Tuesday, December 1, 2009

More Scooter

This morning I had the fun luck of getting to photograph my neighbors dog Scooter again as he watched her playing tennis. Then we let him have fun running about. Look how cute!

Here he is having fun with a stick he found. I never understand why dogs chew on things like sticks and stuffed toys but it sure makes them happy.

Look how long he is! This is such a fun shot. He didn't feel like playing fetch though he would chase the ball and then lose interest unless I threw it again.

How can you not love a face like this

Monday, November 9, 2009

Still life

Hello, sorry I haven't posted anything lately have been very busy working on school assignments which brings me to todays post. This term I took a course in Still Life. I have a new respect for those who choose this path let me tell you it is much harder than it looks! I had to come up with 8 images for my final project and am glad to be done! I am glad I was forced to do this as I like a few of these images a lot but I am much more interested in photographing life-people, animals nature.
The above photo, the required 'shoe' shot was an effort to copy an image I found online. This is the only one of the photos I shot at school. The remainder were taken at my home with my new lights and light tent.

This one is obviously pretty unusual and is my 'anything' shot. This is a crystal paperweight in the shape of a diamond turned upside down so that it looks like a pyramid. I tried for a few hours at school to get decent standard photo and it proved to be too difficult. I decided to take a different approach and this photo was taken using only a small LED flashlight and a long exposure. My instructor, Win saw it at our next class and helped me with some of the photoshop effects.

My 'reflective' shot is a combination of 3 different exposures. The only way to get the legs to not reflect red was for me to put a piece of white paper in front of them. I really like this one.

This is 'mixed light' the tea pot is illuminated by a small tea light candle placed behind it. This flowering tea is delicious.

My 'drink shot'. I am pretty happy with this one. It was a reshoot. My original photo of hot chocolate in an espresso cup was just really boring. The glass was placed in my light tent with a strobe back lighting it from behind. I set the timer and poured water in from above. Had to do it several times get what I wanted but I am pleased with this result! I tilted the composition and zoomed in a bit.

This is not what it appears, the frame looks more like a painting due to photoshop effects but it is real, a little hand painted mirror that hangs in my room was placed across from this cute little Christmas ornament on red satin. Combined two exposures, one time I focused on the frame, one time on the little girl.

Saved my favorite two for last. The above is my 'food shot'. I used two 1 ft mirror tiles to capture 3 pieces of ribbon candy. they are laying on a tile and leaning up against the other. I cloned out the line where the two meet to achieve this effect. This is one of my favorite photos ever!

Finally my 'jewelry' shot. I have no idea how the idea of this shot came to me it just did and I like it not so much because of the pin but because of the shape of the reflection directly to the right of the dragonfly's eyes. If you click above for a larger version you may see it-a little pixie/fairy! Eyes, nose, mouth wings up behind her legs, so freaky it is all I see when i look at this I couldn't have created such a thing if i tried. The cool lighting effects on the glass were created using my trusty flashlight along with a strobe for 2.5 seconds.
Looking forward for the coming break and great weather so I can finally get out and shoot what I like to shoot! Hope you enjoy these!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I took these photos of my classmate Angelica at Ft.Desoto beach for our wedding and event class. It is so beautiful there! We were practicing taking photos at sunset.

Part of the assignment was to capture a 'silo' where you expose for the sky and allow the subject to stay dark. I really love this shot, beautiful and peaceful.

Also we were supposed to capture the orange color of the light. So amazing. I was at this park another time at sunset and took some beautiful shots of the puppies on the dog beach. I wish I lived a bit closer, I would be there all of the time! I really want to explore the area some more there seems to be no end to the variety of beautiful backdrops.

Finally there is this photo which I had some fun with in Photoshop, applying textures and painting effects. I really like the mood of it. We planned to meet up again a few days later in Clearwater but the weather did not cooperate. Hope everyone is having a great week. I am busy trying to get the shots I need for my Still Life final, will be very happy to finish that!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I love puppies, next to photography they may be my favorite things. And they are always puppies to me no matter how old they get. This one's name is Scooter and he lives in my community. He loves to go for walks and watch his owner play tennis. He reminds me of Nutmeg, my family's dog. Dachshunds are my favorites. When I was little we had a black one named Biscuit who was a lot of fun.

Yesterday I was in a Homegoods store looking at something on a shelf I turned to look at the cart parked next to me and in it sitting on a little bed was a super cute Yorkie puppy who sat up all excited when I looked at him. He came forward and put his little paws up on the edge of the cart to lick my hand. Little moments like that make me so happy it is amazing the love that emanates from these little creatures.

The photo above is my favorite, I love the way the background blurred and Scooter eyes are looking right in the camera.
Will be posting some shots of my classmate Angelica taken at the beach for wedding/event. Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Clearwater Jazz Holiday

Hi, hope everyone had a good weekend! I did. Friday my parents and I attended the Clearwater Jazz Holiday which was held Thursday-Sunday. This is a free event held in the Fred Howard Park and it is a lot of fun. Very positive fun atmosphere. I chose to go on this night in particular because Chris Botti was playing. He used to be in Stings band and has become extremely successful in his own right playing the trumpet. Somehow I never thought the trumpet could sound the way it does when he plays it. Especially live it is at times both hypnotic and hauntingly beautiful.
Before Chris played we had the chance to hear a woman named Nichole Henry sing. I don't really follow Jazz so I had not heard of her before. Apparently she is pretty popular and is back recently from a world tour. She is very classy, has a beautiful voice and sang many classic love songs.

Because it was free 'open' seating I was able to get up pretty close to the front with my camera. I do not yet have a 'fast' zoom lens so was pretty pleased with what I was able to do with my 70-300 5.6 as I was pretty much out to 300 on all of these shots. We were not even sure we would be able to go until the last minute as we had a lot of rain here in Tampa that day. Just when I thought we had really lucked out, another storm arrived about 2/3 into Chris Bottis set ending the show early :(. But I am so happy that we did get to hear several songs from him. I do not think a dvd is capable of reproducing the sound of the musical notes vibrating out into the night it was just magical. My favorite song was called 'Emmanuel' which he performed with an amazing violinist named Lucia Micarelli. She was returning to performing for the first time since cutting her hand badly on a wine glass at a wedding they performed at in Tuscany. This was quite a story and involved Sting himself making a personal surprise performance at the wedding. I was only able to get pictures of Lucias back so here is a You Tube clip of them performing the song in Boston, it is an amazing piece of music!

Hope Chris Botti comes back to the area again for a full show soon, he is definitely worth the price of a regular admission!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Hot off the Grill

Despite the way it looks this grill was not fired up when I took these photos, it is a photoshop trick. I wasn't haveing a lot of luck finding cool little things to photography today. No cool live snails, instead just found this nice sized shell. No idea what prompted me to stick it on this grill but I kinda like the results, certainly not something you see every day!
This leaf was already laying on the grill, I am amazed at what a cool image this turned out to be

This is just a cool little plant growing out of a rock that I enjoy looking at behind the pool here.
Tomorrow I am helping to photograph a charity event at Little Manatee River Park. It is one park I have not been to yet which makes me really look forward to it. Hope to share some pics from there this weekend.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Look again

Getting this macro lens has really made me pay even more attention to the wonderful natural area I live in than I normally do. The variety of plants and animals dwelling in my apartment community alone is stunning. Too often we are so busy thinking about where we are going or where we have been to notice where we are in the present moment, a lesson I continue to reteach myself. A few times in the past few weeks I have spotted one of these amazing little snails on a leaf but didn't have the right equipment to get the shots I wanted. Now I do and was so happy to find this little guy on a plant near the pool the other evening shortly after it rained.

Fortunately snails do not move much or very fast so I was able to set up my tripod and get some amazing shots. Then I was walking around the pool and saw a lizard on a large piece of coral. He ran away but as I looked down at where he had been I noticed a few more little snails, some very tiny hanging out there, seems to be a hang out for them!

I have walked past this coral who knows how many times without really looking at it. I also noticed what appear to be mini coconuts all over the ground there, about the size of a quarter. I am going to take one and crack it to see if a little drop of coconut milk comes out lol.

Finally I am including a close-up pic of the bark of my favorite tree. I will take some other shots of it to share another time. It is a skinny tree but the top looks like what appears to be a combination of a palm tree and a fern. Then thee is the cool bark. All of the little circles within which appears a pattern that looks like some kind of tribal smiley face. A beautiful vine of mini green leaves winds itself up the tree as well! So beautiful!
The next time you go for a walk take the time to really look at what is around you-you might be surprised!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Macro Shots

Today I present some of the first shots taken with my 100mm 2.8 Macro Lens. Most of these were taken hand held. I can tell already it is a great lens. The frustrating thing about photographing flowers/plants up close with a tripod is that the slightest stir in the air causes the subject to move around and you have to be patient waiting for a moment of stillness. Photography has done a great deal already to help me learn to focus and quiet my mind. Now it will hopefully teach me to be more patient!

It is difficult to tell but this little group of 3 leaves was smaller than it appears. This lens enables you to see some pretty cool details you might night normally pay attention to. I was fortunate to get the photo of the little frog below. He really blended into the leaves, I just happened to see him hopping around and he was kind enough to stay in the same spot to pose for me for a while before hopping away again.

I was also lucky enough to get the following two shots, of a lady bug and one of the many lizards that live here. The eye is sharp enough that when I zoom into it I can tell he was watching me take his picture!

You can click on the photo of the lizard to bring it up at a larget size, then you can see what I mean about the eye.
Still really hot here, hoping for a change in the weather soon so I can spend more outside exploring. All of these photos were taken in my apartment/condo community, you never know what you will find in you own backyard!

Friday, October 2, 2009


The last few mornings have been really beautiful in Tampa Bay with no humidity and a soft breeze. Looks like the evil humidity is returning once again this weekend but I can tell the wonderful weather will soon be returning for good (well until next summer anyway!) Yesterday I drove to the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary which is on the beach a few miles south of Clearwater. I was there once several months back. Here they nurse injured seabirds back to health. You can walk through the facility right onto the beach where there are usually quite a few pelicans and other birds around. Not as many out this visit but I did catch a few cool photos of pelicans flying which was my main goal.

I am encouraged by the quality of these that I am getting better with learning how to take these kind of photos and can't wait to do more. Below is a photo of some white pelicans they had there, I have never seen this kind 'out in the wild' here. They are beautiful and very large! I did a little research and it seems they mainly live in the area November-March. Hopefully I will be able to find some out and about soon.

I love the orange eye on this bird. Leaving it in color and changing the rest to black and white gives it a bit of a Halloween effect. :) The little dove below was parked on a sign at Sand Key Park, a beautiful area across the bridge from Clearwater beach.

Finally here is a pic taken on the beach. How beautiful is this water? So different from the brown stuff up in Maryland.