Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Santa Fe color

Ohmygosh. I am swamped. I am sinking in a sea of photos. Preparing for my macro photography class, I have pictures everywhere depicting depth of field, composition, set-ups, lenses, before/after, lighting, and I still haven't finished downloading all my New Mexico shots. Why? Because I have run out of room. Yes, I have external drives hooked up all over the place (five on this computer alone, three more on the older computer), but I'm wary of just dumping pictures here and there. Plus, not all five drives can be plugged in at the same time. I'm not going to go on. It's too screwy and it's not entertaining for you to read.

And then I went to the aquarium yesterday. So I've got those pictures to deal with.

In the meantime, here are two photos that somehow survived the treacherous journey from laptop to DVD to computer. Like salmon swimming upstream, trying to avoid the bears, here they are — a couple of colorful photographs from Santa Fe.

And now back to sorting and deleting and selecting for the macro class. ©Carol Leigh

A trip to the aquarium

We had a houseguest yesterday and so took him to the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Alas, the puffin exhibit is being worked on and is closed (sigh . . . it's my favorite exhibit), but we found lots of other things to shoot, such as this sea nettle, an egg yolk jellyfish, and a lionfish. Is it possible to "connect" with a fish? This lionfish and I had a thing going on, I swear. He was probably just admiring his reflection in my lens, which was why he was following me about. Unrequited love. ©Carol Leigh

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Durango Train Station

Inside the Durango-Silverton Train Station it was very dark but I still wanted to shoot details such as the way the light hit the old drinking fountain, the subtle colors and filigree at the ticket counter, the designs on the radiator, and then a shot looking in from the outside. I wasn't using a tripod, so had to hand-hold the camera using an ISO that ranged from 400 to 3200. Look at the light. Isn't it pretty? ©Carol Leigh

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sculptures, galleries, and leather in Santa Fe

I'm home now and beginning to look at some of my photos. I'm transferring them from my laptop into my "real" computer, deleting and tweaking as I go.

Two large bird sculptures adorn the entry to Santa Fe's new convention center. A purple gallery door is open to give us a peek at a painting inside on Canyon Road. Also on Canyon Road, a pot sits in a gallery window. And finally, a close-up of detail on a leather jacket in a shop on the Plaza. ©Carol Leigh

Friday, September 25, 2009

Yeah, but how's your camera?

While photographing in the red rock area near Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, I tripped on a rock(probably a red one) and went crashing to the ground. My left leg was kind of shredded. Lots of blood. Lots of drama. A day later and I still hurt. But the blood no longer runs down my leg, which is a good thing.

The camera? (And I know that's what you're really concerned about.) Well, it still works. But to see my photos on the LCD screen I have to ignore the raggedy "X" mark that's permanently scratched on it. I need this camera to demonstrate certain things at my upcoming macro class on the 10th, so I can't send it yet to Canon for repair.

Wish I'd photographed my damaged leg at the height of its yuckiness. But nope, a search for water and bandages was foremost in my mind. So here it is. A photo blog post that is photo-free. [And wouldn't you know? It's gotten more comments than my posts that actually contain photos! There's a message here somewhere . . .]

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

More from Santa Fe

Fresh bell peppers at the Farmers' Market in Santa Fe, aspens just beginning to turn color, and mailboxes off Canyon Road. Now off to Durango, Colorado.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Details, New Mexico

A door at the Santuario de Chimayo gleams in low light, while the church at Ranchos de Taos appears a reddish-peach due to recent rains. And finally, a cranky-looking pottery bird looms large in a shop. Warm and sunny all day. Long day for everyone. ©Carol Leigh

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Yeah, but it's a DRY rain . . .

After a critique session, we headed back to the Plaza to photograph in the late afternoon into twilight. Ha! We ended up huddled under an overhang watching the biggest raindrops I've ever seen pound into the pavement. Fun, however, and an early dinner was most welcome. ©Carol Leigh

Around the Plaza in Santa Fe

Our day began with a hearty breakfast and a morning spent photographing around the Plaza. We're working on incorporating bold shadows in our photos (last photo) and people (first photo -- ha!). Fun stuff for everyone. ©Carol Leigh

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A quick walk around the Plaza

I did a quick walk around the Plaza this morning to refresh my memory and, as usual, the photo possibilities made my heart pound. Although I like the first photo, I don't like that the shadows themselves are soft -- as they actually were. Perhaps earlier, more direct light might work better here. But I love the "stripes" in the photo, with the blue, the tan, and then the whitish-grey.

The shadows in the second photo look to me like the wing of a bird. I have a feeling this shot will be eventually used in a photomontage. And then the third photo, I don't know, the three triangular shapes plus the way the tip of the triangle stands out against the black window all appeal to me. There's a little triangle of sky upper right.

All were taken with the same 18-55mm lens, which is a good walking-around lens. I didn't take any other lenses with me for this quick walk -- it's good practice to work with what you have, using the particular characteristics of that lens. It was a GREAT little walk. And I got some decent little photos. ©Carol Leigh

Friday, September 18, 2009

Canyon Road

The lighting during my scouting foray on Canyon Road was beautiful. Overcast skies made the colors gleam. Due to limited Photoshop accessibility right now, I'm processing just a few shots here and there. When I return home is when the real work begins. I'm getting excited about the workshop. These folks are going to get some terrific photographs! ©Carol Leigh

Scoping out the aspens

I'm scouting out my usual locations prior to the workshop, making sure everything is still where I remember it. The aspens are just thinking about turning color. This lone leaf is covered with raindrops from last night's rain while white tree trunks gleam against a dark background. Both shot with an 18-55mm lens. My only Photoshop program in my laptop is Elements 5, so I'm not spending much time tweaking these in the field. When I get back home, however, watch out! ©Carol Leigh

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hello, I must be going . . .

I'm leaving in 40 minutes to catch a plane to Santa Fe. Woo hoo! More to come . . . Carol Leigh

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The art of seeing . . .

On my walk this morning I passed by the empty lots where I've found some pretty good weeds from time to time. The first photo shows you what the scene looks like. The second photo shows you what it looks like IF YOU'RE INSANE! I moved the camera up/down during the exposure. Taken with the lens set at 55mm, 0.8 seconds at f/29. ©Carol Leigh

Monday, September 14, 2009

A walk around the block . . .

Uh-oh. My "skinny" jeans don't fit and so as of yesterday have begun eating less and exercising more. (Novel concept.) On this morning's walk, I stopped by the woods where the lighting was rather challenging. In one instance the sun was peeking through the trees and at another location it was very shady.

I experimented with stopping my lens down to a small aperture so I could turn the sun into a little starburst. (1/10 second at f/14, 55mm lens). The photo seemed too stark, so I warmed it up with a slight sepia look and then softened it with a bit of blur.

In the shady part of the woods I experimented with moving my camera up/down during a 0.6-second exposure at f/13, again with a 55mm lens. I did a couple of other things that I'm waiting until next year to show you in my weekly Photomotivation tutorials/assignments. Are you on the list to receive the info when it comes out?

In addition, after my walk I brought a leaf indoors and created this little photograph of it: I think it's beautiful.

2010 is going to be a very good year for photography. Especially when I can fit back into those jeans. ©Carol Leigh

Saturday, September 12, 2009

From "pottery country"

I love how my North Carolina friends refer to their neck of the woods as "pottery country," where studios abound. And this was a gift from Ms. JC in NC. Very pretty, isn't it? It was made by Ben Owen and it sits in a place of honor atop an old oak cabinet in our living room. ©Carol Leigh


It was very foggy this morning during my walk around the block, and the weeds in an empty lot looked rather good -- colorwise. To blend the colors even more, I moved the camera up (or down, can't remember which) during the exposure. The exposure was 0.6 seconds at f/29 on a lens set at 27mm. Not the best shot in the world, but whaddaya expect? They're weeds! ©Carol Leigh

Summer days

We've had extraordinary weather lately here on the coast and so what better than to show a box full of multi-colored tomatoes I bought at the local farmers' market and then a margarita sitting on the arm of a deck chair? Ah, summer! ©Carol Leigh

Simply a red pear

This is a pretty straightforward photo of one of the pears Chris brought home the other day. And here's what I turned it into:
©Carol Leigh

Monday, September 7, 2009

Permission to play on Labor Day

If we don't take the time to experiment and play, well, nothing seems to move forward. So today I pulled out a photo I took at the Disney Concert Hall a couple of years ago, cropped off some of the left side, added a better sky, and turned it into a square. ©Carol Leigh

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Japanese anemone

We've got Japanese anemones blooming out front right now, pink ones and these white ones. I love the light, airy, ballerina-esque look of them. I photographed these using a 100mm lens at an aperture of f/16 for decent depth of field. ©Carol Leigh

I'll be showing these shots and a lot more in my upcoming macro class in Castro Valley, California. Have you registered yet? It's a fun and informative day. Call the Castro Valley Adult School at (510) 886-1000 to register. The fee for the day is $89.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


At least I have better posture than the street sign! This looks like a montage, but it's not. Just a funky part of Waldport. ©Carol Leigh

Friday, September 4, 2009

Two in one

In my online classes, one lesson was all about curves, another all about fish (don't ask!). Last month I photographed a wall outside Canyon Way Bookstore and Restaurant (one of our favorite restaurants). I was attracted to the yin/yang-ness of the curves. The fish were a bonus!

The second version of the photo is for Carol D., who so kindly pointed out that the line going across the original image looked like crap. So I changed it. Just for her. Sheesh. ©Carol Leigh

Thursday, September 3, 2009

On the docks again . . .

Thursdays are sort of our "errand" day and as we venture out, I try to always visit the fishing boats, even if it's just for 15 minutes or so. (I'd be foolish not to, right?) We had great clouds today, so I took a few overviews as well as taking my usual abstract weird stuff. Rain's expected this weekend, so a "sun fix" today was definitely in order. ©Carol Leigh