Wednesday, July 30, 2008

ABC Wednesday - B is for Basketball



B is for Basketball.............



a macro shot of a worn out basketball




If I hadn't told you what this was in the title, would you have known it was a basketball? A very much overplayed one at that.

The leather covering was peeling off, but those black rubber lines were just as they were when they were brand new.

There are basket balls that made to use in the court, and there are those that are made to use in the street.

This one did a lot of playing in the backyard - all dirt and rocks. It certainly took a beating, but it still held the air and was just as bouncy as ever.

By taking a macro shot of it, it took on an abstract appearance with interesting textures.

The boys were happy to retire it when it was replaced with a new one.



This is the third round of ABC Wednesday. If you would like to join in please visit this site for the details.


Please visit the original post on Photography by KML.







Saturday, July 26, 2008

Marine Patrol Boat


Marine Patrol


marine patrol in the bay chasing a boat


This is not a very good photo technically, but I do find it interesting for the story it tells.

It is a Marine Patrol boat that keeps the traffic in the bay under control and is also on the lookout for anything suspicious.

It is hard to see in this image, but mounted on the bow of this boat is a machine gun.

I can't say I would want to be that boat in front of him, even though the gun seems to aimed up in the air at the moment.

This boat went by a couple of times as we were fishing at the point. I think if he had been going a bit slower, I could have panned my camera to get a better image in this low light.

I also never use the autofocus on my lens, I only use manual focus. I can see where the AF feature would have helped take a sharper photo with all this fast action.

I also only had my 35-80mm lens on the camera. The 80-210 mm would have been much better to get a closer shot.

But then I got to thinking afterwards perhaps the larger lens was not a good idea - it is a government security boat, and I wouldn't want to be considered "suspicious".











Friday, July 25, 2008

Fitness Sandals



Fitness Sandals







There is a new kind of footwear on the market, and they look to be very comfortable.

They are designed to help you tone and trim your leg muscles as you walk.

They are called Fit flops and they are built with a work-out enhancing effect that actually helps you loose weight.

You are using your calf and thigh muscles to help you keep balance while walking in these wobbleboard engineered shoes.

By using these muscles more, you are burning more calories that in effect helps drop the pounds.

Sounds like you get twice as much out of a walking workout - what a great incentive to get moving!














Wednesday, July 23, 2008

ABC Wednesday - A is for Amethyst



A is for Amethyst.............



a macro shot of purple amethyst crystals


Welcome to the third round of ABC Wednesday. If you would like to join in please visit this site for the details.

I love collecting rock crystals in their natural, raw state.

This is a beautiful piece of purple Amethyst that is used to make jewelry such as rings, necklaces, and earrings.

It is a violet form of a quartz crystal, and it is considered a semi-precious stone when cut and polished in a piece of jewelry.

It is the birthstone for the month of February.

This piece is in it's raw state which means it hasn't been removed from the rock that it was formed in many millions of years ago.

It doesn't show in the photo, but the rock is still on the bottom of this piece.

The purple color is most beautiful when the sun is shining through it.


Please visit the original post on Photography by KML.







Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Weighing Our Options



Weighing Our Options



the turn knob of a small scale




I use a desktop computer for all my daily work and to process my photos.

I have had this PC for over six years now, and it is getting pretty full - even with the two external hard drives I have attached to it.

I have been giving thought to a laptop computer this time and have done some searching around.

When I Compare Notebooks to Desktops, I have found the prices to be pretty much the same.

There is also not a big difference with what each one has to offer for memory, storage, and speed.

Since I will be going for a more robust system than the normal computer user, I really need to shop around for the the best deal.

Processing photos uses a lot of memory and a fast processor is a must - those are the most costly things in a new system.

We will continue to weigh our options to see what is best for us.











Hand Tied Flies



Hand Tied Flies



a tray of colorful hand tied fishing flies




I have seen many hand tied flies for fly fishing, but I have never seen such a beautiful collection as the ones in this tray.

The ones I have seen in the past are usually the small ones tied on a tiny hook, and the colors are usually shades of brown and dark green.

These fluffy, brightly colored flies are huge - some are on double hooks.

The feathers are just beautiful and they are tied perfectly to make the shape of the insect the artist is portraying.

After adding some hair or fur or some shiny threads, the artist either paints an eye or glues one on the end.

I am told the flies can be dried after being used, and can be reused many times.

If they were mine, I couldn't bear the thought of getting them wet, much less chomped on by a hungry fish.

I have a few other images that I will post later - some macros that show the fine details.









Monday, July 21, 2008

Ocean Waves



Ocean Waves



receding waves along the sandy shore




I can remember spending many hours at the beach as a youngster. The most fun was spent in the water - running and playing in the waves as they splashed ashore.

We would watch as they began to form farther out, and we would wait for a big one to come along. Then we would catch a ride on it before it began to crest and eventually break and crash along the shore.

Last summer when we visited the beach, we saw some teens being pulled by Ronix wakeboards behind the back of a boat. When they were done being pulled, they would ride the board into shore. We would have loved to do that when we were young!

We checked out a couple of their boards, and were surprised to find them really lightweight and well constructed. They told us their unique shape and ridges really gave a smooth, fun ride.

If only we were thirty years younger!











Sunday, July 20, 2008

Green Thumb Sunday - Goldenrod by the Ocean


Goldenrod by the Ocean for Green Thumb Sunday


yellow goldenrod wild flower beside the ocean




Green Thumb Sunday Blogroll

How to join Green Thumb Sunday


This is a shot of a Goldenrod wildflower that is different from the one I posted about a couple of weeks ago.

This shot shows the tiny little blooms that make up the big flower.

I am quite envious of this little plant - it has quite the waterfront view!

The cove along the ocean made a beautiful backdrop and the blues in the water and the sky set the yellow off just perfectly.

I like the clarity and focus of the flower, but I do wish I had blurred the background a bit more. The details of it seem to distract from the flower and give the whole image an overall "busy" look.

Would love to hear what you think about it!











Thursday, July 17, 2008

Printing Photos



Printing Photos



the river with low water during the summer




It takes me a lot time to compose and process my images.

I have to have things just right - like waiting for the wind to stop blowing the flower around that I am concentrating on, or waiting a few more minutes until the clouds, that are blocking my light, move away from the sun.

Then comes the processing on the computer which can be even more time consuming.

I always thought the printing part was the easiest, until I started reading about color management and printer profiles and calibrations. I tried to align all the programs and drivers with the right color profiles so the flow-through would all be consistent

I cannot tell you how much ink and photo paper I went through with my photo printer while doing this.

The colors always seemed to be off to me - didn't matter what expensive photo paper or inks I tried - the results were the same.

I decided to try some compatible ink at cheap prices for computer printers that I found online, and the results were pretty much the same. I found no print difference with the generic cartridges - wish I had discovered them earlier!

I also picked up some tips for saving ink while printing. They were a most welcome find.

I read that cleaning the print heads may help clear up printing problems, but that didn't seem to help my color problems either.

I kept fiddling around with the different profiles and configurations for the printer until I could get a decent print - for home use only.

Any gifts or sales that I do I have them printed professionally - and it is certainly worth every penny - they are gorgeous - especially the larger sized ones.












Wednesday, July 16, 2008

ABC Wednesday - Zippy



Z is for Zippy.............



running on the baseball field




Practice is most important for any sport, and sometimes we spend a couple of hours at a local park so the boys can practice throwing and catching with the Lacrosse sticks.

I tend to stand at a distance, or behind the fencing when they get the chance to practice on the empty baseball field.

If you have ever hefted a lacrosse ball then you understand my actions.

They are heavy and quite solid - hardly any kind of bounce in them.

I am not about to be around those flying balls as they are "zipping" around the field, dodging each other as they try to aim their throws.

Injuries are sure to be had - the last one was a black eye as the ball hit one of them squarely on the right one. Swelled up quick and the color lasted for a week.

Helmets with face guards are required during games, but wearing one when they are just "playing around" is too much to ask!










Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Tuesday Edition - Busy Bridge


Busy Bridge


a buy bride stretches across the bay


I did a post a couple of days ago that featured a view I had sitting on the rocks in the bay while the boys fished for Stripers.

I mentioned that I would show the view when I looked to the left while sitting in that same spot.

It is a bridge that stretches across the bay - actually it is two bridges.

The one nearest us is the newer one. The one with all the interesting arches and fancy metal work is the old one that is no longer in use.

I believe the old one can be used for foot traffic, but the highways surrounding it make it hard to get to it by walking. Years ago after the new one was built, I remember seeing people fishing on the old one, but I haven't seen any in the last couple of years.

I can remember they were only allowed to fish towards the ends of the bridge as this is a busy thoroughfare for boats and there couldn't be fishing lines hanging in the way as they went under.

I used my kit lens on this shot as it has the widest angle of any of my lenses. It was taken on the 28mm setting, and it still didn't capture the whole structure.

The sky was absolutely gorgeous that day - Mother Nature certainly put on a show - the beautiful clouds and water were the finishing touches!











Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Rock Solid Offer


Rock Texture Macro


macro shot of a rock texture with minerals


There are many internet providers across the country, and trying to find an affordable one with a fairly fast connection is hard to come by.

My sister was lucky enough to find Charter internet which offers her a fast speed up to 5Mbps, and she only pays $14.99 a month. That's much cheaper and faster than my connection and cost, and I am on DSL.

Lucky her to be in the right area, at the right time, to find such a deal!




Sponsored by Charter








Green Thumb Sunday - Purple Wildflower


Purple Wildflower for Green Thumb Sunday


macro of a purple wild flower




Green Thumb Sunday Blogroll

How to join Green Thumb Sunday


I found these pretty little wildflowers growing by the ocean.

Not sure what kind they are, but they are tiny and a beautiful shade of light purple.

They didn't have any scent, and they grew along a stem, one bloom at a time.

A few inches up the stem, there would be another bloom. They weren't attracting any bees or bugs, so they could not have been big pollen makers.

If anyone knows what they are called, I would love to know their name.













Friday, July 11, 2008

Medical Records



Medical Records



macro of a purple stethoscope




During a recent trip to the doctors office, I noticed that all my answers to the questions that were being asked to me were being input into a laptop.

The nurse carried one around to track all my statistics, and the doctor's fingers were keeping up a pretty fast pace on the keyboard as she typed in what I had to say.

They needed some records from another provider, and that was also handled seamlessly through their system - right down to me giving them the permission to do so. No more signed release forms in the mail.

The prescriptions were wirelessly delivered to Intermec printers down the hallway and handed to us as we left.

I got to thinking about how safe all my medical records were when they are being sent around electronically all over the place, and the doctor assured me that the equipment they use ensures data integrity and security.

My info was just as secure as their inventory management system. Those little bar code labels from tag printers were on every piece of disposable equipment they used during that visit.

Everything used or given was tracked - right down to the littlest thing.

Automation is a great thing, reducing work, tracking inventory, and making less paperwork, but there is something re-assuring about actually holding that paper in your hands sometimes!
















Wordless Wednesday - Friday Edition - Peaceful Cove


Peaceful Cove


white birch trees in a peaceful cove


While the boys are fishing for Stripers in the bay, I usually sit with them out on the point for a few minutes to enjoy the view.

The tide was still coming in here. When it is fully in all the black seaweed on the rocks will be covered.

I have always enjoyed this peaceful spot. Those pretty White Birch Trees are the official tree of our state. When the tide is high, the water becomes very calm here, and the reflection of the trees is just beautiful.

This is the view looking towards the right of where we sit - next time I will post what the view is when we look to the left.









Reading Glasses



Reading Glasses



reading glasses with an open book




Been using the reading glasses more and more over the last couple of years and am seriously thinking of getting some bifocals since just about all my close vision is starting to need some help.

I found a good deal for all types of eyeglasses over at ZenniOptical.com.
After seeing Zenni on Fox News, I figured I would check them out.

Off to do some more investigating - got to keep the eyes in shape for snapping more photos!
















Wednesday, July 9, 2008

ABC Wednesday - Yellow Goldenrod



Y is for Yellow Goldenrod.............



yellow goldenrod wild flower in the summer




This is the most common variety of Goldenrod that we have in our area.

It is a wildflower that blooms from mid to late summer and is blamed for many of the summer allergies that cause much suffering.

I always thought they were a delicate, pretty flower - especially looking out over a field covered with them.

This herb is considered to be a weed by many, but the few I have growing around my home are most welcome to be here.












Sunday, July 6, 2008

Colorful Striped Socks



Colorful Striped Socks



colorful striped toe socks




Need an original accessory for your next Costumes party? Well, I just might have the answer for you.

Digging deep in my sock drawer, I rediscovered a pair of toe socks that I had rescued from the recycle bag that my daughter was putting them in.

They were given to her as a gift, but since they reminded her of "clown socks" she was not going to wear them.

That's when she gave me the idea - several years ago of course, and forgotten until they were found in the drawer.

A clown would sure appreciate these beauties - nice bright colors and wide stripes.

They would be great for a teen or an adult, and don't forget to show off those colorful toes when you where them with a pair sandals!











Green Thumb Sunday - Silver Rimmed Grass


Silver Rimmed Grass for Green Thumb Sunday


back lit leaves rimmed with silver




Green Thumb Sunday Blogroll

How to join Green Thumb Sunday


Spying these blades of grass along the bank of the lake, I had to grab a shot.

The light was just right . It was coming from behind the grass and it seemed to set them aglow.

Their thin edges allowed more light through which gives them the illusion of being trimmed in silver.

Finding the right light is such a tricky thing - it's almost never there - but when it is, I am glad to be in the right place at the right time!











Friday, July 4, 2008

Independence Day - July 4th



July 4th - Independence Day



an american flag against a blue sky




Two hundred and thirty-two years ago America won its independence from Great Britain.

Even though this country had been settled by Europeans almost three hundred years earlier, July 4, 1776 is considered the birthday of the USA.

Americans celebrate this day with family reunions, barbecues, and fireworks at dusk.

This national holiday falls on a Friday this year which will make it a long weekend for many.

Many of the US holidays have been changed so that they make holiday weekends - it's good to know that this is one holiday that stays true to it's date.

Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday weekend!










Wednesday, July 2, 2008

ABC Wednesday - Xenon



X is for Xenon.............



contrails stretching across a blue sky with white clouds




Okay - I know I am stretching it this week, but X's are hard to come by.

I had resorted to looking through the dictionary under X - all one and a half pages of them - and was getting more disgusted with each passing word.

I finally started reading the definitions of the words - perhaps I could find something that way.

And there it was - xenon.

The definition - a gaseous element of the atmosphere.

I have an atmosphere photo - the sky is certainly our atmosphere comprised of many gases, and I am sure the xenon is somewhere in there if I look really hard...............

Thank goodness for me that gases are invisible.

I actually shot this image as a stock photo showing the contrails from passing planes, and it has been a pretty good seller.










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