Wonderful start-off, Jubilada! The Camellia OOB is so delicate and lovely. What an elegant composition! Those Lawn Bowls are really interesting. I found myself studying them to see how many labels and logos I could identify! They look rather large. Are they solid structures? You've put together another well-balanced collage.
We've had a warmer-than-usual winter here thus far. The weather today was really nice, so I went to the Cancer Survivor's Park this afternoon. This sculpture of eight life-size figures passing through a maze depicts the cancer journey, as experienced by all people of all ages from all walks of life.
I saw my first butterfly for the year today (a Sulphur) -- a real spectacle in Memphis in January! The poor dear tried and tried to get some goody juice out of that bright pink flag before finally giving up!
Wow, you two have been busy! Thanks for the new thread Jubilada. The camellia OOB is a fun one with a cool background. The Lawn Bowls is a great way to recycle those plastic bags. Love that posing squirrel. How cute! When the ones around here pose like that, they need to be holding little signs with numbers on them. They get in so much trouble raiding bird feeders, sneaking in attics and digging up flower beds to plant their booty.Awwwwe. A squirrel valentine!
Miss Mary, The Cancer Survivor's Park sculpture is an interesting one. I did a search to learn more about it and found that there is one in Houston and many other cities. Amazing that I had never heard of it. In seeing all of the photos out there, I really like the perspective that you used to shoot it! Best one, in my opinion.
The Kale collage is lovely. I like the way you varied the size and shape of the images. Your treatment of the Dixon Gardens early bloomers is fantastic! Beautiful image! I'd love to see that lamppost at night, glowing and spillling light all over the gardens. Wheeee! Butterflies. Can't wait to see more. I actually had a Monarch in my butterfly garden a few days ago. I went out to hack back the long spindly stems of the milkweed and as I was hacking, along comes Mrs. Monarch and proceeds to lay eggs ! on the stems. Silly woman. There were no leaves! Arrrrgh. I stopped hacking and started watering. A few leaves have popped out. I hope there are some little cats that will survive. I haven't seen any yet, but they would be really small if they hatched.
I got to go out with my friend and photography instructor yesterday afternoon and evening to shoot some photos for her newest book. We saw several more art pieces placed around Houston that I never knew existed.
This one fascinated me and I could have spent all night looking for that perfect image.
Edit to add: These are all HDRs with lots of attempts to correct white balance, noise and some attempts at perspective corrections in a few.
The rays composed of words of light hitting the library and reaching out across the ground are just incredibly to see. I read some of the words and would like to go back and just study all of the different passages and languages. Very cool piece of art.
A cathedral we photographed. The fisheye is just not the right lens for this one. I spent some time trying to get the image level and did a lot of tweaks. Wish I had thought to bring my other wide angle lens.
P-Edens, no wonder you were intrigued. I wasn't there, and I'm intrigued by your photos. I have a tamron 11-18 lens, which I use so seldom, I'm thinking of selling. There is a slight amount of distortion, but not a true fisheye. I'm sorry I did not get a fixed wide angle.
I'm leaning toward the first one, too, Patti. My goodness, I was just sure I had stepped through the looking glass when I clicked on the thumbnail! I must say, that is one cool concept. I really like the last one, too, though I think you are right in that it would be better without the fisheye. Beautiful cathedral!
Thank you for the comments on my shot of the Cancer Survivor's Park structure. I really worked for that angle and was surprised to find that it was actually possible.
Last year, when I went to the Cancer Survivor's Park, I came back with some really crummy shots of the beautiful hand-made mural there. I gave it another try yesterday. It really is an amazing piece of work. I'll post a photo of the wall in its entirety and then several close-ups of different sections.
"Artist Kristi Duckworth used the image of a tree to symbolize growth and new life in her tile mosaic mural at Cancer Survivors' Park. Duckworth led workshops with cancer survivors who had the opportunity to create handmade tiles that were incorporated into her Tree of Life mosaic." --Urban Art Commission
Jubilada like the effectrs on the Nasturtium,
Mary I was playing around with yours and the Stars filter really gave them some effects. They are good enough as they were. Thanks
Pattie loved your photos and the wonderful lighting.
Lots of cool stuff going on here while I was out at my bird identification workshop. Workshop was fun, but I hardly picked up my camera, which took some serious discipline. I did get a few shots on the day before the workshop though.
I have some catching up to do. I can't wait to play with all the new programs.
Miss Mary, I remember when you photographed that mosaic last year and was looking forward to seeing more of it. Wow. It is so incredible. I just love seeing all of the little creatures and words. What a wonderful expression of hope and life.
Jubilada, Nice to see those not so plain old flowers. Nothing so pretty around here.
Ted, Very cool to see all of your creations and thanks much for sharing all those fun programs.
Hey, something new here... I just noticed that it says I can upload up to 5 images. Cool! Now I need to go download images from my laptop and start playing.
A few from the weekend. Cardinal and Scrub Jay were at the State Park on the way to the workshop. Owl was at the workshop - Last Chance Forever birds of prey came out to the workshop and did a show. Moon over Windmill was also at the workshop at night. It was a joint bird ID and photography workshop, so I did photography at night and bird ID during the day and slept when I got home. ^_^
OMG Patti! That owl!! My fight or flight response jumped into gear when I clicked on it -- wow! What type of editing was done on that, if any? It's a grand capture! All of these are just wonderful. I love Cardinals anyway and that one really stands out with the OOF background.
Jubilada, your Valentine goodies look like a box of sweet treats in the multiple thumbnail view above! I like that Hydrangea (?) heart in the middle the best. Talk about eye candy!!
I applied the Pixel Bender Oil Paint filter to a layer copy of the Great Horned Owl photo, added a mask and painted away the effect on the owl. So, just the background is pixel bent. I couldn't stand messing with that cute face. I was standing about 4 feet from her when I took the shot. Sweet bird.
Well, Patti, Mother Nature is awesome, as your Owl photo illustrates ... that's marvelous, and while the Fotosketcher manipulation is very nice, doesn't hold a candle to the original ... wonderful shot!
Miss Mary, those Kale manipulations are quite clever and cute indeed!
Here we see Consuelo, who sees that Mommy has a new toy ... and then there's an HDR interior (yep, my living room, dust and all) ...
Products of a new wide angle zoom, and it's not a Canon, but a Tamron 10-24 mm ... cheaper by about $500 bucks, but seems to be (thus far) a keeper, because ... gee whiz ... I sure don't know how to use it yet! Seems like this will be an interesting learning curve ...
Miss Mary, What fun with the Kale! The middle one is awesome.
Jubilada, A new toy!! Wheeeee. The shot of Consuelo is the kind of stuff I like to do. So funny! The interior shot is what those lenses are so good for - architectural shots for realtors. And that is a wonderful example. I don't know if you did any lens corrections, but I don't see any distortion. Fantastic shot. I think this is the same lens that Kathy Clark (photo instructor) has. She has taken some awesome photos with it. If you scroll down to Dec 13 on her blog, that night photo was taken with that lens. http://kathyadamsclark.blogspot.com/
I found a link to some creative examples of uses of super wide angle lenses. If I can find it again, I'll post it. My favorite one (I haven't done yet) is to bake some muffins, let them and the oven cool and then put the camera in the back of the oven on a timed shot, the muffins back in and get you peering in to see if the muffins are done yet.
Good shots with the new lens, Jubi. You know I like Consuelo and her curiosity! I'll be looking forward to seeing some more goodies you come up with using that one!
Some more goodies from Tuesday's walk through Dixon Gardens:
The first two are Hellebores. The next one I think may be a Native Azalea...sure doesn't look like any Azalea buds I've seen but I could have sworn the trees in that spot were the NAs. Lastly, looking down the path, with a blooming Paper Bush on the left.
Patti, thank for that link ... she's quite the photographer ... that Dec. 13 shot is awesome ... hope you do remember that link to creative wide angle examples ... however, I don't think I'll do the muffin one ...
Lovely flower shots, Miss Mary, and great treatment on each ... especially number 4 with the blooming Paper Bush ...
Still playing with my new lens ... lots of experimentation to do ... paperwhites, cabbage, magnolia and street lamp, tulips, and tree with HDR effect ...
Wow, that last one is really grand! That photo makes me feel like I'm being sucked up into that glorious sky. The tree branches reaching really has a profound effect at that angle. Great work, Jubilada.
Miss Mary, It is so nice to see all those flowers! Dixon Gardens must always have something blooming. That azalea bloom is so pretty, but I have to agree. My azalea blooms never looked like that. I like that Magix border!
Jubilada, You are getting some really cool shots with that new lens. I never did find that link and that's a good thing. You don't need it. I love the shot of the tree with the HDR effect and also the shots of the clouds and trees. I can't decide which one I like best, the tame sky or the wild, vibrant one. They are both awesome. Superb composition.
It's raining here today! I can't complain. We are so overdue. We were planning to go cut that tree that is on our fence and try to stretch the fence back up to where it belongs today. But, that will have to wait a few more days.
Jubilada, Your wide angle shots inspired me to play with my fisheye zoom. I wanted to see just how fishy it was at the 8 mm vs the 15 mm ends. Well, I really didn't want to go out in the rain, so I went as far as I dared - the front door!
First image is at the 8 mm end with no correction. Very fishy!
Second one is at 8 mm with the most correction Photoshop offers. Still very fishy. I downloaded a program that is supposed to do a better job of correction, but I didn't like it. I'll keep looking.
The third one is at 15 mm, no correction. It looks fairly normal.
That's an interesting experiment Patti ... actually that 8 mm with no correction is kind of cool. I'm assuming that you're using that lens on a full-frame camera, so your 15 mm is nearly equivalent to my 10 mm (35 mm equivalent 16mm) ... I just have to remember to keep the "vanishing point" centered in order to avoid horrible distortion (things falling in, or falling out) ... but sometimes you WANT that distortion!
Oh, and how I envy you your rain ... that just looks so wonderful ... it's been so dry here it's frightening!
The camera I'm using is my 1D Mark IV, so it is a 1.3 crop factor as opposed to your 1.6 crop factor. But, the fisheye lens field of view is different from a rectilinear lens's field of view. The algorithm used to calculate it is complicated and differs for each fisheye lens. In the case of this fisheye zoom, it differs for each mm. The 15 mm end is about as close to rectilinear as this lens gets, so that's the best comparison.
So, if the 15 end were rectilinear, on my camera it would be 19.5 in 35mm equiv. So, not as wide as your 10mm on your camera. But, it might actually be a wider view since it is not rectilinear.
Ooops, my ignorance is showing again! Thanks for the elucidation, Patti ... I understand a "little" better now the difference between the "fish eye" and "wide angle" lenses ... for all the good it will do me ... most of whatever I accomplish can be best attributed to "dumb" luck (too old to change) ...
I'm enjoying this wide-angle lens a bunch, so far ... it's really sharp (much better than my 18-270) ... here's what I attempted today:
A beautiful tree, first HDR (this has been cropped to remove a vast expanse of street in front), then straight;
more of the Patrick Dougherty installation "stick work", including an HDR;
and a couple more great trees, juxtaposed (some very obvious powerlines going across the entire picture have been removed);
Not dumb luck, Jubilada. IMO, most of what you accomplish is due to artistic vision. Like the view of the stick houses through the window of one of them. That is brilliant. That first shot is so crispy, I think I hear it crackle. That is one sharp lens. Wide angle lenses are so much more forgiving on focus. I took a bunch of photos with the fisheye and forgot to put it back in autofocus. They came out okay. LOL! Now, that's dumb luck. The trade off is that you can't get those nice out of focus, creamy bokeh backgrounds.
One of my favorite photographers is Russell Graves. DH and I went to Childress and spent a couple of days with him. He put us on some great wildlife photo ops. He told us that he barely has a clue how his camera works. He just spends a lot of time taking photos and through experimentation, he knows what works for him.
A few more Hill Country shots taken during the raptor show.
The first bird is the Red-tailed Hawk - no surprises there with that tail. Second shot is a different photo of the same bird cropped in to reveal face detail. Both of these just have minimal post processing - just the usual Camera Raw tweaks and then the added frames.
Last two shots are the Harris's Hawk. Had the fisheye on my camera. Camera was on the tripod and about 12 inches from the perch. As the bird was flying to the perch, I just held down the remote shutter release.
Bad thing about that fisheye is that you can't hardly blur the background, so all that junk in the background shows up. So, I posted the last shot so you could see what I had to do in post processing to remove all that junk. I really need a better wide angle lens that will fit my newest camera. Thinking about either the 17 to 40mm or the 16 to 35mm. Can't decide and really would rather save up for the new 500mm that is supposed to come out in April.
Thanks for the link, Patti, I will check it out ...
Your bird photos are incredibly good! That Red-tailed Hawk (number one) is such a marvelous photograph, so clear, so detailed ... wow! You really "got" that bird! Great "face" shot, too. I am also very impressed with your photo-editing on the Harris Hawk ... fabulous work! If I hadn't seen the "before" don't think I would ever have suspected any editing! Bravo!
Out at my garden plot this morning I discovered there was actually one head of cauliflower to be harvested, puny and pathetic as it is ... not much luck with cauliflower this season ... it freezes at night and then during the day it's sunny and warm, and no rain ... the poor plants don't know what to think! The cabbages seem to be doing much better, and the chard is finally coming into its own ... soon ...
I wasted a couple of hours concocting this silly picture ...
I tried that Gavin Hoey frame thing, and agree, tweaks need to be made ... depending on the size (resolution) of the photo, and the photo itself (dark, light?) ... here's what I came up with on a second attempt and leaving the exposure of the brush at 3 on the third round ...
Patti, that shot of the Harris' Hawk is fantastic! Like Jubilada said, I would never have suspected manipulation just by looking at it. That's a wonderful job you did.
Jubilada, I always like what you come up with when you feel you've been frittering away (or, in this case wasting) time. I really like that double OOB of today's catch! You really bring contrasting textures together well. I don't think I'd have thought of bringing the corner of that rough-hewn table out over the rim of that polished gold round frame but it works. I always like the backgrounds you choose for those delicate flower bunches, too. I still remember the sweet peas (I think that's what they were) from last year or year-before-last.
Jubilada, Those veggies look yummy to me and they are trying to jump out of my monitor. I'm ready to catch 'em. Cool OOB effect! I never got around to planting my Fall garden and really miss going out to pick goodies.
On the Hoey framing, that's a good one. I think it works best if the edges of the photo are all about the same degree of light/dark as you indicated in your comments. And, yes, I also think it works better on low res jpegs. Oh well, learning about centering the text made it worth my time. That was pretty cool.
Jublida you got spriong flowers already? Must be nice.
I will be out of pocket for a few days. Wife had a hert attack and is in ICU for two more days and home for rehab.
Did the last one over again. Was not what I liked. LOL This one put the butte in the right place and effects were better
Playing some more today with my wide-angle zoom with a polarizing filter (I know, I've read that you're not supposed to use a polarizing filter on a wide-angle lens, but, after all I don't know how to use either one properly yet, so what the heck ...)
Palo Alto City Hall, manipulated in Raw and then topazzed
Glass Bottle House "Clear Story" in front of City Hall, a couple of versions (one with a nice lens flare), and a detail ... plenty of cropping, straightening, and other manipulations ...
Who remembers the movie "Harold and Maude"? This is the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas on Waverley in Palo Alto, built in 1902 ...
Jubilada, I don't understand enough about photography to know why the WAZ and PF aren't a good mix...but they sure did work for you! I just love that ascending shot of City Hall and the tree tops! And the flags behind the Glass Bottle House are so crisp and billowy! The church -- oh, my goodness -- is so prim and sharp. They're all so pristine and crystal-clear! If I were looking for a vacation destination and these pics were in a travel guide, Palo Alto would be high on my list. Seriously.
I hope your wife is better. My thoughts are with you both in hopes for a quick recovery. The image you created is amazing - both versions! Just beautiful.
I enjoyed seeing the kaleidos and the daffodil That first one has some really strange characters in it.
Your wide angle shots with the polarizer are incredible. It really brought out those blue, blue skies. Great job! Wide angle is when you do use a polarizer! That's what all the landscape photographers use on their wide angle shots. Something you probably already figured out is that the polarizer is most effective when you are at the greatest angle to the sun. So, if the sun is right behind you (or right in front of you), no matter how much you turn the polarizer, you won't see that much effect. But if the sun is more over your shoulder from the right or left, you'll see more darkening effect when you turn the polarizer.
It was so cool to see that bottle house with your wide angle. You got some great views including inside! I wonder what that would look like at night shooting from the side with a light inside it. Makes me want to hop on a train and head to Palo Alto and find out. And the shot with the blooming tree in the foreground is so beautifully composed!
A picture I took of the Mississippi River at Memphis almost 20 years ago. The colors weren't good and the image was somewhat skewed and not sharp at all. I first applied Picnik Pencil sketch and blended back some of the color. I then did some perspective work in PSP and made some miscellaneous minor tweaks here and there.
Miss Mary, What a great view! Your processing really looks good. The image is certainly sharp now! Wow. And the colors maintain the somewhat vintage look of a photo taken 20 yrs ago. Excellent work!
Do you have a scanner or do you have your photos scanned somewhere? I had some scanned a couple of years ago, but it was pretty expensive considering I have probably hundreds more to do. I'm looking for another alternative.
My morning chores got sidetracked this morning. I went in the kitchen to make my grocery list and found the acorn squash seeds right where I left them yesterday evening. Whenever I eat a cantaloupe or acorn squash, I scrape out all the seeds and put them on a cookie sheet to dry out so I can remove the seeds from the pulp. Sometimes I just put them in a low temp oven, but yesterday, I just left them on the counter. So, before preparing the list, I scraped the nicely dried seeds off of the cookie sheet and went outside to put them somewhere the birds could eat them. I decided on the butterfly garden. While I was cleaning out a few weeds, I noticed a bunch of Monarch caterpillars. (Remember on Feb 1 when I mentioned I saw a Monarch female laying eggs on the milkweed stalks?)
It was cold outside this morning and we have thunderstorms predicted. And, I just put a bunch of bird lures right next to the poor little cats. I could just see those birds scarfing down the cats. Cardinals will and they love those seeds.
So, I decided to bring them inside the house with me. I put them in a paper bowl with some milkweed leaves until I could figure out what to do with them.
Found an old refrigerator drawer in the garage, a roll of mesh and some duct tape. Now I see why guys love duct tape. That's some good stuff. I put a few twigs inside for them to pupate on and I cut a door in the mesh on top so I can clean it out and add fresh milkweed leaves.
One adventurous soul decided to point out that I probably should have gone out and bought some mesh with finer holes...duh. Oh well, I think he'll go back in. If not, I might have a chrysalis hanging from the bottom of my kitchen table soon.
Photos taken with my iPhone. The one out the window was taken in HDR mode. Not bad for an iPhone. I did put them all in Adobe Camera Raw and tweaked and cropped.
While I'm in storytelling mode, here's another one. Tuesday was a day to forget. Remember that tree I posted - the one on my fence. DH and I decided Tuesday would be a really good day to get that tree off the fence and fix the fence. It rained over the weekend and on Monday, but Tuesday was supposed to be a nice day.
First clue - It was sprinking on us on the way up there. Hmmmmm.
Second clue (see photo) - When we got to the property, the mentally challenged electric company workers had locked us out. They should have locked their lock to our lock, not to the bottom of the chain. I called them and they said they'd send someone out. There was a guy close by, so not too long to wait. He looked at it, shook his head, said he was sorry about 10 times and moved their lock to where it belonged. Hard to be mad since he was so nice. He said they had a bunch of new guys and he would do a little Lock 101 training.
Third clue - It was really wet out there. Water was standing everywhere.
Fourth clue - The chain saw was acting up. DH had to partially take it apart to tighten the chain and I think he might have forgotten to tighten one of the retaining nuts.
So, ignoring all those clues, we put the chainsaw in the back of the truck and headed down the fence line to the back of the property. We tied a line on the tree, using the come-a-long to pull it to one side so it wouldn't fall on DH while he was cutting it. And, he started cutting. Got about half way through the tree and the chain saw started coming apart. Looked down and one of the nuts was gone. Searched for it and couldn't find it and the chainsaw was stuck in the tree. I got a screwdriver and started prying the tree apart so DH could pull the chainsaw out. Finally got it out.
Threw the chainsaw back in the truck and decided to call it a day. Oh, no. Not yet. In backing the truck up off of the road (the 4 wheel drive truck! that was in 4WD), it got phreaking stuck, buried in mud up to the back bumper.
We tried rocking it back and forth. We tried sticking sticks under the tires for traction. We tried attaching the come-a-long to the truck and a tree and pulling it out with that. Nothing worked and it just got stuck deeper and deeper with every try. So, we hiked back to the cabin, got the tractor, a shovel and some metal grate material.
Hooked the tractor up and tried to pull the truck out. Nope. Not gonna work. We started digging out a spot in front of the tire closest to the tractor and the one that had the best traction. We put the grate under it and tried pulling with the tractor while I was in the truck gunning it. I slung mud all over creation (including the tractor and DH's back, but we got it out just in time to head home in rush hour traffic.
And the tree is still on the fence. You know, it's growing on me. I sort of like the tree on the fence. Maybe we can paint it with some silver paint and call it art.
Oh well, sorry for that long-winded story. If you're still with me, thanks for reading! ^_^
Miss Mary, your shot of the Mississippi River at Memphis is just great! And what a marvelous job of re-processing you've done!
Patti, enjoyed your cat story and pictorial ... but that story of the truck and the tree and the malfunctioning chainsaw is absolutely exhausting ... and not because it's long-winded, it's excruciating! ...what an ordeal! Glad you finally got out of it all ... now, just paint the tree in rainbow stripes and (yes) call it art ...
Jubilada, Those are not the usual kaleidos! Very creative. I like all of the 3D depth of the one with the lawn bowls. Really draws the eye in.
Miss Mary, That is a beautiful, vibrant color on the Speedwell flower. I know what you mean. Even down here where we have had a very mild winter, flowers are few and far between, mostly because of the drought. But, it has been raining and raining around here lately, so I hope the spring wildflower season will be a good one.
Wow. More daffodils! Jubilada, they are all very pretty! I can't pick a favorite.
Yesterday, I had a fun trip to find an eagle nest. A friend sent me a map that got us in the right vicinity. We met out on a pipeline right-of-way and walked to the nest. We sat in a little dug out area on top of a concrete storm sewer and watched the eagles. They provided quite a show. They flew around and kept making passes around us until after almost 3 hours, the female (we think) landed on the nest and hunkered down. Not much more activity after that.
A collage of some of the flowers in my yard ... as for the "blueflower," well I don't know it's real name ... it's a plant I inherited about 12 years ago, which has finally crowded out the pelargonium which was its pot-mate ...
Jubilada, The raindrops on azalea is very nice, but that collage! That has to be the best collage I've ever seen. I just love all of the different sized and shaped windows with all of the flowers peeking out. Very creative! Have you posted that blue flower on the plant ID forum? I'm sure they will be able to get an ID for you.
I was so excited to see some wildflowers on my drive through a National Wildlife Refuge today. I went to find an owl's next and found it, but it was hohum compared to the Indian Paintbrush I found. I can't wait to go out with the right lens and get some landscape photos of the flowers.
Here's a shot with my 400mm lens. LOL. Not too bad for a birding lens. The frame is Pixel Bender Stereographics.
Well, Patti, that Meadlowlark "painting" is simply lovely. Love what you did with the twigs in pixel bender ... makes it very impressionistic. Great shot of the Red-tailed Hawk, and my, what profound poetry!
Inspired by your Pixel-bender stereographic frame on the Paintbrush, I fiddled around with some of my daffs and paperwhites, and came up with these ...
Jubilada, Wow! Some really cool images. Love the OOB daffodil, but my favorite is the paperwhites. Cool framing, spheres and 3D flowers! I'm still laughing at that "profound poetry" comment. Too funny!!
Well, well...Jubilada, your yard flowers are so delightful! I love the way they're peeking out of the openings in that frame! I like those Paperwhites, too.
Patti, your Meadowlark and Hawk are so perfect! I'm glad you're not a mouse, too!
On this week's stroll through Dixon Gardens, I spotted a happy bee on a Paper Bush. The next picture was also taken there...many of the trees are budding out now. We had a wonderful sunset tonight and the next picture is the view from my front porch (Fotosketcher).
I don't think I'll pay the 8 bucks since I think I can do most of these easily enough myself.
Here are some examples with the freebie ...
Get Your Coots in a Row (Brazos Bend State Park)
Watch Out for the Gator (Brazos Bend State Park)
Flowers ( Edith Moore Nature Center)
Faux Frog (Best looking fake frog I've ever seen. Had me fooled for a minute. - Edith Moore Nature Center)
Patti, thanks for the Gavin actions link ... I'm trying out the sample, but kind of agree with you that they're easy enough to do on our own ... I'll see ... Anyhow, great photos you guys. Miss Mary, that bee is outstanding. Nice shots of the view from your porch, too.
Patti, that is one fabulous fake frog, and what a photo! Love the drops and ripples ...
So, my Calla lily has its first bloom, and I've been taking pictures like a fool ... some narcissus, too, and all using Gavin's bowed frame, with some of my own modifications ...
Jubilada, I like your mods to Gavin's frame! The gradients really look nice. The first shot of the Calla is fantastic composition. Sweet shot of Lupita - such beautiful eyes! Yes, that is a lovely color on the saucer magnolia.
Jubilada, I have to say that second Calla shot is enchanting! Of course, I love shadows and backlit things! I have never seen a Saucer Magnolia that color. How beautiful!
Nice variety of frames and backgrounds, too. They really do set off the photos well!
Beautiful shots Miss Mary! The sky colors in the first one are just beautiful. I intended to stay up late and shoot that crescent moon last night and I just ran out of steam. That should be Venus under the moon. Jupiter is probably just out of the photo to the right, above the moon. The moon is supposed to be a bit closer to Jupiter tonight, but all three should be visible close together again. Maybe I'll make it tonight.
Still playing with that Hoey frame. I wanted to try my hand at Jubilada's type of enhancements.
First is that Northern Harrier out at Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge. She is terrorizing the birdies. The six over on the left are fake birds added by me. Cropped to a pano and boosted the vibrance, noise reduction and selective sharpening.
Second is that Bald Eagle in Pearland. She really put on a show. She was raising a ruckus in this shot. I think she was ready for the paparazzi to go away. Again, I was really hoping that I didn't look like a mouse or a rabbit or a small person. I ran this one through DAP using some filter (pencil sketch maybe? - CRS attack) and then I ran the Hoey action with the RWB gradient and some texture.
Oh, those have such personality! I like the patriotic effect on the eagle -- it is mild, almost understated, and yet it is obvious. Boy, those fake birds really work on the first one! Just spilling right out of bounds!
Miss Mary, I hope you are able to get that crescent moon, Venus and Jupiter tonight. I've been out a couple of times with fingers crossed, but no luck. We are completely socked in. Overcast and not likely to get any better all week.
A bird in flight...sort of.
I'm just wondering why this bird that is supposedly registered to HPD was flying around a park in my home town. The park is located right on the border between my county and Harris County (Houston's county). But, they need to stay on their side and leave my birdies alone. They scared off every bird in the park on every flyover.
Patti, it seems that my saving grace last night was the cloud near the moon, which my auto focus camera locked in on. With tonight's cloudless sky, no such luck. I took lots of shots and only got one somewhat good one, I believe. It was early in the evening, so the moon and planets were spread out pretty far, leaving a huge blank spot in the middle of my picture. Oh, well, lemonade...
I was really hoping one of you real photographers with real cameras would catch it.
Miss Mary, You got them! Jupiter, Venus and the moon. And, that is a wonderful moon! Very cool.
Sorry you couldn't get them later when they were closer together and closer to the ground and probably some of the stars were visible as well. One trick for focusing on the moon when your camera won't do it is to try focusing on a street lamp or something waaaaay down the street - as far as you can see. You just push the shutter button half way, let the camera focus on something far away and then keeping the button pushed halfway, recompose on the moon and then push the rest of the way. Sometimes it will work if the camera is using a small enough aperture (large f-stop number like f22).
Miss Mary, you are a "real" photographer, for heaven's sake! Your "Moon over Memphis" is totally cool!
Sadly, I've got the same cloudy conditions that Patti has, and even sadder, there's still no rain! I wanted to see those heavenly bodies, and even try a shot at them, don't know what this evening will offer, I don't have a real great horizon to work with!
Jubilada wrote:Miss Mary, you are a "real" photographer, for heaven's sake! Your "Moon over Memphis" is totally cool!
Yes!!! Miss Mary, I've seriously considered getting a camera just like yours because of the great photos you post. The best camera is the one you have with you and I get tired of carrying all the gear I need for my dSLR. But, as they say, it's not the camera. It's the person. So, I don't know if I could make it sing like you do.
I wish I had one today. I went out with the intent of taking close-ups of wildflowers using my 400mm lens and some extension tubes that will allow me to get really close with it. On the way to the park and all through the park I kept seeing fields full of flowers and I couldn't take photos with a 400mm lens. Drat. My kingdom for a wide angle or a P&S. I snapped a few with my iPhone camera, but if I had a P&S, I could have gotten some cool photos.
Patti, those iPhone shots are very nice ... I especially like number three ...
Struggled with these moon shots earlier this evening ... wanted to get the stars in there, so the moon is basically overexposed (despite all the different exposure combinations I tried, and there were many, which of course you won't see), but it was an interesting exercise ... (back to the drawing board, as it were) ...
#1, f22, 5s, 20mm, that streak is an airplane
#2, f11, 2s, 25mm
#3, f11, 8s, 25mm , with another airplane
#4, f8, 1/100s, 270mm, hand-held
Beautiful moon shots, Jubilada. Are you sure those are stars? Maybe those two planets again...
Patti, I'm really liking that third shot of the orange flowers. Nice composition, keeps me interested. By the way, what are those?
Thank you both for the kind, kind comments. I don't, however, consider myself to be be in a league with either of you. You two have worked hard at learning and perfecting photographic techniques and I love watching you achieve greater and greater skills as you go. I, on the other hand, have never really applied myself to learning about exposures, shutter speeds and the like. That's why I referred to you as "real photographers." ☺ I know there's just so much one can do with a point-and-shoot and, heavens to mergatroid, I've only scratched the surface of that! You guys amaze me with your equipment and "know-how!"
#1 - Rex, my neighbor's big baby. I was pulling weeds on my side of the wood fence, talking to him as I usually do...I think he came to listen and help.
#2 - Spirea blossoms with Nandina berries in the background
#3 - Quince blossoms
Miss Mary, Awwwwe, that is a great capture of Rex and his "begging eyes." He is a master at that technique. Love seeing all that pretty color!
The orange flowers are Indian Paintbrush. They should be more red, but the white balance is off a little. Indian Paintbrush is one of the first really pretty wildflowers to bloom around here. We're off to what could be a nice wildflower season.
More stuff from my rainy day in the park yesterday ... It started drizzling when I was about 5 minutes from the park and it drizzled or downright poured almost the entire time I was there. Cleared up around 10 minutes before I had to leave. I'm not complaining!!! We need the rain.
I shot this old barn near the entrance to the park.
First image is a three shot HDR that I tried to process as naturally as possible.
Second image is an attempt at drama. I did everything I could think including making a contrasty B&W version and blending the two on Multiply blend mode. Then I used a gradient to lighten up areas. I don't even remember half of what I did.
This poor little Northern Cardinal posed for me in some of the worst rain. What a sweetie. I shot this one out of the window of the truck, so managed to stay mostly dry. I removed a branch below the bird that ran into his tail.
Patti, love that old barn ... especially the "dramatic" version! The cardinal is a sweetie, for sure (nice shot!); and lovely rain drenched flowers ... however, that yellow one doesn't appear to me to be a dandelion ... hooray for your rain ... we're starting to get a little, and tomorrow we're promised a "pretty good rainfall" ... we'll see ...
Jubilada, You are right about that yellow one. It's not a Common Dandelion for sure. I have looked for it in my books and the closest I come is the Texas Dandelion. AKA: Manystem False-Dandelion, Pata de leon and Pyrrhopappus multicaulis.
Oh wow! So much to like about these images. The clouds are what I dream of for my landscape photos. Love those frames!!! Great choice of color to bring out the flowers. My favorite is the one with the yellow flowers - awesome composition! I do see the moon in the yellow one and maybe in the pink one. Is it at about 11 O'Clock and just a bit outside the pink flower?
Patti, those vultures are amazing! What awesome captures! Your Spiderwort is really lovely. Such vivid colors -- and droplets to boot!
Jubilada, that's really a wonderful way to showcase your flowers and I particularly like the pink one!
Some Dixon Gardens sights from yesterday...
"Merrill" Magnolia, Picnikked
Daffodils -- this one was Fotosketched and I played with bringing back some details here and there with a manual brush
Lovely Dixon Garden shots, as usual, Miss Mary ... those Hellebores are really something, and that tapestry treatment is very unique!
Here are some daffodils and trees and a doorway that I got a kick out of (I pass this house frequently. There's a big hedge in front, and for some reason I've never taken the time to look down their walkway at the front door before. I did a pencil sketch in Fotosketcher and then merged it back with the original.)
Cool stuff, Jubilada! Love the framing for the daffodils. The tree images fascinating. I keep looking at that first one and expecting that tree to ski right out of my monitor. Very cool use of selective color on the next two. I got a laugh out of the house that appears to be abandoned rather than occupied... Very nice photo! Great use of the leading lines.
Jubilada, I'm really fascinated by the second and third photos. I would have imagined the "busy-ness" of the frame designs would overpower the main shots but you've used a deeply-set effect that makes for just the opposite! Those are way cool.
Patti, your Woodpecker is so sweet and really does looks as though it is posing just for you. Your blend of effects really makes it THE focal point!
Well, I took this at the Wolf River Greenway yesterday. Stormy weather was developing, creating interesting (and quickly changing) lighting. I used Picnik to crop and enhance then used Fotosketcher Expressive Brushstrokes. I switched to some other Fotosketcher settings to do manual work in various small areas and then went back to Picnik to do the framing.
Patti, your little woodpecker is a delight! Very nicely done in every respect!
Miss Mary, that's one gorgeous photo/painting scene you've created! I can almost feel the calm before the storm ... fortunately you didn't get any tornadoes!
Some play with my little orchid (re-potted two years ago, this is its first bloom since then ... it's been very mad at me, I guess). A "twist" on the Gavin Bowed Frame; and then a dash of Pixel Bender oil ...
Miss Mary, Ditto what Jubilada said... That is a beautifully composed and "painted" scene. It needs to be printed very large, signed in the corner and hung on the wall. Wow.
Jubilada, So glad your orchid plant has forgiven you and is putting on such a beautiful show. Love your twist on Gavin's frame! Very cool OOB. And the PB Oil image is just lovely. Your composition with the dark tree in the background is perfect to showcase that beautiful bloom.
My big old Camellia bush has starting putting out some different-looking blooms. They are somewhat streaked or variegated and they have the yellow centers. Mine has never had the little thingies in the center! Believe me, I have looked...
Jubilada, Pretty kaleido! I like the more subdued outer ring with the burst of color and character on the inner ring.
Miss Mary, The Wolf River reminds me of a bayou I like to Kayak down. The bayou also has high vegetation on both sides for most of the way. It can get sort of scary since you can't see beyond the banks, but it is always full of birds and other critters, so a fun paddle.
That camellia is beautiful! My camellias have always had those yellow thingies in the center and yellow spots of pollen all over the place. Takes me forever to clean up a photo. Thank heavens for the spot removal brush in photoshop.
Love those moons, Jubilada! And I had to smile at Miss Mary's description! It does look like a big E.T. hand. That is so cool. The porch shot with the reflection and that very interesting porch light is awesome. Excellent exposure! That will be a great starting point to make a Halloween image. The vines look eerie.
Salvaged one more rainy-day-at-the-park image. I still don't have a good photo of a Pileated Woodpecker. So, this one will have to do until I can get one. It was very overcast and I had the 1.4x teleconverter on my 400mm lens. The lens is f5.6 to start with, so I lost a stop with the TC. Now the widest open I can get the lens is f8. Next problem is that I need to overexpose this one since the bird is against a white, white sky. Eeeeek. Had to crank the ISO up to 2500 just to get 1/400 sec shutter speed. And, normally I can't hand hold that lens with a TC at 1/400. I need more like 1/800. So, I just set the camera for "spray and pray" and I took about 15 shots. This one was in focus, but it was still too dark and so, too noisy. By the time I removed the noise, there was no detail left in the bird. Dang.
Pixel bender oil, frame action and my new copyright signature brush. I added the camera to my sig and made a new brush.
While I was out mowing the yard today, I saw that an azalea plant survived my radical chopping and sawing. It has three flowers on it and a few more buds. Amazing. When I couldn't do anything about the black powdery mildew attacking the plants, I gave up and chopped them all out. I was able to pull the entire root system out for all but one. I ran out of energy and my back was hurting so I just left the roots and about 5 inches of stem/trunk sticking out of the ground. It was on the far side of the flower bed, so I just ignored it. I planted the roses in a raised bed in the middle area of the former bed.
I guess I'll just leave it alone and hope it doesn't get attacked by that mildew stuff again.
1. Camellias soon. Second round.
2. Azalea again. Playing with a copyright brush.
3. Moon with Pixel Bender Droste. Was trying to get a landscape shot through the pecan tree, but without those cool ET fingers, it wasn't worth keeping. ^_^
Patti -- so glad your Azalea made the effort and it sure appears to have been well worth it! Beautiful color! Hey, that's quite a moon shot...I keep looking for cows jumping around with it!
Some shots from Dixon Gardens today:
1. Still trying to get an ID on this one. Some sort of Euphorbia, I think. Softened the whole photo and then manually blended back some of the original sharpness on the buds (Picnik).
2. Some kind of Magnolia about to bloom (Picnik HDR-ish).
3. March of the Daffodils...
4. Grape Hyacinths and Crocus
That first plant is really something. Let us know if you get an ID on it. Excellent work altering the depth of field! The plant really stands out. Can't wait to see those Magnolia blooms.
I wonder if there is anywhere out there where those beautiful purple hyacinths can be photographed with blurry yellow daffodils in the background (5 or 6 feet away at least)? That would be a killer photo! It would have to be shot wide open (macro setting on a P&S) or fiddle with DOF as you did on the mystery plant.
Miss Mary, That sure does look like a fit. What an interesting plant!
I went out to Brazos Bend State Park yesterday afternoon to evening in hopes of getting a photo of the moon rising as the sun was setting. Tonight will also be a good opportunity to do that as long as you have a view of the horizon or without too much in the way.
Unfortunately, there were too many clouds, so I never even saw the moon. But, I took a few shots I liked.
First was my favorite. Sun was still fairly high and moon not up yet, so shooting in opposite direction of moon toward sunset. In post processing, I drastically raised contrast and boosted the blacks to make everything in the foreground go to silhouette and add drama to the sky. I drastically boosted the Vibrance and Saturation to bring out the little bit of color in the sky. Then just added a 2 pixel black border.
Second shot - Several deer were grazing in a meadow of wildflowers. As soon as I stopped the car and put my camera out the window, they started heading for the trees. The little nubbin buck didn't want to leave his little lunch spread, so Mom had to come back and give him a lecture. His response - pass that verbal abuse on to the source of his problem - Me!
Last one is just a composite of a few other shots I got - nothing special.
From left to right - Violet Wood-Sorrel, Wild Onion, Pied-billed Grebe, American Alligator, Little Blue Heron
Oh boy, Patti -- that sunset is a real wower! It says "POWER" and "DRAMA" with exclamation points! Excellent! Your blend of effects really brought out the best. I do like the fussing deer, too. Had to laugh at that one. Your background colors are sooooo right for the collage! Boy, that alligator looks like he/she means business!
My goodness, you guys are the busy little springtime bees ... lots of lovely stuff to look at!
Miss Mary, that's a great Euphorbia shot ... many varieties of that plant growing all over Palo Alto.
Patti, ditto what Miss Mary says on that sunset shot ... your post processing really created something marvelous! Love those deer, and you really captured the "look" on that young one's face!
A few shots from my yard, where everything thinks it's spring ...
Narcissus with oval frame
Moon from last night, narcissus from this morning, blended ... hue/saturation adjustment layer, with the yellow narcissus noses masked back in
My lovely picotée azalea, with a pixel bender chihuly-type background
And a daff-o-dilly
Talk about a busy bee! You have been creating all of these wonders. The wall is just beautiful with all of the lovely flowers. And that moon shot is amazing - so sharp and full of detail. I love the petal shape and color of that azalea! Soooo pretty! Now I need to go study that kaleido some more. Lots of little critters hiding in there ... ^_^
Most of the landscape images I shot at the park while waiting for moonrise were shot for HDR processing. I shot a burst of five images with exposure bracketing at -3, -2, -1, 0 and +1 exposure. The only landscape I processed was that tree with sun behind it. I didn't process it as HDR. I just chose the -2 stop exposed image and processed it for the silhouette.
Now, I have processed all of the HDR series using Photomatix Pro. I played around with the settings and tried some of the canned settings.
The first two images here are that same tree photo. One is just processed for normal HDR, trying to keep it as real as possible and just bring out all the dark and light areas of the photo. The second one is processed for wild and crazy HDR - the kind that a lot of people hate. I happen to like wild and crazy (W&C), but only in small doses. ^_^
Next two images are normal HDR processing on the bridge with a little bit of a contrast and saturation boost and then W&C processing.
And the last image is the view of 40-acre lake just to the right of the tree processed in W&C HDR.
Well, Patti, those HDRs are all incredibly fantastic! I know you like the W&C the best, but for me I think I prefer the more "realistic" ... the W&C renditions seem a world of fantasy, venturing somewhere beyond the realm of "photographic reality" (and of course, that's fine) ... whereas the more sedate seem to offer more verisimilitude (one of my favorite words ... don't get to use it often) ... great work!
Here's a portrait of my Phoebe, in sweet repose ... lots of post processing, Topaz HDR filter lightly applied, and finally in Fotosketcher, a light "expressive" strokes and frame ... the interesting thing about this shot is, it's a big surprise it came out as well as it did (the original is very sharp) ... taken in low light, only from the floor lamp ... shot (my little G10) at f2.8, 1/25s (hand held), ISO (gulp) 200. Phoebe, bless her heart, did not move even a whisker ...
My goodness, Jubilada, that's a wonderful portrait of Phoebe! I love the evenness of the lighting and no awkward harsh shadows at all!
Patti, what a treat! I just keep going back and forth, trying to pick my favorite. Can't do it -- no use trying anymore. Bundle them up and send them all to me! Wow, the sharpness of the distant trees is fantastic and yet they have a softness as well. Drama, tranquility, élan...whew!
Puttering around with some of my latest Dixon Gardens finds on this rainy afternoon...
1. Azalea, Fotosketcher
2. Daffodils, Fotosketcher
3. Tulip Kaleido, PSP and framed
4. Tulip, PSP and PSE9
Jubilada, Awwwe, what a wonderful capture of Phoebe. Love the composition and the detail throughout. That is sharp!
MIss Mary, That white azalea is lovely. The contrast in the photo really shows it off. The tulip images are so creative and well executed. I love the wall and placement of the "tulip bowl". The shadows make it come alive. Wow.
Thanks, Patti. I never would have thought of that as a bowl, but it is bowl-shaped, isn't it? No manipulation needed, ready to go as-is! I really need to find out what kind of tulip that is. They grow low to the ground and, when planted in clusters, they are just adorable!
That is an interesting little program, Miss Mary ... thanks for sharing that info ... I tried it out. Used the polar coordinates before the kaliedoscope filter (which actually seems more like fractals than kaleidoscopic), and just left it at the default numbers ... an azalea ...
Well, you two are having fun with your new toy! I haven't figured out how to come up with results so good. Jubilada, that Dandelion seedhead is really great! And, Patti, I like that water-swirl Azalea. The thumbnail looks like a crocheted afghan with fringe on the edges.
Here's one I did of a frilly Tulip. I know I used the kaleidoscope effect and the "Glamor Glow" but am not sure beyond that.
Jubilada, That puff is so sharp! Cool image. The pansies are lovely - that's a beautiful, painterly image.
Miss Mary, That frilly tulip image is fun to study. All sorts of critters and things to see - spiders, smiley faces and a duck. Okay, maybe I've just been staring at a duck for the last few minutes and I just thought there was a duck... LOL. The Fringe Flower image would make a great ornament. I love that color combination.
I am still having fun with Pixlr.
I'm not sure what all I did with this one, but it was something like this...
The usual previous pattern of Making a Duplicate layer and then tweaking sliders on Water Swirl > Kaleido > PC polar to rect > Water Swirl. Masked the duck back in by erasing effects from dupe layer. Then I went to PSCS5 and did a Pixel Bender Oil > Cassini frame and added a white border. Should have stopped there, but nooooo. I dumped the white frame (after saving) and did the Gavin Hoey frame. I think I prefer the first one with a simple white frame.
Patti, that duck is pretty fantastic ... gee, it's like Salvador Dali and Hieronymus Bosch had a tete-a-tete, that is, if they were ever interested in representing ducks ... I agree with Miss Mary, version number one ...
Miss Mary ... your Fringe Flower Bush OOB is gorgeous!
Here are some flowers from my garden lately ...
1. Pretty Azaleas (much manipulation and framed)
2. Cardoon in a pot surrounded by forget-me-nots and pansies in a raised bed in my front yard ... layers, masks, gradient filters and finally a Topaz HDR-type filter
3. First blooms on my Dutch Iris, nominally altered and frame added ...
Some shots from a walk to Gamble Gardens today ...
1. A bench, this has been cropped, and processed in RAW, and Topaz ...
2. Gazebo with red tulips, 3-exposure HDR image (processed in Adobe HDR Pro, with a preset from Scott Kelby, yep ... it's W&C, right?). Patti, I'm happy to divulge those numbers, if you're interested ...
3. Gazebo with pink tulips, not an HDR ... but using a Topaz HDR-type filter, among other things ...
4. And, one of my favorite gnarly oak trees ... heavily processed in RAW, and offending power lines removed ...
Wow, Jubilada -- I'm almost speechless! Such beautiful shots and really extraordinary work done on them. I think the big-time wower for me is the gazebo with red tulips...OMG! That could fetch a blue ribbon! You have really outdone yourself today!!
Jubilada, I am so woefully ignorant when it comes to art. Never heard of that Bosch guy, but I looked him up. So, thanks for that art lesson.
Ditto what Miss Mary said - you have provided such a wonderful sampling of such lovely flowers and all images are so artfully composed and processed. I love those azaleas - such beautiful color! And my favorite is also the gazebo with the red tulips in all its W&C glory. I would love to have Kelby's preset on that. It is just beautiful. The tulip/gazebo images are outstanding compositions! Fantastic job on power line removal in the gnarly oak tree image. That tree has a lot of character... Makes me think of the phrase, 'if only it could talk."
I tried out Kelby's settings on a couple of the HDR images I took last week. I did that big tree first and I was liking it until I got to the Curve step. It caused some really noticeable halos that I didn't like. So, I didn't keep that one. I loaded up the next set and it has the halos in the trees on the far bank. I think if I stop just before the curve step, I will like it a lot better. The type of photo might have a lot to do with it.
I see what you mean about the halos, in fact on close inspection I found them in my tulip-gazebo one ... I think that curve step could be eliminated, I will have to experiment some more ... In the book I got that has that preset, he also has a page on fixing halos and other HDR problems, but I haven't explored that yet ... the book, by the way, is his Digital Photography, Book 4 (I got them all) ...
Got a few shots out in the prairie today. I went to shoot butterflies, but didn't hardly see any. Saw lots of spiders and wildflowers.
1. Spiderwort. I was trying to get a good angle and the Bee decided to stop by for a visit. I locked down my tripod and just started shooting. Got six shots before he flew off and this is the only one that was in focus.
2. Spider - Cropped and framed.
3. Spider - Much silliness. This is the same spider, top view is top of spider and bottom view is underside of spider.