Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lions, Tigers, and Zebras-- oh my!

Yes, there was a zebra. In Arkansas.

But anyway, story for a later post! I just got back from our expedition into the wilderness.

Here there be humidity.

Okay, sorry, enough with the murdering of quotes. Anyway, it was lots of fun, even with the sky high temperatures, humidity, and lack of air conditioned bathrooms.

You wouldn't think it would make that much of a difference.

Believe me, it does.

Oh well, at least we had a bathroom with plumbing within eyesight. Gotta have priorities. Anyway, I'll be posting pictures from our camping adventure over the next few days, possibly interrupted by the fact my SLR is supposed to come in tomorrow. :D

While it was crazy hot, there was the lake, which kept it from being truly miserable.

I just loved this shot. Not necessary the picture itself, but the road which led straight into the water, the pavement disappearing under the waves. Very Inception-esque...

As soon as we began to set up camp-- which included two tents and a screen tent for the table-- we found what seemed like a whole brood of baby frogs, just hopping around. So we spent the next ten minutes chasing them and squealing at just how cute they were. ;)

After we set up the camp, we went on a walk just around the water. A good number of the trees had been scorched by the sun, their leaves dying off. It looked like just didn't feel like it.

The lake is in a constant state of flooding-- there were multiple camp sites flooded when we were there. A surprising number of normal non water trees had survived being immersed in water.

It was dark, but I still was able to somewhat 'freeze' the water which rushed in, lapping the rocky shore. I didn't do this out of some photographic 'oh let me frame this picture' but rather I totally forgot about making the water 'smooth'.

And then I remembered ;) I'm glad that I didn't start out with the smooth water, because I do like freezing water, but often opt for the silky smooth more. I just love long exposures ;)

The lake really was beautiful, and worth the heat

In other news...I lost a friend today. Like, all out, I don't want to be your friend anymore, from her to me by the way. It's sad....we were really good friends, but I can't do anything if she doesn't want to be friends anymore.

I much prefer losing friends the slow way. Growing apart, telling myself 'oh, we'll see each other sometime', talking every now and then. Thinking them as your friend, even if you haven't seen them in months. And then, eventually, a long ways down the road, you look at them, and remember fondly the times you had together, not the harsh ending which could have happened.

Long analogy short, I prefer my relationships to have a hazy, gentle ending which gracefully blends from middle to end rather than an abrupt harsh ending springing from previous actions.

But then again, doesn't everyone?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Photoshop is funnn

Yeah, I know, I've written before about the amazing-ness of Photoshop.

I just thought I would reiterate. ;)

Recently, I found a new (to me) feature of Photoshop, called 'selective color' or something to that effect. It allows me to edit just specific colors, rather than editing the entire photo.

I love playing around with it.

I love how the recoloring looks almost realistic, how the new colors blend so well with the orignal ones. It's not like I took a paintbrush and just started painting, it blends better than that.



It's just so much fun! Granted, then I have to post a disclaimer, how the photo was a product of Photoshop. Otherwise people might think I have mutant purple sunflowers in my backyard.

Which would actually be really cool. ;)

But totally not happening.

So, tomorrow I leave for the lake! I'm going with my friend and her family. First time this summer to go the lake, first time ever legit camping. O.o Did I mention how much I hate bugs? Oh well, it'll be fun. (: I probably won't post again till we get back, sometime on Sunday. Hopefully I'll have a ton of photos to share. :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It's done. +movement!

So, I did it.

I bought a camera.


Granted, I bought it off ebay so it'll take a while to get in and I probably won't get to hold my baby until next week, after my adventure in the woods. ;) I've been camping only once before, with my friend and his family. I slept in the trailer, and it was nice. So it's gonna be interesting to actually 'camp' with tents. And spiders. O.o

Anyway, cameras! I went with the Canon EOS T3 because one, I couldn't find any faults that would really affect me, two, it was cheaper, and three, hey I've always like Canon. ;)

Besides, I figure any camera I get-- either Canon or Nikon-- will be of roughly the same caliber. I'm not going end up with a crappy camera.

Anyway, I wanted to finally post the Lake-- haha the park in my town-- photos.

Right off the bat it was apparent that our original plans of getting good sunset colored photos was not gonna happen. The sunset was completely and utterly covered by clouds.

What we did find were little frogs. One happened to hop across our path. I squealed and attempted to get a photo, but it he was too far away by this time. That's when my friend graciously stepped in as the frog whisper. Or frog wrangler. Take your pick.

He's a cutie isn't he? He was pretty tame, sitting in Brit's hand for like ten pictures. Unfortunately, most of them were out of focus, just enough to annoy. It was dark and an odd angle, so I wasn't able to fully tell if the picture was in focus.

Once the frog decided he had posed enough, and hoped off, we continued toward the westward facing water.

That's about the only good water photo I got that night. It quickly became apparent that with the clouds covering the sun there were no nice colors...just kind of grey-ness....

So we headed back to the playground, because one of my friends wanted to swing. ;)

As they were swinging, I ended up sitting on the ground. Then it hit me-- hey, perfect photo opportunity!

I loved how even at the low shutter speed ((random side note, the canon was tested better for combating camera shake, consumer reports loveedd the canon over the nikon actually. anyway, sorry for the interruption...)) the background remains in focus, while my friends turned into colorful streaks.

It was while I was staring at the ground that I got inspiration for my next photo. I've really become intrigued with the whole 'zooming' while the camera is taking the picture. I like how it kind of propels you into the picture.

It also makes it look like your traveling through space at warp speed. But that's another story. ((Yes I'm a geek. Sorry. Not really))

For the next very gracious friend slid down the barred slide roughly thirty times so I could
a) get a good motion photo
b) try my hand a 'panning' a technique I've always wanted to master.

While I got good motion, I didn't fully master panning..but oh wellll. Some other time? ;)

For the last photo I stopped trying to do anything, and just kept the camera still, which turned her into a curved streak of light.

I was ecstatic. My friend said her butt hurt.

So we moved on.

I just love the feeling of attempts at flying.

At breaking gravity...

And just flying away...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Victims of the Heat

So it's hot here. Hot as in, heat indexes of 105-110.

Understandably, this heat has its effects.

There are many victims in my backyard.

It's a combination of the sky high heat and the little watering they got while we were on vacation...

Either way, they are deadddd and they look burnt. But that's probably just me.

So, on the DSLR camera discussion...I've actually switched my alliances. The Nikon d3100 is 600. One of its competitors, the Canon EOS T3 is 518.

Right off the bat, that sounds good. ;) Pricing aside, the Canon doesn't lack any of the features of the Nikon. The Canon actually has more-- it has the AEB I've always wanted.

Nikon doesn't have that.

The Canon isn't good for those who want sky high ISOs, as they are pretty noisy.

I hate using moderately high ISOs, so this doesn't apply to me.

The Canon isn't good for those who need to continuous take pictures, like a sports photography.

I photograph plants. They tend not to move.

The Nikon has some weird requirement with lots of technical terms-- the only thing I got was something about it not working perfectly with some of Nikon's lenses.

The Canon doesn't have that problem.

Sure, the Canon's menu isn't as good as the Nikon's. I'll deal. Sure, the 'feel' of the Canon is supposedly 'cheaper' than the Nikon because it lacks some sort of 'rubber' grip. I'll deal.

The Canon (with the lens that comes with the camera) has a min focus distance of 9 inches. Yes, this will hurt me.


The Nikon has a min focus distance of 2 feet. That would kill me.

And of course I can eventually get a lens that can focus closer. Eventually. For like Christmas. ;)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Little Kitty ;)

So, I've finally decided. Well, somewhat. Mostly. I think.

I'm getting a SLR camera.


Thanks to various things, I'll have around 600 coming in-- just enough for an entry level DSLR.


Right now, I'm leaning towards a Nikon d3100. It seems like a good camera...even if it doesn't have AEB =/
Oh wellll...I'll live. ;)

Trying to find the right camera has been frustrating. There are so many out there! And they are so expensive.

However, I've been wanting a SLR for a while now. My point and shoot is nice, but it just lacks some capabilities. I'll be able to get interchangeable lenses. :D That is, if my bank account ever recovers....

Anyway, I wanted to do something besides just talking about the possibility of a new camera, so I thought I would post some pictures of my kitty Foster. He was actually one of the first pictures that I posted on this blog, wayyy back in my first post.

I'm gonna miss him when I go off to least I'll be able to come back and visit. ;)

See? Active little kitty ;) I love long exposure photos. I just love the motion that they convey-- something that photography is not know for. Which reminds me. My very nice friends were willing models for another lake shoot. This time the sunset was completely covered by clouds, so there was no nice light. What there was, though, was motion. And frogs. But mostly motion. And playgrounds. And stealing swings from little kids. Ahhh, next post ;)

Close-up. ;)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sunset continued

More on that amazing sunset. ;)

So, the geese...and ducks, though I just called them all geese. My friend-- who was acting the part of the model-- was throwing grass into the water. As they are not the most intelligent creatures, the geese thought we were throwing them food, and came closer. Then all the other geese saw their friends, thought they had food, and headed out way.

Basically, the surrounded us.

It was great for pictures.

Anyway, once the geese got tired of our fake food, they started to float towards more promising waters.

Thus, the silhouettes began.

I don't think anyone understands how much I like out of focus pictures.

I just love how dreamy they are, how indistinct.

The scene is boiled down to the essentials. Sun. Water. All the little things just melt away.

Another thing I like?

Reflections. :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

With the setting of the sun...

...comes amazing light.

And subsequently, amazing pictures. ;)

Yes, I dragged my friend to a local lake last night for the sole purpose of taking pictures. I have no shame ((nor no one should. The wood is just trees, the trees are just wood...sorry.;)). Luckily for me, my friend is a very willing model. But the night started off with nature shots.

There was about forty min till sunset when we arrived at the park. We had parked in a bad place to view the sunset, so we started to walk around the lake to get a good westward view. These little flowers caught my eye as they were illuminated by the warm rays of the sun.

For the yellow flowers...I took roughly twenty pictures, and only two/three actually turned out. The problem was the angle. Unless I literally wanted to lay on the ground-- keep in mind I was wearing semi nice clothes and the ground was covered in mud and goose poop-- I couldn't see what I was shooting. I just set the manual focus ((I don't believe that my camera has auto focus...if it does I can't find it)) and blindly shoot. I would look at the result, squint in the sun, and try to determine if it was in focus. If it wasn't, I would change the focus and try again. ;) There's gotta be a better way to do this...I just haven't ((met you yet)) found it yet. Sorry! Song lyrics can just be so applicable in everyday life. ;)

Anyway! The purple flowers were a much better angle so I could review the shot as I was taking it.

As we continued to walk around the lake, we came upon this nicely situated little bench, where the setting sun peaked through the trees to illuminate.

My lovely model. :) I really like how the sun lightly colored her hair, but was unable to fully capture that color in a photo.

Next we came upon a little pier. We finally had reached a bend where we were looking over the lake, and facing westward-- perfect for the shots. ((I really felt like it was a photo shoot. Scouted out the location, brought a 'model', and set up the photos ;) getting into the big leagues!))

It was odd, I had already taken a lot of photos but had just now getting ready to take the photos I had planned to take...I guess what I mean to say was when I was thinking about the photos I wanted to take, I thought a lot about just silhouettes and closeups of the water and such, like the photos that I had taken during my only other sunset photography. ((side note, that early 'session' was taken primarily with my iPhone D: it's odd how things change. Now, I wouldn't go anywhere without my camera. The iPhone's good, but the camera's better. The only reason I know that is I had to send my iPhone off for work during the summer and was forced to use my actual camera. Thank goddess! Otherwise, I would still be taking pictures with my iPhone))

So the moral? I guess that you should not focus on replicating early photos, but be open to things that spontaneously arise once you're there. For me, I hadn't planned on taking pictures of flowers/ect but I really like how they turned out.

Anyway! Long post...I think I'll break it into two posts.

A couple last photos...There are a crazy number of geese ((story on that later!)) at this lake. ((side note, it's gonna soon be illegal to feed the geese, as they are getting to be /that/ much of a nuisance)) So when we finally got to the perfect little stretch of...mud? there was this goose feather just laying there, illuminated beautiful by the last rays of the setting sun.

One again the angle was odd, and the ground was filthy, so it was really hard to get a good, in focus photo.

But I managed ;)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Photoshop Free!

So I wrote this semi long post and lost it.

But I really wanna show you this...I just have to muster up the energy to rewrite stuff.....

Okay! So recently, I've been having fun with the magic of Photoshop. However, there's something to be said about photos that are amazing straight out of the camera. I read a photography book not too long ago, which listed some cool techniques at the end of the book. One of those cool techniques was to have a long shutter speed and then zoom in/out while the camera was taking the picture.

So I found another limitation to my point and shoot camera. It stubbornly will not zoom in/out while taking a picture. All hope was lost, or so I thought. Then, yesterday, I was out taking pictures of this...yellow flower patch we have in our yard. I had already taken some traditional pictures of them, and I was looking to do something different. Because they were in the shade, I could set my shutter speed to something long, like 1/20 or 1/15.

Then I figured out that I rely too much on technology sometimes. Sure, my camera couldn't 'zoom' but I found a way around that. I could manually 'zoom' the camera-- zooming it through space-- to achieve the same effect.

So that's exactly what I did.

I was rather excited when I saw the first results-- I loved the feel of it, and the fact that it was not a result of Photoshop magic but rather photography magic. ;)

So after discovering this trick, I started to use it on everything. And yes, I mean everything. I have like fifty pictures consisting of mostly streaks of colors, with the occasional one like you see above/below with some sort of order to it. ;)

Funny wasn't like I went outside and said 'hey, look at that texture! wouldn't that be a cool picture??'.


It went something like this.

*dash through the backyard, missing the sprinkler*

*find some sort of suitable shadow in which to hide from the 110 heat index sun with was bearing down with medieval wrath*

*take as many photos as you can in this little enclave from the heat*

*get bored*

*look around for next shaded spot*

*see the tree, throwing a nice dark shadow*

*dart over to the shadow, barely missing the sprinkler again*

*look up and go, 'hey, I like that texture!'*

And that is my story for today. :)

The End.