Archive for January, 2010

Finally – a bit of sunshine and 15 minutes of free time.  Enough to get me out into the yard to see what I could find to fulfill a few themes.  It never ceases to amaze me when I come to realize the wealth of images waiting just 100 feet from the door to my home.  I’ll be posting a few more January theme photos during the coming week.  You might recognize this subject from the header on my blog – these red berries are a subject I’ve photographed more than a few times.


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One of my goals this year is to learn to do more with Photoshop than just some minor color and exposure adjustments.  I’m working with Elements 7 and I put this together with a few of my recent pictures.   It’s simple, but I’m pleased with the results and it’s a technique I want to pursue further.  This worked perfectly for it’s intended purpose – accenting a customized thank you card I wanted to send following my recent trip.

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It was far too cold to enjoy the pool or lounge by the shore, but I could still enjoy a stroll along the beach as long as I was bundled up to fend off the chill winds.  Strolling and gathering seashells was the order of the day.  At first I was just scanning the beach for larger shells, but I soon discovered the real treasures were to be found when I slowed down and looked more closely at the ground around my feet.  Another lesson learned – slow down and look for beauty in the smallest details. 

This shot was taken during some fairly harsh mid-day light and I found myself wishing I had a collapible diffuser in my pocket!

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On the beach in Florida I ran across this sand sculpture of a sea turtle.  They say the best light to shoot in is early dawn, or late afternoon and early evening.  This sea turtle was capturing the soft pink glow of the setting sun – a reminder to photograph the light as much as the subject.

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Balance in a photo can be described as having a minor element fill an empty space to offset the weight of the main subject.  This first shot shows a large expanse of empty sky over the beach and sunset scene.


The second photo has a palm frond in the open space.  It helps balance the silhouettes of the umbrellas on the beach and also helps to direct the eye downward towards the horizon, keeping it focused on the main subject in the picture. As shown in the previous examples, having a close-up element in the foreground helps bring the viewer into the scene rather than giving the impression of viewing from afar.

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Both of these images are from the same capture with just a bit of cropping employed.  The first image had just a touch of the sky cropped away from the top to bring the upper edge closer to the palm frond on the left.

The rich blue in the upper photo was appealing to me, but I think I prefer the photo below, where I cropped away the excess open sky to bring the attention to sunset and the beach.  I particularly like how it brings you into the picture as if you’re right there with your Pina Colada relaxing as you watch the sun go down instead of viewing from a distance.

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On my recent visit to Florida we had a specatular sunset over the Gulf of Mexico.  It was taken a few days before the mini-assignment was posted, but it did fulfill the criteria of being taken this year and the second two photos were taken with the intent of framing the shot with the images in the foreground to give the sunset a sense of location and a bit more interest.  So I must have been a bit psychic (Ron will accuse me of using witchcraft) since I fulfilled the assignment before it was assigned.

This first shot shows a nice wide expanse of sky with the water in the foreground, but the edges of the scene just drop off the side of the shot and your eyes sort of wander aimlessly around the photo searching for a focal point.

In this second shot I tried to capture some of the palm-frond umbrellas on the beach.  The dark silhouettes lend a strong graphic image without detracting from the sunset and they focus your eye on the brilliant colors of the setting sun in the middle of the scene.


This shot was taken from behind a palm-frond gazebo, capturing one vertical pole and the fringe along the top.  While the sunset doesn’t have as stong a focal point as the previous shot, the framing created by the gazebo gives you a sense of standing under it as you gaze out on the expanse of the ocean and sky.

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