Tag Archives: image

Washington Vacation 2012 In Monochrome

94C0330_Ferry and Full Moon-BW

The other night, I upgraded to the most  current version of Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro 2.  LOVE this conversion plug-in.  My aim was to take selected photos from my recent Washington vacation (April 2012) and convert them to black and white.

6267_Mt Rainier-BW

This software has a lot of very cool presets of which I made ample use, then tweaked here and there with my own changes.  One of the things that popped out immediately is how much black & white delineates texture, light, dark, shadow, and detail.  I saw things that I never noticed with the color images.  This is especially apparent with photos that have lots of clouds.

94C9612_Raincloud Tugboats Cargo Ship-BW

94C9932_Seattle Sky and Water with plane-BW

94C0549_Olympic Kind of Day-BW

94C0425_Morning Ferry Run PANO-BW

94C9594_Late Afternoon Clouds and Ferry Run-BW

6415-2_Deception Pass-BW

6329_Yellow Rows-BW

94C6563-2_Mountains And Valley-BW

94C6604_Wind Turbines-BW

94C3111_Mt Rainier-BW

6244_Mt Rainier-BW

94C0353_Ferry and Full Moon-BW

94C0988_Plying The Waters-BW

5030_Running Water-BW

I’m also pleased with my black and white conversions of people and pet photos.

94C6778_Elsa-BW

94C7195_Friends-BW

6106_Gammy and Savanna REV2-BW

5969_Enjoying Himself-BW

6186_Niece and Great-Niece-BW

6000_Logan and Casey-BW

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Filed under Black & White, family, Photography, Travel, Washington State

Easter Egg Hunt

8158_Easter Eggs

I’d planned on posting this a little closer to Easter, except that I’m going to be on vacation over Easter (woo hoo!).

I’m a pretty secular soul, so in this post, it’s going to be all about the Easter egg hunt.  These photos were taken back in 2009, when my great niece was two.  I can’t remember the last time I took part in hiding Easter eggs filled with candy, and it was great fun to watch “Gammy” and “Cho” hide the eggs for one very excited little girl.  As most of you probably already know, the hunt is fun, but it’s really all about the candy in the eggs Winking smile

Hiding on the fence.

8149_Egg On Fence

Hiding on the bubble machine (please note how nicely color-coordinated the egg is to the bubble machine)

8154_On the Bubblemaker

Hiding underneath the Harley Skull.

8230_Hidden Egg

Sometimes, hiding a little too high (what on earth was the Easter Bunny thinking??)

8263_Too High

Aha!  Found that egg!

8231_Found One

8271_Easter Loot

Lookit all the loot!!

8247_Loot

2116_Eggs In A Basket_Wordpress

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Filed under Easter, Holidays, Photography

Irish Whiskey

On inclement days, my part of southeast Texas can get kind of blah. I don’t always feel like taking the risk of getting the camera / lens wet. On those days (when I don’t need to be logging into my office to get some work done), I try to think up ideas for a bit of photography. It helps that there are some holidays (Easter, St. Patrick’s Day) just around the corner. With some ideas in mind, I got some interesting shots (no pun intended) using whiskey and green beer. This image is one of several.

Did I drink the whiskey when I was finished with the photography? What do *you* think? 😉

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Filed under Holidays, Photography

Longhorn Reflection

Longhorn Reflection

This is a funky little shot, but since I like longhorn cattle (dunno why), I just had to capture this image. I attended an awesome barbecue recently at a north Houston home and my hosts have a gameroom (hence the neon squiggle in this photo) with a mirrored display case. I used my Canon 5D Mark II and 24-105mm lens. It’s my all-purpose lens that I use for almost everything, but it’s not a fast lens, so I had to bump up the ISO to get this shot in the dim interior lighting of the room. I then used a little noise-reduction software.

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Filed under Photography

Big Bubbles

bubbles,iridescent,colorful,big,floating,reflectionAnd now for something a little different: Big bubbles. My sister keeps a gazillion bubble machines on hand for when the grandkids visit. I just love those big bubbles! The trick is to keep the grandkids from popping them so I can get a photo of them floating away. I really liked this bubble for its iridescence and the reflection of the trees.

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Filed under Photography

Easter Egg Salad Sandwich

I got this wild idea the other day for some great photographs and just couldn’t wait until the actual holiday.   Even though it’s a month early and not a Sunday, I figure the Easter Bunny must have started early in some country somewhere. 

Besides, I was hungry.

1986_Ready To Boil

1992_Boiling Eggs

2002_Boiling Eggs

2009_Eggs and Dye

2037_Eggs and Dye

2047_Eggs in Dye

2051_Dying The Eggs

2055_Colored Eggs

3219_Eggs In The Carton

2098_Basket of Eggs

3300_Eggs In A Basket

2104_Eggs In A Basket_CROP

2123_Eggs in a Basket

2196_In The Fridge

3324_Easter Egg Shells

2239_Egg Salad Fixins

2268_Egg Salad Sandwich

Yum Yum!  Open-mouthed smile

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Filed under Cooking, Easter, Holidays, Photography

Holy Anole! Brilliant Green!

I was walking toward the back door of my apartment, tired and grumpy as usual from my day at work and the long commute home, when I caught a brilliant flash of bright green from the corner of my eye.  I looked toward my window and saw a beautiful brilliant green lizard called an Anole  against the glass.  These little reptiles are abundant all through my part of southeast Texas; I see lots of them in my mother’s backyard.

I stood there staring at it, and when the little guy didn’t move, I thought to myself: photo op!  So I fumbled around for my keys, unlocked the door and carefully entered making sure the door didn’t slam and scare away the anole.  I grabbed my camera, turned it on, made sure a flashcard was installed, then went back outside.  Pointed the camera toward the lizard…..took the lens cap off then pointed the  camera at the lizard again, and fired off a number of shots.  The anole was very obliging, bless its heart.

1769_Little Green Lizard ORIG

1781_Little Green Lizard ORIG

1781-4_Little Green Lizard

1781-5_Little Green Lizard 67Pct Crop

1754-2_67PctCrop

1791-2_On The Bricks

1791-3_On Bricks CROP

I used my all-purpose 24-105mm lens, and although it is not a macro, it did a nice job with the close-ups, and my full-frame Canon allowed for some decent resolution after the crops.

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Filed under lizard, Photography

Just Testing

I’m testing various and sundry methods of setting up multiple photos within my posts that allow for  clicks on my photos to take the clicker to my photography website, gallery, and (ahem) storefront.  One of the blogs I follow: Travel Photography by Dmitrii Lezine, commented that he uses Windows Live Writer, which links to his WordPress blog, and he can upload multiple photos rather than one per post.  So I thought I would give it a whirl.

PurpleFlowersWet

PinkTulips

Ok, let’s see how this works…..By golly, it works!

What you do, once you set up Windows Live Writer, is link it to your blogsite, so that any post you type on Live Writer gets sent to your WordPress site, with all your regular WordPress theme, widgets, etc.  To insert the photos, you click on Live Writer’s picture icon.  There are several ways to insert a photo.  I tried to insert it via web/Smugmug directly, and I couldn’t get that to work (dunno why).  So, I went into SmugMug and clicked on the photo I wanted to insert, and copied that photo’s URL.  I then went back to Live Writer and inserted that same photo from my computer, right clicked, and hyperlinked the photo to my SmugMug gallery using the URL I previously copied from the photo in SmugMug.  After publishing this post, I clicked on each photo and voila!  Each time I was taken to my photo website (via SmugMug) where the XLarge size of that particular photo was displayed.  I could close out of that photo and I could see all the other photos in that particular gallery.

Thanks, Dmitrii!

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Filed under Blogging, flowers, Photography

Point-and-Shoot Beauty

This post is for all of you out there who own or have ever owned a digital camera that everybody calls a “point-and-shoot”.  It’s digital, but not an SLR nor is it a “prosumer” camera (well, not really).  It’s a camera that we carry in our purses (I do), use on vacations, take various and sundry “snapshots” (as opposed to “serious photography” – hah) and own when we maybe can’t afford a SLR (although those things are coming down in price).  It’s the kind of camera people own when they don’t think they are very serious about photography and don’t want to involve themselves in the post-processing of their photos.  It’s the kind of camera that alot of (sometimes snooty) photographers pooh-pooh over.

OK, granted, SLRs definitely have better resolution, more lens choices, and alot more bells and whistles for a photographer to play around with, but I am here to tell you that you can get beautiful images from your point-and-shoot.  That fact was made crystal-clear to me when I attended a half-day seminar in Houston hosted by Nikon about 5-6 years ago.  The speaker (a well-known photographer whose name I absolutely cannot remember right now) had a 16 x 24 enlargement of a turtle taken with a 3mp camera he once owned.  I don’t know what kind of post-processing magic he used to get the size and resolution he got with that enlargement, but the fact that the image was captured using a point-and-shoot was what got all of the attendees’ attention.

I owned a sucession of point-and-shoot cameras long before I ever could afford to purchase my first digital SLR.  My very first digital camera was an HP-brand 2mp point-and-shoot and was my first foray into digital.  After that, the only time I ever used film for any further length of time was when I went into my medium-format phase.  After my HP camera, I bought a couple of Minolta Dimage point-and-shoot cameras between 2002 – 2004.  The images below are from those two cameras.  Of course, a little freshening up with some post-processing was applied, which doesn’t hurt a point-and-shoot image, by any means.  Oh, and (the 2004 images, anyway) look quite nice as 8×10 framed photos, btw.

If you like these images I shot using those early digital cameras with resolutions between 3 & 5mp, just think of the kind of images you can capture with today’s point-and-shoot models!

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Filed under Photography, Point and Shoot

Hummingbirds

The first time I ever really took notice of hummingbirds was when I was married and still living in Seattle some 17 years ago.  My then-husband was looking for some recreational property and we took a boat ride with a real estate agent (who seriously believed he had the power to read minds and make people do what he wished…..) out to an island off of Anacortes.  We were investigating a beautiful log house under construction at the top of a hill (while trying to keep our distance from the nutty agent), and I was looking out the huge then-glassless picture window.  All of a sudden, I heard a loud buzzing noise which I attributed to a large bumble bee I couldn’t see.  Like magic (practically scaring me out of my wits), this little creature with loudly humming wings zipped up and hovered a few inches from my face before just as quickly disappearing, leaving me enchanted.

Now that I live in Southeast Texas, I actually have greater access to these busy little creatures….in September (I’ve since learned they come across my area in the spring too, but I’ve never really noticed them before except during September).  SE Texas is a sort of “stopover” for  the Ruby-Throated hummingbird on their migratory trek from the far north of Canada down into South America.

By September, they are hungry, their energy reserves rapidly depleted but with still a very long way to travel.  So my parents would set out two to five feeders filled with nectar (do NOT use honey and do NOT use food coloring).  Anywhere from one to 19 birds would flock around the feeders’ flower-shaped feeding funnels.

I learned then just how territorial these little guys are.  Often they would spend more time chasing away interlopers than actually stopping to sip from the straw.

Getting a great photo of these teeny little birdies is quite the trick sometimes, unless you are very patient and have lots of time to stand around or sit nearby a feeder.  Hummers are skittish, but because they soooo want that sweet stuff in the feeders, they get over their shyness pretty quickly and will ignore you if you don’t move around much.

What I discovered during my various hummingbird photo shoots is that my two best friends are a telephoto lens you can handhold, and a flash.  I’ve tried the tripod route, with some small measure of success, but handholding a lens with image stabilization allowed for a greater number of good photos.  For me, a flash was necessary to stop the wing action and get a clear shot under normally shadowed circumstances, since my images were usually captured in the morning hours (one of the few times I actually like using a flash).  Oh, and it goes without saying that fast shutter speeds are quite helpful – especially if you aren’t using a flash.

The images in this post were taken between 2006 and 2009.  I didn’t take any photos during 2010 or 2011 (Dad died in 2010 and neither Mom nor I thought to set out any feeders in 2011).  I’ll try to remedy that this year.  One thing to remember if you are going to set out feeders yourself:  change the sugar solution often (if it hasn’t been emptied out by hungry hummers, that is).  The solution has a tendancy to go sour pretty quickly, which can make the little guys sick.  Nobody wants that!

So read up on hummingbirds, look at other photographers’ images, find out the best places in your area to see these cuties, and have some photographic fun with them!

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Filed under hummingbirds, nature, Photography, wildlife