The photographic explorations of a former film student.

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Somewhat Abstract

I said I was going to do abstract. Well, this is a little more realistic than I normally do, but I would say it counts. Split toning on all but one of them, mostly close-ups, but, yes, a little more realistic than usual for this kind of post.

FeatherAndLeaf

LeafInWeeds

BrownLeaf

SilverLeaves

ChippedAway

Curve

Next Time: Night photography or try again.

Scouting Trip

I was going to do something else for the post this week, but I need something specific for a prop that I can’t seem to find. So I’ll share a few photos from a short location scouting trip I took yesterday instead. Several members of the local photo club have gone to this particular park in a nearby small city, so I knew there was potential in the area. I came a bit late in the day when there was a wedding, so the conditions weren’t the best, but it was OK just to see what was there and get a few shots for reference.

There are several small bridges like this:

BridgeandTrees

A variety of trees line the river.

TreeandSunset

Roses and other flowers add color and present more photographic possibilities.

WhiteRose

 

Next Time: Abstract or night photos.

Chicago Exploration

About a week ago, I went to Chicago. Big cities aren’t really my thing, I’m more of a table top and forest preserve kind of photographer. However, I occasionally like to explore different places, and if I’m going to go, I’m going to take photos.

The lion outside the Art Institute was a big hit. Lots of people wanted a picture of him or even with him. I had to wait awhile to get a clear shot.

Lion

LionCU

Because it’s Illinois, they planted corn in the Millennium  Park gardens. Corn and skyscrapers looks a bit funny to me. I’m used to seeing corn and barns or corn and more corn.

CornInTheCity

Metal, skyscrapers, and metal.

MetalUponMetal

The Bean. You can’t go to Chicago without seeing The Bean and having some fun with the reflections. Time was limited, or else I’d have played more.

TheBean

Columns and a fountain. This just looked cool.

ColumnsAndFountain

Ubiquitous pigeons.

bird

Old water tower. Quite the relic.

WaterTower

A shorter, but more interesting building.

ClockTower

Tall skyscraper near Navy Pier.

SkyScraper

Navy Pier itself. If you ever go, I do recommend the totally free stained glass museum. It has all kinds of lovely stained glass panels, even Tiffany. Since I wasn’t sure about copyright issues and didn’t have a tripod, I’m not posting any photos of that. Navy Pier is full of restaurants, shops, boat tours, and other attractions (including a children’s museum and an I-MAX). A tourist could spend all day at Navy Pier alone.

NavyPier

Thus ended my excursion to Chicago. I’d like to go back and visit some museums someday.

Summer Wildflowers

Happy Labor Day, otherwise known as the cultural end of Summer in the northern United States. Here are a few photos of Summer wildflowers I shot a few weeks ago. Before you know it, I’ll be posting fall scenery.

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Next Time: Either portrait, otherworldly, or abstract. I haven’t made up my mind yet.

I’m Working on a Video

I haven’t been doing as much photography as I’d like lately. One of the big reasons for that is because I’m working on a video. I now have a Nikon D7100, which allows me to rack focus and shoot in dimmer light than the little video camera I had previously did. It’s been four years since college, and I feel the need to brush off my skills and use them rather than continuing to let them get rusty. Since I work full-time, finding the time to do this is a little challenging, but I’m slowly shooting this short video on my love of cameras. I’m in a good place in my life right now to do this. Yes, it’s a learning experience, and no, it won’t be perfect, but part of learning is doing it over again if I need to – taking it slowly and letting it grow and develop as it needs to. The challenge is just making sure I keep moving along without a deadline to motivate me. Below are some stills from what I’ve shot so far.

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Japanese Garden

Several weeks ago, I took some time for quite reflection and enjoyment of harmony and nature: I visited a Japanese garden. Photography wasn’t my primary goal, but I knew I’d be frustrated if I didn’t bring a camera. Koi food is available in the gift shop. I didn’t buy any, but the Koi have learned to associate humans with food, so they surfaced anyway.

LightKoi

OrangeKoi

Also photographed the main waterfall. It’s a feature of the garden I’ve always loved.

WaterfallSingle

WaterfallTripple

Next Time: Otherworldly or Video Sneak Peek

I’m working on a video project. It’s taking a long time, but I might post a few clips if I don’t get around to shooting the stills I’m thinking of.

Birds of Prey

These photos are from a club shoot for the photo club I belong to. Apparently, one of the long-time members knows someone in raptor rescue and they arrange for the club to photograph a few non-releasable birds every year. The rescue uses these birds for educational purposes, so they were glad to tell us about all of them.

The peregrine falcon was the most vocal and energetic of all the birds. We were told she was used for hunting and retired due to a foot problem. Now she’s a favorite of school children at educational programs.

peregrine falcon

She also likes water.

WaterTheBird

This is Phoenix, so named because he barely survived a nasty high-speed collision with a truck. He’s a very impressive bird, although unfortunately mentally challenged these days.

Phonenix

This is Ulysses. I could swear he looked directly at one of the other club members who said his name.

OwlEars

I don’t know how to spell this lovely girl’s name. It means “Beautiful One” in Navajo. Very appropriate. She is a Barn Owl raised by another group for educational purposes. We were told Barn Owls are declining in number because of habitat loss. As the name implies, they tend to live in rural areas and eat mice.

BarnOwl

 

Next Time: Japanese Garden

The best place in town for calm and relaxation. Also pretty cool.

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