This is the second year the local Japanese gardens has put on a Christmas light display. Prior to last year, the gardens were closed all winter. I took my camera and headed out for a stroll around the illuminated gardens and a few shots for the blog. The colors on the trees and remaining foliage were bit magical, and the moon was full and shone almost as the star of Bethlehem. As we emerge from the longest night, I wish you all light, joy, and a Merry Christmas.
We’re past solstice, but this is still the darkest time of the year. This year, two gardens near my home put on light displays as part of our collective tradition to cope with this darkness. My sister and I went to the free one together. I could get my large tripod in, but I didn’t use it for everything because it’s kind of impolite and I was practicing for my next outing.
The photo club took an outing to another nearby light show. This one relied more on actual trees and reflected light. Some members were able to get in with small tripods, but I left my beast in the car. Certainly the staff would not grant me admission with such large sticks. I had to use some high ISOs. Noise was an issue. I’ll have to get a smaller tripod. Just being there was pretty enchanting though.
The lights give us hope and beauty in a dark season. We arrange them, tend to them, and marvel at them. Source or reflected, we all need light and hope. Spread light this season to those you love and more.
My last photo outing was in early July, and I’ve finally edited it for the blog. There are a lot of other things on my mind right now, as there have been for the past several weeks, but at some point, a person has to move on.
It was a lovely early July day. I met my father out at a local forest preserve.
My intention was to photograph wildflowers, but I didn’t find much that interested me. Lighting was also a bit stark.
I ended up photographing the pink clover, blue cornflower, and grasses at the entry to my parent’s subdivision. There were some bugs as well, including our much hated invasive Japanese beetles.
Summer is about over now. Time to think about fall. This next month will probably not be the best for me, but I might try to get out for photography or do some still life. I’m not sure what my official September blog will be, but I hope I’ll have some good fall photos for October and November.
I went to a small town car show on the 4th, and yes, I’ve had trouble finding time to edit and blog this month. I did mostly some contrast and color adjustments with a little glare and dust spot removal. However, I did decided to split tone the Nova so it would be more blue and less whatever was reflected in it.
This month, I just wanted to have some fanciful fun with Photoshop. So I took some old pictures and experimented with filters, special brushes, layering, and the like. It’s been awhile since I’ve just let myself have fun, so I went a little overboard.
I also wanted to try a more subdued painting look on another photo.
I’ve always liked the winter fantasy land idea.
Now I can go back to normal editing for a few years.
I’m continuing my automotive theme this week with classic cars. I had a great couple of hours out at a local Cruise Night last week. Nice cars. Most of them were owned by older people who’d had them for years. Their pride and love was evident.
There were probably at least five Mustangs (this goes out to my Mustang-loving friend from college, if you’re reading this, you know who you are).
I don’t know much about cars, but I love the details on classic autos. It was like being a kid on an easter egg hunt: so many wonderful logos and features.
Next Week: Nature, weather permitting
I’ve been threatening to do these liquid experiments for weeks, so I thought it best to get it out of my system. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I did some test shoots and took a lot of pictures. This kind of work is like photographing fireworks without a script of the show. It takes a lot of trial and error and you never know exactly what’s going to happen. My first shots were of the food coloring shortly after it entered into the water. The drop would spread out like a chandelier as it sank towards the bottom. Then, I’d add another drop.
I tried letting it sit for a while to blend a bit and adding a drop or two of another color. The green looks like a flower.
As you can probably see, it’s not exactly sharp. Food coloring blends with the water and lacks distinct edges. I focused as much as I could, but eventually I had to think of a way to use this to my advantage. Patiently waiting to see what the food coloring did when allowed to sit in a still glass of water produced some interesting results. It fanned out into long, swirling trails. I even had some luck mixing two shades of purple. The indistinct edges could work well for backgrounds.
I continued my experiments varying color combination and water motion. At first, I filled the glass from the faucet and let it sit awhile before adding dye. Later, I discovered stirring the water gave an interesting effect.
Adding dye to a freshly filled glass of water was another variation. As you can see, I flipped the shot above and the shot below for artistic effect.
I know this is unorthodox photography, but it provided me with some images I can use for backgrounds and other elements in Photoshop work. Not to mention being a fun experiment and keeping myself and one of my cats very amused.
Next Week: Box and Folding Cameras
I’m going back to something more traditional next week: old cameras. This time, very old cameras, say 70 or more years old for some. Hopefully I can find the old Kodak folding camera.