moments in focus…

Beach

what a mess

With the recent drought, then rain, in Texas.  Dead trees were washed down the Brazos River out into the gulf…then on to the beach.

 


On the shore of the Gulf of Mexico

My sweet husband took me to the beach today. I haven’t been out much lately, but today has been great, he has made it a very comfortable day. I packed a few snacks and he actually packed our loungers (the ones from our patio).
I always bring a book, a magazine, a notebook to write… And seldom do I take them out of my bag. There is so much to see! Birds, waves, people, fish, my husband acting like a 12 year old collecting stuff…
I am posting an iPhone photo, but will post other pictures later. 20120413-183951.jpg


more from the beach…

Lately there has been a lot of seaweed on the stretch of beach we gravitate toward.  Luckily it was low tide and we could relax near the water.  The bottom picture shows a line of red, the seaweed washed up by high tide.  On the more populated beaches the city/county rakes the seaweed away, but I will take the seaweed and quiet over the other.


how quickly things can change

We arrived around 2:30, it was now 7:30pm. The sun was slowly slipping away.  It was time to go home.

As I carried my beach chair to the water’s edge to wash the sand from it,  I looked up at the sky one more time.  I turned to look at my husband and he said “We can stay if you want to”.   I did.  I unfolded my chair and sat.  The sky was glowing, the water reflected the soft violet color.  It was quit spectacular (not a word I use often).

Looking out across the water and up at the sky I thought to myself how quickly the colors were changing.  The entire day the colors kept changing: blue-green, blue, blue-gray, bluish teal, slight shades of turquoise, and now violet .  Perhaps being a photographer creates a greater awareness of this (which I am thankful for, the awareness that is).

The pictures:

 

Baby baby crab!  (Below is close up)

 

reflections

rising tide

oil

pelicans

All images were taken with a Sigma DP2s


More from the Sigma DP2s

Quince Tree Blossom

Sea Shells by the Sea Shore

Hazy Reflections

Sunrise

Ursa (my sweet dog, Springer / Collie Mix), she looked like a bear when she was born, named after the constellation Ursa Minor/Major

 

I am still very pleased with this camera. Of course it would be great to be able to use Adobe Bridge/RAW to edit with, but Sigma has its own raw version: X3F, therefore its own software which works (but, one more thing to learn!).  Once the raw file is adjusted of course photoshop can be used. The white balance/color is a bit off, I have not played with the adjustments yet.

All the pictures are pretty much as taken, except I did adjust the exposure on a few and the sunrise was very blue, I used the eyedropper tool to make it more neutral.

I have a busy week coming up (that’s a good thing, lots of photo opportunities), so I am not sure when my next batch of sigma pictures will be, but there will be more. :)


Always learning something new.

 

 

Although I have been holding a camera for 28 years (yikes, has it been that long) there are many many many things I am still learning.  I started taking pictures with my Dad’s old 35mm Konica camera on occasion,  then I attended a dark room class in college with the intention of setting up my own darkroom (always ‘good intentions’), after that I continued to shoot with film (purchased a 35mm Canon) until a bought a small digital point and shoot.  Finally, about 6 years ago I bought my first DSLR, a Nikon.  Since then I have moved on to a Nikon D300 (which by the way, I love).   Ok, now on to the point of this post, learning something new.

The basics: shooting in manual, understanding my camera, composition… -check.

Equipment: camera, lenses (always more on my list, yours too I imagine), tripod -check.

Software: PS4 (have it, can use some of it) -check

The elements: foggy mornings, really foggy mornings, dealing with the fog -no check here.

So, you can see the element are the actually the topic here.

Today I woke earlier than usual to head down to the beach.  I have been wanting to take some very slow shutter speed photos to get that washed out feeling of the surf, well, that did not happen as planned, but I did get some pictures that I like. What I learned today?  Fog=Water, which in turn means wet lenses.  I was shooting away, and then for some reason I looked at my lens. There was a layer of water on it!  I did not plan for this, I did not take my lens safe rag with me.  I typically don’t take everything everywhere (camera cases can only hold so much until they are too heavy to be comfortable carrying).  I used my cotton/polyester sweatshirt to dry my lens with.   I know, not the best ‘cloth’ to use, but it was either give that a try or head home.

In summary, I will begin to plan for the elements when I pack my gear from now on.  (I did plan for sand, I take cellophane and wrap each tripod foot, then over that I place a layer of aluminum foil to keep the cellophane in place, this protects the tripod from the sand)


The Great Blue Heron

Blue Heron

 

If I could be an animal (I know, it’s one of those 6th grade questions you might talk about at lunch), I would be a bird.  The way birds catch the wind is always amazing to me, besides it looks like fun.  Not sure what type of bird, one that eats seeds, nuts and grass only. :)

I realize this is not the best picture of a Great Blue Heron, but it is the best I captured.  These birds always take off when they see me coming, I know it’s not just me.  I have to get pretty close because my zoom lens (70-200) really is not long enough to be sneaky.

According to wikipedia, this is the largest North American heron, head-to-tail length is 36-55 inches (91-140cm), a wingspan of 66-79 (167-201 cm) inches, and a weight of 4-4.8 lbs (2-3.6 kg).

 

God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into its nest.”   J.G. Holland  (American Novelist; 1819-1881)

 

 


Brrrrrrr, it was cold at the beach!

FIrst stop Buc-ees: HOT coffee.  Second stop: the jetties.

The first image is of an oil tanker coming into the port.  Today I learned that some tankers are so heavy, they are already partially emptied off shore (as this one was).  Why is their load lightened? So the tanker does not drag the water way as they head in.  Also, you can see all the happy seagulls (you might have to enlarge the picture to see this better), they are eating shrimp that is churned up as the tanker and tug boats pass.

The sweet little kitty in the second image, I can only imagine, was waiting for someone to open the door and let her/him in.

I did say it was cold, that is relative of course to each of our surroundings.  Those of you in the north, are thinking ‘right, there isn’t even any snow in that picture, you want cold, come up here!’. Well, for Texas, it was pretty cold this morning- 36 degrees.  However, once down at the beach (at 7:30am) it was the wind that had us turning around after and hour, most of which was spent in the car ;).  So now I sit with a fire burning in the fireplace, hot tea in hand, warm and content.

“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating: there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kind of good weather.”    John Ruskin (English writer and critic of art, architecture, and society. 1819-1900)

 


“Bloom where you are planted.”

 

 

This week has been a bit busy, so I am posting two pictures from a trip back in August.   I love taking pictures at the beach, hey I just love going to the beach.  I am fortunate it is so close, 20 minutes or so. Some people complain about our beach, it’s not 7 mile beach (Grand Cayman), but it has all the elements: water, sand, birds, wind, sun… just to name a few.

I am looking forward to my next trip.  :-)

The quote: “Bloom where you are planted.” author unknown, just reminds me to be happy wherever you are and with whatever you have.


TrYinG SoMEthInG neW: ParT 2

When I posted this image several people wondered what exactly it was, so here is the final product followed by the steps use to create it:

Original Image:

 

 

Change to B&W in PS:

 

Crop down to bird prints and place a frame around image:

 

Drag and drop onto original image (which I had already placed a frame on):

 

Adjust image in PS:

 

This was my first attempt at this type of editing, I like the b&w frame within the color frame image, I hope to create more like that.  This one did not seem to work in the b&w and color step, so I decided to alter it significantly in PS.