Sunday, May 31, 2009

A walk around the block . . .

It was a foggy morning but Tracy's Fuji cherry tree looked pretty good in full bloom. ©Carol Leigh

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Birthday getaway

It was more of a fun getaway than a photo trip (which is completely out of character for me) and we had a great time traveling down and up the coast for three days, relaxing, reading, sightseeing, eating, and a wee bit o' photography now and again. ©Carol Leigh

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A walk around the block . . .

I spotted this blade of grass last week and vowed to photograph it. What caught my eye was the sharp angle as well as the complementary red and green colors. This morning I finally took the photo, using a 100mm macro lens and a Nikon 6T close-up diopter on the front. Simple color palette, simple composition, almost Asian in its look. ©Carol Leigh

Monday, May 25, 2009

Changes are afoot . . .

This is part of a collage/painting I'm working on, and I like how just one part of something can look kind of cool. ©Carol Leigh


It's a veritable chronological extravaganzo! Chronophile that I am, I'm having way too much fun photographing various watch and clock elements, including a wooden cuckoo clock dial that's sitting on a wooden cog that's sitting on a brass cog. Lens combinations range from an 18-55mm lens with a Nikon 6T diopter on the front to a 100mm macro lens, to a macro lens with various extension tubes. On the cuckoo clock dial photo I used a flashlight with an orange filter on it to give the image a bit more warmth. And you know what's weird? All these clock photos I've been taking the past year, all the clock parts that are finding their way into my photomontages -- all photographed by a person who rarely wears a watch! ©Carol Leigh

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Half a hake . . .

The upcoming online class has a segment on "Halves," photographing half of something. This hake brush was hanging around the studio. Half a hake is better than none, so I shot it with a 100mm macro lens. I used Topaz Adjust to add just a touch more texture to the individual brush hairs. ©Carol Leigh

Friday, May 22, 2009

A walk around the block . . .

On our walk this morning, Chris found a twig that had two pine cones attached. "You've trained me well!" he said. "This would be good to photograph." One of the many reasons I love this guy. ©Carol Leigh

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A 1935 Four

Is this a cool "4" or what? It comes from a 1935 Oregon license plate that Ron up the street thought I'd like to shoot. And this is just the beginning. I have high hopes for this "4," figuring it will show up eventually in a photomontage. And Ron, if you're reading this, THANK YOU! Can't wait to work on that old propeller next. ©Carol Leigh

Parts of a whole

I've begun painting my own textured backgrounds for my photomontages and wow, what fun! And then when I photograph my paintings, I photograph just bits and pieces of them, like this one, which becomes a tiny piece of art itself. Acrylic paints and washes and cute little dots all come together here. And then this will show up later, completely transfigured, in a future photomontage. ©Carol Leigh

Monday, May 18, 2009

A walk around the block . . .

On my walk this morning I loved how this white clematis glowed against a very dark background. A 28-135mm IS lens captured it surprisingly well. ©Carol Leigh

Rhodies be a'bloomin'

Our neighbor, Gene, has beautiful rhododendron bushes in his front yard, all in bloom right now. I used my "walk around the block" 18-55mm lens for this one. ©Carol Leigh

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A trio of pears

The more I use my 50mm f/1.8 lens, the more I enjoy it. The shallow depth of field is very appealing to me at the moment, so what better subject than these pears? Their shapes are so cool. Note to novice photographers: Photograph pears. Instant art! ©Carol Leigh

Friday, May 15, 2009

My good deed for the day

This guy was upside-down when I came upon him. I turned him rightside-up and made sure he was in plenty of water before I moved on. Yup, that's me, the starfish rescue squad. ©Carol Leigh

Thursday, May 14, 2009

13 minutes in a garden

This is Chris's day off and, since it wasn't raining, we headed up the coast to Lincoln City. May's the most beautiful month on the coast and all the rhododendrons are just coming into full bloom. We stopped briefly at the Connie Hansen Memorial Garden -- very tiny -- and slowly meandered about. A pathway leads out to a rhododendron dell; hostas grow thickly in the shade; and a bench sits surrounded by forget-me-nots and flaming orange rhodies. Just 13 minutes, but very refreshing. ©Carol Leigh

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Leaving the nest

I picked up this dandelion puff on my walk this morning and was taken by the way one little seed was ready to drift away, yet still clung to the "mother ship." I didn't have a macro lens on the camera, so did the best I could with the 18-55mm I did have. This is worth doing again "for real," in the studio. Once the rain stops I think I'll head out and gather a few more and see if I can replicate this concept, using more appropriate equipment. ©Carol Leigh

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

43 minutes at the aquarium

Car accident = doctor visits so I treated myself to a quick stop at the Oregon Coast Aquarium on my way home from the hospital. All I took was my camera with the 18-55mm "kit" lens. The best thing about this lens (other than it's very lightweight) is that it can focus as close as 6 inches. I set the ISO at 800 and the metering system at "P" (for "perfect") and had fun. The shots aren't super-great, but it was a relaxing, stress-free little interlude.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Evening grosbeak

The evening grosbeaks have arrived, joining the American goldfinches and the black-headed grosbeaks at the feeder. The first time I ever saw this bird was last year and I was stunned at how big and tropical they look -- just beautiful. I took this shot through a dirty window, using a 70-200mm L lens and a 2X teleconverter. It came out surprisingly well. ©Carol Leigh

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Art of Seeing - 090510

The first photo is an abstract image of rock patterns on the bluffs at the high tide line. The second photo shows you what the bluffs look like and what, in particular, caught my eye. The third photo, the feather, is a rather boring shot of a crow feather. But I shot it knowing that I would incorporate it later in a photomontage, which you can see here. It was a good morning, and I walked for miles. ©Carol Leigh

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The beast

If you don't know the cat, you probably don't see it. But if you live with the little creep, and have for almost five years, then you DO see the subtle expressions, such as this one, which is basically Abby saying, "Sigh. Again with the camera?" You'd think that, since we've given her a swell little cat quilt, that she'd be slightly more accommodating, slightly more enthusiastic about being photographed, but nope, that ain't gonna happen. ©Carol Leigh

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's a tough job . . .

Okay, I've been practicing for my upcoming online photo class, where one segment is devoted to food photography. That means, of course, that I've got to have food to shoot. Good-looking food. And here's where Chris enters the picture. He can prepare good-looking food! So this morning's chore was to (a) check out a new recipe we found for pancakes and then (b) shoot 'em. Well, it was a smashing success, as you can see. We had to walk a bit afterwards to work these puppies off, so a quick trip to the fishing boats was definitely in order. Where naturally I had to take even more photos. Work, work, work . . . ©Carol Leigh

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Another version

I like this shell better, especially since the spiral nature of the shell echoes the round form of the magnifying glass. I'm now beginning to use a stepladder — crossing the line from easy-peasy shots to photos requiring (gasp!) a bit more work. Shallow depth of field reigns by my using f/1.8 on a 50mm macro lens. I sliced open a finger on my left hand the other day in a horrible kitchen "malfunction." Luckily I can click the shutter with my right . . . ©Carol Leigh

An old-fashioned look

I'm trying something a bit different for me, and it's not yet coming together, but I'll continue onward from this point. I've always liked this magnifying glass -- once belonging to Chris's father -- and the old books have a great look and feel. To me it bespeaks a slower, more contemplative time. To enhance that feeling, I used an aperture of f/1.8 on a 50mm lens and then toned down the colors in Photoshop. ©Carol Leigh

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mirror, mirror on the wall

While in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico last year I photographed this ornate mirror as it reflected the flowers in the room behind me. I took so many photographs while there that processing them is going to take a long time. Which is not a complaint! ©Carol Leigh

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Orzo with pesto, chicken, feta . . .

In my next online class (beginning in July), one of the segments is on food photography, so I've been practicing! Orzo with some pesto, chicken, crumbled feta cheese and a plethora of cherry tomatoes makes a good shot and a great meal! I used a 50mm lens at f/1.8 for minimum depth of field and overexposed by 2/3 stop for a lighter feel. ©Carol Leigh

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Art of Seeing - 090503

This morning I visited a beach just south of us, one I've never been to, figuring it was just big and flat and boring. Well, it pretty much was exactly that! But I found a few things to shoot, including the tree-framed pathway leading down to the sand. The next photo, with no sense of scale, looks like huge, rocky cliffs, but in reality is part of a big log that washed ashore, as you can see in the second photo. The next photo could be a macro photo of the scales on a butterfly's wing, but is actually wood grain in yet another washed-ashore log. There's always something to see, something to photograph, when we really begin looking. My lens du jour? A 28-135 IS with a polarizing filter on a Canon 50D body.