Wabi Sabi Introspective

rough edges
inconsistencies
unrelated contradictions

re-worked canvas
painted over countless times

map of uncertain locations
rolled and stored for safekeeping

re-visited again

torn
crumbled
stained
fallen

 

Wabi Sabi - Still Life photography - Renuko Style

 

Wabi Sabi - Still Life photography - Renuko Style

 

Wabi Sabi - Still Life photography - Renuko Style

 

Wabi Sabi - Still Life photography - Renuko Style

 

Wabi Sabi - Still Life photography - Renuko Style

 

Wabi Sabi - Still Life photography - Renuko Style

 

Wabi Sabi - Still Life photography - Renuko Style

 

Wabi Sabi - Still Life photography - Renuko Style

 

Wabi Sabi - Still Life photography - Renuko Style

 

Wabi Sabi - Still Life photography - Renuko Style

 

Wabi Sabi - Still Life photography - Renuko Style

 

Introspective. November in New England. Somber days.
I am pulled in to November’s melancholy ways, its Wabi Sabi sensibility.

Brown tones, gray mosses, empty nests, dried remnants of summer weeds … give me permission … to indulge myself in aloneness, introverted meanderings, and moody reflections.

A necessary sojourn. Allowing oneself to see the gritty truth of mistaken steps. To accept our own failure to perform. And embrace it.

November’s gift.

 

Wabi Sabi - Still Life photography - Renuko Style

 

 

Photography notes:

 

With the exception of two that were shot in afternoon setting sun (evident by the strong sharp light), the stills take advantage of a cloudy day, morning Northwest light. They were set up away from the window a bit. I wanted to take complete advantage of the mood and the atmosphere created by a soft sunrise not quite awake yet. I shot at ISO 200-400 and between F 2.8 and F 3.2 with a 35mm and a 50mm lens. I find a low ISO captures the moody darks perfectly. The low F-Stop also adds to the moody, dreamy,  feel but one must be careful to focus on the spot in the image that the eye would naturally be drawn to. The rest will be slightly out of focus, which is what you are going for. A steady hand or tripod is helpful as well.

Both the backdrop and tabletop were hand painted on MDF board cut to 24″x36″ for easy handling. I used Waverly craft paint available at Walmart, applied randomly in various colors with a paintbrush, then rubbed and softened with a piece of wax paper. Wax paper has been an amazing discovery! Perfect for this type of effect. One could essentially paint the piece entirely with wax paper.

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How to Create a Cohesive Feed for Instagram

How to create a cohesive feed on Instagram - Tutorial - Renuko Style

 

There has been a lot of talk over the interwebs about having a cohesive feed for Instagram. Truth is, most of us follow an account if we like what we see in the first 9 posts. We have about 3 seconds to convince someone we are worth following if we have never interacted with them before.

At first, I did not take this seriously. And I really wasn’t sure how to make it happen. Then I was asked to submit images to Bella Grace Magazine for an Instagram feature. It was then that I realized how important it was that the images relate to each other in a pleasing way.

But it was really difficult to make that happen without planning my posts ahead. I started making grids in Photoshop weeks in advance. That worked but was very laborious. And what if I wanted to change it up a bit mid-stream?

 

How to create a cohesive feed for Instagram - Tutorial - Renuko Style

 

Enter UNUM. Perfect! With this little app, you can load your photos, move them around anywhere you like, even do a little last minute edit. You can put in your comment in advance and set a timer to post or write your comment and enter your hashtags just before posting.

The thing is … it takes the stress out of posting daily. You can plan a month in advance, say, your autumn themed photos in October and you already know which image you will post the next morning.

I have been using UNUM for 6 or 8 months now and truly love it. So I made a little video for you by way of a tutorial. I have included my thought process, how I plan the color and intersperse a variety of aesthetics. Because, as you may know, I can’t stick with just one.

 

To learn how to download images from Lightroom or your laptop hard drive grab my free class – Get Organized Stay Productive here.

For a complete photography tutorial see Creative Photography for Small Business here. Or you might want to Make Sense of Manual mode here.

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Tuscany – Textures of Italy

I have to admit it. I had certain expectations of Italy. I try to approach travel with a ‘no expectations’ mantra. But for this trip I was definitely influenced by stories my mom had told me, memories from childhood, Instagram imagery, and, of course, television.

Having an Italian background, I imagined I would ‘find my people.’ I did not. I found the culture in Italy very different from the Italian American culture I grew up around in the South End of Hartford, Connecticut. It was a tight-knit community, very much influenced by their new environment, where they eased up on tradition and became a bit more lighthearted.

 

Tuscany Textures of Italy - Renuko Style

 

Tuscany Textures of Italy - Renuko Style

 

Tuscany Textures of Italy - Renuko Style

 

Tuscany Textures of Italy - Renuko Style

 

Life in the Tuscan hills seems to have remained untouched. Many occupations have obviously continued for centuries … wine and olive oil production, woodcraft and leather craft. I imagine the hills of Tuscany looked very much the same hundreds of years ago.

 

Tuscany - Textures of Italy - Renuko Style

 

Tuscany - Textures of Italy - Renuko Style

 

Tuscany - Textures of Italy - Renuko Style

 

Tuscany - Textures of Italy - Renuko Style

 

Tuscany - Textures of Italy - Renuko Style

 

Although I did not find my people so to speak, I did find inspiration. The effect of time on doors, windows, walls, and floors was exciting to look at and photograph. Experiencing buildings constructed in the 12th century or before … I found myself stopping and staring and imaging what life was like so long ago. Amongst this ancient backdrop, women dressed in haute couture, an eclectic mix of modern style and classic fabrics. The juxtaposition of old and new, ancient and modern was exhilarating.  I do love contrasts and textures so, it fueled me creatively. My heart was racing, my brain filling with idea after idea, layers of concepts forming as I walked the narrow streets. Rough stucco and crumbling brick encouraged me to once again work with textures. Intersecting buildings inspired geometric design concepts. Eclectic interiors and clothing design influenced me to craft photography composites.Looking back in time helped me imagine the future. To envision the work I will to create over the next few years, seeing it hang there on the wall as if it has already been accomplished.

Looking back in time helped me imagine the future. To envision the work I will to create over the next few years, seeing it hang there on the wall as if it has already been accomplished.

 

Tuscany - Textures of Italy - Renuko Style

 

Tuscany - Textures of Italy - Renuko Style

 

Tuscany - Textures of Italy - Renuko Style

 

Tuscany - Textures of Italy - Renuko Style

 

Tuscany - Textures of Italy - Renuko Style

 

Tuscany - Textures of Italy - Renuko Style

 

Tuscany - Textures of Italy - Renuko Style

 

Tuscany - Textures of Italy - Renuko Style

 

Tuscany - Textures of Italy - Renuko Style

 

Tuscany - Textures of Italy - Renuko Style

 

Tuscan villa near Castiglion Fiorentino available on airbnb here.

Tuscan texture packs coming soon. Current texture packs and stock images available here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’d Rather Be In Paris

I must mimic the words of my dear friend Dona Bergen here. This city has indeed stolen my heart. Paris has welcomed me with open arms and has literally taken me in. I resonate so well with the culture and surprisingly so. It has been an unexpected pleasure to find I connect with this polite, kind, gracious, respectful people. It was especially a joy to see the art of conversation has been developed into just that – an art, as beautiful as the art that surrounds you on every corner of every street.

 

I'd Rather be in Paris - Paris Art and Architecture - Photography - Renuko Style

 

I'd Rather be in Paris - Paris Art and Architecture - Photography - Renuko Style

 

I'd Rather be in Paris - Paris Art and Architecture - Photography - Renuko Style

 

I'd Rather be in Paris - Paris Art and Architecture - Photography - Renuko Style

 

The city was easy to navigate. My husband and I strolled along endless streets in a variety of neighborhoods in order to get a feel for the city. Our main objective was to enjoy the everyday habits of Parisians … coffee, pastry, cheese, and crepes. Crepes are the tacos of Paris. Filled with every imaginable filling, they can sustain you any time of day for any meal or for dessert. You can have it wrapped to take away and eat it on the fly for a mere 4 euros.

 

I'd Rather be in Paris - Paris Gardens and Architecture - Photography - Renuko Style

 

I'd Rather be in Paris - Paris Gardens and Architecture - Photography - Renuko Style

 

 

 

I'd Rather be in Paris - Paris Gardens and Architecture - Photography - Renuko Style

 

I'd Rather be in Paris - Paris Gardens and Architecture - Photography - Renuko Style

 

With just 3 days to explore the city, we opted not to visit the inside of museums but instead thoroughly experience the gardens and architecture. I was dumbfounded at the sheer scale and massive size of the buildings. Just a glimpse appeared in my minds eye of a time past, these buildings under construction and the artisans who created them. As my daughter remarked, “It is a testament to the capability of humanity. Imagine how much can be achieved if we were to exist in a fully cooperative state, devoid of distress.”

 

I'd Rather be in Paris - Paris Gardens and Architecture - Photography - Renuko Style

 

I'd Rather be in Paris - Paris Gardens and Architecture - Photography - Renuko Style

 

I'd Rather be in Paris - Paris Gardens and Architecture - Photography - Renuko Style

 

I'd Rather be in Paris - Paris Gardens and Architecture - Photography - Renuko Style

 

I'd Rather be in Paris - Paris Gardens and Architecture - Photography - Renuko Style

 

Paris is so easy to fall in love with. Everything is beautiful, everything! … from the tiny little spoon that you stir your perfectly executed cappuccino with to the delicately ornate stonework and ironwork on the face of the residences. One can find a complimentary combination of new and old, modern and antiquated in every detail. For me, a country girl with a city aesthetic, I immediately thrive, right at home with the everyday fashion of black and scarves and leather shoulder bags. Citizens and tourists alike walk about the bustling streets with a purpose – to live each day to the fullest. The concept is enhanced by a delightful “Bonjour,” spoken with a lilt at the end and said with a smile that tells me it is meant fully as well.

 

I'd Rather be in Paris - Paris Gardens and Architecture - Photography - Renuko Style

 

I'd Rather be in Paris - Paris Gardens and Architecture - Photography - Renuko Style

 

I'd Rather be in Paris - Paris Gardens and Architecture - Photography - Renuko Style

 

I'd Rather be in Paris - Paris Gardens and Architecture - Photography - Renuko Style

 

I'd Rather be in Paris - Paris Gardens and Architecture - Photography - Renuko Style

 

And lastly, I must speak to the infrastructure of the city. From the moment you arrive at the airport, you realize that your experience will be pleasant. I don’t know how they do it, but thousands upon thousands of visitors are cared for wonderfully without massive traffic jams or packed tight streets. We are fed without having to wait very long and can walk pretty much anywhere without fear. I tip my blue baret to you, dear Paris. I will return to you again. I must, for now, I have left my heart with you.

 

And lastly I must speak to the infrastructure of the city. From the moment you arrive at the airport you realize that your experience will be pleasant. I don’t know how they do it, but thousands upon thousands of visitors are cared for wonderfully without massive traffic jams or packed tight streets. We are fed without having to wait very long and can walk pretty much anywhere without fear. I tip my blue baret to you dear Paris. I will return to you again. I must, for I have left my heart with you.

 

 

 

Photography notes:

For most of my stay in Paris, I sported my Nikon 3200 DSLR with a Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lens. My F-stop was set at 6.3 for street shots and architecture, ISO 200-400 as it was never really bright and sunny, and a range of shutter speeds to suit the subject and time of day. I found in particular if I focused on the beginning of the right or left of the street, not the center, the depth of field was correct. I used a 35mm and 50mm lens at Luxembourg Gardens and generally shot at F 5.0. I always had my iPhone 7 in my pocket everywhere I went and used it for quick indoor shots or to zoom in on a subject from far away. I jumped between using the stock camera on my phone as well as the ProCamera App for specific settings and to shoot in Camera Raw. I always upload everything to Lightroom and edit there.

Additional note:

‘I’d Rather be in Paris’ was first written for Bangor Daily News featuring Dona Bergen, owner of Mars Hall Gallery in Tenants Harbor, Maine. The post has since been archived.

 

 

 

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September Soul

A ray of sun peeks through the trees and beckons me to stillness
I breathe a sigh, a heavy one, as heavy as the moist evening atmosphere

How I long for summer to stretch on into eternity …

And yet I am of two minds
That same ray of sun that beckons me to stillness carries with it a cool zephyr
Hinting of quieter days, soft and simple reflection, days filled with no purpose
Feet slowing to walk instead of run

And I quickly give in … to the idea of autumn … and the promise of peaceful contemplation

 

 

 

September Soul - Renuko Style

 

September Soul - Renuko Style

 

September Soul - Renuko Style

 

September Soul - Renuko Style

 

September Soul - Renuko Style

 

September Soul - Renuko Style

 

September Soul - Renuko Style

 

September Soul - Renuko Style

 

September Soul - Renuko Style

 

The images are from a late summer day spent with Hilary from Everlong Gardener at golden hour. A yearly excursion to Endless Summer Flower Farm is never missed and was made even more enjoyable with her companionship. As we arrived back home to play a bit more in my garden, the last few rays of light shone just above the scene. Oh, how I love that September golden glow!

 

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Sea and Salty Air

The air is so salty you can taste it on your tongue
both pungent and sweet with the unmistakable odor of piled kelp 

High clouds and heavy mist

These are the days of stiff breezes and billowy sails and voyages to far off places
of long lost stares and journey’s to nowhere

 

 

Coastal Photo Shoot - Lifestyle Photography - Renuko Style

 

Coastal Photo Shoot - Lifestyle Photography - Renuko Style

 

Coastal Photo Shoot - Lifestyle Photography - Renuko Style

 

Coastal Photo Shoot - Lifestyle Photography - Renuko Style

 

Coastal Photo Shoot - Lifestyle Photography - Renuko Style

 

Coastal Photo Shoot - Lifestyle Photography - Renuko Style

 

Coastal Photo Shoot - Lifestyle Photography - Renuko Style

 

Coastal Photo Shoot - Lifestyle Photography - Renuko Style

 

Coastal Photo Shoot - Lifestyle Photography - Renuko Style

 

Location – the Breakwater, Rockland, Maine.

Model – Corie DeMaria

Shot with a Nikon D3200 and a 50mm F 1.8 lens. Edited in Adobe Lightroom.

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