Featured Artisan ~ Wild_Rose ~ Karen

By Janet Colvin (UniQueTreasures) on April 16, 2010

The Artisan's Nook has been honored to have Karen post some of her photography with us in The Art of Photography. Karen infuses each of her photos with the passion of her soul, allowing us to see this beautiful world through her eyes. Every time I open one of her posts and enlarge the photo, I just sit there with my mouth hanging open and drool. Karen always captures the splendor of the moment to share with whoever is willing to look. If you haven't seen any of Karen's photos, you are in for a real treat with this article because I've captured as many as I could find so you could look at them in one sitting!

"The most intelligent people I know use their eyes and ears more, and their mouths less." Karen's Tagline, which I love!

The Artisan's Nook has been honored to have Karen post some of her photography with us in The Art of Photography.  Karen infuses each of her photos with the passion of her soul.  Every time I open one of her posts and enlarge the photo, I just sit there with my mouth hanging open and drool.  She captures the beauty of the moment to share with whoever is willing to look. 

If you haven't seen any of Karen's photos, you are in for a real treat with this article because I've captured as many as I could find so you could look at them in one sitting!

All photos belong to Karen.  Please do not copy or share these.  Links to this article are welcome. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

I asked Karen to tell us about herself.


This photo, courtesy of my hubby, Palmer Allen,
shows me, camera in hand with my two girls...
Jena, my youngest is carrying my camera bag!

"I was born and raised in the western part of Virginia, in the country and mountains. I have always loved nature and all types of animals, and was known for having as many as 20-30 pets at a time! I enjoyed taking pictures of my pets, and I remember my first camera was a Kodak Instamatic 110! Wow! it's like admitting to 8-track tapes!

When I was married to my first husband, who was in the military, his sister, who is a professional photographer in south Texas, introduced me to the real world of photography. She gave me a bunch of books and several pieces of equipment to get me started... including two Minolta 35mm bodies, a 35-70mm lens, and an 80-200mm lens, which quickly became my favorite. I used that equipment for more than 15 years, and still have it in my closet!

I switched to digital in the early 2000's. I have gone through a couple point-and-shoots, but have stayed loyal to Canon! They have the easiest menus to learn in my opinion. I bought my first digital SLR last summer... a T1i, and two lenses... the 18-55mm, and the 55-250mm, which again, is the most used.

I want very much to have more lens power, but I like that I don't have to be tied down to a tripod with the mid-range zoom. I move around too much and like to hand-hold my camera! I've walked out waste-deep in water holding my camera to get a shot!

I have tried many different things and experimented in different types of photography, but nature and wildlife are still my favorite. I enjoy capturing something that maybe another person has never seen, or may never see, and I can share that with them and tell them something about it. My Dad is retired from the U.S. Forest Service, and taught me as a child all about the plants, trees, animals and wilderness, and I strive to pass that on to my children.

I am re-married now, and we are raising our three daughters, ages 10, 11, and 12 to know, understand, and appreciate the natural world around them. My photography is an extension of that. We are slowly losing our natural planet, and one day, we won't have that legacy to pass on to our children. I want to share what I see and if I can teach something to my kids along the way, or touch another person with what I've captured, then I've made all the mark I need to!"

Karen started out posting a theme of Red, Blue and Green. (Photos in that thread are shown below)

Thumbnail by Wild_Rose"We are a Canon family... between my hubby and I, we own five Canons! The T1i was the first DSLR. I currently have an 18-55mm lens and a 55-250mm lens, which is the most used. I am hoping to upgrade to a little bigger and better zoom by my birthday at the end of this month... probably just the 70-300mm for now. Karen's birthday is April 27th.

I am a Canon girl... I have a Canon T1i DSLR, and I have the SD780 as my point and shoot. Both were used in this venture... I'd have to go back to each photo to see what is what. 99 times our of a 100 I will shoot in natural light, without flash. I think two of these used a little fill flash.

To be honest, my main "studio" for all of these shots was over my kitchen stove, under the stove light! I have a really bright "natural light" lightbulb in there and it gives me the best light for indoor and close-up work like this. I just cover the stovetop and set up whatever base or background I need and start shooting! The trickiest one here was the drops of color in the glass of water... took an extra set of hands from hubby to set up while the camera did continuous shooting."

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Thumbnail by Wild_Rose Thumbnail by Wild_Rose Thumbnail by Wild_Rose


"When I was brewing up ideas in January for the RGB theme, I discovered ways to create the full color spectrum as well. The full color spectrum is the way God gave us rainbow colors through light. When light refracts, it breaks into the individual colors, laid side by side, and blending into one another. Always in the same order... red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and back to red. Light can be refracted through glass, prisms, crystal, and even a CD! Yes... a CD or DVD will refract light and cast off the full color spectrum. It can make for interesting photos!

This is the full color spectrum photographed...

(sometimes there is just not enough to do when you are snowed in for days at a time with one blizzard after another pounding you!)"


Thumbnail by Wild_RoseWhen colors combine as solids,
they create black...


Thumbnail by Wild_Rosebut when they combine as light,
they create white ... or make pure light again!

This is a glass marble on a CD
To the left, you can see the colors
combing back into light again.

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I call this
Through A Glass Darkly...

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I did the next three with ginger ale drops on a CD...

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And my favorite...

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Crystal reflections

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Karen also takes beautiful photos of Sunsets and Sunrises.  Here's a couple from Chincoteague Island, VA in November.

From the beach...

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And from the marsh...

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Sunset on the marsh... with snow geese.

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Karen takes awesome people photos too.  Every photographer has their favorite photos.  These are some of Karen's favorites.

This first one is actually from two years ago, on Memorial Day weekend.
My hubby had to work so I had our daughters to myself all weekend,
and we had gone for a late evening walk to one of our favorite places in town.
I took this photo on the way back to the truck.
It is still my favorite photo of the three of them and
I even have it hanging on my wall.

I loved the light and peacefulness of it!

Thumbnail by Wild_Rose
Thumbnail by Wild_Rose This was from last summer...
who doesn't wish to be a child at the beach!
A dragonfly photo from last summer Thumbnail by Wild_Rose
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Train station arches...
one of my favorite subjects that's not alive! LOL!
These arches have so much character! Thumbnail by Wild_Rose
Thumbnail by Wild_Rose These are my luna moths!
I would take my newly "born" lunas, and place them on various plants in the garden and snap photos, then they would just fly away! Thumbnail by Wild_Rose
Thumbnail by Wild_Rose In the summers of 2007 and 2008, I actually raised them from egg through caterpillar to cocoon to moth...
I took photos throughout and then released them.
It started out as a project for my girls,
but I became enthralled by them!
It was a great experience,
and these are three of my favorite photos to this day!

In March I was delighted to find these birds posted.

Thumbnail by Wild_Rose

My family and I travelled to Blackwater NWR in Cambridge, MD last Saturday, for the 10th annual Eagle Festival. I looked forward to this trip for weeks, and wished for 60 degrees and sunshine! Well... I got half my wish anyway! It was almost 60 degrees, but it rained.... And rained, and rained and rained! For photos, it was dark and drizzly, so I didn't get much outdoors. Blackwater is known for their eagle population, and I did see quite a few eagles! I had seen wild eagles in the past, but I had never photographed them. This is my first eagle shot!

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We spent most of the day indoors, and under the tents! That's OK though... there was plenty to see and do. Several groups had captive birds on display and in presentations. These are beautiful, well cared for birds that have been previously injured and cannot be returned to the wild. Each one has a story, though some I did not get to know their story. I did try to photograph them all, andI would like to share them with you!

This is "Zool", an Eurasian Eagle Owl. Zool is not a previously injured owl, but simply an ambassador for such presentations. He's huge and quite a looker!

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A Great Horned Owl - male.
I only know that he was hit by a car.


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A Red-tailed Hawk - female
She was stunning, and had the saddest story of all. She flew into power lines and broke her left wing. The people who found her did not take her to a vet or rehab facility, but decided they would keep her as a pet in a screend-in porch! When they were discovered and turned into authorities, she was finally turned over to the rehab facility that has her now, but it was too late to fix her wing. They said had she been seen and fixed in the beginning, she could have returned to the wild.



Now for my favorite! I was so thrilled to find out they had a barn owl at the festival! She made my whole trip worthwhile! What a beauty! I never tire of looking at them!

Barn Owl - femaleThumbnail by Wild_Rose


Our thrill didn't end there!
My oldest daughter loves owls and has read alot about them too. She was able to answer so many of the questions posed by the handler, that the woman surprised us all by letting Jess put the glove on and hold the barn owl for a few minutes! My daughter was so excited and it made her day.
I know she will never forget it!

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Eastern Screech Owl - red phase - male
He was hit by a car and suffered a brain injury. Just as calm and cute as can be! His handler said, "Lights on, nobody home."

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The first (same) little Screech Owl, up close...Thumbnail by Wild_Rose

Eastern Screech Owl - brown phase - female
She is completely blind in both eyes (why she won't look up). She is buddies with the little guy above, and enjoys cuddling with him!

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One more Eastern Screech Owl - red phase
Hit by a car and obviously blind in left eye. Reminds me of a pirate with a patch on!

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A Raven - male
He's been with this group a while and can supposedly talk. These birds are HUGE in person!

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A Broad-shouldered Hawk

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An American Kestrel - male
These are gorgeous little birds!

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American Kestrel - female

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Here is a bird we spotted this evening behind our complex.
I was so excited I did the happy dance!
Pileated Woodpecker

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From the Wildlife Center of Virginia.... the largest rehab facility for injured wildlife in the state.
A Screech Owl...

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A Great Horned Owl...

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And a Barred Owl...

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From a walk along the river...

A Great Blue Heron...

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And an Osprey, hovering over the river, looking for fish...

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From a trip to the National Zoo with my daughters...

Barred Owl (Can you tell we like owls???)

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Mandarin Ducks... they were so beautiful!

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A Smew... I had never heard of them, but so cool!

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Hooded Merganser

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Burrowing Owl... all I can say is "Wow!"

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Double-crested Cormorant

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And always a favorite... the Toucan!

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I hope you've enjoyed Karen's photos as much as I have.  Your comments are welcome below.

If you want to see more of Karen's photos, she has a Flickr site - VA Wild Rose

If you also love photography, please come by the Artisan's Nook and post some of your own photos.  Everyone is welcome!

Related articles:
10th annua, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge, Blue and Green, Canon SD780, Canon T1i DSLR, Chincoteague Island, Crystal reflections, full color spectrum, luna moths, MD, Photography, Red, Sunsets and Sunrises, Train station arches, VA

About Janet Colvin
I love unique and unusual things. Connie and I create Copper Sculptures from new and recycled materials. I love thrift shopping and love a good bargain.

I'm married to a great guy, with 2 beautiful daughters and 4 incredible grandchildren and we live in Southeast Texas.

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Comments and discussion:
Subject Thread Starter Last Reply Replies
Gorgeous Ridesredmule Apr 21, 2010 7:51 AM 1
Stunning kaglic Apr 20, 2010 8:35 AM 2
Simply Amazing.. SingingEMT Apr 18, 2010 12:55 PM 2
Absoulutely Amazing gardener2005 Apr 18, 2010 12:01 PM 1
Karen... Kathleen Apr 18, 2010 12:00 PM 1

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