About Karen

Artist. Photographer. Observer.

Photography and Art by Karen McRae
Ottawa, Canada

email: karenmcrae(at)gmail.com
website:  karenmcrae.photoshelter.com

I am a photographer and an artist.

I am enamoured with images. Nature. Architecture. Good design. Words. Words all strung together. Shadows.
The things in the shadows. The earth. The people moving over it. The past. My camera(s). The smell of oil paint. Texture. Colour too. And light.
Light is magical.

Sometimes I try to bring a few of these things together and you might find them here.
Hey, Thanks for stopping by.


*All images on this site unless otherwise stated are © of Karen McRae*

367 thoughts on “About Karen

  1. Karen, I have just spent a very enjoyable morning going through your images. I like them, I don’t just like them, I like them a whole lot. I really like how you show multiples of the same subject as it is like watch your mind at work. Well done and I look forward to more of your work.

  2. Hey Karen – Thanks for the ‘like’ for my Grangemouth Docks Photo Blog. Hope you had a chance to look at the few other few blogs I have done (I’m a newbie). I have enjoyed having a look through your blogs and really like your work, particularly ‘Abstract Friday’ for the effect, colours and textures – they look almost like paintings, and also Moth Orchids – they are lovely flowers and from the way you have taken the photos it is easy to see why they call them this! Regards, John

    1. Hi John,
      Your blog is off to a great start! The Falkirk wheel is very cool also. I’m always intrigued by industrial architecture. Thanks for the kind comments.
      cheers, Karen

  3. It started with me looking at people that subscribed to the blogs of people that subscribed to other blogs by people that …ad infinitum… and it lead me to this delightful gig. Being as nosy as I am I had to see what the “most versatile” blog is and I can say I hope you win! Thanks for sharing wonderful words and imagery.


  4. Hello Karen! Thanks a lot for stopping by my blog.

    I really like your photography. I take a lot of nature shots as well, mostly in fact, but only if I spot something that looks particularly interesting or that could be captured in an interesting way.

    You have a real knack for that very thing, and I like how you use depth of field. Like someone mentioned above, I also found it great how you’ll post several shots of the same subject, allowing us, as that commenter said, to watch your mind at work.

    Very cool, and I look forward to following your blog.

  5. I might have clicked on the same spot, same angle if I were there.
    ( If I search all of my photos, I can find almost identical one
    for each of your photo )
    —– It’s a strange feeling. —– ? ? ?

  6. I love the name of your blog.

    Kind of sums some of the rest of us up as well.

    It has been a long time since we have had the frozen rain. It is so gorgeous and so destructive as well. I do love your photos.

  7. I LoVe your gravtar pic and blurb! You have such a beautiful face – you look like an actress but I can’t get who …. normally, I’m great at this … a bit like Jacqueline Bisset or, no, I can’t quite get it. Oh, I so know what you mean about light. Once you see it, you can’t not, can you? It’s divine:)

  8. Kristin Scott Thomas! She’s a British actress but speaks French so also does French films. Have you seen the ilm “I’ve Loved So Long” So lovely!

  9. I’m so glad you stopped-by my blog today, Karen…so glad you let me know you were there by sharing a comment with me. I had seen your name or icon somewhere in the past, but didn’t take the time that I should have to investigate more. I know you’re here now, and truthfully, I find your work inspiring. I have taken some similar photos and wondered if the people who look at my posts might be getting tired of the snow and ice and branches and sticks and ice crystals and fence posts, etc…and have found so many of the same, but more beautiful items on your blog. I am only a novice’s novice at photography, and have much to learn, but it is heartening to see your work…truly beautiful photos. Thank you, Scott.

  10. Hi,
    Your work is so beautiful! Sometimes hauntingly so! You’ve inspired me. I need to get a camera again. Definitely. This clinches it!

  11. Beautiful Photos. I can imagine what beautiful photos you’d take here in the North Cape, with ice and amazing light. I’m an artist living in Norway and getting ready to open a gallery. I’m also inspired by the amazing beauty in nature, as well as light and color. Looking forward to following your blog and being inspired. Erica

  12. I’ve added a link to your blog on the side of mine – February blogs I recommend,. I’ll be rotating recommendations as there are so many good ones out there. Yours, however, is definitely exceptional.

  13. Thanks for your visit to my blog, and your support, much appreciated. Your work is very serene and beautiful. I feel admiration for your talent. It is always my great pleasure to see your photos.

  14. I met anna yesterday – she is wonderful sweet thoughtful woman. I looked at my box that I made yesterday and will try to photograph it like your buildings. I think it can stand up all by itself as a nice architectural piece – maybe a prayer box or sculpture.Thank you for the idea.

  15. This is to inform you that you have been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award and the Liebster Award! The awards are being made in the following post on my blog – ‘John’s Mega Award Ceremony’! The post will be published this afternoon – 21-02-2012! Congratulations on receiving this recognition and appreciation of who you are and how you affect the lives of people through your blog!

    Hi Karen – I think your blog is absolute magic! I know that you have received these awards before, but sometimes people just want to give more than words, and that includes me! Sorry about the formality of this notification but I sometimes think a ‘touch’ of formality adds weight to an award!



  16. Hi Karen! I just nominated you for the ABC Award (Awesome blog award). I’m not sure this is something you want to do, and I’m not even sure I did it correctly, but the main reason I mentioned your site was with the hope of bringing more viewers your way. Your photos are meant to be seen by as many people as possible.

  17. Hello Karen, I’m a friend of Moof’s and decided to visit your blog. I really love your winter photos! Great work.

  18. Hey Karen, howdy?
    Your artwork is brilliant, Canada is such a beautiful place.
    Thanks for sharing your vision with usPLease, keep it up.

    Cheers from Brazil

  19. I also like how your posts show series…similar yet different aspects of the subject. Yes, you are an Artist! I look forward to seeing more of your work.

  20. Your blog is wonderful! I was honored to receive The Liebster Blog Award, and now I want to passing it on to you.

    If you need information about this, you can read in my blog

  21. Karen, where do you sell your work online? I am not currently in the market, but I keep a list of artists for when I am ready for a new piece. I love the work you have been posting.


    1. Christine, hi! I don’t actually have anything set up online…but I’m working on it, so I’ll keep you posted okay.
      Thank you so much for your interest! 🙂

  22. Congratulation, I found you are selected one of Great Blogger of Earth Day
    by WordPress. Whether you are shy to participate or not, you deserve it.
    ( I was so lucky to became your subscriber 🙂 )
    All the Best.

  23. Congratulations on being one of eight selected by WordPress for their Earth Day 2012 best bloggers!! World wide recognition is a great way to get more than just me clamoring (nagging) for a whole book of your photos.

  24. Hi Karen,
    You know how much I love your pictures !
    I do not know if you like or not these awards things but I’m using them to show people some magnificent pictures (like yours) … this is why I gave you the Genuine Blogger Award.
    Hope it’s fine for you !

    1. Mathias, thank you very much, that is kind of you!
      Sorry for the delayed reply, I’ve been out of town for awhile, and still am, actually.
      Cheers, Karen

    1. Hi Ben,
      I was hoping to make it to Vancouver Island this trip but there just wasn’t time. It’s still on my must see list!
      I have several film cameras but mostly I am using a Nikon D 7000 these days.
      Thanks for your kind comment,

      1. Oh well, another time. The Island will still be here! Great camera, I use an old D-80 and would love to upgrade to one of those. Also tons of film (you should post some film ones!)

  25. So very nice to “meet” you, Karen! My goodness, what a beautiful blog you have here! So happy that I stumbled upon it – and looking so forward to coming again!

  26. Beautiful images! I looked around, enjoyed myself very much and it’s a pleasure to follow you. Inspiring, stunning, sober.

    All the best to you, look forward to read you again soon.


  27. you take very strange pictures…….you have your own very different unique way of percieving and seeing things which ive never come across before…..i cannot see for myself what your pictures show me……..i like.

  28. I nominated you for a R.E.A.L.I.T.Y Award

    So, like other blogger-to-blogger awards, there is a short q&a and a pay-it-forward element (for this award, there are 8 nominees):

    1) If you could change something what would you change?

    2) If you could repeat an age, what age would it be?

    3) What one thing really scares you?

    4) What one dream have you not completed yet and do you think you will be able to complete it?

    5) If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be?

  29. Karen, I found your pages thanks to Elena Caravela. I am envious of her talent for drawing and am happy to hear that both of you are collaborating. Your own work is original and inspiring. Your biography is telling (oh, not so much about places, occupations, and other dull details–but about the conceptualization of beauty and enchantment), and, by looking at your images, I can see how overtures of the mind are reified in stark images.

    1. Hi there Exiled Prospero,
      Elena’s work is amazing isn’t it? It was a joy to collaborate with her. Thanks for your very kind comments, they are most appreciated.
      Your island of exile looks intriguing…

  30. A quiet, intense and likewise tender view on the mute things in nature, to give them a language and save them from disappearing. Delightful to follow your very own point of view.

  31. Hi Karen, I am inspired and look forward to seeing your posts. I added you to my blogroll– long overdue! Thanks again for your comments and for creating such wonderful work.

  32. Hi Karen, I don’t know why, after enjoying your blog for so long, I neglected to look at your website. It is stunning! I can’t wait to go back and peruse more images. Thanks.

  33. Hi Karen! I’ve been seeing your icon on posts for ages but never got over to see your blog – I saw you on Freshly Pressed just now and the top picture caught my eye. You’ve got a very impressive collection of pictures here, the sorts of things that get to me, and so I’m now following your blog – I look forward to seeing more of your images! Adrian

  34. Hi Karen – great to find your work here and to have a wander through the images are truly wonderful – will look forward to visiting and seeing more as new things come through

  35. Karen: Yours is a blog I will be unable to stop following. As you know – your images strike cords all throughout my experience of life. Thank you so much for making them. All the best to you.

  36. You inspire me! You look carefully and are always looking for new taxes, and make it to BEATY. You are making art of nature. I love watching your pictures! Gro

  37. Karen, I would like you to know that I happily added your blog to my selected blogroll list. I enjoy your work and think many others might do so too, so sharing your blog link is the right thing to do.
    All the best,

  38. Wow! Ohh Karen, I am so excited, that i found your blog! Your works are amazing, so beautifully touching, every piece of your art touches my heart and gives and feeling. I love them. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks so very much, Miss N! It makes me very happy to know other people find my work worthwhile. Your blog looks fascinating, I’ll find some time to explore it a little more.

  39. Stunning, exquisite work. I love work about the force of nature. Strong and yet so delicate. Very inspiring thank you.

  40. Nobody seems to have mentioned this (and if anybody has, I can’t go through the harrowing experience of rummaging through 241 comments) but mademoiselle you’re beautiful !

      1. I used to live in Mtl but I am now living in Quebec city. But we still neighbours… 😉

        I love Ottawa and we are planning to stop there next summer, me and my little family. Hope to have some time left to shoot a little in this nice city.

  41. Hi Karen I just joined wordpress after remarrying my camera, with people like you around I wont get short of inspiration, what a beautiful place you live in and what absolutely stunning images I really have something to aspire to I will be following you closely.

  42. Hi Karen, your insightful comments on some blogs I follow brought me here tonight – and I’m happy for it. Your photo-drawings are truly unique and enchanting and right now I’m looking for other examples of your creativity…I’ll be following your work from now on, thanks…

  43. Bonjour Karen
    Your art is inspirational – so original and ethereal – the quality of the photographs and your technical ability allow us a glimpse of another world full of tranquility, beauty and light as seen through the eyes of a true artist.

    Thank you



    1. Bonjour Dan,
      Thank you so much for your very kind comment. Your otherwordly photographs fascinate me – a visual origami. So many possibilities.
      I appreciate your visit.


  44. I see I have arrived on the heels of Mick, who sent me here. So glad he did–your work and the vision that underlies it all: extraordinary. I will enjoy wandering the alleys of your beautiful musings in marvelous imagery much further, now I’m here.

  45. As a result of being given awards, and not following them up, I have just done a post offering ‘bouquets’ rather than awards, and you are one of the people I have listed as being particularly inspiring. Your photos strike such a chord, with their delicacy and sense of mystery as well as your exquisite composition skills. I do hope you don’t mind – in general I tried not to mention people who have thousands of followers, more accolades are probably a nuisance, but I did want to mention you, since you have been one of my favourites from the very beginning! Happy New Year!

  46. Wow! You do have an eye for exquisite beauty as your photos demonstrate.

    I’m a newbie blogger and VERY amateur photographer and when I “grow-up,” I wanna be like you. 🙂 Awesome blog. I discovered you because Otto Von Munchow (Munchow.wordpress) mentioned you and, truly, your blog is worth sharing with others. I’ll be back!

    1. Hey, thank you, J! That’s very kind of you. : )
      Enjoy your photography journey, it’s a worthwhile endeavour to look closer at the world. You never know what you’ll find!

      1. …the most beautiful jewelry one could wear…and a kind gift for me…we should all wear it as often as Sun shines…

  47. I found you at Burns the Fire and am so glad I did. Your images are just dreamy. I think I always wished I could paint images that told a story (and left a story untold) in the way that your images do.
    I’m looking forward to this piece of visual wonder and inspiration popping up in my e-mailbox every few days.

  48. Oh yes the smell of oil paint, I used to buy mine from a very old traditional paint suppliers in Covent Garden and the crimsons had an amazing aroma.

  49. Exceptional photography and exquisite art dear Karen
    your blog is one of the most beautiful i ever came across WP
    no words to say anything about the sombre feel I got on your blog
    excellent, exclusive, and most beautiful blog 🙂

    Thank you dear 🙂

  50. I’m so glad wordpress decided to lead me to your blog. Your photos are so much more than just photos. They provoke emotions which is a rare quality in a work of art. I can see that you photograph things not to show how they look like but how you see them. I would be honored if you visited my blog and told me what you think of it.

  51. Hi Karen,

    I just discovered your blog after one of my readers mentioned you in a comment to me. I really like your work! It’s very original and well done.

    I’ll be moving to Ottawa in a couole of weeks with my family and am excited to explore and photograph the city and surrounding area. I primarily focus on street photography – candids, portraits, and architecture, so it’ll be a nice change of scenery and pace.

    Anyway, nice to know another photographer in my new city.

    1. Hi Jennifer, thanks very much!
      Sorry to be so late in responding to you, it’s been super busy around here! I do sell some prints but I don’t have anything set up online. If you are interested in something you can contact me through email: karenmcrae@gmail(dot)com


  52. I just found out this blog and I have to admit that I am very impressed. I hope one day I can reach you level Karen. I would be very glad if you checked out my blog 🙂 I am a 17 year old young photographer and I m trying to slowly gain experience. If you like my work I would greatly appreciate if you followed me! Thank you so much and keep up with the amazing art!!!

  53. Karen, I have just looked at your photography page and I am in awe of your work. Your photography is so beautiful, and spellbinding. I would love to use your images on my blog to accompany my writing, if you’ll let me. I will of course give credit to you. I am in love!!

    1. Hi Nina,
      Thanks very much for your kind words about my work, I’m glad you like it!
      If you are inspired to use an image I’m okay with that and I appreciate your consideration in asking.


  54. Your work has such a lovely ephemeral touch to it. I am also an artist, though still pretty amateur. Also do work in photography and painting, more realistic photo and abstract painting. And yes the smell of oil paint is just wonderful. Keep it up!
    – Ava

  55. Karen, I’ve only just found your lovely blog. I’m not an artist myself, but I love art and photography and what especially intrigues me about your work is how you show changes. Changes in light and shadow. Changes in moments of time. Changes in color or intensity. I can’t wait to explore further. ~Mary

  56. I enjoy your images so much, unfortunately there are no new adjectives I can use to express these feelings – a very emotional response on my part. I know I will enjoy more,,,

  57. Your photos are so beautiful. The multiple exposure images especially have this gorgeous, painterly feeling. Look forward to seeing more of your work. xoxo Anais

  58. Hello Karen, Thank you for following my photography blog. I’ve admired your innovative work and I’m happy to share a bit of my world with you. Much appreciated.

  59. I have to say you are one of the greatest photographers I’ve ever encounter. Your works is absolutely amazing. It takes a lot for me to be moved by photography and the visual arts in general – but what you’re doing with your craft is absolutely stunning and moves me to places I’ve never experienced before (which is the point, right?) So there you go. Amazing. Thank you – Troy

  60. I came here to look at what a fellow nature photographer is doing but this gave me a great surprise. You have somehow brought together photography and Impressionism. It is beautiful!

  61. I just wanted to say how much I enjoy looking at your photography work. It inspires me to become a photographer. I’m just now starting this photography hobby of mines and I look for people who inspire me to continue with capturing wonderful and outstanding pictures about life,people,nature and art. I hope you will take the time out to visit my site and let me know what you think about it. I’m a freelance photographer because I like to be all over the place while taking photos. Lets just say I enjoy taking different photos and would like to capture any and everything that catches my eyes. I look forward to learning from you on how you capture your photos and hope I get the chance to travel around the world like you and take beautiful photos. Thanks for the inspiration and thanks for reading my comment. 🙂

  62. Such wonderful work! With as much content that is out there in “blog land”, it’s always refreshing to find an artist that is pushing in a new and interesting direction, one that inspires me to see a bit differently and to try something new.

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