Dr Marm never without my Nikon!

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Lensbaby 100 Days of Summer!

I am so thankful for the connectivity of Facebook, especially within the Lensbaby pages. (Lensbaby Addicts and Lensbaby Artistry)  Through these groups, I have met an incredible group of talented folks and greatly enjoy their wonderful images they share.  Recently, while perusing, “liking”, and commenting,  I happened to notice the tags “100DaysofLensbaby” and contacted Pauline Putt.  Pauline said that she and a couple other ladies started this venture and they…as you might have guessed are posting a Lensbaby image daily for the summer.

I am humbled and honored to join them in sharing the “Lensbaby Love” through the quest for #LB100DaysofSummer.  Thank you to the Velvet 56 release for allowing me to “meet” them and begin drooling at the images they were creating!  Dually noted is that their photography magic is not limited to the beloved Velvet 56 images.  As a former educator, for the “math” peeps out there–I know that starting my posts on June 9 means I “technically” won’t have “100 days”  So, I will do my homework and catch up a bit today!

For an amazing journey this summer, join me in following these exceptional ladies through their photography pages–be sure to add them:  (Um, you may need to “copy and paste” them today, while I work on my linking skills.  It will be worth it, I promise!)

 

For now, my #Lensbaby100DaysofSummer  #LB100DaysofSummer #seeinanewway #Lensbaby #LBVelvet56 #LensbabySweet50 “LensbabyComposerPro will be shared on my Facebook page:

Laura: https://facebook.com/laura.twining?fref=ts

Day 9

Bursting with Joy

Bursting with Joy

 

 

 

 

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A Look via Lytro, Light Field Camera

As most of you know, I am dealing with a back and neck injury.  Difficulty with carrying weight and DSLR and gear do not mix well.  My current lens of choice, anything Lensbaby.  Muse with Double Glass Optic, for those fellow Lensbaby fans is a blast with my Nikon D800E and has been  on it for weeks!

About a year ago at the annual Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk, I saw a weird box of a camera…I wish I could remember the name of our walk leader, as the camera was his, he was kind and shared it with others.

Little and Fun

Little and Fun

It is best known as a camera you can set the focus point after you take an image.  Can also have multiple versions via focus from one image.

The only downside for me is the lack of processing in other programs than the very limited “Lytro Filters”.  I can use the images anywhere and share on Facebook with ease, but can not send image to say, Lightroom 5 and then post in Facebook and be able to focus after the fact.  I lose that capacity.  My photographer persona is having a tough time with this.  On the good side, it forces me to be really selective in my shooting and what image I get to start with.  Slow down and really take in the scene.  Good time to reflect and learn better habits–that is a win-win.

Another manner to share images outside of the Lytro Program is by copying the embedded code for the image.  For my techie friends, you know circles and circles of knowledge, this will be my first attempt at copying and pasting a code…

A month or so, I was in the Bay Area and joined up with a fellow Nikon shooter, Ben Tang.  We went to Berkeley Marina and I had time to bring out my Lytro.  Just sitting and looking at the boats bobbing in the water.

These are the first Lytro images I printed and I love the results…only used the Lytro filters and was quite surprised at the end products.

Tilted Mast

Film Noir Effect

Line Art

In order for the focusing after option, you need to make certain you are shooting with that setting.  Easy to know–blue line around your image.  Another plus is having a distinct  foreground, middle, and background.  If just 2 points–that can still work.

This is from a local park along the American River.  Click on the plant/flower and watch the morphing image…click on the background for change in view.  The second image is not one I would have shared, aside from the transformation of the changing focus…but grew to like it!

Along the American River

Eye of the Beholder

I did the Old way of copy, cut, and paste…then noticed an icon that I could click and choices were Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Embed.

Awesome and easy!!  (OMG, easy to do!!)

This is with the “glass” filter–reminds me of ice.  In actuality, this image was a tree in a parking lot where I had an appointment.  Arrive early and take pics!

As of today…can get Lytro on many websites, including Lytro.com and Target (only place for pink color) Best Buy, Apple Stores, and a few more spots.  Search for prices.  I got the 750 image for 100 less than advertised.  (Amazon has since changed the price…)  Happy shopping and shooting!


Found! Old Pictures of Shiner, my first dog

You know that moment…when you open a box you don’t remember packing and find beloved old and tattered images?  Or, in the year 2013—find an old Memory stick you have and open it to find lost images.  Well, my moment was the later and I found a file of images I put together for my parents 45th anniversary digital picture frame.  I organized the images around the early 90’s and they go back for a couple of decades.

My first dog was Shiner P. Midnight.  I got her when I was in college.  One of my friends got a puppy and it was adorable, we got one from the same litter, so–enter Shiner.  The breeder told us she was a purebred Cocker Spaniel and I had naive thoughts of breeding her and making money.  One of my professors had a REAL Cocker Spaniel, and he did not believe she was really a cocker…

Ears Flopping

Ears Flopping

I attended Washington State University, in Pullman, Washington.  Shiner was the first dog that was mine and not a family dog.  She traveled well in the car, on planes, camp bus, you name it!  After graduation, I moved to Indiana to direct an Outdoor Education School and Shiner came along.  My Mother sent her a dog sweater, since it was so cold and she spent time outside–wherever I went, she went.  If she got miles for her plane trips, she certainly would have earned a nice trip!

One time, I returned to Indianapolis after spending the holidays in California–and went to the special baggage claim and there was no Shiner!  I must admit to going from 0 to hysterical in a matter of seconds…the flight we were on was continuing on to Boston, Massachusetts, which is where she ended up.  Then, she was flown back to Indianapolis and put in an Airline Van and delivered to me in Bloomington, Indiana.  After that adventure, I didn’t fly again with her.  Also, if I knew then what I know–would not have shipped her so many times!

On for the moment

On for the moment

Shiner didn’t like wearing her sweater.  I would let her outside and she would return a few minutes later–usually without her sweater.  She figured out that going into the briar patch caught her sweater on the branches and she could get it off!

My job in Indiana was seasonal, so we would return to California for summers and I would direct a summer camp–then, she became the “Camp Dog”.  She loved to play fetch with rocks or a ball, not really particular.  When she was a puppy at camp, the kitchen staff would take their breaks and try to hit the camp bell with a rock.  This is where Shiner got her fetish.  They would throw it and she would bring it back…

This image was taken by a photographer that would come up once a week to take pictures.  I decided I wanted to get one taken with Shiner.  Apologies to the original photographer…have no information…or, would give proper acknowledgement.

Not going anywhere

Not going anywhere

What is not visible in this picture were the moments preceding the shot.  As soon as I got Shiner on the swing, she leapt off my lap and took off for the lake…I caught her before she went swimming and hiked back up to get our picture taken.  You may note how much my fingers are holding her–no more leaps!!

Spoiled?

Spoiled?

There were a few occasions when I went somewhere and couldn’t bring her.  She was properly spoiled…under a blanket with my Mother.

She even made her own doggy door by shredding the screen on their sliding glass door…so she could go in and out as she pleased…

One thing my parents and I never got along with was politics.  I canceled one of their votes and have continued to do so.  Decided I couldn’t resist this plastic dog toy of President Bush…and then, made sure to pack it for visiting her “grandparents”.  My Dad thought it was entertaining, Shiner was happy, and got quite a few laughs.

Democrat Dog

Democrat Dog

Bay Window View

Bay Window View

This picture was from Christmas in Northern California.  The San Francisco Bay was visible from the Bay Window in my kitchen, loved this little one room house on the hills of San Leandro.  Good times and memories.

One morning, I was getting ready to go out to visit camps–my real job as a Professional Girl Scout.  Normally, Shiner would wait at the door to ensure she was going.  I noticed she wasn’t as excited and her urine wasn’t the right color, so I dropped her off at the vet and went to visit the closest camp.  I talked with the vet, only to find out what she had was life threatening.  Autoimmune Hemoletic Anemia, it took 21 days for her to get better, including 4 days on life support at UC Davis and a splenectomy.  My parents helped a little with her bills and we had 6 more years together.  As Shiner aged, her eating waned, so I started making her Doggy Meatloaf.  She loved it.  I fed her on a towel, as her legs could go out from under her on the vinyl flooring.  My cat, Tucker also enjoyed the meatloaf and would happily help Shiner with her meal.  Included ground turkey, chicken hot dogs, frozen veggies, bread crumbs and eggs.  Although it was all food I would eat, I chose to not taste the dog food!

Homemade Dog Meatloaf

Homemade Dog Meatloaf

It has almost been 20 years since she went over the Rainbow Bridge.  I still have her collar hanging from my rear view mirror and have to smile when her tags jingle when I hit a bump or a sharp curve:)

One of my favorite memories is driving to camp with the top off my Suzuki Sidekick and her ears flapping in the breeze as she sat in the passenger seat!  She would even stay in the car when the top was off and I went into the market.  Many more stories and beautiful memories!


Beyond Comfort Level–Portraits

For anyone who knows me, I am thrilled to be outside shooting with my Nikon.  My preference has been exploring the outdoors which, I believe goes to my Girl Scout roots at summer camp!  My experience with models is limited, so I have been trying to get out of my comfort zone and shoot some portraits, with people as my subject.

Here are a few shots from extending beyond my comfort zone.

I have learned how much value comes from having specialists for Hair and Make Up…sometimes this is an option, and other times, we depend on our models.  The first two shots are an example of being able to admire the talents of great artists and their results.  This was a photo shoot with a “Meetup.com” group.

Meetup Event

Sweet!

Niki is a dedicated Body Builder and shares her hard work in steep competitions.  Thanks to Andy Brooks for setting up this outdoor shoot and the lights.  Always fun to learn from a talented friend!  For more of his work visit his website at:  http://www.blueturban.net/

Dedication and Results

One of the Sponsors for Niki as she works towards her dream

Another shoot, but indoors with models that have tattoos.  A special “shout out and thanks” to Tommy and his artists from “Fat Cat Tattoo” located in Carmichael, CA.

Backlit with a flash mounted in a Hotshoe

Being on location and getting creative is certainly an important skill to have.  Kudos to Andy for seeing this shot and the models willing to hop on up in the window of the tattooing station.

Details and Art

Two views to bring attention to the tattoo art on their arms.

Art and Eyes

What I enjoy about the world of photography  is there is always something to learn and expand your ability level.  I was able to attend the Look Fabulous Tour with Lou Freeman and Lindsay Adler.  Such a wealth of information on working with lighting and models.

I chose this day to use my D800E and the 50mm 1.8 so I wouldn’t have much weight while shooting.  Here are shots of the 3 models we worked with.  I will share another post with additional pictures.  Truly a fabulous experience!

Such a wonderful model with tons of initiative!

Such a wonderful model with tons of initiative!

She has a reflector in front of her to bounce the light on her face.

Bounced light on such a beauty!

Bounced light on such a beauty!

You can see the reflection of the two softboxes in her eyes.  Barely much room between the two boxes for my camera, but made for brilliant light.

Head shot

Head shot

Look forward to continuing to learn more and expand my comfort zone!  One piece of course is that I now have new items on my “wish list”  lights, pocket wizard, beauty dish…to name just a few thoughts to start the wishing process.  Willing to accept donations at anytime:)


Pelican Synchronized Swimming

In Sync

In Sync

Amazing to watch these American White Pelicans in sync.  I have seen four pelicans in synchronized movement, but never this many!  They were full of grace and many cars pulled over to see them gliding through the water.

As a child, I was not very athletic and not that coordinated.  So, of course I found my attention on the one pelican that was out of sync.  What a character! It was entertaining to watch him up when all the others were down and vice versa.

What?

What?

Down or Up?

Down or Up?

The one did manage to get into the groove as they continued to amaze their audience!

In Sync

Together

Fun and so stunning to see these large birds be so graceful!

There was another…that got out of sync, still a beautiful scene to enjoy!

We were on the car loop of the Yolo Bypass, certainly an enjoyable outing and I can not wait to return.  Such a treat to see amazing birds.

Another Challenge

Another Challenge


Lensbaby Spark Fun

Winter Blues

Winter Blues

According to  the groundhog, “Punxsutawney Phil” we are due for an early spring…however, many states have endured horrific winter weather over the past week.  In the Sacramento, California area our snow level dropped to 900 feet which is insane for us!  Of course, the next day no clouds were in the sky and nothing but beautiful blue overhead.  What these images can not share is the temperature–our morning lows have been 30 degrees or so with our day high nearing 60.

I decided to take my Lensbaby Spark out for a jaunt in the backyard to celebrate our chilly, but dry weather.  The Spark lens is the lightest Lensbaby in my collection and easy to manage on my D600.  The challenge and fun aspect of this lens  (in my humble opinion)  is that you do not secure your composition–hands need to maintain constant pressure on the Spark to keep the effect you desire.

My favorite aspect of using a Lensbaby is the fact you can achieve so many different results with the same tool.  Creativity is unlimited.  The next two images are of the same Oak Tree which towers over the backyard and yet appear so different, because of the lens flexibility.

Over Head

Over Head

Love the look of swirls–especially with fall color but still creates a fun abstract result with bare branches.

Just a Twist

Just a Twist

Some flowering varieties, one in various shades of green and the other with a splash of color.

Abstract Beauty

Abstract Beauty

The light in this shot allowed the creative aperture of the “sun” to show through a bit.

Backyard Blooms

Backyard Blooms

Anyone else ready for spring???


ICM–Intentional Camera Movement

Wow! It has been SO long since I have done a blog that WordPress has quite a few changes. Mostly, I have just been sharing my limited images via Facebook–but decided to keep a theme and share my recent new shooting technique. (New to me, not anything I invented!)

Have you ever had an image where you moved when your shutter was still open and it blurred your photo? Maybe–strong winds with your camera on a tri-pod without using a cord?  I certainly have had my fair share of blurry photos due to unintentionally moving something I should not have while I was shooting.

Recently, I was reading an e-book, “SLOW The Magic of Long-Exposure Photography” by Andrew S. Gibson. I learned that there is a technique to intentionally create movement in camera and it is called–wait for it…Intentional Camera Movement (ICM). I had seen the results of images posted by others, especially with fall shots and didn’t know how to achieve it, but now I do! As Mr. Gibson suggests–you can look it up on Flickr and see some talented shots.

The technique is basically panning your camera as you shoot in Shutter priority with a long enough exposure–half a second or longer to create the movement, with abstract results.  I found the coastal region of Northern California to be an ideal spot for this venture. Pacific Ocean below a bluff

Pacific Ocean below a bluff
Silky Appearance

Silky Appearance

Liked the angle of the water

Liked the angle of the water

Black and White

Black and White

Saturated Colors

Saturated Colors

The advantage of this shoot being at sunset was that I could get quite a few different color options as the sunset faded and the light show began.  The above images were processed using Lightroom 4.3 and started as RAW files, so I would have more choices refining what I captured and wanted to share.

En route to the sunset location there was a grove of trees in their winter glory–no leaves and darker bark with sunlight hitting them just as I wished. so, here is actually my first attempt at ICM.

Quite Squiggly

Quite Squiggly

Got a good chuckle, and decided I was pleased with my result. Clearly, there is indeed movement during this shot! Soon, I discovered it was much easier to pan horizontally than vertically! Hold camera and tuck in elbows to your body for a cleaner pan.

There was a field with such luscious green grass a herd of White-Tail Deers were munching away in the distance. The road was a good 50 yards or more from where they were located, and we were separated by a barbed wire enclosure. Here are a few shots of the pasture.  The first two shots are from the same file–only difference is with the “Clarity Slider” in Lightroom.  Same exact image with clarity at -100 for the second view–no other differences, but certainly changed the result!

Boosted Clarity to about 60

Boosted Clarity to about 60

All clarity removed…

Lighter colors and details

Lighter colors and details

One last view of the deer in the distance with a nice tree to provide a change in scenery!

Tree and Deers

Tree and Deers

Continuing with the theme of movement…here are two images that were not ICM, but I kept them due to their abstract result.  If you know me, I am a great fan of Lensbaby Optics and love the abstract results you can create with them, so no wonder why I couldn’t part with these shots. To clarify–neither is a Lensbaby image!

Drawing of a Sun

Drawing of a Sun

What came to my mind as I first saw this image was that it reminded me of pictures that children draw with a sun in the sky with rays coming off of the center. OK–I still draw mine that way, am certainly NOT an artist in that respect!

This was taken at dusk…my intended shot was to get the hawks that were swooping down and making a meal of the bats that were coming out from under the specially designed bridge (designed for the bats, the previous one was lost in a flood). I used a WAY too long of an exposure to hand hold and the speed at which the bats were exiting and hawks swooping and snacking were much faster than the settings on my camera were!

Greenery

Greenery

Look forward to working on my panning and ICM skills and writing more blogs to share with you!

Thanks much, for viewing–it is greatly appreciated:D