Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Photo Challenge #38

He seemed to be saying, "Why are you following me?"

Granted, I took about 20 shots before he finally looked directly at me. He didn't like me following him at all, either.

Photo Challenge #37

Not a new picture, but one of my favorites. Taken last summer from Dinosaur Ridge in Denver, Colorado. I forget what this rock formation was called, but it sure looked amazing. Such a stark difference from the flatness of the Texas panhandle.

Photo Challenge #36

What I like about this photo:
the fence
the angles of the fence
the look of the snow where it meets the ground as it's melting
the lighting and shadows

What I don't like:
the slight blurriness of the first post
the damn two twigs in the top right corner that I tried to crop out but are too in the way

*Mental note to self* Check and double-check composition in camera before taking shot!! In my pathetic defence, it was cold, muddy, snowy, and uneven ground. If I stood at the angle I wanted for the shot, the tree/shrub thing was in the way. If I dropped down the little hill I was standing on, the angle of the shot changed. I was too close, and too low, but the tree/shrub would have been out of the way. And it was muddy. Did I mention the mud? Did I mention I had on Crocs?

*Mental note to self #2* Don't wear Crocs to go shoot nature photography when it's cold, rainy/snowy, muddy, etc.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Photo Challenge #35

This stinks!
I was making potato salad for dinner, and the color of this onion was so pretty, I decided to snap a still shot real quick. Still practicing taking shots in RAW format. Still not crazy about it and have kind of a "what's the point, it takes more work!" attitude about it.

Photo Challenge #34

Oh, look. Another kitty picture. I know, I know.

Actually, I've been practicing working with pictures taken in RAW format versus JPEG. I have sooooo much to learn.

Photo Challenge #33

(Click to enlarge)
Yes, another snow picture. When we get this much snow this frequently, it makes it difficult to shoot anything other than snow (outside) or kids & pets (inside).
This time I opted for something a little different. My challenge was to take a nighttime shot of our neighborhood, something other than my neighbor directly across the street. So around 11:30 p.m. I set up the tripod and camera outside to take some night shots of the snow. Since the NYIP Unit I am currently working on is Exposure, I figured this would something interesting to play around with since the snow, and clouds, and some lighting from the street were all present.

Photo Challenge #32

Shooting range. Practicing stop motion shots for photography course. Hindsight is 20/20. I should have submitted this photo instead of the one I actually turned in, because even though I got good feedback on the photo I submitted, I like this one better.
Lesson learned: Stop second guessing myself!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Photo Challenge #31

I didn't set out to shoot this photo but sometimes things just happen.
I drove to this particular area in the Texas panhandle because we had driven here a couple of times searching for a geocache in the area. This is looking due north while standing on the caliche road. If I had turned around and snapped another shot, you would see numerous trees lining the opposite side of the road. Living in these trees are several red-tail hawks. I had hoped this day to get a couple of shots of hawks. However, someone nearby was shooting - it was hunting season - so the hawks weren't out. I intended to use this shot as a practice shot in case we did see hawks. I was really surprised later when I saw it turned out quite well.

Photo Challenge #30

Miss Mac has been going to the shooting range for about two years now. Usually daddy helps her shoot the .22 that was her big brother's when he was her age. On this day, another LEO was at the range with his son and he let us borrow his ... ok, I am sure the thing has a name, but heck if I know what it's really called...shooting support chair thingy. This was a huge help because the .22 is still pretty heavy for Miss Mac to hold, aim and shoot all by herself. Even with the support thing, big brother still lent a hand.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Photo Challenge #29

"The Tank"
A big reason for my lack of time and energy lately! Our grandson is staying with us for a while. I'd forgotten how time-consuming and energy-draining babies can be. He's a sweet one with a really happy disposition. I'd just become quite spoiled with how it easy it is with a 6 year old to just pick up and go when I need to run errands. I'm building up some serious upper body strength lugging this guy around!!

Photo Challenge #28

Got Cookies?
Introducing our newest family member, 8-wk old Lilly. She enjoys playing in the Girl Scout cookie boxes. Apparently she prefers Thin Mints. I'm more of a Caramel Delight kind-of-girl.

Photo Challenge #27

I wish I could start my morning with one of these each day! A tall caramel latte from Roasters, a local coffee shop. However, at $4 apiece, I'm forced to settle for regular, although VERY strong, home-brewed coffee with Coffee Mate's Belgium Chocolate Toffee creamer.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Photo Challenge #26

From DailyShoot.com:

Franz Kafka said "Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old." Make a photo of something beautiful today.

So, this is an old post - from several days ago. Between life's realities and the blogger vs. my laptop issue, I'm just able to load the photo today. This is our new kitten, Lily. Miss Mac calls her "silly lily". Psycho Cat is tolerating Lily quite well. Better than she tolerates people, actually!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Photo Challenge #25

These are Miss Mac's favorite snack cracker. And I took a picture to do more practice with still's and my homemade lightbox. The idea for the photo, although lacking in creativity, came from another photo forum challenge about you guessed it...crackers!

Also, for the next couple of weeks, I am testing out different photo editing software. This week I am testing out Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3. This is an upgrade from the current software by Corel that I use. So, the pictures I post and blog about in the upcoming weeks will possibly have more post-processing done than usual as I try out various programs to see which, if any I like best. I might just stick with what has been working up to this point.

For post-processing in this shot, I edited out a seam in the paper, added fill light, tried to brighten the white background, sharpened a bit, add a little saturation to the color, and finally tried to eliminate some of the "noise" on the box. Notice the word "try" in the previous sentence appears often.

Photo Challenge #24

I really am taking pictures daily!! Ok, almost daily, but still.
The hardest part about this challenge isn't taking the pictures. It is the loading them onto the computer, cropping and editing, writing something halfway interesting, and then, if I'm very lucky, getting the picture to load the first 20 times I try. I am not sure why blogspot doesn't like my computer, but something doesn't jive between the two. So, I really have to psych myself up full of motivation to write these blog entries.

And that is the end of my pity party!

This shot was taken at an intersection just south of town. Another West Texas sunset. And if anyone can tell my why the Texas Panhandle is called WEST Texas and not north Texas, I'd love to hear it. North Texas is considered that little part above the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Oh yea, the picture. I was trying out different exposures but playing around with ISO, and complete manual mode - meaning I messed with apertures and shutter speeds like crazy!! I took some good shots, and....some really crappy ones. Ain't that learning curve grand?