Saturday, September 30, 2017

Fun With Filters

Our grandson celebrated his 14th birthday a couple of weeks ago. I took the opportunity to snap a couple of images of him. I cropped the birthday cake out of the image to create a more generic portrait.

Then I decided to make a more classic image by converting to Black & White (Grayscale) and adding a bit of a "Grundge" filter.

Honestly, I think I like the Grayscale image better.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Skywatch Friday - End of Summer

This past week my wife and I spent a few days at one of our favorite places on Table Rock Lake near Branson, MO. Even though Summer officially came to an end and Autumn began on September 21, temperatures were still in the high 80's and the sun was out in full strength. It felt like summer, but there were signs that autumn was indeed here.

During the peak vacation season these toys are in constant use from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Now, a couple are in use between 9:00 a.m. and about noon. The afternoon is pretty quiet.

The same can be said for the kayaks and paddle boards. I tried out a couple of the kayaks. One was a pretty successful float around the cove. The other ended quickly with me in the water. Fortunately I was in about 4 ft deep water, so  it was deep enough to keep me from hitting bottom, but shallow enough to stand up. It was a good trip and a nice way to say goodbye to summer and get ready for the colors of autumn, which happens to be my favorite time of year.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Awe...some Mondays - Tourney Time

Over the past decade, girls softball has become a very popular sport in our area. During the summer and fall there are numerous tournaments. Recently my wife and I drove a couple of hours east to see our great niece play. The first three images are general tournament images. I don't know anyone on these teams.

If you're the home team that is sponsoring the tournament then you are responsible for preparing the field prior to each game. These girls played four games in one day and did the field prep between games. I am sure they slept well that night.

 Here, our great niece (No. 16) is in the batter's box. She fouled this pitch off the umpires mask.

Meanwhile her teammate rounds second base after hitting a double into right field.

A lot of the players wear the face masks full time. One safety feature in softball is the double first base. The runner may tag the orange base when running from home plate and avoid a collision with the first baseman who will have her foot on the white base.

Safe at first.

I wanted to try out my new 18-400 mm lens in full telephoto mode, so I walked outside the park and around to centerfield which is about 200 feet from home plate. I put the lens into an opening of the chain link fence and captured a couple of images.

This is our niece hitting a double into center field. I really like the range on this new lens for day time sports that requires me to be some distance from the action.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Awe...some Mondays - Minor League Baseball play-offs!

The home town minor league team made the Texas league play-offs. They finished in first place at the end of the first half of the season. I love minor league baseball. The best seats in the house are only $13. I don't think you can park at a major league stadium for $13. Okay, Play Ball!

On this night there was some good pitching, and some not so good pitching.

There was a close play and stolen base at second by the visitors in blue.

There was a close play and a triple by the home team.

There was the satisfying "home run trot" by both teams.

There was an attempted "pick-off" at first base.

And there were young men playing a boys game. There's a reason we call them "The Boys of Summer".  Have a blessed day.

Update; The Naturals lost the series to the Tulsa Drillers three games to two. Waiting for spring 2018 and a new season.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

Sometimes an old barn doesn't need a fresh coat of paint.

It needs to be converted to grayscale (B&W)

Monday, September 11, 2017

Ruby Tuesday Too

Birds of a Feather 
I took a short photo-walk around Rogers, AR the other day. I came across these street sculptures. Three of them are part of one display and the fourth is an individual piece. I found them humorous and photogenic.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Awesome Mondays - Rusty Bug

Since summer sports are over and fall sports are just getting started, I have taken a bit of a break from photographing action and looked for other subjects to capture. The other day I found this sculpture in downtown Rogers, AR. The sculpture actually includes two or three of these rusty blossoms as well as a little surprise on one of the leaves.

A close up of the center of the bloom reveals the creativity and attention to detail of the artist. I really like this kind of stuff.
Looking at one of the leaves one finds a little surprise, a rusty bug. Actually he's not that little, but he is another part of the detail of the piece. If you look again at the first photo you will discover the surprise that that blossom is created from shovel and spade heads, welded and shaped into the flower. I am sure there is a chemical application to accelerate and temper the rust. Very creative.

Like most bugs, this one has adapted to his environment by taking on a similar color. I really like this touch.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Wordless Wednesday - "Nifty Fifty"

Recently I pulled my "Nifty Fifty" out of my camera bag and experimented with a little depth of field. The 50mm f1.4 or 1.8 lens is referred to as the "Nifty Fifty" because it is a very good all around lens. The depth of field refers to how much of the image is in focus from front to back. This makes the pear, the ceramic, or the pine cone to be in focus and the stuff in the foreground or background to blur. This allows the photographer to bring attention to the intended subject while diminishing the importance of other objects in the image. It's a fun exercise.
Here the pear is the subject.

Now, the ceramic commands your attention.

Finally it's the pine cone's turn to take center stage. The f1.8 setting makes only the portion of the cone toward the front is in focus. Everything else is blurred to some degree.