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Cameras and Photography: Composition Tips for Good Photography

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P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

October 9, 2011
8:14 AM

Post #8841896

I think these simple, yet very powerful tips were excellent points to think about when taking a photo. I struggle with composition more than anything else. I finally learned the technical aspects of lighting, depth of field, focus, etc., but composition is hard for my left dominant, non-creative brain.

http://www.picturecorrect.com/tips/7-musts-of-great-composition-in-photography/

If you know of any good composition tips, please share them here.

Patti
grits74571
Talihina, OK

October 9, 2011
6:33 PM

Post #8842612

Patti I was priviledged to have a great teacher in a man by the name of Dr.Alver Olsen Phd.was a wonderful photographer from the B&W era who did some wonderfull work taking pictures of many of the WW 2 refugees...so will be very please to pass along a few things I remember from my all too short time spent with Dr.Olsen One of his favorite sayings was "now that is a nice spot for a picture too bad you just have the spot and not an aminate object in there" meaning that he thought people were very important to add some perspective...Another thing he didn't like was a picture divided in to halves by the horizon in the center of the picture this is about all that I can type at any time as I start making too many mistakes if this helps in any way please let me know and I will pas along a few more tips along with some pix as an illustration

P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

October 10, 2011
2:07 AM

Post #8842952

Grits, Very interesting ideas! Thanks much for contributing and I would love to see more. I have read the tip regarding the horizon in the center and I try to put it off center. But, I hardly ever put people in my photos. That one was quite a surprise. I usually do just the opposite - try to avoid people in my photos. LOL.

grits74571
Talihina, OK

October 10, 2011
4:32 AM

Post #8843021

Kinda messed up here but we will see Dr. olsen would have liked this picture but would have critisized it for being backwards he would have preferred to se it reversed so that you eye would naturally moved from left to right as that is how we are taught to read but the gently curving path is a nice elemant

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grits74571
Talihina, OK

October 10, 2011
4:45 AM

Post #8843035

here is a pic that has almost everything wrong with it the subject is too centered the horizon is centered and slightly crooked and the water at the bottum can spill out of my picture and it has been cropped into a square format whereas it should have been left in a wider image ,plus I really like the picture but I am now looking at it thru the eyes of a judge which makes me see a lot of the errors and for that I thank you ,as this discussion is making me think about doing better for my own photos

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niceguy2
Rochester, MN

October 10, 2011
6:02 AM

Post #8843133

I have a question about the picture above. I can see the horizon slightly crooked and a touch of foreground would have been nice. I was wondering how the rule of thirds would play into a picture like that. I see the sky, mountain w/relection and then the water pretty well divided.
grits74571
Talihina, OK

October 10, 2011
7:23 AM

Post #8843266

Very nice Niceguy and like I said only incuded the pic as an example of a nice snapshot but a lousy picture from the stand point of composition I don't think the rule of thirds applies because there is two pictures not one and looked at from that angle just don't see the rule of three being present
grits74571
Talihina, OK

October 10, 2011
7:51 AM

Post #8843293

Here is a pic with the rule of three shown in the Sky ,mountain ,desert then again in the three columns of steam and has the human element working as we know there must be humans working there ,But remembering some of my Co-workers the last statement is questionable LOL

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niceguy2
Rochester, MN

October 10, 2011
8:21 AM

Post #8843348

I didn't mean to sound critical of the picture or anything. I really don't see why you consider it a 'lousy picture from the stand point of composition'. These are pretty much the same.
http://www.google.com/search?q=mountain+lake+reflections&hl=en&qscrl=1&nord=1&rlz=1T4ADFA_enUS389US427&biw=911&bih=349&site=webhp&prmd=imvns&source=lnms&tbm=isch&ei=WgmTTve3LPKmsALhuIW5AQ&sa=X&oi=mode_link&ct=mode&cd=2&sqi=2&ved=0CBIQ_AUoAQ

I see the two pictures as divided in the reflection, but I was wondering if the mountain and reflection might not be considered as one (1/3) to help as a guide from having too much sky on the top or too much water on the bottom.
hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

October 10, 2011
9:03 AM

Post #8843403

Rule of thirds is just a guide that can help make the scene more interesting.

Look at bullet #7 from the link that P_Edens posted. Break the rules! (Note that the rule of thirds isn't even used in the link?)

P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

October 10, 2011
9:10 AM

Post #8843416

Grits, I like your garden path photo. The path does just pull the eye into the photo. Very nice leading line. I had never thought about the left to right thing. That will be something for me to think about in the future.

I see what you mean on the mountain scene. I also never thought about the water spilling out. That's another good tip for me! Awesome. I agree with Niceguy on the rule of thirds thing though. I think the reflection helps to balance out the composition from top to bottom. The fact that the mountain is centered from left to right doesn't bother me either. I think those rules are meant to be broken at times.

I really like that last one! The colors are beautiful and it is so nicely balanced.

Thanks so much for taking the time to post your photos. They really do get the message across and I appreciate the tips.
niceguy2
Rochester, MN

October 10, 2011
11:29 AM

Post #8843598

I wonder if the 'rules' of photography are not somewhat like the 'rules' of grammar. We understand that there are exceptions, but we don't go so far as to say that they are meant to be broken.

Horizons should not be centered... except when...
1. A third element is large/distinct enough to create enough contrast to the seperate two elements.
2. When the two elements above and below the horizon contrast each other enough.

This link has more photos with many horizons centered that to me at least seem correctly composed.

http://www.google.com/search?q=ocean+sunsets&hl=en&qscrl=1&nord=1&rlz=1T4ADFA_enUS389US427&biw=911&bih=349&site=webhp&prmd=imvns&source=lnms&tbm=isch&ei=qzOTTtzSCuiDsgKC84C8AQ&sa=X&oi=mode_link&ct=mode&cd=2&sqi=2&ved=0CBIQ_AUoAQ

grits74571
Talihina, OK

October 12, 2011
12:54 PM

Post #8846459

So now here are a few pix and I will offer no comment but will certainly except comments and criticism This is the only way to really learn..Fly Gysers Northern Nevada ok

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grits74571
Talihina, OK

October 12, 2011
12:56 PM

Post #8846466

Much closer cropped untill only the main subject is visible

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grits74571
Talihina, OK

October 12, 2011
12:59 PM

Post #8846470

A pond of hot water offering some reflections along with great morning light

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grits74571
Talihina, OK

October 12, 2011
1:01 PM

Post #8846471

A second view of the same pond

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grits74571
Talihina, OK

October 12, 2011
1:04 PM

Post #8846476

Okay this one will be all for now it will include the same scenery only with a human subject included

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P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

October 12, 2011
8:15 PM

Post #8846979

Grits, These are all so beautiful! Where were they taken? I will try to apply what I have learned. Let me know how I do...

1. Gorgeous photo! I think it is balanced nicely from top to bottom with the geyser steam balancing the foreground and the structures in the center third. However, I think it would have been stronger if those structures had been placed more to the left side of the frame somewhat offcenter.

2. I like the idea of moving in close, but I think this one is cropped a little too close on the top and left side. The left side of the frame is cutting through the subject. Wow, what beautiful colors! I would love to see this in person.

3. As far as I can tell, this is perfectly composed and as you pointed out earlier, the water won't spill out of the bottom on this one. ^_^ I love all of the layers here.

4. This is also very lovely with the layers, but I prefer the previous one. One thing that I have learned is that if the sky is not very interesting - either with interesting clouds or a colorful sunrise or sunset, then just include a small sliver of it for a point of reference. I think less of the sky would have been better on this one.

5. I just can't get over how beautiful and colorful this is. As far as the composition, I like it from top to bottom, but I think the structures and the person would have been better if placed off to one side rather than in the center.

You know I agree that it is nice to have a person in some shots for reference, but I hardly ever photograph people. I do photograph animals though, so I hope that counts.

Was I anywhere close to your thoughts?

Patti
grits74571
Talihina, OK

October 17, 2011
11:29 AM

Post #8852667

you are very close to what I was thinking and I didn't take the one of a person in it ,in fact that is me in the picture these are all on private property located near the town of Gerlach Nevada which is on the edge of the Black Rock Desert(think Burning Man) The first picture of the pond is also my favorite of that morning ..Now for a little bit of trivia as we started photographing this place i recieved a message on the view screen that I was running low on storage on my memory card so I instantly reduced the resolution down to the lowest setting and of course was rewarded with another several hundred pix as it also reduced the pixels of all the photos already stored..Bear in mind that we were at least 150 miles from the closest Wally world ...At that point I learned the MP ratings were just window dressing as far as computer pix are concerned send me your addy in a d mail and I think I can send lots more pix at the same time in regular e mail I have litterally hundreds of desert pix
grits74571
Talihina, OK

October 17, 2011
11:36 AM

Post #8852678

Forgot to mention that I did try to reply sooner but ran into a puter glitch and got mad at the thing and turned it off and just now got back to working a little bit here ,worked the last couple of days on a new Day lilly bed so am now worn out so really have no choice but to play on the puter or read so now I think I will read..

pbyrley

pbyrley
Port St Lucie (+ Wk , FL
(Zone 9b)

October 17, 2011
12:34 PM

Post #8852798

RE: Grits photo of Oct. 10th. I Photoshopped it a bit to see if you guys thought it was a little better now.

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P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

October 17, 2011
1:02 PM

Post #8852830

Grits, I sympathize with the computer problems. I love 'em when they work right and want to throw them out the door when they don't. Glad you are back up and running. Too bad that place is on private property. I would love to see that. I guess it is somewhat similar at Yellowstone, but I've never seen anything that beautiful.

pbyrley, I like your crop. Straightening the horizon helps a lot. I think I would have included less of the sky and more of the water, especially all of the reflection since it is more interesting to me than the sky. It would probably put the horizon very close to the center, but I think when there is a reflection, that's okay.

Patti

pbyrley

pbyrley
Port St Lucie (+ Wk , FL
(Zone 9b)

October 24, 2011
7:04 PM

Post #8862310

Thanks Patti,
I tried several vertical positions and couldn't decide whether I liked more sky or more water. I think I was wanting the cloud at the top left when I settled on the one I posted. As you said, straightening the horizon was the main thing needed.
Paul
grits74571
Talihina, OK

October 24, 2011
7:25 PM

Post #8862358

Here are a couple of more to chew as usual I will make no comment till the end of the session

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grits74571
Talihina, OK

October 24, 2011
7:32 PM

Post #8862370

these are all taking from the same locale Fall River in northern Ca. The snow covered one is Mt. Shasta the other is Soldier Mt so named because Fort Crook was located near the foot of it Ps Fort Crook was at one time Commanded by U.S. Grant

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P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

October 24, 2011
7:45 PM

Post #8862379

My thoughts ...

I like that first one as it is. I'm sure your instructor would be worrying about all that water escaping. ^_^ I guess if the photographer had gotten lower to the ground, some of the foreground would have been included, but then the guy in the boat would have had the grass on the far shore behind him which would not have been as nice. I guess in a perfect world, the boat would have been off to the right or the guy would have been facing the other direction so he was looking into the frame instead of out. But, I think that's just being picky.

The second one is a lovely, serene image - very tranquil. The only improvement I can think of would have been to get closer if possible or use a longer lens. The mountain and the cows are the subjects, so some of the sky and grass along with a bit of the left side could be cropped out.

This message was edited Oct 24, 2011 9:45 PM
grits74571
Talihina, OK

October 25, 2011
8:10 PM

Post #8863856

Location location location In the first I am between a road and a fence and in the second I am at a fence with no more lens available the next pic I am sending is just from a tripod so I kinda have to guess exactly where I should stand so I am sending it as is and every one can take a stab at cropping or whatever and tomorrow I will send what version I like best

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grits74571
Talihina, OK

October 25, 2011
8:21 PM

Post #8863899

A very old picture with a lot of good things going on too much sky but otherwise pretty good some detail has been lost due to age

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grits74571
Talihina, OK

October 25, 2011
8:23 PM

Post #8863904

I think this would be better with no sky at all

P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

October 25, 2011
8:31 PM

Post #8863918

Here's my best guess at composition for the one on the tripod.

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hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

October 26, 2011
4:33 AM

Post #8864098

I would cut out the sky, trees, and power lines since they add nothing to the scene.

For some reason I like the fence (goes with the bib overalls) even if it puts the subject smack dab in the middle (breaking the rule of thirds). According to the pros, you should keep the area that the person (or animal) is looking in to, so the stand of cleomes should stay.

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P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

October 26, 2011
5:09 AM

Post #8864136

Grits, I did try that one first and I also like that gate, but I thought those flowers were the subject, so I zeroed in on them. Good lesson! Thanks for that one.
grits74571
Talihina, OK

October 26, 2011
10:21 AM

Post #8864506

So this is what I liked best i took out the debris on the left because it bothered me as i knew it was just stuff I should have picked up prior to taking the pic

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grits74571
Talihina, OK

October 26, 2011
10:25 AM

Post #8864512

I liked HC's version best it narrowed the focus down to a central point
grits74571
Talihina, OK

October 26, 2011
4:57 PM

Post #8864972

Okay now some comments on the horse picture 1976 This is an old Ektachrome slide let us see what can be done with this ..

P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

October 26, 2011
7:38 PM

Post #8865228

Oops. I thought the one posted by HC was by Grits. I like both of your crops. The one that HC did was the one that I had thought to do, but then I went vertical.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

November 4, 2011
10:43 PM

Post #8877167

I took 2 years of photography in college before digital cameras. I had a Canon film camera that was manual. However the rules are still the same. Don't know if it was mentioned or not but a subject, such as a person, should look into the center of the photo, rather then out of it. . A car going along a road, etc. should be taken as it comes into the photo, rather then leaving.

If you are taken a photo of a sunset, then the sky should be more than half the photo. If it is landscape it should be less.

Most of my photos are digital now of flowers since I sell them on Ebay. One thing I never do and that is taken photos of them in the sun. I wait for a cloud cover, or I use my white photography umbrella. Sun bleaches colors and the contrast is too high beween for details to show. A cloudy day is ideal for taking photos due to color saturation achieved.

To show motion in a photo such as a waterfall, use a slower shutter speed and brace the camera to prevent blurriness. It will blur the water to show motion while the rest of the photo will be clear. I most always use a tripod when possible. If not, I lean against my car, tree, or whatever is sturdy. When I take a closeup photo of a flower, use the setting for sport, which is a fast shutter speed, to prevent blurriness, especially on windy days.

It is hard to judge the size of something in a photo. To give an idea, include in the photo an object that is familiar to use as comparison. We all know how large a kid is, or a baseball, coin, etc. The mind will be able to get an idea of the size of the object in the photo you are trying to show.

To focus attention on a specific object, set the camera on portrait. That will blur the background while the foreground remains in focus.

Not always easy to do, but look around for something to frame the photo in, like a branch along the side of the photo.

One last tip, if a photo is worth one picture, it is worth more. Take photos from different angles, experiment. Then edit your photos with a good editing program. Delete those that are not good in your eyes.

One other tip, put your photos in a named folder on your PC. My folders are named, family, irises, daylilies, etc. for easy retrieval. If mountains is your thing, put that name on it.

Too much light will fool the camera to open the shutter thus bleach the photo. Ex. aiming towards a light source such as the sun. We all have gotten photos with the subject underexposed (dark) in silhoutte. Can't move the sun but feet can move.

Most important, have fun doing it.

This message was edited Nov 4, 2011 10:49 PM

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hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

November 5, 2011
1:19 AM

Post #8877216

On the folder thing, I tried the naming thing like you mentioned to begin with ten years ago (example: c:\plants\indoor_plants\cactus) but after awhile it became evident that it was a real mess. The folders got to be massive and hard to find what I was after. This went on for the first two or three years. I then got it into my head to do everything chronologically (I also noticed that a lot of photo album software does the same thing in their own roundabout way). I created a photos album off the root, then a folder for the year, then 12 folders for each month under each year, and then a daily folder with a slight description of what the photos contained (example: c:\photos\2011\oct\30 - fall colors). I try to name each picture with an adequate description but no great detail. Now I can remember a lot of things by the month and year and only sort through a few pictures or a few hundred instead of thousands.


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P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

November 5, 2011
5:43 AM

Post #8877363

Blomma, Thanks MUCH. Excellent tips. I try to do some of these, but the size one is something I never think to do and there are times when I should.

[quote="blomma"]Most of my photos are digital now of flowers since I sell them on Ebay. One thing I never do and that is taken photos of them in the sun. I wait for a cloud cover, or I use my white photography umbrella. Sun bleaches colors and the contrast is too high beween for details to show. A cloudy day is ideal for taking photos due to color saturation achieved. [/quote]

I do this when I can. If it is very overcast, I will use a gold reflector and get some additional light bounced back on the flower.


[quote="blomma"]It is hard to judge the size of something in a photo. To give an idea, include in the photo an object that is familiar to use as comparison. We all know how large a kid is, or a baseball, coin, etc. The mind will be able to get an idea of the size of the object in the photo you are trying to show.[/quote]

I will really try to remember this one. I have so many photos that people actually ask," How big is that tree?", etc. It's too late then.


[quote="blomma"]One other tip, put your photos in a named folder on your PC. My folders are named, family, irises, daylilies, etc. for easy retrieval. If mountains is your thing, put that name on it.[/quote]

I just put mine chronologically. On the folder, I put the date and a descriptor of where I was, for example, 2011-11-02 NewOrleans. Then, using Breezebrowser Pro, I name all of my photos with the camera actuation number and the camera (unique identifier). Breezebrowser picks all that info up. So, an example would be 1055-50d.CR2 which would be the 1055th photo taken with my Canon 50d. This isn't too useful other than to give a unique number to each of my photos in case I ever put them in a database. After I work on them, I add to the name with a descriptor, such as, 1055-50dGBHeron.tif. I also put a lot of keywords in the metadata on each photo (New Orleans, Great Blue Heron, heron, shorebird, etc...) , so I do all of my searches using keywords in Adobe Bridge. But, if I can remember when I took a certain shot - on vacation in Big Bend for example, I just go to the year and month and the Big Bend folders and find them that way. I also put subfolders under my main folders. The main folder holds the raw files, the DEV folder holds the tifs and the JPEG folder holds the jpegs. Works for me.

Thanks again! Much appreciated.


P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

November 5, 2011
5:57 AM

Post #8877376

[quote="hcmcdole"]On the folder thing, I tried the naming thing like you mentioned to begin with ten years ago (example: c:plantsindoor_plantscactus) but after awhile it became evident that it was a real mess. The folders got to be massive and hard to find what I was after. This went on for the first two or three years. I then got it into my head to do everything chronologically (I also noticed that a lot of photo album software does the same thing in their own roundabout way). I created a photos album off the root, then a folder for the year, then 12 folders for each month under each year, and then a daily folder with a slight description of what the photos contained (example: c:photos2011oct30 - fall colors). I try to name each picture with an adequate description but no great detail. Now I can remember a lot of things by the month and year and only sort through a few pictures or a few hundred instead of thousands.

[/quote]

I sort of went through the same progression. The only difference with my folder names is that I do one for each day I shoot and what I forgot to mention above is that the daily folders are actually subfolders under a folder for the year. On years where I do a lot of shooting, I might have more than one folder, so a 2010 Photos, and a 2010-2 Photos.

P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

November 5, 2011
5:58 AM

Post #8877377

Like this ...

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hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

November 5, 2011
8:14 AM

Post #8877537

Is anyone else having problems with opening pictures today on DG? All other web sites are doing as expected but DG is a real PITA!

Eden, I think that is the way a lot of photo organizers do it too but instead of seeing 365 folders or more under one year, I just see 12 folders (the first 3 letters of the month name) and then under one of those folders I might see 31 daily folders or more (I agree on more than one folder for the same day because I may be shooting with a different camera or different time of the day - it will have the same two digit day 05 for instance but will be followed by a dash and a brief description such as 05 - trip to TN or 05 - parent's backyard).

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P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

November 5, 2011
11:54 AM

Post #8877721

HC, I haven't seen any slowdowns today. In the past I have had problems with DG though. Maybe there is more than one server and you are connected through a slow one??? I don't know.

I like your idea of having another folder level in between the years and daily shoots. In the past, it wasn't as necessary for me. I am so busy at work that I hardly ever get to get out and shoot, so usually not too many daily folders. But, I plan to retire at the end of this year (Yipppeee!), so I am hoping that there will be a lot more folders. ^_^ I'll have to adopt your method.

And I hope to get some beautiful sunrise/sunset photos like you and blomma have been posting. Thanks for those wonderful views.

Patti
hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

November 5, 2011
6:09 PM

Post #8878106

I saw all kinds of problems earlier today - in IE, Firefox, and on my iPhone too. It has "magically" fixed itself. Yet all the other sites I visited I had no problems.

Congrats on retiring this year. I thought about it but will go for another six months and evaluate then. If I still like the job then I will continue for another six months, etc

Those last two sunsets were from this past Sunday driving through Mobile and into Mississippi. It was one of those rarer sunsets I see once a year or less.

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grits74571
Talihina, OK

November 7, 2011
5:08 PM

Post #8880721

Does anyone here remember the Muenchs I do hope I spelled it right they were a father/son team that did just wonderfull sunsets from New Mexico/Arizona their work was often featured in Arizona Hiways magazine and I was a great admirer of their work,,Just wondering thought maybe HC might remember them as he also does great sunsets

P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

November 7, 2011
5:47 PM

Post #8880765

These guys?
Beautiful work.
http://photography.about.com/od/famousphotographers/a/David-Muench-Profile.htm

grits74571
Talihina, OK

November 8, 2011
4:38 AM

Post #8881204

thanks Patti did you just google it or what ? i was always impressed by the father's work then the son started and I always thougt how very neat that they both worked in such a similar yet at the same time quite diferent styles ,,The thing I remember most were the pictures of windmills and sunsets combined...

P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

November 8, 2011
12:50 PM

Post #8881758

Yes. Google is how I found them. I love windmills and sunsets and silhouettes, so I really like their work.
Patti
grits74571
Talihina, OK

November 10, 2011
4:09 AM

Post #8884291

Patti this is for you for get the composition just loved this picture this is Piute wells in the Black Rock/High Rock area of Northern Nevada just going out on a limb I think this is about 30 miles from the nearest inhabited spot

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grits74571
Talihina, OK

November 10, 2011
4:13 AM

Post #8884295

this is my favorite of the spot because that is my Grandson in the picture I am blessed with 2 G kids that like lonely places like I do and don't seem to mind going with Popa

Thumbnail by grits74571
Click the image for an enlarged view.

P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

November 10, 2011
4:36 AM

Post #8884314

Grits, Thanks for letting me play with your photos. I just love the moody sky and wonderful color tones of the first shot. I think you have some very lucky grandchildren!

Here's my take on your windmill shot. I love all of it, so it is difficult to take anything away. I wish the windmill was facing the other way and "looking" ^_^ into the frame, but I just had to include that wonderful fence corner. I liked the sign on the right too, but I wanted to focus on the windmill. This would make a great cover for a magazine with lots of room on the left for the articles, etc. I'll bet one of the little energy co-op mags out there would love it.

http://www.texascooppower.com/magazine-archives/2011


Thumbnail by P_Edens
Click the image for an enlarged view.

grits74571
Talihina, OK

November 10, 2011
8:16 PM

Post #8885519

I love what you have done with it but after looking at your vesion I must confessed that is not the spot I described but rather that is near the Summit Lake Piute Res. I think after so many years (taken in 1997) images become blurry in my mind
grits74571
Talihina, OK

November 26, 2011
5:30 PM

Post #8906938

Haven't posted anything here in a few days/weeks and am pretty sure I have some that could stand a little criticism so will se what I can find

Thumbnail by grits74571
Click the image for an enlarged view.

grits74571
Talihina, OK

November 26, 2011
5:34 PM

Post #8906947

Give me your best shot

Thumbnail by grits74571
Click the image for an enlarged view.

P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

November 27, 2011
6:12 AM

Post #8907453

Grits,

These are difficult ones for me. I think the first one is lovely - beautiful fall colors. It might be just a tad listing down on the right, but I can't tell for sure. I think whatever is in the water on the left is somewhat distracting, but not much you can do about that while composing. I don't think I could have done any better on this one.

On the second one, getting closer would have been good, but would also have likely been wet! ^_^ So, an after the fact crop to get more puppy and less habitat would be what I'd do here, but not quite sure where to put the pup in the frame.

Patti
grits74571
Talihina, OK

November 27, 2011
6:55 AM

Post #8907482

great comments Patti I am going to look at this series and see what else is there after reading what you thought about this group of pix i noticed the log in the water it has always been there so it became invisible to me LOL BTW my friend would gladly move it if I asked he has a large tractor and once cleared a lot of debris away when I was first teaching the Brit to retrieve from water i did not ask for him to do that he just did ..NICE GUY HUH Now looking from the other bank

Thumbnail by grits74571
Click the image for an enlarged view.

P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

November 27, 2011
8:01 AM

Post #8907600

Very nice guy!

I love this view! The colors again are lovely and now the reflection of all those colors is a big bonus. I love how you minimized the white sky. It doesn't add much. All I would have done to improve this one is take a pair of loppers and lop that distracting weed out of the left foreground.

Zen_Man
Ottawa, KS
(Zone 5b)

November 27, 2011
10:20 AM

Post #8907748

Patti,

"but not quite sure where to put the pup in the frame."

I thought about downloading the picture with the pup and doing a crop and posting the result, but then I thought that might be violating the copyright, and thought better of it. Obviously there are several ways to do the crop. All that I can think of involve staying with a landscape format. I like the ripples in the water around the dog, so I probably would keep at least some of them. Maybe this doesn't violate the copyright. It has been changed quite a bit, via a little digital magic. If it is a violation, I won't mind if the powers that be remove it.

ZM

Thumbnail by Zen_Man
Click the image for an enlarged view.

P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

November 27, 2011
10:34 AM

Post #8907761

Zen_Man,

I like your crop a lot! Agree about the ripples!

I'm sure Grits will chime in soon, but I'm sure he won't mind that you played with his photo. That's why he is posting them - so we can learn.

Zen_Man
Ottawa, KS
(Zone 5b)

November 27, 2011
12:24 PM

Post #8907854

Patti,

I think photographic composition and artistic composition are basically the same thing. A photograph can become a painting, and the effects that I applied in the crop above are a step in that direction. There are many, many good books on composition, both photographic and artistic, and I have a few of them, mainly on artistic composition in support of my hobby of painting. One of my favorite books is The Simple Secret to Better Painting

http://www.amazon.com/Simple-Secret-Better-Painting-Immediately/dp/1581802560/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322423723&sr=1-6

with the "secret" being "Never make any two intervals the same." Obviously there are many ways of applying and interpreting that principle, hence the book. Amazon's "Click to look inside" feature lets you get a good sampling of the book's contents.

I think the contents of the book are largely applicable to photography, except that the artist has perhaps more artistic license regarding layout, paints, and pigments used. But in the brave new digital-image-processing world, the photographer can have as much or more artistic freedom.

ZM
(not associated with any product or vendor mentioned or linked)

P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

November 27, 2011
1:12 PM

Post #8907911

ZM,

Yes, a photo and a painting are very similar expressions of art. Same brain and same visions. Only the tools are different. I apply filters and other techniques to a lot of my photos to make them appear more painterly. Fotosketcher, a free one, is still my favorite. But I also use Dynamic Auto-Painter and countless Photoshop filters and actions. I use these programs because I am not an artist and cannot achieve the effects with a paintbrush.

Thanks for the link to the book on composition. I took a look and I will pick up a copy. I know most of the "rules" - golden rule of thirds, leading lines, balanced fore, mid and background, etc, etc. But, just knowing them doesn't help as much as seeing them applied. I've been looking at a lot of paintings on-line and trying to understand why I like some more than others. I think this book will shed some light.

Zen_Man
Ottawa, KS
(Zone 5b)

November 27, 2011
6:00 PM

Post #8908323

Patti,

I like it that the book removes some of the dogmatism associated with some rules. It is also interesting to read the 26 customer reviews of the book on the Amazon site. Some of the reviews are downright informative. Customer reviews, both favorable and unfavorable, are one of the "value added" features of Amazon listings.

I use a variety of Photoshop plug-ins. I particularly like those from Topaz.

http://www.topazlabs.com/

I used the Topaz Labs' Clean 3, preset Curly Smooth, on the first crop, and a combination of Clean3 and Simplify 3 on this wider crop.

ZM
(not associated with any product or vendor mentioned or linked)

Thumbnail by Zen_Man
Click the image for an enlarged view.

grits74571
Talihina, OK

November 28, 2011
4:19 PM

Post #8909416

I love the crop of Pudge BTW she is 10 yrs old but still runs and plays like a pup zen I put the pix on to play with I have been doing this stuff more years that I care to admit but still learn everytime someone has a comment about my pix...When I first started with Dr. Olsen he would cut me to the bone at times and it was only later that I realized how much I learned from him...
Zen_Man
Ottawa, KS
(Zone 5b)

November 28, 2011
9:39 PM

Post #8909902

Grits,

This is a crop that I took from your photo on October 10, 2011 at 06:32 AM above (the first photo in this message thread). I kind of like that plant as a subject all to itself. However, composition-wise, the subject in my crop is too "centered". I probably should have cropped it differently.

ZM

Thumbnail by Zen_Man
Click the image for an enlarged view.

pbyrley

pbyrley
Port St Lucie (+ Wk , FL
(Zone 9b)

November 29, 2011
5:33 AM

Post #8910040

Grits, before I looked at the other "solutions" I did this crop. Since I love dogs and love water, this has gotten my attention much more than the desert pics

Thumbnail by pbyrley
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Zen_Man
Ottawa, KS
(Zone 5b)

November 29, 2011
7:05 AM

Post #8910142

Paul,

I really like your crop. By including the entire plant in the lower left-hand corner, you have "completed" that area and "stopped" an edge-line that could lead your eye out of the picture. You also have a good "standard" 3 x 2 horizontal format. I don't think I could improve on your crop (grin, except possibly to upsample it bigger). It would look great full screen, or in a big print on the wall. Or as a painting. Good eye.

ZM

P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

November 29, 2011
11:41 AM

Post #8910404

ZM, I like the crop of the plant. It looks balanced to me.

Paul, That crop of Pudge is a nice one too! And, ZM, your comment about stopping the edge-line is very interesting. I didn't think of that.

grits74571
Talihina, OK

December 1, 2011
6:18 AM

Post #8912326

I wrote a reply a few days ago but was having connection probs due to a faulty phone line I think that the crop of the oct pic is fine but as i was right there I took a close up of the plant so it never dawned on me to do the plant as a crop I tried to look at the blown up pix but my puter would not let me ..Meanwhile I am cursing AT$T because my landline was not working finally after 7 days they fixed it about a hal mile from my house...

P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

December 1, 2011
8:48 AM

Post #8912462

Oh that can be so frustrating. I hope it gets fixed!
Zen_Man
Ottawa, KS
(Zone 5b)

December 1, 2011
5:18 PM

Post #8913030

Grits,

"I tried to look at the blown up pix but my puter would not let me "

Could you provide more details about how or why your computer would not let you look at the blown-up picture? If your AT&T landline is a simple dial-up connection, your Internet data speed would be quite slow, so it might take a long time for the picture to appear after you clicked on the Dave's Garden thumbnail.

If you have a DSL phone connection, you could have a much faster download speed. We are in a rural setting here, with a dial-up AT&T connection, and it would be too slow to be practical for Internet use for us. So we use the HughesNet satellite uplink/downlink system, which is much faster than dial-up, but slower than DSL and much slower than cable.

Maybe I should experiment with progressive JPEG pictures for the possible benefit of any users who might be using a dial-up Internet connection. I had already used a high JPEG compression factor to keep the picture file size from being too high, but still it was 209,502 bytes. I will attach a smaller version of the plant crop here, using a horizontal format this time. Does your computer let you see this one?

ZM
(not associated with any product or vendor mentioned or linked)

Thumbnail by Zen_Man
Click the image for an enlarged view.

grits74571
Talihina, OK

December 3, 2011
4:26 AM

Post #8914579

Zen the reason I was having the trouble was with the DSL line my landline would not work at all and the DSL was herky-jerky the tech from the phone company spent about 2 hrs tracking it down ,seems to be much better now but I will predict that the next time we have really hard rain we will go back to no phone -no net to steal a line from Roger Miller LOL The tech said that since the voice portion takes up much more space than Data that kinda explains the strange behaivor of the phone system
IRIS
Greenville, SC
(Zone 7a)

December 6, 2011
2:02 AM

Post #8918289

I really like the soft effect look of the last picture above.
grits74571
Talihina, OK

December 6, 2011
12:58 PM

Post #8918887

iris I took the picture but the Z man made it into art Grits

P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

December 6, 2011
1:23 PM

Post #8918913

ZM, I like the second comp of the plant even better than the first one. The hint of the path on the right is nice. I also like the painterly look.
IRIS
Greenville, SC
(Zone 7a)

December 6, 2011
3:41 PM

Post #8919123

grits74571, Great picture! And Z man did a great job!! I really love that picture!
Zen_Man
Ottawa, KS
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2011
4:06 PM

Post #8919154

Iris, Grits,

Thanks for the compliments. However, the painterly effects are courtesy of the software I used. I just contributed a few mouse clicks.

Patti,

Yes, now that you mention it, the path does lead the eye in a way that adds to the composition. I was a little concerned about the near square aspect ratio of that crop, but it seemed to work for that subject matter. However, a lot of standard artist's canvases don't differ a lot in their horizontal and vertical dimensions, so I guess that is OK.

ZM
IRIS
Greenville, SC
(Zone 7a)

December 6, 2011
4:13 PM

Post #8919160

ZM, Your Welcome! What software /program did you use?
IRIS
Greenville, SC
(Zone 7a)

December 6, 2011
4:22 PM

Post #8919166

I just tried to soften one of mine, but, It didn't come out near as good as yours..

Thumbnail by IRIS
Click the image for an enlarged view.

P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

December 6, 2011
5:32 PM

Post #8919240

Iris, That looks like a wonderful place to spend some time!

One software program you can try if you have time is Fotosketcher. It is free and quite easy to use after you play around with it a little.

I copied your photo (hope you don't mind) and clicked on the Oil painting filter in Fotosketcher. Then I clicked the Merge Source and Result Images and blended the oil paint with your image at about 50% which makes it a very subtle change. Then I saved it. It took about 30 seconds. It would look better if done from the original or if I spent more time on it.

The program is found here:
http://www.fotosketcher.com/

Thumbnail by P_Edens
Click the image for an enlarged view.

IRIS
Greenville, SC
(Zone 7a)

December 6, 2011
7:44 PM

Post #8919382

P_Edens, Thankyou, It is one of the side corners of my backyard leading out from my patio where I sit and enjoy the birds that come in for the feeder and birdbath, The birdhouse that is in the photo now has a Downy woodpecker resident in it which resides in it every fall/winter.
I will have to try Fotosketcher, I have Paint Shop Pro 7 that I use right now, And though I'm happy with it and it can really do a lot of different things, there are some things that I just can't do with it so I'm always willing to try other options to learn some new techniqes. Thankyou for telling me about it and adding the link. And thankyou also for the info of how you redid my photo ( Looks better then what I did.) Heres the original ...

Thumbnail by IRIS
Click the image for an enlarged view.

IRIS
Greenville, SC
(Zone 7a)

December 6, 2011
7:46 PM

Post #8919385

Another that I tried to do but I think I over softened the burning bush a bit ...

Thumbnail by IRIS
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Zen_Man
Ottawa, KS
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2011
9:40 PM

Post #8919558

Iris,

Here is a Topaz Simplify 3 version of your garden picture. There are many ways that you could go with it. This was one that I kind of liked. I started with a watercolor preset and changed the edge settings a bit.

ZM

Thumbnail by Zen_Man
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Zen_Man
Ottawa, KS
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2011
10:13 PM

Post #8919596

Iris,

This is a Topaz Clean 3 version of the same picture, using its CrispStyle preset. With presets, you just import the photo, click on the Preset, and you are done. Or you can play with all the sliders to your heart's content to get many different effects. Both Topaz Clean 3 and Simplify 3 are Photoshop plug-ins that can work with a variety of image editing programs, including Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Irfanview, PaintShop Pro, Photo Impact, and Serif Photo Plus. You could, if you wished to experiment, apply the effects from both Topaz Clean and Topaz Simplify to an image, to harness the capabilities of each plugin. But this is just Clean 3, CrispStyle, and hit OK.

ZM
(not associated with Topaz Labs)

Thumbnail by Zen_Man
Click the image for an enlarged view.

IRIS
Greenville, SC
(Zone 7a)

December 6, 2011
10:15 PM

Post #8919598

ZM, Thankyou So Much, Love the treatment you gave it! Really liked P_Edens
too, But, Yours is a little more intense watercolor, Very Nice!
IRIS
Greenville, SC
(Zone 7a)

December 6, 2011
10:17 PM

Post #8919602

ZM, You were typing while I was sending ... Love this one too ... I think maybe a little more then the other Geez, Your good at this! Thankyou again!
Zen_Man
Ottawa, KS
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2011
10:22 PM

Post #8919604

Iris,

If you want to post the original of the burning bush and geese I could show you some of the things that Simplify and Clean can do with it.

ZM

IRIS
Greenville, SC
(Zone 7a)

December 6, 2011
10:31 PM

Post #8919608

Ok ... Will do ...Just added a few tiny extras to the one you just did ...what do you think? Be right back ...

Thumbnail by IRIS
Click the image for an enlarged view.

IRIS
Greenville, SC
(Zone 7a)

December 6, 2011
10:32 PM

Post #8919609

oops, Sorry, Wrong one
Zen_Man
Ottawa, KS
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2011
10:38 PM

Post #8919613

Patti,

The FotoSketcher that you demonstrated looks like a very impressive program, and, wow, it's free! It looks like it has a lot of the same capabilities as the Topaz plug-ins that I use. And my Topaz plug-ins weren't free.

ZM
IRIS
Greenville, SC
(Zone 7a)

December 6, 2011
10:40 PM

Post #8919615

This one

Thumbnail by IRIS
Click the image for an enlarged view.

IRIS
Greenville, SC
(Zone 7a)

December 6, 2011
10:41 PM

Post #8919616

Here is the original goose one

Thumbnail by IRIS
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Zen_Man
Ottawa, KS
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2011
10:42 PM

Post #8919618

Hey, Iris,

How did you get my picture to appear in your post? I didn't know that could be done.

ZM
IRIS
Greenville, SC
(Zone 7a)

December 6, 2011
10:46 PM

Post #8919619

I right clicked it and then browsed it back
Zen_Man
Ottawa, KS
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2011
11:38 PM

Post #8919629

Iris,

You clicked it and browsed it back? Gadzooks! This is a watercolor version of your Burning Bush done in Topaz Simplify.

ZM

Thumbnail by Zen_Man
Click the image for an enlarged view.

IRIS
Greenville, SC
(Zone 7a)

December 6, 2011
11:50 PM

Post #8919635

Very Nice-So Soft looking! Thankyou!
Yes, I right -clicked on the photo, Worked on it a bit, And then brought it back here in the way that you usually upload a photo .. Press browse, Upload the photo and here you have it ... Hope I helped. Really liked what you did above, Thanks So Much Again!
Zen_Man
Ottawa, KS
(Zone 5b)

December 7, 2011
12:05 AM

Post #8919644

Iris,

OK, in regard to the modification you made to my picture, I think you improved it a whole lot by increasing the color saturation a lot. I like what you did to it.

Glad you liked the watercolor Burning Bush. Do you have any suggestions in which direction I should go with the watercolor version of your Burning Bush? Incidentally, I am going to retire for the night (sack out) so I will return tomorrow. These interchanges got kind of rapid fire.

ZM
IRIS
Greenville, SC
(Zone 7a)

December 7, 2011
12:30 AM

Post #8919650

ZM, Glad you liked it, I like it too, Wish my yard really looked like that!! So Feathery! I really do like the Burning Bush change...
Burning Bush..To the Right, Darker Edges, Darker Sharper Geese, More Saturation in the light part of the fallen leaves, Thats how I see it offhand anyway.( Hope thats what you meant) ... Goodnight, I need to Hit The Hay pretty soon too, C U Tommorrow/Today.

P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

December 7, 2011
5:18 AM

Post #8919743

Wow. You guys were on a roll! And burning the midnight oil. Cool stuff!

Iris, I love your yard! You have Canada Geese in your backyard! How cool is that.

ZM, FotoSketcher doesn't have nearly the bells and whistles of the Topaz programs, but it is fun to play with. I like free. ^_^ I have downloaded the trial versions of Topaz and one of these days I will likely get it. Especially when I see the things you and others can do with it.

You both might want to visit this thread and some of the previous ones. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1230531/
It is a continuing saga of contributions by lots of people. We all share tips and techniques in photo editing and have a lot of fun along the way. I don't use PSP, but I know there are some on the thread that do. And everyone but yours truly uses Topaz. ^_^ I have to get that program.

Here's my FotoSketcher version of your burning bush photo ... Just to show the framing and text capabilities. There are a few canned frames that add an interesting look.

Thumbnail by P_Edens
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Zen_Man
Ottawa, KS
(Zone 5b)

December 7, 2011
8:51 AM

Post #8919975

Patti,

Very good. I am impressed. The title and frame are good touches, but your treatment of the subject matter itself is very artistic. I'm curious -- how were you able to suppress the Dave's Garden copyright labelling?

Iris,

I will address your suggestions a little later today.

ZM

Zen_Man
Ottawa, KS
(Zone 5b)

December 7, 2011
9:06 AM

Post #8919985

Patti,

And thanks for the link over to the "Photo Editing Fun - Page 46" message thread over on the Photos forum. I'll be spending some time over there, just browsing at first.

ZM

P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

December 7, 2011
10:44 AM

Post #8920086

Thanks, ZM. I hope you will enjoy the editing thread and please feel free to jump in whenever you like.

As far as suppressing the copyright...
Go to My Info at the top > Your Actions > Manage Your Preferences > Copyrights > and choose the first option.

I did have the third option chosen, but I didn't like it. If I want a copyright on my photos, I just use my copyright brush and stamp it on them. Sometimes I remember and sometimes I don't. ^_^

IRIS
Greenville, SC
(Zone 7a)

December 7, 2011
2:32 PM

Post #8920432

P_Edens, Thank you! I usually can't sleep at night so it's a good learning time for me lol.
Canada Geese are here to stay ( They are not real, But, They do look it)
I like the free programs too, Free is good for me! Though I would like to get the Topaz program sometime down the road seeing as so many people use it, I really do like my PSP though, I can do a lot with it, Not everything that some of the other programs have, But, Quite a bit.
Actually I use it mostly for a quick touch up for photos because I take a lot of photos. I see the forums that are showing the tips and techniques,( Thanks for posting the link) But, Unfortunately, I can't keep up with them as don't have a lot of time to spend on here, I have a another site that I frequent often that is totally dedicated to photoghraphy and they have a lot of info on programs and help tips too, but, Even there, I don't have a lot of time to look through everything, Love the site though!! I just one First Place in a photo contest that was focased on "Treatments", I am now running a contest on Pet Portraits there, I have to judge and pick the winners on Monday, It's going to be hard, Theres a lot of beautiful entries!!
Thankyou So much for your FotoSketcher version of the burning bush , I like it! It's so interesting to see the differences in the different versions!!

Just adding some though to the above postings - I will copy a photo from here that "I " have done, But, Will not copy someone elses photo.
Even if someone else did some work on it, I still consider it "My Photo" and don't feel like I am infringing on someone else's copyrights.And if I ever posted it somewhere, I would give the name of and credit to the person who worked on it.
If I get tempted by a really beautiful photo on here, I will ask if I can copy it, But, Would never do it without permission from the original owner, But, Thats just me, I like to be curtious and careful.
I also am careful of how I sign photos, If you put the copyright for all to see it can easily be manipulated off there if someone steals your photo, I use a very small blending copyright that is Very Hard to see for most people, Most wouldn't even know it was there, But, I know where it is on the image and how to have it show if I ever needed to do that. But, I really don't worry about it or hardly even think about it much at all with most photos, It's only with certain ones that I tend to pay attention to.
ZM, Ok .

P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

December 7, 2011
3:29 PM

Post #8920493

Iris, Sure fooled me. I did think those geese were real! LOL.

I pretty much do the same as far as copyrights go. I only copy and edit someone else's photo if it is in a thread like this one where it is expected for learning purposes or if I ask and get permission. And then, I delete their original and my version off of my computer after I post the changes.

The photo belongs to the person that took it and any changes also belong to the person that took the photo. That would be the same even for professional touch-up or restoration artists unless the artist and the photographer made different arrangements. The only difference is that the artist would get paid for their work, but they would not be able to claim copyright for the image or any derivations.

That's why I try to make sure and preserve the original photographer's copyright when I play with their images. I didn't do that very well the second time I posted one of yours. Sorry about that. I meant to clone over the info and forgot.

And, it is a very good idea to ask about copying because whether someone has a copyright notice on their photo or not, it is still their photo and they still maintain the copyright. In many cases, the information is in the EXIF data and if someone intentionally strips that info out, then they are subject to more than just copyright laws.

Of course, I'm not a lawyer and I don't play one on TV either. ^_^
So, this is just my opinion based on what I've read.
IRIS
Greenville, SC
(Zone 7a)

December 7, 2011
3:38 PM

Post #8920503

"Of course, I'm not a lawyer and I don't play one on TV either.
So, this is just my opinion based on what I've read." ... LOL!! ... Me ~Either!
IRIS
Greenville, SC
(Zone 7a)

December 7, 2011
5:30 PM

Post #8920691

A new one I just tried ... WindowLight ... Black&White ..

Thumbnail by IRIS
Click the image for an enlarged view.

IRIS
Greenville, SC
(Zone 7a)

December 7, 2011
5:31 PM

Post #8920693

With a Dash of color..

Thumbnail by IRIS
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Zen_Man
Ottawa, KS
(Zone 5b)

December 7, 2011
8:10 PM

Post #8920871

Iris,

Here is another take on the Burning Bush. The geese look real in the original, until you notice the leaves that have fallen on them.

ZM

Thumbnail by Zen_Man
Click the image for an enlarged view.

IRIS
Greenville, SC
(Zone 7a)

December 7, 2011
10:35 PM

Post #8921023

Neat ZM- !! Yes, Your right about the geese.
dayflower
Gonzales, LA
(Zone 9a)

March 26, 2012
12:06 PM

Post #9057809

in that last post of the geese it looks like a piece of art, it would be pretty printed on canvas.
dayflower
Gonzales, LA
(Zone 9a)

March 26, 2012
12:10 PM

Post #9057813

Here is a picture that I recently took of my back garden gate with the plants and things around it that I thought was very pretty.

Thumbnail by dayflower
Click the image for an enlarged view.

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