Sunday, August 30, 2009

Nature's Fury

Nature's Fury

a tree stuck in the trees after a flood

This state park has been closed for the past two years due to severe flood damages that have been too expensive to repair.

We entered it from the back end and were able to take a walk through it.

If you remember my images of the flooded dam tower, then this is part of the area that is all under the water.

Take a look at that horizontal tree stuck up high in the branches of the pines towering above us.

It was wedged there by the receding flood waters.

It's another one of the reasons why this park remains closed - the dangers overhead that many people will not even see.

And those picnic tables under the trees look so inviting.

This scene is repeated all around the park.

Hopefully in the future it will be safely picked up so we can all enjoy it again.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday's Photo Tip - How to Frame a Moving Subject

Friday's Photo Tip - How to Frame a Moving Subject

a military refueling plane flying above

Take a look at the photo above.

What do you notice about the plane?

Do you think the photo would have the same effect if I had framed the plane towards the right rather than the left?

It would look like it was headed right out of the picture if I had framed it towards the right.

When photographing a moving object, it is always best to give the subject "room to move" in the direction that it is headed.

The eyes tend to travel around, and leaving space for the subject to move into will give the photo balance even though there is nothing there.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

ABC Wednesday - F is for Fern

F is for Fern............

a green furled fern in the spring

Only in the spring can one see this delicate beauty in action - the ferns slowly unfurling and reaching towards the sun.

This light green is also only seen this time of the year - these ferns turn a darker green as they mature.

They are the fiddlehead ferns that we collect to eat in the spring before they unfurl.

Delicious to eat, and beautiful to look at - great gifts from Mother Nature!

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

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Long Buoy for Green Thumb Sunday

Long Buoy for Green Thumb Sunday

a long buoy at the ocean

Green Thumb Sunday Blogroll

How to join Green Thumb Sunday

We found this buoy on one of our trips to the ocean.

It was attached to a stake in the ground, and the whole piece was quite solid and immovable.

I was surprised that the next time we went back, about two months later, it was gone - with no visible sign that it was ever there.

I thought, at the time, that it was a decorative piece of artwork as there was no name or number on it that all lobster buoys must have on them.

I hope it was removed by the person who placed it there, but I tend to think that someone helped themselves to it, unfortunately.

Don't know how long it was there, but I was glad to have seen it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday's Photo Tip - Controlling the Aperture

Friday's Photo Tip - Controlling the Aperture

a violet with a shallow depth of field

Last week's post discussed the job of the aperture and how it controls the amount of light entering the camera.

And I ended the post mentioning that I would help explain why a photographer would want to control the size of the aperture when the camera has a mode for doing this automatically.

Most cameras, both the point and shoot, and the DSLR's have several modes for capturing images.

The most popular one is the "auto" or the "program" mode as it lets the camera make all the decisions - and it does a great job most of the time.

There are other options to pick from too, and they include shutter priority, aperture priority, and manual.

I use manual off and on, but when I am in a situation when I don't have the time to think and fiddle around, I pick the aperture priority mode. It is my favorite one most of the time.

This mode allows me to set the aperture at what I want, and the camera will choose the correct shutter speed to compensate for the light.

I am a bit of a fanatic when it comes to my depth of field, and this is something that is controlled by the aperture.

The size of the aperture and my focal distance will determine how much of the photo will be in focus.

And the handy little button next to my lens that allows me to view the image by closing down aperture is also another one of my favorites.

I can see exactly what will be in focus and it can be a huge help in determining if it has that nice bokeh background that I like.

Now, how does one use the aperture to control the depth of field?

Once again it has to do with those f-stop numbers and how big the aperture is.

The smaller the number, the more shallow the depth of field will be and less will be in focus.

The higher the number, the wider the depth of field will be, and more will be in focus.

When shooting macro, the depth of field is very limited to begin with, so I try to get a fairly high number to get more of the image in focus.

This is not always easy, because if you remember from last week, the higher the number, the less the light there is coming into the camera.

And that means a slower shutter speed to compensate for this, which in turn usually means I need to use a tripod.

The above image has an f-stop of 5.

By pressing the aperture button beside the lens, I could see that I had the very center of the flower in sharp focus and the petals were acceptable though not as sharp.

And the background - it had that nice bokeh that I was hoping for.

If I had increased the f-stop to a higher number, like 22, then all the flower, and pretty much all the grass and the background would be in fairly good focus.

A lower f-stop, like 2, would have just the very center in focus, and the petals would have no definition and would blur into the background too.

By controlling the aperture opening with the f-stop numbers, the photographer has much more creative control over their photo and how they want it to appear.

Try experimenting with the different f-stops while shooting one subject and notice the difference in each photo.

The good thing about digital cameras - they record all the exif info with each photo. That ends all the writing down we used to have to do when shooting our images so we would know the shutter speed, f-stop, ISO, focal distance, time, date, and so forth.

I hope I have explained this so that is easy enough to understand. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Thanks for stopping by and happy experimenting with your aperture - it's one of the best parts of using a camera!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

ABC Wednesday - E is for Earring

E is for Earring............

a blue earring in a pierced ear

A pretty earring with a light blue aquamarine stone added the final touch to an already beautiful young lady.

A matching necklace and an intricately styled hairdo were a must for the dance that evening.

She patiently posed for a few stock images before she left.

And there was so much hairspray in that updo, that the next morning it looked almost as fresh as it did in the photo.

We had a heck of a time getting out all those pins and twists - but it was worth every minute to see how happy she was the night before.

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

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday's photo Tip - What Does the Aperture Do?

Friday's Photo Tip - What Does the Aperture Do?

macro of f-stops on an old lens

"Aperture" is a photography term that we have all heard about, but sometimes don't really understand what it is or how it works.

If anyone has taken the time to read the owner's manual for their camera, whether you have a point and shoot, or a DSLR, you have run across this term.

How well it is explained in those manuals is another topic.

Most times, you will have read something about your camera being automatic, shutter priority, aperture priority, or manual when it comes to taking photos.

The auto setting is the most popular so the other terms aren't usually given too much thought.

There is an aperture in every lens, and it is used by the camera to control the amount of light that reaches the film or digital sensor.

This aperture is adjustable - from large openings to very small openings, depending on the amount of light that is available.

The size of the aperture is controlled by a ring (on the old lens photo above) that is closest to the camera body.

This ring has numbers that usually range from 1.4 up to 22, and they are known as the f-stop numbers.

These numbers are a value that is given to the aperture opening, and in photography, the lower the number, the bigger the aperture or opening.

The larger the number, the smaller the opening, which usually means you have a lot of light available for the photo.

Think of it like the iris in your eye, because the aperture in a lens works just like one.

When it is really bright outside, the pupil is very tiny - only letting in a small amount of light.

When it is dark, the pupils are huge - they need to let in as much light as possible.

In most digital cameras of today, the aperture is controlled by a dial on the camera, not the lens, and it all still works the same way as the old lenses do when the photo is taken.

And the next question is, what do these f-stop numbers mean, and why does a photographer need to know about them when the camera can automatically figure the light available and pick all the correct settings itself?

Ah - but that's one of the fun parts of photography, and I will explain it the best I can in next week's Friday's Photo Tip.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

ABC Wednesday - D is for Dock

D is for Dock............

a wood dock a low tide

One look at this dock and one can instantly see the level of the tide.

From this shot, it is easy to see that it is low tide.

Not only is the walkway leading down to the dock at a steep angle, the posts that the dock rises and falls against are quite tall.

When the tide is high, these posts appear quite a bit shorter as the dock rises up along their length.

A couple of good sized fishing charter boats are usually docked here, and check out those stairs leading up to nothing along the dock edge. They look kind of funny without the boat there.

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

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Crazy Corn on the Cob

Crazy Corn on the Cob

an ear of corn with two little ones attached

The corn on the cob is just starting to come into season in our region.

While shucking a recent bunch, I have been discovering something a bit strange as I peel back the husks.

There were actually three ears of corn growing in this one.

I noticed last year that once in a while there would be one of these little ears in with the big one, but this one was certainly a surprise.

In all my years of corn eating, I have never run across this.

I can only think that it must be all the genetic engineering going on that is creating these abnormal veggies.

I must say though, it certainly hasn't affected the taste - they are so delicious!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday's Photo Tip

Friday's Photo Tip

a bike tire buried in the snow

Something a bit different for today.

I came across a quote that I think applies to many things in life, but it takes on a special meaning for an artist or a lover of art:

"The question is not what you look at but what you see!"

-by Henry David Thour

I apologize for the short post for this week - a busy weekend is ahead.

Hope you all have a good one!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

ABC Wednesday - C is for Crane

C is for Crane............

a red crane on a barge in the ocean

This barge and crane were sitting pretty close to the side of the river, so I would guess it was being used to dredge the bottom.

It was early afternoon when I took this image, and it was idle with no one around it.

It would have been really interesting to see it in action.

If you look to the extreme right of the photo, you can see a couple more cranes across the river.

A busy port to be sure!

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

Sunday, August 2, 2009

You are Welcome to Grab a Link

Grab a Link

I just added a new item to the sidebar, and am quite excited by it.

Jackie, over at The Painted Veil gave me an excellent piece of advice, and I thank her so much for it!

She mentioned that she didn't want to miss any of the posts that I do on Fridays - the Photo Tip Friday ones, and suggested I have a link to them so they are all in one place without having to look for them.

And with her help, we came up with a button that has the code to share with my readers.

I invite you all to grab a link to post on your blog so it only takes one click to get to all these posts at once.

A very clever idea, Jackie, and I do appreciate your help.

I enjoy sharing what I know, and if you have any questions, please drop me note, and I will do my best to find the answers.

Have a good week, my friends, and don't forget to "grab a link"!


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