moments in focus…

B&W

snow’s still here

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Yes, I said it… the snow is still here.  We do have patches of earth poking through, but I think it will be a while before it melts away completely.

I took this picture when my husband and I were xc skiing.  There was something about looking up into the trees that seemed so peaceful.

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something new… everyday

 Nature is incredible… each day I see a new bud, flower, leaf, plant… it really is amazing how much there is to see.  These buds appeared the other day, I have no idea what they are or what they will become, but it sure is fun watching them progress. 

 

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Horse Show

Ok, we did live in Texas, so you would think we would have attended a horse show before… nope.  That’s not to say I have not ridden a horse, in fact I love riding.  My daughters an I took lessons, English Riding lessons, several years ago.  Our neighbor (in Maryland) has a horse and participated in her first show a few weeks ago.  We went along to witness it.

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Trains…trains..trains…

We are surrounded by amazing rock structures where we live. I love it.  The striations in the rock caught my eye, then the train. I have always been fascinated with rocks!  Perhaps it started with a gift from my Grandfather, he  gave me a rock collection when I was young (which I still have) or from my father, he was a geologist, maybe it is hereditary.  

 

rock train 

sun train

rl train

bw train

 


Studio Lighting…kit? continuous? strobe? Advice please :)

It’s that time to invest in some studio lights.  I have been researching, but I am still not sure.  I would love to hear your suggestions.

At the moment I am thinking of umbrellas (shoot through) instead of soft boxes because they seem easier to handle and do produce a similar effect.  I am also considering continuous lighting (it seems easier…am I coping out?).  I do have two (cordless) Nikon flash units- should I use those (not sure how exactly, the TTL, iTTL, guide numbers… confuse me. I could learn)?  Will strobes be better than continuous and/or my flash units? What wattage is best? What about Kelvin- 5500? Which brand is good, without breaking the bank.  Help. :)  I welcome any comments on the matter.

One more thing.  I don’t think I have ever posted a post (is that right?) without a picture.  So, I include an image of a little squirrel that comes with his friends everyday to enjoy a few (who am I kidding, they eat a lot!) sunflower seeds.

 

 


Louisiana weekend

Recently we took a trip, to Louisiana.  First stop, Lafayette.  Shortly after we arrived we went out to dinner, to a local restaurant that does not rush anyone!  It was so nice to eat and drink and eat and drink and… well, you get the picture.  We had a nice beginning to our visit with our friends.  Next day, off to New Orleans.   The pictures below are from New Orleans, all from a local cemetery.  I still feel a bit strange posting pictures from a cemetery, but there was something so peaceful about that day.  Not just the cemetery, but we drove around the 9th Ward (where the levee broke during hurricane Katrina) and saw some very, well- depressing sites.  BUT (it’s nice to have a but here :), every person we saw, whether walking down the street, sitting on their porch, working on a house or passing us in a car waved at us! Some even said hello.

We also went to a Mardi Gras Ball… more on that later ( quite the educational weekend).

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what? another post? so soon?

I know, it’s hard to believe- here I am again.  Posting two times in one week!  When I started this blog, the norm was twice that.  What is it about something new that holds our interest, only for a short time.  Actually, I will say ‘my’ interest, not ‘our’, I don’t want to imply anything here.

Six images are below, again the before/after format.  I can’t say I like one better than the other, this was just to experiment with RadLab a bit more.

 

before

My youngest daughter found some very cool ‘eye’ photos online, she asked me to take a few shots of her eye to create that look.
This is her eye (yes, you are looking at her contact), but nothing like the look she showed me online. I need to change a few things
(first of all, I need a solid background and second, I need to shoot from a different angle – you don’t need to see me in her eye :).

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after

The above image also has a frame from OnOne software (PhotoFrame)

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before

I couldn’t resist taking a picture of this doll head on a stick (at Round Top trade days)!  She still looks happy ;)

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after

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before

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after

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the road…

 

“To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.” ~Buddha


more flowers, not more color, just more flowers…

Here is another picture of the tulips I took earlier this week.  This one had a little different perspective and was a bit bright in color, so I decided to change it to b&w (with a very slight sepia tint).

When I think of black and white images, I can not help think of Ansel Adams and to be honest, my Father.  My Father took some beautiful pictures during his lifetime, mainly his younger years, and developed them himself.  Ansel Adams, well… I don’t think any explanation is needed.

In one of my photography books, The Photoshop Darkroom by Harold and Phyllis Davis,  they give a suggested  Channel Mixer Setting, that has been called the ‘Ansel Adams’ effect as: 160% Red, 140% Green and -200% Blue.   Even though I tell you this, I did not apply this ratio to the image you see.  Actually, I did apply it, but it did not look right, so I ‘mixed’ my own.   I have applied the ‘Ansel Adams’ effect to other b&w’s and it does look nice.

Just for comparison, here is the original:

 

“In my mind’s eye, I visualize how a particular… sight and feeling will appear on a print.  If it excites me, there is a good chance it will make a good photograph.  It is an intuitive sense, and ability that comes from a lot of practice.”  ~Ansel Adams


“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.