Roses Are Red

In one of those happy coincidences, I happened upon a patch of roses in front of one of the Recreation Centers in the community where I live the same week roses were the theme in a flower photography group I belong to on Facebook. I would have never spotted them if I hadn’t been turning around in the parking lot.  They provided me an hour’s worth of fun with my Lensbaby as I tried to capture perfect and not-so-perfect specimens

 


Horsing Around

There is a premier equine center not too far from where I live, Grand Oaks Resort, which holds various events throughout the year.  It’s a fun place to go, see some beautiful horses, do some people watching  and practice shooting big moving objects!

Check out the pretty white lashes on this big boy.

 

I really, really dislike cluttered backgrounds, and that’s one of the challenges at this place as some of the jumping is done in an arena setting with lots going on. Fortunately, there was also a cross-county event taking place where, even though I had to do a little walking, I could take photos of the riders more out in the open.

 

I decided to try a little panning.  Definitely rusty in that area.  But I did like the way it gave my photo a painterly look, straight out of camera.

 

Of course I always come home with one or two photos that I like to use for some texture work.

 


Silhouettes

One of my camera clubs has a weekly theme, with the challenge being to take a photo during the week that complies with the theme.  This week the goal was to shoot a silhouette.  Here’s my “bird in the sky photo” I posted for the club.  Yes, I definitely fancied up the sky. In fact the sky was pure white, which made adding a texture (I used the screen blending mode in Photoshop) the perfect solution.

I decided to look back and find some other silhouette photos I had taken. I was surprised I didn’t have more.  Of course, you have to have the right light to shoot a silhouette; your subject has to be backlit, definitely.  But you also need the right location (not too much clutter) and the right subject (easily identifiable, with separation so you aren’t photographing one big, black blob.)   Here’s a few more from my archives.

 


Polo – Behind The Scenes

It’s polo season again in The Villages, Florida.  It’s a good way to spend an afternoon with camera in hand.  Below are some shots I took of horses and grooms before, during and after the game. I spent a little more time with these, trying to give them a more artistic feel.

This polo pony was tied to a tree next to a horse trailer, and the way he was standing, looking at the grandstand on an adjacent field, just caught my eye.  I thought “wonder if he’s anticipating being saddled and heading out to play?”  A little Photoshop magic removed the rope.


Polo – On The Field

It’s polo season again in The Villages, Florida.  It’s a good way to spend an afternoon with camera in hand.  Below are some shots I took during the game.  I’m also got a separate post going up right behind this one with some behind the scene shots I worked on.


Fun with My Little Orange Truck

Spent most of the day today playing with this cute little Chevy truck I bought at Walmart.  What can I say, it doesn’t take much to keep me entertained.

Luckily the side street I live on isn’t too busy so I was able to use it for this shot.  I loaded the bed of the truck with some flowers and shot with a wide open lens for a narrow depth of field.  I added the bokeh in Photoshop.

Switched out my cargo with some small dried leaves and sat the truck down on our driveway in front of a bush.  Added the motion blur in Nik’s Color Efex.

Another street shot and more Photoshop work, adding a texture and some light leaks.

A close up and lots of blur thanks to Topaz Impressions.

 


Saint Nicholas Cathedral

A couple of photography buddies and I ventured to Tarpon Springs, Fla. yesterday – only a couple hours away – to see what we could see.  One stop was the Saint Nicholas Cathedral, the town’s Greek Orthodox church.  Tarpon Springs is know for it’s Greek community who settled there and established a thriving sponge diving industry in the early 1900’s.  The congregation’s first church was built in 1907 and named for Saint Nicholas, Patron Saint of Greece and the protector of seafaring people.

The present church building was erected in the 1930’s thanks to the prosperity the community experience during World War Two when European sponges were not available.  It features marble donated by the Greece government, wonderful paintings, elaborate stained glass and chandeliers and other adornments.

 

 

 

According to the church’s literature, “a painting of Saint Nicholas is famous for the drops of moisture that formed inside the glass believed by the faithful to be tears shed by the saint.  The droplets, first seen by a parishioner cleaning the church in 1970 continued for several years and were declared a ‘phenomenon beyond human comprehension’ by His Eminence Archbishop lakovos.”


Sunflowers!

Sunflowers and Autumn just go together.  Saturday I visited a farm that had a big patch of yellow smily faces and I’ve been playing with them in post processing ever since.


Lighthouse Reflection

The lighthouse at Lake Sumter Landing in The Villages is one of those iconic places where everyone takes a photo.  I’ve certainly taken my share.  Yesterday as I was walking the boardwalk, I was actually looking for some flowers to shoot because, well you know, been there; done that.  But then I saw this.  The lake was perfectly still and the clouds were lovely.  So add another LSL Lighthouse to my collection.

 


Fun with Feathers

Some days when I go out with my camera, I have a destination in mind.  Other days, I just set out hoping I’ll find something to shoot.  Today was one of those days.  And what I found was some feathers.