Archive

Archive for August, 2013

Inspiration: Relaxing

August 30, 2013 14 comments

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Have a wonderful relaxing weekend!

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IN THE FIELD: Purple Proliferates

August 23, 2013 27 comments

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My Mom has a small garden just off her patio filled with flowers of many varieties. Some of the flowers are her favorite perennials that return every year. To fill in the spaces and nooks and crannies, she will plant annuals in and among the plants waiting to bloom so there is always a flush of color.

Last spring a year ago, she planted several annual ageratum plants in the front corner of the flower bed. She felt it would add a nice splash of color next to her collection of small rocks. The plants flourished in the tiny rock garden. Later that year as part of the autumn cleanup, she pulled the plants along with all the other annuals that were finished blooming since they are not cold hardy. Apparently the seeds of ageratum plants are.

This spring, long before my Mom had planted any other annuals, little mounds of green leaves and purple flowers began to pop up everywhere. Yes, everywhere. Somehow they have spread throughout the whole flower garden creating a carpet of purple and green. It really is quite lovely, but it isn’t exactly what she had planned. They even hopped over the gravel path and took up residence in the raised bed vegetable garden I built for her.

I don’t think I’m going to tease her anymore with having two green thumbs and somehow always managing to create bionic growing conditions.

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IN THE FIELD: Clouds And Sun

August 19, 2013 22 comments

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A couple of days ago, the forecast was for strong thunder storms and possible tornados in the afternoon. The valley where we live is the perfect runway for wind storms. Tornados are a rarity here, but small ones have been known to form.

When we first heard about the possible heavy storms, it seemed a little odd since it was a beautiful summer day. The skies were blue with a few puffy clouds scattered about. Then the clouds began to mass together and build in height. At first it was rather pretty. But as we watched the cumulonimbus clouds build to well over 30,000 feet, we started to get a little apprehensive. And wonder which corner of the basement would be the safest.

Luckily, it never did rain or do much of anything else. The menacing skies moved eastward and out of our view. But for a while there, it sure looked like the unfriendly clouds were going to swallow up the countryside.

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IN THE FIELD: Coming Home

August 15, 2013 33 comments

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In the area where I live a cold front has come through and it has been quite breezy for about a week or so. With the cooler temperatures it feels more like autumn rather than August. The dry winds stir up a lot of dust from the local farms during the daytime which typically will lead to a good sunset.

While photographing the sunset the other night, a small airplane flew into view as it was making it’s approach to land at the grass airfield nearby.

The sun had just dipped below the distant tree line when I took this shot. By underexposing the shot by 1.5 stops, I was able to intensify the color slightly, and turn the tree line into a silhouette.

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IN THE FIELD: Gold Or Silver B&W

August 13, 2013 18 comments

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Referring to my previous post, I photographed some jewelry in a store with just the available light.

It was suggested to me to try a B&W conversion of the photo by a fellow photographer/blogger. http://zarabu.wordpress.com/  I highly encourage you to check out Abu’s blog. His photography is  a wonderful mix of scenics, street photography, and portraiture. He truly understands good composition.

It never occurred to me to see what this shot would look like as a B&W. I have to say I do like it, but I’m still undecided which version I like better.

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IN THE FIELD: Gold Or Silver

August 12, 2013 17 comments

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A few weeks ago I was out doing some street photography in the shopping district of a nearby town. I got some shots of the local architecture, storefronts, construction workers, signage, and people milling about town.

As I walked past a shop filled with jewelry and beads from around the world, something shiny in the storefront window caught my eye. It was a small display of hand hammered sterling silver scarf rings.

I liked how the light reflected off the facets in the metal. Getting a good photo looking through the window proved to be nearly impossible. So I went inside and asked the owner if I could get a few photos of the display, and she said, “have at it.” I decided to photograph them using the available light in the shop rather than using a flash.

The natural daylight and the overhead halogen lights combined with the cloudy white balance setting I was using, turned the silver a warm golden color. And while it does not reflect the true color of the piece, I like the mood it sets.

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IN THE FIELD: It’s all About Boats

August 9, 2013 34 comments

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Whenever I see boats in the water, I have this insatiable longing to be around them.

I’m pretty sure this passion for boats began when I was eight years old. That summer, my mother bought me a wooden toy sailboat made by Star Yachts in Birkenhead England. I would tie the end of a spool of kite string to the bow, take it to the ocean’s edge and let it sail into the waves towards some far away land across the sea.

When the boat was well on its way across the Atlantic and I only had a few feet of string left on the spool, I would give a tug on the string and turn the boat towards me. After it made it’s way back to the shallows I would turn it out to sea and repeat the process again. And again…all day long. The little yellow sailboat brought me many hours of joy.

A few years later I progressed to other things that float such as canoes and kayaks. And I even learned how to sail a big person’s sailboat.

I love boats of any size, shape, or construction, but my true passion is wooden boats. In fact, owning a wooden boat has been a dream of mine for many years. So I built one. Well…actually two…although, they are on a much smaller scale than full size.

This is a 1/12 scale model of a typical Maine Lobster Boat. I built everything you see in the photo. The dock, buoys, skiff, lobster traps, and the lobster boat itself, are all made of wood. The vessel is radio controlled and I can pretend I am at the helm and control speed, direction, and various lighting systems I installed.

Even though I built this boat several years ago, she looks as good now as she did when I first launched her. And whenever I need a boating fix, all I have to do is look up to the shelf above me, and there in her cradle sits the Maiden Marie.

We may live a few hours from the sea, but my pride and joy, the Maiden Marie, will take me in my dreams anywhere I want to venture. I suppose I’m still a little boy at heart.