The Story Behind the Photo

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“Tools of the Trade”

Well worn chaps, a comfortable saddle, lariat, and a good horse. Just a few tools of the trade for a true cowboy. These basic tools have remained the same from generation to generation.

This image was captured in Casper, Wyoming at the Central Wyoming Fairgrounds as several Casper College Rodeo Team members prepared for the “Ropin’ & Riggin’ Days Rodeo”.

I chose to use a tight crop on this image to focus more on the detail and textures of all the items. A subtle effect was then applied through editing to create the look of a detailed painting. It is one of my all-time favorite images that I have created.

You can purchase several different items featuring “Tools of the Trade”, by clicking on the link below. It will take you to the “Rustic Western” section of my Etsy Shop.

Purchase “Tools of the Trade” items here: Paws Fur a Moment Photography – Rustic Western Items

Take the Opportunity When It Presents Itself

This afternoon, I had my six-month dental visit…and so I left my “day job” a little earlier than usual. Good news…as always…No cavities! LOL!

Anyway…after leaving the dentist’s office, I noticed the trees on top of our local mountain were beautifully dusted in fresh snow from the storm earlier in the day. I couldn’t resist the urge for a drive up the mountain with my camera…which I always have with me. Being so blessed to live where opportunities like this are within a 20 minute drive, I just couldn’t pass it up.

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I headed towards the mountain and almost changed my mind just as I got to the turnoff…and I’m so glad I turned left and didn’t change my mind. The drive up was absolutely magical! The line between where the snow existed and where it didn’t was as if someone had painted it that way. The closer I got to the top, the more beautiful it was. Every needle on every branch of every pine…and every crooked branch of every aspen tree… was dusted with frost and snow.

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The conditions couldn’t have been better. Not only was the landscape beautiful…but, the road was clear and dry. Perfect for someone like me who hates to drive the mountain road in the winter…but LOVES to photograph scenes with fresh snow.

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When I’m taking photos, I not only use my Canon…but I also use my iPhone. All the photos in this post were taken with my iPhone with limited editing with the apps Snapseed and Lightroom.

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This last photo (above) is my favorite from my little drive.

So, I urge you to take every photo opportunity possible when they present themselves. You never know when it will happen again. Pause for a moment! Take the time! Enjoy!

It’s All In How You See Things

Two years ago, my older brother and I started taking a yearly “Brother Sister Road Trip”. Just a day trip to someplace close to home that we’ve either never been to, or haven’t been to in a while. Our mother passed away in 2010, so this is a way for us to spend some quality time together and reminisce.

Our first “Brother Sister Road Trip” took us to Old Fort Laramie. A nearby Historic Site that I hadn’t visited in a few years and my brother hadn’t been to since a field trip in the 4th Grade.

After touring the grounds for a while, we took a break from the heat of the day on the porch of one of the old buildings. My brother was snapping photos with his point-and-shoot camera and asked if I had any tips on how he could get better photos. He was frustrated that his looked like snapshots.

When he asked me…I had never really thought about it, or had to explain what I see when I take photos. I told him, I guess I just see things different. After I thought about it a bit, I offered these few simple tips.

The few simple things I do when taking photos is try to get a different angle, a different view, a different perspective of something. Get lower, go higher, step to the side rather than straight on. Just a little bit of seeing things different, can create a much more dramatic or interesting image.

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For example, I took the photos in this post just this past weekend in the mountains. When trying to compose an interesting landscape shot, I turned around and noticed moss and lichen on boulders behind me. All of a sudden I was more interested in those images rather than the larger landscape. And by getting at ground level with the lichen it made it more interesting. The moss happened to be at eye level on a boulder when I turned around. Most people wouldn’t have even noticed.

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The lichen on the rock above, is the same rock in the lower right hand corner of the first photo.

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This moss was at my eye level on a big boulder behind me.

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I took this image of beaver chewed trees by kneeling down to be more at eye level.

Take the time to notice not only the big picture, but the smaller details around you, too.

Snowy Sunset on the North Platte

Thursday afternoon, we were hit with an unexpected little snowstorm that dropped a blanket of about three inches. It was so beautiful! Every branch on every tree was dressed with pretty white accents. I absolutely love to photograph following such a storm.

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Since the storm let up just shortly before I left my “day job” for the day, I decided to stop along the North Platte River on my way home and snap a few shots of the newly fallen snow. I’m so blessed to live where I can do that so close to home.

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Later in the evening, it seemed like everything would be perfect for another beautiful sunset. So, I decided to go back to the area I where I stopped after work and try to get some sunset photos. It was chilly, but oh so worth it.

Everyone is wishing for Summer…and I’m over here grinning from ear to ear at the sight of new snow!

End of the Day

Wyoming sunsets never seem to disappoint…and the one we had last Thursday was no exception. I had been keeping my eyes on the sky and incoming clouds…as I do most every evening from our kitchen window…and could see the clouds to the South, over Casper Mountain, beginning to reflect shades of pink and blue. I knew this was going to be a good one!

I went outside and looked to the West. Sure enough, the sky was starting to build with beautiful oranges, pinks, yellows, and blues. Following right behind me was our Little Miss Freddy.

I didn’t have time to grab my Canon T3i…so I snapped a few shots with my iPhone camera. When I turned around to take another angle, Freddie was sitting so pretty and perfectly positioned with the beautiful sunset behind her…and our old wagon wheels nearby…I snapped a few images of her before she rushed off to play.

The colors in the sky didn’t last very long…and Freddie’s young patience didn’t either… but I’m so glad everything fell into place for a few moments allowing me to capture this beautiful shot at the end of the day.

Meet Little Miss Freddie

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~ Above: Me and Freddie at my office right after my husband adopted her. ~

Little Miss Freddie…a mix of border collie and black lab…came into our lives at the age of eight weeks on my 49th birthday in 2017. My husband called me at work and asked “What are you doing for lunch?” Since it was my birthday, I thought he was asking me out on a lunch date. Instead, he said “You want to go look at puppies?” Heck YEAH! Who DOESN’T want to go look at puppies!!?? Duh! Come to find out…my mother-in-law had called my husband earlier in the day and told him about “free” puppies she had seen advertised in the paper.

Having been without our two golden retrievers, Nugget and Comanche, for nearly four years, the topic of raising another dog had recently come up in conversation on occasion. My husband was more ready than I was…and it was discussed that he needed a K9 companion when working in remote areas during the summer months. Being retired, my husband would be spending the most time with the new pup and be the most involved in training. With that in mind, I told him I would be fine with which ever puppy he selected and to just go ahead and adopt one in the litter his mom told him about. He stopped by my office right after adopting her. She was adorable, of course.

~ Above: Freddie’s first time at the cabin on the mountain. ~

My husband had always wanted a dog named Freddie…so, that is how we ended up with a girl dog named Freddie. After a friend suggested it, I decided Freddie could be short for Fredericka and I like to give my mother-in-law a bad time by insisting that since the “free puppy” was her idea, Freddie’s middle name would be Kathryn…Little Miss Fredericka Kathryn.

Freddie immediately showed her intelligence and fit into our active lifestyle perfectly. We take her on hikes, she loves riding on the 4-wheeler, and being a very active breed, she goes on five or six-mile runs daily alongside the 4-wheeler usually with my husband.

She is a joy and is learning new things every day. She has been with us now for a year and every day is a new adventure.

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~ Freddie sitting on the stump of a tree my husband had just cut down. ~

~ Helping my husband drive…and on the 4-wheeler…seeing her first cow (a big bull) ~

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~ In her new coat on Christmas Day at the Cabin.”

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~ Enjoying the Wyoming sunset. ~