Sunday, September 30, 2007

Maple Leaves

After a very hot week with record setting temperatures, Autumn has returned this morning.

macro of red maple leaves in the autumn

The fall colors are vibrant this year due to the heavy rains we had this spring. I don't know if we will make it to the mountains this year, but I bet the colors up there are gorgeous.

I used a Moose's Polarizing filter with my Tamron 90 mm macro lens for this shot. The polarizer really enhanced the blues, as they are meant to do, and the reds were accented by the the warming filter that is built into it.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bloggers Unite to End Abuse

Back on 8/27 I posted an entry titled Bloggers Unite. Today, September 27, many bloggers worldwide will posting with a single thought in mind - to prevent and end abuse of many different kinds.

I have thought about this post for quite a while now, and have had a hard time coming up with a name to give the abuse I want to blog about.

I think that Abuse of the Earth is the best title to describe my topic.

concept of blue earth in space

This little self-contained planet has all we need to sustain life indefinitely, as long as we pay attention and give back to her also. We are depleting her natural resources at an astonishing rate. As the third world countries continue to improve their living and economic conditions, those resources are becoming even more valuable and we do not have an indefinite supply. We can grow more wood and food but how do we grow more oil or fresh water.

We have become a society of enormous consumption - leaving a trail of refuse behind each one of us. This "trash" cannot keep piling up forever - the Earth cannot reabsorb plastics and man-made necessities - that is our job.

Some form of population control needs to be instituted so this planet can continue to support the billions of inhabitants that are increasing in number every day. This is a very unpleasant topic, as it infringes on our basic freedoms and rights, but we all have to start giving this some serious thought. We do not want to end up like the mouse experiment that was performed many years ago and is now a hushed thing.

I think if we are all honest, we can all say that we are waiting for something to happen as soon as the conditions are right. At the pace of the current times, mankind is speeding up the process. We see this in the global warming, the depleting ozones, the mounting tensions between nations, the stock piling of weapons, and even in our daily lives of trying to hold it all together as things threaten to spiral out of control.

This planet offers untold beauty and bounty and is indeed a paradise in this vast universe - a true gift to her inhabitants. Shame on mankind to abuse her in this manner.

I think in the end though, she holds the winning hand. Long after man has managed to destroy himself and what ever else is in his way, she will still be here - not the same, but trying to support whatever form of life still exsists.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Autumn Reflections

Autumn Reflections

autumn trees reflected in the water

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

ABC Wednesday - J

J is for Jade Necklace.......

macro of an intertwined jade and pearl necklace

Ten years ago I received a beautiful Jade necklace as a birthday gift from my husband.

Each bead is distinctly different and the necklace is hand-knotted between each stone.

It is a vintage piece of estate jewelry, and I cannot help but wonder about the previous owner who enjoyed this beautiful piece also.

Entwined with a string of pearls, it makes a neat macro image with soft colors and smooth, polished textures.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Grapes to Wine

My daughter came to dinner one night this past week bearing gifts - a huge basket filled with freshly picked purple Concord Grapes.

isolated purple concord grapes

Making jams and jellies has always been something that I enjoy, but grape jelly has never been a favorite in my house so making all that jelly now that the kids are grown is not a sensible thing.

Cruising the internet for grape recipes didn't yield any results that sounded too appetizing or would use up this large quantity.

My husband suggested trying some grape wine. This would be something new and different, so I searched online for an easy method.

Since I had all the ingredients, grapes, water, sugar and yeast on hand, that cinched the decision to make the wine.

It needs to sit for at least 21 days. Today is day two, and my kitchen is already smelling like grapes and yeast - I can just imagine what it will be like by 21 days.

I think the mixture is going to be delegated to the porch soon - I have a feeling we will wake up some morning drunk from the fumes of our latest experiment.

Friday, September 21, 2007

People Photos

Taking images of people is something that I have always shied away from when dealing with stock photography.

father and son walking in a green field

I have many people photos that include family members, but since I am opposed to posting them on the internet, they do not get added to my stock portfolio.

In order to submit people images on the various stock sites, each photo requires a signed model release from each person in the photo. This gives the photographer and agency permission to sell and license the image for various media uses.

Going up to complete strangers and having them sign a model release is not something I can do, so therefore I do not get the people images that sell so well on the stock sites.

Until I can work up the nerve to approach people in this manner, I will continue to shoot people from behind, at a distance, or in parts so I can use them in my stock portfolio.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

ABC Wednesday - I

I is for Ice Hockey.......

ice hockey skater in the winter

This was the coldest day of the winter last year.

We grabbed our ice skates and went to the park in town that maintains a pond for public skating.

Twice around the pond was all I could stand with the wind chill. The boys shuffled the hockey puck around a few more minutes before they joined me in the car for a warm up.

Back out for a few minutes with the camera, then we were off for a hot chocolate warm-up.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Autumn Chill

Autumn has finally arrived and the morning chill is beginning to creep into the bones. Summer was just here a couple weeks ago - how fast it changes!

red sumac leaves in the autumn

I have been doing some experimenting with back lighting lately. For macro shots it is easier to control the exposure without a lot of blown out areas.

I am still experimenting with non-macro images, and I tend to have a hard time calculating the correct exposure. Bracketing once again gives me a choice, and I find myself favoring the darker images as there is more detail in the under exposed areas.

The only worry is the digital noise that tends to creep into the darker images. This was a big concern with my point and shoot camera, and the worry has carried over into my DSLR shooting.

From reading several sources, the advice given is to "shoot to the right", which means to have the picture a bit more over exposed than underexposed.

I will continue to experiment with the back lighting as it can give some dramatic effects when it all works together. Perhaps that's the secret, look at what's there instead of trying to make something there.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Blog to Visit

Directing readers away from my blog isn't something that I make a practice of, but today I want to share a blog that I have come to enjoy these past few weeks.

dandelion gone to seed

Anna, at My Only Photo, had a post that encouraged reader participation with a guessing game. She had quite a few responses, and assured us the results after a few days had passed.

In her clever way she wrote a thoughtful and excellent post to reveal the correct answer. She took the time to research each website of the people who responded, and she did a generous and very kind write-up of each person.

The time involved in this project had to be extensive and I just want to let her know that I appreciate her hard work - all done out of the generosity of her heart. She is a one of a kind lady and a visit to her website is a rewarding experience!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

ABC Wednesday - H

H is for Hunter.......

hunter aiming a rifle through the sight

Patience and concentration are two skills my son is learning from his Dad as he takes aim through the rifle scope.

Combined with the knowledge from his recently completed hunter education classes and his Dad's teachings, he learns and practices with confidence and accuracy.

As another season draws near, they are planning and gearing up for more early mornings in the woods.

They always invite me along - sometimes I go - quietly praying that the only shooting we do that day is with my camera.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Warped Composition

It looked great through the viewfinder, and a quick peek at the LCD before it flashed away, gave me the impression it came out just as good as it looked. The exposure was right on, it was centered, and in my hurry not to make anyone wait any longer for me, I only took the one shot.

brick building with front garden

During the processing of this image, I soon discovered its shortcomings. The biggest problem - the horizon was tilted just a bit. No problem, we can fix that - need to keep all those horizontal and vertical lines nice in straight with an image of this kind.

Well, straightening the lines means cropping afterwards to get the picture square again. Yikes - upon doing that, I lost the top of the roof! And the lens distortion for this wide angle shot was even more pronounced now that I had closed in on the building.

Since I only took the one shot, this was the best I could do for this image. I have been concentrating lately on exposure compensation and bracketing, but upon viewing an image like this, it reminds me to also consider the composition, and take an extra one or two shots for it as well.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Ocean Fishing

On a recent trip to the ocean, the boys spent some peaceful time out on the breaker wall doing some fishing.

boy fishing in the ocean

The tide was pretty high and still coming in at this time, which is usually best time to catch anything in this area.

When the tide is low, the water is so clear that you can see the bottom, even though it is many feet deep.

There have been times when the wind has been so fierce at this breaker wall, that the waves and spray are going right over it like it wasn't even there.

We only get to the ocean a couple times a year, but having grown up there, the yearn to return is always there.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Corn Overload

It is corn season here in New England, and the scrumptious sweet ears can be found piled high at veggie stands and supermarkets throughout the area.

corn on the cob macro

Nothing tastes as good as fresh picked corn, so my family has been indulging in this treat for the past couple weeks.

We will have had enough shortly and will be all too eager to welcome in the next season: APPLES! I love them even more than the corn!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Nice Award

I have just been given the the Nice Matters Award from Kim over at Laketrees Blog. Kim is a portrait artist and she loves to include viewer participation on her blog with daily questions. I am honored and pleased by her kindness and thank her very much!

I would like to pass this award on to Sue over at Sue's Daily Photography. Her blog contains beautiful photos with poetry that compliments each image. It is a joy to visit her site and read her posts so this award is well deserved!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

ABC Wednesday - G

G is for Giraffe Skin Boot.......

high heel giraffe skin boot

I have been shooting some stock images lately and decided to use this unique boot for the "G" theme.

There has been a lot of practicing with some new techniques in Photoshop to get that background so nice and white.

I am glad I finally figured it out - now if only I had the time to go "fix" all my other isolated images.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Washed Ashore

On a recent trip to the ocean, we stopped at a local State park. The boys did some fishing, and I wandered around with my camera.

macro of broken lobster bouy

One of the first things to draw my attention was a brightly colored lobster bouy that had been tossed up in the rocks during the last storm.

After climbing over rocks that were large and small and sharp and slippery, I reached the bouy that was wedged between two boulders.

It had been broken on one edge, and I found it made a neat abstract shot when I closed in on it. The foam also has a neat texture.

Beachcombers usually grab these bouys when they find them washed ashore, but this one must have been too much of a challenge for anyone to attempt. The power of Mother Nature!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Another Award

I am honored to have received another award, and this one is from Anna, over at My Only Photo.

She has awarded me with the Rockin' Girl Blogger award, and I am much honored and pleased to have received it. I enjoy visiting her blog - she has great pho
tos and I love to read her posts. She has a kind heart and her blog is one of my favorites! Thank you Anna!

I now have the pleasure of passing this award on to the blogs that I enjoy and feel deserve it too. This is the best part - passing along the good feeling of knowing somebody likes and enjoys your work!

One of the first members to welcome me at the Blog Catalog community was Mark, at Green Fingered Photographer. After checking out his blog and his website, I was honored that he wanted to exchange links with me. He has beautiful nature photography which is well worth taking a look at. I am pleased to give him the Rockin' Guy Blogger award - it is much deserved!

The next award for the Rockin' Girl Blogger goes to Tatiana, at Totally-Useless. Her blog is a collection of photos, stories, and videos that are not so useless after all. She really has a great blog filled with info of all kinds that I love to visit to see what she has found for the day. This award is well deserved for her!

Another blog that I enjoy is Vienne, at Eavesdrop Writer. She deserves this award for her creative way of observing and writing about people she encounters in her daily life. She has a great writing style, and you can really feel the emotions in her posts. Well deserved!

My last Rockin Girl Blogger goes to Annie, at Little Rock Daily Photo. She has some great photos and stories from around her hometown. A great site to visit and her comments are always appreciated! She also deserves this award!

I hope my readers take a few minutes to visit these great blogs - they are really worth your time!


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