Monday, April 30, 2012

Flower . . . Power

Did you ever notice how strong flowers are?
Able to withstand the sun without getting burned,
the whipping winds without blowing away, and torrential rains without drowning.
And no matter what is going on in the world,
they always find a way to look on the bright side of things.

And . . .

they are so strong that they can lift my spirits when they've fallen,
and they can take my frown and turn it upside down.

Yep, flowers just have a way of speaking without words, and touching my heart.
And have you noticed how impossible it is to NOT be happy around them?

Hope your Monday, your week, is filled with them!!
Love, Kim

**Oh and P.S..... I'm so excited, I submitted one of my flower photos from last week to a contest
over at Love That Shot and they chose it for the cover of their on-line magazine - check it out here! : ) **

Quotography at {My}Perspective
 then, she {snapped}

miscellany monday at lowercase letters


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A flower a day . . .

. . . keeps the sad face away!

"Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity."

- John Ruskin

Love, Kim

Monday, April 23, 2012

Quotography - Hobbies . . . art

Today's theme . . . hobbies.

I have many hobbies, gardening, photography, jewelry . . .
So I went with something that includes them all.
A piece of jewelry, with flowers, that was photographed

I attend a metals class twice a week at a community college just for fun.
There are credited students and those just like me, the 29 and counting somethings
that go for enrichment and to spice up life a bit with a saw and a torch! ; )

I cut out each heart from copper with a jewelers saw and sanded them smooth.
In order to manipulate the metal, or bend it, I had to (anneal) or heat it with a torch.
Once I achieved that I cleaned the metal in a pickle solution and then using powdered glass (enamels)
I applied it to the metal with a screening tool and fired it with a torch to melt the glass onto the metal.
It took multiple firings until I reached the design I was happy with.

Since taking these photos I've added some seed pearl dangles on the chain and made
an enameled heart clasp with a key dangle off the back.

Nature holds the key to my he[Art]. . .

Every Spring we have a student art show, with food, where the jewelry, sculpture
and art classes showcase their work. It's always so much fun to see what others are
creating. There is so much talent out much creativity.

I thought I would share a little of what caught my eye at the show:

Incredible pieces from fellow jewelry students...

And oh my this piece. . . do you see the bird, the feathers made from polymer clay!
She hinged it on the left, it's a neck piece and formed from copper and
silver plated. It is simply incredible!!

The piece next to mine is also an enameled piece and gorgeous, but it was hard to get closeups with the glare.

Ceramic sculptures, some that just blew me away . . .

"A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine
and renews his life through reading, new books, traveling to new places,
making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints."
-Wilfred Peterson

Some were whimsical, and some made you think - art interpreted from life.

"Today is life - the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today.
Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake.
Develop a hobby. Let the wilds of enthusiasm sweep through you.
Live today with gusto."

- Dale Carnegie

You don't have to be an artist to make art. But, when you create something
from your experiences in life, it becomes art and you are therefore, I believe, an artist.
There is an artist in all of us, waiting to get out. Will you help it escape?

Have an art[full] Monday!
Love, Kim

Quotography at {My}Perspective
 Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

{ The tutorial for the oil and water shot from last week can be found here }

 Sometimes the best layed plans, well, go awry!
I started out with a couple of prompts and needed to get the rest today (Saturday), but
I started a project with my husbands help, let's just say we stink at grooming...
and ended up at the emergency vet clinic with our standard poodle for a quick staple!
He's fine, we're not, and thankfully it was a minor wound. Unfortunately he now has to
wear the cone of shame for several days.

So in the crunch for time, read last minute, I'm using some from last week.

[ yellow ]

I had almost forgotten about this cute little dog behind the mellow yellow fence.

[ something that makes you smile ]

Well this one was hard, because there is so much that makes me smile . . .
So I chose this one of a door with a wreath in Galveston. It reminds me of my walk with Deanna from
Snippets from Springdale that just happened to come to my neck of the woods to visit her brother
about a week ago. It's nice to be able to meet a blog friend, especially when they are just as sweet in person. I shot this with her 105 mm macro . . . yep she let me walk around and try it out!! xo

[ ancient or antique ]

Nothing more beautiful than all the old antique iron fences in the historic district of Galveston. I
also shot this with the 105mm macro. And is it heavy!! Oh, and check out the door, looks original.

[ splash ]

After I dropped Deanna back at her brothers house, I had to stop for a real quick walk on the beach.
This cormorant was trying to dry his wings (they don't have all the oils on their feathers like most birds because they are divers), but he kept getting wet from the waves crashing into the pier.

[ in the sun ]

Nope, didn't need the spray bottle for this! Sometimes nature just does it perfectly and it actually
looks like it was stenciled on there with that perfect border!

Hope all is well, and the second half of the weekend is slower than the first!!

Love, Kim

Now, run don't walk, to see what everyone else came up with at,

Friday, April 20, 2012

Foto Friday . . . Nature, nothing but beautiful

I seem to be in a state of contemplation lately, well, I guess I should say more than normal, ha!
Spring just does that to me . . .

I spent an entire day at one of my favorite places, Maas Nursery.
For some it's just a place to buy plants,
for me it's a photographic haven, all 8 acres of it. But more than that it is a place that I can
simply enjoy nature at it's best, and yes for hours on end. 

I was deciding what photos to include today and   
this is where my contemplation came in . . .

I love ALL things nature, truly. Anyone who knows me knows I get excited at the
smallest, and some the strangest things and I understand that not everyone has the same
affinity for nature that I do, I am a bit of a nerd that way. There is a lot we will probably agree on that is beautiful, but I think when it comes to creatures somewhere the road splits.

So I was wondering to myself what constitutes beauty in nature? Is it texture, color, shape?
Certainly all of these add to an objects beauty.
So why is it that most find beauty in flowers, a landscape, a sunrise, but have more difficulty with things that have legs. You know, insects, spiders etc. They too come in a lot of textures, colors and shapes.

And I had this thought....
For me, I think the most beautiful thing about nature isn't its aesthetic beauty, but its rhythm, and how it
all works together in harmony. In nature there is no waste, and everything and every action has a purpose.
And sometimes when we have knowledge about something we have a better understanding and are better able to connect to it or at the very least tolerate it. Hopefully to protect it.

And isn't this true of people? If the real beauty of people lives on the inside then maybe the real
beauty of nature resides there too and a little knowledge could change everything.
What if we could change the "ewww factor" to a "WOW"!
I know, I know, but can I get a maybe?

As I was walking around I noticed there were dozens of swallowtails that would keep coming back to a certain plant, but I sure had a hard time getting close. So I decided to just stand there and wait . . .  and my patience paid off. Holy cow, I thought I was going to hyper-ventilate . . . not only did it land right in front of me, but she was laying her eggs, and it was just incredible to watch through my lens!

Of course I had to share with anyone that walked by, lucky them, haha!

[Photo Art Friday]

And here they are, just check out the texture on these!

I had a few stare downs, and I always won. : )

And sometimes things in nature are hard to watch.....

I found a remnant wing from a gulf fritillary . . . you can see where it's missing some scales.

[Photography life - texture]

Check this out -I was working in my garden and noticed the mulch was moving, slowly.  As I looked closer I realized it was a small caterpillar. It's called a looper and they camoflauge themselves by sticking things to their body. He was only about 3/4" long and as I got to watch him as he was sticking more things to himself.

You all know I love my spray bottle, lol! I was out on my front porch looking for spider webs, with my spray
bottle and then noticed this guy, an assasin bug that had gotten in my line of fire. I couldn't resist the water drop bokeh on his legs.....and check out his his mouth parts! They don't call it an assasin bug for nothing - he uses it to stab his prey. I would love to capture that!! They are beneficial to the garden, however I have heard they have a very painful bite!

And I couldn't leave you without a flower . . . a lovely clematis.

[P52- things that grow] [Shoot, edit, submit]

"Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully,
he can learn more than what is in our books for they speak with the voice of God."
- George Washington Carver

So what constitutes beauty in nature for you?
When and where do you perceive beauty?
And do you do it only when you have time or do you make time?

Have a beautiful weekend!
Love, Kim

P.S. - I really am curious, please share


                         Photo Art Friday project 52 p52 weekly photo challenge 

Happily Mother After

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Oil and water don't mix . . . a tutorial

 It's a good thing that oil and water don't mix, because photographically speaking it makes for some really interesting photos. I'm sharing how I made these images, but also want to share my inspiration behind them.

I had originally tried this over a year ago when I saw the idea in one of my photography books by Bryan Peterson and hadn't thought much about it until recently. My inspiration to try this again came from a bible study I just finished by Beth Moore called James [Mercy Triumphs] and on week 3 day four, the title of the lesson was, The Folly of Favoritism.

Have you noticed how society tries to pretend that the two [faith and favoritism] can be blended into a nice cocktail when actually no matter how much you try to stir them together they will always separate, just like oil and water. In truth, we demonstrate the reality of our faith by the way we live, how we favor some people over others. And as a society we are constantly going against that character of faith when we choose appearance as what is important. We are constantly influenced to be impressed by status, wealth and fame and to find favor with the haves rather than the have nots. But our outwardly appearance tells nothing of who we really are, how we favor others does. This was definitely a mirror looking lesson for sure, some things didn't look so nice and in the weeks since I have been paying a lot more attention to my thoughts and my part in this.  Beth said, "Let's let this segment of Scripture [James 2:1-7] speak its brutal truth to us, because, if this shoe fits, we need to burn it." I am human . . .  and I don't know about you, but I have a few stinky shoes to burn because I don't want to add to the world's pollution.

So I set out to give myself a tangible reminder on how faith and favoritism don't mix. And you know what, no matter how much I stirred, that oil and water always separated. It did however, make some pretty pictures.

My set up and how-to are after the photos:

[f 14]

[f.7.1 ]

[ f 5.6 ]

[ f 4.5 ]

[ f 6.3 ]

[ f 6.3 ]
This one wasn't completely in focus, but I like how it turned out.

[ f 10 ]
 This is a side view into the container.

[ f 10 ]
It may be hard to see but there are tiny pieces of lint or fuzz and dirt that blew into the water.

[ f 7.1 ]

In the above and below photos, I used a really large pattern of jelly beans (scrapbook paper).
I love how these turned out.

[ f 4.0]

First, you'll need a clear glass pan. It's better if there aren't any impressed markings on the bottom, although mine did have them-you'll just have to shoot around it. The pan will also need to have a small handle on the edge in order to elevate it off the surface of your table. For that I used two large plastic glasses and rested the edge of the container on the top of them. Fill your container with water about half way to 3/4's and then slowly pour just a little oil (you can always add more later). You might also want a wooden skewer
to stir the water and oil back up if the oil starts to group back together.

I didn't use my tripod for this, for several reasons.....I was using my 40mm macro lens which means I have to be closer than I would have been able to get using the tripod, and sometimes the oil drops don't want to stay still and you have to chase them a bit. Which brings me to my next suggestion...I used manual focus. The camera had a really hard time trying to focus on something, and usually wanted to focus on the paper below.

For my pattern under my container of water I used some scrapbook paper, but just about anything will work that has pattern or color. I liked a medium to smaller print because it showed up better in the bubbles trapped in the oil, like in the first image. This is just a sampling of what I used:

In both the 2nd, 5th and 6th shots I used the paper on the bottom left and you can see how different the results are. There really are so many variables to this, but you can see it's a simple set up.

I did want to see what I could get with my 50 mm [1.8] and 18-135 mm lens:

The first one is with the 50 mm at f 4.0 - but it has a minimum focusing distance of 18".
I didn't get it focused as sharp so I couldn't crop as close. That's where the tripod with this lens would
be helpful. And remember how I said it's better if there are no pressed markings on the bottom? You can see why in these photos at the very top of each
This was taken with the 18-135 mm lens at f 5.6 (80mm), and the same thing - the tripod would've been helpful. In all honesty I was too lazy to get it, lol! And I only experimented with these just last night on my
covered front porch and it was overcast . . . and I was tired. I'm confident I could've had better results if the lighting was better and I had kept trying. But I did want to show you that it is possible if you don't have a macro lens. Sharp focus would be really important if you wanted to crop in closer.

So here are some tips and suggestions:
  • I used vegetable oil
  • I used my 40 mm macro lens, but experiment with other lenses (and possibly extension tubes)
  • Make sure your glass container is clean and lint free
  • A windy day will make you crazy! It will blow the oil around making it hard to focus and you will get all kinds of things in your water.
  • Experiment with different size apertures. Since it's all on the same plane most of what it will affect is the background.
  • Although I have done it on a bright but overcast day, mid-morning sun seemed best.
  • You will want to use manual focus
  • I used the wooden skewer after a while to stir, to make different designs. I also used it to poke the middle of an oil drop to get some bubbles.
  • If you do have any bubbles, it does give you something to focus on a little easier.
  • Lukewarm or room temperature water works best.
 Okay, I hope I didn't forget anything! If you have any questions at all just ask and if you do try this and post it, I would love to see your results!

Happy snapping,

Love, Kim

Sweet Shot Day  Live, Love, Travel 

And sharing at Communal Global
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