Share This Blog!!!

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, February 21, 2010

High Power Wash

I bought some flowers today in hope of taking some pictures of them. I couldn't find any calla lilies despite my friend George telling me that he found some at his local grocery store. Mine didn't have them so I got tulips. Alas, I was not able to take any photos of them today. No time since I had to do a bunch of work from that pesky day job.

Instead, while at the car wash, I took some pictures of the water spraying against the windshield. I love watching the crazy water patterns that form as the soap and spray play on the windshield. These shots did not have much processing. No time!!!

This weekend I head up to Longwood Gardens in PA for a Lensbaby class with friends. I can't wait!!! My next post should be LOTS of flower photos.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


My style of photography is eclectic meaning that I select and use what seems best from various sources or systems.

Sometimes it is realistic and sometime it is ...

I am thinking about doing some photographic teaching in the near future. Having planned several local outings with photo friends, I know that creating a workshop is not something that can be done without a great deal of thought and planning. Thanks to all my photo friends that are encouraging me on this.

I am going to start with something that I know. My first planned out-of-town workshop will be to Chincoteague, VA and Assateague Island, MD in the fall - November 2010. I am starting to look at my own recent Chincoteague images to sketch out the outline of the workshop. Aside from the classic nature shots -- the bay, the beach, the geese, the ponies -- there are lots of interesting things to shoot in this area and this is where my eclectic style comes in.

I took this shot at a local boat rental shop, Capt. Bob's Marina. While driving around during the mid-day looking for interesting things to shoot, these colorful boats drew our little group in. This is a classic scenario for photographers on the prowl: "OMG, look at that ... STOP!!!"

When I went to process this image of vibrant colors (shot with my Lensbaby Composer lens), it just screamed "ABSTRACT!!!" Perhaps I have been working too many long hours if my images are screaming at me.

Watch for more news on my photographic adventure workshops coming your way sometime soon.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pretty Macro Flowers

Last week I bought some flowers to shoot (poor flowers, what did they do that was so wrong that they should be shot???). I let them sit for a whole week before I shot them. Some pink tulips had died a horrible death. I tried to shoot them but those images did not turn out so well and you will not see them here. Some were living life just fine and you see them here. Enjoy.

I shot these with my 105mm macro lens at f2.8. Not much crazy post shooting processing (well, one was "artified" with Topaz Simplify - can you guess which one).

Photography question of the day - are these images "abstract?" One definition of abstract photography is the photographic art that is "not representational of real objects in the natural world." So this means that you cannot really tell what the original object in the photograph is/was. Another definition is "works in which objects, people, and/or places are depicted in simplified arrangements of shapes, lines, textures, and/or colors." I found an interesting site of abstract photography today. photographic abstracts

Oh, and I bought more flowers today ... stay tuned.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Dog By Any Other Name

I didn't get up as early as I had wanted. The warmth of my bed was just a little too comfortable. But I did manage some morning photography - back to the place I scouted the other day. Here is a shot of the Memorial Bridge.

It wasn't the shot I had hoped for - at least not the shot that was stuck in my head. I will have to get up earlier the next time and perhaps check out a slightly different spot.

I still had a hankering to shoot some ice and on the way home detoured to Walney Pond. Despite the warmer weather the past couple of days, the pond was solid ice and not very pretty. Maybe it will be better with sunlight hitting it at an angle - at sunrise or even sunset (I sense that there will be an early evening trip today). I hiked over to the creek to see if I could find some ice to shoot but while the pond was frozen, there was very little ice to be had in the creek. Probably the result of the flowing water.

I did find, however, a small horse - actually a great dane - named Hamlet. His owner told me that he weighed 170 pounds. That is 100 pounds on my own Ivan. Hamlet was beautiful and very friendly. He didn't really want to pose for me but I just had to capture his wonderful face. I hope to see him again when I get over to the pond again.

I have some friends that are doing a 100 strangers photography project. I wonder if I should do a 100 strange dogs photography project. Hmmmmmmmm.

Remember, if you click on either image, it will be displayed in a larger size.

Until the next time ...

Thursday, January 14, 2010


It has been sooooooo cold the last couple of weeks that I have not wanted to take the bus and Metro to work. Somehow driving door to door has held some value!!! As I have driven over the Roosevelt Bridge every morning, I have noticed the repeating pattern of Memorial Bridge - made all the more striking due to a morning reflection in the frozen Potomac River. I've been researching how to reach a good place to shoot this scene. On the way home from work tonight, I decided to take a detour to look for the spot that I hope to visit again this weekend with tripod and DSLR in hand.

It was dark, I had no tripod and only had my little point and shoot (always with me and ready to capture the scene at hand). This image is the Memorial Bridge - the bridge between the Lincoln Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery. I've adjusted the image with a little of the Topaz Simplify plugin in Photoshop CS3. I can't wait to get back there this weekend for a morning shot. Hopefully there will still be some frozen Potomac.

The view looking towards the Roosevelt Bridge with Rosslyn, Virginia in the background was also striking. The Roosevelt Bridge also crosses the Potomac River between Virginia and the District of Columbia - over part of Theodore Roosevelt Island. This image was also adjusted with Topaz Simplify.

Click on either image to see it BIGGER!!!

Thursday, January 07, 2010


It is so hard to break out of the cold weather photography rut. I am starting to come out of it slowly ... what better way to do so than to shoot what is around ... ICE.

This was the ice on my windshield the other day. I loved the pebbly texture.

Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I've been feeling a little un-motivated to do any serious photography lately. Last night I decided to change that. After looking at some of the work of my photography friends, I pulled out the lensbaby and played for awhile.

As with anything, sometimes my ideas come from random comments from my friends. My friend Nancy got a scanner. My friend John commented on some of the amazing scanner art out there these days. I have a scanner so I googled "scanner art" and found a lot of flowers. I really wasn't in the mood to photograph flowers (sometimes I am but not right now). But then I saw a shot of a slinky. It may actually not have been a scanner shot of a slinky. Hey, I have a slinky. A slinky needs to be shot with a macro lens. What is the minimum shooting distance of my macro lens (12 inches)? of my Nifty Fifty (18 inches)? of my Lensbaby (9 inches)? of my Lensbaby with macro attachments (2-3 inches)? Hmmmmm.

Click on the image to see it larger on your screen.

This shot is my slinky shot with my Lensbaby (no macro filter) - tweaked in Lightroom and Photoshop (Topaz Simplify filter and then the Filter Gallery in CS3). I absolutely love the color!!!

Happy New Year All!!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Getting Out There With New Toys

Thanksgiving Weekend. It is so easy to sit at home and gorge oneself on left over turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie ... OR ... get out there and shoot some images. My husband was otherwise occupied so I had an hour or two to get away to a local park ... Walney Pond. I've started coming here at all seasons. How the pond changes ...

Today I also had a new toy to play with ... my plastic Diana extra wide angle lens. The plastic Diana cameras were known for their dreamy effects. It didn't really know what to expect now that I could mount this "toy" lens to my DSLR. Now I know.
When I was last here - in summer - there were more people around ... fishing, walking, playing ... today, there were just a few and the park seemed so alone. This shot was taken with my 105 mm macro lens (though not a macro shot) since the toy lens is not for every shot - and then I processed it with Topaz Simplify for that "artsy" look.

See you soon.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Creative Choices

Sometimes the creative choice comes in shooting the image. Sometimes it comes in processing the image. Sometimes it is about "what you see is what you get" - the literal image captured by your camera. And sometimes it is about using the tools to show your vision - however (and whenever) that vision hits you.

In yesterday's blog post, I opted to process the Dream for Sale image using a couple layers of Topaz Simplify to "art it up." After a comment by my son, Joe, a very creative artist in his own right, I looked at the image again and decided that I didn't really like what I had done at all. So it was back to the drawing board for a new take on "Dream for Sale." What do you think? This version is a little more literal - yet still with a slight dream like quality.

And here is the actual Dream that is for sale - an old roller rink:

Another creative choice that I love is the swoosh also know as the swipe. In this technique you pan your camera while depressing the shutter to get the essence of the colors of the scene. This is usually best done around sunrise or sunset to take advantage of the lower light so you can make a longer exposure (6th to an 8th of a second) so you don't blow out your image. This swoosh was made at the Snow Goose Pond at Chincoteague National Wildlife Area around sunset. The massive flocks of birds were not where we were but the colors called to be swooshed. And so I obliged them.

Finally, last creative choice for this blog entry. On my last couple of photo trips, I have fallen in love with my fisheye lens (the Nikon 10.5 mm). When I first got it, although I was excited about it, I wasn't feeling the love so much. But now I have found a use for it. Old falling down buildings take on an interesting persona via the fisheye. And when I combine the fisheye image with processing in Topaz Simplify to "art it up," I just love the results. This house/barn/whatever was along the main highway (Rt. 13 I think) heading down through the eastern shore of Virginia. I saw it and made a U turn so that I could stop and shoot it for a while. I wonder what people think as they see a lone photographer stalking abandoned buildings with a tripod.

I recently got the fisheye optic for my lensbaby - yet another creative choice. I have not figured out exactly how to best use this optic but I am having more fun with my lensbaby since I got The Composer version. Watch for lensbaby images coming to my blog sometime soon. Perhaps the next post even.

Dream for Sale

I went to the eastern shore area of Virginia this past weekend - to Chincoteague. I had a dream to find that perfect image. My dreams don't always come true. Sometimes the perfect image just isn't there. Sometimes the image that I thought was perfect, WASN'T ... and the image that I thought was not so good, WAS. Sometimes the dream is for sale ... or so the sign says. I saw this sign and the "Dream" that was for sale when I was driving into Chincoteague on Friday evening. I knew that I would stop on my way out. I processed this shot in Photoshop CS3 and filtered 2 layers using Topaz Simplify.

On Saturday afternoon when the light was high and harsh, it was hard to find ideal images. Perhaps we should have taken a nap. But we didn't. Instead we drove to the end of the island and found this dock ... among other things (watch for more of the "other" things coming soon). This image was a B&W conversion - thought it didn't need that much tweaking since it was close to B&W to begin with.

On my way home, I took a long detour via the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. It is an amazing marvel. I also took this shot when the light was high and harsh. Sometimes these images work. Sometimes not. I think it worked this time. Interestingly, while I did a little processing in CS3 and Topaz Adjust, the color of this image was not changed. It just came out this way.

As always, click on any image in the blog to see it larger.

Well, watch the blog for more of my Chincoteague images. I shot over 800. Yikes, I could be at the computer a while.