Sunday, September 30, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday ~ September 30, 2012


I went for a little drive Friday, just following roads I haven't been down in years.  Much to my delight I saw a sign pointing me to Motley's Pumpkin Patch. The pumpkin patch wasn't open to the public yet, just to school groups, but they were kind enough to let me in to take pictures. They didn't mind, they just couldn't sell me any pumpkins. I took lots of photos and returned yesterday morning to buy my pumpkins and of course take more pictures! I was able to find all the prompts for Scavenger Hunt Sunday at the pumpkin patch.
Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Our prompts were:
getting ready
teeny tiny
pretty yellow flowers along a pumpkin vine

getting ready
sunflower ready to burst open

a wagon load of bright, bumpy pumpkins

teeny tiny
teeny tiny pumpkins
 They are teeny tiny compared to the big guys!!

two pumpkins, one stem = twin pumpkins
There's close connections between twins.

I had a wonderful time at the pumpkin patch!  I've never seen so many shapes, sizes and colors of pumpkins and gourds. The trip certainly put me in the mood for fall!!
Placid pumpkins sit
on genteel stoops awaiting
~ author unknown

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Learning Never Ends

When I first began photography, I naively thought that after I learned about my camera and it's settings, I was set to go. I was certainly wrong!!  In the world of photography you never stop learning. In fact, to improve, you must continue to search for,  read about, and try new things. There are thousands of  articles, tutorials, classes, and tips on various photographic techniques. One thing I'm seeing more and more of is using textures in post processing. I've never done very much, in fact with my macro photography I pretty much stick to what comes out of the camera. I may add a little contrast or edit the color a little, but usually I'm pretty happy with nature just as it is. Recently I've been wanting to try my hand at editing with textures and just see what it's all about.  I took three pictures and editing them in PicMonkey, a free editing program. I didn't have a clue what I was doing!! I just played until I was happy with the image.   I've shown the original first and then the edited photo.
This is a nice flower, but the green leaves at the top tend to distract the eye.

 I added a texture on this photo and then erased it from the flower. This left a subtle texture around the edges.

The original of the sunflower is fine, but just a little dull.

The texture I added gave it a warm feeling and then I fancy cut the edges.

 This photo of Cosmo needed a little something on the background to give it life
 I went real far out on this one and added a paint texture and then roughed the edges. I like the way this one turned out, it does look like a painting.

I was encouraged to try something new or different this week by Brenda at How To Feather An Empty Nest.  I'm linking this post with her new "Third Thursday Challenge."  I know Brenda through online classes and blogging. I encourage you to stop by her blog and see her amazing architectural images!  She is constantly taking my breath away with the graphics, colors, reflections,  and angles that she captures as she walks around town.  She will show you a whole new way to look at buildings!  Photography is an ongoing learning process and I can only learn if I try. Thanks, Brenda, for encouraging me to try something new!

Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Just A Little Bit Closer!

I'm starting to like my tripod!  It think I need to give it a name since lately it's been going everywhere with me!  It's pretty amazing even if it can be a pain!!
In the macro class with Suttercal we had a lesson on focus. He gave us tips to help us get sharper images and to get more of the object in focus by using different camera settings.
It was suggested that we try to photograph something relatively flat to work on sharpness. By adjusting the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO you can get more in focus. All of these were taken with manual focus and are straight out of the camera, no cropping.
I started out with a postage stamp. Wouldn't you love to go back to the days of  three cent stamps!!  I took this picture inside near a bright window.
2.8/100mm macro lens, tripod, shutter speed 1/125, aperture f/8, ISO 1600
This Vinca is fairly flat with gently curves.  I used a mist bottle to add the drops of water, just cause I like drops!! It was taken in morning light on my porch.
2.8/100mm macro lens, tripod, shutter speed 1/80, aperture f/7.1, ISO 100
I have learned since I took this photo that the shutter speed should have been at least over 100 since I was using my 100mm lens.  Another rule to rattle around in my brain!

Have to start with a disclaimer on this one! I would love to photograph a flitting butterfly up this close, but that's not going to happen!!  I'm sorry to say this lovely butterfly met it's demise in the car grill!  It was a very windy this day, so I brought the wing inside and placed it near a bright window.
2.8/100mm macro lens, tripod, shutter speed 1/125, aperture 4.5, ISO 1600
Another not so active insect!  This guy had been stung by a wasp. My grandson and I saw the wasp. It was carrying the caterpillar and dropped him on the porch near us. Of course, what do all little boys want to do? Touch it!  Aaron had just rolled him over to see his feet, when I grabbed the camera and took a few shots. This is a good example of how narrow field of focus can be in macro photography. You can see the blur in front of and behind the caterpillar.

2.8/50mm lens, propped camera, shutter speed 1/125; aperture f/9, ISO 1600

This shot of a  quilting pin in a strawberry pin cushion was taken near a bright window.
2.8/100mm macro lens, tripod, shutter speed 1/100, aperture f/4, ISO 800

I saved my favorite for last!  I love this shot of a tiny acorn!  There's so much detail and texture. It also makes me think of the cooler days of fall!

2.8/50mm macro lens, propped camera, morning light, shutter speed 1/125, aperture f/9, ISO 1600

I hope this hasn't bored you since it's filled with photography jargon!  You can always skip that part and just enjoy looking at a few beauties of nature!!
who dwell among the beauties
and mysteries of the earth
are never alone or weary of life.
                      ~Rachel Carson

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Guessing Game For Gramma's Guys

Thank you for stopping by today!  I love it when you come for a visit!!
As most of you know, every once in a while I stick in a post for my grandsons.  If you like four wheelers or macro shots read on, if not, come back and see me next time!
Hey guys!
Gramma has been outside this afternoon with her camera.  I've been getting really close to things and taking pictures.  I got real bored with taking pictures of acorns, leaves and mushrooms. Then, I happened to see Gramp's four wheeler and decided I'd practice my close up shots on it. So, look at the pictures below and see if you can guess what part of the four wheeler they are. I made some of them easy and some of them hard. Some are just a little tricky!!  I've written the answers at the bottom of this page, but be sure and don't peek! 
















(1) mud on the tire
(2) muffler
(3) tail light
(4) shifter
(5) gas knob (you know where you put it on fuel or reserve)
(6) throttle
(7) head light
(8) break cable
(9) key switch
(10) shock
(11) trailer ball
(12) light switch
(13) handle bar grips
(14) key

How many did you know?
Hope you have fun!!
I love you guys!!

Scavenger Hunt Sunday ~ September 23, 2012

The air is cooler in the mornings and evenings now. It's still hot in the mid-day, but at least I'm feeling like its possible to be outside without sweating buckets!!  We've officially entered the glorious season of fall. The prompts this week for Scavenger Hunt Sunday sent me outside searching for fall colors. Our trees have barely begun to turn, but I did find a few things to let me know that fall is truly on it's way.
Our prompts this week were:
ordinary color

cracked acorn

fallen leaf

ordinary color

green bokeh
Bokeh is the blurring of the background.

caught in the fence
Get out!
Look around!
See the beginnings of fall!
"Delicious autumn!
My very soul is wedded to it,
and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth
seeking the successive autumns."
~ George Eliot

Friday, September 21, 2012

Exploring With A Camera ~ Allowing Space

In Kat's Exploring With The Camera this month we've been looking at space. Creative space that we purposely allowed to enhance the object of the photo.  I discovered that finding space in my photos was a little difficult! I love to fill the frame and get up close so I can see every tiny detail. I tend to do that even when I'm not shooting in macro. With a little perseverence I managed to come up with a few.
Space in a photo can be used as a backdrop. The space around the object doesn't have to be a solid color. It can have textures and colors such as this hay around the pumpkin. The hay creates an interesting background.

Space can also be used to frame the object. The interesting brick wall not only surrounds the window, but it helps tell the story of where and how old the window might be. A little piece of history about this window, it is in a house that was built in 1852.

In macro photography it's essential that you beware of the background. If the background is too busy, it's hard to see the object and it's details. A soft, blurred background lets you focus completed on the dried berry.
The use of a neutral background can balance th busy details of the gumball. I picked the gumball up and placed it on a piece of wood for this photo. If I had left it on the ground you would have been distracted by the rocks, sand, dried leaves, and sticks.

Contrast between the object and the space around it can help the viewer focus in on the subject. This time I took advantage of nature's on contrast and left space around the fuzzy thingy. I started just to post that I didn't know what it was, but then decided to Google it!  These fuzzy objects are oak galls caused by tiny wasps.  The wasps secrete chemicals that cause the plant to create the gall as a home for the developing larvae, which grow tucked safe inside the gall structure. The developing insects eat plant tissue on the inside of the gall. I'm not so sure I wanted to know that I was messing with a wasp creation!

Let's go back to the use of space!!  The space in this photo is not only blurred so the flowers stand out, but there is also a good contrast between the flowers and the background. The combination of those two factors make the viewers eyes go immediately to the flowers.
It's also nice to have space around the subject if you want add text!
Once again I am reminded to take a step back, look at the larger picture, and see if I can enhance the subject with allowed space.
kat eye view