Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bokeh

I know that many of you may be a bit tired of all the photography that does not include food, sewing, crafts, more food, my inhibitors or some kind of project.  When I am off for the summer in 3 more days I will have a lot more time on my hands and many projects that will need my attention.  Until then (that's 3 more days) I have a couple more things to take care of.

My 52 Week challenge this week is "bokeh."  Bokeh means blur.  In photography it means changing the aperture on your camera blah . . . blah blah blah . . . blah (insert real big words here that are not important to this post) and blurring out portions of your photo in a pleasing way.  Here is an example from two photos I took Memorial Day at Odd Fellow Cemetery.  See the difference?

Background in focus f9                                          Background blurred f3.5
Here are a few photos I took this weekend that focused (get the pun?) on bokeh.

This sweety was photographed at f6.3
Iris in my garden at f6.3
Tombstone from the late 1800's on Memorial Day in black and white at  f3.5
Indian Blanket or Firewheel near the Odd Fellow Cemetery f8
Wonderful guardian angel at Odd Fellow Cemetery f7.1
Love the shade pattern and tree bark texture at f4.5
I have relied on bokeh before, though I didn't know what it was called.  Here are a few older samples I like.

The focus is clearly on the amber beer at f4.5
You have seen this before, but it's one of my favorites at f4.5
Very confused butterflies here at f9
I did enjoy taking some black and white photos.  I want to play around and see if there is a differnce if you photograph b/w and change a color photo of the same subject to b/w.  Hmmm.
So which one do I choose for Week 22?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Fan Favorite Voting

The pictures have been posted for the photo contest I entered.  Let me start by saying I am WAY out of my league.  The shots people have taken are amazing.  If you would like to see the 66 pictures click here.  The picture that receives the most "likes" wins fan favorite.  The top 4 win prizes.

Please do not feel like you have to vote for mine.  There are some really good ones here.  You also don't have to vote for just one.

After seeing the entries, I would have chosen a different photo.  I will know for next year, or the next contest.

Happy Memorial Day!

My flag

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Week 21 "Black and White"

I have decided that I would really like to do more black and white photography after meeting the 52 Week Challenge for week 21.  The prompt was "black and white."


I may tweek my summer projects list to include a black and white photography picture gallery.  Hmmm.

Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone.  Enjoy.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Awkward Family Photos

Now why on earth would I title my post "Awkard Family Photos"?  Simple.  It's a hilarious website with lots of really funny family photos.  So many "what were they thinking?" moments captured in time.  Check them out here if you would like.

But really, why a blog post?

As you know I just entered a photo contest and used a picture I had taken in Austin on a bluff overlooking a great bridge.


Look what I found at Awkward Family Photos dot com.


Yep.  Same tree.  Sam bridge. Same bluff and beautiful scenery.  Not the same family.  Nor the same . . . I don't know what to call her . . . Gladiator woman . . . Amazon woman . . .  I give up.  Funny.  I like my picture better if I do say so myself.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Choice Made

I really appreciated all your input on my last post.  It was such a difficult decision not knowing what the judges look for in a photo, and never having entered a contest.  Heck, I have been taking pictures for less than a year and only with a big girl camera for 6 months.  In the end I decided it was all for fun anyway and made a choice.

So many of you gravitated towards my fog photos.  They are some of my favorites, and it is on my summer list to have framed for a photo gallery wall.  I was concerned that they may not have enough color (again, not knowing what a judge looks for).

The trucks were a fan favorite as well, but again I was worried about color.  I took that photo in winter and thought the grass was green, the trees were bare, and so the background is a little bland.

The fire pictures were tempting, but the coffee pot has a little too much smoke which makes it too much of an effort to see the details in the focus field.  Again, one of my favorite photos ever.  The empty chair was a strong option, but I was concerned it didn't have enough interest.

Bottom line, I went with the bridge.  I thought it had a good range of colors, a nice balance of focus and blur, and I like the story of old nature in contrast to man made.  I wish the sky had been more blue, but what can you do about big city smog.


One of the categories is called Fan Favorite.  If you would like to vote for my photo, or another one you like, I will post the facebook link.  Thanks again for taking the time to read my blog, look at my pictures, and giving your input.

Monday, May 21, 2012

I NEED YOUR HELP

I have decided to enter a photo contest.  Crazy, I know.  The company that hosts the 52 Week Photo Challenge that I participate in is having a great contest and the prizes are worthy of any attempt I can make.  Here is where I need your help.  I can only enter one picture.  One.  I take several thousand photos a week.  How to decide.  Here are a few of the photos I am considering  PLEASE take a look and let me know what you think.

#1 - Foggy Field
#2 - Fog in Trees
#3 - New Grass on the Edge of Pond
#4  - Almost Full 
#5 - Pockets eating Flowers
#6 - Fence and Fall Leaves in Fog
#7 - Wood Rafters in Dilapidated Church
#8 - 360 Bridge from Cliff in Austin

#9 - Rudy Christmas
#10 - Pizza
#11 - Warmed by the Fire
#12 - Coffee at Camp Side
#13 - Rain Reflections #1
#14 - Rain Reflections #2
#15 - Hiking
#16 - Dodge, Chevrolet, Ford
#17 - Mobilgas
#18 - Fields of Spring
#19 - Empty Chair
#20 - Light on Fence
#21 - The Burning of the Tree
Please leave a comment letting me know what you think. (Yes, I know Rudy is sideways.  I will fix that.  Good picture, though.) The deadline is 5/25 at midnight, so I don't have much time.  Thanks, guys.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Butterflies and Bees

Today was all about yard work.  There are always plenty of outdoor projects to do (pulling down vines, killing back the poison ivy, thinning the yupon, cutting up dead branches, you get the idea), but they are especially pleasant chores when the weather is as nice as it is today.  Blue sky, low humidity, light cool breezes . . . perfect.    While working in the garden I could not help but notice how much the Vitex tree Breck and I pruned last winter has grown.  It is now full of sweet scented lavendar blooms.

The honey bees love it.




And the bumble bees.  Love them.




I love that I lucked into catching these two in flight.



And how about these amazing butterflies?  They are so big and beautiful











I don't know anything about butterflies, but these guys make me want to learn.  Do any of you know what they are called?