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While driving along the Smoky Mountain highways, you bet we took time to pull over and take some pics of the amazing views.

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A little over a month ago, I decided that Offshoots Photography should join the world of Instagram. I have a personal account already for friends and family pics, but I wanted a place to share portraits as I one day build up the business side of Offshoots.

In the meantime, I am using it to share creative works on the go and as a chance to use some of the awesome mobile photo-editing apps out there. Moreover, like WordPress, it is a great way to connect with other photographers and artists in order to learn from and enjoy their work, as well as to connect with potential clients in my area. I am also using it as a medium to share long forgotten images I may fine tune or completely revamp into photo art.

I am having a lot of fun with it because I can sit anywhere with my phone and create versus being tied to my laptop. Also, pulling up old images brings back lots of good memories.

Follow me on Instagram.

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Do you have an Instagram account for your creative photography? If so, feel free to leave your @accountname or link in the comments.

This lovely stream was nestled smack dab in the middle of the hustle and bustle of downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

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This week’s Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge is “Dense.” Now, dense has more than one meaning. The first being “stupid or foolish” which could be applied to my husband and I as we embarked down a never before explored (by us) gated path that displayed this sign at its start:

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Turns out we didn’t get shot and the risk was worth it as we enjoyed some beautiful sunset views of “dense” brush, fields, and trees.

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I know I said no more sunsets, but I just couldn’t help myself!

sunset trail website

While walking down a wooded path we had never before traveled, we came upon a clearing where a family of deer were enjoying a sunset meal in the grassy field. Of course they scattered before I could even get my camera raised.

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Now that I know they are there, I will be sneakier the next time we go back. 🙂

I was sitting in my living room when I heard this little guy chirping outside on the front porch.  He was perched a top a pillow on the rocker.  I sneakily snapped these images through the window, so as not to scare him away.

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I feel like lately I have been editing my images on the safe side; not pushing the contrast or saturation a little more for greater depth and interest, for example.  Somewhere along the way, I have lost the creative aspect of it all.  Hoping to rediscover that soon.

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These are some shots of the sunset in my neighborhood.  I think I am finished with sunsets and sunrises; not that I have mastered them.  Far from it!  I just need a ND filter and a good spot to capture anything better than what I can get among suburban obstacles like houses, tree lines, power lines, etc., neither of which I have at the moment.

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I am not sure what I am going to photograph in the meantime.  I have a few more images to post here before I run out of unpublished ones.  I would really love to do more portraits, but the opportunity hasn’t presented itself lately.  I suppose I could rework some old images.  I seem to be stuck.  Any suggestions?

The temperatures sure are interesting around here.  Yesterday it was 39F in the morning and warmed up to 77F by late afternoon.  Even the foliage is showing signs of the dead winter and the buds of spring.

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These trees were literally right next to one another!

It’s amazing how quickly the sun sets, or maybe just how fast time goes by when I am out walking and taking pictures.  We went to a neighborhood trail last night and walked east which gave me a chance to turn back and take these shots of the setting sun backlighting the tree line.

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What seemed like ten short minutes later, when we returned along the same path, the sun had disappeared.

The gnat clusters (I don’t know what else to call them!) were out in full force.  If you look close, you can see them in the sunlight below.  They were all along our walking path, so I felt like I had to keep my head down a lot.

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All in all, it was a nice after-dinner outing.  My daughter rode her bike; I got some decent shots (more to come), and my husband kept us both company.

I got a new camera a few months back and the remote shutter control from my old camera doesn’t fit on my new one, so this longer exposure shot of the sunrise through my backyard trees isn’t as sharp as it could have been.

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Then my husband, who is not a photographer per se, reminded me I could have used the self-timer to avoid the camera shake and I just had to laugh at myself.  Oh well!  It was 6am and I hadn’t had my coffee yet. 🙂

These 3 photos were taken in a corn maze.  I only got lost a few times because I kept stopping to take pictures! 🙂

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Not feeling these last few and can’t quite put my finger on it.  Macro is hard.

f/11, 1/15, ISO 400

purple-berries http://offshoots12.com

Like yesterday’s white berries, I am not sure if these are actually “berries,” or what this plant is called. I suppose I could research it, but…nah. 😉

f/11, 1/40, ISO 1600

I have been busy all week editing over 80 photos from my very first official portrait photo shoot (that is, outside of the unofficial ones I have done of my own daughters.) I shot my friend’s son’s senior pictures and loved every minute of it. Since I almost exclusively shoot nature, doing the portraits was a nice change of pace. I was glad to have gotten the opportunity to branch out of my comfort zone.

white-berries http://offshoots12.com

I am not sure what this plant is called or if these are even “berries,” but they look like berries to me. 🙂

f/13, 1/50, ISO 800

yellow http://offshoots12.com

I started using a new photo editing program a few weeks ago that I really like: Capture One Pro 9. For Sony users the price is very cheap. The reviews are great, the support is above par, and it has lived up to everything it’s promised so far. Now, to just keep improving my own technical skills. 🙂

50mm prime
f/11, 1/20, ISO 800

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