A Photo a Week Challenge: Summer Vacation 2020

This year, summer vacations are going to be very different from years past. My sister did a 10-day virtual summer vacation on Facebook, posting pictures from vacations past and asking people to guess were they “where” that day. It was great fun, so I did the same thing. Here are the photos I included. They span 9 years of vacations, and I would love to go back and see each and every place. So, if you could visit anywhere in the world this summer, where would you go?

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO OR… THAT SHOW YOUR DREAM SUMMER VACATION.

Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.
  3. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Peaceful Place

It seems as though things have gone from crazy to crazier. In the last two days, we’ve experienced two more earthquakes (M4.19 and M4.18) and work up this morning to some snow. Now, snow in April isn’t completely unusual for Utah, but it sure makes you wonder how we are classified as a desert. I’m just sayin’…

With all that is going on in the world right now, I thought we could all do with some beautiful, calming photos. This photo is of the Viamala Gorge in Switzerland. We were supposed to go back to Switzerland in June, but that trip is being postponed for two years due to the pandemic. My husband found this location while doing amazing research for our trip in 2016, and I remember who beautiful and peaceful it was and how glad I was that he insisted we stop here for a look-see. Completely worth the time.

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO THAT BRING YOU PEACE.

Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.
  3. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Light the Night

A few years ago, we had the opportunity to travel to the Mesa/Gilbert, Arizona area for a family wedding. While there, we experimented with long exposure night photography. The LDS Gilbert Arizona Temple proved to be the perfect subject for our venture, and the weather cooperated better than we could have hoped, and we are very pleased with the results. When working with longer shutter speeds, it’s vital to have a tripod and really nice to use a shutter remote instead of having to touch the camera. It’s also important to be patient and experiment with different settings on your camera. We got better results with f-stops of 5 or higher to avoid too much light hitting the sensor.

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE YOUR FAVORITE NIGHT SHOTS (WITH LONGER EXPOSURE TIMES OR NOT).

Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography. Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ and “Photo a Week” tags.
  3. Come back here and post a link to your image in the comments for this challenge.
  4. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.

Thankful November 30th: Life

I have a wonderful life. I love my husband. We have great kids. Most of our family lives close by, and we have good opprotunitues to visit those who don’t. We travel frequently to really cool places. We have our own business and live in the freest country in the world. Life is good.

I’m glad that I’ve had the chance to reflect on what I’m grateful for this November. Hopefully our gratitude isn’t limited to just one month each year.

May this holiday season fill your homes and hearts with love, thankfulness, and peace.

Thankful November 24th: My Faith

You are getting two post today because yesterday was too full to do a post (gone from 8 in the morning until 11 in the evening). And the first one today was for fun (see Thankful November 24th: Chocolate for reference.) This post will be much more serious. I’m sure that many people who follow this blog and read my posts are aware that I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes known as the Mormon Church). I haven’t tried to make it a secret. I have also tried to not be overbearing about it. I was born and raised in Utah in a family that is very actively involved in this religion. When I was 22 years old, I served as a volunteer missionary to Wisconsin. I married my husband in the beautiful Mount Timpanogos Temple in American Fork, Utah. I have been living my religion as best as I can for almost 53-1/2 years. Having faith has grounded me, given me hope as I see things happening in the world around me, and provided me with a community wherever I have moved. I am a firm believer in Jesus Christ. I have faith in a Heavenly Father, who loves and knows me. I’m grateful for scriptures I can turn to for comfort and guidance during difficult times in my life.

Whatever your religious (or non-religious) life may be, I hope that you find love, happiness, and joy in the Christmas season this year. I love celebrating the birth of my Savior with the entire world.

Thankful November 23rd: Chocolate

Okay, so most of my Thankful November posts have been on a more serious side, but this one is pure fun. I love chocolate. I love really good chocolate. By taking my husband to Europe, I have turned him into a chocolate snob. I am not sorry about this. We are always on the lookout for good, European chocolate here in the States. We also take suggestions of good chocolate to try.

Thankful November 21st: My Heritage

I have a very diverse heritage. English, Irish, Danish, Swiss, Italian, Jewish, Spanish, French, Scottish. And we don’t know if that’s all. One of the biggest influences on my life was my mother’s mother, whose parents immigrated to the United States from Switzerland in the 1880s. I had promised my mom that I would make sure she got to Switzerland in her lifetime, and we took that trip in the summer of 2016. It really was a once-in-a-lifetime trip for my mother, who was 83 at the time. She will probably never get back to Switzerland because of her health, but she will always remember that trip.

Thankful November 20th: Our Kids

When I married my husband, I inherited four children of varying ages. The oldest was 22 and the youngest was 13. Step-parenting is an interesting journey, and it definitely has its ups and downs, but I love my kids, which now also includes two sons-in-law, a permanent partner, and two grandsons. They are wild and wacky and very, very different from each other, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

Thankful November 19th: Light

I know it may seem obvious and a bit silly to say, but I am so thankful for light, and not just as a photographer. The other evening, we had the most glorious sunset. I was driving and couldn’t stop and grab a picture of it. Sometimes it’s nice to just enjoy the beauty and not worry about angles and f-stops and aperture. C.S. Lewis once wrote “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

Thankful November 18th: Traveling

I know that I’ve already expressed gratitude for the earth and its beauties, but I am also very grateful for the chance I’ve had (and continue to have) to travel many places around the world and also close to home. When my husband and I got married, he hadn’t traveled much. A couple of years after we married, I convinced him that we needed to take a trip to Great Britain to visit a nephew who had been transferred to London for a year, along with his wife and three boys. It was the best thing that could have happened to us. Since then, we have made a few more trips across the pond to the east, across the pond to the west, and headed down south for my first experience in Mexico (besides Tijuana). I’m looking forward to many more adventures around this amazing globe we live on in the near and distant future.