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Here are two more planetoids ... Hornblower Yacht and Marin Headlands Sunset ... and a window with reflection, which was straightened by the CS6 perspective crop tool (a real handy little application for certain times), and then tweaked a bit with topaz ...
Thanks for the new thread, Jubilada. Very cool planetoids! Love all of the gold in the first one, all the detail in the second and the abstract art of the last one. The window is amazing. I actually thought the reflection was part of the window.
I use the Perspective tool quite a bit. With the Cabin In The Woods, I used the fisheye lens. The cabin was very warped. I started with the lens correction tool in ACR. It helped some. Then I used the Perspective tool which helped more, but there was still a bit of distortion. I finished it off with the Puppet Warp tool. It still is off some.
Wow -- that sunset planetoid is really neat! It's so fascinating to gaze into. And I really like the blues and golds in that window...what a sight to behold!
1. Slightly Topazzed sky yesterday
2. I used one of the special effects in my camera for this one and did a little tweaking with contrast afterward.
3. DAPped Ginkgo tree
4. DAPped artist at Shelby Farms
5. Kaleido from backlit Sumac
I drove all the way home yesterday - 1005 miles in a little over 15 hours. Tired when I got home, but happy to have that drive over with. Checked out my garden this morning and I think I should have picked a few of those radishes before I left. They got a little too big. LOL. The green part is so pretty. I wonder if you can eat radish greens??? I sort of doubt it since they feel scratchy (hairy?) I'll have to google it.
Miss Mary, that "Artist" is fabulous ... a very "painterly" painter ... great job!
Patti, you're tough, I'll say that ... 15 hours and 1005 miles and you're just "tired." Cheez, I'd be dead! Welcome home!
Those radishes look beautiful! I'm not so sure about eating the greens, however, I think the texture would do me in. I've tried borage leaves (which are also rather prickly, but have a nice cucumber-y flavor), and simply could not get past the texture. Let us know how the recipe turned out!
Cool Golden Gate kaleido globe, Jubilada. It looks like a spherical wheel with spokes.
The radish dish was delicious - sinfully delicious. Okay, maybe I put a little more brown sugar than the recipe called for ... I tasted one of the raw giant radishes to make sure the big ones were still okay and wouldn't ruin the dish. It tasted just like a radish - fiery hot - and for me, heartburn waiting to happen. I can only eat a small bit of radish. When I bite them, they tend to bite back. But, cooked, it was completely tamed down and mild - no hot, no biting back. The greens were a bit more coarse than spinach, but I liked the texture. I can't really comment on the taste because I sort of overdid the nutmeg/brown sugar thing. When I reduced the liquids down to syrup and coated the cooked radishes and greens, they were like candy. I probably won't do this often, but I will do it once or twice a year when I have a bumper crop of radishes.
One of the vines growing in the children's playground at Shelby Farms...
Patti, the mill is a lovely shot with wonderful treatments. That's just the perfect frame for it, too. Big, lovely radishes -- guess it's true what they say about Texas. The Coral Honeysuckle turned out so nice and I like the way you married the blooms and berries.
Jubilada, that SF Golden Gate Bridge just works for so many things, doesn't it? I was thinking as I looked at the Kaleido Globe that it would make a beautiful drawer knob!
Here's a collage I made of the birds I've been able to "catch" this week:
You know I love that bird collage. You did a great job of catching some beautiful birds. And, just where was Mr. Belted Kingfisher when I was there? See! They hide from me. LOL That Eastern Bluebird is gorgeous and what a unique perch - ^_^
I'm not sure what kind of duck that is. Love the little hat and leaves with the text - how cute and clever!
This is a shot I took at Dixon Gardens. The Fisheye just didn't work for this shot, so I tried to correct it and lost some pretty important features. I wanted to emphasize the writing on the side of the pond though, so at least I got that.
1. Final - Too bad there were no golden leaves floating in the pond or geese in the sky. I thought about adding them. Just not enough time.
2. Before and after
3. One of the wild and crazy processed night photos. This was when Kevin was painting with a color gel on his flashlight. This is the Blue gel and trees also painted.
4. This one is the purple gel and no tree painting.
5. This is when Kevin was writing on the side of the cabin with a very powerful green laser pointer. I didn't do the perspective corrections on the cabin on this one. He did a good job of writing in air. I couldn't do it worth a darn. But, the others didn't do any better than I did. It takes a lot of practice.
In camera, I shot it several times at all different shutter speeds to try to get the water a bit silky and to have enough blur to indicate that the wheel is moving, but not so much that you can't see some detail in the wheel. This was my favorite image at this speed (0.8 seconds, on a tripod of course).
In post processing, I had to get rid of a lot of hot spots on the wood along the left side and metal at the top. I used a few passes of the gradient ND filter in ACR to do that. Then just added a small black stroke around the edges as a border.
Those are great, Patti, and I especially like the water wheel! Learning what all went into it makes me appreciate it that much more. That's a fantastic image.
I see what you mean about the Dixon Gardens shot. I like the "after" version better, too. That light painting is wonderful...incredible that he could "write" so well on that cabin!
1. I've been busy picking up these little treasures in my backyard every day. I've now collected 77 pounds of them! Yesterday, high winds ushered in a cold front and blew off lots of the leaves on my pecan tree. This morning, I zoomed in and took a picture of the treetop -- and it is still loaded with pecans!
2. Shelby Farms, last Wednesday
I took the Nandina kaleido and ran it through PSP (Effects/Reflection Effects/Pattern) and then made another kaleido from that and put the finishing touches on in PSE9. Looks like something I'd have thought was groovy in 1970.
Miss Mary, the bird collage is really great! What a nice compilation of bird pics! Those Nandina leaf kaleidos are very special, too ... I especially like the first one! And, all those pecans! Will you be making many, many pecan pies?
Patti, I love that water wheel! You processed it perfectly! Those night shots are very interesting ... the light painting really fascinates me, and someday I'm going to have to try it. I'm flabbergasted by the number of stars! That Cardinal is caged up very cleverly!
I've been busy with all kinds of things (went to SF to see the "Lion King" last week ... if you ladies ever get a chance to see it, DO! It's fabulous!) ... and tonight is the last session of this "Joy of Digital Photography" class I've been taking. One of the assignments was to do a still life ... don't know why I had such a hard time with that, but somehow I did (my intellectual and emotional biorhythms are around 0 this week) ... in any event, here are a couple of the many examples of scenarios I played around with .. number one has been given a sepia treatment and a frame, number two has been run through FotoSketcher ...
Oh, Jubi, I really like that second one! It SO belongs in a frame and over a kitchen table! It's absolutely lovely!
No pecan pies (love 'em, but I'll restrain myself)...I'll freeze them after they're shelled and have them for all sorts of things down the road (including munching!). Here's a shot of my yet-to-be-shelled stash, which has been PicMonkeyed around with a bit. For size reference, the large container is an 8-gallon garbage can...
Miss Mary, 77 pounds! Holy mackerel. That's a lot of shelling. Your poor fingers must be shredded by now. I must say, they are mighty tasty little puh cahns'. Sorry, the southerner in me just had to do that. LOL
Those nandina kaleidos are so pretty. I love the leaf shapes and color in the first and the second one is groovy for sure.
Jubilada, Your assignment photos are outstanding. I love both of them, but the first one really is a work of art - both the photo and the processing! Great choice of and positioning of the elements, love the toning.
I spent yesterday at Brazos Bend State Park and Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge. The cold front brought down a lot of birds. I'll process the birds from the NWR next. Here are a few of the BBSP shots.
1. Deer in the first morning light. They were so pretty. Deer Kisses.
2. Deer silliness
3. This is the only buck I saw. He wasn't afraid of me and he was showing me who was boss. I didn't stray away from my truck, because at this time of year, they can be very aggressive and very dangerous. This guy meant business. He was pawing the ground and staring at me while lowering his antlers. He was also grunting and snorting.
4. My little Vermillion flycatcher is back! He is so cute. This time, I underexposed when I shot it so that the reds would not be blown out. Seemed to work okay. It probably helped that the light was still very soft and diffuse - very early in am.
Oh, Patti, those deer are precious! I like your little flirty take on their poses and looks. I'm sure you interpreted everything just right! What a sweet little birdie -- love that color and you managed a great capture!
I've only gotten 2.5 gallons of shelled pecans (that's PEE-cans if you're Paula Deen) so far and my carpal tunnel issues are revved up like crazy...not to mention the callouses and "shredding" on my right thumb. I'm really going at it slowly, a little each day. We'll see if I'm able to make it through the whole bunch without calling in reinforcements!
Here are a few Topazzed shots from my drive around town last week.
To Fort Valley, Ga., pecan grower Duke Lane Jr., "pee-can" is just wrong, however.
"A lady told me one time, she said, 'Let me tell you, a "pee-can" is what my great-granddaddy kept in the corner of his bedroom in case he ever had to get up in the middle of the night,'" Lane says. "So I've been a 'puh-kahn' man ever since."
Just when I think your colors must have peaked, they just get better. Amazing images! That first one is incredible for the colors. I like that the ground is covered with all of the beautiful colors in the second image - almost like a reflection in water. I like the composition of the last one. I would like to walk down that road - so beautiful. The image has a nice dreamy mood.
One bird from me - a Chipping Sparrow, affectionately known as a Chippie among birders. He is an adorably cute little bird. Here's what I did ...
Duplicated the layer
Ran the new (grrrrr) Oil Paint on it and tweaked the sliders until I was as happy as I'm going to be with the new version (too lazy to move over to CS5 even though it is still on my computer)
Lowered the opacity of the Oil Painted layer to 52%
Added a mask and masked out the effect from the bird.
Very interesting "pecan" pronunciation discussion! Here in California we say "pi-cahns," (short "i").
Miss Mary, much luck in getting all those shelled! Whew! I sure do hope someone comes to help you! Your poor fingers!
Patti, very nice/cute bunch of deer shots. The Vermillion Flycatcher is precious. You did a fine job with that Chipping Sparrow. I don't care for the new (grrr) Oil Paint either, and like you am sometimes too lazy to venture back to CS5, which I keep on my computer especially for the pixel bender filters!
Miss Mary, you surely have some beautiful colors there in Memphis ... and those are particularly nice shots of them!
Not much color here in Palo Alto, this year ... perhaps owing in part to the dry winter, and then the dry summer ... the leaves seem to have just turned brown for the most part, and fallen off the trees. Nevertheless, here are a couple of captures from my neighborhood ...
• tree with rocks and grass, plasteroid frame
• leaves flip kaleido
I like your framing of that nice autumn scene - the top of the frame curves around in a nice shape for the tree. I wonder if those rocks are manufactured. The shapes seem so perfect. I've been looking at manufactured rocks, so I guess that's why they jumped out at me. The ones I'm looking at are actually storage bins. You can put one next to a bench and stash the cushion for the bench inside, out of the weather. Or there are a bunch of other things you can stash in them - bird feed next to a feeder is one thing I'm looking at. But, I don't know if they are critter proof.
Cool kaleido! I like the 3D look which I'm guessing is from the varying opacity of the layers.
I finally processed some of the HDR sequences I shot at the mill in Cade's Cove. I tweaked them for a little more pop than natural, especially the one in the barn. It was a lot darker inside the barn, but I loved all that wood, so I shot a couple of overexposed shots to blend in so that the inside would be well lit.
1. This is where the water comes in for the wheel that turns the stones that grind the grain. Fascinating process and even more fascinating when you realize this was built in 1870 and it still works beautifully. It was grinding corn when I was there. Ingenious design.
2. HDR version of the B&W framed image I posted earlier. The water is coming in from over on camera left.
3. And, as Joe taught us, when you have taken the landscape shot, take the portrait one (or vice versa). I like the landscape one best, but this one has those nice red leaves over on the right, so I kept it.
4. The barn with all that lovely wood. The roof glows with the sun backlighting it. If you look, Photomatix preserved some of the starbursts of the light coming through the slats in the wall.
This has to be my favorite location at the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. I could spend all day at this one spot and not get done.
Wow, Patti, those are all simply stunning! Very, very nice HDRs! I really like that vertical, I like its scope and depth. The barn interior is simply marvelous! Love it! Frame within a frame! Yes! And, yes, I see those little starbursts! Well done!
Patti, that Chipping Sparrow is adorable -- and so beautifully done. I love the effect and your use of it! That's such a good pose. Now, for those Gatlinburg shots...my, my, my! Such a rustic look -- perfect! Isn't that mill an amazing thing! I like the portrait view as well -- I really see it nestled in the old woods full of tall trees. The barn, with all its texture and ambient light, is such a masterpiece. I'm swallowed up in it so much, I can almost smell it! I couldn't help but notice that stone that seems to have been placed after-the-fact on the right side of the doorway as a support. Man, what a structure!
Jubi, your dribbles collage is so nice. You took a rainy day and made such a "pretty" with it! I love all those doorways and paths and find your "pieces" of color in each one quite interesting. From pumpkins to petals and leaves (and more) -- they really caught my eye.
Well, two things I seem to have plenty of this Fall...Grackles and pecans! By the way, I agree with Duke Lane about that unfortunate pronunciation...
Jubilada, Yes! What Miss Mary said. Such a pretty rainy day. I enjoyed seeing all of those images. The layout is very pleasing to the part of my brain that likes order. I love that little inset of the light and dark leaves on the left. And the story that the one at the bottom center tells makes my back hurt just thinking about it. ^_^ Cool red wheelbarrow! That would be fun to have just for a photo prop. You could put all sorts of things in it - potted plants, children, just-harvested veggies, ... You could put it in all sorts of interesting places - edge of a field of wildflowers, next to a garden feature, ... I want one for my photography "throw-down" prop arsenal. I should have collected some of Miss Mary's beautiful leaves while I was in Memphis for some "throw-down" fall color.
Miss Mary, That Grackles in the Pecans image is gorgeous! I just love the background. And, you got plenty of light on the pecans and the grackles. Normally, if I took a shot like that, the grackles and the pecans would be silhouettes unless I overexposed to fool the camera. But, then the background would be a pale, washed out light blue or even white. You have the best of both - lovely light on the subjects and wonderful background. Great job!
Thanks, Patti. That shot was taken just as the sun was going down and they were in the very top of that big tree to warm themselves with the last bit of it. Another shot I took a couple of minutes later was indeed a silhouette!
I never thought of a colorful wheelbarrow for a prop -- wonderful idea! I need to give more thought to props. I know I've said that before, but I really do!
Stopped by a few parks in the NE side of town yesterday. I hardly ever go that direction and now I know why. I went to 5 parks, spent about an hour at each one and took around 100 photos in total and only kept 11. I didn't take any photos at all at two of the parks! That's about the worst I've ever done. The critters were just not cooperating. Just for comparison, I usually shoot around 1000 photos at Brazos Bend State Park in 2 or 3 hours and I usually keep around 100 to 150.
1. Bridge - High Noon, so had to use HDR. Thought it came out okay, but I felt the need to play ...
2. Silly Bridge - Copy, Flip, Polar Coordinates and it looked like a bug to me, so eyes.
3. Ruby-crowned Kinglet - This was shot early, early in the morning when it was still dark. I love these little birdies, so I couldn't stand to throw it away even though it was riddled with noise (shot at ISO 12,800). So, I used Imagenomic's Noiseware Pro which took away all of the noise and all of the detail. Then I ran the Oil Paint filter on it and left the effect on the bird since it looked better than the noise. Oh, there is so much wrong with this image, but I like it anyway.
Love the bridge ... the "silly bridge" surely does look like a big fat bug skeleton ... and the much manipulated Rub-Crowned Kinglet looks kinda like a new character out of Pixar studios, don't you think?
Well, thanks Patti ... a couple of very distant runners-up ... were you in any? I didn't check out all the categories ... did look for you in the birds, however. Did I miss one (or two)?
Here are what I've come up with between cooking chores ... the bench is something I walk by frequently, and I think it's so pretty. I did a bunch of layers and masks and blending modes, and then ran it through Fotosketcher.
I'm going to attempt a Pumpkin Cream Pie this year ... wish me luck!
Weird. I commented yesterday. I know I did. And I even saw it go up... Oh well.
What I said was that I didn't submit any photos to the competition this year, but I did enjoy looking at them. Also said how much I like that bench and that my sister would love it. She has a house full of seashell themed decorations and the nautilus shell is her favorite. Would love to see a photo of a slice of that pie right next to a steaming cup of coffee. I wonder what a small chunk of dry ice in a cup of dark liquid would look like? ... I don't have a clue how they get those photos of steaming cups of coffee.
And, now for today's post...
Happy Thanksgiving to All!
Funny bridge bug, Jubilada...I like that! Your sidewalk shadows kaleido is fantastic. I'm seeing all kinds of things in there. I see Darth Vader and then I blink and it's Paul Revere. Guess I need to let Thanksgiving dinner settle a bit before I go looking again.
Wonderful turkeys, Patti! I believe I detect a bit of smugness on their faces...
I've been thinking about props lately and I'd forgotten I had this little wagon, which could be useful, I think. PicMonkey on the photo.
Yes, the wagon is quite lightweight. I'll have to remember to grab it when I go out. Wonder what else I have around here...
Jubilada, what a wonderful looking pie -- I'll bet it's great.
1. Kaleidoscope - Tulip Poplar, Pecan and Burning Bush leaves
2. Birds from the last few days - Blue Jay, Starling, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Cedar Waxwing, Brown Thrasher, ducks and Mocker. All except the ducks were in my backyard.
3. Redbud leaf, Tulip Poplar leaf and Burning Bush leaves on PSE background
Nice, Jubilada! I really like the way you chose and showcased the heart-shaped design from that first fence. That second image looks like a medallion with a radiant glow. Nice job on the palm tree-shadow image. Wow -- the shadow of the light globe really is marvelous! That's such a cool image anyway. It's so "California." Not many sights like that in Tennessee!
I did another leaf image -- PSE for the beveling, shadows, background and little bronze trinket:
Miss Mary, I keep coming back to that bird collage - It is so cool to see. If I had that variety of birds visiting my backyard, I'd hardly ever leave home. I'd set up a blind in the backyard with a comfy chair and ... Ahhhh, Heaven on earth. The leaf arrangements are so clever!
I have both. The Rue blind is pricey, but the birds get used to it and come to the feeders and perches just a few feet away from the blind. The chair blind is not as effective for most birds - only the curious or brave ones will tolerate it.
Love that first gate image! So many lines and patterns and the gate itself is so ornate! The kaleidos are incredible - I love all of the different layers and the way you combined them. The image of the palm tree and its shadow is mesmerizing, I think mostly because of the huge difference in tones from the tree itself and the shadow side. I love the tones on the shadow side. Beautifully seen, photographed and processed!
Spent the weekend at my Sister and BIL's place out in the country. Saw lots of birds, heard lots of coyotes and had a nice, relaxing time.
1. Tried some night photography in spite of the bright, almost full moon. Maybe processed a bit too dark?
2. Eastern Bluebirds were everywhere. They were so cute.
3. The Eastern Phoebes were also plentiful and very busy catching bugs.
4. Another Phoebe
5. Interesting dragonfly behavior. The male would clasp the female's head and lead her around the pond in search of spots to lay the eggs. She would repeatedly dip her abdomen down into the water and deposit eggs. I saw several little frogs try to grab an egg-laying dragon, but none were successful. That would have been a cool shot.
I took this 3 shot HDR of the sunset lit prairie at Sis and BIL's place. I was there so know that it was pretty to see, but photo is lacking something to me. So, I tried to make it more interesting with a touch of texture. Does this help, make it worse or not do anything? Any ideas of what I can try to make this more interesting? Any ideas are welcome including, "throw it in the trash and go take photos." ^_^
1. Top is HDR processed original. Middle is the texture I used. Bottom is the texturized version.
2. Original larger size
3. Texturized version larger size - texture effect removed from grass and only around 30% on rest of image at mulitply blend mode.
Patti, I like both the original and texturized version but I think the latter is my favorite. I like the ambiance of the shot with the texture added. It takes away some of the contrast and vivid color but seems to throw the light around in a wonderful way that pleases me. Was the texture shot something you made?
Patti, your little Eastern Bluebird is just a great shot. The Phoebe collage is just adorable. Very cute dragonfly and frog drama. Both of the Crested Caracara photographs are beautiful ... so nicely composed and processed! With that night shot, I'm sure you played around with different ISOs and apertures and stuff ... it does seem awfully dark to me, and I might have shot a lower ISO and larger aperture at that 30 seconds. But, who knows?
Both of thhe sunset lit prairie grass versions are very pretty and certainly evocative of that time of day ... I might have tried putting the horizon higher to cut back on that great expanse of sky and get a little more of that golden grass in there with its beautiful texture ... is the subject that little picnic table on the right?
Thanks, Jubilada. You are absolutely right in that Kevin uses either wide open or close to it for his pinpoint star images. I took a shortcut and shouldn't have. Instead of shooting wide open (f5.6 for that lens) and doing one shot for the stars focused on infinity and another shot for the fence/trees focused a third of the way into the scene, I tried to do it all in one shot, so I used f16. Now I know that it doesn't work. But, stubborn person that I am, I had to try it. ^_^ I should have done some more shooting and did it the correct way, but I wanted to hurry up and set up for the star trail shots. I did get a trail, but it wasn't very long because when the moon got high enough, it washed out the stars.
On that prairie shot, my vision was to get a layered shot of colors - the colors in the sky and the yellow grass as the bottom layer. I was set up to get the gradient of twilight sky colors, usually twilight blue at the top of the image and gradually going to an orange/red toward the horizon, and then that layer of yellow grass at the bottom, but the sky colors never really happened. So, there really isn't a subject - it never developed. I wish I had thought to put that picnic table larger in the foreground and maybe the shot would have had a better chance of being salvaged. Next trip up there ...
I went out to pick up pecans a couple of days ago and found this ball begging to be photographed under my Crape Myrtle. Enhanced it with Fotosketcher. The other two are arrangements made from leaves I picked up in the yard -- I replaced the original dish towel backgrounds.
Sometimes props just fall out of the sky. LOL. The image of the ball with the fall colors is so pretty, but it also tells a great story. This is the type of image that makes the viewer think about the story. The image looks like a backyard with the fence, groomed grass and flower bed, so the viewer has to wonder where the ball came from - photographer's kids, launched over the fence by neighbor's kids ... I enjoy seeing the new arrangements in your leaf project and would never have guessed the background. Great idea.
Awwwe. I love seeing those kitties. Frankie is so cute in that box - in true kitty form. That shadow is intriguing and it along with the red wagon image are making me wonder more about the stories. I love that the gate is open on the image with the toy. Love the leading lines and vanishing point on the Community Center walkway. I don't know if that tree with the sculptures will totally lose those leaves or not, but if it does, that composition would make a cool collage of different seasons. Do you even have four seasons in sunny CA? I'm thinking spring with buds, summer with green, fall with the red leaves and winter with no leaves.
Cool collection of window images! The scary flood on the last one looks realistic - perfect perspective. Your garden is growing nicely! Lots of goodies.
I got a new camera ... not sure what I think yet. Lots of controls and stuff to slog through. The thing that drove me to get it, I suppose, was the f2.8 constant aperture through any focal length, with a big zoom (600 mm) ... it's a cute little thing and certainly can do lots of tricks. I'm not sure just how "serious" a camera it is, however, despite the many good reviews. After bringing it home I discovered some negative reviews, especially concerning "noise" ... ah well ... Here are some samples ... all hand held, most shot at f2.8, most in low-light situations ...
New Camera! Congrats. The Lumix cameras have gotten great reviews. I'm sure you will have it figured out in no time. Glad to see the Flamingo is still hanging around. I like the color tones in that pumpkin still life. Is that a Raven or an American Crow? I have a hard time telling the difference unless I can get a sense of the size. Ravens are quite a bit bigger. They also have shaggy feathers around the neck, so maybe Raven? Very cool shot of the tree reflection in the puddle. Is it still raining in your neck of the woods?
I downloaded that freebie filter. Thanks for the heads-up.
Wow. That is one easy filter. I didn't try combining with anything else yet, just applied the Fine Touch filter to a few of my old Italy images.
I like what it does most of the time, but I found one subject where it doesn't work well - some of the old buildings. Their rough texture is part of their appeal and the filter smooths out all those years of character.
That filter is nice for giving a kind of a soft smooth "painterly" look to some images ... and certainly in the case of those nice old rough textured buildings it's not a good idea to smooth them over ... your Italy photographs are certainly marvelous, filtered or not!
Here are a couple of combo shots from my walk today ...
• Gates at Lucie Stern Center, different ends of the building. Taken just moments apart, same f-stop, same focal length, different shutter speeds. Combined the two images and then whapped the whole thing with a bunch of Topaz stuff.
• Leaves on the ground, squirrel on a wire ... Topaz to the leaves only.
Congrats on the new toy, Jubi! I was looking at a Lumix when I was shopping earlier this year. Hope you enjoy it lots! Wow -- I haven't seen any Fractalius designs in a while. It really electrifies those Autumn leaves! That's a cool idea with the gates. I'd never have thought of that and it makes a very interesting visual. The squirrel on the wire is a happy camper. I can just see it. That's some big nut in his mouth! Hey, thanks for the Redfield link, too!
Patti, the Redfield filter truly is an easy one, isn't it? It made that first one of yours look just like a painting. I've tried it on several things. These are my favorites -- I used a very low radius on these (maybe a little too low). Both had been previously processed with Topaz Adjust.
1. Shelby Farms Playground
2. My friend's house a couple of weeks ago
Jubilada, Very clever to put the two building ends in one shot! The difference in the light is remarkable - very cool to see. I like the way you combined the squirrel and leaf images. The colors in the squirrel match those in the leaf background.
Miss Mary, That is such a good playground photo! I remember it from when you posted it a while ago. I think subtle is best for this one because of the kids.
Playing with textures again. I downloaded an "old paper" texture from the web and added some words to it from a flower gardening book. Then I blended the wordy texture with a couple of flower photos - an azalea and a poppy. Finished by putting a vintage frame around them.
1. The texture - It's called old-paper[dot]jpg and you can find the high resolution one out there if you want it.
2. With the words added - The book was on Google books with a creative commons license - so free to use for this purpose.
3. Azalea added to the texture
4. Texturized azalea framed
5. Texturized poppy framed (My favorite)
Beautiful collage, nicely arranged! Love that lone starburst on the tree. I know the seasonal significance of the poinsettia, but what about the flowers in the LL?
The windows of that church are beautiful. Will they let you go inside with a tripod and photograph them from inside with light streaming in? Most churches will allow visitors in their sanctuaries with cameras during the week as long as you don't go near the altar. They are picky about that sometimes, but all are different. I've found that if I ask, most of the people are thrilled that I'm interested and are eager to show off the beauty of their churches. In the catholic churches, I usually buy a few candles and light them for a lovely glowing light and then I take long exposures on a tripod.
Some examples of inside church shots ...
1. Church in Ireland - Ballintuber Abbey
2. Same Place
3. Church in Houston
4. Same Place
5. Catholic Church - candle blur
It's on my list of things to do someday. I've already talked with the pastor of a nearby Lutheran church, but figure I should call the church office and make a proper appointment. The "Harold and Maude" church's doors were locked the other day, so didn't get any shots there. Probably need to call ahead in any case. The Stanford Memorial Church is one I'd really like to do, inside and out. It's spectacular!
The little white flowers are Paperwhites, and they bloom typically (at least in this part of California) in December and January. They're popping up all over the place.
I look forward to seeing some church interior shots! I could spend hours in some churches. They have such wonderful alcoves full of statues and artwork and the stained glass can glow at the right time of day.
The ornament image is so nicely balanced! I love it. And the ornaments remind me of the type that we had on the tree when I was a kid - all fragile glass that Mom would wrap in layers of cotton each year. Wow. Those tiled stairs are so pretty! Great shot!
I went for a walk in the park by our house today. Didn't see much worthy of photos. It was horribly overcast and dismal, but this little Myrtle (aka: Yellow-rumped) Warbler made my day. It would flit around picking berries. For most of them, before tossing them down the hatch, he would show them to me - so proud of his "catch." He kept an eye on me the whole time and seemed comfortable with me. The Ruby-crowned Kinglets, usually somewhat friendly birds, were very jumpy. When they heard the click of my shutter, they were out'a there.
Willis today. Ducks in the pond. One of them never flew off. I wonder if it's sick or wounded or something. Duck season is in full swing, so maybe wounded. Reflections were great, but light was harsh - midday. I processed one normally and then the second one I used the Redfield Fine Touch filter everywhere except the eyes and bill.
Also saw this hugemongous flying grasshopper. Don't know what kind. Have submitted it to bugguide dot net to get an ID.
Thanks, Jubilada. That is not the one that wouldn't fly away. But, it did swim around out there for a long time. I took 48 shots of it. I think it was reluctant to leave the other one. I felt bad when it did fly. I was trying to get closer and spooked it. My bad - violates bird photography ethics for sure. I left the pond and hope that it came back.
Patti, lovely duck and I really like the Warbler collage. It's nice to find a bird that will put on a show for you, huh? I like the shot of the church (#3 in that set) -- so much wood! Really nice. I believe my favorite textured shot is the one you called your favorite as well -- the Poppy. Funny, I really like textures but I only have the ones that came with PSE9. I'll have to start keeping my eyes open for some things that might work well for that. Winter time, when everything is brown, might be a good time to do that.
Jubilada, those ornaments in the candy cane frame sure are festive and fun. Saucer Maggies in December -- what a sight. Were we making a collage of our out-of-season bloomers, I'd have to throw in an Azalea, some roses, a fringe flower bush, a Spirea and a Pieris, which has just put out its showy Spring buds.
Here are some Holly berries from one of my bushes -- ran them through Topaz Adjust ("I Feel Lucky"). I chose a bell with a ribbon from Microsoft Office Clip art and I ran both the bell and the ribbon through Adjust, separately. It aged the shiny gold bell and it changed the color and texture of the ribbon. I chose a PSE9 Backgroud, revved up the gaussian blur on it and used the final product as my background.
Miss Mary, Wow! That is such a wonderful Christmas image. Thanks so much for the details of how you did it! I loved it before I read the details and now I not only love it, but I am in awe at the creativity and skill you used to make it.
Growin, Welcome to Photo Editing Fun! It is so nice to see a new contributor and a new perspective on the topic. Your image is incredible! I struggle with composition and have recently taken a few classes to help me "see" what will make a good composition. I see so much of what I have learned in your photo. What a great example of leading lines, vanishing point, use of color and more. I guess the only other thing I can say about it is that I wish it were mine. I sure hope you will visit us more often.
To be honest, I didn't "see" what you saw in the pic. I was more there to take pics of the daff fields, stopped the truck, thought the colours looked good and moved around 'til it looked right. I do believe, though, that every plant has a front and back and I know that angle & lighting is everything. The Magnolia below is my favourite picture. It's like the petals, the background, the angle of the branch were just right for me to capture. The second is the delicate pattern of Treeferns in SF from below - I just love the detail. I call it "Treefern Travels". The third is the Marine Building in Vancouver - I like the soft lighting, angle and art-deco style even though it was taken with a much older camera. The fourth is a "seaweed nest" - had a barbeque on the beach with friends and found this seaweed in a clump, founds some rocks and there-ya-go. The fifth was a skiff on a dock at the Maritime Museum - now I see what you mean about lines. All I can recommend is using the KISS method - I'll take a danse around something to find the right lighting and angle and reduce what I see to only the subject and move until the perspective blends - looking for the "front" of the subject. Out of all those images I added to PlantFiles, there are some outstanding photos, quite a few ok images and some junkers just to document the plant. Then again I've learned a whole lot. I sure do like Photo editing fun though.
ps. I actually moved my truck a few times so it was at the right angle with the barn, sky, light, etc.
Ahhh. Nice shots! Thanks for posting. That magnolia is so nicely balanced in the photo - lovely color. I like all of these. Cool filmstrip look on #2. I'm a big fan of the look you have achieved in #3 and #5 - I guess edgy would be what I would call it. The nest is brilliant! Now that is making a photo instead of taking a photo - the mantra of one of my instructors.
Ditto what Patty says ... quite an impressive photographic display! I guess one could say you're a "natural."
"Maybelline" the truck is great! You've got all the right elements covered. All good examples illustrating the difference between "taking" and "making" a photograph, as Patti pointed out! Great work!
Miss Mary, I neglected to comment on your really swell Christmas berries/ornament! Very nice work!
All my azaleas are blooming now ... and they look kind of beat up after the rain we had last week. Poor things! Roses are blooming all over Palo Alto ... we have not had our first frost yet, which is very unusual! I have buds on my brugmansias! Even the Hoja Santa is blooming (if you can call it that) ...
Good to see you here, growin! Oh, wow -- Maybelline and the Daffodils is such a wonderful composition. I love that! Your shot of the Marine Building is my favorite from the second set. The angles and lines are so nice!
Jubilada, our plants are totally confused, aren't they? I've actually got Naked Ladies popping up, of all things. We're having a few cold nights this week, though, and I bet they change their minds quickly! That's a cute little snowman greeting. I've never seen a Christmas display with pumpkins included. I guess they were covering all their bases.
I went to the Pink Palace today to look at their display of Christmas trees. I took some closeups of ornaments to play with. Here are a couple of them, with added PSE9 backgrounds, shadows and text.
Went out last night to play with steel wool sparklers again. This was done on a pier over water. Fun stuff.
1. Stack of three images - one for the nice twilight background and the other two for the sparks. I had a hard time getting the exposure right for the ambient light and the sparks even when it was twilight out. Later, when it was pitch black, the only thing I could get is what the sparks lit up. The duration of the sparks was very unpredictable. Sometimes it would last only 10 seconds and sometimes over 20 seconds.
On this shot, DH is standing on the bench at the end of the pier and slowly moving from camera left to camera right while swinging the burning steel wool around in a circle.
2. After the first few, I noticed that I was missing out on the reflection of the sparks in the water. So, I opened the fisheye lens as wide as I could without getting vignetting and DH got on his knees on the bench to get the center of the sparks lower. This is the one I liked best even though I lost a bit of the sparks from the top.
Got another shot of "my windows" this morning ... the house did sell a few months ago ... I spied a surveyor's flag on one corner of the lot, so that kind of indicates to me that the place is slated for demolition, and eventually some architectural monster will take its place. Don't know what will happen to the windows in that case. I cropped and skewed the shot to straighten some, and then gave it a short shot of Topaz ...
A friend of mine forwarded this to me ... you might enjoy this link. Pretty spectacular.
(begin quote)I'd never known that kite flying could be so graceful (thanks also to beautiful camera work). If you're in a rush, you don't have to watch all 5+ minutes of it, though I was glad I did: he continues to introduce new touches, and ends it very nicely. This man (Ray Bethell), a resident of Vancouver, B. C., is apparently one of the most famous kite flyers in the world.
Jubilada, I sure hope those windows get saved! The Christmas tree images are beautiful and creative. I especially like the warm tones on the first one. The tree makes a great background. Great choice of an image and lovely treatment for the Goethe quote.
Off to check out that link ...
Edit: I'm back and cannot imagine how anyone would not watch the whole thing. I couldn't possibly have stopped watching. Synchronized kite flying! I am amazed at what he can do with a kite. The landings at the end were just as impressive as the flying sequences. Wow!
Cool that you were able to catch those lights on all three colors and great idea for a triptych! The pecan image is so beautiful. I think vendors that sell pecans would love to have that for their advertisements this time of year.
That kaleido needs to be made in neon. Way cool. Love the Santa and tree collage. That is an awesome font for Christmas!
Jubilada, That is a gorgeous sunrise! Wow!!! And the kaleido is on fire! Way cool.Wish I had seen that sunrise in person.
I did a bit of night photography play last Tuesday evening - some more with the steel wool and a star trail.
The steel wool is same as before except this time I was shooting with the moon in the background. I did get one shot with a nice starburst, so used it for the sky and masked out the sky in the other shots in the stack. There are three shots in this stack. One of them is for the red Christmas lights that were used to make the squiggles leading down the pier.
The star trail was a very short one - only about half an hour. I usually like to go about 2 to 3 hours, but it was soooo cold out there, I wimped out. I really should have stayed and started the trails about an hour later when the moon went down, but I actually liked seeing the landcape lit up by the moonlight and it was still dark enough to see the stars, so I was pleasantly surprised that it turned out as well as it did.
The plan was to park the tractor on the edge of the pond (my neighbor's pond) and light it with colored gel coated flashlight for the foreground interest, but again, I wimped out because of the cold. Next time!
Oh, Ho, Patti ... that's some pretty scintillating stuff! That steel wool creation is quite the composition ... very nice how you've got in that starburst. But, oh, my, that wonderful moonlit landscape with the star trails! Love it! Splendid work!
I noticed that, too, Patti -- Spam candy? Sounds like some of the bacon stuff you can get now. You can get bacon ice cream, donuts, lollipops and more.
Very festive kaleido and collage, Jubi!
Patti, I think the star trail piece is just fabulous. I wouldn't change a thing!
Well, I couldn't tell you about the SPAM in that candy store ... maybe it's a symbol of gastronomy at its cheesiest ... who knows. There were also tubes of bacon-flavored spread (like tubed tomato paste or garlic) hmmm.
Pretty kaleido, Miss Mary ... and lovely backdrop for that ghostly snowman, Patti ...
Took the customary walk down Christmas Tree lane after dinner last night ... came up with this collage today. All shots hand held with my trusty little G10, and everything at f2.8, ISO 800 (shutter speeds between 1/15 and 1/50s) ... except the moon was f4.5 ... yes, lots of noise ...
Here's another view of that "Harold and Maude" church, with Palm Tree ... cleaned up and topazzed ...
The first paper whites blooming at my garden plot, combined with a rain soaked calendula (two photos, topaz, etc.), taken Christmas Eve day ... it rained all day Christmas Day ... we're having some flooding similar to that in 1998 ...
Patti, the crystal-looking part of my kaleido was a faux crystal Christmas doo-dad with light shining on it. I was wanting it to carry that look in the kaleido but wasn't sure I'd accomplished it. Now those birdies are absolutely darling! I love Chickadees and their little songs -- that is one spectacular catch! I'm a sucker for Cardinals, too.
Jubilada, the church shot is a wower. What a cool angle! Your Christmas Lights kaleido is really fun. I'm seeing the Tin Man smiling all over it!
Well, we got a very rare white Christmas here...technically. It began to snow at 11:30 p. m. Christmas night! I ventured outside with my camera yesterday to see what I could find.
Hope that your flooding weather has calmed down. That palm tree church image is awesome. As Miss Mary said, great angle! Nice to see those paperwhites and the combination of flowers. We don't have very many flowers blooming around here. I like that Christmas lights kaleido. I thought that tin man was an owl under an umbrella. LOL. The second kaleido is so cool. The spiral effect looks great and I don't have a clue how you did that. Magic! Pansy is pretty and, of course, my favorite is that birdie, even if it is a beastly crow. That is just a fantastic image - so incredibly moody. I love it!
Miss Mary, The snow images are all so special to see. We just don't get snow around here, so it is a real treat. And snow with birdies! Wow! Mr. Northern Cardinal gazing out of the frame (Joe would be proud if you were his student) is my favorite. That should be printed large and hung for all to enjoy. I also love that composition with the European Starlings looking off in opposite directions. Great that you saw and photographed the little snow caps on the posts. That is a cool, creative shot! Cool frozen drops and I love the angle you shot that snowy fence. Very cool leading lines.
Finally went into the "Harold and Maude" church today (St. Thomas Aquinas) ... the door was open, so why not ... was not prepared for any disciplined photo taking, and had the 50mm lens on my Rebel. Nevertheless, I took a few just to see ... of course I'll have to go back. Anyhow, there were people in there discussing something, so I laid kind of low and didn't do much ...
• windows, skewed and cropped to straighten
• window, no manipulation, except camera raw processing
• interior ... with the help of Topaz
And finally, one of a neighborhood kitty, Cleopatra ... it's been straightened and cropped; and another of a doorway I find rather attractive ... it's been cropped and topazzed, but NOT straightened (I'm trying SO hard to shoot straight) ...
I'm so glad you were able to go in that church and at least see what possibilities exist and it looks like there are many - the wonderful texture in the pews, those gorgeous windows and lots more to keep you busy. Fantastic job on presentation of the Saucer Mags. That wall with the shadow is great to use for texture.
Nice composition on that kitty and her shadow. And that doorway is very attractive. It has tons of character. Nice straight shooting.
So glad you posted something! I've been in photography withdrawal. With the yucky, rainy weather we're having, I've been housebound and haven't even picked up a camera in days. That will all change tomorrow. Going up to the property in Willis and staying overnight. Hopefully I'll get something worth keeping. Can't wait to see if one of the trail cameras "caught" a beaver.
Oh my, I love those flips! The first one has people crawling out of the tubes and about to do a swan dive into the center. Eeeeek. And the second one!!! It's kitties playing "Put Your Little Foot", but two of them don't know their right from their left... ^_^
I finally did "catch" a beaver. Got three images of one of the little devils waddling across the field of view of our newest little trail camera. Yea! Horrible images, but it's a beaver all right. I didn't even have time to take out my real camera. But I got some shots of the beginnings of my Hugelkultur. Grits (on DG) got me started on this Hugelkulture thing. I have a few iPhone images of it.
1. DH digging the trench yesterday. Ended up about 5 feet wide and 30 feet long.
2. I worked on filling it up today. I dragged most of this stuff in by hand. Then I decided to get the tractor and made a lot better progress.
3. This tree was one of the many trees that the beavers just chewed the bark from ground level to about 2 feet high. Many of them have already fallen. Since this one was leaning toward the cabin, we decided we had better cut it down before it fell on its own. It's a sweet gum - their favorite tree.
4. That's about all I got done today. Had to leave in time to get home for the TX A&M / Oklahoma game. Big game for us. Half time right now.
Wow, that Hugelkultur looks very interesting. I'm going to check it out! (Won't be doing it myself, of course.) Please keep us posted on your progress. Nice work so far!
And that football game! Egads, my husband is watching every single bowl game (I was only interested in the Stanford Rose Bowl), and he keeps coming in to tell me the score, and how many people are in the stadium, and blah, blah, blah, and I'm just not being enthusiastic. He tells me that Texas A&M is thrashing Oklahoma right now. OK.
Great flips, Jubilada. Love the tones in the second one. The kitty flip is so cool. This time kitties on a merry-go-round.
I was happy with the outcomes of the A&M game yesterday and the Texans game today. But I must say that the Texans played very poorly. If they don't play a lot better in the next game, they will be off until Spring training.
A friend of mine is thinking about putting a small hugelkultur in her small yard. It's contagious.
Playing with bird images from yesterday. Nice to finally get out and look for birds.
It was dark and overcast all morning, so this Red-tailed Hawk was really on a stark, white background. I grabbed one of my sky images from Memphis - it was beautiful on the day we went out. I read somewhere that when you use a sky, the focal length should match and if the foreground object is close to the camera, you should blur the sky a bit since most dSLRs won't get a close foreground object and infinity (the sky) in focus. So, I tried it with and without blurring and I cropped the sky image since the sky was shot with a wide angle lens and the bird with a 400mm telephoto.
1. No blur
3. Killdeer with Oil Paint only on background and a simple frame.
4. Well, this Greater Yellowlegs wrangler already had on his boots and spurs, so I bought him a cowboy hat at the Photoshop store.
What wonderfully sharp bird shots, Patti! That Killdeer is an amazing close-up. The Greater Yellowlegs is a very comic and clever composition! And to tell the truth, don't know which of the Hawk shots I prefer.
Here's a little play with a sunset shot from Jan. 7th.
A storm from Alaska is headed our way right now! Brrr (they expect snow down to 1000 feet!).
The photo of Senor F is so cute! He is so adorable - great photographic subject. I would think that the f/2.8 would help a lot with indoor shots like this one. My guess is that you'll get used to that cam and find that you seek it out for certain types of photos. Well, in spite of the fact that I have seen Georgia O'Keeffe's work, I really didn't know how to characterize it. Now I do. And, yes, I would say that view of the brug is GO-ish for sure. I'm just amazed that you still have Brugs! Love that last image - the twirl and stark white of the tree portray an otherworldly aura. I want to go there.
Patti, we had a real hard frost last night (it's still 30 at 8:43 a.m.), and that little brug blossom got frozen stiff. It was the last bloom on that plant, which I pruned back last weekend, and left that solitary bud ... I've never had brugs blooming into January, ever ...
Took the Lumix out to play yesterday, using only the IA+ mode (Intelligent Auto Plus) ... shoots JPEGS only, and it allows you to choose exposure compensation, aperture, and white balance, or you may also choose "auto" for everything ... in this mode one has access to the "super zoom" (up to 48x) ... here's some of what I came up with ... and I think that I will simply use this camera with ONLY the IA+ mode from now on ...
Indoors: cats (first two straight from camera, third cropped and manipulated in RAW)
Example of widest angle, and super zoom: Rinconada Park, first shot wide (25 mm 35 equiv) showing the park with playground in middle; second shot (standing in same spot as first) zoomed in to the max (1200 mm 35 equiv) on the playground equipment. The second shot has been straightened slightly and cropped.
All excellent photos! I think that cam is a keeper. It just amazes me at the zoom that current P&S type cameras have. The quality of the zoomed images is great - love the one of Consuelo (I think) on top of the china cabinet (the first one that is partially zoomed in). Her eyes are incredibly sharp. I also love that last one in the series - what a look - vulturesque. LOL!
Great example of the zoom on the park and playground equipment. Amazing.
Compositions on the second series are all fantastic - I especially like the first one of the church. I also prefer the comp on the 2nd shot of the bike where you can see the path where it might be going and a better view of the training wheels. My first thought was a boys bike, but then I saw the pink straps on the helmet. I think little boys still avoid pink like the plague, but I might be out of touch, especially for CA.
Weather here is back to dreary until supposedly Thursday. I don't think I can wait until then. I might have to take a ride up to Lake DoLittle tomorrow and at least check the trail cameras. We saw the whitetail buck again on the cams on the last trip up there, but not the does. Also finally caught a beaver on a cam. Also got lots of raccoons and a bunny. No squirrels though. That is puzzling since there are jillions up there. They must be too crafty for the cams. I left one on the bird feeders that will hopefully work this time. It didn't take any photos last time. I need to find out what's emptying my 8 feeders in less than 4 days. Those blackoil sunflower seeds don't grow on trees... but they might be growing in my hugelkultur if I can make that thing work.
Sorry about your dreary weather Patti ... that can certainly dampen one's creative spirit, I know. We've had an abundance of sunshine here, of late, but it's been soooooo cold! It's hard to go out when it's like that (remember, I'm a California sissy). Hope a trip to Lake DoLittle spurs you on a bit!
By the way, I'm pretty sure that's a little girl's trike ... most little boys in this neighborhood don't do pink!
I did venture out for some experimentation today, despite the temps being in the 40s ... some panning exercises to get "textures." I then combined one of the more successful ones with a shot of my Guadalupe clock, and some with shots of fungi growing on an old oak log in our front yard.
Jubilada, those are neat panned textures. I especially like the clock! What beautiful church interiors! There's so much detail and design. I had to dwell on those for a while. The kitty pics are great -- how high a jump was that last one in the set? I really like Francisco the Babe from the other set -- what a character!
I've been taking very few pictures in the last few weeks. I feel like I've fallen off a log or something! I finally have a little something to add today. Yesterday, we had freezing rain (the worst possible winter precipitation!) and -- doggone it! -- I was just cold all day. Last night, I rustled up a pot of homemade chicken noodle soup and it warmed the cockles of my heart.
Miss Mary, what a great wintertime story collage ... I can almost feel that cold (oh, that poor dear bedraggled camellia!) ... and I should never complain about how cold it is here! That chicken soup looks positively scrumptious ... as well as heart-warming!
Consuelo has a 7-foot jump off of that China Cabinet (hutch, whatever) ... she gets up there via hopping a chair and a bookcase but comes down in one fell swoop, plop!
Miss Mary, Ditto what Jubi said about the collage - Fantastic! The camellia reminded me of my one and only broccoli head that was frozen night before last in a mild freeze we had. It was quite crunchy and tasty for breakfast with a little low fat blue cheese dressing. LOL. Afraid the swiss chard is not going to make it, but we'll see. That soup looks delicious and so perfect to have after being outside in the cold.
I'll try to get a few pics up later today if chores don't eat up all of my play time.
Cabin Fever forced me out to a nearby state park on Wednesday and then went to Lake DoLittle on Thursday. I am still trying to get a baseline to see what the cam can do on the Auto settings. It does okay, but I am chomping at the bit to start changing things up and seeing what I can do with it on shutter preferred and aperture preferred. So, that will be on the next trip. It is killing me to leave my Mark IV at home, but I know if I take it, I'll use it and leave the little guy in the bag.
The biggest complaint I have it that it is too easy to push buttons willy nilly and change things. There is not enough real estate on the surface of the little thing to comfortably rest my hands without pushing a button. They really need a lock button like some dSLRs have.
I started out the day with a reasonable image ratio and at some point changed to square photos. How the heck did that happen? I noticed when it happened but I had no clue what I pushed to make it happen or what I needed to push to make it "unhappen." I just had to shoot square photos the rest of the day and had to read the book when I got home. I got it changed back. I also saw a lot of weird stuff show up in the viewfinder when I accidentally pushed a button. Usually I could fix it, but sometimes I just had to live with it. Kept happening all day. Frustrating.
Oh well, a few photos ... All were shot at the maximum zoom - 1200mm and all handheld while standing and with nothing to brace against. A real challenge for me and the cam.
1. I include this one because I was having fits getting it to focus on what I wanted to focus on. I now know a trick I will try next time. It does pay to read the book ^_^. In the case of this Great Blue Heron, I think it did a pretty good job of focusing on the Heron, but...
2. If you look at a crop, the foliage behind the Heron looks pretty sharp too. Where did it focus? I don't know. (I did use some noise reduction and sharpening on the crop - not the original though.)
3. This one is included to show that the meter didn't blow out the whites on that Great Egret. My other camera would have blown it out if I had not compensated.
4. Nice sharp image of the Blue-winged Teals. I must have had more light by this time of day. You can see the weird square ratio has made its appearance. No crop here - that's what the cam did.
5. No crop here either. Quite a bit of detail on this mocker. Pretty decent shot for sharpness - not for composition with for all that clutter.
There were a few other decent shots, but most of the other shots at 1200 mm were not acceptable to me - they were fuzzy as you might expect. I am looking at tripods.
It's a challenge, I agree, Patti, to see what these new little P&S guys can do ... they can sure do a lot, but some of it just doesn't cut muster with me (especially in terms of overall photo quality in the automatic modes ... the internal "corrections" take over, and I'm not sure they're so good) ... I started out with the manual modes with the Lumix, and discovered that in Raw I can get fairly good results, but nothing to be thrilled about. The automatic modes work (at least at first glance) much better ... however enlarging things can reveal what I refer to unpleasant "artifacts." Oh, well ... it's a learning curve, an experiment ... My "old" Power Shot GS10 takes far sharper and better photographs under most circumstances, and I can control everything quite quickly without worrying about pushing wrong buttons all the time!
That being said ... Number 4 and 5 of those shots Patti are very nice! I especially like the Mocking bird, real pretty. The clutter doesn't bother me.
Some of what I got out of my little Lumix today ... all with the help of RAW and a little Topaz stuff and other manipulations:
• A tree and it's shadow
• My shadow and that tree's shadow
• And (just to brag a little, though it's not a remarkable photo) 40 feet of pathway around my garden plot which I weeded and then covered with a good 3-4 inch bunch of wood chips (yesterday and today, many wheel barrows full, 4 feet wide). I still have 80 feet to go! Ugh! Oh, my back!
Thanks for the encouraging words. I was hoping that I could do better on manual settings. RAW is now set and I've experimented with Av. There is a focus mode where you can use a small box, put it on what you want in focus, half press the shutter to focus and then recompose and shoot. That might work if I can figure out how to do it. LOL.
Your image of the tree is exceptional. To start off with, the composition of the photo is perfect. My eye explores the ground and follows the shadow, but always comes back to the tree and I think that might be because of the treatment, but not sure. In any case, I like the painterly look. Fun self portrait! ^_^ Another excellent, well-balanced composition.
Oh, my back aches for you. 1/3 of the way there, but in the end, what a lovely path you will have! Are all of those garden boxes yours? Just thinking about planting all of those makes my back hurt all over again. How big is your plot?
Yes, Patti, those boxes are all mine ... eight of them: six 4x8, and two 3x8, and that's on a roughly 20x20 foot plot. Directly behind is another plot I have, but no boxes. All together I have 760 square feet that I tend ... year 'round.
Jubilada, I felt a twinge in my back when I read about the work you've done and have left to do around your garden. All that work really shows, though. You amaze me. I love that shadow shot of you and the tree! That's fantastic!
Patti, I sometimes get so frustrated when I try to get my camera to focus on something distant that is surrounded by other stuff. Sometimes, I just keep pushing that shutter halfway down until I "land" on what I'm trying to capture. Birds in far-away trees just about always fall into this category. There's always a twig close enough to the bird to cause trouble. Good shots, though, and I especially like the Mocker. Its surroundings don't strike me as cluttered -- maybe because there's so much of that soft, OOF area in the background.
Oh, my. Miss Mary, that is incredibly beautiful. And, you did a fantastic job of capturing the view with the trees in sharp silhouette and that vertical composition. So glad you were able to see that and share with us!
And a few more ...
• Faux Infrared B&W, light fixtures in my favorite SF Restaurant, One Market
• Building detail, along Market Street, SF ... perspective crop employed
• Faux Infrared B&W of the temporary Greyhound Bus Station in SF, while the TransBay Terminal is being built (many years to completion)
• Another building along Market Street, cropped, processed in RAW
Wow. Lots of cool stuff to see from you. That faux IR processing is so interesting! IR is a whole 'nother world. I considered modifying one of my old Canon 20D cams for IR, but never have taken the step. I like that you showed both the color and IR versions of the palm tree/fountain shot. The most interesting effect for IR for me is how it turns green into white. Trees appear to be covered in snow. They are both wonderful and I can't decide which I like best. Of course, that way cool starburst adds a lot to the enjoyment of the shot - IR or color. I enjoyed seeing all of the other IR treatments too, especially that edgy one of the photos in the restaurant - I like the grainy look.
Love seeing that adorable little Towhee - he looks just like our Canyon Towhee! Nice shot of that blankety-blank crow! ^_^
Jubilada, I really like that Market Street building shot! Wow, on my monitor, I have to scroll to see the whole thing and it makes me dizzy! Cool! I really feel like I'm there, looking at the dizzying view.
Those Infrared shots are really nice. I'm partial to the fountain as well. The #2 shot in the first set mesmerizes me. Love that one!
I got a couple of shots of the almost full moon tonight, just before 5:30, and then the clouds took over ... both of these examples are "merged" photos (one with the moon in focus, and one with the leaves in focus) ... got these with my little Lumix on auto pilot ...
I got a new lens ... 15-85 mm Canon for my Rebel. It's rather nice. I promised myself I could have it for my 70th birthday. So ...
Here are a few of the first shots. Everything processed in RAW
• Anglican Church (Episcopal), St. Ann Chapel on Melville, 2 interiors and 1 exterior (interiors shot at f 5.6, 1/13 s, ISO 800 hand held)
The Father (Reverend, Pastor???) said I could come in any Wednesday afternoon with my tripod and take as many pictures as I liked.
• Lucie Stern Center walkway
• Courtyard on Cedar Street (cropped a little)
Congrats on two accounts - that 70 milestone (belated Happy Birthday!) and a new lens! That is an awesome walk-around lens - light and covers wide angle to decent telephoto for landscape type shooting. I have the older 17 to 85 and love it for those reasons. The 15 to 85 is even better! All of the shots you got are excellent quality.
That's great about being able to go shoot in the church with your tripod. I'm sure you'll find lots of interesting stuff to photograph. Cool moon photos. I like the sandwich of in-focus foliage with in-focus moon.
Playing with my little Lumix ... some shots of a crystal I have hanging in a living room window. I actually cleaned the window (OMG), and the crystal, before I took these shots. (Well, sort of.) This little Lumix is really fun ... no great quality photos, but I can capture the "essence" of things ... that's important too, I think! I sure can think of ways to waste time! After I finish my chores, of course!
Starting with a Saucer Magnolia Kaleido, and then a few shots from St. Ann Chapel from yesterday, armed with tripod ...
Interior 1 (perspective crop)
Interior 2 (lens correction)
Interior 3 (some Topaz filter work)
In case you're interested in the history of this little chapel, and the design and windows, etc., here's a link:
I love all of the starbursts and facets revealed on the photos of the crystal with your Lumix. It certainly does pick up a lot of detail up close. On the last two shots, is the image on the right a reflection in a window? Those compositions have tremendous depth and the crystal is "on fire!" Cool!
I read about the church and found Clare Luce such a fascinating and accomplished person. . So sad about the loss of her daughter. Until I read about the church, I didn't realize that the little glass windows had the cross pattern. After another look, I can't see how I missed it.
Yes, those last two crystal shots have reflections in the window.
And, yes I have a photo of the statue above the entrance, as well as the door showing the "Tree of Life." These were taken with my Lumix, in mid-January. They have been straightened slightly, but nothing else. Please also note the shot of the exterior in my Jan. 25 post.
And, how are you doing with your new little Canon Power Shot? I've been hoping you'd be wowing us with some spectacular stuff!
Thanks for posting the door and statue close-ups. That door is beautiful. I do remember seeing the statue now. I just didn't know the significance when I looked at it the first time.
I've been on a "birding" trip to South Texas. Got home last night and have been wading through over 2500 images. We saw a lot of birdies, but the highlight was the Flammulated Owl. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get photos of it. :(
Someone had it in their spotting scope and it was way back in the heavy foliage. That was probably the only spot to get the view and she wasn't moving. But, she did let everyone look through her scope, so we all saw it. I tried and tried to see it through both of my cameras and my binoculars, but no luck.
I only used the Powershot when I needed more reach than my 400mm lens would go, so no good photos from it. I did take a few landscape shots, so maybe something, but I doubt it. This was more of a birding trip than a photography trip, so I will be digging deep to find some photos worthy of display. I saw some beautiful sunsets, but never took out the camera. Just enjoying the sights was a nice change from always chasing the photo.
I would have never guessed that the triptych was condensate between panes of glass! The middle one looks like tree bark to me. What an interesting pattern!
Oh, I love that little bird photo! It is so sharp I can see every little feather detail. Wonderful shot!!! I am not so good at sparrow ID, but I think that might be a White-crowned Sparrow. If you want to be sure, post it on the Bird ID forum. I'm sure those birdy folks would love to see that little cutie.
Got a few shots of a Carolina Wren out at Willis this morning. The background was busy and distracting, so I tried to select the bird and give him a nicer habitat. When I tried several times to get a good selection and couldn't do it, I just went wild and gave him a wild and crazy background.
What do you guys use for selections? I use Photoshop and the Refine Edges dialog box, but I don't get good results on hair and feathers. He has whiskery feathers under his chin and I just couldn't get them selected correctly. I've seen Gavin Hoey do this and he gets little whispy hairs. There must be an easier way??
I also probably should have feathered a bit more? The bird looks "cut out" to me.
Sorry, Patti, there's no easy way to make selections ... it's just a matter of making a good selection first, and then constant fiddling with all of the sliders in Photoshop "refine mask/edges" ... sometimes I use the Topaz ReMask, which works pretty well in most situations ... but again, constant fiddling. With that particular Carolina Wren selection, maybe a bit more "feathering" (no pun intended) might have helped. You might also consider the background color/shade/darkness/lightness, etc. ... Sweet little picture, nevertheless!
Naturally, I had to try a couple ... after watching that tutorial, and then I went and watched the Topaz ReMask tutorial ... actually, I have to go back and watch them over and over, and other ones too, because my mind is like a sieve, and that information just sifts on out ... lol ...
Anyhow, here's Consuelo original, and Consuelo with the PhotoShop RefineMask, on a fabricated background (took about 1/2 hour)
Then Phoebe original, and Phoebe with the Topaz ReMask, on a background of a close-up photo of the backside of a nicotania leaf (with the help of my newly acquired Canon 500D closeup lens, which I am struggling to learn to use properly) ... (took about an hour)
It seems to me that the Topaz ReMask does a little better job ... a little more intuitive ...
And, for the heck of it, a kaleido from a plant which is unknown to me, but pretty nevertheless ...
Those kitty hairs and whiskers are the ultimate challenge. Both selections are good, but the Topaz one with the whiskers is exceptionally good. That is a lovely plant and I like those valentine hearts on the kaleido. Just in time.
Thanks Patti ... and because I don't know when to quit, here's a gnarly oak tree done with Topaz ReMask ... I took out two bothersome things in the lower left and right hand corners, as well as the sky, and superimposed it on a rainbow gradient layer under a layer with clouds rendered with an overlay blending mode. I then duplicated the tree layer and use a hard light blending mode. Then I flattened the whole ting and added a little Topaz Clean filter. It's not perfect, but I'm amazed at what that Topaz ReMask can do if you fiddle long enough!
Now, I'll get ready to go out to dinner and celebrate a day of basically getting nothing done! Wow! What fun!
I love it! Gnarly oak trees are so full of character and such wonderful subjects. Your rainbow/cloud background allows the tree's character to dominate the photo and adds a dramatic mood. Wow! Print it large. I can't even imagine trying to select all those little branches. Great job!
I'd get Topaz ReMask, but I suspect I just need to practice a whole lot more. I tried the birdy again following the tutorial. It was better, but still not there.
Ok. I'm convinced. Will check the trial version because all of my efforts today have gone straight to the trash can, did not pass go and certainly did not collect $200.
Always love seeing Miss Consuelo. And, no it doesn't look at all like a cutout. But, one little nit - Miss C looks backlit and the flowers of the new background do not. But, I'm on my cell phone, so ill have to look later on a real monitor.
That gnarly kaleidos is gorgeous. Wonderful colors.
Yes, I worried about that "little nit" too, but it IS a pretend picture, and I was thinking that the light source was coming from above, and so it was not really "backlit," but "abovelit." (note the added lens flares) ... How's that for a perfectly silly explanation?
Join me on Memory Lane - Was looking through some old photos and ran across some in 2004 when I got my first DSLR, the Canon digital Rebel. It was the first mass produced DSLR aimed at consumers.
The $30,000 Sony was first and then the Nikon D-1 came out in 1999 for only a few thousand bucks. I wanted one so badly, but held out for a while hoping there would be another big price break. Canon put out a professional based DSLR for a few thousand and then finally in 2003, Canon marketed the digital Rebel (Rebel Kiss in Japan and 300D in Europe). MSRP with a cheapo kit lens was $999.
Just what I was waiting for. I got one in October, 2003 and was like a kid at Christmas. I ran around taking photos of everything. I had no clue what an aperture was or why shutter speed was important, but I snapped those pics. Finally I got tired of hearing DH tell me that I needed a faster shutter speed or more depth of field and on and on. So, I took a class in September of 2004. That pretty much changed my life. Previous hobbies (fishing) took a backseat and pastimes (Houston Grand Opera) faded into rare visits. It is still the same. I don't know how long it will last, but I suspect I will die with a camera in my hand.
I shot this green anole in my backyard back in 2004 with my new lens, a Canon 100mm macro. There is a new version out now, but the original one is still a great, sharp lens. I probably could have used more depth of field in this shot and I'm sure DH told me so at the time, but I still like it.
Hey, these are great. Love the anole, Patti! That was a pose for sure. I just adore Carolina Wrens but have never gotten a decent shot of one. They're just too skittish. That's a really good one you got!
Jubilada, you've got that mask thing down. I love that pic of Consuelo...
Well, Phil says Spring's around the corner and the plants in my yard have taken it to heart. It is a bit early for Memphis to pop out all over and I hope we don't get any snowy surprises in the next few weeks. Here's a little collage of goodies from my yard -- Hellebore, Spirea, Quince, Daffy and Camellia.
Very sharp eye on that anole, indeed! Altogether a nice shot!
Isn't it nice that digital cameras are now within reach of ordinary folk! I remember going to a workshop at Stanford back in 1994 on Photography and Computers (I didn't even have PhotoShop on my computer, I don't think Adobe even made it for PCs at that time!). The fellow who gave the workshop was Stephen Johnson. It was all about the use of computers and the various related technology in publishing books ... specifically a book he worked on "The Great Central Valley: California's Heartland." Fascinating stuff. He had a digital camera. It was very expensive. It was very large. I marveled at it.
At the time, I had this sweet little Canon Sure Shot Zoom XL 35 mm (35-85mm zoom lens). Too bad I didn't know as much about using it as I should have! Spent a fortune getting photos processed, and 95% were awful, and the other 5% were iffy. I got a Nikon 35mm film scanner, so I could "fix" questionable photos, and do stuff with them. Going to that workshop helped me understand marginally what histograms were. It was like a foreign language, the whole thing.
In 2002, I got a Nikon Cool Pix 995. That was a revelation. What fun! I never used the Sure Shot again. In fact, there's a half-used roll of film still in the camera, but the battery needs to be replaced before I can open the camera to get the film out!
I have to say, Patti, that you're probably the one who has influenced me to take this hobby more seriously, to try to learn how to use a camera, and even to graduate to a DSLR. It's a wild ride! Guess I had to find something to replace that evil cigarette habit I quit 30 years ago!