While the Five is Away

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While the K5 is enjoying an unscheduled Arizona vacation for maintenance, I’ve been shooting my lovely K200D.  She may be old, but the richness of the CCD sensor at low ISO’s is displayed here.

I grabbed a shot of the pitching machine waiting for business.  I loved the play the play of greens, red and blue with a shallow depth of field.

The baseball bats lined up nicely before the game to show off their color and variety.

The boys in motion put on a face and action worthy of a millionaire…if you look through a telephoto!  The capture was my attempt at being a little Norman Rockwellish.

Speaking of Mr. Rockwell!  My lovely family gave me a fantastic 40th birthday present today.  A Boy Scout Eagle Belt and a Norman Rockwell Boy Scouting book.  His vision of what America is will forever be the one in my heart and dreams.  Pride, honor, passion, hard work and reverence for God all stream from every brush stroke.

As I begin the fourth decade of my life today I hope you can see some of that in my photos as well.


When the greys disappear

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Recently I posted a series of black and white photographs.  I was happy with the result at first.  Something was nagging me though, and a friend showed me what is was with a simple comment.  He said “the blacks are too black.”

I looked at the photos and realized that I took away the tones of grey usually vital to the success of a black and white.  I did this by adding to much contrast and micro contrast in a tool called curves.  In a color photo, the “punch” added by the curves is usually pretty pleasing.  In my case on top of the black and white, the contrast made the photos too dark to see detail.

To see what I mean I’ve included correct photo followed by the too dark photo.  We’ll see how this website handles the texture when uploaded!

So the next time you process a  black and white, make sure the details you desired or expect are present in your final presentation!  Also remember that friends don’t let friends post without making sure the greys are grey.

Please put God with Country today

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Today is a special day in many of our lives.  Those of us of the age who can remember probably know the time and place we were when we found our country under open attack by enemies of everything our Founders created.

Today many public officials literally are pushing God out of the public ceremonies as to not inflame our sensitive cultural landscape.  This is a travesty, because no matter who you are and what faith you practiced on that day when you learned the news you probably said “Oh my God what is happening?!”  Then if you were like millions of us in the country we got on our knees, filled churches beyond capacity and prayed to God for those who suffered, those who so gallantly reacted to save lives, and now those who respond in our protection of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Today I ask that each of you fly the flag and attend church with others.  We should be asking God for mercy on us, those who perished and those who live as the one standing between the darkness and the light.

Today’s heroes guard the frontier against evil,  build cities, grow crops to feed us, and raise children in light of Christ.  Without any of these heroes we are lost as both a country and civilization.

Uniformed or not, obviously each citizen has a role as “one who stands between the darkness and the light.”  None of us are off the hook for ensuring the survival of our experiment of government by the people, for the people and of the people.

God Bless America!

Let us all try to earn that blessing each and everyday!


Artist and Geek

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I am finding that playing with color in a photo is the beginning of making art, and that scares me a bit.  I never thought of myself as an artist.  Photography was one part science of capture (aka geekness) and one part composition (art).  Now as I learn a bit more about image processing, I find that it really is the artist who has to arrive to make a photo come alive.

The great photographers all do extensive work in the darkroom (or on a computer now in digital photography).  I’m told this is where they often create the image their mind saw when they pressed the shutter.  Ansel Adams dodged and burned his compositions into legends.  Artists with brushes did the same for generations before that.

For these photos I played a bit with color on purpose.  In the leaf I provide the photo in color, and the photo I imagined in B&W.  In the Rose I added just a touch of contrast to make the leaves pop out against a complimentary green background.  In the fire bush I removed the yellowish green background of grass to have the red pop from the dark grey background.

For stepping out in to artist realms I hope this is just a beginning for me, and I can continue to make my images art both in camera and in post.

Besides the geek was already having fun since these captures came from my three year old backup camera with my classic 77mm prime mounted!  I had not shot with it for two months and it was feeling lonely, so this was its morning walkabout!