Classic Beauty

This time of year, I look forward to firing up my darkroom for the winter season. I enjoy looking at the inspirational work of some of my favorite photographers; some virtually unknown, and some famous, before I delve into my pile of negatives. This year, I will be developing and printing images of years past as well as the trip my family and I took to Yellowstone National Park last summer. Our trip was an awe inspiring journey of wildlife and wilderness, and I look forward to the memories as I work on the images. As inspiration, I am especially drawn to the photography of Ansel Adams this year, as his environments are breathtaking, and remind me to explore, document and appreciate the simple, pure essence of place he captured so completely. There is a contemplative spirit in the detail and highlights. These images are a reminder that natural beauty must be cared for and preserved. Photography is a powerful medium, reflecting truth, and our undeniable reality.

Ansel Adams, Photographer, Conservationist
“At one with the power of the American landscape, and renowned for the patient skill and timeless beauty of his work, photographer Ansel Adams has been a visionary in his efforts to preserve this country’s wild and scenic areas, both on film and on Earth. Drawn to the beauty of nature’s monuments, he is regarded by environmentalists as a monument himself, and by photographers as a national institution. It is through his foresight and fortitude that so much of America has been saved for future Americans.”

President James E. Carter
Presenting Ansel Adams with the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Images and excerpts found at

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I’m Dreaming Of A Blue Christmas

Oh, goodness. I know I just finished saying that I loved a neutral, natural monochromatic holiday, but that was before I stumbled upon blue, blue and more blue. And I love it. How beautiful are these sky-colored displays full of wonder and light?

Whether you have a blue velvet settee or not, why not incorporate some lovely indigo into your gift-wrapping (that sweet dress gift tag in the right photo above is slaying me!). A decadent peacock color would look smashing with some lighter, teal accents and a deep blue ribbon.

For ornaments, blue looks lovely next to a sweet green spruce or equally festive when utilized in a white, wintery wonderland display.

Of course, baubles in blue jewel tones set the stage for a glamorous little holiday! (In fact, I’d add plenty of pearls for a dramatic, feminine look.)

As for table settings, I love the watercolor look in the left photo above, but an easy way to incorporate a similar aesthetic is with a few colored glass bottles and tapered candles. Instant mood lighting!

Ahhh, we’ll have a blue wonderland enough!

[Images courtesy of Ditte Isager]

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