52 Week Challenge

52 Weeks of Susan's Life


Week 17 – # 28 My First Visit to


Biltmore, Asheville NC

In late October a group of photo buddies took at trip to Chattanooga TN.  We decided to take a side trip to Maggie Valley NC and from there we made plans to visit the Biltmore estate.  Tickets were purchased ahead of time so the date could not be changed. In case you are not familiar with the Biltmore it has a fascinating history.  It is a 250-room French Renaissance chateau which originally encompassed 125,000 acres. Today the estate grounds consist of 8000 acres with various buildings and both formal and informal gardens.   The trees were just starting to turn and our group was very excited about photographing some of the gardens and the beginning of leaf change.   Mother Nature had other plans.  The weather that day was torrential rains and high winds.  The gardens and surrounding grounds were flooded.  Walking between buildings presented a challenge and we finally gave in to buying $4.00 ponchos in an attempt to keep us dry as well as our equipment.  The weather sure put a damper on our visit but at the very end of the day, the sun finally appeared and gave us an opportunity to have a lasting memory photo.  This was my first visit to the Biltmore and I hope to return in nicer weather to take advantage of the manicured gardens and surrounding areas.


Week 16 #11 Diptych/Triptych

Siesta Key FL, Tryptich 


I will readily admit when I saw the challenge “Diptych/Triptych I had to look up the meaning.  I found the following:  “A triptych is a picture in three parts. The triptych is a very popular format in the arts for a range of reasons and they’re designed to be displayed together as a single piece.”  Triptychs normally share a common theme and are displayed together.  This morning I went for a walk on Siesta Key Beach with my camera and my Triptych theme came to me.  My common theme was the letter ‘S’ and I shot the Sky, Sea, and Sand (including seaweed)!  I found a photoshop video on how to uniquely display the triptych so I followed it closely and this is the result.   It was time consuming to put together but definitely fun to do.



Week 15 – #46 The Color Purple



Lens Baby Velvet 85, Purple Mum

In the past one could have accused me of being a spur of the moment shopper but in my later years, that can hardly describe me.  We have been downsizing for the past 8 years and are finally in a nicely sized condo with just the things that I feel are essential.  Maybe that isn’t entirely accurate when it comes to photography equipment – one can never have enough of those items!  Recently I was on a photography trip with some friends and a few of us decided that we just HAD to have the Lens Baby Velvet 85mm.  We had them shipped  overnight to where we were staying.  Once I returned home, I wasn’t sure about my spontaneous purchase but after the LB and I spend this afternoon together I think it’s here to stay.  After I processed this image, I decided that it would be perfect for this weeks challenge; The Color Purple.


Week 14 – #19 From Where I Stand

Maggie Valley NC, Fall Foliage, Cabin View

Recently I traveled to TN with some photo buddies.  We took a side trip to Maggie Valley NC to catch some fall foliage and to visit the Biltmore.  We rented a cabin high in the hills of Maggie Valley and this was the view that greeted us in the morning.  From where I stood, there were only changing foliage and rolling hills as far as the eye could see.  On this shot the sun is just starting to light up the mountains and the fog is beginning to lift.   It’s truly a spectacular view that is about to burst with color.  Imagine if this view greeted you from where you stood all the time!


Week 13 #2- A Stranger

Market Street Bridge, Chattanooga TN

This week, I’ve had the opportunity to spend some time in the Chattanooga TN area with some of my photography buddies.  Tonight we did night shooting in the downtown area practicing long exposures.  We were under the Market Street bridge overlooking the banks of the Tennessee River when I came upon this homeless man.  A long exposure was necessary in the evening light so I needed my subject to remain still for at least a 20 second exposure. When I got home and downloaded my photos I was really drawn to the fact of how a photo of a perfect stranger can create such strong emotions.


Week 12 – #1 A Bench at “National Mall, Washington DC”

Washington Mall, Washington DC

Recently I attended my Marymount University reunion in Washington DC. I lived in the Washington DC for about 10 years and have been back for visits on many occasions. I decided to do a little sightseeing on Saturday to see the changes since my last visit.  One thing that really stood out for me were all the barriers that have been constructed around some of the monuments and also around many of the government buildings. This is a sad reminder of the times that we live in.

Considering that the reunion was planned for mid October, I was hoping to catch some beautiful fall foliage and a reprieve from the hot and humid Florida temperatures that we have been experiencing.  Not to be – temps ranged from mid 60’s to 80’s and the foliage was still very green.  When things didn’t go exactly accordingly to my plans, I decided that perhaps Photoshop could help me out.   Recently I learned about a  filter in NIK called Indian Summer. I decided to give that a try to see if I could emulate the weather that I had wished for.  The unsuspecting couple in the photo were appropriately dressed for fall so my edits did make sense.   I’m afraid that the NIK plug in will have to be my fall substitute until I’m lucky enough to experience fall foliage first hand.

Actual Photo without edits