Drip

A close up of a fountain at Laguna Gloria Art Museum - Austin, TX

I enjoy taking these "little" shots nearly as much as the "big" ones.  I find it fascinating to try and capture something simple in an interesting way.  Not sure I actually do, but it's fun trying!

Orange lily

I found this orange lily while walking around somewhere in Austin one day.  It was just sitting there looking pretty.  I enjoy macro shots of flowers and find it fun to see what sort of details you can bring out in the post-processing.  In this case I used PSE and Topaz Adjust.  Topaz Adjust really does a great job of helping to accentuate things like that, and it is a program that I use very frequently.  Single exposure, f/5.

Fragile

I do love shooting macros and continue to experiment with this photographic style.  I have found that I can get pseudo-macro results with my 18-200 lens by putting it in manual focus, instead of auto-focus.  For some reason I can get closer to the subject in manual, within 12 inches or less.  On auto-focus I can only get within 18 inches or so, which just doesn't cut it for a macro.  I am sure there is some technical explanation for that but I don't know it!  In this case though I used my Hoya Macro Filters, which I enjoy quite a bit and you can read my review of them here:  http://www.nomadicpursuits.com/hoya-macro-filter-review/

Poppy bokeh

This single poppy really stood out to me, and as you can see was standing taller than his peers.  I thought he was quite attractive.  I was also able to conjure some nice bokeh in the background so that always gets me a little fired up!

I have been traveling for work all this week in San Francisco, so I am way behind on photography but that is ok.  I did get some great shots while I was away so tune in next week to see some wonderful Northern California goodness!  Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend! 

Dew drops

The recent rain has caused a floral explosion here in Central Texas, and given us a mild spring the likes of which I can't really remember.  Then again, my memory sucks.  Either way, we are getting some great color and I am lovin' every minute of it.  This was shot in my backyard - you don't even have to leave home to get good photographs in this weather!

Single exposure, f/5,6. -1.3 ev.  Minor contrast adjustments in PSE and a little finish in Aperture.  Get out there and shoot some of these wonderful flowers!

Red poppy

I have driven by a certain house in Austin probably a dozen times over the last few weeks, and every time I notice and comment on this wonderful field of red poppies that is bloomin' like crazy in their yard.  I keep telling myself that I need to bring the camera and get a picture before it is too late.  Well, today I finally listened to those voices in my head and brought the camera.  Here is one of the pictures that I got, and I rather like it.  I am a fan of bold colors (check!), bokeh (check!) and simple shots (check!).  I feel like I got it all in this shot...what do you think?

Single exposure, f/5.6, exposure bias of -1.7 ev.  I adjusted the contrast slightly in PSE and actually had to tone done the red saturation in Aperture.

Spring

Well it seems Spring is here, at least here in Austin.  Things are in bloom and it seems like we are getting really close to the big wildflower explosion that happens here every Spring.  It is an awesome event that unfolds slowly and then one day *BAM* there are wildflowers everywhere.  It is awesome and I will have some shots coming soon!

Single exposure taken at f/6.3 and 0ev.  I made some minor adjustments in PSE and that's it!

White blossoms

Well it seems spring is trying really hard to make an appearance here in Austin.  We have seem some warmer temps and even the flowers are starting to bloom.  I found this in the backyard, while I was just poking around.  I had my Hoya macro filters on my camera, but this thing was out of reach.  So, I literally just held up my camera at arms length and tried to get a decent shot.  I though it came out alright.

Single exposure, f/5.6, 0 ev.  Also, I took this in Aperture mode, which is where I spend most of my time.  I then made some minor adjustments in PSE around Contrast and gave it a little pop in Topaz Adjust. 

Collecting evidence

Recently we had a little family get-together at my mom's house, which is always fun.  When you are there, you can always count on great hospitality, veggies, cheese and crackers to snack on, and of course some wine.  She does like wine and it seems I have come by that trait honestly.  I had my camera there, like I always do, and after a while decided to get out my new Hoya Macro Filters and give them a try with some different subjects.  Apparently my mom has a whole collections of these corks, so I rooted around in the box and found a few that I liked, stacked them up, and started shooting.  She came up and asked me:  "What are you doing, collecting evidence?".  In fact, yes I was.  And that got me thinking...  

I guess in some ways that is what photography is all about to me - collecting evidence. Evidence, in a good way, as in:  yes, I saw that sunset - I climbed that mountain - I went inside that famous church - I saw my child ride his/her bike for the first time - I stared into the depths of that river - I married that beautiful lady. Evidence, not for bragging rights or anything boastful, but for memories.  Memories last forever and small mementos, like a photograph, can bring them flooding back.

This is a single exposure, taken at f/4.2 with an exposure bias of -1 EV.  I made some adjustments in PSE around Contrast and a light touch in Topaz Adjust.  This photo was taken with my Hoya Macro Filters, which I wrote about in a review that you can read here.  They are a wonderful tool to have in your possession.

Berry nice

Ok, that title is a little goofy but it's all I could think of!  Obviously this is a macro of a fruit plate.  As I have mentioned in previous posts, I do enjoy macro photography and I find it fun and interesting to get really close to things and see what kind of shot you can get.  You also start to look at things differently than you normally do (and that's the case it seems with all kinds of photography).  The trick for me is that I do not have a proper macro lens.  I checked them out and the one I thought I wanted runs about $500.  I decided against it since I am more interested in upgrading my camera first.  I then found out about the Hoya Macro Filter set, which is about $80.  I tested them out in the store and decided to buy them.  They work great!  I can get to within a few inches of an object and get a shot.  With my normal lens, I have to be 12-15 inches away from the object. So this is a definite improvement!  I liked them so much, I posted a little review of them here.

This is a single exposure taken at f/5, with a -1 exposure bias.  ISO is 100 and I was about 3 inches away from the subject.  I made some adjustments in PSE (Contrast, Unsharp Mask) and added a little pizazz in Topaz Adjust.  Hope you like it!  I definitely recommend that you try macro photography - it is fun!