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.

Monday, January 31, 2011

To Tell the Truth

I know a lot of you are getting tired of cold winter photographs, so I promise this will be the last winter photo I post this month.

I bounced back and forth on deleting this photo, but it has some elements I like. I shot it on a foggy morning right after a good snowfall just a couple weeks ago and so I'm emotionally involved.

So PLEASE be honest with me. Should I keep it or toss it??? I know Karen, Jessica and probably Sinbad's human will tell me how they really feel but I would like honest critique from the rest of you too.


Don't be shy - leave a comment or email me.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunset Sunday - 50


I warned you on Phun Phriday! that you would see this train (maybe it's a trolley) car again, and it didn't take long.  We had so much Phun with this that we couldn't leave it alone.  Chad and I were out on a photo excursion when I noticed he had his on-camera flash popped open, what a great idea!  I'd tried adding a little flash on some sunset photos before but it never occurred to me for this one.  That's another reason to have a photo buddy when you go out, what one of you doesn't think of or notice, the other one might.  Thanks Chad!
 
Do you have a beautiful sunset/sunrise to share? We'd love to see it. Post a link in your comment, or just tell us it's there and we'll click on your name to find it.

OBTW, if you do post something for Sunset Sunday it would put a big smile on my face if you added a link to my blog. Thanks!


Don't be shy - leave a comment or email me.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Phun Phriday! # 51 - Ghost Train


All Aboard? This week's Phun Phriday! takes you on a free ride on the Ghost Train bound for Hell. Where else could you be going if you were to board this train? Hey but look at it this way . . . at least it's HDR.

As you know by now photography should be Phun and that's why I have my Phun Phriday! posts. Have you done something Phun, weird and/or creative lately? If so, leave a link to it in your comment or just tell us it's there so we can go find it. If not, I'd really love to hear from you anyway.



Don't be shy - leave a comment or email me.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

City Scape


I took this photo last night in down town Salt Lake City.  The tall building on the right is the World Headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) and the dome in the distance is the Utah State Capital building.  The lights coming from the top of the building in the foreground light up the statue on top of the main spire of the Salt Lake Temple of the Church.  I have posted photos of the Temple decorated for Christmas here.  I love the reflecting pool in front of the Temple, you've seen it before and you'll see it again.


Don't be shy - leave a comment or email me.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Coyote on Ice

If you have visited my blog more than a few times you know that I spend a lot of my photographic time on Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake.  While there I have seen lots of bison, jack rabbits, deer, antelope and I have heard - but not seen - coyote . . . that is until two evenings ago when I saw this fellow out walking on the ice.  Needless to say I was very happy, but afraid of scaring him off and losing my chance I shot with a very long lens out the window of my car.  Obviously he saw me to but, strangely, I don't think he was nearly as excited.


Don't be shy - leave a comment or email me.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Crushed Ice




Don't be shy - leave a comment or email me.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunset Sunday - 49


This is one of those frustrating photos, where the camera just couldn't capture the beauty of the scene.  The texture of the melting ice in the water really made for an interesting and beautiful scene in real life.  Not bad here, but not as great as the real scene.

Do you have a beautiful sunset/sunrise to share? We'd love to see it. Post a link in your comment, or just tell us it's there and we'll click on your name to find it.

OBTW, if you do post something for Sunset Sunday it would put a big smile on my face if you added a link to my blog. Thanks!


Don't be shy - leave a comment or email me.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Perch


I could have titled this post "Serendipity" as I found this just a few days ago while looking for something entirely different, and less than seven miles from my house.  I have a feeling this may be the subject of future photos as well as a perch for others.



Don't be shy - leave a comment or email me.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Phun Phriday! # 50 - Phun Philter


Another Phun Phriday! and more Phun with Photoshop. If you think you've seen this truck before, you're right. An HDR version is right here.  But you just can't have too much Phun with a subject like this so last week as I was exploring around other blogs I found a photo someone had done with a plug-in filter called Fractalius.  I downloaded a demo version (look closely and you'll see the little black spots indicating it is a demo).  There are a lot of variations and tweaking within variations that gives you tons of possibilites with this Phun little filter and it works with lots of programs besides just Photoshop.

I'll probably buy it one of these first days, even though for me it's just Phun - well come to think of it . . . everything I do in Photography is just Phun. 

As you know by now photography should be Phun and that's why I have my Phun Phriday! posts. Have you done something Phun, weird and/or creative lately?  If so, leave a link to it in your comment or just tell us it's there so we can go find it.  If not, I'd really love to hear from you anyway.



Don't be shy - leave a comment or email me.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

And The Winner Is!


As an avid user of an Olympus E-30 DSLR, I belong to an online Yahoo group called MyOlympus.  Each month they hold a photographic competition with three new categories.  Over the past year I have entered about three or four photos.  The members vote for  which ones they like the best without knowing who the photographer is and you can't vote for your own.  My photo above, which I took one night last month, won the January contest for the Bridges category.  No prizes, just the recognition of knowing you got a photo that people like.  Not a great big deal, but it's always nice when one goes your way. 


Don't be shy - leave a comment or email me.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Strangers # 3


I was out at Antelope Island on The Great Salt Lake getting some shots the other night, including a sunset of course, when I ran into Vaughn.  Vaughn and his girlfriend drive about an hour to come and spend a day looking at the wild life, such as bison, coyotes, deer and of course antelope and just enjoying the view.  He had stopped to view the  sunset which was not only beautiful, but also gave me some great lighting for this portrait. 

For those who have commented that they would like to try this project I'll tell you that it seems to get easier and so far I haven't had anyone say no.  But I try to build a little rapport before I ask and people are generally pretty friendly in these parts.


Don't be shy - leave a comment or email me.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Another Mystery Solved


This past Phun Phriday! I posted a photo from the same place as the one you see here, except this one is an HDR version. (Which do you like better?)   We had some great guesses on what it was, that were really phun to read, and of course Rick who likes to read the photo filename and then there's Chad who has been to this place with me a few times so he leaves a "guess" that is only there to try to throw people off. All in all a lot of Phun! as I said. Anyway, many years ago they built a roadway out here and they didn't want one side to be saltier or deeper than the other so they put a couple of three foot culverts under the road. Of course the roadway has been gone for years and years, but what hasn't rusted away of the culverts is still there. We had an extended cold snap and the water in the culverts was frozen so I got down and crawled into the middle of the one on your left in the photo below to capture the photo. I got soaked through to the skin from the snow and ice, and caught a nasty cold, but it was worth it.

 It's been about a week since I took the originals and we have had a bit of a warm spell which has melted most of the ice in these photos I took this evening, but you can see a little ice still in there.  Much more dramatic from the inside isn't it.

OBTW, did you notice the little icicle standing at the end of the culvert with a chunk on the top?  When I first went in there was a piece of the culvert bent down blocking part of the view so I crawled back out and grabbed it and bent it up out of the way (look closely and you can see it in the bottom photo)  I didn't even notice that it had left that icicle there until I got home and was looking at the photos on my big monitor.




Don't be shy - leave a comment or email me.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunset Sunday - 48


Do you have a beautiful sunset/sunrise to share? We'd love to see it. Post a link in your comment, or just tell us it's there and we'll click on your name to find it. OBTW, if you do post something for Sunset Sunday it would put a big smile on my face if you added a link to my blog. Thanks!

Don't be shy - leave a comment or email me.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Strangers # 2

This is Mike. Ice fishermen are the friendliest people. I actually found Mike the same place I found Kirk (Strangers # 1). I guess when you're just sitting there with a line dropped through the ice life is pretty good and you've got time to talk to folks.

For a short intro to my "Strangers" project you can click here.


Don't be shy - leave a comment or email me.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Phun Phriday # 49 - Phun Phor You

This is a place that draws me like a cat to a mouse, and I've actually posted photos of this place before at least once and probably more, but from a totally different perspective.

Since it's Phun Phriday! I'll tell you that it has been quite a while since I had so much Phun getting a photo and even came back a second time in order to get this one.  Now for the real Phun - and this is what I'm most excited about - What do YOU see when you look at this photo?  Might I recommend you click on it to see it even bigger.

As you know by now photography should be Phun and that's why I have my Phun Phriday! posts. Have you done something Phun, weird and/or creative lately?  If so, leave a link to it in your comment or just tell us it's there so we can go find it.  If not, I'd really love to hear from you anyway.



Don't be shy - leave a comment or email me.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Making Tracks




Don't be shy - leave a comment or email me.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Beautiful Morning

This is what we woke up to this past Sunday morning.  I love a combination of fresh snow and fog.


Don't be shy - leave a comment or email me.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Strangers # 1

I'm one of those who believe you grow by stretching yourself and getting outside your comfort zone. Many choose to do a 365 project, and I have the utmost respect for those who do. Even those who don't completely succeed have stepped out of their comfort zone, and have had success.

There is another project I've run across which is for me as hard or maybe harder. It's called "100 strangers". The idea is to meet, talk to and photograph 100 strangers. My dad could meet a guy standing in line at the bank, or while filling up at the gas station, and before he left he knew his life history and figured out someone they both knew. I'm more like my mom. It's hard for me to just strike up a conversation with a stranger - VERY HARD!!! I tried to do it in 2010 and took one lady's photo, an artist in Oregon.  I was so nervous that it came out blurry so I put it off until 2011.  So for me the 100 strangers is the real test and that's why I'm doing it in 2011. I hope you'll root for me to succeed.


I'd like you to meet Kirk. As I was out getting some shots of yesterday's foggy morning I ran across Kirk sitting on a frozen pond with a line in the water waiting for a fish to bite.  I really enjoyed meeting and visiting with him and as it turns out he lives in the same town I do and is a distant cousin of a good friend of mine.  It was about 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 C) but he was dressed for it and enjoying himself. 


Don't be shy - leave a comment or email me.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Sunset Sunday - 47


Do you have a beautiful sunset/sunrise to share? We'd love to see it. Post a link in your comment, or just tell us it's there and we'll click on your name to find it.

OBTW, if you do post something for Sunset Sunday it would put a big smile on my face if you added a link to my blog. Thanks!

Don't be shy - leave a comment or email me.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Phun Phriday! # 48 - Photshop Magic


No, I didn't get Sunset Sunday confused with Phun Phriday!, although I'm getting old and it certainly could happen.   If you look closely at this sunset it may look somewhat familiar to you because it is the same sunset as last Sunset Sunday seen here.  But where is the lake?  If you click on the above photo to enlarge it you may be able to see the roof of the Mesquite Nevada super Walmart, along with the interstate and some houses, etc. in the distance.

The lake was a creation by me.  Using Photoshop I simply flipped the sky upside down, stretched it out a little and added a slight Gaussian blur and motion blur so that it looked more like a reflection, kind of like this.

Then I placed it behind the original above and erased part of the original around the edges so that it looked like the shore line of a lake.  I also left a couple spots that I did not erase within the "reflection" to look like little islands poking out of the water.  One more thing I did was use the blur tool along the edges (lake shore line) particularly towards the bottom of the photo so that it gets a feel of the blur you would get for depth of field.  Your eyes and brain did the rest.  It's wonderful how our eyes and brain work together to make things look like what we think they are supposed to look like.

It was quite Phun to do that.

As you know by now photography should be Phun and that's why I have my Phun Phriday! posts. Have you done something Phun, weird and/or creative lately?  If so, leave a link to it in your comment or just tell us it's there so we can go find it.  If not, I'd really love to hear from you anyway.  OBTW, if you do post something for Phun Phriday! it would put a big smile on my face if you added a link to my blog.  Thanks!


Don't be shy - leave a comment or email me.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Ancient History


Taken near St. George, Utah, this past spring.


Don't be shy - leave a comment or email me.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Shaped Bokeh Tutorial

 I think he loves you

Last Phriday I published a photo that had all the blurred lights in the background in the shapes of Christmas Trees.  If you missed it you can see it by clicking here.

Several people mentioned in their comments that they would like to know how it's done.   The good news is that it is a very simple process.  No software required and it will cost you only pennies in supplies to do it.

You've probably read or heard the term "bokeh".  Bokeh simply means the out of focus highlights in the background of a photo, and can be produced by lights or reflections.  The fact is that some cameras, or to be more precise, some lenses produce a more attractive bokeh than others.  That is because the "bokeh" is produced by the shape of the aperture and better lenses have more rounded shaped apertures giving you bokeh like these:














So the process to create shapes in your bokeh is simple - just change the shape of your aperture.  But, before you go tearing your camera apart to see how to change that shape, there is a better way - change it in front of the lens.
 

To do that simply take a piece of dark construction paper or card stock (matte black is best, but I didn't have any handy), cut out the shape you want and put it on the very front of the lens as seen here.  As you can see, they do not have to be professional.


There are a few additional things you need to know to be successful, however.

1.  To change the shape of the aperture the cut out must be smaller than the aperture of the lens.  I do not want to discourage those of you that have "point and shoot" cameras, but DSLR owners do have a distinct advantage here, especially if you have a fast lens (one with an f-stop of 2.8 or larger).  Remember the lower the number the larger the aperture.  Can you do this with a point and shoot camera?  Yes, if you can create a small enough cut out.  Look for paper punches like the scrapbookers use.

2.  You want to get the cut out as dead center as possible (I got a little sloppy on this).  The smaller your largest f-stop is the more critical this point is.

3.  The lights creating the bokeh must be far enough in the background to be way out of focus in order to take on the shape.  Having your lens wide open, or set to the very largest aperture, also has the advantage of giving you the shortest depth of field (DOF) (If you need more info on DOF I have a tutorial that will help.  It is about Macro photography, but also gives some good explanation and examples on DOF.  Just click here.)  The reason you want the shortest DOF is to throw the lights that are creating the bokeh as far out of focus as possible. 


The point of this is pure Phun.  With Valentines coming up the use of hearts is ideal, or for engagement or wedding photos.  Want to add a little more Phun, add colored gels in front of the lights.  If you look at the top photo you will see that the hearts in the middle, closest to the rhino's head have a very slight pink cast.  All I did was put a very small piece of pink paper behind those lights - yes I said "behind" so the light reflects.  Let your imagination run wild on the shape, it can be almost anything.  Beside what you see here I've seen question marks, key holes, asterisks etc.

Get out your camera, experiment and try different things.  If you are using a zoom lens see what happens at different zoom settings - note that as you increase your zoom length, it is likely that your f-stop will get smaller, requiring a smaller cut out. 

I would absolutely love to see your results, so after you've tried some things post it and tell about your experience, or email me and send it along.

I know I don't need to tell you that you can Google "shaped bokeh" and find a lot more information and examples and even paper punches. 

Don't be shy - leave a comment or email me.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Sunset Sunday - 46


Do you have a beautiful sunset/sunrise to share? We'd love to see it. Post a link in your comment, or just tell us it's there and we'll click on your name to find it.

OBTW, if you do post something for Sunset Sunday it would put a big smile on my face if you added a link to my blog. Thanks!


Don't be shy - leave a comment or email me.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year

Mesa Arch, Sunrise, Canyonlands National Park, Utah, USA

I can't say that I have just one favorite photo from what I shot in 2010 but I do have one favorite place that I took several shots. This is that place and this is certainly one of the favorites from that place. If you like it I suggest that you click on it to see it larger.




Don't be shy - leave a comment or email me.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Related Posts with Thumbnails