The blog and I support our armed forces. One of the benefits of living where I do is seeing these great Americans regularly. On board submarines, carriers, Coast Guard craft of all kinds, even the Air Force.
The biggest thrill are the carriers, in this case the USN Carl Vinson. You should see how many favorable replies I get when I post pictures like this on the ship's Facebook page. Parents and loved ones of our enlisted are very passionate. As they should be.
Canon 5D Mark II, 180mm F/3.5 Macro, f/5, 1/200, iso 200
My dad has always loved gardening and working in the yard. Sometime back I found out Peonies are his favorite. His birthday was this week. Fortunately we happen to have some in our yard. So here's a happy birthday pic for Dad.
Canon 5D Mark II, 300mm F/4, f/6.3, 1/200, iso 500
I had been online friends with John Barclay for a while when I decided to participate in a photo workshop in The Palouse, in Eastern WA. There I met his partner in crime, Dan Sniffin. I didn't know then that I would be moving to WA, and had no idea would make many good friends on that trip.
Have done several more trips with them since, including the trip to Cuba earlier this year (celebrating Dan's birthday). Knowing these two men has really improved my life. What great people.
And so it is that they are in the Palouse at this very moment. Seems a shame we are all in the same state, and not getting together. But they are busy and so am I. Details to be revealed later. In the meantime, enjoy today's image of the great Palouse, America's Tuscany.
One of the many unique experiences we had in Cuba was going to a ballet rehearsal. This was not common and we had to talk (bribe) our way in. Once we did get in we were frustrated that they wouldn't turn on the spotlights for us. It was just dim.
And we were behind an orchestra pit. This was made for cameras with great high ISO capability, and a long fast telephoto. Neither of which I had. So mostly I just watched the dancers, which was entertaining.
Then a few times we had some light. Not enough for me to stop a dancer in mid air though. So I resorted to my trick of trying to make something artful. Make something out of a circumstance not well suited for my camera kit at that moment.
I rather like it! BTW, this is nearly a SOOC shot, just a bit of curves.
Canon 5D Mark II, 180mm F/3.5 Macro, f/4.5, 1/60, iso 400
A lot of people ask me how I learned photography, how I have improved my work. I pretty much always say the same thing - I looked in books, magazines and the web to find images that pleased me, and then I set out to create one similar, in my own style. You are not likely to cook a crepe suzette if you have never had one.
And as you know, if you are a regular reader, one of the photographers on the web I'm most enchanted by is Diane Varner (www.dailywalks.com). 99 out of 100 of her posts amaze me, inspire me, mesmerize me. I'm hoping to meet in real life one day. I want to get to know the person that creates such gorgeous imagery, and poetry as well.
I'm always excited when I find a scene, take my picture, and then process it in a way that makes me feel she could have done it. Like it is worthy of her blogness.
I decided to troll through some of my images of the Gladding McBean factor shoot, from October of 2010. Looking for something that seemed like a good Topaz Adjust candidate. This one caught my eye, I like the subject and composition quite a bit.
Usually I'm cropping an image, and making a few adjustments in LR before going to Topaz. In this case, I made several trips, because once I applied changes in Topaz, I realized I wanted to change the crop, things like that.
I settled on the "Dramatic" preset in the "Vibrant" collection. I was going for a look which would really bring out all the textures. No other changes!
As always, the original image is displayed on the continue link below. This time I did something different though, I'm showing you the pre-cropped version. Often when I meet people in person that are visitors, they say they are intrigued by my choice of crop, rotation, that kind of thing. So showing you the entire image, and the cropped one, will give you a bit more insight into my thinking.
(Also, if you weren't reading the blog back when I posted the Gladding series, you can review it here)