Sunday, December 25, 2011

Photo 110 - 365 A Child is Born

Merry Christmas to you all!
I was playing around with the art filters on my camera this morning. I took a photo of our Christmas tree. I was focusing on the "A Child is Born" ornament but when I saw the photo I realized I had two more ornaments in the shot, the Angel and Rudolph.  Christmas is many things to many people. To children it is a magical time when Santa rides his sleigh (sometimes lead by Rudolph) all the way around the world in one night visiting all the other children in the world and leaving gifts. To many, the story of this day starts with the Angel who told of the birth of Christ which brings us to the "A Child is Born" ornament. Today we celebrate the birth of Christ. It is a time to be with our families and friends. I've been thinking about what it means to give, because this is,after all, the season for giving. It is such a joy to be able to give. We've heard so many stories this year about people being kind to others and doing things like paying for purchases for people (paying off lay-a-way accounts and helping people at the check out counters).  I hope that the giving doesn't stop when the New Year starts. I hope that we can continue to give all through the year. Just because this is the season for giving, it doesn't mean we have to stop when this special day is over. Be kind this year and smile. Sometimes all we can give is a smile and sometimes that is the best gift to receive.
Merry Christmas to you all!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Photo 109 - 365 Vic

This was a very sad week for me and my co-workers and photography friends. We lost our good friend Vic who passed away suddenly on Tuesday, December 13, 2011. He was a good man who had a zest for life and was, as someone in our photography group put it, "a wicked good photographer". He would send us "photos of the day" almost everyday. Some were shot that day, others were from his files, but they were always great photos. He had a habit of photographing alligators. We called him our alligator hunter.

In honor of Vic I am posting a photo I took of him in September. I had just gotten my new camera and he was happy for me, knowing how much fun I was having with it.

It is sad knowing he won't be coming back to the office, knowing he won't be meeting with our photography group. Not hearing his chuckle.

Bye Vic. We will miss ya!  

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Photos 107 & 108 Portrait of an Action Figure (or two)

I am working on a little project for my Nephew. He is 5 years old and is about to have his bedroom completely decorated in Star Wars stuff! How awesome is that? So, I took some portraits of Star Wars action figures that I will print out and frame for him. He will need something on his bedroom walls, right?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Photo 106 - 365 Purple Lantana

One of the things I love about Lantana bushes is that they bloom for so long. My purple Lantana bush is finally producing some pretty flower clusters. I still have 2 or 3 other bushes that have flowers though the cold nights are starting to get to them.  So, I have a little bit of color in my yard right now which is nice.

Photo settings are: f/5.6, 1/125 sec., ISO 800.  This was taking just after sunset this evening. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Photo 105 - 365 Maple Leaf

Look what I found today! Just gorgeous! The only leaf on our little Maple tree that had completely turned. I love it!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Photo 104 - 365 Window View

This is the view out my window today, November 5, 2011. The leaves are turning and falling. They cover the ground in our back yard. It's still early yet, the only tree that's really turning color is the Tulip Poplar. It's the giant yellow tree in the photo. I am looking forward to the leaves on the little Maple tree turning. Hopefully it will be soon.

I plan to take this shot again as the other trees start to turn. Also, need some practice with my lighting. I haven't taken a whole lot of photos looking outside from the inside. The lighting isn't quite right.

Photo settings: f/5.6, 1/200 sec., ISO 800, wide angle lens

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Photos 101 - 103 of 365 Grapes and Bottle

I was playing around with the Artistic settings on my camera and took several shots of a bottle and some glass grapes hanging in the foreground.

The first one is with the camera set on "pinhole". This one shows a true color of the items although they are a little light.

The second photo was on the "pop art" setting. This one boosts the color so that it is more vibrant.

And the third was with the camera set on "dynamic". The dynamic setting is interesting. It makes shaded areas more shady and light areas lighter but it also adjusts the color and seems to make blurry items more blurry and focused items a little more sharp.

I think they are all interesting photos. I really had a hard time choosing a favorite to post for a contest. I ended up posting the last one. I think it works best with the theme which is selective focus. 

I haven't been taking many photos lately. But I just love my new camera. Every time I take it out of the camera bag I just smile. :) It's silly, I know, but it's just a neat camera.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Photo 100 - 365 Mushroom

I have been chasing mushrooms since photo 1 of this blog. Boy, that sounds wrong doesn't it???
Anyway, Every time I saw a mushroom I was kicking myself for not having my camera. Last week we had some come up in our yard. It was weird, a lot of houses had them out by the road. I had never seen them to prominent before and then all of the sudden they were everywhere. Well, the mushrooms in my yard were just not in the right place for a good photo so I gave up on them. This weekend my family and I went out to a local battlefield location and just off the trail was this mushroom. Perfect! Nice background, no road or tall grass to ruin the photo. I sat my camera almost to the ground and took the shot. Loved it!

Photo settings are: f/6.3, 1/200 sec., ISO 800
I think my ISO was too high. I had just taken some photos in the shadows and didn't bring it back to 400 before taking this shot. I still think it is great. The lighting is good and the focus is good. Not easy when you are basically just pointing and clicking. I couldn't even see the screen on my camera, just could see the general location of the mushroom.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Photo 99 - 365 Copperhead

This was an easy subject since it wasn't moving. I had to take advantage of it looking straight out of the glass. Wouldn't want to be this close to it in the wild!

You may ask why I don't have more fish photos since I was at an Aquarium. Well, Aquarium photography is tricky. The light is low and the subjects move quickly. You need a large opening in your camera lens and a fast enough shutter speed that will eliminate the blur but let in enough light. This was the first time I used my new camera and I wasn't familiar with the menu in order to change my settings so I did what I could, thankfully there was more to photograph than just fish! I do have some fish photos, just have not posted them yet. :)

Photo 98 - 365 Corn Snakes

At the Aquarium there was a Corn Snake display that had about 15 or so snakes, all different kinds of corn snakes. In the display was this shelf with the tools and the jar and the corn snakes curled up.

Photo 97 - 365 Alligator

My friend Heather and I had so much fun at the Aquarium. We got to the Alligator display just as they were being fed. Boy, that was interesting. There were two alligators and they would snap at each other and push each other around for the food. I was glad we got to see them being so active because once there was no more food to be had, one went back into the water and the other just sunk back down on the rock and they didn't move again.

Photo 96 - 365 Turtle

I just loved the turtle tank at the Aquarium!  They were so lively and just swimming around enjoying themselves. I took a lot of photos but those turtles were moving too fast for my camera most of the time. I got this shot though and I really like it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Photo 95 - 365 Seahorse

I had a really hard time capturing an image I liked of the seahorses. They don't move a whole lot but there was a good current in the tank and they blend in with their surroundings. Just as we were moving on I looked back again and saw this seahorse pretty much out in the open and took a shot before the current took it away. 
During this visit I was using my new Olympus PEN E-P3 camera. Photo settings were:
f/3.5, 1/60 sec., ISO 1600, no flash

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Photo 94 - 365 Jellyfish

My friend Heather and I went to the Aquarium yesterday. We had so much fun! I took about 200 photos. I am sure she took about twice that many!  Aquarium photos are not the easiest to take and I only got a few good ones out of the 200 that I took. But I had fun anyway. I also got to try out my new camera, an Olympus PEN E-P3. It sure was a lot of fun to play with!
First Aquarium photo is of a jellyfish.
Photo settings are: f/3.5, 1/60sec., ISO 1600, flash not fired

My Husband went deep sea fishing today. I just thought it was neat that we were both "fishing" this weekend. He caught a few fish with his fishing rod and I caught a few with my camera. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Photo 93 - 365 Locust

It is a beautiful evening. I love the evening. The day is winding down and this time of year the evenings are cool and calm. Tonight you can hear the birds chirping and the locusts welcoming the sunset. I found this little guy after the storm this weekend. Well, he wasn't really little, he was really big. My brother and I use to catch these things when we were growing up. Ah memories!

Photo settings are: f/10, 1/15 sec., ISO 100, Macro lens

Think I'll go sit outside and enjoy the evening a little longer.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Photo 92 - 365 Surviving the Storm

I know what you are thinking... She's showing us another flower shot... I can't help it, I love flowers. However, these roses have a special story. They survived Hurricane Irene. You can see that the fully bloomed rose is a bit battered but the new budding rose did well. This rose bush is right in the middle of our front yard and it was being blown back and forth for hours!

Photo settings: f/5.6, 1/320 sec., ISO 100

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Photos 90 & 91 More Flower Photos!

Ok, two more Birthday flower shots - a little closer this time. These flowers are just gorgeous and I just love my macro lens!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Photo 89 - 365 Birthday Flowers Close-up

I promised my friend Heather that I would post some close-up photos of the flowers. Here is one. I'll do another one tomorrow.

Photo settings: f/3.5, 1/125 sec., ISO 100

Friday, August 19, 2011

Photo 88 - 365 Birthday Flowers

In honor of my birthday this week, the folks at my office helped me celebrate with cake and flowers and a wonderful handmade birthday card. The cake was devoured quickly but thankfully I have the flowers which will last a little while longer and the card which will last forever!  I was able to get outside today and take some shots of the flowers. You'll see them again because I took quite a few photographs of these beauties.

Photo settings are: f/3.5, 1/200 sec., ISO 200, macro lens, no flash

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Today's photo is of my birthday gift that was sent to me by my wonderful Husband. It really brightened my day.

He also got me some other things that I will share later. One is currently on backorder but will hopefully be here soon. It will be very instrumental in my future posts here. Hee Hee!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Photos 86 & 87 of 365 - Lace Vine and Shadow

I found this in my yard the other day. It must have been yummy for some plant eating bug. I loved the patterns in the leaves and thought the shadow was intriguing as well.  First photo is of the plant and second photo is of the shadow.

Photo settings: f/3.5, 1/500 sec., ISO 100

Photo settings: f/4, 1/500 sec., ISO 100

Friday, July 15, 2011

Photo 85 - 365 Blue Marbles

Found these in one of our flower beds. I love the color!
Just take a look around, you never know what you will find!

Photo settings are: f/11, 1/100 sec., ISO 100

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Photo 84 - 365 Black Eyed Susan Flower

I really enjoy taking photos of flowers. They are so colorful and interesting. This is a Black Eyed Susan flower that is blooming in my flower bed. It is all by itself out there and I couldn't resist photographing it. The view is from the side which makes the photo more dramatic I think.

Photo settings are: f/3.5, 1/100 sec., ISO 100

Monday, June 13, 2011

Photo 82 & 83 - 365 Cape Lookout and Shackleford Ponies

Took a mini vacation this weekend. Spent a day at Cape Lookout. So glad a place like this is so close.  Our boat Captain took us by Shackleford Banks and we saw a few of the ponies. Our Captain gave us a great history on the Shackleford Ponies. We spent some time on the beach and I took this photo of the Lighthouse.

This is a photo of the ponies from our boat. There are 120 ponies on the island and they are all numbered. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Photo 81 - 365 Spiders

My Husband found these on our porch this morning.  Bunches of little tiny spiders. I had to grab my camera for this one!

Photo settings are: f/9, 1/125 sec., ISO 100, Macro lens

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Photo 80 - 365 Day Lily

These beautiful Day Lily flowers are blooming in my yard right now. It didn't bloom at all last year. A lot of things that should have bloomed last year didn't bloom. But this year things are different and I am so glad.

Photo settings are: f/3.5, 1/400 sec., ISO 100, macro lens

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Photo 79 - 365 American Flag

Once again, the photos of the machines on the ground were mostly close-up photos. I tried to make the composition interesting.

Photo settings are: f/10, 1/250 sec., ISO 100

Photo 78 - 365 Snowbird Preparation

This photo was taken early in the Airshow. They were prepping the planes even though the Snowbirds were not to fly for at least 4 hours. The planes were parked right in front of our seats and when I saw him standing on the wing, I couldn't resist taking a photo.

Photo settings are: f/5.6, 1/2000 sec., ISO 100

Photo 77 - 365 Air Force

As we walked around I took a lot of photos of the display planes and helicopters. I love close up photography so most of the ground photos do not show the entire machine. I like the perspective of this shot, right down the side.

Photo settings are: f/10, 1/250 sec., ISO 100

Photo 76 - 365 Snowbirds

The Canadian Snowbirds were at the Airshow this year. They put on quite a show. I don't think I've ever seen a group like this with so many planes involved. Their precision was amazing. It was like watching one big plane fly instead of 9 small planes.

Photo settings are: f/9, 1/640 sec., ISO 100

Photo 75 - 365 Four Planes

Ok Folks, get ready for some Airshow Photos! I took quite a few (about 150) but I won't be showing them all here, don't worry! It's so easy to take so many photos when you have a digital camera. I don't think I've been to an Airshow since I got my new camera... We had a great time. I got sunburned but oh well. Yes, I know, I should have used sunscreen. You don't know how many times I heard that the week after the Airshow!

So, this photo is one of my favorites because the planes were close enough for my long lens to capture. I was afraid most of the flying would be too distant for my lens. But my long lens did well and was perfect for many of the photos.

Photo settings are: f/9, 1/640 sec., ISO 100

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Photo 74 - 365 - Bench

Another Airlee Gardens photograph. This bench sits in front of the church. I couldn't imagine a more peaceful place to sit and enjoy the atmosphere of the Gardens.

Photo settings are: f/5.6, 1/250 sec., ISO 200

Photo 73 - 365 - Birdhouse

While at Airlee Gardens, I photographed this birdhouse. It is nailed to a tree just off the path next to the cemetery. I would love to go back and take more photos. The place is just amazing!

Photo settings are: f/5.6, 1/80 sec., ISO 200

Photo 72 - 365 - Moth

I am always amazed at the variety of insects we see here in the Spring. This moth was hanging out on our house and I just had to get a photo of it. I am guessing that from it's legs to the tip of it's wings measured 3 inches. Not a small moth by any means.

Photo settings are: f/3.5, 1/80 sec., ISO 100

Photo 71 - 365 Another Flower Photo

Yes, I love taking photos of flowers... This is another group of flowers from the bouquet from my co-workers. I just loved the color of these!

Photo settings are: f/11, 1/20 sec., ISO 200

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Photo 70 - 365 Mum

My co-workers bought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers for Administrative Professional's Day last month. I took quite a few photos of the flowers. This is one of my favorites. A beautiful mum.

Photo settings: f/8, 1/50 sec., ISO 200

Photo 69 - 365 - Pumpkin Plant

This is is a pumpkin plant that I was very surprised to find one day. I had purchased some small pumpkins before Halloween to paint and display during the season. One of the pumpkins I just left as decoration in my kitchen and finally set it outside. It started to decay and instead of picking up and tossing out a gooey old pumpkin, I just left it there. And the seeds germinated and what a nice surprise for us this Spring! I wanted to show the old and the new but for some reason the old pumpkin just wouldn't focus. Anyway, I think you get the idea.

Photo settings: f/3.5, 1/80 sec., ISO 100

Photo 68 - 365 - Colorful Bug

Another wonderful Macro lens opportunity! This bug was on the side of our house. I love how colorful it was. It let me take three photos before I got too close for comfort and it flew away.

Photo settings: f/3.5, 1/60 sec., ISO 100

PS: For my critics out there... No, I don't know the name of this insect and I am not going to spend my time searching the internet for a name. If you know what this is and want to enlighten me, please feel free, but don't call me names. This applies to any and all future posts of  photos of insects, plants, and so on. Thanks!

Photo 67 - 365 - Fire

Last night we were just relaxing by the fire. It was a quiet, calm, relaxing evening. I took a few photos of the fire, playing with the settings.

Photo settings: f/5.6, 1/13 sec., ISO 1600

Format Change

Ok, well I am changing the format a little bit. I am sure you all know that I am not taking a photo everyday. That was never my plan. There are many days when I just can't take a photo so I have been taking photos when I can and showing you my favorites. So, from now on my titles will be "Photos X - 365 - Name". I've been doing this for 3 months and I am enjoying it so much. It is giving me a chance to really look around and notice things differently. So, enjoy the next 300 photos!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Day 66 - Church Door

May 2, 2011

Just a different angle on the church door at Airlie Gardens.

Photo settings are: f/5.6, 1/10 sec., ISO 200

Day 65 - Keyhole

May 1, 2011

At Airlie Gardens there is a little church. The congregation still meets there every week so it was locked but we got a good look at the outside. I wanted to get a very close shot of the keyhole. I actually wanted to focus on the inside where you could see a cross on the wall, but the cross was just not quite in the right line to see it clearly through the hole. I still think this is a neat shot.

Photo settings are: f/5.6, 1/25 sec., ISO 200

Day 64 - Green Lizard

April 30, 2011

This photo was not planned. It's just one of those shots that happens when you least expect it. I had been photographing a black lizard coming out of a hole in the tree just above this lizard. Once I took the shot the black lizard ran up the tree and disappeared. My daughter and I were discussing it because we both thought it was a snake at first. Then I look back at the tree and see this little guy there so I took a quick photo of him before he ran down the tree. I think this is one of my favorite shots of the trip. The composition is great.

Photo settings are: f/5.6, 1/400 sec., ISO 200

Day 63 - Blue Heron

April 29, 2011

I caught this Blue Heron resting on a little "island" of logs and brush in the lake. Nearby were 5 or 6 turtles sunning on a log. Funny thing is when we went to Airlie Gardens in November of last year, I took a photo of a White Heron in the exact same spot, also with 5 or 6 turtles nearby on the log.

Photo settings are: f/5.6, 1/400 sec., ISO 200

Day 62 - Macro Flower

April 28, 2011

I don't know what kind of flower this is but I included the full photo of the flower as well. I am sure someone out there knows the name of this pretty flower. I could not resist taking a macro shot of it. The colors are amazing. The focal point is very small so a lot of it is blurry. I didn't take the time to adjust my settings, just clicked it and moved on.

Photo settings are: f/5.6, 1/20 sec., ISO 200