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Featured Inspiration Photography Thoughts for a Rainy Day ☂

Welcome Autumn! What to Look Forward to This Season

Chicago in the Fall

Hello Fall!

The weather is turning, Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte came out yesterday, decorations on my shelves, and I’m in the mood to bake. We’re coming upon my favorite season.

Technically the first day of Autumn doesn’t start until Tuesday, September 22, but I like to start celebrating the day the pumpkin spice latte comes out. I tried the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew yesterday and it was so good!

I feel so blessed to have been able to experience 3 seasons of autumn this past year between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

As we embark again on the beautiful season, here’s some incredible things to anticipate in the next few months.

Change in Landscape

I love the autumn landscape.

Desert grasses and tree foliage of sage brush, mesquites, palo verdes, or broad leaf deciduous maple, oaks, and aspen. Deeper greens, yellows, reds, and oranges.

I embraced the contrast of this shot where warm meets cool.

Arizona Desert
Cornfields of Nebraska
Autumn Leaves in Arizona
Mushrooms of North Carolina
Mushrooms of Malawi, Africa

Creatures Calling a New Home

Pollinators such as bees start to huddle in their hives, while butterflies migrate south.

Bee of the Midwest
Butterly of the Midwest
Butterfly Dance

Baked Goods

Fall baking is the best. Cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg. Incorporating seasonal fruits as they ripen, varieties like peaches followed apples, cranberry, and orange.

A Crumb Topped Muffin I Made (recipe coming soon)
Delicious Breads of Jordan

Scents of Autumn

Though the following scent of has notes of a bright and tangy summer, the sweet and sour of the classic drink, I’m still using it for the tail of summer as we transition into colder temperatures and for those days when gloomy weather becomes too much.

Philosophy’s Señorita Margarita Shampoo, Shower Gel, and Bubble Bath

Opening my candle drawer and seeing all the goodies to choose from brings me so much joy.

The glow through the glass, the scent of sugar cookies, juniper, berries, apples, and sandalwood.

Perfumes go from light, crisp, floral scents to deep notes of amber that still have a mild citrusy characteristic.

One of my favorites below (from a lifetime collection of samples) has key notes of Italian bergamot, orange flower, lavender.

Collection of Perfume Samples

Other Edible Treats

Layering plain yogurt, honey, seasonal fruits, topped with crunchy oats and shredded coconut makes for a delicious breakfast or a quick snack. I used grapefruit and huckleberries most recently.

It’s pineapple season on the islands and if you don’t have access to a fresh one, right now Maui Gold Pineapple is shipping throughout the U.S. (except Alaska).

2-day delivery straight from the gorgeous pineapple plantation.

Huckleberry and Grapefruit Yogurt Parfait
Maui Gold Pineapple Plantation

Sounds of Autumn

Imagine relaxing, ASMR, sounds of rain as you sip coffee in a coffee shop, nature sounds, and rustling leaves.

Check out the YouTube Channel Autumn Cozy for a serene, happy, and rich experience while watching an animated fall scene.

Upcoming Book Releases

There are so many exciting publications coming out.

I like to read mysteries, thrillers, and a bit of horror during this time of year.

One I’m really looking forward to is called The Last Mrs. Summers by Rhys Bowen. Such a beautiful cover!

The Last Mrs. Summers by Rhys Bowen

Movie Releases

I can’t wait to see Bill & Ted Face the Music. It’s available on demand and showing in theatres this Friday, August 28.

Bill & Ted Face the Music (promo website photo)

What are you looking forward to this season?

I hope you enjoyed my photos along with the visual of amazing things that appeal to all the senses.

Let me know about your favorites and if you participate in the Jibber Jabber with Sue word prompt challenge “picture” by tagging me or linking your posts in the comments below!

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Featured Photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Creativity in the Time of COVID

From a creative standpoint, it’s been a struggle for me to find concentration and patience for taking photographs. I’ll think of something and then want to rush through it. My most creative ideas come at night and they’re gone by the morning.

Over the past few months though, I’ve been trying really hard to take my time, taking aim at depth and composition.

My latest goal is paying more attention to layers, shadows, depth of field, texture, and various shapes to better frame and show distance, scale, and perspective of subject matter.

Here are some shots I took while recently traveling to the Northwestern United States as well as my latest in reading and baking.

I hope you enjoy! Be sure to tag your entries in response to Travels and Trifles photography challenge below!

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.

— John Lubbock

Prairie lands.

The joy in finding the perfect place for a picnic. I tried showing the vastness of grasslands extending between the log fence and pine trees. Distant mountains still with snow. No one would ever know that I had to stand on my tippy toes to get this one lined up the way I did.

Cookie composition.

Dark Chocolate Pudding Oreo Cookies. For this one, I tried to fill in the background, separating the foreground and the background, showing the recognizable Oreo in a subtle way, creating a slight “S” shape flow to my composition.

I’m still deciding on how many eggs to put in this one, but a recipe will be coming soon!

Book photography.

Fresh Water for Flowers by Valérie Perrin. I just received this newly translated release in the mail. A #1 best-seller in France, described as a delightful, atmospheric, absorbing fairy tale full of poetry, generosity, and warmth.

I enjoyed thinking about the placement of this one. Fading flowers, the waterfall in the background, a rosy hued reflection of bright pink petunias projecting onto the cover.

I’m really looking forward to reading this one.

Contrast through shadows.

I love taking photos of bugs. I liked the shadows in this one.

This black and white spotted, fuzzy fore-legged flyer is a White-spotted sable, species of Crambid snout moth, also known as an American white-spotted sable.

The reveal.

Sunset over Flathead Lake, Montana. A little nestle of trees opening to reveal logs accumulating on shore and a glorious peek into the orange haze sun.

Big sky justice.

Standing on a mountain. The foreground with sage brush, quartz, it plunges down, then meets the height of other peaks. It’s hard to gauge the vastness, the mileage beyond, I tried my best to capture it and zone the onlooker onto the spotlights where the clouds part over the terrain.

Pencil drawing of Don Quixote

“Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them.”

— Don Quixote

Link your responses/images to this photography challenge below, I’d love to see them!

Categories
Featured Inspiration Photography Thoughts for a Rainy Day ☂

Summer is that You? 9 Things I’m Looking Forward To

It’s so hard to believe it’s almost June!

Yet it also feels like it took forever to get here at the same time. Things are opening back up again and it’s such a good feeling. It really felt like summer out today.

1. Yard sales

I don’t really shop a whole lot, nor do I need anything. However yard sales mark the beginning of summer and I visited a really good estate sale this morning and boy was it packed! It was nice to look around, nice to get out. I ended up buying 2 concho belts and some silver turquoise rings.

I came across these antique dishes, aren’t they gorgeous?

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2. Caterpillars in the garden

Posing for my camera, what a cutie!

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3. Flowers

My mother always has the most beautiful roses growing in her yard.

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4. Summer lipsticks

Underneath my mask, you’ll find me wearing Lisa Eldridge’s Summer Pinks Collection. You can read more about these lipsticks on my post here.

Such a soft, fun, summery color range. Pictured below is Go Lightly Luxuriously Lucent Lip Colour, one of my most favorite go-to colors for the season, it really brightens my day.

Lisa Eldridge Summer Pinks Collection © 2019 ericarobbin.com | All rights reserved.

5. Ice cream

My favorite summer treat! The recipe to my Rose Petal Syrup can be found here.

Rose Petal Syrup | Erica Robbin

And it’s awesome to know that there are parts of the world that still celebrate summer with ice cream trucks going through the neighborhood.

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6. The ocean

Oh my goodness, my summer will not be complete without it.

What places are you wanting to visit this summer?

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7. Summer scents

My favorite summer scent. Bobbi Brown Beach Body Oil. It’s glorious. Totally sold out, I don’t think they are making it anymore, so I’ll be savoring my last little bit. #bringbackbobbibrownbeachbodyoil

What’s your favorite summer scent?'beach' Body Oil by Bobbi Brown © 2019 ericarobbin.com | All rights reserved.

8. Summer reads

I just received this one in the mail and I’m so looking forward to reading it.

The Secret Seaside Escape by Heidi Swain.

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The Secret Seaside Escape  is the perfect read this summer, promising sandy beaches, stunning rockpools and breath-taking romance. Perfect for fans of Carole Matthews and Sarah Morgan.

***THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR***

Escape to the seaside with the brand new novel from Heidi Swain, the Sunday Times bestselling author of feel-good women’s fiction!

Tess Tyler needs a break. Weighed down by her high-pressure job and her demanding father, she’s left little time to take care of herself. But after a shocking discovery sends her spiralling, she flees to Wynmouth, the seaside town she fell in love with as a child, to escape it all.

With its sandy beaches, stunning rock pools and welcoming community, Tess feels like she can finally breathe again. And as she grows ever closer to local barman Sam, she dares to dream that she might never return to her real life. But when a familiar face returns to town, Tess realises that there are secrets in Wynmouth too, and that her own past may be about to catch up with her . . .

Check it out on: Goodreads, Amazon, Libro.com audiobook

9. Ice cream

I think this one is worth mentioning again.

Cotton Candy Dipped Cone from Dairy Queen! Oh my, sounds so yummy! Not my photo on this one, but hopefully you’ll see one in my hand soon with an update as to how it tastes. I usually get the butterscotch one. I’m so curious. Have you tried it yet?

 

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 11.25.51 AM

I hope you enjoyed this post, all the things I’m looking forward to this summer, in response to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, with the theme being “delicate colors.”

Let me know what you are most looking forward to and if you participated in this challenge in the comments below!

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Art & Crafts Featured Photography

The New Age of Displaying Your Art and Photography

Do you remember back in the day when you had to drop off your roll of film and had to wait a couple days to see if your pictures “turned out?” Original 4×6 prints and scrapbooking were pretty much the only way to appreciate your own artwork. Of course, you could print duplicates.

Now, in a time where almost every image is viewed digitally, I think it’s easy to gloss over a digital photograph and forget that you can print your own work in a much easier fashion and appreciate it in a fresh way.

Last summer I opened up my Redbubble shop. It’s a print-on-demand company celebrating independent artists. My shop has been doing well so far and I’m excited to say that I have finally placed an order featuring my own work. I am very happy with how everything turned out.

I literally could customize the decorating of my own home with whatever image I want, everything from pillows to bathmats, to shower curtains and wall clocks. Perhaps I will. You can check out my work here. I also purchased a few products featuring my sister’s artwork at well. Check out my sister’s work here.

You might remember this photograph, Par for the Course. It was one that was included in my Cece’s Photography Challenge Trees and one that was featured on our One Tree at a Time photography group. I ordered this one as a canvas print to give to my dad and I love how it turned out!

Redbubble Haul Autumn 2019 | Erica Robbin

Here are what the canvas edges look like. Each canvas is hand stretched and the print wraps around 1/4″ or 6 mm.

Redbubble Haul Autumn 2019 | Erica Robbin

Here is what the back looks like.

Redbubble Haul Autumn 2019 | Erica Robbin

Here is the sunset, The Last Tee Time, which won a spot as a featured piece on the Art for Sale Facebook page.

It looks great up on the wall.

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Here is a close up of the print in better lighting which shows how the glossy finish and a metallic appearance creates an image with exceptional visual interest and depth.

Redbubble Haul Autumn 2019 | Erica Robbin

I also really love how my sister’s artwork turned out on the other fun products I ordered.

I got two ruled spiral bound notebooks to journal in. They turned out so gorgeous and cute!

Redbubble Haul Autumn 2019 | Erica Robbin

And I got a long sleeve t-shirt. Again, so cute! The print is vibrant and of good quality as the image is opaque and crisp. The t-shirt quality itself is also of very good quality. It doesn’t look like the type of pill or fade and is very soft.

Redbubble Haul Autumn 2019 | Erica Robbin

I am so happy with how everything turned out! Why didn’t I do this earlier? And next, custom decor for my living room and bathroom. Sounds so fun!

I hope you enjoyed my little walk down memory lane and haul of my own (and my sister’s) photography and artwork. Let me know about your thoughts on this change in the photography and art space and if you have every tried a print on demand shop as an artist, I’d be curious to see your work and how your products turned out!

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Featured Photography

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Trees

Here are my entries for this week’s photo challenge from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Trees.

I had fun taking these photos back in April.

The quiet, still, mysterious ambience that the fog provided was unlike anything I’ve ever shot in before. The lack of visibility was unreal and time seemed to stop.

I shot them in manual and they were incredibly difficult to expose for and get the proper focus.

The first one is my dad’s favorite. I’m having a print done on canvas for him, I hope it turns out!

I hope you enjoy!

Par for the Course | Erica Robbin
Par for the Course | Erica Robbin

To Know | Erica Robbin
To Know | Erica Robbin

Just Beyond that Tree | Erica Robbin
Just Beyond that Tree | Erica Robbin

Let me know if you participate in this challenge, I’d love to see your photos! Also let me know your tips for shooting in the fog!

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Featured Photography

Photo Challenge: Still Life

A still life is a drawing, painting, or photograph that features inanimate objects, typically bowls of fruit and bottles wine. It’s actually quite interesting to read about the history of still life.

It’s a style that became really popular in the Middle Ages with the oldest official one being painted by in 1504 by Italian artist, Jacopo de’Barbari. However, even older paintings have been depicted on ancient Egyptian tombs as early as 15th century B.C. You can read more about still life on Wikipedia here.

I actually got some new paints recently and have been wanting to paint a still life. Composing a scene for a good source photo is quite the challenge in itself but it’s a lot of fun styling and shooting them. I want something fun but nothing too difficult to paint.

Here are my contributions to Nancy Merrill’s Photography Challenge.

Roses | Erica Robbin

Plumcot Still Life | Erica Robbin

Sunflower Still Life | Erica Robbin

I’d love to see your challenge photos, so be sure to let me know what you photographed in the comments below!

And if you paint, how do you approach still life, do you have a preference for fruit, flowers, vases? Do you avoid or embrace reflective surfaces? Do you use certain techniques for creating texture such as wood grain, fruit skins, leaf veins?

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Featured Photography

Easy and Inexpensive DIY Photography Backdrops

Photography Backdrops | Erica Robbin

  • Servings: As many as you want
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

An easy way to make photography backgrounds.

I enjoy all types of photography and I especially enjoy photographing books, foods, crafts, and beauty products. Backgrounds are one of those simple, yet important things to consider when showcasing the subject and enhancing the look of your photos.

I came across a video DIY Backdrops for Food Photography by Joanie Simon from The Bite Shot on YouTube and decided to give it a try.

It was a fun project and much easier than I thought it would be, so here is what you’ll need.


Credit: ericarobbin.com

Ingredients

    PHOTOGRAPHY BACKDROPS:
  • Wood boards, with long dimension (ask your local hardware store for any scraps or errors and keep in mind that a better quality wood will require less sanding)
  • Medium grit sand paper
  • Indoor/outdoor paint (any desired colors)
  • 2″ paint brush
  • Top coat, matte is preferred as it will be less reflective when photographing, but gloss is fine especially if you are planning to sand over the top of it

Directions

    PHOTOGRAPHY BACKDROPS:
  1. Sand, paint, and spray with top coat as desired.

 

I made some with natural wood and staining, single-colored sides, and a few with a variety of vibrant colors roughly painted on and lightly sanded again for a more textured background.

Recipe for Sour Cream Pear Pie using a plain light blue background.

Sour Cream Pear Pie © 2019 ericarobbin.com | All rights reserved.

Book photography cherry-stained background with Watership Down by Richard Adams using vegetables from my garden for contrast.

Watership Down by Richard Adams © 2019 ericarobbin.com | All rights reserved.

Recipe for Maui Onion Avocado Toast with a white background, lightly sanded for a shabby chic, undone look.

Maui Onion Avocado Toast © 2018 ericarobbin.com | All rights reserved.

My crafts header using a light yellow background to compliment the matching tones of items in my craft supply flat lay.

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Recipe for Macadamia Nut and Harvest Peach Pie Açaí Bowl using a blue hued, multi-tonal, dry brushed background to contrast with the peachy tones.

Macadamia Nut and Harvest Peach Pie Açaí Bowl © 2018 ericarobbin.com

A simple light, grey background for my books header.

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Natural wood for displaying the Anastasia Beverly Hills Riviera Eyeshadow Palette from my Summer 2019 Beauty Favorites – Makeup post.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Riviera Eyeshadow Palette © 2019 ericarobbin.com | All rights reserved.

I was even inspired by the book cover of Midnight at the Blackbird Café. If you haven’t read this one, be sure to check it out!

Midnight at the Blackbird Café by Heather Webber © 2019 ericarobbin.com | All rights reserved.

Let me know what backgrounds you have made for your photography in the comments below, I’d love to see! And be sure to check out food photographer, Joanie Simon she has so many helpful tips!

Photograpy Backdrop
*Some links may be affiliates which means I may earn a small commission when you make a purchase using them at no additional cost to you. If you choose to use them I would like to say thank you and I appreciate the support!

Categories
Featured Photography

Flower of the Day: Tulips

With colors are so vibrant, the silky sheen on their petals.

I love how tulips signal that spring is officially here with such a grand celebration.

Here are my photos for Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge – Tulips. The tulips really opened up late in the day and darkened to a deeper purple toward the end of their blooming cycle.

Fuchsia Tulips © 2019 ericarobbin.com | All rights reserved.Fuchsia Tulips © 2019 ericarobbin.com | All rights reserved.Fuchsia Tulips © 2019 ericarobbin.com | All rights reserved.Fuchsia Tulips © 2019 ericarobbin.com | All rights reserved.Fuchsia Tulips © 2019 ericarobbin.com | All rights reserved.

Let me know if you participated in this challenge and happy flower gardening! I’ll be planting poppy seeds tomorrow!

Categories
Featured Photography

A Photo a Week Challenge: The Rule of Thirds

Hello everyone, I hope you are having a lovely spring day. With the blossoms popping like popcorn, I just feel so blessed to be able to enjoy it all! 

This week’s challenge is using the rule of thirds (see Nancy Merrill Photography). The rule of thirds is a photography principle where you compose the visual image on the intersecting lines of the grid as shown:

Rule of Thirds © 2019 ericarobbin.com | All rights reserved.

I have to admit, I don’t use the principle all that much as I love front and center photographs. I do try to follow the rule and divide my landscape horizons by the thirds though.

Here are my two, I hope you like them!

Pom Pom © 2019 ericarobbin.com | All rights reserved.

Sweet Thistle © 2019 ericarobbin.com | All rights reserved.

Let me know if you participate in this challenge, I’d love to see your photos!

Also if you are interested in purchasing a print/other products featuring either of these two photographs, check out my shop at Redbubble.

And they are having a sticker sale right now!

Categories
Featured Photography

Flower of the Day Photo Challenge: Hyacinth

Here is my entry for today’s Flower of the Day Photo Challenge, the hyacinth.

This is the perfect flower to showcase for me because I actually picked this blue hyacinth up from Trader Joe’s grocery store in honor of National Plant a Flower Day, on March 12.

Here is its growing progression in which the second photo was taken 1 week later, when it really blossomed and became so amazingly fragrant.

Let me know if you participated in this challenge and if you’re growing any starters for this coming season in the comments below!

Categories
Featured Photography

Getting Your Ducks in a Row

For this week’s photo challenge “Getting Your Ducks in a Row” hosted by Nancy Merrill Photography, I wanted to take the time to post an update for everyone about a couple things I am passionate about and how I’m getting my ducks in a row.

Since starting my blog about a year ago, there are a lot of hobbies I’ve wanted to grow in. One of those things is photography. I have always enjoyed taking snapshots of moments from a very young age, but I don’t feel like I grew that much from there.

So this past year I have taken a few photography courses and binged watched a lot of YouTube videos. I have learned to take my time in the process. I’ve also been practicing more. Taking on the challenge of shooting raw, with manual control, and working with only one lens has really helped me grow in so many ways!

I am now finding myself paying better attention to creating photographs that celebrate the subject through all the visual elements that make a better image and I’m hoping that it shows. I wish I knew the things I know now when I first started to realize how much I enjoy taking photos of my other hobbies, which include baking and books. That said, I would like to encourage everyone that it is never too late to start!

Here’s an example of two different kinds of cakes with similar characteristics, taken on two different occasions. You’ll see the Citrus Celebration Cake (left) recipe from Martha Stewart’s Wedding Cakes book and one of my own recipes, Raspberry Buttercream and Vanilla Layer Cake with Mascarpone Cream (right).

The cake on the left was shot over 10 years ago. And boy did I miss that opportunity to take photos of the beautiful layers of white cake and oh so yummy, happy lemon curd. The cake on the right was taken about 6 months ago, and even today, I would have done a few things differently. Of course I’m always baking so there’s no hope lost on planning for an updated photo in the future!

With that, I am working on updating my website to get my ducks in a row.

As a reflection of my ever expanding hobbies, please bear with me as a make a few changes to my website. You might see an outpouring of posts that I would like to publish in order to get it more up to date. Hopefully it will only take me a day or two!

In the meanwhile, be sure to take a look at the photo challenge and let me know if you participated in the comments below! Also if there is anything you are currently working on to get your ducks in a row, let me know as well!


*Some links may be affiliates which means I may earn a small commission when you make a purchase using them at no additional cost to you. If you choose to use them I would like to say thank you and I appreciate the support!
Categories
Featured Photography

25% Off EVERYTHING Sale!

Another sale is taking place and this time you can save 25% off EVERYTHING!

Today only, Redbubble is having a site wide sale. Use the code: ROBOT25.

Redbubble sells a variety of products such as: clothing, device cases, stickers, greeting cards, wall art, home decor stationary, bags, and gift certificates.

They offer international shipping, high-quality products, ethically-sourced apparel. They are also a great source of support for independent artists.

Last week I submitted a photo to one of the challenges and won! Here is my featured image, it’s photograph I took of a boat on the Sea of Galilee in Israel:

Boat on Sea of Galilee © 2018 ericarobbin.com | All rights reserved.

Visit Redbubble for more!

I hope you enjoy my artwork and happy shopping!


 

*Some links may be affiliates which means I may earn a small commission when you make a purchase using them at no additional cost to you. If you choose to use them I would like to say thank you and I appreciate the support!