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Red Sunset, Lake Sam Rayburn    I'm happy to report that Nini and I have found our sunset spot here in Nacogdoches.  The only problem is that it's not in Nacogdoches, and is a good hour drive from our home.  But it is nice.  We went out early yesterday so we could try a few places.  The first stop on the list was Harvey Creek recreation area.  Upon first sight it was nothing more than an uninteresting boat ramp.  So we left right away and spent about an hour driving around on various gravel roads looking for a better view of the lake.  But all we found was a lot of private property.  So we headed back to Harvey Creek, and low and behold, we found a dirt road in the rec area that lead us to the best beach we've seen since we found the best beach in Missouri.   There is a lot of room for the dogs to run while I shoot and Nini reads, and there is a strong cross wind that keeps the mosquitoes at bay.  We can't wait to go back and spend the day there sometime soon.    This is a single 8 second exposure.  I started off by using a 3-stop hard-step neutral density filter, which helped me bring the exposure of the sky closer to that of the foreground.  Then I added a 5 stop neutral density filter to allow me to use a longer exposure.  I wanted the long exposure effect on the water, but the long exposure also let the sensor capture more of the rapidly changing colors as they spilled across the sky.  I was surprised at how much more red came through.  When I was on the beach I was thinking that maybe the filter was just tricking the camera's auto white balance into setting a really warm color temperature.  But the color temperature here is actually 5200, the color temperature of daylight.  I would guess the actual color temperature was somewhere closer to 6500, since the sun was partially behind the clouds, but of course if I changed it to 6500 it would be even more red!  Anyway, long story short, I'm still learning about these filters, but I'm liking the results.  Lastly, our new beach has solved my foreground problems.  Now I have a lot more options and look forward to trying out some different foregrounds as we return to this beach over the next few months.    Critiques always welcome!    Daily photo: August 27, 2012, taken August 26, 2012
24.8.08 - What a difference a day makes :)  My last three Dailies have been very dark, and not just because they were night shots. Today was better. A walk in the sunshine round the Nature Reserve kick started things. I managed to get my first wildflower shots in ages, and picked lots of blackberries to turn into crumbles or just eat with ice cream. I also took loads of shots of these ripples in the small stream that splits the reserve in two. I've never seen it looking so striking as this. I don't know whether it was the angle of light, the level and speed of the water flow, or maybe a combination of lots of things, but I was transfixed for ages watching the patterns constantly changing.   We take water for granted. It not only gives us life, but it can also be very beautiful in all it's different guises. It is also a major constituent of beer :) A group of us spent the evening unwinding at a beer festival in town. Lots of wonderful beers, a hog roast, some guys casually playing guitar on the benches just along from us, the perfect way to finish the day. So imagine this image, while drinking beer and listening to an acoustic "All Along the Watchtower", in the shadow of Lincoln Castle, yep, that's chillin' :)  There are five other shots from the nature reserve here;  http://www.lightanddreamsphotography.com/gallery/5121648_aU8pe#358234544_AyMnx
February 13, 2011- The Waxing Gibbous (nine day old) Moon. I finally captured it during the day. I have such a hard time getting a day time shot of the moon. Wasn't sure what I was doing wrong, it was always too faint, not a lot of details, just a bad shot. But this time, (2/12/11) I finally got it! Day 44 #365Project @sharkbayte
Great blue heron, photographed at the Dancing Cranes Guest House in San Antonio, New Mexico, not far from Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.  Best viewed in the larger sizes.  The owners of the B&B have created a wildlife refuge on their property that attracts many kinds of birds.  I had been watching this heron for about two hours and the light had moved a lot.  I had to shoot this into the bright late afternoon sun.  Luckily, the grasses by the pond blocked the light a bit and I think I bumped the exposure comp up.  I liked the light that resulted.  Hope you like it, too.  Oh, my!  I'm so honored that you all made my sunrise shot of the geese flyout the #1 shot today.  I was just so lucky that the sunrise that morning was spectacular and took quite a long time to play out, so I got a lot of shots against the sunrise, which had quite a few different looks.  Thanks, everyone, for making my day!  Have a great Wednesday!
08/05/09 - On my way to work yesterday, like usual, I went the long way down past the swamp.  What I saw of interest to me were two neat spiderwebs side by side, covered in morning dew, and in decent light.  So, I did my best to capture them.  This is the one I liked the best.  I hope you think it's neat too.      Thanks for your comments on the glass shot from yesterday.  The weave pattern was actually etched into the glass.  I had not used glass beads before.  I had used marbles (flat or round), sugar, or broken glass.  So using beads was new.  If you missed it along the way, I'm going to do a coffee shop show later this year, and I'm most likely going to pick from my glass shots what to hang.  I did nature shots the last two times, and the owner and I both like to switch it up sometimes.    Have a great day!
October 3, 2011  Blue-eyed Darner (Rhionaeschna multicolor) captured in flight at a local park - I fired off 2 shots, the first was a blur but I nailed this one. Best seen in the larger formats
I photographed this turkey vulture in Big Bend National Park in extreme south Texas on our recent trip.  I stayed on my knees for about an hour photographing this vulture and another on a nearby telephone pole.  I believe this one was the female.  She meticulously groomed every single feather on her body...one at a time!  She did every feather the way she is doing this one, running her beak along its length.   Look at this image in the largest sizes and you'll see some marks on her feathers.  I'm not sure if they are parasites or something else.  Her feathers were, on the whole, gorgeous and I think even her head is not ugly like many people think. You can see the little hairs on her head.  The other vulture did some grooming, as well, but he was not nearly as meticulous and some of his feathers were pretty ratty.  I wanted to get the vultures taking off and by the time I finally got those shots, my legs were shaking, as were my arms from holding my position for such a long time.  I shot this with my 200 - 400mm lens and it is a big sucker to handle.   I'm going to post a bit early, as my sciatica is killing me.  It is great to be back posting and looking at all your wonderful images.  Hope your weekend is terrific.  Tomorrow we'll have to dig out from our recent blizzard.  Hoping the sun melts a lot of it.
Sandhill cranes flying in the early morning at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in NM.  Thank you all for your positive comments on my sunrise shot of the snow geese.  Really made my day!  Hope you are all enjoying your weekend!
Reflections in a Wheel; best viewed in the larger sizes.  This particular reflection was one of my favorite takeaways from the car show!    Thanks for your comments on the shot of the father with the little girl playing with the slot cars.  Keeps me going!
Friday, July 6, 2012  "VERONA YELLOW PERSIAN SET with KOHL BLACK LIP WRAPS" by Dale Chihuly (1999)  "Color is like food for the spirit - plus it's not addictive or fattening." ~ Isaac Mizrahi  SOOC photo, hand blown glass; 15 x 19 x 18 inches  An encounter with Dale Chihuly's works is always a spectacular reminder that glass is not just something to see through or drink out of.   Artist's Statement.........."The Persians started out as a search for new forms. I set up Martin Blank and Robbie Miller in a corner of the hotshop at Pilchuck. I would make large pencil drawings for them with a couple of dozen small forms, and then I would put an X under the ones I wanted them to go for. Over the next year, we made more than 1,000 miniature experimental forms." ~ Dale Chihuly  Thanks for your overwhelmingly kind comments regarding yesterday's photo. I am elated that you are enjoying this series. I'll post a few more Chihuly masterpieces and then I'll post another subject:).  Dale Chihuly's official website is www.chihuly.com  Dale Chihuly: "Recent Works and New Forms" Exhibit" 2012 Talley Dunn Gallery 5020 Tracy Street Dallas, Texas 75205  Oh Happy Friday!  ***#1 photo of the day and all-time***  (photo taken June 29, 2012)  My Homepage: http://www.Godschild.smugmug.com
Indian bride   (003 2nd year)    This beautiful lady is my friends' daughter who got married last Monday. Two days ago I had put up a shot of her foot with Mehendi:   http://hershy.smugmug.com/photos/559107962_zckEs-L.jpg    To answer Curious Camel:  The bridegroom is holding her hand. Beetle leaf and nut are put in the hands of the bride and then the groom covers her hand with his, making it a 'union' of two people.       www.javeri.net
A male great blue heron brings a branch for the nest to his mate; best viewed in the largest sizes.  I don't know if this was an experienced pair or not.  The first two days I watched them, the male had a much tougher time breaking a branch off the tree.  By the third day, he was bringing branches much more quickly.  The herons do not make the nest out of branches that have fallen.  They fly to another treetop and pull and tug until they are able to break a branch off.  I watched one heron work for an hour without successfully managing to break a branch.  By the third day, this fella had learned that smaller branches were easier to break off and was regularly bringing his mate these smaller branches.  The first two days I watched them, he tended to bring larger branches that were usually forked.  Then they would have a tough time incorporating those bigger ones into the nest.  It seemed to me that the male learned a lot the first couple of days.  While the male was gone from the nest, the female would stand on the nest, work on the nest or simply nap.  However, each time, just before he would return, she would suddenly extend her neck feathers and stretch out her neck looking at something I could not see and, then, there he would be.  I learned to get ready to take a shot of him whenever she started assuming that pose.  Here, she still has the neck feathers stuck out. Several folks have asked about the crop.  The image is cropped but it is not a really big crop.  I just cropped out other branches in the tree on both sides.  I used a 400mm lens which brings the birds in pretty close.  It is an f4.0 lens and I've found I need really good light in order to avoid noise at high shutter speeds, which I use to accommodate the rapid movement of birds.  All of the days I photographed these birds (about six - eight hours over three days) were quite bright.  On the day this was shot, it was sort of overcast and the sky was whitish-blue.  On other days the sky was bright blue --- such as with the shot yesterday.  I used this lens all the time except when I was trying to capture flying birds and for that, I found I needed to be further back from the birds in order to deal with their rapid speed.  I shot a lot of these at 1/320th of a second.  I still have hundreds of these shots to process, but, as I do so I am putting them into a gallery called "Great Blue Herons" which is under the category of "Animals."  Boy, I just noticed that my other blue heron shot is #1.  That sure makes my day.  Thanks, everyone, who commented on the shot.  And, have a great Sunday!
Sunday, July 28, 2013     "C" is for CHIHLY'S CENTERPIECE CLUSTERS  "I tend to do things on a huge scale because it's exciting. I like to push things in new and different ways," Chihuly said. "My philosophy is: when one is good, a dozen is better." ~ Dale Chihuly  SOOC, uncropped, flash fired  Photo submission for Donna McCommon's "Alphabet Challenge"  We recently took a quick break from our vacation in Arizona and drove to Las Vegas, NV. There have been numerous additions and attractions to the Las Vegas Strip (my favorite being City Center) since my first / last visit in 2006.  Also, I was torn between posting chimes, chocolate, cake, car, or Chihuly - but, of course, Chihuly won!  I've been an admirer of Dale Chihuly's glass art since viewing (at the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library & Museum in Little Rock, AR in 2006) the chandelier that he designed for the Clinton's Millennium Christmas at The White House. A photo of it is here: http://www.smugmug.com/gallery/11041770_4sVsXc#!i=772526419&k=9zCpKh3&lb=1&s=A  Furthermore, it's official name is "Clusters Persians Centerpiece," and it features Persian blown glass elements which are open, disc-like forms with striations (called “body wraps”). I had to quickly "point and shoot" in an effort to avoid people's heads being in the photo; as you can imagine, there were several admirers photographing this work of art. Although the lighting is very limited surrounding Chihuly's glass art, if you get to the area, take the time to peruse the artwork; it is beyond amazing.  Additionally, I must admit that although I prefer uploading and posting my photos in the order which they were taken, I delved into my "Vegas Baby, Vegas" 2013 gallery to post this one for Donna McCommon's "Alphabet Challenge" today. You'll be seeing my Las Vegas photos in future posts, but for now, you can view my complete "Vegas Baby, Vegas" 2013 gallery (minus the photos that are "in the can") here: http://www.smugmug.com/gallery/30144066_H5mkzM#!i=2633507079&k=DfBcTDh  Dale Chihuly's official website is here: www.chihuly.com  As always, I appreciate you taking the time to peruse and comment on my photos.  Finally, be blessed and share the rest!  Bellagio Bellagio Baccarat Lounge (just off the Bellagio lobby) 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. Las Vegas, NV  ***#1 photo of the day and all-time***  (photo taken July, 2013)  My Homepage: http://www.Godschild.smugmug.com
Saturday, July 2, 2011                    "1955 FORD FAIRLANE TOWN SEDAN"  “Vision without execution is just hallucination.” ~ Henry Ford  Here's my very 1st HDR pp image........best viewed in XLarge!!   A special thanks to Lgood's husband Bill (owner of a Ford Fairlane) who stated that this is "a 1955 (maybe a '66) but nearly certain it is a '55."  This multi-colored Ford Fairlane Town Sedan was my favorite in the show. I love the bright colors that changed depending upon the angle from which it was viewed. If you look real close, you will see reflections galore in this one, most notably a red Chevy pickup that was parked beside it.    According to Wikipedia, "The Ford Fairlane was an automobile model sold between 1955 and 1970 by the Ford Motor Company in North America. The name was taken from Henry Ford's estate, Fair Lane, near Dearborn, Michigan. Over time, the name referred to a number of different cars in different classes; the Fairlane was initially a full-size car but became a mid-size car from the 1962 model year. The mid-sized model spawned the Australian-built Fairlane in 1967, although it was considered a large car there." (Reprinted text from here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Fairlane_Americas)   Check out the original here: http://www.smugmug.com/gallery/17330226_SSNF6P#1361726886_85RFQx2.  Your comments regarding my first "major" pp work on yesterday's T-Bird were both inspiring and appreciated. By the way, my hubby and our two sons are the "vintage vehicle/car buffs."   ***#4 photo of the day and all-time***  (photo taken 6/11/2011)  My Homepage: http://www.Godschild.smugmug.com
JULY 12, 2011-Found this Robber Fly with his dinner on the lattice work. For the first time I tried tone mapping, so I am not sure if I over processed it or not, just thought it looked kinda cool. (193:365)
Red Sunset, Lake Sam Rayburn

I'm happy to report that Nini and I have found our sunset spot here in Nacogdoches. The only problem is that it's not in Nacogdoches, and is a good hour drive from our home. But it is nice. We went out early yesterday so we could try a few places. The first stop on the list was Harvey Creek recreation area. Upon first sight it was nothing more than an uninteresting boat ramp. So we left right away and spent about an hour driving around on various gravel roads looking for a better view of the lake. But all we found was a lot of private property. So we headed back to Harvey Creek, and low and behold, we found a dirt road in the rec area that lead us to the best beach we've seen since we found the best beach in Missouri. There is a lot of room for the dogs to run while I shoot and Nini reads, and there is a strong cross wind that keeps the mosquitoes at bay. We can't wait to go back and spend the day there sometime soon.

This is a single 8 second exposure. I started off by using a 3-stop hard-step neutral density filter, which helped me bring the exposure of the sky closer to that of the foreground. Then I added a 5 stop neutral density filter to allow me to use a longer exposure. I wanted the long exposure effect on the water, but the long exposure also let the sensor capture more of the rapidly changing colors as they spilled across the sky. I was surprised at how much more red came through. When I was on the beach I was thinking that maybe the filter was just tricking the camera's auto white balance into setting a really warm color temperature. But the color temperature here is actually 5200, the color temperature of daylight. I would guess the actual color temperature was somewhere closer to 6500, since the sun was partially behind the clouds, but of course if I changed it to 6500 it would be even more red! Anyway, long story short, I'm still learning about these filters, but I'm liking the results. Lastly, our new beach has solved my foreground problems. Now I have a lot more options and look forward to trying out some different foregrounds as we return to this beach over the next few months.

Critiques always welcome!

Daily photo: August 27, 2012, taken August 26, 2012

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Red Sunset, Lake Sam Rayburn    I'm happy to report that Nini and I have found our sunset spot here in Nacogdoches.  The only problem is that it's not in Nacogdoches, and is a good hour drive from our home.  But it is nice.  We went out early yesterday so we could try a few places.  The first stop on the list was Harvey Creek recreation area.  Upon first sight it was nothing more than an uninteresting boat ramp.  So we left right away and spent about an hour driving around on various gravel roads looking for a better view of the lake.  But all we found was a lot of private property.  So we headed back to Harvey Creek, and low and behold, we found a dirt road in the rec area that lead us to the best beach we've seen since we found the best beach in Missouri.   There is a lot of room for the dogs to run while I shoot and Nini reads, and there is a strong cross wind that keeps the mosquitoes at bay.  We can't wait to go back and spend the day there sometime soon.    This is a single 8 second exposure.  I started off by using a 3-stop hard-step neutral density filter, which helped me bring the exposure of the sky closer to that of the foreground.  Then I added a 5 stop neutral density filter to allow me to use a longer exposure.  I wanted the long exposure effect on the water, but the long exposure also let the sensor capture more of the rapidly changing colors as they spilled across the sky.  I was surprised at how much more red came through.  When I was on the beach I was thinking that maybe the filter was just tricking the camera's auto white balance into setting a really warm color temperature.  But the color temperature here is actually 5200, the color temperature of daylight.  I would guess the actual color temperature was somewhere closer to 6500, since the sun was partially behind the clouds, but of course if I changed it to 6500 it would be even more red!  Anyway, long story short, I'm still learning about these filters, but I'm liking the results.  Lastly, our new beach has solved my foreground problems.  Now I have a lot more options and look forward to trying out some different foregrounds as we return to this beach over the next few months.    Critiques always welcome!    Daily photo: August 27, 2012, taken August 26, 2012
Red Sunset, Lake Sam Rayburn

I'm happy to report that Nini and I have found our sunset spot here in Nacogdoches. The only problem is that it's not in Nacogdoches, and is a good hour drive from our home. But it is nice. We went out early yesterday so we could try a few places. The first stop on the list was Harvey Creek recreation area. Upon first sight it was nothing more than an uninteresting boat ramp. So we left right away and spent about an hour driving around on various gravel roads looking for a better view of the lake. But all we found was a lot of private property. So we headed back to Harvey Creek, and low and behold, we found a dirt road in the rec area that lead us to the best beach we've seen since we found the best beach in Missouri. There is a lot of room for the dogs to run while I shoot and Nini reads, and there is a strong cross wind that keeps the mosquitoes at bay. We can't wait to go back and spend the day there sometime soon.

This is a single 8 second exposure. I started off by using a 3-stop hard-step neutral density filter, which helped me bring the exposure of the sky closer to that of the foreground. Then I added a 5 stop neutral density filter to allow me to use a longer exposure. I wanted the long exposure effect on the water, but the long exposure also let the sensor capture more of the rapidly changing colors as they spilled across the sky. I was surprised at how much more red came through. When I was on the beach I was thinking that maybe the filter was just tricking the camera's auto white balance into setting a really warm color temperature. But the color temperature here is actually 5200, the color temperature of daylight. I would guess the actual color temperature was somewhere closer to 6500, since the sun was partially behind the clouds, but of course if I changed it to 6500 it would be even more red! Anyway, long story short, I'm still learning about these filters, but I'm liking the results. Lastly, our new beach has solved my foreground problems. Now I have a lot more options and look forward to trying out some different foregrounds as we return to this beach over the next few months.

Critiques always welcome!

Daily photo: August 27, 2012, taken August 26, 2012

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Photo by: paulbellinger · See photo in original gallery.

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