Wanda Parsons Photography: Blog https://www.wandaparsons.com/blog en-us (C) Wanda Parsons Photography (Wanda Parsons Photography) Thu, 06 Aug 2020 21:20:00 GMT Thu, 06 Aug 2020 21:20:00 GMT https://www.wandaparsons.com/img/s/v-12/u167629639-o210624934-50.jpg Wanda Parsons Photography: Blog https://www.wandaparsons.com/blog 94 120 3116 Hwy P, Owensville, MO https://www.wandaparsons.com/blog/2020/7/3116-hwy-p-owensville-mo  


(Wanda Parsons Photography) https://www.wandaparsons.com/blog/2020/7/3116-hwy-p-owensville-mo Sat, 25 Jul 2020 08:59:39 GMT
21 Valley Drive, Union, MO https://www.wandaparsons.com/blog/2020/6/21-valley-drive-union-mo  


(Wanda Parsons Photography) https://www.wandaparsons.com/blog/2020/6/21-valley-drive-union-mo Tue, 09 Jun 2020 14:45:43 GMT
New Real Estate Marketing Tool https://www.wandaparsons.com/blog/2018/7/new-real-estate-marketing-tool iPlayerHD






(Wanda Parsons Photography) https://www.wandaparsons.com/blog/2018/7/new-real-estate-marketing-tool Tue, 03 Jul 2018 18:10:25 GMT
Jefferson County Photography Club Competition https://www.wandaparsons.com/blog/2017/3/jefferson-county-photography-club-competition FYI, I wrote this blog in September of last year, but totally forgot I had started it.  So here we are 6 months later, and it's still relevant.  New photographers may very well appreciate some of the comments on what makes a good photo and how judges critque your photos.  

Read on and feel free to comment!


Well another competition has come and gone.  This is my 3rd year of competing with the talented photographers at the Jefferson County Photography Club.  I joined this club two years ago and I am so impressed with this group of people.  Renee Townsend is the Club's president and she has been such an inspiration for me, and always so encouraging.  The club offers great educational opportunities and we have had many fun field trips.  Mostly, I've made new friends and get to hang out with people that share the passion. 

Getting back to the competition, I take so many photos all year long, it is very difficult to narrow down my favorites to submit to the competition.  I usually try to pick one or two photos for each of the categories.  I ended up submitting 20 photos this year which were judged among the total 560 photos in the competition this year (another record breaking year).  

I had the privilege this year of being a judges assistant.  Basically, all that really means is I got to stand by and listen to the judges critique the photos and pick the winners.  This was such an educational experience for me.  I had to take a day off from my day job, but it was so worth it.  

Here are my ribbon winning photos and a few comments about each, including some of the judges comments.  Believe me, it was sometimes difficult to sit back quietly while judges were critiquing, as I wasn't allowed to say a word. 

In the Landscape Category, there were 58 photos.  Landscape and Nature usually have the most entries.  

I won 1st Place with my "Storm Brewing at Port Hudson"

Storm brewing over Port HudsonStorm brewing over Port HudsonStorm clouds brewing at sunset near Port Hudson Conservation Area near Gerald, MO. This photos won first place in the Landscape category at the Jefferson County Photo Club's 2016 competition.

And two honorable mentions in Landscape. 

"Port Hudson Sunrise" was critiqued as a cropping issue.  They would have liked to have seen the right or left side cropped off, or a more vertical panoramic view, just showing the center tree.   Competition rules stated dimensions must by 8x10 or 8x12 so I could not have realistically done this for competition, but here's a possibility for a fine art print in a custom size.

Sunrise at Port HudsonSunrise at Port HudsonSunrise at Port Hudson Conservation Area near Gerald, MO.

My "Convict Lake at sunset" also received an honorable mention.  Technically well done, the judge referred to it as "calendar shot".  In other words, it's beautiful and well done, but what they consider to be one of those tourist shots of popular locations.   The judges were looking for originality.  

Convict Lake, CaliforniaConvict Lake, CaliforniaSunset at Convict Lake

My "Dandelion" one 1st Place in Nature.  There were 49 entries in the Nature Category.  I'm happy to say, this was a fairly easy decision for the judges, however one judge thought it might have been staged.  Well, it wasn't staged.   Just a dandelion in my front yard, found just like this and photographed with a 100mm macro I had rented for the weekend.  

Dandelion WishesDandelion WishesWhere will the wind take the dandelion seeds? You must truly love nature in order to find beauty even in weeds.

Next up is Transportation, where there were 33 entries.  My "Rusty International" won 3rd place.  This one was close.  Two of the judges like old rusty trucks, and one thought it was too cliche ... too many photographers are doing this type of work these days.  It's difficult to be original, but you should always strive to see things a new way.   Maybe lots of photographers are doing this, but this was a first for me.  

Rusty InternationalRusty InternationalRusty International Truck

This next one, in the Flower Category, of which there were 36 entries was a bit disappointing.  I was close to getting 2nd or 3rd place, but ultimately, the fact that my "Daffodils" photos was 1/2 an inch too close on the left, dropped me down to an honorable mention.  Got to watch the edges when composing your shots.  Always leave a little extra room.  Lesson learned.  Actually this was a problem in a few of my photos.  

Daffodils at Days EndDaffodils at Days EndA spring sunset and a silhouette of a tree frame a pair of daffodils at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, MO.

Other Honorable Mentions: 

Animals - Wildlife 62 entries, "Spring Titmouse" (not enough catchlight in the eye)

Spring TitmouseSpring TitmouseSpring Titmouse

Macro - 16 entries, "Star of Bethlehem"

Star of BethlehemStar of BethlehemStar of Bethlehem - Honorable Mention Macro Category JCPC 2016 Competition

Black and White - 36 entries, "The Chair and Its Shadow".  This one was a nail biter.  It was being considered as a 3rd place ribbon winner, but ultimate bumped down just for overall appeal. 

The chair and its shadowThe chair and its shadowA black and white chair and it's shadow.

Another of my entries in the black and white category, "Cades Cove Church" won an honorable mention.  Cades Cove ChurchCades Cove ChurchCades Cove Church, Tennessee

Architecture- 35 entries.  "The Parthenon at Night".  Only an honorable mention, no comments were made by the judges, but the winners in this category were all somewhat abstract close up images focusing on a single architectural element.  

The ParthenonThe ParthenonNashville, TN Parthenon at Night

Well, I hope you found this interesting.  If you are reading this and think maybe you would like to get involved in competitions, or would like a little advice on your photos, feel free to contact me.  




(Wanda Parsons Photography) https://www.wandaparsons.com/blog/2017/3/jefferson-county-photography-club-competition Fri, 24 Mar 2017 17:35:56 GMT
St. Francois State Park https://www.wandaparsons.com/blog/2016/9/st-francois-state-park This Labor Day weekend was a good weekend for quiet relaxation and a little time in nature.  Hubby and I traveled to St. Francois State Park on Saturday.  It was a beautiful day for skipping rocks and enjoying the beauty of the Big River.   Skipping rocks Reflections on the Big River Big River Chaos

(Wanda Parsons Photography) Missouri St. Francois State Park creek reflections river water https://www.wandaparsons.com/blog/2016/9/st-francois-state-park Mon, 05 Sep 2016 22:49:08 GMT
Sandy Creek Covered Bridge https://www.wandaparsons.com/blog/2016/9/sandy-creek-covered-bridge What a gorgeous day it was in Missouri today.  The hubby and I took a drive to Jefferson County, MO, and after spending a little time at St. Francois State Park, I happened to remember Sandy Creek Covered Bridge was nearby.  Two years ago, I had visited the bridge with my sister for the very first time.  At the time, repairs were underway, but it was still beautiful.   Photographing from the backside, you can hardly tell it was under construction.  

Sandy Creek Covered BridgeSeptember 2014 - Repairs underway

Fast forward to today, and not only was the bridge beautifully restored, but the lighting was better.   I only had my telephoto lens with me so was forced to step back a bit for these shots, but I was very pleased with how they came out.  


The original Sandy Creek Covered Bridge was built in 1872.  It is located near Hillsboro, MO.  Today, there are four covered bridges remaining in Missouri, all of which are declared by the State of Missouri as historic sites.   I hope to visit and photograph the other three bridges someday.   I also plan to visit in different seasons.  Can you imagine the red bridge against a snowy landscape?  What a lovely Christmas card this would make.  


In the meantime, you can purchase prints, canvas or metal showcase wall art of any image you see here.  If you are interested in notecards, and home decor items, I can do that too!  Contact me if you have any questions! 


(Wanda Parsons Photography) Missouri State Historic Site architecture bridge covered historic site history missouri red red bridge sandy creek https://www.wandaparsons.com/blog/2016/9/sandy-creek-covered-bridge Sun, 04 Sep 2016 11:00:00 GMT
The Dazzle of Light https://www.wandaparsons.com/blog/2016/8/the-dazzle-of-light We've had a few pleasant days where the humidity was down and it felt good to be outside.  It's been a little while since I went on a photo walk, so I was just aching for the therapy of shooting just for me. 

I love the light at the end of the day and I think this excerpt from Walt Whitman's poetry fitting "You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light and of every moment of your life."

One of my favorite places near home is Shaw Nature Reserve.  It doesn't matter how many times I visit, or what season, I always find beautiful things.  This time, the last rays of sunshine were catching my eye around every corner. 

Dazzle of the Light"You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light and of every moment of your life."--- Walt Whitman Purple Cone Flower at Summers End

On Sunday evening, I was visiting a friend who just happens to live on a beautiful farm with heavenly views.  As the sun was setting on a perfect day, I took a little walk around the property to capture the last rays of sun. 

Goodnight said the sunGood night said the sun to the tree, with one last kiss of light. Mimosa Tree Mimosa Tree kissed by sunlight Pink Rose Sunset beyond the fence A Warm Welcome

And sometimes, everything aligns perfectly.  The rays from the setting sun lit up this Sunset Motel sign.   The Sunset Motel is located along Old Route 66 near Villa Ridge, MO.  Unfortunately, the neon lights were not all working, but the setting sun added just enough of a glimmer to make it shine.   

Sunset Motel

I hope you are as dazzled by the light as I am.  If you like my photos, please leave me a comment.  I'd love to hear from you.

'Til next time, 










(Wanda Parsons Photography) Route 66 finding the light flowers franklin county gray summit landscape light missouri natural light nature shaw nature reserve st. clair sunset sunset motel trees union villa ridge https://www.wandaparsons.com/blog/2016/8/the-dazzle-of-light Fri, 26 Aug 2016 04:34:12 GMT
Convict Lake at Mammoth Lakes, California https://www.wandaparsons.com/blog/2016/8/convict-lake-at-mammoth-lakes-california In October 2015, David and I had the pleasure of taking a California vacation with David's aunt and uncle who live in Southern California.  

Yosemite National Park was on my bucket list for places to see and photograph.  And, so when we mentioned we'd like to visit, we also decided to go to Mammoth Lakes for a few days as well.  

On our drive up to Mammoth Lakes, I distinctly remember seeing a directional sign on the highway for Convict Lake, and thought to myself, well that's a strange name for a lake.  It definitely did not inspire me to visit.  I'd never heard of it either.  It wasn't in any of my photography guide books as a must see place. 

Now fast forward to the next day.  Having arrived at Mammoth Lakes late, we were astounded by the beauty of the area, but I wanted to see more of the aspen gold.  I wanted to walk among the aspens, photographing their beauty.  And, well I was left wanting.  So that evening, iPad in hand, I Googled, and low and behold I found a local photography club that had just that morning visited Convict Lake and there were numerous photos of the golden aspens along a very nice boardwalk trail.  So while Anette and Terry stayed behind at the lodge, David and I headed out to Convict Lake. 

I was thrilled to find the boardwalk trail through the golden aspens.  

Boardwalk at Convict Lake

The trail at Convict Lake is about 3 miles total that follows the shoreline, you can hike in either direction around the lake starting next to the boat launch.  The trail is relatively flat and so it was a relaxing walk among the gorgeous scenery.  At the back of the lake there is a board walk that crosses the creek.

Convict Lake is known for good fishing and I did see a fisherman or two on the lake.

Fishing Convict Lake Convict Lake view from the trail

Here's an excerpt from the monocounty.org website: 

"Situated at the base of Mount Morrison, the deep blue waters of Convict Lake invite you to enjoy a liesurely picnic or stroll along the lakeside trail.  The epitome of peacefulness today, Convict Lake got its name from an incident that was nothing but peaceful.  In 1871, six inmates from a Nevada prison escaped here, and eventually battled their way out with a shootout, ultimately giving Convict Lake its name."

My husband, David, being a Star Trek fan, was thrilled to learn that Convict Lake was the filming location for several scenes in the 1998 film Star Trek: Insurrection, according to Wikipedia.

As David and I finished our leisurely 3 mile hike around the lake, the sun was starting to set and I was looking forward to capturing a glorious sunset lighting up the sky and reflecting off the lake.  

I grabbed my tripod and scouted out a location.  The perfect spot had already been "taken" by another photographer with similar intentions, so I set up just a few feet away so as not to infringe on her space.  Us photographers have a mutual respect for each other.  

As often happens while waiting for the light to be just right, the photographer and I started with some small talk.  Turns out she was an amazing woman, world traveler, the award winning photographer and writer, Baroness Danute from France.  Later she suggested I move my my tripod and camera down next to her as it was a better viewpoint.  She was so right.  We had a wonderful conversation; she was so interesting.  You can find out more about the Baroness and her adventures at http://www.baronessdanute.blogspot.com.

Well the sunset was not the spectacular event I had hoped for.  A sunrise might have been better at this location, but alas, I made the best of the time and place.  

Convict Lake Sunset

The Baroness packed up and left and I was left waiting for the last light.  A family of raccoons sauntered up to keep me amused.  And calls of wild animals in the not so far distance kept me feeling slightly on edge, with that feeling you get when you are watching a scary movie and you just know something is about to jump out and scare the bejesus out of you.   Don't worry, my husband was nearby talking to a construction worker, and there was a construction crew working the roads just down the way.  In fact, a mountain lion was spotted drinking from the lake, about 200 feet from where I stood.  Nice to know after the fact. 

My patience (and my husband's patience too) paid off.   Just after the sun went down, I got this. Notice the light trails which I thought added just that interesting punch of light, highlighting the golden aspens.  The construction crews were driving the loop road, and around the other side of the lake, a few hikers were caught after dark and their flash lights cast a subtle glow.  

Convict Lake Sunset I am so thrilled to share this photo with you.  I've shared it with thousands on my viewbug portfolio and am pleased to say it has been a finalist in two competitions.  Most recently, this photo was a finalists in "A World of Blue", I was just notified today and so, I was inspired to write this blog.  

For my fellow photographers out there, this was  3 exposures blended with HDR Efex Pro 2, ISO 800, Aperture 5.6, taken with my Canon 70D and Canon 10-18mm with polarizer filter, on a tripod.  I had to use a larger aperture than I normally would have in order to keep the ISO down and I had forgotten my shutter release.  

Just a reminder, any photo you see on my blog, on Facebook or this website are for sale. I also do portraits, events and commercial photography.]]>
(Wanda Parsons Photography) HDR Morrison Mount aspens autumn award blue california convict county fall lake landscape mono mountains reflections sunset viewbug winning https://www.wandaparsons.com/blog/2016/8/convict-lake-at-mammoth-lakes-california Thu, 11 Aug 2016 05:31:50 GMT
Derek and Tiffany's Wedding / Vow Renewal / Gender Reveal at Broemmelsiek Park, St. Charles, MO https://www.wandaparsons.com/blog/2016/8/derek-and-tiffanys-wedding-at-broemmelsiek-park-st-charles-mo Tiffany and Derek were married in a small ceremony in Tennesse in December 2015. On July 16, 2016, friends and family joined them at Broemmelsiek Park in St. Charles, MO to celebrate their marriage, celebrate love, remember those no longer with us and join in a grand gender reveal ceremony all in one lovely day. I'm honored to have been able to capture the memories of this very Derek and Tiffany-244Derek and Tiffany-244 special day.

Derek and Tiffany-37Derek and Tiffany-37 Derek and Tiffany-26Derek and Tiffany-26 Derek and Tiffany-45Derek and Tiffany-45 Derek and Tiffany-64Derek and Tiffany-64 Derek and Tiffany-81Derek and Tiffany-81 Derek and Tiffany-138Derek and Tiffany-138 Derek and Tiffany-168Derek and Tiffany-168 Derek and Tiffany-238Derek and Tiffany-238 Derek and Tiffany-280Derek and Tiffany-280 Derek and Tiffany-156Derek and Tiffany-156

Derek and Tiffany-191Gender RevealDerek and Tiffany reveal the pink cake ... it's a girl!

Derek and Tiffany-318Derek and Tiffany-318 Derek and Tiffany-166Derek and Tiffany-166

(Wanda Parsons Photography) St. Charles St. Louis event gender reveal photographer vow renewal wanda parsons photography wedding weddings https://www.wandaparsons.com/blog/2016/8/derek-and-tiffanys-wedding-at-broemmelsiek-park-st-charles-mo Fri, 05 Aug 2016 22:56:18 GMT
Mainely Maine - Sunrises, Sunsets and everything in between - Part 1 https://www.wandaparsons.com/blog/2014/11/mainely-maine---sunrises-sunsets-and-everything-in-between Bass Harbor Lighthousemaine-8057.jpgBass Harbor Lighthouse in Maine, at sunset My husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this year and although our actual anniversary is in August, we agreed to celebrate with a trip to Maine in October to see the fall color.   Unlike the majority of folks I know who dream of going to Hawaii or the tropics, I've always dreamed of going to Maine.   To make sure I wouldn't miss a thing, I researched and planned more than I've ever done for any trip in my life.  Why?  Because I was determined to capture the whole trip on camera ... the colors, the lighthouses, the ocean waves, the sunsets and sunrises, the boats, the lobster (lob-stah), all things Maine.   

My first task was to decide, where, exactly we wanted to visit.  I've never been to Maine, nor did I know anyone who has traveled to Maine before, so I used google and flickr to browse images that caught my eye.  That is when I discovered Acadia National Park.   My decision to visit Acadia was further determined when finding the images of a wonderful photographer, Greg Hartford at AcadiaMagic.com.   Greg's images were such an inspiration to me, and I literally studied his website to learn everything I could about the area.  

Fall leavesFall ColorsCollection of fallen maple leaves and a pine cone on a granite boulder

Next decision was WHEN to go.  This decision was partly made for me based on my work schedule.  It would have to be September or mid-October.  I was really hoping to be there during the peak fall color season, so, again I did some research on MaineFoilage.com and determined October would be my best bet for fall color.  Due to my work schedule, we chose the week of October 11-18.   Keep in mind, I booked the trip in June, and starting in September, I'd check the foliage reports weekly, anticipating what I might see the week of October 11th.  I knew I was gambling with nature and may miss the peak by one week.  It's silly, I know.  It's not like I could change my travel plans or control Mother Nature.  I guess I was just trying to prepare myself.   Good news!  Our trip was timed perfect.  It WAS the peak week, and the locals say it was the most beautiful display of fall colors they've seen in years.  

By the way, I checked the weather too, thinking it would be pretty chilly that time of year.  Turned out it was beautiful weather, near 70 everyday, in fact warmer than at home in Missouri.  Just another tip, my favorite weather app is Accuweather.  It gives you a detailed forecast by the minute.

From the moment I could see the ground from my airplane window, I knew I was in for a real treat.  The colors were so vibrant.  I was just in awe.  Mind you, Missouri is beautiful in the fall, but Missouri's colors pale in comparison to the bright reds, yellows and oranges of Maine. 

SunsetMount Desert Island SunsetFirst sunset in Maine Enough about the fall colors, I was there to capture some sunrises and sunsets too.  As we drove into Mount Desert Island, the sun was just starting to set.  I asked my husband to turn down one of the roads heading to the west, just hoping it would take us to the water where I can capture the sunset.  We got lucky.  This was probably the prettiest sunset of the week.  

Then, the next morning, much to my surprise, I watched the sunrise from the backyard of Safe Harbor, the little cottage we rented in Southwest Harbor.  My favorite sunrises were seen in my pajamas with a warm cup of coffee.     Southwest Harbor, Maine SunriseSouthwest Harbor SunriseSunrise our last day in Maine


Speaking of sunrises and sunsets, I have to tell you, I purchased a new app, The Photographer's Ephemeris for my iPhone that helped me scout out the best locations.  It tells you where the sun rises and sets, and the moon too.  As well as giving you the exact time of day.  Another valuable resource that helped me find the best places to photograph was "Photographing Acadia National Park, the When, Where and How"  I downloaded the e-book, but honestly, would suggest you buy the book as it is easier to thumb through it.  



(Wanda Parsons Photography) https://www.wandaparsons.com/blog/2014/11/mainely-maine---sunrises-sunsets-and-everything-in-between Sat, 15 Nov 2014 08:19:53 GMT