Thursday, October 31, 2013

Final: "Collage:

Thank you for visiting.  I hope you enjoyed my photos.  :)

Day 31: "Spooky"

Last day.... congrats to all!

I started by emulating the Phantom of the Opera album cover, but I didn't have a rose, and the little pumpkin I was using instead didn't work out.  Instead, I turned it into a nice holiday greeting.  :)  I wanted to use Chiller font, but that wasn't available.  I have no idea how to make the text different, so it will just stay bright and cheery.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Day 29: "Harvest Season"

I had fun with the frame.  Too much fun!  I was a little bit late posting because of it.  :P  I made the background from the pumpkin in the picture.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Day 27: "My Town"

It's landscapes day!  

This is a view of downtown from outside the city.  It was an extremely clear day, and the sky was not very blue.  I like the nice autumn colors, and the way the same colors are in the buildings.  The pointy-top building is the one in the view from my office window.

Looking in another direction, we see the hills in the distance and the main water tower.

Headed back toward downtown, we see this pastoral scene.  :)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Day 26: "A Starry, Cloudy Night in the Neighborhood"

I tried again to capture the stars, but it was just too cloudy and bright out.  I needed to pack up and go out in the country, but I find it creepy to be out there by myself, so my neighborhood will have to do.  I was trying to get the right exposure, but it came out way overexposed.  I'm still amazed that it can come out looking like the brightest daylight when I can barely see where I'm walking and or where I was aiming the camera.  My old camera could not do that.  This was taken close to midnight, after all!  I'm also amazed at how many stars I could pick up on such a cloudy night.  I'm going to have to try this again when it's clear. 

So... not the most exciting composition, but it was good night practice.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Day 25: "Yo!"

I needed a photo for work so figured this was a good time to try shooting a portrait without the lights flashing.  I had to use the modeling lamps, a longer shutter speed, and bumped up the exposure in post.  Worked out fairly well!  I would have moved the lights a little more, but ran out of time.  Still, it's as good as anything I've had done in a cheap studio, so I'm very happy.  :)

I forgot to adjust the colors the first time around.  I went back and lightened up the reds, which had the effect of removing a lot of the shadow on the right side of the photo.  My face maybe got a little bit pasty, but overall, I think it's an improvement.  The original is the little one.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Day 24: "Nora Belle's Drop Cakes"

When I got married, my grandmother gave me some old family cookie recipes.  I never tried them because they're too vague, but I like to think of these ladies baking in their old wood stoves, and everyone gathering around to eat a freshly-baked treat.

Here's what the recipe card says, typed on my grandmother's manual typewriter:

DROP CAKES - Nora Belle Kernahan Turner's recipe, probably gotten from a friend - or Aunt Gayle

1 tb. butter
1 tb. lard
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
2 t. baking powder (It woul be 1 t. now, I suppose.)
Flavor to taste.

Enough flour to make thin batter.  Bake in quick oven.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Day 23: "Girl with Bonnet"

I took a photo and thought the lighting was wrong, so I adjusted it.  Over and over and over.  I finally got what I thought was right, but it turned out my favorite was the first one, but the focus was off.  So then I tried another zillion shots trying to get the light back to the way it was in the first shot.  I never quite managed to do that.  Out of time!  And now I wish I had gotten more creative with the camera, maybe shot from lower down looking her in the eyes.  Either that, or put something in the photo for her to be looking at, like a little dog.  :)

That said, this is probably my favorite piece of pottery.  I've never tried planting anything in the basket.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Day 22: "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!"

After parking my car at work this morning, I happened to glance east and saw this beautiful morning sky.  Too bad the parking garage and those other building things are in there, and that I had to crop so much after correcting the perspective, and that all I had with me was my cell phone.

While I'm at it, too bad this wasn't at some sandy beach with waves lapping at the shore and terns running to and fro snatching up yummy seafood tidbits dropped by the receding waters, while a young couple strolls along the water's edge hand-in-hand with their laughing, wild-haired little girl, who wants nothing more than to chase her yellow lab puppy as he splashes, barking, into the waves.

Yeah, too bad....

Monday, October 21, 2013

Day 21: "Bright and Sticky"

Today I had fun with sticky notes.  :)  Sticky notes are inherently fun!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Day 20: "Past Their Prime"

This was intended to be low key, but it may just be a fruit picture.

I think I need to make some banana nut bread.

Day 19: "The Shed"

I went out to photograph and old sandstone building today, but then I saw this shed to the right of it.  The leaves around it were too bright and crisp, so I took this as an opportunity to play with textures, and used water paper.  I created the background from the surface of the shed.  I liked my original background better, but PSE crashed on me, and I had to do it all over again.  :P

Friday, October 18, 2013

Day 18: "Fire Bull"

We're supposed to have our first freeze of the winter tonight.  To celebrate, I lit a fake log in the fire.  That made me think of trying my hand at photographing fire.  After 60-some photos, I'm still clueless!

This one made me laugh, because it looks like a bull to me, which makes me think of the fantastic "FIREWOLF" by Regoch.  If you haven't seen it, go look!  While you're at it, check out his entire collection.  Wow!


Other pictures from my fake-log fire-foto session. I like the curlicue in the left photo.  In the right one, I see someone doing crunches with their legs in the air, feet crossed.  Come on, you see it too... hands behind the head, pointy elbows sticking up?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Day 17: "Moon-a-Rama"

I found out I'm going to need a stronger lens to get a good moon photo, so I amused myself by playing with the clone stamp.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Day 16: "View From the Window at Work"

Every day at work I take photos out the window with my cell phone as a backup in case I don't do a real photo.  Well, today is the day I'm going with the backup plan.

This was taken through a dirty window at work with my cell phone, which was tilted and picked up reflections of the overhead lights and totally distorted the picture.  I fixed (yes, and overfixed...) as much as I could, but it's still wrong in so many ways -- like the curved building.  LOL!  It would have been easier to do a studio shoot.

Oklahoma has the prettiest skies!  It can change completely in just a few minutes, too. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Day 15: "The Fat Lady Sings"

I was trying for low key today, but I'm going to have to find my Spyder and recalibrate my monitors before I can get this right.  One monitor shows almost nothing but the microphone head.  The other shows the whole thing like muted daylight.  I have no idea what it really looks like!

This was taken with one light.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Day 14: "Let's Make Circles!"

Today I tried my hand at high key with this picture of a compass.  This is almost exactly as it came out of the camera.  When I tried cropping it to thirds, it didn't look so good.  I'm thinking that might be due to the placement of the diagonal?

If you don't recognize the compass, maybe this will help.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Day 13: "Wustums"

This is my dog, Rusty.  I got him from a rescue when he was about a year old, almost 10 years ago.  He's some sort of terrier mix, probably in the Australian, Cairn, Silkie, Yorkie range.  Whatever.... he's cute and cuddly!  :)  One ear is shorter than the other.  He must have gotten in a fight when he was out on the streets before I got him. 

This is the first time I've tried to do an actual portrait of him with lights, backdrop, etc.  He did better than I expected, but couldn't keep his tail still.  It's not perfect, but I'm very happy with the results.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Day 12: "Preening"

I took a zillion shots of runners and water buffalo today, but decided to go with this shot of an ostrich preening.  More photos below. 

....and an alternate.  This ostrich was really interested in what I was doing.

Now I'm on a roll.  Here's a water buffalo foaming at the mouth.  He was pretty far away, so I had to go with full zoom and crop like crazy.  He was very suspicious of me.

Okay, folks, this is the last one.  My primary purpose today was volunteering at a race.  I found that it's really, really hard to photograph runners!  (No, I don't know them....)  I love the attentiveness of the spectators.  ;)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Day 11: "Trapped in Vinegar"

I had quite a time trying to get the lighting right on this glad, and also to get the contents in focus.  I came close on both, but no cigar.  It's quite colorful, though! 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Day 10: "A Rose By Any Other Name..."

Today I took a picture of my bug-eaten mini-rose.  I played with softening, blur, and color adjustment, and cropped out the bugs.  I think it looks much better now than in real life.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Day 9: "Dryden"

This looked perfectly well-balanced while I was editing it, but now that it's posted, it looks like it needs to oonch a little bit to the left.  Oh well.  Maybe someday I'll fix that.  As long as I don't look at it, it won't bother me!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Day 8: "Memory Lane"

This might not be memory lane for all of you, but I'll bet some of you in the U.S. remember your mothers or grandmothers collecting Green Stamps and sticking them in the little books.  This dispenser must have been used a lot because some of the numbers are worn off.  I softened the picture slightly to make it seem more like a memory.  I fixed the issues and reposted.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Day 7: "Two Plums and A...nother Plum"

Thought I'd try my hand at fruit today.  I set up a tiny little studio in my guest room.    I turned the lights down to the minimum setting and had to keep moving them farther back.  I finally was able to take a photo that wasn't white by raising the f-stop.  Looking at the picture, I probably should have raised it a little more to get the plum on the left completely in focus instead of right on the verge.

I also need to iron my backdrop so it's even underneath the plate.  Oh, the details!

I was very happy that I managed to get a white background, though, and my colors are good.  :)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Day 6: "Price Tower at Dusk"

This is Frank Lloyd Wright's only realized skyscraper.
(Back then, this was considered a skyscraper.)

I had trouble getting this in focus because my tripod kept wiggling, and I couldn't get the self-timer to work.  (It worked before I left the house, so I'm not sure what I did.)  My camera doesn't have a shutter release port, so I just ordered the Nikon remote (well, after market brand).  I might do a little better on longer exposures once that arrives.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Day 5: "Ol' Blue"

I went out to take a picture of the sunset, but it was very unspectacular this evening.  I played with selective desaturation here, and might have overdone saturating the cyan trying to get rid of the sun's glare.  :o

Friday, October 4, 2013

Day 4: "My Dusty Piano"

I wanted some better contrast on this, but the reflection suffered when I tried to get it the way I wanted.  I needed better lighting, but at least I got to practice using longer exposures. Also, the focus landed on the wrong keys.  What I do like is the diagonals, the red and yellow stripes, and the reflection.  Also, I love my piano!  (But I need to dust it more often.... ha ha.)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Day 2: "Sky Swirl"

I tried to take a picture of the stars, but clouds got in the way.  After numerous attempts, I gave up and played with one of the boring photos.  It was sort of fun, and gave an interesting effect.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Day 1: "Yes, Grasshopper"

I was trying to take a picture of a hibiscus flower, and saw this guy staring at me.  I'm pleased with how the grasshopper turned out, as I have never gotten a decent bug photo before, but the stick coming toward the camera I find distracting.  Also, I had to sharpen his face to get it in focus.

The grasshopper was very cooperative, and just watched me taking bunches of photos with different settings, and then turned his face toward me for this one.  Mostly they were overexposed.  I'm still learning to tell what's actually good when I look at the display.  There's probably an adjustment somewhere..... 

Nikon D7000, f/11, 1/500 sec, ISO-100, 200 mm, natural light

I got to thinking, "What kind of Worthian am I if I can't figure out how to remove a stupid stick?"  So here's the redo. 


Hello.  Please step inside to view my photos for the Visionary Community 31-Day Photo Challenge.  I will be taking and posting one photo a day.  All comments are welcome, as they will help me improve.

My topic for the challenge is "Learning to Use My New Camera".