Many of my posts are coming from my flickr page. To see them enlarged with a black background just click on the photo and then when the flickr page with the photo appears click on the photo again. I hope you enjoy.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunset Sunday #2






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Introducing Our Newest Guest Photographer

 One day a couple months back a little photo of a big black oval with two little dots above it showed up on my followers' list. As happens with all new followers that show up off I went to see who this belonged to. As very often also happens I was treated to a pleasant journey as, then Penny, now Krista, shared her fun vision with me on her blog: Picture Imperfect. What really impressed me about Krista is that she has a good eye for beauty, but she is also not afraid to be just who she is.  I like that.



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Saturday, February 27, 2010

PhotoHunt: Daily


Give us this day our Daily bread. . . Oh and some fresh creamery butter would really be nice too.

See PhotoHunt finds for the "Daily" theme from all over the world by clicking here.


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Friday, February 26, 2010

Phun Phriday! #3: New Motion Blur


If you visited last week on Phun Phriday! #2 you probably weren't too impressed. As I said in the post, this is all about experimentation and learning - together.  I also mentioned that I got the idea for this kind of motion blur photography from a photographer named Ed Vatza at It's My Nature blog and I was mesmerized by it.

Last weeks photo was "interesting" but frankly not that great.  Most of the people who looked at it didn't quite know what to say and so they said nothing at all.  Three people commented and they focused on the water drop setup part of the post.  I sincerely appreciated each of those comments including Bruce's honesty in admitting he really didn't like it, but I wanted to try this new Phun and that was the best of what I had done so far.

Not one to give up easily I decided to try it again this week.  I actually had a totally different photo lined up when I looked out the window Wednesday morning and snow was falling.  I snatched up my camera and headed for a secluded wooded area in the middle of a town about 8 miles from my home and started practicing motion blur again.

I posted one of my favorites and I think it is an improvement but I would really like to hear your honest thoughts on it.  (I uploaded this one slightly larger than most so if you click on the photo you can go in and take an even better look than usual.)  Remember . . .Phun Phriday! is all about having Phun with Photography.  I also hope that you've tried something Phun recently and will share it with us.





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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Weeds in High Key





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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Full Moon Rising

The sun was down and the moon was up. I took a couple focused on the moon and a couple focused on the weeds. I liked this one best.





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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Reflecting on City Lights



Today's photo was taken in the dark of night, but I found it very interesting to see the city lights lighting up both the mountain side behind the city and the clouds above.



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Monday, February 22, 2010

Frosty Thistle Color & Grayscale Comparison



I'm torn between which I like better. Do you have a preference? Please tell me which you like better and why. Or, if you don't like either tell me that too and why. I'm a big boy, I can take constructive criticism.


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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Problem? - Solved!


Problem:  As I mentioned in a previous blog post I don't want this to become a Sunset Photo Blog.  I know it's just a personal mental thing.

Fact:  I do love to capture a beautiful sunset.  I've always loved sunsets and as I wrote about in another previous blog post  I even had a poem I wrote about sunsets published in a national magazine.

Fact:  I publish a photo almost every day except Sundays.  Sometimes on Sunday's I'll introduce a new Guest Photographer.

Solution:  I'll start my own little theme and call it "Sunday Sunsets".

Like Phun Phriday! it is open to anyone who would like to join in but don't feel like you can't just come and look if you want and comment if you want.  It's just an outlet for the sunset shots that I get that I'm particularly pleased with, but I do love beautiful sunset shots and invite you to share yours with us.  



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Saturday, February 20, 2010

PhotoHunt: Cuddly


I have to be honest, unfortunately I'm not a very cuddly kind of guy.  Don't get me wrong, I like a hug or a cuddle as much as the next person, I just don't do much of it.  Well that's probably too much information.  As I prepare this on Friday for Saturday's PhotoHunt post, I'm betting that 80% will include Pets or spouse or children.  My wife said if I put her photo in and call her cuddly she'd have my clothes on the front sidewalk before morning, so I'm going to use two photos of my boxer Annabelle, one taken when she was just a very cuddly new puppy with my baby daughter and the other about 10 years later, with a cuddly grandson.

See more PhotoHunt finds from around the world by clicking here.



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Friday, February 19, 2010

Phun Phriday! - #2: Motion Blur + Extra



"We are experiencing technical difficulties.  Do not attempt to adjust your set".  If you are old enough to remember that coming on your TV screen then you're probably nearing retirement.

Welcome to the second Phun Phriday!  Phun Phriday!, in case you didn't read the post on Phun Phriday! Numero Uno,  is all about having phun with photography.  So. . . there will be lots of experimentation and learning.  Just like today's photo you will be on a journey with me as I try new things and learn, and sometimes fail, you'll be there.  If you have ideas to make it better, or you've tried it and failed too, or tried it and succeeded and want to share what you've done we welcome you and want to hear from you.  (As I said last week, lurkers/watchers are certainly encouraged too and please don't be afraid to comment.)

Now about today's photo.  As I was out taking photos in this past Wednesday morning's fog I thought "hey, I've got an idea.  How about if I try a vertical pan to create a motion blur?".  I figured that when you take the color out of a photo it tends to make you see the shapes and substance, so if you motion blur the subject it will make you "focus" on the abstract and the colors.  Okay, so now I'm a liar and a thief.  I'm a liar because I didn't really come up with that idea by myself.  So far as I know I've never had an original idea in my life.  I see other photos and ideas and I decide to try them myself and see how it works.  A couple weeks ago I came across a blog called It's My Nature  and one of his galleries is all about abstracts.  I was enchanted by many of the photos and so I thought I'd try some.  Several nights ago, when I took the photo with the red lights reflecting on the bushes, I tried a couple shots with a horizontal panning, but you could hardly tell, so the other morning when I was taking some fog shots I thought I'd try some vertical panning as well as some horizontal.  This was the best of the bunch.  Yes, I know I have a long way to go, but it's a start so watch for more on future Phun Phriday!s.  In case you want to try this remember you're going to need a long exposure. This one was only one second long at f10 though I did some as long as three seconds.  I had a 3X neutral density filter and a circular polarizer to allow me to get the long exposures.

Now for the Extra promised in the title of today's post.  Here are some photos of the setup for last weeks Phun Phriday! water drop photo.

 
My camera is set up as close to level with the water as possible and I used a long lens with Macro capabilities so as get the camera and lens out of splash range.


There are lots of people who love to do water drop photography and looking around I found as many different ways of creating the water drop as I found people who do it.  Mine is about as unsophisticated as they come, but it worked for this one.  I simply turned the shower on as low as I could to get a drop every few seconds and then try to time my press on the button.  I got one decent one for every 20 to 30 exposures.



In the previous water drops I posted with the water actually in the orange and the apple, I was outside in very bright sun light and used a very short exposure.  Looking at other peoples' work I learned that the best source is a flash set on a very low setting so that it was very brief, like 1/10,000 second to stop the action.  I set my flash up in the shower enclosure to bounce off the walls.  As you can see it worked quite nicely.   Fortunately my Olympus DSLR has radio controlled flash so I didn't have to run wires over to it.

I will be doing more water drop photography, and some of the drops won't be water.  Hopefully my future setups will be a little more sophisticated.

Now, if you've hung in this long I'd love to hear from you and see your results from either the motion blur or the water drop photographs.  Remember it is Phun Phriday! so lets have some PHUN!



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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Over the River and Through the Tunnel



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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

She Ain't Sung Yet

Woke up yesterday morning to a beautiful and cold fog.





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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Familiar?


Does anyone recognize this flower? I would love to get the name of it so I could find some more for this upcoming spring.  I call them Crab Claws because I don't know what they should be called and that's what they look like to me.  I wish I had a photo with something in it to give you a size comparison, because they are really quite teeny.  Each of the claw looking parts is only about 1 inch (2.5 cm) tall.  That also means that this little group of blossoms is about  2 inches (5 cm) across from side to side.  On the full plant there were dozens of these little groups and this is as big as they got.  I'm pretty sure they're annuals, because we bought them last year and at the end of the summer we tossed them with the rest of the plants and dirt from that pot.

Here is a photo of them from the top.
 
 
I know there are several of you out there that are very knowledgeable about flowers and so I am hoping you can help me find out exactly what these are.




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Monday, February 15, 2010

Riddle Me This

You're saying to yourself, "Another Sunset?". I've found that, like me, a lot of you do love beautiful sunsets, but I don't want this to become a "Sunset Photo" blog. However, would you riddle me this??? Why is it that the sun appears to be going down into the clouds, with the clouds surrounding it, when in fact the sun is some 93,000,000 miles further away from me than the clouds are???

Well it's not really a riddle, because I don't have some kind of funny answer. Really it's just a questions. Do you know?




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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Introducing a New Guest Photographer

It's got to the point now I have so many photo blogging friends that I don't know how I found them or they found me that it has become the norm.  This is another one of those, and I think it's one of the best benefits of my blogging efforts.  They say the cream rises to the top and as you can see by this photo Els at FOCUSMEUS is certainly among the cream. Els not only takes GORGEOUS photographs but also is a master at web site stuff.  One day I was lamenting about how certain things on my blog weren't working the way I wanted them to when I got an email about how to fix them.  Els knew things about my blog that I had no idea of and was able to tell me exactly what to do.  Now I go back to FOCUSMEUS almost daily just to see what beautiful new photos have appeared.  You'll find it well worth your time to pay a visit.



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Saturday, February 13, 2010

PhotoHunt: Broken


This week's PhotoHunt theme is Broken.  Does "busted" mean the same as broken?  Okay, I'm stretching again this week. The photo I posted was one I took Wednesday night.  And when I say "night" I mean night.  It was so dark that I had to point my camera in the direction where I thought the photo was and then opened the shutter for 60 seconds and let it gather in the light. (Hey, this could have qualified for Phun Phriday!  that I announced on my blog yesterday)   I thought it turned out okay.  As I was looking at it I noticed the reddish looking foliage in the very front and thought how interesting it was that they picked up the red.  (You may have to click on the photo to enlarge it to see the red)  I didn't remember noticing any red in those bushes while it was still daylight, but I have seen red foliage in the winter before and found it very pretty.  Then I realized what happened.. . . Even though I was on a very little used roadway the parking lights were left on on the car so that if someone did come down the road they would see us.  Those bushes had reflected the red tail lights of the car and that's what I was seeing.    Busted!

For more Broken PhotoHunt photos from around the world, click here.





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Friday, February 12, 2010

Phun Phriday! Numero Uno

Only a couple days ago I posted a water drop photo that I had taken last fall and I said I needed to try it again and get it better. So that evening I did and this is one of the results. Is it better?  I don't know but I did it entirely differently.                 AND NOW . . . .

Drumroll please . . . .
  Followed by fanfare trumpets - Ta Da!!!!!

Announcing a new feature of The World's Best Photography Blog. . .
Phun Phriday!


You're probably asking yourself. . . "Self, what is Phun Phriday!?"  You may also be asking, "Why did you spell it that way?"

Well I'll answer the second one (the one about the spelling) first so as to get it out of the way.  I was originally going to call it Photography Phun Phriday, but then I thought that was too long so I'd just call it Photog Phun Phriday and as I sat down and started today's "Numero Uno" post I decided to shorten it to just plain Phun Phriday!   but I decided to keep the spelling because I'm weird that way and I checked all the blogging rules and they didn't say I couldn't.

Now about that first question.  If you read my "Welcome" message you read that "the main purpose of this is to have some F U N with photography".  In spite of that, overall, my blog has been pretty dang serious.  Well I may still be mostly serious on all the days except Phun Phriday! (and Saturday when I play along with all the PhotoHunters) but on Phun Phriday!   I'm going to force myself out of my little box of rules and structures and take time for - as Monte Python would say - "something completely different" .

Phun Phriday!  will be a day to try something new and different, or maybe something I've done before - like today's - but I'm still trying to figure it out and get better at it, or try it in a different way, or it may be a new Photoshop or other photo manipulation/editing/craziness trick.  In other words it can be anything new or different or improved or whatever that makes me or you stretch and get out of our comfort zone.  Oh yeah, and I might just do a tutorial on how I did something, especially if a few people comment and say "How did you do that?"  Or if I just feel like it.  (I'm probably going to get more "Why did you do that?") 

So there it is.  OBTW, if you'd like to play along please do so!  And please feel free to leave a comment with a link to your Phun Phriday!  post(s).  Oh, and if you do play along, would you be kind enough to insert a link to this page or my Phun Phriday! post of that week.  If enough people decide that they want to play along I'll maybe even create a little logo button for it.  We'll just play it by ear. 

If you'd like to just lurk, great I love lurkers, and I hope you still feel free to leave a comment especially if you can tell me how I can do it better or have more fun with it or even if you think it's just stupid and I wasted your time. (Yes, and I like nice comments like "Scott, that is the absolute most amazingly gorgeous incredibly smart thing I've every seen in my whole entire life!!!"  and stuff like that too.)

Hope to see you on   Phun Phriday!







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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For


Only a couple of days ago I lamented in one of my posts that the snow was pretty much gone.  This morning I woke up to this.  I really am not unhappy about the snow.  I only wish it had shown up a day earlier because today I have to go to work and so I won't get the chance to go out and find some great shots.  This one from my front porch will have to do. 





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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Shapes & Shadows






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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Remembering


The snow is almost gone now. Today was clear, but cool. I find myself hoping for at least one more really good snow storm before Winter leaves us this year.




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Monday, February 08, 2010

Watery Crown





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Saturday, February 06, 2010

Photohunt: Average

This weeks PhotoHunter theme is "Average".

Okay, I admit it, this one is a real s---t---r---e---t---c---h.  I've only been playing with my fellow PhotoHunters for about three months now, but this is definitely my least favorite, and maybe I can say most difficult, theme.  As I have said before, I like to create a photo just for the theme, and I guess in a way I have, but it comes from one I took just shy of 4 months ago.

Hopefully the photo above wouldn't be considered average by most people, but it came from the photo below which may be considered average.  The differences are created by an average of about 3 or 4 minutes of processing in Adobe Bridge, and then a few more minutes of processing in Photoshop where I crop, frame and add my signature.

For more samples of average this week click here:  PhotoHunter







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Friday, February 05, 2010

Winter Walk

Taken a couple weeks ago.  Part of this fence was in my Balanced Photohunt post.


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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Pea Soup

The only thing done to this photo was a slight warming of the white balance.  The fog was so thick that it swallowed up almost all color.  I was only 20 to 30 feet from this old wagon when I took this.


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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

What The ????


Usually "challenges" don't get to me, but I was out looking for a new place to get great sunset shots tonight and maybe I found one, I don't know, but what I did find was today's photo. I probably wouldn't have even posted it because I don't think it's anything extraordinary, but I was visiting Bush Babe's blog and she posted a challenge about reflections. I do like water reflections and this one certainly had that, so here you go.


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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Yellow Sun Reflects

In my Eighth grade English class everyone was required to write a poem and as I recall there was no guidance as to the subject matter.  At the time I lived up on the side of the hill looking out to the West.  From there we had an excellent view of the sunset and being a visual person I truly loved sunsets.  I still love sunsets.  Like all of God's creations, there are no two alike but even better than flowers and bugs and birds, there is a visible change from one minute to the next.  The title of today's blog "The Yellow Sun Reflects" is the first line of the poem I wrote in that Eighth grade English class and it's about sunsets.  I believe there were three or four selected from our school to be submitted to the National Anthology of High School Poetry.  Mine was one of those three or four and mine was the only one from our school published in that year's book.  I haven't written very many poems in my life and that is the only one I even remember the subject let alone any of the words.  Maybe I figured I couldn't top it so I'd quit while I was ahead. 

 To me this one kind of looks like you are looking down on a lake that is on fire.

By the way, these were taken two nights ago, on Jan. 31st and other than a tiny bit of processing from Camera Raw to JPG, this is pretty much the way they came out of the camera.  You may have noticed that these aren't the first sunset photos I've done in the last few days, and chances are they won't be the last.

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Monday, February 01, 2010

New Guest Photographer

A couple months back while perusing around the photography blogs, as I am wont to do, I came across something or someone called Photog Ave. I thought it meant Photog Avenue, so I had to go look at it. I soon discovered the name belonged to a young photographer named Avery who goes by the nick name Ave. I also discovered that she is an up and coming young talent with real artistic skills. She has already won several awards and accolades and when you visit her blog you'll know why.

I asked her to send me a couple of her favorite photos to post here and this is my favorite of the ones she sent me.

Thanks Ave, for letting me use your photo and please keep up the great work!


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