Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Blackbird, fly...."

We were surprised that this red winged blackbird stopped by our back yard. We see these all over the place in meadows, but not usually so close to houses. I think it was drawn in by our freshly-filled bird feeders.

Shot through the window, on Sports mode.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Moon (not) over Miami

Any suggestions for getting a sharper moon? My camera shop told me to switch off image stabilization on my lens, since the camera was mounted on a tripod (did that...). I'd read someplace that good moon settings are shutter at 1/125, f/8, ISO 100. My moons were too dark for that. I messed around with the ISO settings as you can see below. Except for a little tweak to exposure and brightness in ACR, and cropping, these are pretty much straight from the camera.

(Above) Tripod mount, self-timer, ISO 100, shutter 1/40, f/6.3, focal length 270mm

(Above) Tripod mount, self-timer, ISO 400, shutter 1/125, f/6.3, focal length 270mm. This shot was about 10 minutes later than the first one; the orange was quickly fading.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Still on a textures kick

Used 2 different textures from Shadowhouse Creations to add a little visual interest to this goose. Not sure it's much better than the original, but it was fun playing around with blend modes and masks.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Trees, with texture

This image of the trail we were hiking was rather blah out of camera - gray light, filtered by pine needles, brown dirt, brown trunks, brown & green needles. I played around with some overlays on this image. Earlier in the hike, I'd taken a picture of the rusty rail of a bridge, so I used that as my base overlay, to add some texture. I then added a second overlay from Jerry Jones' wonderful Skeletal Mess texture collection (found here...). After playing around with blend modes, I ended up with this.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Early signs of spring...

Along a muddy trail in a nearby state park...

Friday, March 26, 2010

As the song says...

One thin dime (and more)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Why do they call these circulars?

Maybe because they are in circulation? At any rate, they fit the theme, so if you've gotten your tax refund already, you can hit the mall...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Worn and grungy

When DBF Jon designed the set for "Rent", he wanted a worn, grungy look for the industrial-loft setting. Here's a close-up of the title piece, reflecting that vision.

Shutter: 1/25, f/5.6, ISO 1600, focal length 119 mm hand held

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Young performers

These fine young actors are caught during a scene from a high school production of the musical "Rent".

Shutter: 1/25, f/6.3, ISO 1600, focal length 270mm, hand held (thank goodness for image stabilization!)

Monday, March 22, 2010


When DBF Jon has a production running, his office becomes a dumping ground for leftover props that need to be cleared off stage for the current show. During the intermission of this spring's offering of "Rent", I ducked into his office and saw this disordered scene.

Anyone care to provide the name of the production that used this costume piece??

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fine feathered friend

Little finches have been visiting our feeders all winter. This one is maturing, starting to fill in with the pretty gold feathers that give him his name.

Shutter speed: 1/160, f/6.3, ISO 400, focal length, 270mm

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Shore-side grasses in the snow

Topaz Adjust - Psychedelic - used to pop these slender grasses off the snowy background.

Friday, March 19, 2010


I like how these Ponderosa Pine logs were stacked within the fence structure to add strength and visual interest. Tweaked in Topaz Adjust 4.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Waiting for Godot

Or, waiting TO go...

(Extra credit for guessing which pair is mine...)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Maybe she needs a little more conditioner

I liked all the detail in the hair of this metal statue, which is perched on the shores of Lake Dillon in Colorado, but overall, she was a little stiff.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cheeseburger, cheeseburger

These two guys could not have set up their grill in a more conspicuous place.... right at the bottom of a chairlift. The enticing smells of grilled meat  wafted halfway up the mountain. One whiff, and you were hard pressed not to fork over $12 for a burger and a canned soda.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Winter beach

Ron's winter beach is sun and the base of the Timberline lift at Copper Mountain in Colorado, the beach is sun and snow. These cheery umbrellas are available if you want a little shade.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Big scary year later

Some of you may recall this auger from last year's 365 project...posted under the theme of "spiral". This image, taken a couple of days ago, was shot from the chairlift. The machine is used to carve out the half-pipes that snowboarders (and some skiers) use to do tricks. The snowmobiles give a sense of scale.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Thankful for the Safety Patrol

The skier in the blue jacket is blessed to have had the red-clad Copper Mountain Safety Patrol shout out a warning as he headed for the trees.

Friday, March 12, 2010

You can practice your faith anywhere

If you need a little divine guidance to get you down the slopes, just follow the signs...

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Nothing quite like that Colorado blue sky.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hey Group A - we have a new member!

In case you missed Mary Lou's post at the main VPW site, we have a new blogger in Group Awesome - Michelle. Check out her site! You can get there by clicking her name in the sidebar of my blog (just look to the right...).

Welcome, Michelle!

Did you guess the sport?

All of you guessers were pretty much right on the money. The sport is kite-boarding! Find a level, snow-covered surface (such as Lake Dillon, Colorado in March), step into a snowboard, hoist a kite, and off you go! (No, I didn't try it...)

Shutter: 1/500, f/8, ISO 100, focal length 270mm

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Life lessons

This college-age young man gives a mini-lesson to his young fan. What is the sport? Come back tomorrow to find out!

Shutter: 1/500, f/8, ISO 100, manual, 168mm hand held

Monday, March 8, 2010


Actually, this isn't all that unexpected. The high altitude, bright sunshine and dry air make for almost balmy-feeling days on snow-covered Lake Dillon in the Colorado High Country. This young man was soaking it up!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

What?? Really??

Nebraska. Winter. Unexpected....


(The sponsor of this blog does not advocate snapping and driving...)

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Trees, up a hill in the early-morning sunlight.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Goodbye, day

Sunset shot from my local town park. Played around with the sliders in the RAW editor and liked the results.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Feeling blue...

This is a shot from last summer, high atop Chiquita Peak in the Mummy Range Wilderness area of Rocky Mountain National Park. It was cold and windy up here, but that glorious blue sky stretched for miles. I took a shot of this unknown hiker from the protection of a stone shelter.

Shutter: 1/640, ISO 64 (on my Olympus, I can go this low), f/8, focal length about 18mm

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Who among hasn't ventured down this path?

When I was a kid, it was considered big fun to wrap gifts in the Sunday comics. I guess you could consider that old-fashioned packaging...

Shutter: 1/160, f/5.6, ISO 400, focal length 130mm, tripod mount

(OK...I just saw someone else's blog and realized this should be TWO themes - one of old fashioned, and one of packaging. So in the spirit of my Awesome buddy Ron, I'll break this rule and leave my original interpretation of the theme...)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I am powerless before my Doctor.

My addiction...

Shutter: 1/60, f/5.6, ISO 400, 142mm, tripod.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Winter's Trail

With my apologies to Shakespeare

Shutter speed: 1/800, f/5, ISO 200, focal length 39mm, hand held.