Atop

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Going on a road trip always makes me feel on top of my world (along with jeans that fits just right, boots, and being on the back of a brave horse) !! My daughter shares that feeling. Right now we’re on a road trip in my favorite road trip state Nevada!

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Of course our favorite roads are not the usual highways, but rather endless dirt roads.

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This week, consider your point of view as you respond to this challenge’s theme, “Atop.” If you’re physically on top of a thing or a place — a mountain, a skyscraper — what type of scene do you want to share in your frame? Consider, too, other interpretations of “Atop” — what does it mean or look like to be on top of a soapbox? A bestseller list? The world?

Show us your best image — we look forward to seeing everyone’s takes!

What make you feel on top of your world?

Yours,

Maria

Winter Wonderland

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After all the hard work getting the new-old RV in shape last week, it was awesome to go for a little road trip this weekend, one fun night in Reno, and a day of snowboarding in Lake Tahoe. It was the first time I went snowboarding after my daughter’s birth 4 years ago. When I lived in Sweden my goal was to get at least 100 days/year of snowboarding, and I usually managed to get that. It was exhilarating to be on a board again! The best thing of all is that my daughter now shares my love for snow.

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I am so proud of her! It was snowing A LOT, and the wind was blowing hard. The kid slope was closed, so she got to go up on the big slope, on her second day of snowboarding ever. She did great!

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We will be back soon for sure!

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I don’t have any snowboard equipment here in the US, so I rented some. My first thought was, this board don’t have any edges! However, I soon realized that the kind of sharp edges required for good snowboarding in my hometown Åre, wasn’t as important in this abundance of snow. I’m used to rock hard slopes, usually with generous amounts of ice. This was a completely different kind of snowboarding, that I am totally inexperienced with. I will not have any problems adjusting to these quantities of snow! LOL. I’m stoked that it looks like snowboarding is going to be a part of my life again, since it is now obvious that the love of snowboarding is in my daughter’s blood as well.

 

I hope YOU had an awesome weekend!

Yours,

Maria

Ambience

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I thoroughly enjoyed the first light this morning, walking through this walnut groove in northern California. The ambience  created by the old crooked trees, the cold winter air, the frozen ground, and the sun conquering the morning inch by inch.

What have you photographed with exceptional ambience? Perhaps you’ve visited a spectacular garden, indulged in a candlelit dinner, experienced a roaring fireplace on a cold night, or enjoyed some laughter with friends in a wonderful place?

Join the weekly photo challenge Ambience! Feel free to post a link to your post in a comment. I’m trying to check out as many entries as possible. It’s always so inspiring to see many different takes on the same theme.

 

All the best,
Maria

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM

I rarely write posts about technical photography stuff (this is not going to be one of those either.) I’m not a very technical person. My photography is more about finding the right light, and being absorbed by the moment. However, even though equipment isn’t everything, great tools for the trade helps. Through the years I’ve used many different cameras, and different lenses. I’m not a Canon, or Nikon girl, I’m more both. Lately I’ve heard a lot of good things about a very inexpensive Canon lens, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM. This is not an affiliate post, I was just curious about the lens, and decided to try it out. Here is my five favorite photos, out of the twenty I took today.

 

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This was the very first time I tried this lens with my Canon 80D. The 80D has a cropped sensor, and I haven’t tried it with a full frame sensor yet. So far I am very pleased. The lens is super light weight, and for the price, it’s going to be a great compliment. It’s sharper than the 18-55mm that came with the camera, the closest range lens I have to this one. The 18-55mm lens retails for a higher price, so this 50mm is a winner, if you compare those two. I would go as far as saying that the autofocus on the 50mm is faster as well. If you’re on a budget, and looking for one versatile lens for your Canon camera, I would recommend Canon – EF 50mm f/1.8 STM.

 

Have an awesome weekend!

Yours,

Maria

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Cold And Beautiful

Winter Is Coming Canvas Print featuring the photograph Winter Is Coming by Maria Jansson

 

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

– Edith Wharton

 

It’s been unusually cold for the season. Yesterday morning it was 25 degrees, and everything was covered with frost. It was very beautiful. (I bet it will be beautiful today as well, but it’s still dark out.)

Those are blackberry bushes to the left, closest in the picture above. It wasn’t that long ago since we picked the ripe blackberries under a merciless, burning sun. I love the changes of the season. It definitely makes life more magical!

 
Frozen Canvas Print featuring the photograph Frozen by Maria Jansson

Closeup on the frozen blackberry bushes.

 

Reaching Out Canvas Print featuring the photograph Reaching Out by Maria Jansson

A naked tree, with branches reaching towards the sky, standing in front of a walnut groove, admiring her beauty in the lake. 

 

When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.

– Tecumseh

 

We don’t have any snow in the valley where I live right now, but our big volcanos, Mount Shasta, and Mount Lassen are covered in a big white blanket. I can see them both when I drive in to town, and they take my breath away almost every day (if it’s cloudy I can’t see them.) The view of the volcanos humbles me, and put things in perspective. I’ve noticed that my eyes always are searching for them. I’ve lived most of my life in the mountains. I love mountains.

Something else that I’ve noticed lately, is that it’s more than just a preference. When I can’t see mountains, and wide open spaces, I get irritable. It became very clear to me yesterday when I had to drive into a small town, (that most people love,) with very narrow streets, how I felt almost claustrophobic. No, not almost, I felt claustrophobic. This is a very beautiful little town in northern California. It’s always on the list of the most beautiful places. I’ve only met very kind people there. It doesn’t really make sense to not like this place! It’s situated in a beautiful area, BUT when you’re in town you can’t see the mountains, even if they are very close. All you can see is houses, and cars. The streets are so narrow, that even though there isn’t very many people there, it always feel crowded. I remember thinking that the first time I went there, five years ago, but I haven’t experienced what I experienced yesterday before. A need to leave right away, as fast as possible. It is like my senses have become more sensitive. Or something..

With that I wish you a wonderful day, (it’s 5.30 am here.) Enjoy the beauty that surrounds you! What familiar view do you have where you live, that you appreciate the most? Is there a particular feature in the landscape that makes you feel on top of your world? What is it?

 

All the best,
Maria Jansson