Monday, August 26, 2013

Signs of Fall

Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari, 2001
Baseball is wrapping up the last couple of dozen games before the playoffs. The first college football game is Saturday. Temperatures are in the 90's, but after this little heat wave I think Summer is on the way out.

Here are a few of the residents of the nearby drive-through safari park. They look pretty spectacular toward the end of the season. The park closes to the public in October and they won't have to put up with traffic until Spring.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Stars of the Pond

Late in October of 2001 I took a small, point-and-shoot film camera to the duck pond for a few test shots. Back then, there were a lot of ducks and geese that were always willing to hang around and pose for just a few slices of bread. The picturesque little pond has been expanded and surrounded with a wide concrete sidewalk. It's a much more functional place for people to walk and jog, but nowhere near as photogenic. Most of the waterfowl have moved away to more natural habitat.
This photo has become one of my favorites. It's actually an accident. I can take credit for the composition, but the stars and dark contrast of the white feathers against the water are accidental side effect of the camera design.

The bright white birds and reflection on the water tricked the camera's automatic exposure system into thinking the scene was very bright. In these situations most cameras will underexpose, making the photo dark. The stars result from the camera s​electing a very small aperture. I was surprised when I picked up the film from the lab, but I liked it.

Until now, I haven't done much with the photo because the original negative is rather noisy. Lightroom 5 cleaned it up fairly well. It will never be good enough for extreme enlargement, but it will make a nice medium size print.


Monday, August 12, 2013

I'm Tired of This Game...

Taking a break during a soccer game.

Sports with little kids are fun to watch for all kinds of reasons. This little girl decided to take a break in the middle of the game. I guess she figured if she couldn't see everyone else they couldn't see her. Too bad that doesn't work. I can think of a lot of meetings where it would have come in handy.

Scanned from an old Kodak Portra negative shot in 2001.​


Thursday, August 08, 2013

Halloween Candy and School Supplies

Halloween Candy, waiting on the shelf.

I was at the grocery store yesterday and was surprised to find one aisle full of Halloween candy. Isn't it a little early? School doesn't start for a week, and labor day is almost a month away.


Monday, August 05, 2013


Payback can be cold and wet.
After being being the target of my grandson's super-soaker all afternoon, my son decided to retaliate. They were both having a lot of fun. This photo was taken over 10 years ago and my grandson (my son's nephew) is now over six feet tall. These days, it's hard to imagine anyone chasing him with a bucket of water.

This has always been one of my favorite photos because it captures the spirit of the moment so well. Technically, it's far from perfect. There was no planning involved. It was a lucky snapshot. I missed the focus and the original is underexposed. This version was resurrected from a significantly faded old transparency with the help of Lightroom 5. So I'll finally be able to make a print. With all of it's technical deficiencies, I've added this photo to the set of examples I use in workshops. It holds a critical lesson for photographers.

As important as all of the technical details of photography may be, content rules. If the image doesn't convey the emotion, the gesture, the memory, the feeling of the day, then the sharpness of the focus or the accuracy of the color won't mean a thing.