Lazy Fotog

•May 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I had been waiting and watching for days for this rose bush to come to its first peak bloom.  The first rose bloom of the season always seems to be the best.

But on the day the roses were their best, it wasn’t my best.  I came home from work and saw the roses in their glory.  I dropped off my work-related items, and went outside with the camera.  It was an overcast afternoon and the sun was not being friendly.

I took many photos, and as I did so, I knew they weren’t going to turn out the best.  I knew it and I kept shooting.  The results remained the same.  I knew for a fact that I needed to get the tripod in order to get the photo I really wanted.  But I didn’t do it.

So, I ended up with this photo.  You can see my idea for the photo.  There was potential there that did not get realized.

Why didn’t I get the tripod?  I can’t be positive, but I think it was just plain laziness.  I didn’t feel like going to all that “trouble” to get the better photograph.

I guess it all comes down to how much you want the photo.  How much drive do you have?  On this day, I just didn’t have it.

Fortunately for me, Mother Nature will give me another chance.  I just have to be patient.



•May 10, 2011 • 2 Comments

Are there really people who think animals do not experience emotions?  I don’t know how anyone who has spent any measurable time around animals could possibly believe that.

This lucky shot was captured last spring when I went to the barn to ride.  It started raining, so instead of riding I had to put my horse back out in the field.  This was his reaction when I took off his halter.  Sometimes I take the camera with me when I go to the field, and sometimes I don’t.  This day, luck was with me!

I submitted this photo to a little equine photo contest on a website and won a training video for my effort . . . .and luck.

You can see the photo on the contest website here.

Opportunity, Potential, and Luck

•May 5, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Oftentimes, when opportunity, potential and luck all come together for a photographer there are some amazing shots that can be had. But if even one ingredient, especially luck, is missing it can become much more difficult. I enjoy song birds and I have feeders for them on my deck. They are a joy to watch and I have seen many different kinds of birds. I’ve been watching and feeding the birds for about nine years, and there is one bird that I’ve always wanted to see, but never have. Considering the fortune I’ve spent on bird seed and squirrel deterrent, I would have expected to have seen just about all of the birds in my birding book. The beautiful bird I was yearning to see was the indigo bunting. The elusive indigo bunting.

So, on April 22nd, I was completely unprepared when I looked out the bathroom window while I was getting ready for work and saw an indigo bunting at my feeder. I was completely stunned. I was surprised into motionlessness. The bird is even more beautiful in person that it is in photos. I finally ran to get my camera. I don’t have an official location or a bird blind to photograph the birds. I had to take this photo handheld, on an overcast day, through window glass and a screen. It didn’t turn out well.

The photo has got all kinds of problems. I’ve fussed around with it quite a bit in Capture NX2, and it does look better. However, if you don’t get your focus right in the camera, I think it’s a lost cause. But anyway, at least I’ve got proof of the indigo bunting, even if it is grainy, noisy, and blurry. You can’t win ’em all!

Christmas Elf

•January 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I’m not much for taking photos of people.  It’s just not something I do and it’s not something I’m good at.  But, during the holidays I did get this capture and I really liked it.  Her name is Lexi.

Yes, I know how long it’s been since I posted to the blog.  I’m not going to speak about it.

Peace by the Creek

•August 31, 2010 • 3 Comments

Clearly, I do not have time to keep this blog updated.  I’m really sorry about that.  I have photography topics to share, photos, questions, and the best of intentions.  But I just can’t get it done.  I know it’s a matter of priorities.  Perhaps when things slow down in the winter . . .

Anyway, I wanted to share this photo with anyone who is interested because it has become my favorite.  Yes, my absolute favorite, even more so than the one that was published on the magazine cover.  This photo was taken in West Virginia at Dunloup Creek Falls.  This location has been photographed many, many times, but I had never visited it before so I was excited to try my hand at it.  It is a beautiful location and I could have stayed there all day.  I framed the print and it is one of only two of my own photos displayed in my home.

Click here to see more of West Virginia.

Thunder in the Mountains

•July 13, 2010 • Leave a Comment

It was fireworks and explosions for the fourth of July as Stan and I traveled to the New River Gorge area of West Virginia to enjoy the long weekend.

This was our first journey into West Virginia and I think we chose an excellent area to get started in.  There is plenty to see and do, lots of backroads to wander down, hiking, beautiful drives, tons of state parks, and more.

This was the first year I’ve attempted to shoot fireworks.  I did a little research and decided to just give it a try and see what I ended up with.

I’ll admit that there’s so much to concentrate on when shooting them that it takes a little of the fun out of the fireworks experience.  But on the other hand, looking back on them and enjoying their beauty again along with my memories is more than worth it.

We watched the fireworks in Beckley, WV.  Having never been there before, I had no idea where the fireworks would be in the sky.  I asked some locals and they pointed me in the right direction.  I setup the tripod and took some test shots.  They fired some test fireworks, so that was good for some initial practice.  But once the show got started, I soon realized I was out of my league.  None of the camera settings I was using was producing anything near decent.  My timing was off.  I couldn’t leave the camera pointed at one spot because they were inconsistent in where they were firing them.  It was very frustrating.  I believe I was cursing under my breath.  But I didn’t give up.  I kept shooting and trying different settings until I finally got something I could work with.  I was happy with the handful of decent shots I ended up with.  I will try fireworks again at the next opportunity.

As for the thunder, that was the fireworks as well.  I grew up in the mountains of Tennessee and I was always a big fan of the fireworks on the 4th.  I believe these fireworks in West Virginia were the first ones I’ve experienced in the mountains since leaving Tennessee many years ago.  I enjoyed them more than I can ever remember.  The mountains make ALL the difference.  The thunder of the explosions echoing through the mountains is amazing.  I loved it.  Fireworks in the mountains cannot be beat.

Click here to read the very helpful article by Frederic Hore that got me on the road to shooting fireworks.  Click here to view some of his photos.

Horses: Down Low and Up Close

•May 13, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Every time I go to the barn to ride my horse, my camera tags along too.  I usually take it with me out into the fields when I go to retrieve my horse to ride, and also afterwards when I return him to the fields.  When I first started photographing horses I just took the shots I wanted.  Slowly I learned to wait and let the horse show me the shot.  I learned that on some days certain horses are very affable, curious, and seem to want their picture taken, while on other days the entire herd can be irritable.  You just never know what you’re going to get, but it’s always fun to see what turns up.  In this post photo, the horse was trying to rub a fly off his ear with his leg and I just happened to be there. 

After taking many, many photos of these horses, I’ve pretty much captured all the “standard” poses.  I’m now trying to get more interesting, unique shots from various angles and perspectives.  On my last attempt, I spent some time shooting from the ground.  That becomes especially interesting when the curious horse decides to walk right up to you.  They look very, very big at that point.

I always share the photos with the horse’s owner and it really makes my day when they send me a message of how much they like the photos.  That’s a smile-maker!  I will keep thinking of new ideas for photographing the horses, and as always, waiting for the horse to show me the photo to take!

Click here to view more photos of the horses at the farm.