Monday, April 30, 2007

Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming...

Since I posted photos of one of my toys on Saturday, I thought it only fair to post pics of one of Lovely Wife's toys.

She bought a battery operated Nemo for the pool. It' really cute and fun to watch.

Two of our dogs were pretty interested in it swimming around in there, recognizing it as a stranger.

Finally, only Angel stayed and followed it around the pool, yipping at it.

Lovely Wife and me are easily amused, her with her toy fish, me with Hotwheels.

In some areas of life, we must be adults, but in some areas, we can still be kids.

It doesn't take much to amuse us.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

An Angel

The company I work for has us on a 9/80 schedule; we work nine hours per day, and have our 80 hours for two weeks in nine days. So, we get every other Friday off.

I slept late on Friday, and got up, hobbling around with my screwy back, and sat in my chair on my heating pad. I got all comfy, and all the dogs draped all over me, cranked up the TV and started looking for one of my Science Channel shows. And was letting the heating pad heat up.

I looked on top of the TV and Lovely Wife had put one of her Mother's porcelain angels up there. We have two skylights in our living room and one of them happened to have the sunlight streaming down on this angel. It looked beautiful in that light.

I tried to ignore it. And I was successful at this for about three minutes.

I apologized to the dogs, but made them get down. I slowly climbed out of my chair, went and got out my camera, and stepped back and forth around the angel in that lovely light taking pics of it.

When I was satisfied, I put the camera down, got situated back on my heating pad and with the critters all over me, and resumed my TV watching.

I got engrossed in a program on the nature of light, strangely enough, and an hour later, I glanced up at the angel, and the sunlight had moved on.

Just looked like a little angel statue at that point.

I'm glad I got my sorry back out of the chair, because I really like some of the angel shots I took.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Red Baron - Tom Daniel

When I was a boy, Big Brother and I started playing with Hotwheels in 1968, the year they first came out.

As a kid, my very favorite one was the Red Baron. The car's design was created by Tom Daniel.

A couple of years ago, some new cars were issued (not by Hotwheels) showcasing the designs of Mr. Daniel. They are about twice or three times the size of a normal Hotwheel, and pretty nicely detailed.

Of course I had to get me a new Red Baron, my childhood Hotwheel version was eventually handed down to Younger Brother, who pretty much finished off any useful life of toys.

Yesterday afternoon, I tried to create a decent setup to take photographs of small items like this. I did it on our back patio, just inside the shade, so that I could get some great diffused natural light. I also played around with fill flash and took some with the flash set at -2/3 of a stop.

The top shot has fill flash whereas the second one doesn't.

I had fun and ended up with a few nice shots.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Blue Tennessee Sky

These are a couple of my scans of some of my old 35mm slides.

These were taken in late November of 1983 in the mountains of east Tennessee near the little town of Rockwood.

I've always liked them because of how blue the sky was. A fresh cold front had just moved through and carried all of the haze away and left the sky very clear and blue.

Canon AE-1, 50mm f1.8 lens

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Humble Pie

Tuesday night I looked on Cute Overload and saw that some pictures I had made of a baby sandhill crane had made the cut, and had been posted on their site. Wuhoo!

So Tuesday night and Wednesday, I left up my braggin' post about this.

There's a verse in the Bible that I'll paraphrase here, If any man thinks he's standing, he better beware, he just might be about to fall. Instead of being able to bask in the glory of my successful entry into Cute Overload, my back was so messed up yesterday that I had to stay home from work. That's life, eh?

Oh well, here are a few more photos of the sandhill crane family.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

News Flash! I've Hit The Big Time!

I submitted a couple of my photos of a baby sandhill crane to Cute Overload and they posted them!

You might have to scroll down to see them.

Big Time Photographer

I'm seriously pumped about this!

One-Third More, For Free!

I've gotten in the habit of posting two photos a day, but today I'm gonna smash your expectations and post THREE! One-Third More, For Free! (I'm such a swell guy)

During summer of 2006, I bought my first dSLR, a Nikon D70s. One week later, our church had Vacation Bible School for the kids. Being big thinkers, the pastors wanted to have a "big finale" on the last day.

A family at our church, husband, wife, and four teen boys, all are serious motorcycle riders. They had started doing jumping, and got into it so much that they, and another family of riders each had a custom ramp built. They travel around together, each pulling one ramp, and set up and put on shows for people.

They absolutely blew everyone away with their derring-doo. It's a rare sight at church to see the whole family together when no one has a cast on an arm or leg. They love what they do, though.

I took over 500 photos that day, and this being a brand new camera, I inadvertently set something wrong somewhere during the day and ended up with about 200 picutes horribly underexposed. I spent untold hours with them in Photoshop Elements trying to salvage them. That final photo up there was one of the ones I was able to resurrect with some success, that's why it's noisy.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Heron And Pink Flamingo

The first photo was taken in Melbourne Beach, Florida, near Rykman Park on the Indian River Lagoon. This great blue heron was stalking things through the shallow water the whole time Lovely Wife were here watching the sunset. They are interesting to watch. Birds are such serious acting animals, especially the hunters like these, pelicans, etc.

The second photo is another bird, a fake, a pink flamingo at the top of another one of Lovely Wife's wind chimes. This is the only pink flamingo we have, we don't own any of those that people put in their front yards. This one is pretty nifty on breezy days too.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Out Back

The first photo is of a bumble bee, wind-blown, whirlygig thingy That Lovely Wife has in on of her flower pots. I like the little bird in there too. I liked the way the colors came out in this photo.

The second photo is one of Lovely Wife's wind chimes. I liked the reflection in the dull metal, and the spider web there.

Have a great Sunday, and don't forget check out my other blog, I always post photos on Sundays.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Out Front

The first photo is one of Lovely Wife's new flower pots for 2007. She gets the urge every year to plant flowers. Hits all the local nursery sections of the stores, and boom, lots of new flowers. I'm not complaining, I love flowers, and we can have them pretty much year 'round here. This new setup in the photo, sits just outside our screened in front porch to greet visitors, and us when we get home.

The second photo is of the thorns where we've cut off dead palm fronds from some little palm trees, also just outside the front porch. I like palm trees a lot, and there are a dizzying number of different kinds, but some of them have huge thorns near the base of the palm fronds, like here. These in the picture are about 2 inches (5cm) long each. Every few months, more fronds grow out of the top, and the lower ones yellow and die and droop down. To keep the trees looking nice, we cut off the dead ones and leave only the green. Trimming them isn't fun, and we look like an attack dog has chewed up our arms when we've trimmed them all and have dragged the old fronds away. It's pretty much impossible to trim a bunch of these without ending up bloody, the blood running down your arms. It doesn't hurt very bad, but it's annoying.

We used to have huge bougainvilleas all over the yard, but that was over the top with thorns, and we got rid of them despite the beauty.

Our Canary Island Date Palm (at least I think that's what it is) has thorns about 4 or 5 inches (10-12cm) long. Those thorns have stuck in me so deep I felt them hit the bones in my forearms. That DID hurt, and it creeps me out to feel them hit bone like that.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Green Stuff

Photos taken in Sebastian Inlet State Park, Florida.

The little birds would let the small waves wash over them, shake it off, and resume hunting little critters. I'd never seen birds do that before, let a wave hit them. Though admittedly, they weren't big waves, but still.

The second photo was some of the stuff growing in the water. I have no idea what to call it, I'm woefully ignorant of plant's names and even birds names, but it's fun to see and photograph.

Plus, I didn't have to learn to scuba dive to see it either.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Two Sets Of Twins

I was intrigued by the blog A Photo A Day - Photos By Donald Kinney, and how he put together photos of similar items as juxtapositions the other day. As I was going through some of my stuff last night, I originally had the idea to put up a photo of the Melbourne Causeway, a bridge across the Indian River Lagoon between Melbourne, Florida and Indialantic, Florida, on the barrier island just off-shore from us. It's our closest access to the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean, and I love bridges.

But while looking around for the photo, I came across the photograph I took of a slide at one of the branches of the Brevard County Public Library. It's on a playground behind the library and near a beautiful pond there.

When I saw that second photo, it reminded me of the juxtapositions on A Photo A Day, and I thought I would put them together.

I love symmetrical things anyway, and like both of these photos.

Two widely different photos similar in symmetry. (As always, give 'em a click to enlarge.)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Petit Jean State Park, Arkansas

Way back in the mists of time when Lovely Wife was Lovely Fiance, I went with her and her family on a weekend trip to Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas.

Both photos were taken with my beloved Canon AE-1, the top one using a Vivitar 135mm f2.8 lens that I wish I hadn't sold, and the bottom one with my trusty 50mm f1.8 lens.

That top photo has a neat perspective, almost like the tilt/shift lens effect folks do in Photoshop these days. In this case, they were just a long way off.

You have to understand that for a Louisiana boy, a hill bigger than ten feet tall was a mountain. Heck, the highest point in all of Louisiana is Mount Driskill, at a whopping 535 feet.

These were a couple of the Kodachrome 64 slides that I have scanned into digital form from that trip. We hiked and hiked. What fun that was. These were two of my favorite shots from that trip.

Also, if you're interested, go to the Petit Jean State Park website and read the story of Jean herself. It's an amazing and true love story.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Pink And Yellow Sunset

These two photos are a couple of my 35mm slide scans from 1983.

The first photo was taken over an across the street neighbor's roof, from the front yard where my then fiance (now wife of 22 years) and her family lived. I cropped this one slightly, because in the original slide, you can see the top of the neighbor's roof, and I cut that out.

Lest you think those colors are unreal or a photoshop trick, I put up the second photo, taken on a different evening in a different location. It has almost the same colors. Same city, Monroe, Louisiana, but the second one is looking over the Ouachita River (pronounced WASH-it-aw), about 6 miles from where the first photo was taken.

Belive me, I'm not that good with photoshop, and I use Photoshop Elements anyway.

On my writing blog today I posted a story of my year as a high school yearbook photographer, along with three photos from that time in my life, if you care to see them and read the story. It's a post that would have fit in well on this blog too.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Heavy Metal

I took these while walking around under a bridge.

I have no idea what that thing in the second photo is, I just thought it looked interesting. It was sticking up vertically on the side of the bridge. I was looking up to it from below.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Black And White #2

The first photo was an old favorite of mine from when I took one of my photography classes at college in the early 1980s. I took the photo, and when I developed a contact sheet of that roll's images, this photo looked like an aerial photo of tall pine trees around a giant outcropping of rock. In reality it is a rock about the size of two of a man's fists, and the plants growing up around it. This is in a small flower bed outside my fiance's house. It's still one of those photos that you can see either way; a six inch rock surrounded by 4 inch plants, or a mountain size rock with massive pines.

The second photo was taken of the Louisville Street bridge in Monroe, Louisiana. The Ouachita river was way past flood stage and you can see that the river is just a few feet below the bridge. I was standing on top of a levee along the river and the water was up onto the levee. It was creepy, but just part of growing up in Louisiana. Floods WILL happen every so often.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Sorry to be late with these. I try to post in the early mornings, but am not feeling 100percent today.

There's a park a few miles from where we live, called Ballard Park. There's a marina and one day we were there and this family left for a day of sailing.

I've never actually set foot on a sailboat, but I've always wanted to.

This group looked to be having a great time on this beautiful boat.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Brown Pelicans

These were taken at the Sebastian Inlet I showed and wrote about yesterday. There were all kinds of water fowl there and these pelicans were all trying to take a nap. I chose these guys, because they were still awake. Sorta-kinda awake anyway.

More to come.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Sebastian Inlet Bridge, Florida

Top photo is a shot to try to take in as much of the bridge over the Sebastian Inlet as I could. I'm standing on a jetty that sticks out into the Atlantic just a little bit and am looking back toward the bridge, and mainland Florida beyond that.

The bottom photo is where I got down near the base of the bridge on the north side of it, and took a picture of the foundations, the big rocks, and the beautiful water with the shadows cast by the bridge. There many, many people there fishing, and those two guys in the picture climbed down onto that pillar, where they weren't supposed to go.

This is about fifteen miles, as the crow flies, from where I live. Thirty miles to drive there. It is the closest access for boats to the Atlantic Ocean from where I live. It's called Sebastian Inlet. I don't own a boat, but it's a really neat place to visit. There's a small visitor's center and museum, but I didn't go in that day.

There is a Florida State Park at Sebastian Inlet that takes in both sides of the cut through the barrier island. I went there this past Sunday afternoon to take in some of the beautiful weather, and to take some photos with my new lens.

It was nice to wander around and there were lots and lots of birds; storks, pelicans, egrets, cranes.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Front Porch, Back Porch

First photo is looking out on the front yard from our screened in front porch. It's been pleasantly cool the past week or so. Probably the last of the cool air before summers heat kicks in.

The second photo is one step out of our back door onto the patio.

Good or bad, I like to take a few pics around the house and yard from time to time. Plants grow, die, or are blown down in hurricanes, so while I was sitting there I thought it time to take a couple more because things change. I don't think I've ever taken any from the perspective of sitting on the front porch looking out at the yard. That's one of our little poodles, Angel, who jumps up on the ledge looking for lizards. She loves to chase them. You can see we have palm trees all over the front so it feels like you're sitting in a secret, shaded place.

I went and took one of our back patio and pool area since we've finally got it fairly clean and Lovely Wife has planted some flowers. To the left is actually a table with a ceiling fan and light, though it's not in the picture. When Sainted Mother visits, she pretty much lives out here on the back patio.

We bought this house in 1997 from a retired couple who had added most everything folks eventually like to add to a house. Screened in front porch. Covered back patio with small pool and a screened enclosure encasing it all.

It's a pleasure to sit on either side of the house, and is almost bug free due to the screened areas. We're blessed.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Red Sky, Meridian, Mississippi

In late November, 1982, I was on the way back to Louisiana from a trip to Tennessee. We stopped at a rest area on Interstate 20 near Meridian, Mississippi.

I had never seen such a red sky after the sun had set. I've seen some amazing ones in the years since, but none as red.

I love that one star in the upper photo.

Canon AE-1; 50mm lens; Kodachrome 64.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Did You Know That Birds Stretch?

All three photos:
Nikon D70s; 1/500sec; f5.6; Nikon 55-200mm lens at 200mm.

Great Blue Heron. He was hunting, and stopped to stretch.

Photos taken at Castaways Point Park, Palm Bay, Florida. On the mainland bank of the Indian River Lagoon.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Easter Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

The first photo is one of Lovely Wife's new flower pots and some brilliant purple petunias she planted the other day. Gorgeous. Nikon D70s; 1/40sec; f20; ISO 200

The second photo is actually a fake flower that is in our little water fountain/tub on the back patio. I glanced over and the late afternoon sun was shining on it and the water was rippling and glinting in the light. Quite beautiful for a fake flower. Nikon D70s; 1/200sec; f5.6; ISO 200

Due to the crazy week, and preparing for the memorial service for Lovely Wife's Mother on this past Friday, I haven't had a chance to get out on a photo excursion with my new lens.

Friday after the memorial service, and after everyone left our house, I took a few shots out back around the pool. I can already tell that I love, love, love this lens.

It's nice and sharp for such a wide range zoom and the vibration reduction feature (similar to Canon's image stabilization) is quite amazing.

Both of these photos were taken with the new 18-200mm Nikon VR lens on a 15 minute mini photo safari on our home's back patio/pool area.

God bless all of you on this most holy of Christian holidays.

Don't forget to go over to my "real" blog, on which I post photos each and every Sunday.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Black and White #1: Movement

The top photo is of my Dad, chilling on the couch at home.

The bottom one is of Younger Brother, bunny hopping on his BMX bike on the street in front of our house.

I consider my home town to be Monroe, Louisiana. I went to Neville High School there, and also my first degree is an Associate of Arts Degree from Northeast Louisiana University (now the University of Louisiana - Monroe).

When I was in high school, I was a photographer on the yearbook staff. I learned black and white darkroom techniques and developed photos for the yearbook at school.

Later, when I was in college the first time, in the early 1980s, I took a couple of B&W photography classes for fun. These two photos are scans of B&W negatives from one of my college photography classes.

Taken around 1982-1983. Canon AE-1, 50mm f1.8 lens, Tri-X.