4s which has more megapixels than mine.  He of course let me use his phone to get my shot. I think partly to keep me from having a breakdown on the beach.  It may have taken me a few minutes longer if I were alone that day to get over it, but I still would have gotten over it.  I just had to feel what I was feeling so I could let it go.

I took tons of pictures with his phone.  Knowing I would have done HDR if I would have had my camera, I processed the iPhone picture the same way.  Turned out pretty damn good.


The iPhone doesn't disappoint.  We woke up once again before dawn so I could get a second chance at La Push with my Canon 40D.  It was a beautiful dawn on the beach. Quiet, serene, and just how I like it.  

La Push SunriseLa Push at Dawn

The last morning of my long weekend.  I woke up every day earlier than I do for work.  It was absolutely worth it.  I can't wait to do it again.

Lance's iPhone 5 - Version 2

taryn@tarynscapes.com (Tarynscapes Photography) Canon EOS 40D HDR High Dynamic Range Olympic Peninsula Pacific Northwest photography iPhone photography sunrise photography sunset photography https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2012/10/seaside-sunrises-and-sunsets Fri, 19 Oct 2012 05:18:41 GMT
Local Art Walk In Style https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2012/9/local-art-walk-in-style My first art walk was in July and I was a total newbie.  Luckily, so was the town center that was putting it on.  I had the good fortune to be placed with a business that had a folding table I could use and several shelves.  Without those, I would have been in big trouble!












A month goes by, and I get invited back to display my photography once again.  I had been looking for a grid wall display anyway, but  the shipping on those things cost more than the actual piece.  I'm a little too stubborn for that.  I start searching craigslist for my potential displays.  All I find are 2 x 8 grid walls...I could most likely fit those in my giant trunk, but the chances of me buying another boat-like car are zilch. No sense in buying something I won't be able to haul around in a few years.  

I scour the web looking for ideas and found a few to build.  I was hoping for a quicker, more elegant solution.  I went with a friend to Lowes to see what we could do.  We came up with a few options, but left empty handed.  We ended up at Storables.  I had been there the week before and liked some of the shelving, but didn't have a good grasp of how to make it work.  My friend quickly fixed that problem.

 I ended up buying 2 of the largest black wire shelves they had and 4 posts. We put it together with each shelf at the end of the posts.  Instead of having the shelves horizontal, we flipped it on its side.  Now I had two grids to hang pictures from.  We also played around with options for expansion.  Something I'm not quite ready for yet, but know exactly how to handle it when I am.

I used shelf to shelf connectors, J-hooks, caribiners, picture hanging wire, and a leather strip to hang the pictures.  The hooks were too wide to fit on the picture hangers attached to the frames, so I used the wire to create wire loops.  I could easily hang and remove pictures as need.IMG_0012


I used the leather strip as a soft attachment to the front top horizontal post.  I didn't want to scratch up the black metal before the show.  I then used a caribiner and more wire to suspend a large picture in the open space.  I added a black foam core board on top as a shelf to place a few more pictures.

Fast forward to the actual event.IMG_0007  It was a warm September afternoon and the Mill Creek Town Center was full of people.  I had the pleasure to be assigned to Peoples Bank.  The bank advertised the even quite well and offered wine and cheese.Several of the first customers were patrons of the bank and were excited to view the artwork.  All went great.  By the end of the night I had sold 4 framed prints and had gotten compliments on both my display and my reasonably priced photography.  Some friends have suggested I raise my prices, even articles I've read say to make sure you price yourself a little bit above average.  Maybe some day I'll do that, but right now, I just really like being affordable so people can enjoy my work as much as I do.






To check out more pictures from the Mill Creek 2012 September Art Walk, click here. The following images are from the Mill Creek Town Center Events/News.

taryn@tarynscapes.com (Tarynscapes Photography) Mill Creek Art Walk Peoples Bank supports local art Tarynscapes Photography event art event display art grid display art walk grid display ideas multi-purpose display https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2012/9/local-art-walk-in-style Fri, 21 Sep 2012 03:52:48 GMT
My Jaunt to Deception Falls https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2012/8/my-jaunt-to-deception-falls Deception Falls is the second waterfall I ever saw in Washington.  This was a few years before I moved up here and  I was still shooting with film.  These were the days where I knew the basics of  SLR photography, but worked mostly on trial and error.  I knew slowing the shutter speed would give me the silky smooth water I wanted.  So I'd blow through a 36 roll of film on a single waterfall, changing the speed with each one.  I had a tiny understanding on how shutter speed was inversely related to the f-stop, but didn't really get how the f-stop affected my shot.  I just took one shot at a time, adjusting things as I needed until I was out of film.  After getting the film developed I'd throw out all but one or two that came out how I wanted.  My first shots of Deception Falls didn't come out great.

I've tried 3 times to get back to Deception Falls and re-take that photograph with all the knowledge I have now.   All three times it was closed due to snow.  Friday, I decided to try again.  The weather was overcast and rainy, perfect for photographing a waterfall.  The drive on Highway 2 was beautiful as always.  Storm clouds thundered above and rain poured down around me.  I grabbed a quick bite and by the time I got to the falls, the rain had stopped.  I grabbed my gear and took off on the loop.

Deception Falls hikeDeception Falls3 Not too far into the hike a find a perfect starting spot.  I set up my tripod, being very proud I brought it, carried it on the hike, and actually took the time to set it up.  I get ready to slap my camera on the top and realize no quick release plate screwed into the bottom.  Racking my brain, I'm trying to remember why I ever took it off in the first place.  Out of some sort of crazy luck (or maybe  I was actually thinking when I took it off), I found it in the smallest pocket in my backpack.  Not having that little guy would have set my progress back on actually utilizing the tripod.  I relaxed, took my time and got some great shots.

I continue on through the hike, stopping here and and there for those mossy water pictures I love so much.  I can hear the rushing of the falls as I near.  The first platform is a bit disappointing.  Closed to public, obviously due to damage.  



I walk a bit more and find myself in a bit of a predicament.  The hiking trail goes right through a small stream.  I'm really close to the main attraction now and just on the other side of the stream is a bridge going over more water that looks like it would be a great shot.  I'm staring at this stream, weighing my options.  I'm alone, always the first thing I consider when shooting.  If I tried to cross and I fell, what would be the worst that would happen?  Obviously I could crack my skull open and that would be the worst, but I am a very accomplished faller.  I once fell down about 6 concrete steps in college and landed on my butt.  The only scratch I got was on the top of my ankle.  Not a single bruise or scratch otherwise, so I'm pretty confident in my falling abilities.  I decide the worst that would happen to me is I'd get a little wet and cold since the water is only a few inches deep and not flowing too fast.  Absolutely acceptable.  The next thing to consider is what could happen to my camera and other gear that is loaded in my backpack.  There is a chance that if I fell, my camera or some sort of equipment could get a little wet.  Absolutely not acceptable.  I've got too much money invested in it, not to mention my camera is my baby.  

So I backtrack all the way around the loop and continue to that troublesome creek.   I grab my iPhone and take a quick snapshot of the water obstacle, knowing its going to be a fun story to share.  Now that I'm where I should be, I focus on that great shot of the bridge.   Once again, I take my time to set up my shot and take my time shooting to get the picture just as I want it.  I move half way over the bridge and find another cool location to shoot.  Just at the end I decided to pull out my phone again to get a quick capture of the scene.  No iPhone.  I frantically check all my pockets on my jacket, sweatshirt, and jeans.  Nothing.  I look down at the rushing water below me and think, shit.  I'm in panic mode.  Not so much worried about losing my phone or pictures, but I had told a friend where I was going and that I'd text when I got back from the mountains and found service.  For all you who know me, I absolutely hate for people to worry about me.  I knew if he didn't hear from me in a few hours he'd worry.  I, of course, rely on my phone too heavily and don't have a single phone number memorized so I couldn't even call from a pay phone if I wanted.  I had to find that phone!  Heart pounding, I search every inch of the bridge, then down by that tricksy stream.  Still nothing.  I start near the water, under the bridge.  There, under the stairs and inches from the rushing water is my phone, sunk in some mud!  I wipe it off all over my jeans.  Perfectly fine.  I must have had it sticking out of my jeans pocket and when I walked up the steps, out it came.  Kicking myself, I zip it up in the pocket of my jacket and move on to the falls.

Deception Falls hike

The rushing of the waterfall is really drawing me near it.  I cross another bridge and up stone steps to the falls I've been waiting to see and photograph for so long.  The water is so powerful and so close, mist is everywhere.  I do my best to protect the camera as long as possible and wipe the lens quick before I shoot, knowing, I'm not going to get the awesome shot that I want.  Some waterfalls refused to be captured properly.  They are best seen and felt in person.  I walked away getting nothing that I expected from the waterfall, but better pictures than I imagined from the hike.

Deception Falls



taryn@tarynscapes.com (Tarynscapes Photography) Canon EOS 40D DSLR Deception Falls North Cascades hike Washington state hiking iPhone photography landscape photography photographic journey waterfall photography https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2012/8/my-jaunt-to-deception-falls Sat, 25 Aug 2012 21:49:07 GMT
Bears! Part 2 https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2012/7/bears-part-2  

This continues my bear obsession story.  If you haven't read it first, click here.

A few months later I flew to DC to see some friends.  Instead of seeing all the touristy stuff, we opted to spend the weekend in Shenandoah National Park.  Not ten miles into the park, Katie screams "bears!".  Her husband slams on the breaks and right in front of us, not 20 feet is a mamma black bear and 3 babies.  I'm in the back seat with limited view.  I rememberer saying, "I know this is a really dumb idea but I'm getting out of the car."  My friends of course were begging me to stay, but out I go.  I'm fumbling with my camera like it's the first time I've held one.  By this time, the mamma is up on the short rock wall on the side of the road and one baby has already jumped over.  She follows, and I'm still trying to work the alien contraption in my hand.  Luckily, Katie snaps a great picture of the two babies with her iPhone. Katie's bear Stupidly, I slowly go towards the wall looking for them, not knowing how close they were to the other side.  I half expected the mamma to pop up and slap me.  She did not.  The brush was so thick I could only see it rustling about 40 feet away.  Once again, no pictures for me.

You might be wondering how I could write a blog about bears and only have crazy stories and no good pictures, save for Katie's.  Well it's not over.  Just two short weeks ago, Katie flew to Washington to visit.  She had never been to Canada, so we decided to drive up to Whistler on the Sea to Sky Highway.  Let's face it, we were on a hunt for more bears.  We drove with not a single sighting, save for the bear warning signs on the highway and a giant stuffed bear in a Whistler gift shop. We decided to cut our losses and get back to Vancouver.  On a whim on the road back, we see a turn off for Whistler Olympic Park.  

Maybe a mile in, Katie screams, "Bear! Bear! Bear!"  I slam on the breaks, turn down the music (since the best way to sight a bear is blast the music with the windows rolled down), and flip a bitch.  We get to the spot and see nothing.  We decided to proceed, and not a mile farther, see a SUV pulled over on the other side of the road.  I slow down, hoping there is something good ahead and not just someone making a pit stop. Canadian Black BearKatieTimes59  What we see is incredible.  A black bear munching on grass about twenty yards from the road, on Katie's side. 

I pull up painfully slowly, heart racing.  I can't see very well from my side of the car, and I can't let the opportunity pass.  So what do I do?  I get out of the car of course!  This time, I was smart.  I left it running, kept one foot in the door and leaned on the roof to steady myself.  I was a little shaky from the adrenaline of seeing a bear not run away from me!

My wonderful ultra compact zoom lens, Canon EF 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 that I rented from Borrow Lenses, was perfect.  It kept me at a safe distance (ok maybe not that safe, but at least there was a car between us) and was fast enough that my shaking didn't blur all my photos.  We sat there for a good twenty minutes, just snapping shots and watching him graze and scratch himself. KatieTimes105  We finally had enough, and decided to drive a litter further down the road. Nothing panned out so we turned around and out fuzzy friend was still waiting for us.  Once again, I pulled over to get a few more shots.  This time I didn't get out of the car since he was closest to me, but it didn't keep me from trying to get Katie to get out of the car.  She wouldn't do it.  Probably not a good habit to get into like me.  Someone has to keep their bear wits about them, and it will never be me.

KatieTimes95 - Version 2

taryn@tarynscapes.com (Tarynscapes Photography) Canon telephoto lens Whistler, BC bear sighting canadian black bear illusive bears photography blog https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2012/7/bears-part-2 Wed, 18 Jul 2012 03:09:48 GMT
Bears! Part 1 https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2012/7/bears-part-1 For those of you that know me, you know I have a small obsession with bears.  It may be even mores than my love of waterfalls, if only for the danger factor. KatieTimes4   As a kid, I remember going to the local library every Friday in the summer, when Bear Country, USA, would bring in baby animals.  Some, we could pet.  Others, like baby bears, we could only look at.  They were freaking adorable!  Sometime during college, I got the chance to visit Bear Country again.  It was shortly after I got my first SLR and I really didn't know what I was doing, but the pictures came out ok.  Of course I totally broke the rules and rolled down my window to get a few shots.  







There was also the baby area, cute baby bears and wolves that are perfectly irresistible!  This, of course, was in a controlled environment.  



My next encounter was at Glacier National Park, shortly after moving to the Pacific Northwest.  It was early our first morning in town.  I was with my parents and we had just stopped right before the gates to see a moose feeding in a marsh.  

Morning Marsh After a good long while of shooting, we moved on.  Right on the other side of the gate, was a park ranger and several cars parked at the side of the road.  A crowd had gathered.  I wasn't a novice to national parks, so I knew there was an animal  afoot.  As soon as we stopped, I jumped out of the car (this fact will be important later) and ran over with my new Canon 40D DSLR.  I saw nothing, so I asked the guy next to me what we were looking at.  He said it was a bear and pointed me in the right vicinity.  Low and behold, I see a young black bear about 2 years old.  He stands up on his hind feet, waves at me, and then runs off into the forest.  I was so excited about seeing a bear in the wild, my fingers refused to work the camera.  I don't even know what they were doing, but by the time I had the camera on and the lens cover off, all I got was trees.  So disappointing!

Fast forward a few more months and my parents are visiting for my birthday.  Instead of a present, I want a beautiful experience, so we spend a long weekend on Vancouver Island.  Now most people would want to see Victoria.  Not me.  I have waterfalls picked out in parks that I must see! So we drive hours and hours to get my waterfall hikes in.  As we were leaving (about dusk at at least 3 hours from our hotel), I scream bear as a black bear darts across the highway in Strathcona Provincial Park.  Dad slams on the breaks and I jump out of the car, with Mom yelling from the back seat.  Completely unprepared, once again, I miss my shot as the bear rushes up the hill.

Two years later, I get the chance to fly to Calgary and meet my parents as they drive over to visit me.  We drive up through Banff and Jasper and then over and down to Washington.  Somewhere before Wells Gray Provincial Park, once again on the highway I scream "bear!"  Dad, again,canada bear slams on the breaks and this time reverses back up the highway.  The noise of us driving on the shoulder was enough for the poor bear to run.  Not having my camera ready yet again, I jump out of the car (are you seeing a pattern?) and get a picture of his fuzzy butt running away with my iPhone (cropped of course).

Finally getting a picture only frustrated me more.  I was so close, yet couldn't get that one little picture!  

To be continued...


taryn@tarynscapes.com (Tarynscapes Photography) Canon EOS 40D black bear illusive bears unique photography https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2012/7/bears-part-1 Sun, 15 Jul 2012 23:31:10 GMT
Walks on Whidbey https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2012/7/walks-on-whidbey Not too long ago, my parents came to visit.  I racked my brain to find something for us to do that we all would enjoy.  Whidbey Island was the answer.  A quick ferry ride from Mukilteo to Clinton, then a nice little drive over to Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens for Mom.  Whidbey 005

It was quiet and peaceful and perfect timing.  The rhodies were in full bloom.  Mom loved it and Dad and I enjoyed the walk.  Of course I was also playing with my 50 mm lens.

Whidbey 047 Yes, I took pictures of both pink AND purple blooms.  I'm testing my boundaries ;-)

After lunch, we made our way to Fort Casey State Park for Dad.  For those of you who know my Dad, you know this is almost as perfect as taking him to a flight museum. Construction of the fort began in 1897 as a massive seacoast fortification effort.  The fort included giant guns that were in a protective environment until it was time to fire.  In which case they could be raised to shoot.


Whidbey 056 Dad of course loved all this military history (I actually enjoyed it too). It also gave me my own opportunities to shoot.  Huge concrete structures for battle are very different from my beloved waterfalls.  

I had a chance to play with new composition and colors and elements.  The old photographer in me would have rolled my eyes at this place.  I took it as a challenge.  

Whidbey 069









So I snapped my shots just as I saw them.  

Whidbey 072

Whidbey 073 Whidbey 086

taryn@tarynscapes.com (Tarynscapes Photography) 50mm Admiralty Head Lighthouse Canon EOS 40D Fort Casey State Park Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens Whidbey Island coast landscape military history https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2012/7/walks-on-whidbey Mon, 02 Jul 2012 04:36:07 GMT
Philly Through the iPhone https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2012/5/philly_iphone So I went to Philly recently for work.  As much as I wanted, I couldn't carry my camera every where I went.  So I improvised with my trusty iPhone.  I was walking back to the hotel after dinner one night and ended up walking past the church.  The sun was setting and  the pictures just weren't turning out.  It was too dark. Luckily, I have a great app, HDR Pro to capture the scene.  Unfortunately, the quality of the image doesn't hold up.  It's still a great shot to share.

Philly iphone 1

I love the green lights and the sharp details of the church.  Did I go back again with my Canon 40D?  Come back and check later!

Another stroll through the streets brought me to this next photo.  This time, the sun was so bright, it washed out the image.  Again, my trusty HDR app at least got the shot.  In the forefront is the sculpture "Government of the People" by Jacques Lipchitz, created in 1976.  The cathedral-like structure is the Philadelphia Masonic Temple. 

Duvall 2

Across the street, is the famous Love sculpture in John F. Kennedy Plaza.  There were endless couples appearing out of nowhere.  Too many people for me, so I went for the odd angle.  Even the iPhone can bring great emotion into a picture.

Philly iphone


taryn@tarynscapes.com (Tarynscapes Photography) Government of the People John F. Kennedy Plaza Pro HDR for iPhone architecture downtown Philadelphia high dynamic range masonic temple photography blog https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2012/5/philly_iphone Fri, 11 May 2012 03:35:49 GMT
All About Angles https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2012/4/all_about_angles One of the hardest things I struggle with as a photographer is choosing THE angle for my final image.  I take dozens of shots at any given place and sometimes any given object.  I try different angles and different settings, sometimes different angles with different settings.  The first thing I do when I get my images up on my Mac is do a quick run though, to see what I've done.  Then I start whittling the images down to the one or ones I want.  I might have 5 great shots of one object, but who wants to see those?  No one whats to see the same thing over and over. It gets boring.  Art should never be boring.

So how do I choose?  It's not easy.  I started out asking a few of my best friends.  That never quite worked out as well as I hoped.  Half would like one, the other half would like another.  So I started asking one friend.  You'd think that would be easier, right?  It's not.  It doesn't change how I feel about each image.  You see, they each mean something different.  They tell a different story, just in the angle.



There is the "up close and personal" shot.  The details of the background are gone and you feel like you can reach out and touch it.  You are so close, you can't even see the entire subject without moving your head.


Then there is the "step back".  You see everything in front of you.  The details of the mountain, far in the distance, rocks, flowers, a tree, and the entire subject.  The different elements come together perfectly. 

3Vertical with Rainier

Finally, there is the combination of both. Details of the foreground and background, but with an artistic twist.

So how do I choose?  Well I thought I had my favorite one finally chosen when I started writing...but now I see one in a new light.  I guess I just wait until one finally jumps out at me.

taryn@tarynscapes.com (Tarynscapes Photography) Canon EOS 40D artistic angles choosing the right photo photography blog photography difficulties https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2012/4/all_about_angles Sun, 22 Apr 2012 04:40:45 GMT
Unique Perspective https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2012/4/unique-perspective I've always been told that I have an eye for photography.  I didn't really get it. I mean, everyone sees what I see.  How can they miss it?  It's right there in front of us, begging to be photographed.  I just pick up my camera and shoot it.

In the past year and a half, I've finally started to accept that "they" might be right. I've learned a few tricks and I've got a great camera, lenses, and filters.  That must be what makes me stand out more than someone else. It wasn't until my last photography workshop that it really hit me.  It was a small class, so we each got a chance to share our photos of the yard on the big screen.  We go through my photos, one by one.  Some are ok, some are good, some are even pretty cool and even a few were not exciting at all. I was one of the last people to share, and I noticed that not a single person there shot the same thing, the same way I did.  Several of my photos were pretty unique. One photo stopped the instructor in his tracks.  He said he'd be teaching photography at his home office for the past three years, and every single student had taken pictures of the globes in the yard.  I was the very first person to ever take one from this particular perspective. 


The funny thing is, it never occurred to me to shoot it from the side.  It just seemed natural to shoot it straight down.  I think it is finally, really sinking in.  I don't see the world the way everyone else does.  I truly do have a unique perspective.  It brings me even more joy to share it with you.

taryn@tarynscapes.com (Tarynscapes Photography) 50mm Canon EOS 40D perspective photography blog unique photography https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2012/4/unique-perspective Thu, 19 Apr 2012 04:02:20 GMT
My First Blog https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2012/4/my-first-blog For months,  friends have been telling me that I need to start blogging on my photography.  I had no idea what I was supposed to say until today.  Yesterday, I went to an advanced photography workshop. It was simultaneously a refresher course and an eye opener.  I learned a new method of thinking in regards to which settings I adjust first. I'm curious to see how it improves my skills.  I was also reminded to practice, practice, practice!  I am terrible at that!  I tend to only grab my camera when I know I'll get the great sweeping landscapes I love so much.

During the workshop, I was "forced" to find things to shoot in the yard of the instructor.  Granted, there were beautiful mountains to be seen, if you don't mind houses and cars in the way.  So I had to get creative.  After all, with 6 other people in the class, I didn't want to be taking the same sorts of pictures as everyone else.  My fear was unfounded.  I was unique as usual.



taryn@tarynscapes.com (Tarynscapes Photography) 50mm advanced photography workshop macro photography blog point of focus prime lens unique photography https://www.tarynscapes.com/blog/2012/4/my-first-blog Sun, 15 Apr 2012 22:47:26 GMT