Saturday, August 11, 2018

Summertime Fun.....

There are times when you would like to publish an image, but it contains people who may or may not wish to be identified. This problem presents itself more and more these days, especially in this part of the country. Point your camera in anyone's direction anymore, and you become accused of stealing someone's identity, or it may be assumed that you have other ulterior unsavory motives. So what to do, when all you intend to do is take a happy scene of folks enjoying themselves? In this image, I used the Illustration Mode in my SONY a77Mk2, and the software built into the camera turns the scene into an image that resembles something out of a comic book. It is still an image of folks enjoying themselves on a warm Summer's day, without being able to identify them...works for me, and hopefully you too. Hopefully everyone is having a very happy and safe Summer season....

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Holly Hock Illustration.....

Earlier in the Spring when everything started to burst into life, it was suggested that I clean out some of the weeds growing around the base of our back deck. So I grabbed something sharp and proceeded to hack away, not really knowing what was weeds, and what wasn't. When I got to this one "weed", it looked kind of different from the others, so I decided to spare it from the machette blade. As it turns out, it started to get a whole bunch of buds, which blossomed into this Holly Hock, which is now higher than the railings on the deck. So, today while I was enjoying a coffee, with camera close by, I decided to see what sort of image I could make from it. The Illustration EFX was done in camera, and the surrounding softening and vignetting was done in Corel Paint Shop Pro X7. More than likely, the purists will hate it, and others will find it somewhat interesting....I'm just messing around on an extremely hot day, and thankful I have access to some Air Conditioning during the heat.....

P,S, To view a Mono abstract version of this image, check out my other Black &         White site at Black & White Dabblings

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Yucca Blossoms Still Life.....For Frank

Just as dusk settled in this evening, I decided to enjoy a cup of my favourite Gun Powder Green Tea on the back deck. I had just snipped these Yucca Blossoms from the bush growing beside the A/C which have been getting a pretty good workout lately....but I digress... Anyway, I felt in the mood to do a still life shot of them as they sat on the glass topped table on the deck, but was too lazy to do a full table top set up. Firstly I started with the lights from a hanging basket just overhead. But it did not give me anything near what I had in mind. By this time it was almost dark, so with the camera on a tripod, and the exposure set at f11 for 20 seconds, I used a simple Dollar Store LED flashlight to paint the areas that I wanted with light, until the camera shut off. This is the result, and more along the line of what I had in mind. It was a great way to enjoy a great cup of green tea.....

P.S. This image is for my good friend Frank, who just had knee replacement surgery, and I did not get to visit him in the hospital, so old buddy, these are for you...speedy recovery eh.....

Monday, June 11, 2018

An Artist's Abode.....

This image is one that I have been meaning to do something with for quite a while now. It was taken in Bay Roberts, NFLD, and is the home of an artist there. That white flower mounted on the side of this 2 story home says it all. There is definitely a creative mind at work there for sure. Tonight, I went to work on it with the help of Photoshop, and put a "Spatter Edge" and a textured matte around it for a little more elegant presentation of this place by the sea. Next time I go back there, I think I shall knock on that door, as there just might be a portrait or two waiting there for me......gotta love that great wooden flower that fills an otherwise empty space....artists can't abide empty spaces eh.....

Mock Orange Blossoms & Oranges....

Tonight I got to messing around with an idea I had been mulling over for a day or two. I knew roughly what I had in mind, but wasn't too sure about the execution of it all. Anyway, it had to do with some Mock Orange blossoms that are growing a few feet from our rear deck. They give off such a sweet smell, that when the wind is blowing right, it just wafts across the your nose and makes you forget all about the cold of last Winter. The painterly effect was done in camera by selecting the "Watercolor" mode. The lightness vignetting was done in Corel Software. Of course, I took several variations of this image, and chose this one for this posting tonight.....or more correctly, morning. It is a lot of fun to gather items together that is all around, and assemble them to give a somewhat close resemblance to the image that is bouncing around in your mind. The lighting was from my Light Storm LED lighting. When I thought of buying them, it seemed that they were somewhat pricey to me. But now, looking back, it was money well spent as I feel that if you are going to improve as a photographer, you are better off spending money on lighting, than that latest, newest, does it all, lens or camera body. Photography is all about lighting, and I will be the first to admit that I have a long ways to go yet....but the journey is fun. Hope you enjoy also.....

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Beside the Fence.....

It has cooled considerably today, and for a while it looked like rain could fall at any time, so I grabbed the camera and took a few shots along the fence in the back yard. Hope you enjoy also.....

Thursday, May 31, 2018

YES! Finally.....

It had been a really cool, wet Spring here in Windsor, but as is often the case here, Summer hits early within about 48 hours, and the seasons change. This past week, the thermometer has been up in the high 20's and low 30's Celsius, and we moved from sweaters and jackets, to tank tops, shorts and sandals. Along with that sudden spike in temperatures, came the blossoming of flowers of all kinds. It was so nice to walk out your door, and be greeted with rose blossoms everywhere. It makes you want to shake your head and ask if this is for real or not.....hope you enjoy.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day...

This image is for all the Mothers out there. Looking back on my life, I am so very fortunate. and thankful, that I can say that I had two wonderful ladies that I called Mom....my Mother who gave me birth, and my Mother-in-Law. They were very different from each other, but wonderful, each in her own way. Both are gone now, but certainly not forgotten. Without Mothers, none of us would be here....so, Happy Mother's Day to Mothers everywhere...

P.S. The Sunburst was inserted using Corel software.....Ooops!


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Hierarchy of Musical Instruments.....

Good Morning! Yup, sometimes I get to post an image in the daylight hours...for a change. This is an image I worked on last evening, and it was taken right out of my camera using the "Illustration" mode. Usually I do this sort of image manipulation in Photoshop or Corel, but this time I let my camera do the dirty work. Anyway, the image was shot originally for entry in the Assignment Category for the Windsor Camera Club competition next Tuesday evening. The Assignment was to show Musical Instruments and/or Glass objects. So with that in mind, I set this up, not really knowing if it would be a bust or not. Afterward, my "critic in residence" told me it was too busy, and she was not too fussy about it, which is fine by me. Anyway, a title had to be found, and after looking over the image, I decided that it was somewhat depicting the different levels of music played on each one, and also the folks who play it. To the lower left, is the white rows of buttons of my diatonic accordion, and next, the guitar, and on top is the violin.   Strange fellows like me, play the accordion, while the rockers, and C&W folk mostly play the guitar. But the real musicians, such as Andre' Rieu, and Stephane Grappelli, play the violin....and also other great unknown musicians such as old Cliff Farrow.....hard to keep your feet still when he got going.....

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Spring is Here....

Finally! Spring seems to have sprung. This is the only blossom in our back yard right now, and it never ceases to amaze me how something so simple can lift your spirits, and bring a smile to your face. After checking our rose bushes in the back yard, it was apparent that they took a hard hit this past Winter. At least a couple of them had to be pruned back almost to the ground, and I was happy to see them with fresh buds growing on what is left of them. So happily, I am looking forward to having more roses to photograph in a few weeks. In addition to the roses, I am hoping to do a little more butterfly photography this summer. Hopefully there will be plenty floating about among the blossoms....

Sunday, April 22, 2018

After the Ball is Over.....

This image is from a few that I took a couple of weekends ago at an old automotive museum out in Essex County, near Kingsville, Ont.. Usually I shoot alone, but this time I gave in to some coaxing from my friends, Larry & Nick, to join them and a few other WCC members for an excursion. Instead of the usual hood ornaments and decorative features, I was more interested in the various mannequins about the place. The mannequins are made of wax I believe, but I decided to try to make the scene a bit more life like by using a remote flash propped up on the steering wheel and bounced off of the ceiling, to give it a look of oncoming headlights at night. The moon hanging in the background was from my files, and I wanted the scene to possibly be reminiscent of something from the 30's in old Chicago, or possibly New York. The young ladies appear very sober and lonely, and lost in thoughts of another night out on the town.....

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Still Hanging On.....

Yesterday, the sun came out for a bit, and I decided to haul out my old 6 MP KM7D camera to see if it was still working or not. After putting on my 50mm macro lens, I went outside on the deck where there were some dried out old dead leaves still clinging to the rose bushes there. For some reason, old, withered and dead plants and leaves are fascinating to me, and so I started to shoot a few of them that were tenacious enough to still be hanging on after the blasts of Winter, and early Spring. Nothing too fancy here, just an image of one of them. Hope you enjoy it also....and fresh blossoms will be coming soon.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Vegetable Prep Still Life.....

It has been quite a while since my last post on here, and it has been busy, so busy that I had not taken the camera out of the bag for several weeks now. So tonight, after our evening meal, I thought I would try a shot or two of some vegetables that were sitting on our window ledge. The lighting was LED's and the tangle of dead leaves in the background is from a plant of some sort that had died last summer. It kinda looked interesting to me, and instead of pitching them into the garbage, I hung on to them just in case I get the urge to use them in a picture. Well, this is the result. Maybe I will print a small one for some corner in the kitchen area....then again, I probably will get "the look", and think better of that idea. Anyway, hopefully someone will enjoy it a little also. And for those who might be interested....

Camera: SONY a77Mk2 on tripod, & SONY 18 ~ 135mm lens
Lighting: 2 Aperature Light Storm 20C LED's + 500 Lumens LED bounced in white umbrella for fill lighting.
Exposure: f11 for 1/2 sec

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Roses Still Life.....

This still life image is another of my feeble attempts to drive away the Winter blahs. Since roses seem to be occupying my mind tonight, I figured that one more probably wouldn't hurt....at least I hope not. For whatever reason, I have not gotten my head into the Winter Olympics this year, except to watch the luge runs....nerves of steel they have. Anyway, this image is one of my experimenting with still life photography, and in this instance, I threw in some blue gels to see if it might make it a bit interesting. It sort of works for me, and hopefully for you as well.....

Monday, February 19, 2018

Rose After the Rain.....

It rained all day today, and it gave me a chance to print a couple of prints for the WCC Competition tomorrow night. Afterward, I got digging around in my old files again, and decided to see what I could make of this image. It was one that I shot late last Summer after a rainfall, and needless to say, I am getting a little antsy to be out in the garden again after this Winter is gone. Hopefully most of our roses will have survived this rather harsh weather lately....can't wait for the return of the birds, and coffee on the deck in the mornings. Hope you enjoy it a little....

Monday, February 5, 2018

Cherished Moment.....

A little while ago, one of my coffee buddies asked me if I would do him a favour. Before knowing what it was, I told him I would, no problem. As it turns out, his son was about to become a Father for the first time, and he wanted me to do a portrait of the couple before the event. This image was one of the last of the session, and instead of the usual flash setup, I decided to try to use my new LED lighting. Even though they are very bright, you still will be using the widest or near widest aperture along with a slow shutter speed. Obviously, the camera is on a tripod. The lighting was just 2 LED's positioned just slightly behind and to the couple's left, no fill lighting whatsoever, and the background was a dark charcoal paper roll about 5 feet behind them, ....not my usual set up at all. Indeed it is has a high contrast ratio, but I was only interested in lighting the bare essentials to tell the story of their impending joyful event. Shadows make highlights "pop", and it was my intent to step outside the box a bit, and go for something a little different.....

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Summer....Where Are You?

Tired of Winter already? This is the time of year when you can just barely notice that the days are starting to lengthen out a bit, and the sun is actually starting to have a bit of warmth to it, especially when driving in the car on a sunny day. Tonight, I was foraging about in my files from last Summer, and came across this one. I had used my old Minolta 100mm Soft Focus Portrait lens, and that old lens has a really nice warmth to the colours and tones. The old Minolta glass was well known for that feature, and that is one reason that old die hards like myself, can't even think of parting with them. Anyway, I digress. This image just takes your mind away from the reality of dirty snow, and freezing rain, and helps calm the nerves whenever you think that in a few months, we will be able to go outside and shoot more roses, or whatever kind of blossoms that are around.....can't wait.....

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Orchid.....

We took a little drive out to Colasanti's Tropical Gardens in Kingsville today, and while walking about, I managed to grab a couple of shots of some lovely white orchids. This is a crop of the original image, and it really simplified the image greatly. It is a stark contrast to the rather wild images of flowers that I recently posted below this one, and hopefully the horticulturists will give me one more chance at redeeming myself.  Maybe some of you will enjoy this one also...

P.S. FYI: Camera; SONY a77M2
                Lens; SONY 18 ~ 135.....hand held.
                EXP; f5.6 for 1/30th of a second.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Captain Morgan's Rose.....

This one is for my friend John....sorry John, I just couldn't help myself tonight. From now on, I promise to get "serious". My wife just hates when I do this sort of stuff, but in actuality, it is just a method of "reclaiming" a very much less than perfect rose that I shot on our back deck last fall. Since I strive to keep cloning to a minimum, it is a bit of a challenge for me to take images that are blemished, and cover it all up with a few filters in Photoshop & Corel, and create something totally different or unusual. The folks at the horticultural society must just go nuts when they see such "violence" done to flowers and such. But, I have to admit, it is fun, and you do not need any Captain Morgan to get a laugh from it.....'tis all about fun from now on remember....but I'm sure some of you are saying, "go on back and hide in the darkroom old man, you are a digital disaster".....Cheers! 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Rose Abstract....

No, I'm not high or inebriated, but this image is the result of more experimenting, and probably some may view it and say, "Yup, the old guy has gone over the edge now". It is just me letting my imagination run wild...sort of reminds me of Cathy Jones of CBC's This Hour Has 22 Minutes, who used to end her monologues with "I'm just goofin' around, that's all". For quite a while, I felt like I had "hit the wall" creatively, and after much mulling it over, I realized that I was not having any fun with my photography anymore. So, starting this year, I've decided to have fun. Not too sure where this will take me, but we shall see. It is time to stop being so serious about it all, it is just pictures, right? At one time, capturing the perfect flower, or bird, or whatever, used to be the end goal. Now, for me, capturing the image of an object, is just the starting point. I have no preconceived ideas of what I intend to eventually do with it. That is the fun stuff....and hopefully now, it will be all about having fun....hope some of you enjoy it also.
Again, Happy 2018!!