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Light Pixie Studio – Sharyn Richardson » Preserve your memories | fine art portraits that tell a story | photographs and paintings by Sharyn Richardson | Light Pixie Studio | What do you want to remember? | worldwide

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Late morning, we see a wolf at its kill. Golden eyes stare defiantly as if to say, “This is mine!” Facial posture including curled lips, bared teeth, intent stare, raised hackles signal a wolf ready to defend its turf. He may growl and he may snarl, but the stare tells all–this is a dominant animal on guard and ready. Such a direct stare is a blatant challenge, asserting rank and status, an important communication tool for this bold, strong-willed canine.

Wisconsin wildlife, Wildgame Innovations, 10 January 2012, 11:21:12 a.m. 50° F

The wolf at its kill



Frosty Window

Mid-January is late for a full descent of winter but today was the day. Frost painted the windows at dawn and left icy surprises on the walks.

I’ve been trying to capture an image like this for a while. A macro lens and turning off the auto-focus feature turned the trick. Otherwise it kept pinging the inner pane between the lens instead of where the frosty signature actually was on the outer glass.

Canon L-series macro lens, EF 100mm IS USM, f2.8, Av, ISO 400, 1/125s.

Winter Fruit

Late afternoon with the sun tucking behind the hills . . . color developed in the sky beyond my favorite winter fruit. I’ve painted the same American highbush cranberries in previous Januaries and they never disappoint.

Canon EFS 17-85mm IS-USM f4.0, Av ISO 400, 1/60



This is a Standard Poodle named Piper who came home for the holidays! She’s a bundle of exuberance and smart; the normally sedate, resident house cat tried to stay aloof but enjoyed the interloper’s antics enough to come down from his high perch repeatedly to watch, interact, and get chased back up again. Apparently great fun for both!

Poodles were first bred in Germany and recognized as a distinct breed by the 1500s. Did you know that this breed is known especially for its water retrieving skills, but equally capable in finding rare truffles and as a circus performer? The poodle has a curly coat that makes the doge more buoyant but requires regular clipping because it has hair rather than self-shedding fur. The traditional pompom haircut with close-cut hind quarters served to help the dog swim faster and the joints stay warmer.

Piper is a true athlete, already at three months old she has a large working vocabulary and is attentive to her humans. This breed wants to please and Piper is no exception. We’re quickly getting the idea that she believes she’s one of us, a full-fledged human being. No one intends to tell her otherwise.

She runs, galloping or pronking, really a kind of bounding, springing lamb-like movement. The enthusiasm of a puppy, especially this one, is contagious!

Request your own image on a USPS postage stamp. Email Sharyn@lightpixiestudio.com to find out how she can help you create your own one-of-a-kind design:

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This is my newest work. Jim loves his dogs and the time he spent with Sadie and now Cody working with them in the woods and fields. Sadie on the right was a fine girl with a robust personality and an active sense of humor. Some years later Jim acquired Cody who is also a good hunter and friend. Jim wanted to commemorate both dogs in a more permanent way than a photograph and hired me to do it. When we first met he commented wryly that when he dies his children might just throw a painting of the dogs away . . . but if he’s featured in the painting as well, they’ll keep it. The commission grew when Jim asked to include a pheasant and a wood duck. The painting was almost finished when he requested the U. S. Navy Veteran logo be painted onto his cap!

Jim describes the final result as very satisfying to have a memento of the life he’s chosen, lived on his terms surrounded by what he values. How wise to find a way to celebrate life when you’re young enough and robust enough to live it.

I enjoyed this commission very much and am proud of the obvious enjoyment Jim takes from having it in his home.

Best Dogs Ever

Best Dogs Ever


Glowing Beauty

This photo caused the subject to smile at what she saw as “awakened assets.”   Age is no disadvantage when you’re beautiful inside and out.

Canon xTi, 50 mm portrait lens, Aperture priority,  f5.6, 1/6 sec, ISO 200, raw CR2

  • Bubun - – Oh geez, what can I say here but AWESOME! Your sluwnofer photos amaze me…and your dog paintings are so unique and beautiful. You must have some VERY happy clients, Miss Jill!ReplyCancel


This is Shane, a therapy dog and a hard working one. When he was a growing pup he showed such intensity and focus that his family decided he was well suited to early training in obedience and therapy work. This painting where he’s smiling directly at you shows a fine, intelligent boy!

Recently he was asked to join a therapy group that visits Camp Atterbury, a military base south of Indianapolis and a major hub for soldiers mobilizing and demobilizing. It will be a different type of work for Shane as it is much more active. They are scheduled to bring 45,000 troops back from overseas by the end of January 2012 so he is going to be a busy dog.

Shane’s also been known to relax by the pool in a Hawaiian shirt . . . you can just imagine Jimmy Buffet music playing in the background. While it doesn’t reflect the competent fellow he’s become, someday I’d like to paint that too.



Voluptuous, end of summer wildflower

Wildflower ways

Simple is often better. Michigan Lilies are sometimes mistakenly called Turk’s Cap Lilies. Either way they are a voluptuous, end of summer wildflower that grows tall in wild prairies and stands along woodland edges. They are the perfect wildflower for their tidy ways, growing and spreading without assistance, no weeding required! Cut them for the vase and they last like pampered, hot-house varieties.

This wildflower stem was shot with a Canon 40D and the EF-S17-85mm lens, at 1/4000, f5.6, ISO 800, 5150°K. I held the stem in my hand against a white backing board laid flat in the grass and steadied the camera against my chin. Twenty minutes earlier it was part of a vase arrangement from the garden. What attracted my attention was the topmost flower struggling to unfurl its last two petals. I’d noticed it the day before and thought to grab the camera. But I was preparing dinner and before long it was dark. The next day it still hadn’t managed to unstick itself and there was a second chance to capture the shot.



Two little girls in their holiday jumpers with a pair of patient cats

Here we have two little girls recorded in a Polaroid tucked away until the colors faded. Now grown to women with children of their own, I was asked to recreate in a painting what they remembered. My color palette typically runs to rich hues and cool blues which suited the jewel tones in their jumpers and the eyes of their cats.

The cats were easy. But it was my most difficult challenge to paint the girls as they saw themselves. After many versions, it is now finished and cherished. I learned a valuable lesson. Rather than trying to fix what isn’t working, it’s often easier to start fresh with new eyes. In the long run it would have been faster too! Starting anew turned the challenge of Forever Plaid into an important success.

The girls and their plaid jumpers are now a tangible, forever kind of memory for these sisters!


It was my pleasure to create this painting for a newly married couple. It’s called The Beginning of Forever.

Sometimes you just know when a wedding will result in a real marriage. It isn’t the gown or the flowers or the size of the guest list but the nature of two people. This painting celebrates a couple who began building love on the foundation of friendship when they were still in middle school. You see it in the gentle way they speak to one another, how they talk about joining future and fortunes with their best friend.

The scene is Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. The ring is in his pocket awaiting the perfect moment on this memorable day.

To Heath and Krista: You have the best of all good things in sharing life’s journey with your heart’s truest friend. Whenever in doubt, act toward one another with love!

The Beginning of Forever

  • Krista - Thank you! I got on here to check out the site before mailing you back the release and comments on the site. I had a smile on my face as soon as I saw the title. Thank you again, we love it.ReplyCancel

    • admin - Launch date for the site is getting closer. I now have a shopping cart and the possibility to purchase prints and cards. Next week, or at least soon, more images need to be uploaded and there are ideas for regular posts.ReplyCancel

Your Eyes See in HDR but the Camera Can’t

(at least, not without your help)

Your eyes see in High Dynamic Range (HDR) but the camera is typically set for one focal distance and exposure. As a result a standard photograph shows only a part of the information in a scene. A photographer can capture high dynamic range images, but in order to capture it you must do more than just release the shutter. By stabilzing the camera in a tripod to insure sharp focus, then taking a series of images with the same aperture opening but different shutter speeds, then blending them together, it’s possible to have a photograph that appears more like what the unaided human eye actually sees. Here’s an example taken inside the 19th century wharf house at the Kjerringoy trading post north of Bodo, Norway.

Kjerringoy, near Bodo, Norway

Wharf House

HDR images let you see into normally dark corners, look inside the glass museum case, and even see mountain scenery far outside and beyond the open window. HDR does justice to this World Heritage Site as well as what the traveler might actually remember from being there. So, how is it done?

I use a Canon dSLR for HDR. By setting auto exposure bracketing (AEB)  1/3, 1/2 or 1 full f-stop between each Av Aperture Priority exposure the camera automatically takes three images. A complex scene like the one above requires six or more evenly spaced exposures which can be achieved by rolling the camera’s Main Dial to the next sequence of f-stops. There are software packages, stand-alone as well as plugins, to “create” the final image. But I prefer to choose the best from each individual exposure and then “paint” that information to a new master layer. Here are some other examples of HDR photography that show the depth of detail beyond a typical photograph.

CLICK an image to see it full-sized, to buy a print, or to send a FREE e-card complements of Light Pixie Studio.

GlassworksUnder GlassKjerringoy, near Bodo, Norway

  • Veroniica - I stlbmued onto this wayyyy late, but awesome! Loved every bit. I too perfer PS HDR over everything else, so thanks for the primer!ReplyCancel