Miss Mary, Love the Monarch presentation! And Jubilada is correct, it is a Painted Lady. Kind of an interesting story about Painted Ladies, my Daughter in Law teaches 2nd grade, she had Painted Lady eggs in her classroom so the kids could see the whole life cycle of the butterfly. The instructions that came with the eggs said to freeze the butterflies once they morphed into butterflies but she thought the was cruel so they released them, they are native to Iowa.
Wheeee. You guys are on a roll. The kaleidos and butterflies and butterfly kaleidos are incredible to see. Love all your fall colors Lily! Miss Mary, that Monarch with the butterfly wing frame is awesome. Jubilada, I love your OOB mums. I'll be on the road for a few days, but hope to be able to tune in and see what everyone is up to.
Busy Busy no time for Fun. Love all you all are doing but by time I quit for the day too tired to think right. At 78 thats doing great. LOL
Removing bog garden, making pond smaller, moving skimmer and warterfall and what ever it takes top make clear water.
Stopped at the Smith Point Hawk Watch tower on the way to New Orleans. Saw some hawks, but the highpoint for me was the hummers that were visiting the feeder. I don't know what kind this is and don't have my bird book, but it is different from the Ruby-throated Hummingbird we see at home. Cute little bird.
Jubilada, That Dahlia is so beautiful. You really nailed the exposure. I love that you got so much light on the flower and also got so much beautiful color in the sky background. Excellent photo! Very cool frame on the daisy!
Crummy photo here, but I had to post it because of the bad hair day for the Snowy Egret. The wind was blowing so hard yesterday the poor birds were having a hard time flying. I got this in the middle of the day with really crummy, harsh light. I tried to fix it with Shadows/Highlights, but couldn't.
I got a little bit of video of this guy fishing. I'll put it on my website when I get home. I think it is so cool that the critters have adjusted to our meddling in their habitat. This smart little guy was standing on that culvert and watching the water flow through. As a fish would come through, he would grab it. Very productive fishing.
And speaking of manipulation, here's an HDR of a neighbor's doorway (4 exposures) done in HDRpro, brought back into RAW, then manipulated some more in PhotoShop (Topaz), and cropped ... it's basically an experiment (trying to shoot at night), so it's not particularly anything in terms of composition or visual interest ...
Jubilada, You did good getting the sky exposed right and bringing out the light on the Dahlia. I thought maybe you flashed the flower with some fill light. I've turned my flash way down and just hit the subject with a touch, but it is hard to get it right. Your way might have been a bit more labor intense in post processing, but it worked well.
And I have to disagree with you on your night shot. That IS a cool, very interesting image. I love that house. I remember it from last year around this time. The little pumpkins hanging and the two lights are exposed so nicely and you have just the right amount of glow from them to light up the scene. And you got the window! It is so much better than most holiday shots and tells a nice story.
Oh, wow -- I'm enjoying these! Of course, I'm always glad to see Hummer shots but, Patti, that in-flight capture takes the cake. How wonderful! I was laughing at that bad hair day photo of the Egret and then I recalled the last image I saw in a mirror. Whew! One of us is a close second and I'm not saying who! LOL! Seriously, what a stylish bird -- reminds me of a mad scientist in a way. That's great.
Jubilada, you did a wonderful job on the Dahlia. I'd never have guessed the original was as dark as that. I like the original, by the way -- even with the lack of light on the flower, it shows such grace and rich color! Your Shasta Daisy frame is really nice. It's so subtle and yet perfectly complements the subject. The big flower's shadow falls on it so nicely and looks like a natural shadow. Great job!
HelloMissMary wrote: ... I was laughing at that bad hair day photo of the Egret and then I recalled the last image I saw in a mirror. Whew! One of us is a close second and I'm not saying who! LOL!
^_^ Cracking up ^_^
Ted, I can't wait to see the end result of your project. When you get done, will you come put one in at my house? Heeeheee. Just kidding, Ted. I wouldn't do that to ya.
Patti, I'm going to ask for your advice ... you're very knowledgeable and can explain things so well ... I have rented a Canon 24-70mm L lens for the weekend (I'm participating in a workshop tomorrow) ... I've read a lot about this lens, and thought I really wanted to try it out ... I've played with it a bit today, and kind of wonder if I'm in over my head ... I've tried many different shots, some work, some don't ... have to agree that for the most part the shots are very much sharper than with my Tamron, but focus is not consistent, and sometimes what I think I'm focusing on (either manually or automatically) turns out to NOT be in focus (and everything else is?) ... so I think I'm not doing something right ... any pointers or elucidations or wise words of wisdom ... ????
Oh boy! Workshops are so much fun. I hope I can offer something that might help in time, but it's so hard over cyberspace. Wish I could be there to see if it's the lens or what you are doing. I'm going to guess that since it works okay sometimes, it might just be the the way you are setting up the camera.
Try this ... For the test, Put the camera in One Shot, not AI Servo or AI Focus or any of that stuff. That will keep the focus where it is set and not change it based on where you point the camera. In other words, if you hold the shutter button down part way and change the composition, the focus stays the same and doesn't shift for the new composition. Sometimes that's good and sometimes that's bad, but just for the sake of testing, do it. Try not to change the composition after you get focus set though because that causes a whole 'nother set of problems.
Then choose only the center focus point as being active, not multiple active focus points. That will mean that YOU choose what the camera focus on and not the camera. If you choose multiple points, the camera doesn't always know what you want to focus on and sometimes it picks something weird.
Now shoot several shots and see if you get consistent focus.
For Manual Focus:
Make sure the diopter adjustment is set correctly for your eyes. Autofocus on something with the above method and turn the diopter until you see sharpest focus with your eye. Once that's set correctly, the manual focus should be what you see through the viewfinder.
Another really good way to manually focus is to put the cam on a tripod, turn on the Live View, click the magnifier button a couple of times and manually focus the lens while looking at the CRT. Click the shutter when it is sharp. If the photo is not sharp using this method, it ain't gonna happen.
Miss Mary, That sure does look like a Pipevine Swallowtail to me. Beautiful image. The treatment is excellent to accent the butterfly and that lovely flower as well. Wow.
Cumulus79, Welcome to the photo editing corner of DG. I'm so glad you found us and look forward to seeing more of your creations. That rose image is fantastic! I think there's a face in those petals and it is smiling. ^_^
Here's another picture from the forest around the corner. It's a more recent one (only 9 years agoo) and intended as desktop background ( you're supposed to put your shortcuts in the lighter colored area on the left side ^^ )
Miss Mary, your Pipevine Swallowtail is a stunner! ... Like that black and white Gerbera, too ...
Bienvenue, Cumulus79 ... the Rose Mosaic is very charming indeed ... and what a lovely little forest around your corner! ... I like your idea for a desktop background, think I'll try that for some of mine!
Spent yesterday at a photo workshop ... covered many things ... rented a super Canon 24-70L lens for the occasion ... my head was swimming ... the more I learn, the more I don't know! ... in any event, some things are now clearer than mud, and others, well ...
We spent about 45 minutes standing out on Alma street practicing "panning" ... something I'm not too good at ... my last shot was the closest I got to achieving the effect (f22, 1/50 sec, ISO 100, 28 mm) ... it has been Topazzed slightly ...
Jubilada, those are great! I especially like the last two of the bromeliad! Such a wonderful platinum effect -- wow! One of the first things I noticed on that first one was how you managed to pick up texture on the plant and none on the background items. Those really tickle my fancy!
Miss Mary, the butterfly is beautiful! It is such a thrill to see something new! I have never seen this swallowtail. I love your Gerbera is gorgeous!
Cumulus79 the pink rose mosaic is beautiful as is the forest scene!
Jubilada, looks like you had a great time in the workshop! Love the lily! How do you like using a tripod? I do not have the patience to use one, I know one can get much better photos when using one, just not for me I guess :).
Miss Mary, The B&W Daisy is such a wonderful composition!
Cumulus79, Great idea for wallpaper! And lovely photo with the rays of sun streaming through.
Jubilada, Sounds like you had a fun and productive workshop. I think your panning shot is quite good! That is incredibly hard to do. You even got starbursts. Cool!
I like that bird in flight image. The lily is absolutely beautiful - perfect DOF. Ditto what Miss Mary said about the bromeliads - the color effect is gorgeous. That would be a nice effect for a Christmas card.
Ted, Sorry to hear you lost some fish. Hopefully the rest will be in their new home soon.
Lily, That is a very cool application of selective color and I love the butterfly's shadow - it's a heart.
Wonderful treatments on those, Jubilada. They have just the right touch! I like that little starburst on the blue van's glass in that last one. I can't, for the life of me, imagine where the street light was. Great work!
Jubilada that freally made it 3D effect.
My fish are in their new home. Just hae to decorate. LOL
Water garden will be in foreground, water fall to the right going into the garden. Making it so when finished, the fish will be able to go into the water garden to eat and spawn.
Jubilada, I love that kaleido and that zinnia is so beautiful. The color is stunning and the OOB treatment is very cool. I have a photo of a bud I couldn't ID that looks something like that one. Hmmmmm. Maybe it was a zinnia.
There was this tree I walked by earlier this week, and yesterday I went back with camera/tripod in hand to take its picture. It's a beautiful tree, and it was about 2:30 in the afternoon, the light seemed to be just right ... also, no power lines! Of course, there's a "no parking" sign in there, and maybe I'll take that out ... this is the best of the several HDR series (three exposures only -2, 0, +2), done in Adobe HDRPro. I then ran the resulting TIFF back through Camera Raw for some extra tweaking ... (I also tried PhotoMatix, but was not happy with that result) ...
A new shot of these trees (I did one last year) HDR (three exposures only) ... the color is a bit different from last year, although it was about the same time ... anyhow, again I prefer the Adobe HDRPro ...
Well, Patti, "these trees" are different from "that tree" (Oct. 28) ... in fact not even in the same location ... I believe they are Liquidambar trees ... they should get much redder in the following days ... over to their right is a maple tree (not shown in this picture), which is also quite striking a little later on in the season ...
A few more shots from the nature center put together in a Gavin Hoey "Ball of Images" and stuck inside a freebie photoshop texture called "Room". I can't remember where I found that texture image. If I find it again, I'll post the link.
Patti, that "nature images" globe is really very nice ... I like the way the individual images edges are softened and kind of "flow" into each other ... lovely ... And your sweet little Grasshopper Sparrow image is darling!
Lily, such an interesting creature that Madagascar Moth! Nice catch! Pretty gazania? gallardia?
Here's a very old shot of my four kitties and the great pumpkin (carved with a cat face by you know who...) ... this is the ONLY picture of my four kitties together in one place ... (needless to say, much manipulation ...)
Lily, That moth is fascinating! It reminds me of a Luna Moth. I like the composition of your flower image - perfect position and angle of the background flower.
Jubilada, The kitties with their attention raptly affixed on the Great Pumpkin is so cute! Your porch pumpkins might be good candidates for the Hoey tut. I like the shadows of the web on the pumpkins! Cool effect. Fantastic job on the Day to Night (DTN) conversion. I've seen lots of these and done a few. Not easy to make it look natural as you have done. I always like seeing your masterpiece self portrait in the witchy costume. That is some awesome PS work. Loving that Flamingo image. I've been in OOB withdrawal, so perfect timing. The shadows of the flowers are the perfect touch. Cool job on that kaleido. I always have to comment on the critters, and, sure enough, they are there - bats maybe - with cute little antennae. ^_^
Ted, Very cool self portrait of you with that plug-in. I thought it was a macro shot of a president on a coin. LOL! Second image with that alien being is quite scary! Love it. The fractaled flower is way cool looking.
Miss Mary, The second Nature Center shot is so pretty! Love seeing all that beautiful color.
It is so simple. Hard to believe a decent photo can come out of that plain little box. I would imagine that in a few years, it will have all sorts of enhancements to raise the cost.
It should be actually available in early 2012 and really inexpensive. You know I'll have to get one to play. The only reason I didn't already sign up for the waiting list is because you have to upload the photos to a Mac to play with the focus and process. I will wait until they get the PC interface worked out before I sign up to buy one.
Miss Mary, That Nature Center must be a beautiful place and you picked a perfect time. I love all of the fall colors. I also love the trail photos you are taking (in the last posts at LNC and this time too). They are wonderful compositions (using the "leading line" composition technique) that really make me wish I was there so I could walk down those paths and see what else is there. My viewer eye is most certainly being led down those paths, which is exactly what you want to do. Great job! The DAP photo and treatment is my favorite on this set though. Great color and wonderful reflection.
Now you have me wondering what I can do with that pumpkin carving technique too. I don't really have any decent photos of pumpkins and until you mentioned it, never thought to try it with something else... hmmmmmm.
Miss Mary, lovely selection of photos from the Nature Center ... ditto what Patti says ... marvelous composition, and colors!
Patti, thanks for that Gavin Hoey link ... I'll keep that around for next year. I did get a couple of good pumpkin shots this year that I can use. But, as Miss Mary says, it could be used for anything ... hmmmmm ...
Also, Patti, waiting for some shots of New Orleans ... bet you got some good ones!
And, here's a recent article from the SF Chronicle about a night photography exhbit that's opening up next week ...
Jubilada, You took that GH ball and ran with it. Your Mum and Pineapple Guava denizens are adorably cute. Mr. Bill - LOL
Miss Mary, That zinnia kaleido is an eye opener - so bright and colorful!
Jubilada, Fantastic article on Night Photography! Makes me want to go out tonight and shoot, but I have to drive a couple hours to get away from the Houston lights, so I have to plan ahead. I didn't get hardly any photos in New Orleans. I did go to a National Wildlife Refuge, but the mosquitos were the largest population of wildlife. They were really hungry and hard to photograph. So, I've still been playing with my Oklahoma photos.
Well, the jury is probably still out on that new Gavin technique ... however, this is what I came up with on a random photo ... trying to stay true to everything that Gavin recommended, including file size ... it's not an overwhelming result, but on the right kind of photo it could be quite effective ... this photo, btw, is some statuary outside the Junior Zoo and Museum in Palo Alto ...
Jubilada, I think you are so correct in that the photo chosen is key to success with that new GH technique.
I gave the pumpkin carving technique a try. Since cacti don't usually have candles inside, I toned down the glow, but then it was boring. So, I added some light rays. Then it was a bit otherworldly, so I added some text. Then I threw it away. ^_^ Later, I retrieved it from the trash can, added the two together in a comic strip and here it is. Silly, silly, silly.
Miss Mary, Kudos to you and your brother - Nice shot of that beautiful foliage and I really like the Orton treatment. Picnik looks like fun. I will try it out tonight. Love the water reflection and the gorgeous red fall color.
I kept trying to get shots of the Fall colors today but the clouds kept passing in front of the sun...so I started taking photos of the clouds. I had to do some perspective adjusting to this one (distracting angles). Then I cropped, used Topaz Detail and tweaked the contrast. I didn't even realize when I was taking the picture that there were rays rising and descending from that cloud!
I'm afraid I haven't the time to play much ... but had to do a quick check of that Picknik ... so following Patti's lead with the holiday theme, here's Frankie getting ready ... yep, there's a lot to check out, there ... Miss Mary, have you sprung for the Premium?
Miss Mary, That Picnik/PSE image is wonderful. I love the framing. The Fall Madness reminds me of something out of one of my old chemistry books - the cloud of electrons surrounding a chemical element. Oh my, that was dredged up from ancient history. Cool rays from those clouds!
Jubilada, Sr. F, the red-nosed reincat is adorable.
Ted, Fantastic treatment for those nekkid ladies.
Lily, Beautiful butterfly image! And the enlarged, faded version worked into the background along with that text looks awesome. Do try that picnik website. It is a picnic.
I have one more picnik ...
This is a juvenile Canyon Towhee I got while in Big Bend National Park. I enhanced it and added a vignette and frame in picnik.
TAR, very interesting "nekkid ladies" there ... I'm all excited about the new Topaz Adjust ... are you going to do the webinar? I've signed up for it. Glad to know I'm eligible for the free upgrade!
Lily, that's a wonderful result you got from that tutorial ... what a lovely butterfly creation. And I must say that part of me agrees with the sentiment wholeheartedly ... the other (the crabby old lady part) has some reservations ...
Patti, aren't you having fun with that picnik stuff?!?! Good job! Also, those refracted images in water drops are amazing!
Took a walk today, and came up with a few things ... have been wanting to try out that GH Triptych tut, so here's the first one ...
Monotych (???) ... (I walk by this house frequently, and am always impressed at how beautifully manicured the grounds are ... it's a huge place, and they always have a wonderful array of flowers going up the walkway ...)
Jubilada, I want to walk where you walk. My neighborhood is sooooo boring in comparison. That house and walkway is something out of the movies. Wow! I love the trips and the dip with all the wonderful colors and tones. I also like the different sized photos. You always have that personal touch that makes all of these tutorials better! Cool picnik creation with the Pumpkin and the Porch Light!
I can only agree with (and echo) Patti -- you have that personal touch that just so YOU! Lupita looks so comfy. I can just feel her warm fur! That triptych of the golden trees -- OHHH! Hey, I like the background you used on the diptych. How'd you do it? Wonderful array of goodies there!
Patti, I can see you're having fun! And your Orton/Vignette creation looks great! I really like the way it separates the fore- and backgrounds. Sorry if I created a monster addiction for you but I'm enjoying the side effects and hoping you won't go cold turkey anytime soon!
Through the 24th, you can download this program free. It's a really large file but I went ahead and took the bait. I really can't imagine myself taking the time to go in depth with it (at least not right now) but thought I'd play with it some.
Here's a photo of a Monarch from last Summer, done with the "Find Edges" filter:
Well, I think that link to Dave's Computer Tips (not related to Dave's Garden) doesn't work, so here's what was said about the software:
Xara Photo and Graphic Designer – FREE for a limited time
Posted on November 9th, 2011 by Jim Hillier
Magix is currently offering its Xara Photo and Graphic Designer software free to everyone.
PLEASE NOTE: This is version 5 of the software, which is an older version that previously sold for $89.99usd but is now free until 24th November.
Now, we wouldn’t usually include older versions of software in our Freebies section but this one is an exception to the rule, because it really is very good software which remains relevant today.
Xara Photo and Graphic Designer provides an easy way to design web pages, business cards, invoices, letterheads, and many other graphic formats. It also works very well with existing photos/images.
illustrate, draw & paint
Text, layout & desktop publishing
There is a lot more detailed information available on the promo page.
To get your free copy of Xara Photo and Graphic designer go to THIS PAGE and click on the “Download now for free!” link. Please note; the download is a large one, weighing in at 365MB. Also, you need to register the program online within 7 days of installation, after which you can continue using it for free.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This software comes bundled with the Ask Toolbar but opt-out is available, please monitor the installation carefully. If you do not want the bundled extras, make sure to uncheck all Ask options during the installation process.
Miss Mary, those are some gorgeous colors you're getting there! And while I'm intrigued by that Xara software, will restrain myself ... I have more software now than I can shake a stick at, and much of it unexplored ... don't need to add more to my pile of stuff, but thanks for the tip, anyhow!
I wasted some time this afternoon playing with leaves ... the resulting examples are not exactly what I was looking for, but I'll share them anyhow ... they're interesting, I suppose ...
Beautiful leaves, Jubilada. I especially like the second one. As Miss Mary said, the leaves appear to be falling through the air. Lovely presentation! Did you shoot them on a "green screen" type background to make the selection easier?
Miss Mary, The bee fly is so sharp! Excellent photo and very subtle HDR! Looks great. I really love what you have done with the frog. That is so good. The photo with the frog on the golden third and the leading line back to the background is awesome. And then the treatment just makes it perfect. The frog is nice and sharp and keeps the attention, so while the eye does wander back along the leading line and admires the lovely foliage, it comes right back to Mr. Frog. Outstanding. I wish it were mine.
Thank you, Patti. I always like the input I get on this thread from you and the others. I find it very helpful. I've been playing around with that focal softness effect on Picnik and really like it. I almost chunked the frog photo because it lacked interest before I decided to give that tool a try on it.
Miss Mary, I can only echo what Patti said about that Mr. Frog Photo ... it's wonderful! I like that "leaf in the forest" one, too. Very nice!
My leaves, I picked from the sidewalk ... and scanned them (individually) in my scanner. Then I adjusted each one's hue and saturation (applied clipping mask so that adjustment didn't affect the other layers) ... it was an interesting experiment ...
Oh, Wow! I never thought about scanning leaves. I've heard of it before, but never realized they would come out that good. That is so cool! I love the perspective you chose for that first zinnia photo! Lots of fantastic angles. Your DH does a wonderful job with that woodworking!
Great angles on the second one too! I'd like to see that one shot wide open, at f2.8 if the lens has it and focused on the vase. The f2.8 would be quite a bit less depth of field than the f8. I think it would look cool with the background blurred out a bit.
I really like the background you chose for that last one, Jubilada. The raw wood, the concrete, the chipping paint on the door with the old knob...wow, what a setting for the shiny vase full of bold, red zinnias! I'm loving it!
Thanks, ladies ... and Patti, thanks also for the suggestion ... I really need to have someone like you as a tutor, to give me ideas and point things out to try, because I honestly think I spend too much time flailing about and not zeroing in on the best techniques ...
Nevertheless, my Tamron only goes to 3.5, and that's only if it's not zoomed ... so I went back with my 55 mm and tried a few (of course the light was different) ... I'm still having trouble getting consistent, decent depth of field, no matter what lens I use ... ack ...
Anyhow, Red Zinnias number 3 ... (only post processing in RAW, which included some fill and exposure correction) ...
Jubilada, Thanks for satisfying my curiosity! And believe me, I get more ideas from you than I could ever think of on my own. I might know just enough about technique to be stifling myself from the creative energy that you let flow freely. I wish we could trade approaches for awhile. I know I would benefit greatly from your creativity.
In comparing numbers 2 and 4, I find that I like them both a lot and cannot choose a favorite. They are so different and both very good in their own way. I hope I can explain what I'm thinking in words that will translate from my brain waves.
I like 2 for the reasons Miss Mary pointed out. The door is so interesting. The red, white and blue colors have an appeal that is lost in #4. The juxtaspositioning of the old and the new also draws me to #2. This is a very dynamic, active photo that has my eyes dancing and enjoying the dance.
And I like #4 because, just the opposite of the appeal of #2. It is less dynamic and more relaxing to my eye. I like to see the subject of photos stand out and grab the viewer's attention without any distractions other than to just sense that there is a background (or foreground or both), but not dwell on them. #4 does that for me except for that bit of white in the background. I think I would have moved it if possible to get an even more tranquil feel.
It is two completely different approaches to the same subject and they both work very well.
I thought this crop might be nice too, using the wood as a frame ... (Hope you don't mind me playing with your photo.)
Patti, thanks a lot for your input ... and it would be great to trade approaches ... I really need to hang out with other photographers, it would do me good ... right now I'm just kind of a lone wolf ... Of course I don't mind your playing with my photo ... in fact, I almost cropped it exactly as you have, but decided not to ...
TAR, whoa, I'll say you tinkered with that zinnia! Practically unrecognizable!
Now, I've just downloaded the latest upgrade to Topaz Adjust, and have to install it and play a bit ...
Been playing around with the new Adjust 5 ... nothing spectacular so far ... but if you can stand one more zinnia ... this is retro grunge, or something like it, and a few other things, with the vase and zinnias masked back in ...
Trees in Eleanor Pardee Park ... this was cropped, straightened, I took out a light post and a distracting white blob, then went into Topaz Adjust and applied several things, including HDR and Warm Tone something or other ... afterwards I framed it, etc., ad nauseum ...
And just for comparison's sake, here's the original which is untouched ... what I find interesting about this shot (not that it's particularly interesting, or anything like that) is that it was shot at f2.8, 1000th of a second, and still the depth of field is reasonably good and it's in pretty good focus ... I would not have expected these results ... so, Patti, what's the phenomenon here??? It seems to be better than what I would usually get at f8 (this is my little PowerShot) ...
Miss Mary, That camellia image is so pretty - lovely color and I like the pattern created by the light and shadows. The dark background really pops out that beautiful color.
Jubilada, That is one beautifully shaped tree and the colors are fantastic. I really like your Topaz+ version.
Great question on the depth of field! The short answer is that in general P&S cameras get much greater depth of field because of their tiny sensors. That's one of the reasons people move to dSLRs - so they can achieve greater control over DOF and blur the background when they want to. But, I must say, I have P&S envy when I see Miss Mary's perfectly focused macro shots of bees and stuff. To get that degree of depth of field with a dSLR is very difficult.
The real answer is quite involved, so I will just e-mail it to you so you can read it whenever you are really, really bored and can't find anything else to do. ^_^ . Like that ever happens.
Even though the explanation is more than I can grasp, I'm fascinated. Jubilada, it's a wonderful shot of a beautiful tree. You chose a great combination of effects (as judged by my eye) and I like the grassy border!
Ahhh, the roses are likely putting on their last blooms (lows in the 30s and 40s now), so I'm calling this one Pooped Out Party Girl...
Well, Patti ... I'm glad to know it's my dSLR and not me (necessarily) with those closeup shots I attempt ... I've agonized over that! I'm going to spend more serious time with your e-mail answer. Thanks!
Miss Mary, Are you sure you didn't just pick that leaf up and put it on the porch and take another photo? Hahahah. Seriously, that is some fantastic selection and work. I love the way you did the shadow/bevel, etc. effects to make it look like it belongs on the new background. Wow! And that seed pod image is a nice one - love the blurred background and crystal sharp subject.
Jubilada, I love the fall tones in your images. The shrooms are very interesting looking and I love the triptych presentation. Those leaves are beautiful.