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Archive for March, 2010

If I could set this one up again I’d try to aim more light at the background, and also a bit more on the front of the blooms but I love the chaotic free look of the arrangement.

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Red Tulips

Another tulip shot – I was taken with the curves of the stems as the blooms arched downward.   I was studying the composition when setting up this shot, leaving some open space on the left to balance the bold red tulips on the right and center.

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Eddie’s guest blogging feature on lightboxes inspired me to get mine out of storage and set it up to play with again.  Using some of his lighting info I tackled something I’ve found difficult – getting a bright background.  I’m still not happy with the results but I’m getting closer.  I am fairly happy with the overall results I achieved, particularly the composition.  Over the next few days I’ll share a few tulip shots to celebrate Spring!

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Another seed pod shot – just to celebrate getting home early enough to catch some of the evening light on a sunny day.  I really liked the shape of this open pod and played around a bit with the composition to highlight it against the blue sky to help it stand out.

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I decided I’d try cropping the shot to minimize the background (while still leaving a bit of green in there for Ron) and I think it does bring a lot more attention to the texture of the seed pods while still leaving some of the background for contrast.  Which do you like better?

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The color and active but soft background was a nice surprise in this shot.  I like the painterly brush stroke quality of this image but perhaps they are just a little too active and maybe a bit distracting.  What do you think?

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I was a bit awestruck by the branch that had been driven into the ground so it was the subject of several shots.  I like the textures of the broken edge and lichen against the soft pastel colors of the background, created with the shallow depth of field.

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We had a whopper of a storm here this past weekend with lots of rain and sustained strong winds – gusts of 67 mph measured nearby.  No damage to the house or cars thankfully but we did lose a tree in the front yard.  The wind was so noisy that somehow we never even heard the tree fall.  We were going to venture out to a nearby restaurant to get a bite to eat and walked out to see flashing lights and the guys from the local volunteer fire department clearing the road (I think I need to drop off some cookies and brownies for them).  Lots of trees and fences down in the area and power loss.  How the tree fell without taking down any of our powerlines is a miracle.  So these don’t exactly fit the “mundane” aspect of the weekend routine, but they do document a specific event.

Two angles of the tree in front of the house.  It fell across the street and they pushed it into the yard.  I was (momentarily) tempted to grab my camera and try to get shots of the flashing lights and firefighters but I figured that wasn’t a good idea in the driving rain without serious raingear for my camera!

The rest of the tree was cut up and tossed and rolled into the neighbor’s yard across the street.

This shows you the power of the wind – this 2″ branch came off an oak tree in our back yard – driven into the ground like a stake through the heart of a vampire!

Lots of mess to clear away but not as bad as this next shot – down the street from us a cluster of several trees boardering a golf course blew across the street and they were leaning against a power pole.  That end of the street lost power and the power company spent the better part of the day cutting up the trees and clearing the mess.

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Ron requested more color, not less, so after badgering him for the directions on the psuedo-HDR that he’s fond of I did my best to translate it into the programs I was working with.  I toned down the saturation on the colors just a bit because they seemed to have too strong a neon glow, fighting the image, so I may have toned it down a little too much for his taste.  I think it has a bit of a comic book or illustration quality about it.   Just for fun, I’m adding a poll so those who don’t want to comment can still register an opinion on their favorite version.

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Julie suggested that she’d like to see the earlier photo of the hockey player in black and white so I decided to try some additional processing.  I tried several black & white presets in Lightroom but I didn’t find them too interesting.  However, I did find a couple of pre-sets that reduced the saturation and altered the shots in an way I found rather nice.  Let me know what you think of the variations compared to the original – which do you like best, and why?

This is Matt’s Vintage NY – I like that it drops out most of the color, leaving just a hint of blue and that touch of red.

And this version below is WOW Edge #8 which I think makes it look a little bit like an illustration.

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Several young hockey players were milling around waiting for the Curling demonstration to end so they could play their hockey game as part of their league fundraiser.  I was attracted to the view of the skates and hockey sticks as the boys patiently waited for the Curling team to exit the rink and so the Zamboni could treat the ice for their game.  I used one of the earlier Friday tips in this shot – showing just a part of the whole.  I like this shot because I thought it showed some of the static “waiting” that was going on.

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Starting our third month of the Virtual Photowalk and we’ve changed around the blogging groups – so a hearty Welcome to all the new visitors to my site.  I wanted to share a brief introduction for those of you just getting to know me.

I’ve been an on-again, off-again photographer for years but just got serious about it in the past 4 years or so.  I’m shooting with a Canon 30D.  My favorite lens is my Tamron 28-300mm vc zoom but I’ve been know to switch over to my Canon 50mm f/1.8 and my Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8.  My next lens I’m hoping to purchase is a dedicated Macro lens.  I’m really trying to improve my technical skills – better focus, better lighting etc. so I welcome all constructive criticism and commentary and suggestions for improvement.  From time to time I’ll be asking for specific feedback too, when I know a photo falls short of my goals.  If you’re at a loss for offering improvements, just let me know what you like, or don’t like, about the photo – tell me what’s working for you or what you’d like to see.  Those comments help too, as it tells me what aspect of the photo is speaking to the viewer.  I’m looking foward to sharing the next few months with my new blogging group!

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Growing up near Detroit we could occasionally pick up Curling tournaments on the Canadian TV station from across the river.  It’s a sport that has intrigued me since then and I’ve been enjoying it’s growing popularity brought about by the past two winter Olympics and the wider broadcast options afforded by cable TV. 

This past weekend we had the opportunity to attend a local Curling demonstration and try throwing a few curling stones.  It was every bit as fun as I anticipated and we’re looking into joining the local curling league.  Of course I had to take my camera to grab a few shots too – using the Friday Photowalk Tip as well – filling up the frame.

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