Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Hey guess what - I don't blog here anymore. 

Come see me at www.allieraephotography.com/blog - look around, enjoy yourself and say hi!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Let it Ride

The weather here in the Pacific Northwest has been phenomenal!  It's taken until August to get here, but here it is.  80's sometimes reaching the 90's and very few clouds.  Ahhhh  It's like the month we get to venture outside.  Luckily for us with webbed feet, it's extended this year into September.  I don't remember the last time kids were in school and people were at the beach at the same time.

One item on my list of "things I'd like to photograph" over the years has been a horse race.  Why haven't I done this before?  Emerald Downs is located just North of where I live and I've finally just now gotten around to it.   As if shooting horses weren't a challenge as it was, I decided to try my hand at it during an evening set of races.  It was a beautiful day, I just knew it was going to be perfect weather for the evening.  And it was.

Turns out the races in the evening were a challenge photographically.  I knew they had lights, but even with the lighting, it was really hard to get proper exposure.  I had to go full manual and sacrifice some shutter speed and ISO (2000!!) while shooting wide open at 2.8 on my 70-200.  Given the circumstances, I am happy with some of the shots I got.  I can't wait for next racing season to go again!

It got dark fast, but I was able to snap the mountain.  There is no mountain more beautiful than Mt. Rainier!

I loved it when the gate started right in front of us so I could catch them in a pack coming out.  (is it just me or is number 4 checkin' me out?)

This picture was a happy accident.  Horse 5 was in the lead and you can see his odds and pools.  Score!

But in the end, #3 took the purse.

Such majestic and beautiful animals.

What a fun evening!  And even better, I broke even on my bets.  :)
Sweet Shot Day

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Day at the Aquarium

 Kayla and I had the day to ourselves so we called Aunt Christy and asked her if she would like to do something fun - after much deliberation, we decided to meet for lunch and then go to the Seattle Aquarium on the waterfront downtown.  It was a beautiful day for a drive - 90 degrees, not a cloud in sight. 

You know what's fun to do with new eyes and a camera that can handle ISO?  Jack that sucker up to ISO 2500 and take pictures of fish in tanks.   I am simply in awe every time I go above ISO 800.

 I think this was some kind of anemone... but don't quote me on that

This was some kind of coral...  interesting.

Jellyfish galore - I swear I could have just sat there all day and watched the jellies. 

Weird Seahorses (Seahorsiosis Weirdosa)

Many many anemones (anemoni?)....

Seals!  They were so cute, I just love seals.

And of course....  Nemo.  Kayla's favorite. 

SUCH a fun day.  I love aquariums. :)

Sweet Shot Day

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Let There Be Sight

Guess what I did!  Go on... Guess.

I'll wait.

No I didn't pet a rabid wallaby OR carve my likeness in bar of lye soap.  What I DID do was get Lasik surgery.  CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT???  I can't.  I still can't.  I'm sitting here typing this without glasses/contacts/monocles or by braille and I still can't believe it.


That's right, it's bold, italicized AND underlined people!  If that doesn't tell you just how earth-shattering this is, let me spell it out for you.  Hello, my name is Missy and I have a slight (maybe not so slight) case of hypochondria.  See, I just knew that if I did this simple, completely elective surgical procedure, that I would have to be immediately fitted with a white cane because I would lose an eye due to the microbial nature of air that caused a deep rooted infection of which literally ate my eyeball.  I. Was. Certain.

Well color me shocked when not only did I NOT lose an eye, I gained some serious vision!  Although, I won't lie...  I might have freaked out a little when I woke up the next day and couldn't really focus on anything and nothing was clear.  My doctor told me before the procedure that I would be able to resume normal activity - even work on my computer (you know, like I do for a living) - the very next day.  Uhhh no - not for me.  It took me a good week before I could see clearly, but here I am despite my certainties of blindness... seeing clearly.

One thing I forgot to do?  Take before and after pictures.  Probably a good thing though, nervous puking a pretty picture does not make.  So for your viewing pleasure, I present to you "before" and after.



Clearly (pun fully intended), I should of done this a long time ago.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Summer of Fun

I can't believe it's been over a month since I updated here!  The Man and I decided early in the year that we were tired of spending all of our time and money on the house for the last couple years, so we declared 2011 to be "The Summer of Fun".  We still have bedrooms to paint, trim/doors/woodworking to paint and hang....  but golly gee whiz and darn it, we wanted to have some FUN this year! 

Welp - we've lived up to that declaration.  We've booked nearly every other Summer weekend at some state campground and took a couple of weeks off from work to play as well - and you know what?  We've had ALOT of fun.  I knew I enjoyed camping before we bought our RV, but I honestly didn't realize I would enjoy it SO much!  A couple trips, we even towed the boat along and played in the water as well. 

Now listen, I understand the entire country has been under a heat-wave akin to the firey depths of Hell, but you have to remember, this is the Northwest.  We grow webs on our feet and the mercury rarely rises above 90 degrees - you could probably count the days on 1 hand.  In the end, if it's not raining... well, that's a pretty good Summer's day. 

So with that, we went to the beach and TOTALLY lucked out with weather.  You truly never know what you're going to get at the coast, but we had blue sky AND we were even able to play in the water without frostbite!  Double score!  :)

Kayla LOVED the waves, we had to drag her out when it was time.

Then all she wanted to do is sit in a hole.  Silly girl

There was a kite festival

And then of course, we had to participate with our contribution. (Don't hurt yourself, dear)
By the time the days were over, we were all wiped out and enjoyed some smores.  :)

That was a fun trip to Grayland Beach.  A couple of weeks later, we packed up and headed over the Cascades to Lincoln Rock for a week.  We booked this particular trip in order to get some SUN.  For those of you not from the area, Western Wa. is where the rain is, Eastern WA is where the sun is - and it did not disappoint.  It was pretty much about 97 degrees the whole time.  Lincoln Rock is nice because it is against the Columbia River right before the Rocky Reach Dam, so it's a pretty big body of water - and since it's a river from snow melt in the Cascades, it is COLD.  That is there the beauty lies - it's hot, the water is cold....  duh.

I'm not exactly sure what she's doing here - stretching before the big swim?  No clue.

While we were in Wenatchee, we decided to spend a couple hours at Ohme Gardens.  It's mostly rocks and tall trees on a mostly barren hillside - not too many flowers, but it was a great little "hike" up and down all the rocks and formations.

And a couple shots with us

We had a couple of little visitors at our campground (when Kayla wasn't running around screaming, that is)

After our lovely time in Lincoln Rock, we went home long enough to wash, shop and reload and headed back out to the beach again for a few days, this time to Ocean City.
To be honest, there are only so many beach pictures a person can take, they aren't different.  hahaha  This is my favorite from this particular trip.

She was so excited to be able to ride the horse - if she was a little older, we could have rode them up the beach, but she just got a little walk down to the water and back.  Good enough for her!

What do you do after all that surf n' fun?  Sleep...  as a princess.  That raggedy, holey, falling apart pink thing on her head is a little princess cape that she will not put down.  It's her "princess" and she had to wear it every night to bed.  Hey - whatever works, kid.
We have had alot of fun this summer - and it's still not over!  I am diggin' the Summer o' Fun.  I hope we have a few weeks still yet, I don't want it to end!!

Viva La Summer!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Usual Day-after-the-4th Pictures

Oh yes.  The 4th of July.  The quintessential American holiday of blowing shit up.  It doesn't get much more patriotic than pyrotechnics, amirite?

Of course we partook in the festivities, I think there's a law that if you don't, you're not a citizen.  We had ourselves a spread of smoked ribs, smoked Kokanee, some brats, potato salad, baked beans and then the red, white and (forgot the blue) dessert of strawberry shortcake.  I'm feeling all Amercany today.

Let's get on with the firework pictures, shall we?  Everyone else in Blog-o-sphere is sharing the exact same photos, I'm sure.  :)

Kayla was totally into her sparklers (until the poor thing touched the end of one when it was done.  First 4th of July burn blister for the tyke)

Grandpa even got into the fun

After it got dark enough, my neighborhood went crazy.  I snapped a couple before I put up my camera due to all the smoke and falling debris.  The brooms were out in force this morning....

These are from the road behind us

This year was fun, as it is every year, but I will never ever forget the 4th of July in 2007 when I fared the traffic in the city and was lucky enough to have a lightening storm that day.  I'm not sure I will ever top the pictures I got with the Space Needle, the fireworks and the lightening.   I have to share it every year.
Seattle, July 4th, 2007

I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th!  

Sweet Shot Day

Monday, June 27, 2011

Camping and Nature

Ahhhh  Summer.  I have missed you so much.  I should write and Ode to Summer.

Ode to Summer
I love you
The end.

Nearly brings a tear to your eye, no?  It's pretty evident that I have missed my calling, folks.    

Oh well, millions in lost poetry royalties aside, we have been enjoying the beginning of Summer here in the Pacific Northwest.  This last weekend we caravaned (is that a word? It is now) down to Taidnapam Park at Riffe Lake to have some fun in the sun and water.  I say caravan because The Man towed the camping trailer in the truck, and I towed the boat in the Pilot.  Yes, I agree, it's pretty ridiculous in theory - don't tell Al Gore.

With our carbon footprint freshly imprinted, we camped, we boated, we fished and had a great time.  Of course, the first day of our arrival, it rained - but come on.  This is Washington - there is rain - we deal.

Kayla is ready for the boat now. (of course, we still hadn't hooked up the trailer at this point)

 Jumping up and down on the picnic table is a good time waster until we can go in the boat

Kayla cannot help herself when there is a campfire.  She kept asking all day "can we have a fire now?"  Finally... She called this a birthday.  You know, the stick on fire was a birthday.

The next day we went for a few bike rides, hikes, walks to the playground

This was a creepy tunnel you had to walk through to get to the playground.  Shrieking anyone?

Then we went out on the Cowlitz to go fishing.  There were a number of Osprey out there fishing on the river as well.  I caught a decent size trout (the only one of the day, thankyewverymuch), but the eagles did much better than I did.
They actually dive into the water.  Like INTO the water.  I've seen bald eagles swoop down and snag a fish off the surface, but these birds flew up high, tucked their wings in and went down in a straight line and plunged into the water.  They were in there for about 30 - 60 seconds and would fly up and out with their catch of the day.  Impressive, really.

This is my favorite Osprey-with-a-fish picture of the day.  I only had my 85mm lens with me, so hey, shout out to the bird who flew close enough for a close up!

What a great weekend.  Even if it was a little drizzly of a start - as soon as it stopped, the sun came out and stayed out and even provided some heat at about 75.  Pretty perfect for me.  It went by entirely way too fast, but our next trip is right around the corner.... to the beach! (any bets on weather?  You never know what you're going to get at the Wa. Coast.  I've got everything crossed to be able to go coat free)

Are there any other campers feeling the love so far this summer?

Sweet Shot Day