Lighting is probably the most important element of a good photograph. As photographers, we learn the best time of day for the best lighting and we also learn to manipulate it. Our manipulations can be dramatic or subtle. Today I’ve chosen subtle.
What can be better than a walk through Brookgreen Gardens at the height of Spring? Our grandson was visiting over his spring break from school and a walk through their zoo was a perfect excuse to enjoy the weather.
John is our guest host this week and he has given us the prompt of “On/In The Water”. Living on the beach provides me with all sorts of water pictures so it was a little hard to decide. Until I came across these photos – and well, they made me smile.
I had stopped by Huntington Beach State Park on my way home from work – just to see if there were any birds coming in for the night. I was driving across the causeway when I saw a huge white bird in the water up ahead. It was too far to tell what it was and I was keeping my fingers crossed that it would still be there after I parked.
I was so surprised to find this swam taking his evening bath. It was the first (and still the only) swan I’ve seen at Huntington and even though it was chilly out, I stayed there for quite a while snapping away.
A little scrub here…don’t forget behind the ears….
One last scratch and then a huge stretch….Time for bed.
Our challenge this week is to share photos with shade and shadows. Normally shade and shadows are a photographer’s worse nightmare but you can get some nice captures with the right timing and positioning.
To make the challenge a little harder I decided to use photos of wood storks only. For those that don’t know, the wood stork is partial to our marshlands and can be found there most of the year. They are very graceful in flight but they have got to be the ugliest bird on this planet.
I‘m not being mean. I’ve heard other photographers say the same thing. From the neck down, they are beautiful but from the neck up, they look like buzzards.
Wood storks are very social birds and often roost together each night. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all get along like the wood storks?
But the more I watch them, the better looking they get. Strange, isn’t it?
The photo below is one of my favorites. It was taken at sunset and the water was a beautiful gold color.
My newest book Caroline Has a Mole is out, It’s about a little girl with a mole and how she deals with a bully in school. It was written specifically for a friend but could apply to any child being bullied. Here’s a link:
This week our challenge is a little different than normal. We are to pick a color and then pick photos from our archives containing that color and present them from the photo with largest amount of that color to the smallest amount. I chose the color purple.
My first photo is a beautiful coral display in the aquarium in Chattanooga, Tennessee. My aunt lives there and mom and I spent a couple of weeks with her a couple of years ago. We explored a lot of the sites I remembered from visits there while a child as well as new sites like the aquarium. It is one of the best aquariums I’ve seen and recommend you visit if in Chattanooga.
Nothing makes me happier than a good bee capture. The original photo is full of purple flowers but I cropped it for a closer look at the bee.
This photo was taken at Huntington Beach State Park. Most days are great for bird watching – you’ll find herons, egrets, anhingas and more. This heron was the last to leave for the night and I was getting some last minute shots. The sun was just about to set and the heron seemed as interested in the sunset as I was in getting a picture of him looking at the sunset! I wish I could say that I set this shot up but I can’t. I was dialing all sorts of combinations into my camera and got lucky.
This photo was taken at the end of a long beach day. We’d been there since early morning with our umbrella and cooler. The weather was great – no humidity and a cool breeze – you couldn’t ask for any better.Days like this will cure whatever ails you.
This is one of my favorite beach shots – four friends enjoying the day with their toes in the water. A little Photoshop magic and I have a image for my next project.
For my smallest and last purple picture is one purple jelly bean in a bowl of jelly beans. It was taken for a photography class a couple of years ago.
Our prompt this week is to have fun showing off our dots and spots.
One of my favorite hobbies now is writing children’s books for my grandchildren. I’ve given them as Christmas gifts and I’ve listed them on Amazon too. I’m having so much fun doing them and while it would be nice if I made a little money when a book sells, I really don’t care because I’m having fun! FYI, I can’t draw at all but using Adobe Illustrator, I can actually draw now. Isn’t technology wonderful?
I’ve just finished my fifth book. Four are on Amazon now, the fifth is in printing and I’m working on the sixth. The title is Carter Goes to the Aquarium. It started with a visit to the aquarium with my youngest grandson who was 4 years old. I take photographs the entire visit and I use them as a starter for my illustrations.
There are over 33,000 different types of fish in the world and I think we saw some of the most beautiful. Their colors are so vibrant and varied, it’s astounding and some are so unusual, I couldn’t help but wonder what in the world??? The photos below are examples.
And if you look at them long enough, you notice that they are watching you too. Seriously, this one stayed close to me and I felt like he was giving me the evil eye.
Below is an image from the new book. If you’d like to check out the book when finished, follow me for an announcement.
If you’d like info on my current books, you can find them on Amazon.
So this week our challenge is to get outside and take some photos of Spring. Yay! With warm weather now outside and being fully vaccinated, I needed no further encouragement to grab my camera and head out to Brookgreen Gardens.
The colors were absolutely beautiful and although there were some empty beds, the air was filled with the perfume of the flowers.
I stopped at the outside kitchen to take a break and grab some water and a cookie (chocolate chip – delicious!) and watched these little birds stroll back and forth looking for crumbs.
This week we’re given the opportunity to choose our own topic – which isn’t an easy decisionuntil I came across these photos.
My dad was a collector. He collected Ty Beanie babies, garden gnomes, Hess trucks, California Raisins, Biblical collector plates, kitchen spoons and hummingbird figurines. I’m sure I’ve left something out.
I never asked why or questioned him about his collections. His family was very poor and he was orphaned at an early age. His oldest brother took him in along with two other brothers. He wasn’t able to buy nice things growing up so I think he was making up for lost time. Regardless of his reasons, they made him happy.
Mom started giving some of his collection away several years ago but before she did, I took photos of each one. This was in 2016 when I first took up photography so the pictures aren’t the best but hey, I’m ok with that.
Our prompt this week is geometry – a course I barely passed in high school. The shapes themselves are beautiful but figuring out the formula to measure, etc just wasn’t interesting to me.
I originally pulled out photos of bridges, piers and flowers, etc to share but my brain did a complete 180 degree turn on me. Because of some health issues and the pandemic, I haven’t been able to get out to take photographs. I’ve been reading a lot (My mom and aunt like the same kinds of books I do so we pass them back and forth.) and taking a couple of online classes to learn how to draw – something I’ve always wanted to do. Well, I still can’t draw by hand but drawing with the computer is going much better.
Aren’t these the coolest things? The computer figures it all out for you once you learn what values to input.
Once you learn how to make the shapes, you can learn how to make patterns from them.My grandson, who is now 5, has about a thousand little cars which were the inspiration for the pattern on the right.You have to be very careful walking through his room or take a chance of stepping on one and taking a fall.
And last is a project done for a watercolor class. Happy Easter!
Beth of Wandering Dawgs is our guest host this week and her prompt is A Change in Scenery. It’s a timely prompt since the majority of us are now emerging from some sort of a Covid lockdown.
Other than visiting family, we haven’t been anywhere since lockdown started so I pulled these photos out from October 2019. These were a change of scenery for us since I usually post beach pictures.
We decided to drive up to the North Carolina mountains to see the leaves change color and we timed it exactly right. It was absolutely beautiful. We got on the Blue Ridge Parkway and just drove with no timeline or plans. Each turn and curve in the road brought more color and ooh’s and aaw’s – just like the July 4th fireworks!
Our challenge for this week is “natural light”. Light can be a photographer’s best friend or mortal enemy. Sunrise, sunset and cloudy is good. Bright light – typically from 10AM to 7PM is bad – oh so, so, so so bad. We won’t talk about bad light though. This post is about several days where I had absolutely fantastic natural light.
My work office is less than 1/2 mile from the beach. I had just left work and saw the biggest pink cloud over the beach. I made a quick U turn and headed over to the beach, grabbed my camera from the backseat and spent about an hour or so taking photos until the sky got dark.
The above two photos were taken on different days and at different beaches. A storm was on its way and provided some awesome clouds and contrast you won’t get most days.
Most weekends we spend the entire day on the beach. Lunch, drinks and snacks are in the cooler and we’re underneath our umbrella digging our toes in the sand and enjoying the breeze off the ocean. On this particular day, we had a small rainstorm come through in the afternoon and it kept the sun behind the clouds so we had a beautiful sky for some really great photos to end a perfect day.
One Saturday back in 2015, two of my daughters and my mother asked me for my spaghetti recipe. I’m an OK cook if there’s a recipe to follow and with my family’s requests for my recipe, I decided to do a food blog so I could share all my recipes. It wasn’t long before I realized that good photos were a necessity for a food blog and photos taken with my cell phone weren’t up to the job.
So I went back to school taking several photography classes at the local tech school with my new Nikon 3300. And it was never on Auto thanks to a wonderful teacher.And my food pictures started looking like food you would want to eat.
For more than 40 years, I did cross stitch, crochet and knit but had to quit when I could no longer see to thread a needle. So finding a new hobby – no, make that a new passion – has meant the world to me and I now take my camera everywhere I go. My Nikon D3300 has graduated to a D7100 and now a D750.
I’m very lucky to have so many wonderful places and subjects to photograph – from Brookgreen Gardens to Huntington Beach State Park, Boneyard Beach to Charleston and all the beaches along the way.
This week Patti has given us the prompt of “emotions” for our challenge.
I don’t take a lot of photos of people – except my grandson who has the most expressive face but I’ve featured him a little too much lately – so I went through my files and actually found a few photos that apply.
Brookgreen Gardens hosts a summer musical series – cancelled this year due to Covid – where local bands come and play for a couple of hours. It’s a nice relaxing way to end the day – sitting under the oaks, sipping a beverage and tapping your toes. The photo above is father and son.
The son and the singer really got into the music but you might not realize it if you didn’t know better. They do look a little like they are in pain.Check out the man on the drums grinning away.
Music stirs our hearts and engages our souls in ways we can’t describe. Hildegard of Bingen.
So whether it’s tapping your toes to country music, head banging to heavy metal, shagging to beach music or conducting along with classical music, music has the ability to draw emotion from us.
This photo is the 5th Street Bridge that connects North Augusta, South Carolina to Augusta, Georgia. The bridge closed last year and I was told it would soon be a pedestrian bridge. I’ve taken some beautiful sunset photos from it so I can’t wait until it’s reopened.
This week, guest host Anne has invited us to take out our macro lens and get busy. I have to admit though that I’ve not taken out my macro in a long time – much too long so I’ve pulled out some photos from my files.
Most of my macro shots are flowers in bloom so it was hard to pick just a few.
Can you smell them? I can.
And here is a begonia closeup edited to be a Valentine Day’s card.
This week our challenge is to share our favorite images of 2020. Unfortunately, I didn’t have as many to pick from as in previous years. I only had 4,700 images this year compared to over 20,000 in 2019. And from reading posts from other bloggers, we all had the same issue. Covid 19 and the lockdown prevented vacations and other activities that would have resulted in many more photos.
These first photos were taken in our yard. We have several bird nests around the property but this was the first time I’d gotten a photo of the mockingbirds feeding. The osprey managed to catch a squirrel for dinner in our yard and didn’t seem too happy that I was taking photos.
It should come as no surprise that the majority of my 4,768 photos was of this little guy. He spent some time with us and we managed a trip to the beach once the beach lockdown was over. This is the top of my list for most favorite picture for 2020. I even had a personalized cover made for my cell phone so I get to carry him around all day.
So to keep from going completely bonkers with nothing to do, I’ve taken a couple of online classes through Skillshare and Udemy to learn how to draw on my laptop using Adobe Illustrator. The first picture below was inspired by a trip to the aquarium while the second was a class project. They are short lessons, I’ve learned a lot and I totally recommend Skillshare and/or Udemy.It’s a wonderful creative replacement when I can’t use my camera.
One of the special things we do for the holidays is a trip to Brookgreen Gardens for the Night of a Thousand Candles. Brookgreen Gardens is a beautiful sculpture garden and I visit there often. There’s always something in bloom and I always have my camera with me.
The gardens are transformed each December for Night of a Thousand Candles. Lights are placed throughout the gardens and it is transformed into a magical place. It started a week early this year so some of our family visiting for Thanksgiving were still here and able to see it for the first time, Three of our four grandchildren were with us and it was very special to me to see it through their eyes.
My father passed away on Christmas day 2014 so the holiday season has been tough since then. We now have grandchildren though and we make the rounds to visit them so Christmas is magical for me again.
These are some of my favorite pictures from our trip to the North Carolina mountains last year. We timed it right and were there for the peak in the colors. Each bend in the road was so beautiful that it took your breath away.
Another bonus was that I got to try my new wide lens. I love it!
And last is a picture from the top of Grandfather Mountain.