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Holly, Jolly, Christmas.

My boys are at the perfect age for Christmas and are so excited about this season.  Here’s my youngest playing in his Santa hat.

Cute Santa

Happy Holidays from little Santa

December 10, 2013 - 1:58 pm

Christina Fox - So cute! Love his expression!

Made Beautiful

Occasionally I’m inspired to write.  Today as I ran out to experiment with my new camera body, the drops of rain on the flowers inspired me to write what I can express no other way.


September 10, 2013 - 9:13 pm

Debbie Scruggs Tarplee - Beautiful, Lisa!!

September 11, 2013 - 1:20 am

Marilyn Braden Southwick - chills

October 9, 2013 - 4:36 pm

Christina - I’m so bummed I missed this when you published it. So good. Beautiful. And after the week I’ve had, timely.

“Vulnerable”-12 Emotions in 2013-Fine Art Black and White Photography

Fine Art Black and White Photography by Lisa Tarplee

To be vulnerable is to lay down our masks revealing who we are. We will be broken, but made whole. We pour out ourselves, but in turn live more fully.

Please be sure to visit Kristina Gorokhova  who is next up in our monthly project to see her take on the theme, “vulnerable”

July 14, 2013 - 4:18 am

Penelope Carrington Wallace - Oh, Lisa! How I love this image! So powerful, soft, and full of light…and shadow. The composition is spot on as is the emphasis/contrasting of the lines on the toy, the straps, the tile, and the shadows. I am always a fan of your work, but this image moves to my No. 1 spot. Well done!

July 14, 2013 - 9:21 am

Christina - Wow, the hesitancy is powerful. How often I allow the shadows to hide me. Vulnerability is risky, walking out into the light where everyone can see, is frightening. Loved this image!

July 14, 2013 - 3:54 pm

Cris Stephens - this is absolutly beautiful Lisa. the light cant not be any more perfect, and the moment, brings peace and joy to my heart =).

July 21, 2013 - 4:24 pm

Samantha Photography - wow. what amazing shadows and light….

Black and White- Emotions- Complete By Fine Art Photographer, Lisa Tarplee


“Complete”, our emotion of focus this month eludes me. Many things seem to fulfill me, but none of them truly do.  Often, at the heart of things, I realize that I still lack the fullness that I search for.  When brought to the point of my brokenness, my soul awakens to the only One who can complete me.  From the pain, beauty grows and my heart sings and waits for Him and the day when all things will be made full.


Black and White Photography


I’m enjoying taking part in this project alongside several talented artists. Visit Kristina Gorokhova and see her take on our theme, “complete”.




June 12, 2013 - 7:21 am

Project – 12 Feelings through 2013 – Complete. | samanthaphotographylove - […] through the circle and discover the talent of Lisa and her interpretation of […]

June 12, 2013 - 12:52 pm

Christina - Just love this! Not only the photo but the beautiful truth in your words.

June 12, 2013 - 4:27 pm

Cris Stephens - Oh Lisa, not only your images but also your words always reach the bottom of my heart. this is absolutly beautiful!

June 12, 2013 - 9:40 pm

Samantha Photography - words and image so full of deep meanings. great post!

June 21, 2013 - 7:54 pm

PROJECT: 12 Emotions in 2013 (Complete) » Petite Shards Productions - […] head over to Lisa Tarplee’s blog to see her inspirational take on this month’s […]

August 19, 2013 - 4:04 am

Tara Kerr Ronel - You are truly talented! Can I order a print of this one?

Fine Art Photography-Stuart, FL-Mysterious

I think he likes me, Momma,” he said with wonder as he studied the creature peering at him through the window. “I’ll call him Mock since he’s a mocking bird.” My son jumped up when the little being fluttered up and wiggled his tush when Mock shook his feathers.  “I’m mocking the mocking bird, Momma.  Isn’t that funny?”  Mock visited our window throughout the day and both of my sons paused to study with delight the mystery of this newfound “friend”.
To have the eyes of my children that see the world around them as such a wonderful and mysterious place, to be awed by the ordinary and recognize the magnitude of everyday moments; would my heart not come alive with thrill as theirs does?  Oh the fullness of life that rushes in when I get even a glimpse such as this.

black and white

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.

It is the source of all true art and all science.

He to whom this emotion is a stranger,

who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe,

is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.”

Albert Einstein

Now be filled with wonder as you visit the other artists in our group to see how they have captured “mysterious” in a black and white photograph.  I’m humbled to be part of such a talented fine art photography group.  Start with here with Sam, fine art photographer.

May 12, 2013 - 11:01 am

Kristina Gorokhova - Amazing image!

May 12, 2013 - 12:12 pm

Christina - Amazing! Love the quote too!

May 14, 2013 - 6:59 am

Samantha Lawson - love your words and lovely image… great capture!!

May 14, 2013 - 11:16 pm

Penelope Carrington - What an incredible moment you have captured! Bravo!

June 8, 2013 - 5:54 am

Cris Stephens - This is absolutly amazing all the way…. gosh, still in awer contemplating this beautiful image… so strong!

Black and White Fine Art photography- Emotions- Cold

Tears form rivers eroding canyons left dark and cold.  One still resides there, though she fades with time and grace.  The fearful heart strengthens only by the power of One calling her out of the shadows and into His light.  He makes a dwelling in the wounds, binding them, for pain He knows well. In compassion and mercy, His love brings warmth to the most frigid of hearts. He faced the darkest night to restore and renew His light in every bleak crevice of her heart and any who call to Him out of their darkness.


Thank you for visiting.  I’m honored to be involved in this project with some very talented artists.  Each month we explore a feeling depicting it in black and white photography.  Be sure to visit each artist to see how she depicted cold.  Start with here with Cris Stephens.

March 12, 2013 - 9:26 am

Christina - Wow, I love what you did with this one. I’m so thankful for His light which shines on cold hearts.

March 12, 2013 - 9:46 am

Penelope - Lisa, what an amazing submission! And your words are as powerful as the image.

March 13, 2013 - 2:20 am

CrisStephens - oh powerful indeed!!!! LOVE this so much. Amazing work Lisa!!!!

March 14, 2013 - 11:40 am

Valeria - Love the image and the text connected. Chills.

P26 “D” is for “Depth of Field”

For our 26 week project, my group is  picking topics that correspond with the ABC’s.  Each letter of my project represents a term or technique frequently used in photography.

D is for “Depth of Field”

Basically speaking, Depth of Field (DOF) refers to the plane of the picture that is in focus.  There are ways to calculate specific depths of field, but I just want to touch on the basics for now.

One way to control the DOF is through aperture settings.  The lower the aperture, the more wide open it is and the shallower the depth of field will be.  For instance, if one shoots wide open at F 1.4, 1.8, etc. The only part of the picture in sharp focus will be where the focus point is placed.  This works well when the photographer wants to bring attention to specific details (newborn features, for example). I like to shoot with low apertures to separate my subject from the background and create nice bokeh.  Usually to ensure my subjects entire face is in focus I shoot around F 2-3.  In addition, if more than one person is in the picture, and I want them all in focus they have to all be in a clear depth of field.  If they are on the same plane, I can still shoot pretty low. However if one is in front of the other or their is a group from front to back, I have to close my aperture between F3-F6, to ensure that everyone is in focus.

Ok, enough talk.  Here are a few examples:

In this series the depth of field starts small and opens up towards the end.

The aperture settings  of each from top to bottom: F2.2, F4, F8, F16.

Notice that in the first image, the yellow truck is only thing that you can see (besides color).  With each increase, the background becomes more clear.  Depending on the vision of the photographer, a low aperture could lower the depth of field and hone in on the truck or a wide aperture could create interest by showing the boy playing in the background.  If I planned this better, I would have done the latter removing the trash and recycle bins.  Then again, this is our real life.

















This is an example where I would choose a shallow depth of field to cut out the distracting background.  At F16, the first picture has to much going on for my taste.  The bottom picture is shot at F2 and brings my son into better focus.











No doubt I’ve only touched on the subject of DOF.  For further study I recommend this very detailed Depth of Field article by

Now be sure to see what the rest of our group is doing with the letter D.  Start with Liz; I love the way she captures authentic life.

February 22, 2013 - 11:40 am

Leslie - great explanation and great photos to go along with it.

February 22, 2013 - 2:50 pm

Renee - cute! Looks like a nice sunny day:) very clear explanation!

February 22, 2013 - 7:31 pm

Krista Lund - i can’t wait to read that article- thanks for the link. great write-up Lisa 😉

February 23, 2013 - 5:50 pm

Christina - Fun pictures! The life of a mom:)

February 26, 2013 - 3:34 pm

Katiusca - Love the lessons and the images. Such a cutey!!

February 26, 2013 - 9:08 pm

Barb Shoop - Good explanation. I still try to shoot wide open too much and wonder way no one is in focus. Hard habit to break.

March 9, 2013 - 2:30 am

Liz - I love reading your explanations Lisa. Having knowledge about photography & the way the camera works makes all the difference in the images. Great examples!

12 Feelings 2013-Love

This month our group is exploring Love…  How appropriate for valentines day, right?  While love comes in many forms, for the sake of this project I must narrow to one picture.

When I had my first son, my heart filled with a greater love than I had ever known.  I had never imagined that I could love so much and want to give so much to another.  My heart overflows with love for my boys and I receive so much joy as their momma.  They are the result of  love committed and shared between my hubby and me.  What’s even more amazing is that this love has been given to me from my mother and infinitely more from my Abba Father.

Here are the two loves of my life loving one another:


I can’t wait to see what others in our group have come up with!  Would you join me by starting with Penelope?  Her creativity inspires me.

February 12, 2013 - 11:53 am

Tiffany - So very very precious!

February 12, 2013 - 1:06 pm

Sabrina - Oh I love the love between two brothers! I was not prepared for this with my sons! And I cannot wait to add #3 to the mix! Love this image!! Beautiful!!!

February 12, 2013 - 2:09 pm

Lisa - Lisa, there’s something really special about a mom’s relationship with her son(s). I love that you wrote, “When I had my first son, my heart filled with a greater love than I had ever known.” I couldn’t agree more!!

February 12, 2013 - 11:02 pm

CrisStephens - Oh Lisa, these images make me melt. The look in their eyes. How close they are. So beautiful. Love your converstion, the composition and sweet light. LOVE IT ALL!

February 13, 2013 - 12:54 am

Valeria - No one can understand love before having a child. Amazing.

February 13, 2013 - 9:21 am

Susan - You are so lucky to have captured this moment in time. These two are so adorable, the light, the composition and the love are so beautiful in this image. You can tell that big brother looks out for little brother and little brother looks up to his older brother in this image just by their expression. LOve the story here.

February 13, 2013 - 11:47 am

Debbie Wibowo - Such a sweet image!

February 13, 2013 - 11:57 am

Katie - This instantly made me smile! I love it!

February 13, 2013 - 7:33 pm

anna dobrenski - This made me say “Awwwwww.” Such sweetness. I, like you, had no idea how much love you have for your children. Totally cool! Your image is a little glimpse into their closeness. The composition and light are great!

February 14, 2013 - 5:48 pm

Christina - Love the love between brothers!

March 2, 2013 - 8:19 pm

Penelope - Lisa, I am so taken with this image! It’s so clear that they are close and love each other. They also look like they’re sharing secrets. Being able to do so takes more than love. It requires trust. Lucky them that they have created that bond as well.