Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Bonneville Salt Flats are flooded every year now to help preserve them and minimize damage that has occurred through years of use and abuse.  I went out there one morning to take some early morning shots across the flats.  It was a cool morning and a little breezy.  But I endured.  Here are the results of my efforts.  The shots were taken looking east just after sunrise and the end of the road.







Sunday, September 18, 2016

I have always been partial to reflections in windows of skyscrapers.  The glass tends to warp the images in any number of ways which makes for interesting reflections.  Certainly provides a different view on reality.  One of my favorite spots to take pictures was in downtown Houston and in particular the reflections of the Bank of America building in the windows of the building across the street (I can't for the life of me remember what that building's name is).  I have a series that span over 15 images total.  Below I have two images from that series as  well as one from an earlier outing.  This latter one is one of my favorite images.  One of the things I had to do in Photoshop Elements was to take the images and undistort them.  The reason being was that images were not taken from directly in front of the building and certainly not at eye level.  I used the free transform tool to do this.




Tuesday, September 6, 2016

This next image was done almost purely as an exercise for me in perfecting my skills in the use of  layer masks.  When I saw the original image it immediately hit me that it would be interesting if my daughter were a positive image and the rest of the image where negative.  A surrealist image.  I leave the interpretation up to you.  I got the negative aspect by using the inverse function in Elements.  Someone said it looked like an infrared image, and I can see that.  The reason I see it as a negative image is because it makes the blacks white and the whites black.  To make this composite image I had to use a layer mask.  Using layer masks is not difficult but doing it such that the composite doesn't look like a composite, well, that is the trick and what I need to perfect.  The image is posted below.

When I put this image out on Facebook I asked for comments.  I was looking for anything actually.  I received a number of comments from it looking infrared to the unfortunate placement of the tree, the stairs (actually a boardwalk), the girl not standing out, the dark patches, etc.  All good comments.  One thing I have taken away from this, however, is the fact that one has to be careful that image should not necessarily be about technique.  You can't forget composition and story line.  They do need to compliment each other.  I failed in this much like the movie Avatar failed.  Great in technique, lousy in story line.


I was at my daughters in the Baltimore area two weeks ago for a visit.  Always like going there for a visit.  She put me up in a bedroom overlooking the street.  There was a street lamp just outside the window.  Because it was hot and the humidity was high I kept the window open and the blinds turned to let in the breeze.   I didn't think much of it until I woke up one night to, well we won't go there.  Anyway, it cast quite the shadow on the wall and when I sat up in bed it cast me as well.  So I took  the time to take some pic's.  Because I only had a monopod I had to jack the ISO up to 6400 in order to get the shutter speed to where I could hand hold the camera for a shot.  The first three shots are of me either sitting on the bed as I sat up or stood up and the last is of another shadow coming from a street lamp a little bit further down the street.

I'm thinking of intruder lurking behind the door in the corner of the room.  The kind of thing you don't like to see first thing when you wake up and aren't quite aware of your surroundings.  At least that is how I saw these first three images when I first saw them on the wall.  These shots made me glad that I keep my camera close at all times.  You never know when a situation will come up and you want to record it.  No body else may like it but that doesn't make any difference.  It means something to you.  I'll always remember these shots, not just because I like them but because I also took them at my daughters that one hot and humid August night.  So these shots have two meanings for me.







Friday, September 2, 2016

Recently I went to the east coast to visit my daughter.  I spent nine great days with her, her two cats and her dog.  As it is with all vacations with the kids I also helped out around the house.  Besides housework we  did some travelling.  One of the places we went to was the beach in Delaware.  Many people there, many.  It was hot but at least the humidity had dropped and so it was pleasant.  On the way back from the beach we stopped at a nature reserve.  The only animal we saw was this heron which was walking around in this rather large pond looking for food.  I didn't have a proper lens for the shot so I had to use my 28/135, F5.6 and then blew it up in Photoshop Elements.  Of course, as I am want to do I turned it into a black and white image and with a little work it turned into this:









 After leaving the preserve we stopped at the marina.  I wanted to get a picture of the boats.  Not the whole boats, just the tops.  I was interested in all of the fishing poles, antennae, and flag poles.  I thought it would be an interesting contrast with the sky and clouds.  In Elements it wasn't working out the way I thought and so I inverted the image and then made a few other changes which gave me the image you see below.  This is pretty much what I was looking for.  Sometimes it pays to just play around.


After leaving the marina we had to go back over this bridge.  My daughter was driving and I was in the passenger seat.  I got out my camera and at 60 miles an hour I started to take pictures out the front window hoping I could get something.  The following are two that I like with one of them in two different renditions.




I'll post some other images later.  I didn't take a lot of images on this trip as we didn't do a lot of travelling outside this one trip and going to the movies.  Like I said, I'll post them in the next day or so.


Monday, August 8, 2016

Here are some images I took from Great Basin National Park in eastern Nevada on the Nevada/Utah border.  Two of the images are of Wheeler Peak, the second highest peak in Nevada, +13,000 ft in elevation.  You can drive to 10,000 ft easily on a well paved road and then take the trail up toward the peak and see high alpine lakes.  The other images are of the valley to the east of the park looking toward Utah.  The sun was still a little high but made for some interesting shadows on the valley floor.  One does not appreciate the distances in this part of the country until one can see it from this vantage point.  The last image is of a small hill/mountain just outside of Little Sahara Sand Dunes near Delta, Utah.  I need to make a trip out there sometime.  It would be an opportunity to take images of sand dunes.  The only unfortunate part is that it is overrun by off road vehicle enthusiasts.  They flood the area and there aren't many spots where they have left tread marks.






















Monday, July 25, 2016

Ok, last publication for the night.  This is a little composite I put together for a project I have been working on, mostly in the mind.  I need to learn how to do composites better before I truly start on this project.  This is one of my first attempts.