Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Weird Plants

Bracken Fern

Mares Tail or Horse Tail? (Not sure on this one)

Lily of some sort I'm thinking. Found this in a very dark shaded part of the woods.

Strange Critters

Spent a little time at the OKC Arts Festival last Friday. Always like to stroll around the Folk Art sculptures. Never know what the imaginations of the artists will create.

I was wondering what happened to my leaf rake? Oh Well, it does make a good rudder for this land fish!

This wheeled predator reminds me of an alligator gar from the looks of it's mouth. Seems it was made with about anything and everything that wasn't tied down!

Tulip Tuesday

I'm pretty sure these are tulips.

It is Tuesday isn't it?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Getting the background darkest black.

Just playing around a couple of days ago... The first picture is with the Sigma 120-400 at 400mm f/8. The roses are with the Nikon 18-300 at 230mm and 125mm respectively both at f/11. All pictures were handheld and all were light with natural sunlight. To get the black background for the roses I hung my old work jacket over the back of a kitchen chair and set the vase with rose on the seat of the chair.

For those of you who use Photoshop, (I use Photoshop CS4) I found an adjustment that helps get the background darkest black. It also helps set the brightest part of the picture properly. 

In Photoshop from the pull down menu above the picture you are editing select Image then select Adjustments then select Levels. That should get you to the adjustments as shown above. See the little eyedroppers about midway down the right side? Click on the black eyedropper then go find the darkest part of your picture and click on it. Do the same with the white eyedropper and click on the lightest part of your picture. Suddenly the brightness and contrast are set just as they should be! 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Over the Mountain and into the Valley

Just one of the many creeks that were still flowing strong in the Wichita Mountains while we were there.

Friday, April 26, 2013


Aaron asked if I had tried cropping into the center of one of the wild flowers I posted yesterday... Here are a couple of center flower crops. I had no idea Dandelions had little feelers with pollen all over them until I zoomed in on it! 

Channeling Ansel

"Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art." Ansel Adams

As I sat at the computer editing photos last night, I decided to start trying some of my photos in black and white. While adjusting them in Photoshop, I couldn't help but think of some of the Ansel Adams images I had seen over time.

Here are four images that I converted to black and white and selected to post (I have a few more that I will post later). All of these have color photos to match that I will also post some other time.

The Tourist's View

Good Morning Sunshine!
This is the view the old man had from the end of the walkway out to the lake. This is an HDR image made from five bracketed shots in the D800. I could have taken a nine shot bracket but there was some kid behind me telling me to get out of his shot. LOL

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Random wildflowers

Just a few random wildflower pictures over the past week. As I come across them I take their pictures. The only one I know is the second one down which is Wild Strawberry. 

All these shots are with the Nikon D7100 and Nikon 18-300 lens which is proving to be a great walk around camera / lens combo.

Not So Early Birds

Ron and I were going to get up early and try to catch a few photos of the sunrise. We just didn't wake up in time. But the cloud bank was thick that day and made for a beautiful view anyway. I couldn't decide which perspective I liked on the bottom shot so I just posted them both. As you can see in the top photo, a tourist decide to walk into my shot. 

More Geese (slightly blurry)

Aaron and I had just finished shooting a spillway waterfall when these geese started to show up on the lake we were at. Aaron was switching lenses at the time (I think) and I wasn't paying attention to the settings on my camera so these came out a little blurry. I was in aperture priority at the time and didn't have a fast enough shutter speed to completely freeze the action.
Taking photos on the fly is getting harder and harder. I'm not sure my brain works that fast any more!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Afternoon walk

Parker your picture of the two Canadian Geese sleeping on the sand bar brought to mind this picture I took several weeks ago.
While heading up to Quatse Lake one rainy afternoon I saw this pair walking leisurely up the road, the rain didn't bother them, it just ran off their backs. It was as though they were two old friends reminiscing about old times. Funny to watch.
Our feathered friends certainly have inspired many a post on this blog site over the years...

Flying Fish

Aaron and I found a spot on a lake just outside the refuge where 10-12 ospreys were diving into the lake for fish. We spent about two hours there taking a ton of photos. It's very difficult to hand hold the camera with a big lens and try to track the birds as they are soaring and diving. A lot of the photos weren't in focus or the lighting was off, including a couple of these that I have posted. It's time to buy that gimbal head I guess.
I had to switch to the Nikon D700 just to up the frame rate so I had a chance at catching some of the flying. This first shot was taken with the D700 and the Sigma 150-500mm lens at 500mm and cropped about 30%.

Diving into the water was something I have never seen a bird do before but these ospreys were going completely under water to get the fish. This one was on his way down.

Splash down!

Coming back up.

The water take off.

What are you lookin' at??

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Where do you think I learned it?

From dad of course!!! He climbed up first, I just decided the other side looked better.

This is probably the picture I took when Ron took my picture. Defiantly work climbing all the way to the top!

If I had thought to bring shorts I would have waded into the pool at the bottom of the water but, not wanting to be wet for the hike back I stay out. Next time I am bringing shorts in my back pack!!

Siesta Time!

Found this pair hiding their heads while standing on an exposed sandbar in the middle of Lost Lake. I guess they were taking a midday siesta? When I left about twenty minutes later, the two were in the same spot and position!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Newest videographer...

My Step-Son Jake and I took the dogs to the beach yesterday... Buster got to be the Videographer for the day. He was quite proud! Check out his video on YouTube if you have fast enough internet... www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKOUAXtmGEM 

Photography 101

Lesson One:
Don't fall off the mountain when you're trying ot take a photo!!
And what was he trying to take a photo of?

There was lots of water this trip. The mountain area received 6.9 inches of rain on Wednesday before our trip and the flooding was massive since there is mostly rock in this area and nothing for the water to soak into.
All of the lakes are now completely full from being more than half empty before. They all filled up in just a matter of hours.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

On the beach

Saw this young person playing on the beach with their dog a great distance away. The distortion of the heat rising off the beach adds quite an interesting effect to the picture! The above picture is about 1/10th crop of the original.