~ Please Note ~

Unless otherwise noted, all photographic images in this blog are the sole property of Kim L Branson and therefore may not be copied or used in any way without expressed permission by the owner. Thank you.

Welcome to CLIQUE!

I can trace my love of photography back three generations, to the early 1900s and my paternal great-grandfather, Henry Mattson. I have a really cool photo that he took of the old family homestead in Minnesota, sometime before 1910. According to family history, Grampa Mattson frequently took photos of his world - the people and places that he loved.

It warms my heart to know that this love of photography didn't skip any generations as it passed down to me! I am blessed to have such a legacy and I hope to pass it on to my own children and grandchildren some day.

I experience a physical and spiritual thrill whenever the Lord shows Himself in His marvelous creation around us and in the people I meet. My dream vacation would be to spend a year or two just traveling around the US, stopping at little out of the way places and photographing the interesting characters and the beauty of nature to be found along the way - those things that draw me closer to GOD and help point others to Him, too.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My New Fuji s6000fd Has Arrived!

First of all, thank you, Ladies, for your kind words and prayers for me and my family regarding my Dad's passing. It has been emotional time these past two days, but I am blessed and thankful that he is no longer in pain and misery from his various ailments. One bright spot during this time is that I received my new camera today. The photos below are my sample/test shots. I did a little cropping on a couple and added the faded edge to each one; also reduced the size for better storage on my hard-drive.

Landscape mode - taken from inside my Blazer, partial telephoto

Cloudy sky - Landscape mode; full telephoto (300mm)

CLoudy Sky - Landscape mode; full wide-angle (28mm) The area focused on in the photo above this one is located just above the small building on the left

Cloudy Sky - Landscape mode; partial telephoto

Mountain Ash Tree - Auto mode, full wide-angle, auto-flash

Mountain Ash Berries - Flower/macro mode (standing a few feet away)

Mountain Ash Berries - Flower/macro mode, just a few inches away. My favorite photo of the bunch!

Lilac Leaves - Flower/macro mode, about 2 feet away

Dried Leaf on Lilac Bush - Flower/macro mode. Love the DOF in this camera!

Lilac Leaves - Flower/macro mode; approx 18" to 24" away

Blessings - kim

Monday, August 27, 2007

Gutter Topper of Alaska @ the Alaska State Fair

This year at our annual state fair, we rented booth space for the first time, to introduce a new product we have brought up to Alaska. It is a gutter protection system that is not only great for keeping debris and nests out of the roof gutters, but - and this is important in Alaska or anywhere that has snow - this product keeps the snow and ice off the gutters, preventing damage and greatly reducing the possibility of ice-damming under the roof, which results in those huge, dangerous icicles and/or leaking ceilings come spring thaw.

I went out and helped Rog with our booth this past weekend and took a few shots, too. TFL!

This floral display is just inside the main gate to the fairgrounds...
You can tell this is early in the day - in just an hour or two, this walkway will be jam-packed!
My first view of our booth. We are sharing booth space (on our left) with a sweet older gentleman who is a land developer and is taking reservations on lots in a brand new subdivision out in the Valley. His name is Mel. That's him sitting in the corner of his booth.
"Gutter Topper of Alaska dba Integrity Roofing, LLC"
Sign explaining our special drawing to be held the last day of the fair (Sept 3rd)
Rog and our two display units
My lunch - Black Beans & Rice w/a Cheese Quesadilla - yummy "fair fare" from the Three Amigos booth
Rog, explaining to potential customers how Gutter Topper works.

The fair is located in Palmer - about 35 miles northeast of us - and lasts for 12 days - this year, from August 23 - Sept 3. Rog is staying out there in our camper and I stayed there over the weekend, but am back at home during the week. I'll be going back out a few more times during the course of its run and will have plenty more photos to share!

-- kim

Friday, August 24, 2007

About Face

The challenge for this week (Aug 24-30) is SELF-PORTRAITS. Many of us photographers are much more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it and therefore, there are very few photos of us to share with our children and other loved ones.

Personally, after years of only being "okay" with using photos of myself taken in younger days, a couple of years ago I was prompted by the Lord to begin sharing more of myself in my LOs. It was an awkward step for me, but one I accomplished, through a series of pages that was the beginning of my "Book of Me" album. Only this album isn't really about "me" -- but rather, "Who I Am in CHRIST."

Suddenly, I was free to share myself with others - not because I'm anything special (trust me, I'm not!), but rather, GOD and His work in my life is a valuable thing to share with my family and friends and the world at large.

One night last winter, I was up into the wee hours of the morning on the computer. Hubby was sound asleep in the other room and I was feeling... restless, bored and a little goofy, apparently. So I whipped out my camera and took a bunch of self-portraits. A bunch. And when I loaded them onto the computer and flipped through them something odd happened.

I laughed.

As opposed to cringed.

And I was amused.

As opposed to disgusted.

Wow. Didn't see that one coming.

A short time later, Tasra's website, Real Women Scrap, was holding a contest ("Real Women Scrap Official Contest") and one of the challenges was to take a self portrait; another was to create a LO sharing a story about why we scrapbook and/or how scrapbooking has impacted our lives. I combined the two challenges and came up with the LO below. I didn't win the grand prize, but my page did receive an honorable mention for journaling! I was blown away!

LO journaling is below the photo --

Not so very long ago, the thought of doing a layout like this - all these photos of my face out there for the whole world to see - would have elicited a SNORT, a raised eyebrow and the comment, "I don't THINK so!" from my lips. I couldn't stand to see pictures of myself, even if they were taken while I was all dressed up and attending a special event. Baby pictures, yes. I was a cutie and am not ashamed to admit it... Teenage photos, no problem. I had a shapely figure and was fairly attractive, although I didn't think so at the time... But my ADULT pics? Ugly - with a capital UGH!

So what changed? For the past year or two I have been using more photos of myself in my layouts. Why? Why am I now more tolerant of those photos? Why do I go out of my way to take a bunch of self-portraits in the wee hours of the morning, of all things?! Well, part of the reason for my increased tolerance is AGE, I think. I'm about 10 months away from turning 50 and people tend to mellow out once they hit middle age. But that's just a small part of the reason...

The main reason why I can take the photos that I used to loathe - and have FUN doing it! - and include them on layouts for everyone to see, is that, little-by-little, I am more accepting of myself - not just the photos. The more I grow in my Christian walk and in my relationship with CHRIST, the more I am able to see myself as GOD sees me. I am loveable because HE loves me. I am precious because I am HIS Princess. I am valuable because HE values me. I don't always understand it when He tells me these wonderful, affirming things, but I accept His LOVE and day-by-day, bit-by-bit, I become more accepting of myself.

AND I HAVE FUN BEING ME! *highlighted words are also highlighted in my original journaling

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Delaney Park Strip, Anchorage Alaska

Hopefully, you are in the mood for looking at floral pics. Lots of them.

Yesterday, I made my annual stop at the Centenial Rose Garden in downtown Anchorage. Usually, I try to get there in the early part of August, but that wasn't possible this years and, consequently, most of the roses are quite withered if not actually rotted.

Despite that, I managed to take a ton of photos ~ imagine that! ~ and have selected some of my favorites to share here in the blog. Yes, they have been edited (cropped, lightened/darkened, artistically filtered, etc), but my goal is always to enhance the image, rather than give a total makeover. GOD alone is the Master Designer, the Master Artist and there's no way I can improve on His creative work.

To Him be the glory.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Is it the 29th yet?

Okay - I think time passes way too quickly anymore - and the older I get, the faster it seems to go by. Normally, I'd give anything to be able to slow the days down for a little while. Especially during summer. Especially in Alaska. Because it's still August and the leaves are already turning. And an average day lately is cloudy/rainy and in the mid 50s.

But I digress...

Last night, I ordered a new camera:


I could've had it here by this weekend, but opted for the free shipping instead. It shipped today and should arrive on the 29th - Lord willing. Being in Alaska, it might take a few days longer to get here, but then again, maybe not!

I realize that some people might think I'm a bit odd, getting so excited about a non-dSLR camera, but oh well -- coming from 24 years of film SLR experience, I do want a nice *big camera* someday, but because I still consider myself a newbie when it comes to digital cameras, I prefer to learn about digital functions at a comfortable pace and I think this Fuji S6000 will be the right camera for that purpose! And I will continue to use my current camera as well - the main reason I want a new one at this time is that the old one is falling apart (though I can still get good photos from it) and don't want to put the $$$ into replacing the non-working pieces.

-- kimB

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

More "Catch-Up" Photos

Sunny winter day reflected in our bedroom window
Mountain reflection in the lake - Eagle River Valley

Looking through the leaves on our apple tree

Rush hour traffic on a winter's afternoon
(I was alone in the car, but at a stoplight...)

Tourists' perspective of a claving glacier on a Kenai Fjords tour

Aspen tree in our yard

~ FILL the FRAME ~

Prima flower display at a LSS in Anchorage

Our DD & SIL's girl-kitty, Bob

Autumn leaves in my friend Rhonda's yard

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Reflection Challenge

This challenge is all about Reflection...

This photo and the one below were taken
at my sis-in-law Judy's place
in Talkeetna, Alaska.
Yes - this is her lake!

Photo below was taken at Fire Lake in Eagle River, Alaska,

just a few minutes from our home

This one was taken in Clam Gulch, Alaska,

about 2.5 hours from home
Eagle River Valley at the Nature Center

in Eagle River (of course!); about 12 miles from our home

TFL :)