Macro Moments Challenge–Week 32: Clovers

Clover Close-up

I’m excited to submit this macro photo of these clovers  for Musin’ with Susan’s Macro Moments Challenge.

This photo was taken with my Samsung Galaxy S5 phone. I cropped, added contrast and HDR, framed, and watermarked with PicMonkey premium.

Wild clovers grow in my backyard. Right now, due to all the rain, my backyard is mostly mud, but these plucky little clovers will be popping up soon!

This is also submitted to coincide with Jennifer Nicole Wells’ Color Your World–Shamrock.

Photography challenges are fun, interesting, and potentially bring more viewers to your blog. Give it a try!

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Macro Moments Week 31: Poopy Little Puppy

I caught Brodie’s cute little puppy face right after he got in trouble for leaving a “present” in the hallway.

Brodie the Boykin Spaniel, 10 weeks old

It’s tough being an active, 10-week old Boykin Spaniel while the rain keeps coming down here in California!

This photo was taken with my Panasonic Lumix FZ 300, and post-edited in PicMonkey.

Feel free to participate in Musin’ With Susan’s Macro Moments Photography challenge! This week’s theme is Baby Animals.

This post is also included in Trent’s World Weekly Smiles!

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What are the Odds of Finding a Rainbow in Your Hand?

What are the odds of finding a rainbow in my hand?

The weekly photo challenge asks us to find a photo that depicts a subject that is Against the Odds

I’m thinking this qualifies as an unlikely occurrence. We caught this just right as the winter sun’s rays illuminated the skylight!

A rainbow in your hand

 

Macro Moments Challenge: Week 30–Birds

Hummingbird enjoying his shower
Hummer after the rain

A few weeks ago, as the never-ending much-needed rain trickled to a drizzle, my resident hummingbird enjoyed fluffing his feathers after a well-deserved feeding.

We are all used to seeing hummingbirds in flight, we may forget they actually perch!

Submitted for Musin’ with Susan’s Macro Moments Challenge

Photographed with my Panasonic Lumix FZ300 in full zoom. Cropped and framed with PicMonkey premium. I have also taken great macro shots with my Samsung Galaxy S5 phone, too, so don’t be afraid to play along!

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Out of the Shadows

This week’s photo challenge asks us to depict Shadow.

Not only did I get some great shots with the new camera, I got double pleasure with shadows and reflections at Coronado’s dog beach in San Diego last December.

Aero cavorts on dog beach accompanied by his shadow and reflection

Aero cavorts on dog beach accompanied by his shadow and reflection.

Legs cast shadows and reflections

Legs also cast shadows and reflections.

But, wait, there’s MORE!

In my post, How to Get 100s of Free Photos for Your Blog, I got a wonderful response and several bloggers found great uses on their blogs for some of my donated images!

Sally Cronin from Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life used one in her post, Weekly Image and Haiku—From a Grateful World and wrote a lovely haiku with it.

Blogger Marje from Kyrosmagica used a photo as her featured image (with some Canva editing), which featured me on her Author Spotlight!

Fellow blogger, Allison, at Allison D Reid, contacted me and asked to share her vast collection of gorgeous images of forests, streams and other natural settings. Like me, she has oodles of photos “collecting virtual dust” as she cleverly put it! You can also find the file of her images from South Chagrin Reservation in Bentleyville, Ohio.

Here is a wonderful example of one of Allison’s photos. It happens to fit the WPC shadow theme (but the credit is hers)!

Forest in Shadow
image by Allison D. Reid

As I said, FREE images really are available. No sign-ups, no passwords to remember, no gimmicks. Just click on FREE BLOG IMAGES for the link or visit my new page Free Photos for Your Blog.

Help us bring our unused photos out of the shadows!

Current folders include landscapes, flowers, animals, cityscapes and general office. Visit on a regular basis for new folders and photos added weekly.

New to the folder this week are the following:

  • “Donated Images, with subfolder, “Donated by Allison.”
  • Sports with subfolders: Climbing, Cycling, Group Games, and Water Sports
  • The folder “Landscape” was also updated to include a subfolder “Water.”

Do NOT be shy about using these. It will be up to you to choose and edit them for use on your blog.

I know many of you take quality photos! If you are a blogger with unused digital images laying around “collecting virtual dust” and would like to donate them to the blogging community, please contact me and let’s see if we can add them. I use the Pro edition of Dropbox with plenty of room, (so no worries on space!) and it is very easy to share.

Bring these photos out of the shadows so we may all enjoy them!

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Author/Blogger Spotlight: Second Wind Leisure – Terri Webster Schrandt

I am more than honored to be the featured guest as the Author/Blogger spotlight on Marje’s blog! She even used one of the free photos I am offering to bloggers!

K Y R O S M A G I C A

author_blogger-spotlight

Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to Terri Webster Schrandt, author, blogger, leisure expert. This lady knows all there is to know about spending our precious leisure time wisely and to add to her many accomplishments she has recently released an e-book entitled – Better Blogging With Photography.

Being a huge fan of photography I couldn’t agree more, there’s nothing quite like an appealing photograph to catch the readers eye. Without it, a blog post can be easily overlooked.

Why oh why didn’t I think of writing a book on this subject? Ah, I really need to get a grip….Terri, you stole this possibility from my grasp, how could you? LOL !!! It must be all that time you spend pursuing a diverse range of leisure activities – ‘windsurfing, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), camping, reading, writing, teaching, walking the dogs, traveling,’ that’s quite a list, Terri. Means you must be…

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How to Get Hundreds of FREE Photos for your Blog

Hundreds of free photos await you!

For those of you who have followed me for years or just recently, you may know that I am an avid, hobby photographer.

Frustrated with “free” stock image photography sites that promise photos that need “no” attribution, I take all my own photos for my blog and websites. My phone and now, my new camera, go everywhere I go. I’m always looking for interesting photo ops!

Truth be told, I am leery of stock photo services offering free images. Recently, Margaret at Sticky Readers mentioned Unsplash, a site boasting free stock photos.

I decided to check it out and found this article from 12/16 on Snappa Blog, 21 Amazing Sites with Breathtaking Free Stock Photos.

Many of these photographs are free from copyright restrictions or licensed under creative commons public domain dedication. This means you can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. However, some photos may require attribution.

We’ve done our best to identify which license they fall under but we still advise you to do your own research and determine how these images can be used.” (emphasis my own).

No thanks, who has time? So much for “free!”

I did, however, open a free Unsplash account. While the images are free and stunning, they are not searchable. Subscribers get 10 new photos a week. I downloaded a few, not sure if I will use them on my blog. I’m an educator, so I feel comfortable using these images for my power point presentations, since they are not being published on my website.

Snappa Blog’s article states “All photos on Unsplash are released under the creative commons public domain license.”

creative commons public domain

A lot of “lawyer-speak” here about Creative Commons public domain licensing. This is tricky business as a growing number of lawsuits are pending for copyright infringement violations of intellectual property.Better Blogging with Photography

Let me share an excerpt from my eBook, Better Blogging with Photography: Maximize Your Blog Using Your Own Images

In reference to copyright infringement…

A graphic artist friend, who is in this business, said this is the new, trending lawsuit. Other bloggers have described their terrible experiences of innocently using a random photo on their blog post and being sued.
Even posting the following so-called disclaimer on your blog is basically useless.

“This blog claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog belong to their respective owners. If there is an image on this blog that belongs to you and you do not wish for it appear on this site, please e-mail us with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.”

I still read wonderful posts from a LOT of bloggers using photos and images from the Internet. Most of these likely have copyright restrictions, so please BEWARE if you choose to use them. If you use images from the web, be careful. It is obvious that most of these images are professionally photographed.

Exercise extreme caution in using Google Images on your blog or website. Most images you see on Google are attached to someone’s blog post or business. Unless you get express permission to use those images, do not use them.

You may have heard of Creative Commons licensed images. Understand that although photo sites curate a host of images, not all of them are free, and some have restrictions on commercial use.

According to author Helen Sedwick, in her eBook, How to Use Eye-Catching Images Without Paying a Fortune or a Lawyer, “Do not rely on a Creative Commons license if there are recognizable faces, artwork, or trademarks in the image.”

Sedwick continues with this warning, “Creative Commons sites do not guarantee that they have the right to give you permission to use the image at all. You are using the images at your own risk.”

Again, what may appear to be free is not.

Even acknowledging the image’s origin may not be good enough. Most of us do not make money with our blogs, and having to pay upwards to $8000 for misuse of an image can be tragic.

By now you are saying “OK, I get it! How can I get quality images that are truly free?”

Why, thanks for asking!

But first…

A few months ago, I came across Gigi, a blogger who shares her own images in her weekly newsletters and on her website at A Warm Hello. She creates free, ready images for anyone who would like to download them. I am sure she would appreciate you visiting her site and subscribing.

But, back to the FREE images…

From her blog I got the idea of sharing my own images with other bloggers.

I have taken thousands of photos over the years and I am happy to share a variety of them with anyone who is interested.

I feel very strongly about this endeavor and would be comforted to know my fellow bloggers aren’t going to lose money in a random lawsuit over copyright violations.

This post serves as my announcement that FREE images really are available. No sign-ups, no passwords to remember, no gimmicks.

Just click on FREE BLOG IMAGES for the Dropbox link or click to visit my new page Free Photos for Your Blog

Current folders include landscapes, flowers, animals, cityscapes and general office. Visit on a regular basis for new folders and photos added weekly.

The images are untouched and un-edited. It will be your job to select and download them, then edit them using is a free online image editor. Many bloggers use Canva. I use the premium version of PicMonkey, but their free version works just fine!

Fellow blogger DG Kaye recently shared this post about Fotojet. I haven’t tried this one yet, as I am happy with PicMonkey. The point is to find an online image editor that works for you. 

I sincerely hope that you will take a look at the photos I have to offer. Let me know in the comments what kinds of photos you need for your blog…I may have what you need!

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