The photographic explorations of a former film student.

Holiday

Top Ten From 2015

Here are my ten favorite shots from 2015. I had some good trips last year, but other life events cut into my photography time, so it was not my best year. I’m looking forward to devoting more time to photography in 2016. Happy New Year everyone! May 2016 be a year of growth and understand.

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Merry Christmas! (With Decorations)

This year, I did things differently for Christmas Decorations. For one, I decided to hang my little beaded whatever it is off my living room lamp. I like it so much I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it sooner.

beadwreath

Then, my mother thought I should change up my mantle decorations a bit, so she gave me a tall round glass vase to put ornaments in. After looking online for ideas, I decided I wanted pine cones too. I thought I’d have some fun with the reflections and surface curvature while photographing the end result.

DecorationInGlass

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wishing you peace on earth today and throughout the coming year.


Christmas: Some Things Haven’t Changed

As I was decorating my home for Christmas on Monday, it occurred to me that a lot has changed this year. Still, many things remain the same as they have for years. I listen to the same music for Christmas, and I still hang this lovely angel on the tree every year. She’s been mine since my first Christmas.

Brass Angel Ornament

Brass Angel Ornament


Belated Happy 4th of July

I just barely squished a trip to the fireworks into my 4th of July weekend. Since it was quite possible that my schedule for the next month or more would be tighter than usual, I decided to wait and post them as a regular post rather than a special 4th of July edition that weekend.

When it comes to photographing fireworks, just like many things in life, there is more than one school of thought. The way I originally learned involves very long shutter speeds where the light is entirely in trails. This allows me to have all the colors produced and include several bursts in one shot at the small town show I attend. The other method is to use a much shorter shutter speed and capture a lot of the sparkle we know fireworks for. This makes timing trickier. It also makes it more difficult to get multiple blasts in frame at smaller shows that are more likely to send one up at a time. Personally, I also tend to capture more smoke when I have shorter shots with a higher ISO. But sparkle is part of the fireworks, so this year, I experimented with getting a few of the blasts cut short a bit so I’d have some more.

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Next Time: Change and Archive

Well, it’s happening. I’m going to be rather occupied with other matters for the next month. A necessary pain to accomplish a much desired end. I will probably post some archive material that I’ve shot in the past few years and never posted. Who knows, I may even go back to college stuff. Anyway, squirrels will most likely figure in the mix somewhere. Maybe I’ll post my college photo contest finalist shot too.


Valentine Flowers

A bit of a late Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you. This is the time of year I really start wanting it to be Spring. It is also the time of year you can easily purchase a floral bouquet. Last week, I purchased a single rose and some “pompoms” at a local supermarket. I’m pretty sure “pompom” is just florist for big showy mum. Anyway, I set up the light and some backgrounds and pulled out the macro lens.

This was my pinkish rose. Lovely while she lasted.

BacklitRose

Twirly in the center and a beautiful hue.

ECURose

I stuck one of my old rings in it in honor of Valentine’s Day. There is nothing like a macro lens to show you how cheep your costume jewelry is. I spent some time retouching this one, and I’m about to swear I will never shoot it again. Nonetheless, it does look kind of romantic.

RingInRose

A little less seasonal, here is the “pompom”. This was more fun with the macro lens than the rose. I loved the long, spiky petals in the center.

LgPurpleMum

Kind of off topic, but I wanted to say I know this can be a tough day for single people. Personally, I think our culture is a little overboard when it comes to celebrating romantic love. There are other kinds of love and relationships in most people’s lives that are worth remembering and celebrating on this day. So if you can this weekend, take a few minutes to call or message a friend or relative and let them know you love them. And remember, the chocolate goes on sale tomorrow.

 

 


Kitty Under the Christmas Tree

Yes, that’s right under, not in. Being owners of an artificial Christmas tree, my family is fortunate enough to have a tree whose branches bend to the floor under the weight of a typical household feline. The cats are both resigned to this, but they do enjoy sitting beneath the branches and admiring the beauty. It’s quiet back there too.

This year, I thought I’d try to get a photo. Flash simply would not do, and dear Jen is a dark cat, so I turned on the brighter lights in the room and pulled out my tripod. Jen was a little bothered by the autofocus in the first shot. I also thought it wasn’t close enough.

JenVertical

I moved in, switched to horizontal, and used live view to focus. Fortunately, Jen was pretty still. It was brighter than I wanted the final shot to be, but I decided to take it down in post rather than risk getting Jen noisy or loosing detail in her fur.

JenHorizontal

Merry Christmas!


The End of Fall: Leaves in the Water

It’s been cold lately. Cold enough that I wanted to go check out the ice formation in a nearby park. I remembered that the ice on the stream winding through this park formed in all sorts of interesting patterns several years ago. Unfortunately, it hasn’t really formed yet this year. Instead, an array of fallen leaves and semi-frozen water presented me with other photographic possibilities. With nature and other things in life, there are times I have to find the best in what is there, even when it’s not what I was hoping for. What there is can be just as good.

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This applies more to US readers because we celebrate Thanksgiving here on Thursday, but I wanted to take a moment to remind us all to be thankful. I worry that we are losing a valuable holiday to consumerism. Thankfulness and reflecting on the good we have in life is healthy. Right now, I am thankful for nature, creativity, the ability to express myself through photography and language, the internet, the ability to easily communicate with people from all over the country and the world, and a holiday to spend with family.
What are you thankful for this week? Please share in the comments.