Thursday, August 30, 2012

Scavenger Hunt #6--Something That Has Had a Better Day

When we received this Scavenger Hunt topic, there was a catch to it.  "It can't be a self-portrait".  
That certainly would have been the easy way out.

A friend and I paid a visit to the Caroga Museum.  It's a sweet little museum near Caroga Lake and the caretaker gave us carte blanche to photograph, even with our tripods.  Be still my heart!

The shoes in this image are real.  They almost look like a shoe sculpture that I purchased a few years ago, but these are real leather.  

And the next image needs no explanation.  Once upon a time--a beautiful forest tree, now...not so much.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I occasionally force myself to sit down at the computer and do something constructive/productive. Tonight I found a chapter in my Scott Kelby Photoshop Elements book about applying an Orton Effect.  So I took an old image and reworked it with the effect.  

It's not a drastic change, but I like it.


Orton Effect

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Short Hike

Today was a spend-the-day-with-the-grandkids day.  So instead of just hanging around the house all day, I decided to take them to hike Vroman's Nose (which is a short hike, only about .6 miles on one of the trails, but has some intense elevation), and then to Howe's Caverns.

The boy, usually very cranky reticent about having his picture taken, seemed to be quite enthusiastic about it today.  Knowing his usual attitude about being in front of the camera, I only had my point and shoot with me.  However, being the great little camera that it is, the pictures came out fine.  

The boy was so excited about posing--I think he asked me to take a shot of them in front of every single tree in sight.  I finally had to say "enough", even though I didn't want to discourage him in light of his enthusiasm.  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Scavenger Hunt #5--Short & Tall

You know, when someone says, "it needs to be finished a week from now", it seems like such a long time, like you have almost forever to get it done (whatever "it" is).  Then you blink a few times, and "a week from now" ended yesterday.

Last week when we got the new Scavenger Hunt assignment of "short & tall", I remember thinking that it wouldn't be any problem.  Then I began really thinking about it, and sure enough, it became more of a problem than I anticipated.  Again, like last week, I had a few wimpy ideas, but never got around to executing them.

But yesterday I was taking a short hike with my friend (thanks again, Trish).  I looked at the trail up ahead of us and remarked about how beautiful it was and I noticed how tall the trees were and how they seemed to converge up in the air.  Voila!!  Trish was agreeable about kneeling down at the base of one of the trees, I put my wide-angle lens on the camera, and here's the result.

Not overly creative or imaginative, but at least I can say I did the assignment for one more week.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

236 Days Down/130 Days to Go

In 8 more days, we will be exactly 2/3 of the way through this year.  How did that happen?

This post is exactly my 100th of this year.

Those two statements have absolutely nothing to do with this post.  I just thought they were interesting trivia facts.

Anyway, I spent a few hours early this evening at my friend's house practicing photographing water being squeezed out of a sponge.  It's not as easy as it sounds.  But then, nothing I've tried to photograph lately is as easy as it sounds.  Trish was awesome, thank you my good friend.

If you want to check out her blog, click here.

I do, actually, have a really good reason for wanting a photograph like this.  I need to illustrate a poem, and this will be the perfect image.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Scavenger Hunt #4:  "Jumping"

This past week's Scavenger Hunt assignment was "jumping".  I had some ideas but I didn't get the chance to follow through with them.

But this weekend I attended a photo retreat with some ladies from my photo club.  Fortunately one of the ladies was a willing model and a really good sport about performing many jumps off the dock.  This was serendipity for me.  I didn't even know this was going to happen. 

After the "jumping" episode, she was willing to pose in more traditional ways.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


The other day my photo group got together to practice a technique that I heard about a while ago.  I watched a tutorial video about this, and the guy sure made it look easy.

He used a flat-sided glass container, a background color that was complimentary to the color of the fruit he used, and a sunny day.

We had a rounded glass container, non-complimentary backgrounds colors and a cloudy day.

So our results were a little less than perfect what we had hoped for, but we had a good time and we learned a few things in the process, as in:  use a flat-sided glass container, a background color that is complimentary to the color of the fruit we used and a sunny day.  

We managed to capture a few bubbles while doing the project, and we had a great time visiting with one another since this was the first time in a very long time that we were all together for a workshop.

None of these images are tack sharp, which I think is due to the fact that the glass container was rounded, meaning that the fruit slice was not entirely on the same plane.

The author of the book, Art & Fear, says that any good art one produces is a product of all the bad art one produces along the way.  Well, I believe that, but if that's really the case, then I should be producing a TON of good art--which isn't exactly happening, sigh.

At least I'm enjoying the ride....most of the time.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Scavenger Challenge #3--"SMART"

"Smart".  Just a little too abstract for me, so I began to think concretely which is my thinking process of choice and this is what I came up with. It's funny how this works.  I started out with only the idea of the Scrabble board with the word.  My first image (not shown) is just the word laying on the board as you would place it in a game. Okay, kind of boring, but at least fulfilling the topic.  Then I skewed the tiles.  Hmmm, better but still not too exciting.

   Then I began moving them around, shooting from different angles.
Stand them up next to each other (also not shown).  Well, even a little better.
Then this image.  "Now I'm getting somewhere".

Then..."why not make a play on the word"---

Now, none of these are award winning, but for the 15-20 minutes I spent on the project, I had fun.  And I'm always surprised (although I shouldn't be) at how the act of creating feeds itself if you let it.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Skeeter Creek

Every Saturday night throughout the summer there's a free concert at Riverlink Park in Amsterdam.  I've been trying to get to one of those concerts since the beginning of the series.  I finally made it there tonight.

The group that performed is Skeeter Creek, a country group that is local to the Capital district area.

It was a beautiful evening.  A little muggy, but also a little cooler after the rain today.  

Half the fun for me is to photograph the crowd at any event.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Roostercomb Mountain

2 hours north to Roostercomb Mt.  for our weekly, or almost weekly hike.

5 miles roundtrip with some significant elevation.

At the trailhead, approaching the registration booth, we crossed over a pond with some great grasses growing up through the water.

This was the first hike with any elevation this summer.  It was pretty intense.  It was obvious to each of us that we're not conditioned very well yet.  But we persevered and had a great time.

Before we began the hike she told us that she had a pair of binoculars in her bag.  What she didn't tell us was that they were broken.  We had a good laugh over that.

Broken binoculars means that two people can use them at once.  Method to the madness!

As we started down the mountain, it began to rain.  Hard.  We broke out the parkas and plodded along.  2.5 miles in the rain.  No pics cause we value our cameras too much.  Yeah, it was a good day.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

First Time This Summer

After several days of hot, muggy weather followed by storms and a lot of rain this past weekend, it dawned sunny and cool (57 degrees) this morning.  It was the perfect day for a bike ride.  

So after doing a few things around the house and sitting out on the deck to do my devotional (I will certainly miss that once the weather gets too cold), I put my bike on the car bike rack, and off I went, for the first time this summer.

The local bike path is wonderful, but it's not at all attractive.  Actually it's pretty boring compared to some of the other bike paths I've seen and ridden on.  But at least it's accessible and partly shady.  The section I rode today is 6 miles each way, and there is this bridge.

So....taking advantage of the only visually appealing part of the path, I stopped to take a few pictures to document my excursion.

Being tired bored with all of the straight, ordinary images I've been posting, I decided to try a filter.  I kind of like it.

Be sure to click on the image to see the filter effect better.

Thursday, August 02, 2012


This week's Scavenger Hunt topic is "glasses/glassware".....I think.

Anyway, the first two images are the same, just different exposures.

Note to self:  learn to shoot in raw and/or get Lightroom!