Friday, April 30, 2010

Wow - it's the end of April!

Oh, dear. I dilly-dallied in London and now it's the end of the month and I still have three themes to go. How about a three-fer? It was a delicate balance, trying to capture both the faucet and the beverage in the same shot. My kitchen is on the west side of the house, so in the early morning, there isn't much natural light coming in. My dark counters increase the challenge. After several attempts, I selected this image, and used a little Topaz Adjust to speckle it up.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


In case you have neglected to note the dangers of smoking, these tobacco distributors have clearly marked their packaging.

(Taken in the Dusseldorf, Germany airport duty-free shop. After snapping this photo, I was asked to put away my camera. Hmmm....)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lots of action at Sunday's baseball game

The Chicago Cubs were having a grand time, racking up 12 runs against the Milwaukee Brewers. We were 22 rows back, just beyond first base. Even though Miller Park was fairly bright, I still needed to crank up my ISO to 1600. These were shot at 1/250, f/6.3, focal length of 270mm. Fun to play around with action shots!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Emotions ran high at the Sausage race

Taking a break from London photos to dash up to Miller Park in Milwaukee, to watch the Chicago Cubs take on the Milwaukee Brewers. (Go Cubbies...they won 12-2!)

A tradition at Brewer's games is the 7th-inning Sausage Race, which brought forth many emotions - the grit and determination in the sausages themselves (did I really just write that??) and the joy and amusement on the faces of the crowd.

(I believe the Polish Sausage - number 2 - won this race.) Can you identify the other contestants?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tic toc....redux

A different view of Big Ben and the Parliament buildings...on the way up in the London Eye.

I was shooting directly into the sun, so when I exposed for the buildings, I lost the sky. Replaced it (and added a little reflection in the river) to try to make it look more as it actually was that day.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Another London Icon

The Tower Bridge sprawls across the busy River Thames. This was taken through a bus window (a HUGE reason I don't like bus tours...but of all our view of this bridge, my window seat on the happily-correct side of the bus gave us the best peek...) while moving...I was pretty happy to fire off several shots and get a fairly usable one. Processing done in Topaz Adjust.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Liberty Building is in full bloom!

This fun building is on Carnaby Street. It used to have a different coat of flowers, but I like the violet hues and purple (window) shades of this image.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Deep purple is a shade of violet...

Sorry, Ron, more flowers. This cluster of beauties was taken in the Queen's Garden in Regent's Park.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Look right...

At nearly every traffic light in downtown London, reminders were painted into the crosswalks. Because cars drive on a different side of the road than in many other countries, visitors often first look to their LEFT to check for oncoming traffic, when in reality, they should worry about the cars approaching from their right. I quickly came to rely on these reminders to make it safely across busy intersections.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


The lighting at the site of the Four Bronze Horses of Helios fountain was challenging; a bright, sunny day, and the entire fountain not only under an overhang, but of a dark subject. It was very crowded, and hard to get in direct line of the horses. Of the several shots I took, this one had the fewest people. I tried to recover the blown sky, to no avail. I thought about doing an Out of Bounds image, leaving the horses' legs hanging out of the frame, but I never could get it to look right. In the end, I used some Topaz Spicify and hope it will draw your eye to the magnificent fountain.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Westminster Abbey

I have no light-hearted commentary about this incredible building. It was simply breathtaking.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tick, tock

Our first day out, we walked from Picadilly Circus, through Trafalgar Square, down to Big Ben and the area of Westminster Abbey and some of the Parliment buildings. Due to the 2012 Summer Olympics, much of London is under construction, or getting a spruce-up. I cropped out part of the shrouded Parliment buildings (and a bus that intruded on my photo at the last moment). Love that blue sky!!! (Are you all getting used to the building-lean when I'm zoomed all the way out to 18mm?)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

Each stone plays an important part in the mystery that is Stonehenge.

Processed with Topaz Adjust - Equalize. I like what it did to the sky, and how it brought out the mossy look on the stones.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

That peek-a-boo church

A short walk brought us to the base of St. Martin's church. I bracketed 3 shots and played with this tutorial to produce this image. Did some perspective correction, but the 18mm focal point on my lens still gives some leaning-building distortion.

Friday, April 16, 2010

All the world's a stage...

While in London, we saw 5 stage productions. Before this show began, we walked around and took a few twilight photos. The neon glow of the theater sign made it easy to find our way back in time to take our seats.

No matter what kind of perspective change I played with in Photoshop, I still had some leaning buildings. I finally scrapped the corrections and decided to post the original. Don't tip over!

That's a peek at St. Martin's church in the background. It was about 3 blocks from the theater, across the street from Trafalgar Square.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Inside Canterbury Cathredal

We spent a lovely afternoon in Canterbury, England, exploring the cathedral and the wonderful town area. In a small chapel inside the cathedral, I captured the dappled sunlight spilling through the stained glass window. It created a wonderful pattern on the stone floor.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Last of the blooms

In deference to Ron, who quickly grows weary of flower shots, I'll wrap up with this image, also from St. James Park. We visited here on a Monday and a Friday. On Monday, there were no tulips. The week's warming temps and sunshine burst these lovely pink and yellow tulips into bloom by Friday.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

More blooms

After a long, snowy Illinois winter, I was starved for flowers! This shot, taken in London's St. James Park, includes some of the Cavalry Building in the background.

Monday, April 12, 2010

London was in bloom!

Cheers, folks. We are off to England for the next several blog days. Our first stop is historic Hampton Court Palace. The public gardens were in full bloom. I was experimenting with manual focus and DOF and was able to produce this image of some cream-colored (should I say coloured?) daffodils. Happy spring!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Out for awhile

After 1 year, 3 months and 3 days, my blog will go dark for about a week while I visit jolly old England. See you when I get back!

One is the loneliest number

This little sparrow looks like he needs someone to share his fine home.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Easy fix for soft-focus images: the Orton effect

Shooting from far, far away in a low-light forest does not make for ideal conditions for capturing tack-sharp birds. I used the Orton effect on this little bluebird to give an overall, dreamy look to the final image.