27 May 2009
Hubby and I had Tea on the balcony the other
morning. We sat up there and listened to the birds for the longest time. It is the most peaceful place. Someone at work recently asked why I would want to live in a place like that. I just smiled.
24 May 2009
No, I am not talking about the "wild life" that I lead, although it does get that way at times. I am writing about all the wild life I have had a chance to photograph in this last week. The very first photo is right here in my own back yard. This little bunny let me get relatively close, about 35 feet. There are a whole family of them that live here with us, but they rarely allow photographs. I took 5 or 6. This is the best of the lot. Maybe he is just camera shy? We raised rabbits for food when I was growing up. I ate so much rabbit I should have long ears and a tail. My Mom even made rabbit tacos once. I would probably still like the taste of rabbit, but you see, these little guys are safe, they are bunnies. Wild little bunnies with adorable faces. Not food for me.
We went to the Great Smokey Mountain National
Park for a few days this week. The timing was perfect. The weather was good, not to hot or too cold and while there were plenty of other people around, it wasn't too crowded. We drove across the park from Cherokee North Carolina to Pigeon Forge Tennessee on the first day. With plenty of stops to look and walk a bit and take pictures.
Some of the lighting conditions were not ideal, but hey, when you see a wild turkey walking along the side of the road and your window is down, you take a picture. This one came out quite well. I do wish I could show you the scale a little better, this guy is quite a bit bigger than his cousins that live in the woods near our house. He just looks so proud of himself. Do you think he knows that Ben Franklin lost the argument, and consequently, he is not our National Bird?
I found this guy's (or girl?) web first. Right across my face. I must be the same height as a spider's favorite place to put webs as I walk into them regularly. This is a pretty good sized spider and he let me get quite close. He is not as big as he seems in the photo though, my camera is just doing a great job.
You know I can't resist a pretty flower.
Spotting the deer was pure luck. We were driving and my Sweet Hubby slowed for a curve. I said there is a deer! Since no one was behind us, he stopped and I rolled down the window. She was so far away, I did not think I would get the photo but I took several shots anyway and here she is. Can't you just feel how peaceful the setting is? I can almost hear the birds.
I am always on the lookout for butterfly and Moth photos. I need wings for more Fairy photos. I still have several great nieces to do. These two were dancing. That is just what it looked like. My usual method for photographing "Critters" is to put the camera on telephoto, aim, shoot, sneak closer and do it
You remember how I said there were exceptions to my method of sneaking up on animals? Well, I would not sneak up on anything that might be harmed by it. I do try not to frighten the animals. I would not sneak up on a baby, Mom might not like it. I also, do not sneak up on Bears. Nope, not going to do it. That is why this is the best photo of the lot. We saw lots of people pulled off the road taking photos so we decided to join them and see what was up. This guy was. We could see him but it was a difficult shot. Still, you can tell what it is, and I think we were quite close enough. I have some friends working in Yellowstone who may be jealous of this one. All I can say is that I hope they don't try to sneak up on Bears either. (Crocodiles are another thing I won't sneak up on, they have BIG teeth). On that note, I will close for now. Hope your life is good and at least a little wild.
18 May 2009
16 May 2009
15 May 2009
Photoshop Elements Flower Fairies
Winter Sunset over the old Summer Kitchen
10 May 2009
I am not sure if I have mentioned it before on this blog or not, but I have been taking a very difficult Chemistry class this last semester. YIKES. I passed, not only that, I passed with a decent grade (thanks in part to a good friend who dropped what she was doing several times to help me with the math). I have a few weeks off before I jump into my next semester and I feel like the weight of the world has been removed from my shoulders. Sure, I have other things to worry about, but having this one worry removed has made the others easier to deal with.
Have you ever seen the Disney version of "
Hunchback of Notre Dame"? There is one scene
near the beginning of the movie where a riot breaks out. (No worries, it is a Disney riot).
Anyway there is a scrawny old man in the stocks, the stocks get knocked over and they
break. He jumps up and shouts "I'm free, I'm free," takes two steps and gets trapped some other way. He gets free, shouts out "I'm free" again and again gets stuck. Well, there are times when I know exactly how he feels. Right now, I know how he feels when he really does get free, goes home and puts his feet up. (No that part isn't in the movie, but I just know that is how it works out).
He probably realizes that as soon as the riot is cleaned up, the soldiers will come looking for him to go back in the stocks, but hey, for now, he is free. I have plenty of worries and lots to do.
Next semester I will be taking Spanish and an
Economics class. For now though, I am enjoying the day.
Today I am posting some of what I have been up
to. The first picture is of course my barn. (A familiar subject) the second is someone's old fashioned bicycle that I took a photo of last time we were Downtown Charleston. Before you get too impressed, yes, I can draw and I am not bad at it, but these two little beauties were done on my computer with photoshop elements. I really like the way they turned out. I have more ideas in mind. I may frame some prints and attempt to sell them. (We will see)
The next two are digital scrapbook pages based on this blog. One is the camping entry the other is last week's "Obsession". Photoshop Elements of course. I really like digital scrapbooking. Even if I only have a few minutes to play, I can. No Mess. The background for the camping layout is one of my photos that has been altered. I experimented with different settings till I found something I liked. I will use this method again. The background for the Obsession lay out is a digital paper by Katie Pertite. It was a freebie downloaded from the http://www.scrapbooksetc.com/techniques/digital/index.html
and several online friends who do amazing things). If you are interested in scrapbooking, have a look.
I don't know what this is, I thought it was a Trillium, I looked it up, nope, it's "Not a trillium" pretty though. I looked it up on google images, great way to identify things. You can also spend a considerable amount of time getting "stuck" in the interesting things you link to that way.
The handsome man on the bench is my own sweet Hubby. He spoils me rotten. He made German Apple Pancakes for breakfast because of Mother's Day.
Last but not least, I stepped outside the other
night to try to record the frogs serenade. When I returned to the house, Spontaneous was just
irresistible. I certainly couldn't ignore that now could I? I took the picture, she let me come in, then I picked her up for a good petting and cuddling session. That expressive little face!
Happy Mother's Day folks.
04 May 2009
Photoshop Elements has added yet another boon, the ability to "fix" photos that are not quite perfect. Some photo opportunities won't wait for you to keep shooting (our little porch lizards for instance, will
only hold still for so long). My little Fuji does an amazing job with available light, but the automatic settings just wont' work well with very low light sunrises or sunsets. Photoshop Elements (PSE) allows me to take photos at two different settings then blend them for that just right in between. (This is called "Bracketing"). I could go on, and on, and on with this subject, sometimes I do.
My obsession started several years before I got my first camera. I must admit, there was a little bit of jealousy involved. My family was getting ready to go to my big brother Jimmy's house for Christmas.
let me use hers. (In retrospect, my Dad was right, I really wasn't very careful with things back then).
This was one of those little things that makes a big difference. If I had got my own way back then, the camera probably would have become just one more thing that I tired of and that would have been that. When we returned to Utah after the trip, my obsession did not go away. Since I didn't have a camera, I found a book in the library that told how to make one from a box, or how to use the sun to take photos of leaves, (wish I knew the name of that book now, I would love to see it again). I did not
Fast forward to the summer I turned 13. My Dad and big brother Pete were replacing the roof on the garage and Dad "needed a helper". He offered to buy me a camera of my own if I would clean up the shingles and old nails as they tossed them down.
You bet I would! I earned a Kodak 110 Instamatic
camera. It came in a display box with a role of film and flash cubes. (Do you remember flash cubes?)
Dad was not in the habit of bribing us to work, if he told us to do it, we were expected to do it with a smile on our faces. We were a family and we all worked together to accomplish things. Most of the time I was growing up, we did not even get an allowance. When we did, it was not associated with chores, we did them regardless. It had not occurred to me until just now to wonder why he "paid" me to help with the garage. Not only that, but I think the
cost of the camera was probably out of proportion to the amount of work I did. The only thing I can come up with is that Dad knew I would appreciate it more if I earned it. He was right.
My Father was also obsessed with photography in all of it's forms. Most of the cameras pictured on these pages were his. I have, literally, hundreds of slides that he took when we were growing up. He died December 30th the same year I received that first camera. The last pictures we have of him were taken with it.
The following year, Mom and I went to California to
Within a couple of months, my babysitting money went to buy a Polaroid at a yard sell and I was back in business. I could not take as many photos, there were only 8 photos in a cartridge and the cartridges
were not cheap. You did not have to pay for developing, but I think it still worked out more expensive that way. It didn't matter, I could take pictures again.
Then the Fuji arrived! The fun is just beginning. The collection from Photo #1. The Petri. #2. is an old German camera from World War II. #3 is I believe, a "Baby Brownie" that was my Husbands first camera. #4. The Argoflex belonged to his Mother. One of the sweetest ladies that ever lived. I can just see her holding this. #5. Keystone Capri 8mm movie camera. It was operated with a hand crank. I have several films my Dad made with this, but no way to watch them. Knowing him, they could be anything so I would like to see what is on them before I have them copied to disk. #5. Nikon One Touch Zoom 90s, sitting on the dashboard of the camper van. #6. Cake I decorated with a camera, told you I was obsessed. #7. Dad's old box camera with a photo of my Mom when she graduated from High School. #8. Part of the box, the instruction manual and a Kodak Magazine that came with the box camera when it was new. I did have the entire box with all this stuff in it, but it was attacked by mildew in Great Britain, the box fell apart. I am so glad that all it got was the box. #9. Pride of the collection. This is a Polaroid Land Camera, complete with it's case, flash, diffuser, and a lens filter. I researched it on line and found out it was produced in the 1950's. I think this is one of the most beautiful pieces of engineering ever. It is also from my Dad's collection.
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