Reference Photos for Leaves

This past week I took some photos of leaves to use as reference photos for my drawing exercises. I thought I would share them here in case anyone is interested in having some leaf photos for their own reference.

Most of the leaves I do not know what type they are. Enjoy!

This is a Begonia. I know that much.

Elephant Ears


I believe this to be some type of Ivy.

Oak Leaf.

Highland Games

The Highland Games are taking place this weekend. Last year we went and had a good time. This year I actually took my camera and got a few pictures.

The day was overcast, so I didn’t take that many photos. Here are my favorites.

This is a Highland cattle which is a Scottish cattle breed.

I stopped and watched a spinning demonstration. I love this picture as one generation shows another one something special.

This border collie stole our hearts. He was at one booth and was just so friendly.

He would bring his toy, drop it between your feet, and then stare intently at it until you threw it for him. Then he would – more often than not – catch it in mid-air.

I should have taken more photos, but there was quite a crowd making if difficult to have moments to take pictures. I am glad I brought it as I want to get into the habit of bringing my camera with me more places. Also I picked up this tip by people watching which might be common sense to some but maybe not everyone. I always wear my camera around my neck which can get quite uncomfortable. I saw a gentleman wearing his camera over his shoulder much like how you would wear a purse. I tried this technique, and my camera was so much more comfortable and not annoying at all.

It was a fun day. Not sure what photo taking adventures will happen tomorrow, but looking forward to it.

Hays Street Bridge

In an effort to improve my photography skills, I joined a photography group. Our first outing was to a local pedestrian bridge that overlooks the city. It was really neat. Here are some of my favorite photos.

Daughter didn’t much care for the wooden planks but did take her own photos with her tablet.

Overall we had a lovely time and plan on going back soon since we’ve heard sunset is a beautiful photo opportunity.

A Day in Boerne

Boerne (pronounced Burn-ee) Texas is one beautiful small town that is really close to us. For the last day of spring break, we took a day trip just to take in downtown and the park along the river. I was disappointed by the lack of wildflowers but must remember that Boerne is more north than we are where wildflowers are abundant already. Here are a few of my favorite pictures.

Link Photo Shoot

The husband is into Hirst Arts molds which are used in miniature tabletop games like Dungeon and Dragons. I found Link lying around the house and thought how perfect he would look with the dungeon tiles and on the bridge.

I hope to do more of these types of photos in the near future.


One day my daughter took her shoes off on the stairs. They looked so posed and perfect that I had to do a mini photo shoot around them.

Sometimes items just lying around the house make for the most interesting photos.

Fun with Photoshop

I have been dragging my feet to jump on the Photoshop bandwagon. For years I have used free versions of software that were Photoshop-like. A few months ago, I decided to give Photoshop CC a try. It’s $10 a month which is a small price to pay to finally use something that I’ve secretly been wanting to explore for a while.

One of the books I am writing is a children’s book that will have illustrations. I at least want to do the prototype for the drawings myself and then will probably hand it off to an experienced artist. I had thought about staging the scenes and the taking photographs and thinking bout this made me Google turning a photo into a cartoon in Photoshop.

After following one tutorial that just didn’t work for me, I found another one with very simple instructions. It was actually on Some trial and error followed, but I think I am learning how to do this. Here are a few of my creations from some old photos:



Here is a tip. It’s important to have a photo without much shadow on the face. If your picture is slightly darker, adjust the brightness first before doing the steps in the tutorial. Here is the tutorial I used found on making a picture a cartoon.


Fireworks are – for me – extremely hard to photograph. I mean I only can practice twice a year for 15-20 minutes. This 4th I feel I got some of my greatest pictures yet. I would say 95% are in focus! What an improvement.


This is a picture before the fireworks with Venus and Jupiter putting on their own show. In the distance is Sea World. I was trying to capture some of their fireworks as well. I think those are just Sea World lights and not fireworks.







This is my favorite as I captured a lot of motion. Fireworks exploding in the sky while others are heading on up.


A great night for taking photos.


Welcome! This is my photo blog – Mom Snaps. I enjoy taking photos – lots of photos. My favorite subject is nature. It’s fun to go for a walk with the camera and just snap some pictures. Here I plan to share some of my favorites.