Instagram, Photography, Technology

When Something Has To Give

I’m writing this post to let all my readers know that I will be taking a break from my blog. There’s a lot brewing in my life, and maintaining this blog to the standard that I like is not possible right now. One of the reasons is this:

You’re strong, so hand over some money.

I have a free Flickr account. They are migrating to a paid model. I am allowed to keep 1,000 photos free there as of January 2019.  On the date of their announcement to focus on paid accounts I had about 33,000. Honestly, I was never super impressed with Flickr. But it was free, and sometimes when things are free, you don’t worry too much about their imperfections. So, I am attempting to get my files back from Flickr and it’s a mess. Not to mention a major time suck as I am trying to make my retreat from Flickr an organized one. Given that I could reasonably expect to live another 30 years, I would have to hand over $1,500 minimum to keep my files on Flickr. Given the number of error messages I have gotten over the last few days as I attempt to handle my files, there is no way I would even consider it.

Another has to do with my camera. Sadly my 50D is coming to end of its useful life. I’ve had it for about a decade, and I’ve been really happy with it. I narrowed down my new body to the Fuji XT-3 or the Canon 80D. I’ve decided to stick with a Canon.  I’d like to thank all the bloggers who shot with Fuji who I’ve peppered with questions over the last few months, your input and advice was really helpful. I’m also getting started with Luminar, a new to me editing software. They will be rolling out a cataloging system in December and by March I am hoping to decide if I want to continue with my Lightroom/Photoshop subscription, or just move forward with Luminar. I’ll be needing a bit of time to work these things out.

The last is a bit of a catch-all reason. My life is just a bit full right now and both requires and deserves my attention over this blog. I do love this blog though, so I am hoping to be back in this space in mid-January. I’ll hope to see you here then. I’ll still be on Instagram during this blog break, so feel free to visit me there.

All the best and many thanks to everyone who reads this blog.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair

This Is My Home

I had a blog project brewing for the new year.  Then I got a little push to work on the project before the new year started. You are looking at the project, it is the blog itself.  I wanted a new look for it.  This blog is the living room of my online home and I wanted to redecorate.  I had big plans, a whole new WordPress theme I was thinking.  It turned into something much more modest.  None of the themes that I tried on suited my vision of home. I’ll be honest, it was frustrating.  So, what have I done then?  First, I kept the theme I had been using, it’s the Able theme if you are curious.  What’s new is that I got rid of the sidebar.  One of the lovely things about the Able theme, is that you do have the option of displaying photographs in a large format.  This is a photography blog, it makes sense that the images should be large.  All of my social links are now up in the header.  I did keep the header image and kept the type a color that I borrowed from the lion header image.

Another thing that won’t change on the blog is the underlying thread of photography.  I hope you enjoy my photography and reading about how I create images.  That is the main reason I write this blog.  With that in mind, this is an image I was working on creating this week:

ISO 800 50mm f/5.6 1/30sec

ISO 800 50mm f/5.6 1/30sec

When this poinsettia branch fell off the rest of the plant, I was presented with a lovely photography opportunity.  I wanted to create an image that was both warm and dark, one that represents the idea of reflecting on the year that has passed and the one that is to come.  The original photo is here:

ISO 800 50mm f/5.6 1/30sec

ISO 800 50mm f/5.6 1/30sec

I decided to shoot this photo using a bracketed exposure, I wanted to create an HDR image that would bring out the detail in the leaf.  The final image was also cropped in Lightroom.  I used the perspective crop feature to level out the final image just a bit.  I have also used a photo filter.  The filter was adjusted to add warmth to the image and also a bit of texture.  I then darkened the corners using a vignette.  The final image was added to my Picfair portfolio because I do think this would make a good stock image.

So, what do you think of my final image?  I was using only the candle and natural light to light the photo, can you believe it was only 3pm?  In this part of the world these last days of the year are also the darkest.  They do open up a wide variety of photography options though.  This will be my last post of the year, I expect to be back in this space in mid-January.  In the meantime you can find me on Instagram and Twitter.  If you are a blogger, I’ll probably be by to visit.  Feel free to leave a comment below about the photo I have created.  I would also appreciate feedback on the new layout of the site!

All the best to you and yours for the coming year.

Cheers!

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Nature, Photography, Technology, Uncategorized

New Year, New Look

If you stop by this blog regularly you will have noticed that I changed my theme a few days ago.  I am using the theme Able, and so far I like it and I think I will be sticking with it for a little while at least.   I would like to thank those folks who responded to my post, Tinkering with my blog.  Several bloggers offered their thoughts on what would make a good theme for this blog.  For fun I thought I would share a link to a recent post from all of them: catbirdinamerica, Lignum Draco, Cardinal Guzman, Northwest Frame of Mind, Unique So Chic, Behind the Willows.

If you are wondering about my new header image, I wrote a post about it this past summer and it can be found here. The lesson learned there is that sometimes a snoozing lion isn’t really asleep, so pay attention.  I switched themes in part to be able to display bigger photographs, and I am still working on the exact size that I think fits the theme, is big enough for the viewer, but not too obnoxiously large.  If you have an opinion on sizing, or other aspect of this new layout, please feel free to leave a comment below.

I will leave you with one of my favorite photographs from my blog this year.  It was originally posted in an entry chronicling the nest. I hope that you have a wonderful New Year!

Cheers!

ISO 800 14mm 0ev f/5 1/60

ISO 800 14mm 0ev f/5 1/60

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Computer Software, Design, Photography, Technology

Tinkering with my blog

If you are a blogger, how often do you find yourself tinkering with the layout of your blog?  I’d have to say that it something that I think about but rarely do.  Last  week was an exception though, I did change something.  Actually, I added something.  It’s a visual widget and it is sitting on the right hand column of my blog.  It looks like this:

Me as a widget.

Me as a widget.

Now if you read this blog, you recognize the photo.  What it is doing over there is functioning as a random post generator.  Click on it and it will take you to a post from the past.  I was thinking about creating one of these after reading about a WordPress blog post about generating traffic for your older posts.  Within that post they mentioned PicMonkey which is the on-line photo editing site I used to create my image.  It was super easy to use.  So with my new photo on my desktop, I headed to a post from this summer by Rarasaur where she explains, using screen shots to help, exactly how to put a  random post generator in place.

With that in place I am free to obsess over the theme of my blog.  This one that I have now is OK, but my biggest complaint about it is that the pictures aren’t all that big, even when you click on them.   Problem is, I haven’t found a theme I like better.  And let me clarify that I would be using a free theme.  Wordpress does offer several for photographers that are beautiful but have a price tag attached.  My blog is a low budget operation, meaning I have no budget for it. I had a conversation with a blogger about the size of my images on this blog this week, she writes 16 blogs and here are the two themes she suggested along with a link to examples from her blog.  The first is Able and the other is Nishita.  Also, just in time for this post, WordPress had a post about choosing a theme that I’ll be looking at again for ideas. So perhaps I’ll be changing my theme in the coming weeks.

Is there a theme out there for photography that you really love? Let me know about it in the comment section.  Feel free to give my random post fetcher a try, let me know what you think if you have a moment.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photography

I know it was yesterday, Happy Valentine’s Day

So, my Valentine’s Day themed post wasn’t ready to go until this morning.  Better late than never?  So, for Valentine’s Day I made my family fudge.  I used a recipe from Judy’s petit4chocolatier blog.  Here is the specific post.  If you haven’t seen Judy’s blog, you should check it out, but maybe when you aren’t hungry.  She has a lot of yummy recipes and she takes great photos of her creations.  Here is my fudge:

I’d also like to say Happy Valentine’s Day to all my blogging friends.  I really enjoy looking at all the creativity that is unfolding on your blogs!

Cheers!

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Computer Software, Design, Photography, Technology

I thought this blog was about photography?

It is really.  Photography is the reason that I write.  I started this blog as a way to keep track of my projects.  I thought that by writing out what I was doing, I would be better able to process my work.  I think that it has helped.  A bonus of writing a blog has been all the creative work by others that I have been exposed to.  I have enjoyed looking at blogs about technology, cooking, and writing, in addition to those about photography.

Today’s post is about Illustrator, which I purchased recently as part of CS6.  The link there is for the specific version I purchased. I bought it because in addition to taking a photography class this semester I am taking a class called Computer Art Studio.  We will be covering InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator.  I’ll be honest and say that I am much more a photographer than a tech person, so I am a bit apprehensive about this class.  However, I am taking the class because I think it will benefit my photography.  One of the first things I am learning to use is the pen tool.  The pen tool works the same in all three programs.  If you are looking to learn to use the pen, I would recommend this video.  It runs about 21 minutes, but it is a good place to start.

Here is my first project:

My first completed project.

My first completed project.

I was really happy with the way it turned out.  I am hoping to create my logo for my business eventually.

So, thank you to all my readers who have been following my photography journey.  I hope you enjoy my occasional foray into related fields!

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photography

Food and Photography

I don’t usually photograph food, but I like to give it a try every once in awhile.  I think one of the reasons I never think to photograph food is that I am too busy making it and then getting everyone to the table to eat.  Not that it is all that difficult, but pulling out the camera would just be one more step.

One of the reasons I took these particular food photographs is that I got the recipe from a fellow blogger and I was thinking of writing about it. Judy writes a blog called petit4chocolatier that I look at a lot.  The link that I have included is to the recipe that I gave a try, Pecan Bourbon Breaded Sea Scallops.  One of the things that I enjoy about Judy’s blog is that she takes excellent photos of her creations.  There are several recipes that I have been wanting to try, but New Year’s Eve gave me the opportunity to try the scallops.

For our New Year’s Eve dinner, everyone in the family picked a dish to make.  So with my scallops we had crab cakes, sautéd little red potatoes, and cranberries.  Here are the photos of my scallops:

I have included a before and after the oven photo.  I tweaked the recipe in one way.  Instead of salt I used Old Bay; I do that a lot.  The scallops turned out really well.  I will be back to Judy’s blog for other recipes.  Next time I will try a dessert, the only question is which one….

Cheers!

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