The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Do You Really Want Critique?

If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at this your philosophy for commentary of photos?

I think of this constantly when I browse through photos on the internet.  A few weeks ago, I joined an internet group site.  While on this site I have found a variety of photo groups.  Many have contests.  I am amazed at the comments I see on photos that are not that good.   "Great photo"  "Nice shot"  "Excellent" are commonly seen on photos that frankly are none of the above.

A few years ago -- when I first got into photography seriously -- I met up with a bunch on the internet.  These guys were brutal.  They did not like anything (or so it seemed).   If I could squeeze a compliment from one of them I was super happy.  Talk about a tough crowd.  But it was the best thing to ever happen to me.  I had this idea that I could show anything remotely OK to anyone and they would just tell me how wonderful it was -- wrong!

As a result of this, I became very critical of my work.  I was not easily swayed to love something because it was colorful or had a nice subject.  I scoured the backgrounds of my photos for distracting elements.  The foreground, whether in focus or not, was scutinized for anything that would make the eye wander.  Bright spots or splashes of color -- if they were not part of the main subject would ruin a photo for me that prior to the 'bad boys of photography' I most likely would have loved.

When I am teaching a class I spend some time going through basic critique criteria.  But I then will add that even though a photo is a technical success, it may still lack something; and conversely, a technically off photo may be an artistic success.  If it is very commonplace -- something you have seen countless times -- what is the point?  I remember one of the guys telling me that one of my photos was nice and would be great on a greeting card.  I did not like that comment -- at all -- it sounded so vanilla to me; nothing special; ho hum.  I don't like to be ho hum.

When I first got my Lensbaby 3G I signed up for an online class.  I did not really want the class to learn how to use it -- I could figure that out.  But the class was by Tony Sweet and I was looking forward to Tony critiquing my photos.  The experience was OK.  I did feel the critique was kind of light and repetitive.  I saw the same phraseology used a few times.  It was good to have him tell me some things about my photos that I had not thought about before.  

So back to the title of this blog -- "Do you really want critique?"  Do you think the people who post photos on Flickr really want critique or do they want a chorus of "Nice photo?"  I am thinking they want the nice comments since that if most of what I see.  Until someone asks me for hard critique -- I hold it back.  What it really comes down to is -- do you (the photographer) like it?  If you (the photographer) like what you (the photographer) are doing and you (the photographer) are completely happy with it -- that is all that matters.   But, if you want to stretch, improve, and take photos that grab people -- you need to ask for critique from people you respect and tell them to not hold back.   And when you do this -- be prepared.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Susan Todd-Raque

Saturday, May 2, at 6pm Nature Undisturbed will present Susan Todd-Raque on collecting photography.   In 1999, Susan founded the very popular event, Atlanta Celebrates Photography.  Susan has presented programs in and around Atlanta; including the Carlos Museum on the Emory campus and the High Museum of Art.  Following a recent presentation, Susan realized that she had the makings for a great book.  The Photography Collector’s Primer was born.  This event at Nature Undisturbed and book are musts for those interested in photography and looking to begin or add to a collection.  For more information on Susan and to purchase the book; visit her website.

Be sure to mark your calendars for this event and the others during Nature Undisturbed.  Come be a part of the beginning of a great photography tradition on the south side of Atlanta.  


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nature Undisturbed Update

In a previous blog post, I mentioned that Okefenokee Joe would be appearing on family day (April 26) during Nature Undisturbed.  I need to update that he will not be able to make it.  The bird of prey show is planned for that day.  Bring the kids -- bring your cameras and come see the birds!

For more information on the birds of prey show check out the Winged Ambassadors website.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Vanishing Point

One more of the peach orchard -- I just can't seem to get out of these rows and rows of peach trees!

The photo on the blog today is another of the orchard -- showing the trees -- but also showing something that many photographers seek -- a vanishing point.  The term 'vanishing point' is the visual phenomenon that tricks your eye to think that two parallel lines will meet far off in the distance.  

Looking at this photo you would think that the trees (or the rows of trees) at some point come together.  They don't.  We know they don't -- what farmer would angle rows to meet?

Many photos that show a vanishing point involve railroad tracks -- another one that anyone who knows anything realizes the rails are always the same distance apart even if they look as though they meet (and maybe cross) at some point far away from the extreme point that we can see.

Since I am such a macro person -- preferring to work more on close subjects -- I don't have a lot of vanishing point photos.  Some people 'collect' these (I guess like anything -- you gravitate to what you like).  Now that I have this shot -- I really like it -- I may search out more opportunities.

My biggest obstacle of these photos -- the other opportunities -- is that I have seen so many of the railroad tracks and highways.  I have an obsession to be different.  If I have seen photos of certain subjects -- I will almost obsess about staying away from any photo that would look anything like the ones I have seen.  I strive to have my own vision.  I don't want to do something that someone else has already done.  Repeating something you have seen has its place -- to learn a little -- but I would never repeat someone else's work to keep and show.  

So back to my orchard photo on the blog.  I am sure I am not the only person who has ever taken a photo similar or even just like this -- but I haven't seen it.  I took this because I was standing there -- in that spot and liked the view.  

Great points of the orchard -- it was a different subject for me -- it was a stretch.  I got out of my usual box and really like a lot of the photos I got that day.  Getting out of your usual box will always be a good exercise. 

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Minimum Focus Distance

Since I am such a macro photography freak, minimum focus distance is a very important for me to know.  I will admit -- sometimes I know how close I can get and other times I find out by pushing it -- getting so close that I can't focus -- so I do have to back off a little.  

If you know your minimum focus distance you have a good idea of how close you can get.  But -- do you know -- visually -- what 17 inches looks like?  I don't.

The photo on the blog today is another from last Wednesday.  This is a close up of one of the peach blossoms.  This was also taken with my Tamron 14mm lens.  The photo from the blog entry last Thursday was a wide landscape shot taken with that same lens.  You can see by comparing these two photos -- the close up and the landscape just how versatile such an ultra wide angle lens can be.

Usually I don't use this lens much.  Like many other photographers, I feel I stereotype this lens as being good for great wide open landscapes and not much else.  I purposely used it in the orchard and also, purposely got super close with it to see what it would do.  The minimum focus distance for this lens is 8 inches.  Who carries a ruler in their camera bag?  Not me.  So I got close -- really close -- and some times too close.  When I knew I was too close -- I backed up a little.  Just a little -- just enough to allow the lens to focus.

 The aperture for this shot was f/2.8 and the shutter speed was 1/4000.  Pretty darn fast shutter, huh?  Well, just think -- when the aperture is open that much -- as far as that lens would allow -- more light comes in so the shutter can work faster.  A super fast shutter was becoming important to me as a breeze was picking up.  The blossoms were not blowing much -- but the petals were.  Just a little breeze when you are working that close can ruin a photo.

I really like the shallow depth of field.  Also -- as with the other photo -- I love the spring colors presented to me that day.  This photo was taken in bright sunlight at almost high noon.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Photo Wednesday

Last spring (and fall) I would head out on Wednesday mornings to take photos.  Most of the time my Wednesday is a free day.  A friend of mine and I went out a lot last year.  Over the past weekend we were talking about how we need to do that again.  Yesterday was the first "Photo Wednesday" of 2009.

When we would do this before, we usually had a specific location in mind.  Some of the places we visited last year -- when it was much warmer -- we decided it would be best to come back during cooler weather.  Another spot was so overgrown -- we decided winter and less weeds would be better.  During our conversation last weekend -- we concluded that we had not been back to any of those places.  The weather is warming and weeds are starting to grow.

Our main goal destination yesterday was the place that was overgrown last year.  It was OK -- and I took a bunch of photos.  But, I think my photos do not live up to my expectations.  This happens a lot when I remember a place from months ago and build up this excitement that I am going there -- and the photos are going to be wonderful.  I need to remember to build low expectations and then sit back and allow the place to wow me when I get there.

While we were near the main destination we found a couple other spots of promise.  I am sort of happy with some of the images.  One grand find was a nice stand of bamboo that had a great greenish yellow color.  I have not processed any of those photos yet -- but I plan to spend some time with them.

Another spot was an old church.  I am thinking of going back at a different time of day to take more photos of this place.  It is very interesting -- a lot of angles, windows, adornaments.

Then I had an idea -- I thought I remembered something.  As we were approaching what I thought I remembered -- well -- it was not what I remembered.  It must have been some other two-lane country road.  Who knows.  But, by the time we drove that far -- we were close to another spot I knew and had planned to return to in the spring.  We decided to go a bit further to check it out and perhaps make a plan to return soon.  

Why had I wanted to return?  For one thing the place was very interesting to me.  I posted a photo of this little roadside cemetery back in September, 2008: Zebulon.  The cemetery is interesting and I remembered seeing through the trees behind it was a peach orchard.  You can see the peach tree when you are standing in the cemetery.  I had thought a great photo would be the blooming trees in the distance with the tombstones as the main subject.  So yeah, I took that photo -- it is fine -- it is wonderful.  But the peach orchard all alone was prime photo opportunity!

Yes the peaches were blooming already!  I had not expected that.  In fact, I told my friend -- "I want to see how close the trees are to blooming so I can come back in a week or so."  As we neared the spot you could see the pink peach blooms and we thought wow!  We also thought -- lunch will be late today!

The sky yesterday was gloomy -- fog and overcastness (is that a word?) did not burn off untl I had already taken quite a few photos of the trees.  I have some from the overcast time that I like -- but when the sun began to break through -- it was wonderful.  Those huge white puffy clouds, blue sky, hot pink blooms, and the green grass made a beautiful 'Welcome Spring' photo!

Since I wanted to take full advantage of the opportunity, I used the Lensbaby 3G, my Tamron 18-250 zoom, and the Tamron 14mm in the field.  I was so glad I had the 14mm with me.  Not only did I take the opportunity to play with a variety of lenses, I played with a bunch of different aperture settings.  The photo on the blog today was taken with the 14mm.  My shutter speed was 1/320 and the aperture was f/9.  The photo was taken right at about noon.  I would love to get back to take more -- at a better time of day for lighting.  But really, with these, the sky was excellent.

All in all I uploaded 348 photos yesterday -- I have not even started looking over most of them.  I was most excited about many in the orchard -- they get priority.  I took more than 348 photos.  Some of them were deleted in camera before I ever uploaded any.  I love digital.


Monday, March 16, 2009

High Dynamic Range Imaging

I am getting my feet wet with High Dynamic Range Imaging or HDRI or HDR.  For the most part I see these images posted on the internet -- Flickr and the like -- and think...why?  Why would someone do that to a perfectly good photo?  Why cartoon or comic-book it up like they do?

Well -- I have seen some lately that don't come close to looking cartoonish (not that there is anything wrong with a cartoon -- but you know what I mean).  Some I have seen -- usually the more architectural -- look pretty darn good.  Still crossing over the threshold of a photo to blend photography and computer graphics -- but looking great.

These make me curious...

I kind of like them -- and that means I want to do one.  So far all I have done is download a trial version of some software and play with a couple old photos I had.  The software I chose is Photomatix from HDR Soft.  You can download it -- the full version -- play with it and if you like it buy a code that will remove a watermark from your finished photos.  I say I like this -- I don't know if I like it enough yet to buy the software.  My feeling has always been -- I like to take a nice photo with the camera -- or I woud rather spend time with my camera than I would with the computer.  Having the laptop has made this a little easier though.  Now my 'darkroom' work is done in the evenings, after dinner, sitting with my feet up and I am on the couch.  You have to admit there is not much worth watching on TV anyway -- so I might as well edit photos.

When you create an HDR photo you essentially have taken three photos of the same scene; one overexposed, one underexposed and one spot on.  Since I am playing with old photos -- I only have the one version -- spot on.  So I went into Elements to create the others.  I opened my photo (jpg) in Camera RAW and used the exposure slider to create one photo +2 exposure value and another photo -2 exposure value.  I saved each and of course the original.  Then it was time to move on to the stand alone program of Photomatix and let it do its thing.

From there I followed directions and created a couple photos I thought looked OK.  This is still very new to me and I don't know how much attention I will give it.  I know I need to find some excellent architecture and give that a go.  I have some old photos that would work -- but I really want to do it completely correct -- taking the three shots of the same scene and then merging those.  I have never really used that auto exposure bracketing feature on the camera -- now it will get a work out.

The photos on the blog today are the regular and the HDR version of my 'Drought at Line Creek.'  The lighter one is the HDR.  If you look closely, you will see the Photomatix watermarks in the photo.

Also -- funny thing -- after I downloaded the program yesterday and started to play I checked out a friend's blog.  Andy is a photographer I have known for a while.  Guess what his blog post was about yesterday....HDR!  Great minds think alike Andy!  For more info on HDR -- check out Andy's blog here: Light Centric Photography.

Another thing I did yesterday was download the 7 Photography Questions podcast on HDR.  Now I need to carve out a few minutes to listen to that.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sometimes You Gotta Zoom

I love working with a prime lens.  That 50mm is not called a "nifty fifty" for nothing.  It is great and fun to use -- plus it is not a heavy lens!  But sometimes you need that zoom to help zero in on the interesting part of a not-so-great scene.  In the past I have used an example to illustrate to a class about photography.  As a painter -- when I work with a blank canvas -- I am filling it with something.  As a photographer you start with a big, full scene and try to narrow it to a certain part -- hopefully the most interesting part.   The best of both worlds is to take a photo of the interesting part and fill a canvas with a painting of it.

The photo on the blog today is a great example of seeing a piece of what is in front of me.  As I stepped out onto my front porch last Wednesday morning I noticed the fog through the trees.  I could see the sun becoming brighter and starting to burn it off.  Within an hour or two it would all be gone -- and in a few minutes the scene would have changed completely.  

The entire scene before me was not as pretty, or let's just say the aesthetics left something to be desired.  If I took the photo that portrayed all that I saw -- you would see the morning sun through fog and trees.  You would also see a regular suburban subdivision, a couple houses, the street, mailboxes, cars in the driveway, the works.  Not that there is anything wrong with that -- but it is very ordinary and the part with the sun, fog, and trees was a small part of it.  As the photo stands now -- who knows where that is?  It could be any place, any time and it fills the frame.

Many times I will tell people to find their subject and fill the frame with it.  Too much clutter or unnecessary elements confuse the viewer and detract from the subject.  There are two main ways to fill a frame -- both involve zooming.  You can move yourself closer to the subject -- or zoom with your feet.  If this is not possible or you would rather not -- use a zoom lens.  For my photo, I used my zoom lens.  I did not feel like putting on shoes (yep, barefoot again) to walk across my yard, the street, and into a couple neighbors' yards so early in the day.  This photo was taken from my front porch.  It captured the look of the part of the scene that I was interested in just as I saw it when I stepped out the door.

Also, I wonder if I had moved too close -- would the light and look remained the same.  I doubt it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Nature Undisturbed News

If you haven't noticed by now -- I have added a link to the webpage for Nature Undisturbed.  In the upper left of the blog page you will find, "Click here to read more about Nature Undisturbed, a juried photography exhibit benefiting the Southern Conservation Trust."  

The highlighted title of the show is the link to take you there.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009


If I am taking a photo -- more than likely -- I am taking a macro photo.  I love macro.  Most people love macro.  It is fun and you can get some spectacular results.  Over a year ago I wrote a blog on macro called, "Could Your Best Macro Lens Be a Whole 'Nother Camera?"  I still love love love the macro capabilities of my old Canon S2 IS (and my even older Fuji S7000).

I have also gotten into the close-up diopters for macro enjoyment.  Lensbaby has their macro kit -- which is two of these -- one 4x and one 10x and you can stack those.  I have others to fit my Tamron zoom.  The first time I ever used a close-up diopter I thought I did something wrong until I realized that my old minimum focus distance was too far away!  When you use these -- you get close.  

Another piece of my macro puzzle -- extension tubes.  This fits between the lens and the camera body -- allowing you to get closer with your lens.  You decrease the minimum focus distance for the lens by using an extension tube.  The tubes come in different sizes and can be stacked to allow you to get closer and closer and closer.

The last thing that I have used to take a macro shot is a reversing ring.  If you are into really getting photos of something tiny or getting that depth of field that is a sliver of sharp focus -- think about a reversing ring.  This gizmo fits onto the end of a lens and allows you to mount it backwards on the camera.  You shoot backward through the lens!  How weird and how cool is that?  It reminds me of the look through a microscope.  Moving subjects are out of the question.  I like to think of the macro I get with a reversing ring as a "super macro."

Yesterday I took photos of an object using different macro methods.  I used an extension tube and the reversing ring -- and then I took a photo using the lens at the usual and customary minimum focus distance.   When doing macro -- be sure you have a good light source.  Getting in close will also block a lot of the ambient light.  If you are like me -- and you do not like to use flash -- and flash with macro is sometimes not a good thing -- have a nice, bright place to play with the macro toys.  I also bumped up the ISO to 400 when I was getting in very close -- even in my very well-lit area.

The photo on the blog today is a macro of the winking tomato king on my pack of grape tomatoes.   I used the reversing ring and an old Nikon lens to get this shot.  Of course, I had to convert it to black and white.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

I Have Regrets and Memories

Earlier today I was out running some errands.  Usually my route will take me by farms.  Most of the time I choose to take the more "rural" route if possible.  I prefer to be out where there are cows and land rather than parking lots and traffic.  Today I saw something that caused me to be very sorry I did not have a camera with me.

Many people carry a camera at all times.  They like to have it handy in the event they see something that they are compelled to photograph.  I saw something today that I am compelled to photograph -- but I had no camera in the car.

What did I see?  A newly plowed field.  A lot of people won't even notice a plowed field.  Some see it and see nothing but dirt.  I see one and I think about my childhood.

When I saw that field I could actually smell the fresh dirt and feel my feet in it.  I spent many days following my grandfathers in their gardens.  Of course, I was barefoot.  I love(d) the feel of fresh, new dirt beneath my feet.  The cool ground is soothing.  The worms and other bugs scurry for cover.  Every now and then my granddaddy would spot an arrowhead in the dirt.  I can remember this like it was yesterday -- and believe me it was not yesterday.  I remember one time in particular he had found one, picked it up, and rubbed the dirt from it with his thumb.  I asked him for it and he gave it to me.  I have others that he had collected in my home.  They are very special to me.

Seeing that field today brought me back to picking a cherry tomato from the plant and eating it right there on the spot -- back to looking down the rows of corn at the silk hanging from the ripening ears.  It reminded me of pulling turnips from the ground.  And it brought back the memory of walking from the garden to the old well, dropping the bucket down the deep, dark hole, and reeling it in so I could dip into the bucket for what seemed like an ice-cold drink on a hot day in the garden.

At my other granddaddy's garden there was a big patch of honeysuckle at one side along the road.  I could stand at the edge of the garden, in the cool, loose soil and pick blooms from that honeysuckle to "get the honey out of it" until I got tired -- or until I found a spider hiding in a bloom and was too scared to pick another one.

The photo on the blog today is one of the last photos I have taken at my grandparents' property. I hope to take many more later this year when I get home for a visit.

I regret not having my camera with me today.  But more than that I regret not having more photos of the land that means so much to me.  One granddaddy's old place is forever changed.  It is only in my memory at this point.  The other land is still there, still in the family, and that makes me very happy.  If I could -- I would have bought it myself to just keep as it is.  I spent a lot of time wandering around there.  Days like this make me think of that line from Gone With The Wind.  When Gerald O'Hara tells Scarlett:  "Do you mean to tell me, Katie Scarlett O'Hara, that Tara, that land doesn't mean anything to you?  Why land is the only thing in the world worth working for, worth fighting for, worth dying for because it's the only thing that lasts." (And boy isn't that the truth considering the economy of today!)

Many times you will see things to jog your memory.  You will want to have a photo of it.  Not really because of what the place literally is -- but what the place reminds you of.  I want a photo of that plowed field.  I will probably go back to see about it tomorrow.  When I get the photo I want to have, I will be able to hear my grandfather's voice and feel my feet in the dirt when ever I look at the photo of a stranger's field.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Nature Undisturbed Photography Exhibit

It is hard to believe it is already March.  I have been working on Nature Undisturbed with Abby Jordan and Greg Blair since last fall.  Soon the show will open.  In just a few days, the letters will go out to those photographers who sent in entries notifiying them if they have work in the show.  
Nature Undisturbed, a photography exhibit benefiting the Southern Conservation Trust, opens April 24 at Dogwood Gallery in Tyrone.  That Friday evening at 6pm there will be a reception, award ceremony, and a talk by the jurors.  It will be very interesting to hear what the jurors were looking for and how they found it.  

Saturday, April 25, I will present a lecture on "Lensbaby and the Nature Photographer."  The Lensbaby lens (as you all know) is a favorite of mine; using one in nature photography can really give you a new perspective.  The lecture will begin at 2pm.

Sunday, April 26, at 2pm the spotlight is on the Southern Conservation Land Trust.  The Trust will present a slideshow.  Also on hand will be Okefenokee Joe and a bird of prey demonstration.  This will be a great time to bring the kids!

Friday, May 1, at 6pm is another evening event -- a wine tasting and a chance to meet local photographers.

Saturday, May 2, at 6pm is a reception that should not be missed.  Susan Todd-Raque will talk about collecting photography.  Susan is one of the founders of Atlanta Celebrates Photography. This is definitely an event that anyone interested in photography should  attend.

The closing day of the show is Sunday, May 3.  At 2pm Tom Evens will show photos from his African photo safari and talk about preparing for such a trip.  All photographers are asked to pick up their photos after close of the show.

It is getting more and more exciting as the opening date nears.  


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I Like Good Bokeh

It is not hard to figure since I like using a Lensbaby so much that I would like bokeh.  Some people reading the blog now are thinking -- huh?  Bokeh?  How the heck do you even say it???

I prefer the pronunciation Bo-Keh as in BOne and KEn with an "h" on the end of it.  Just a week or so ago I was listening to a new podcast and the guys kept saying bo-kay.  Yes, I believe this is acceptable -- but I don't like it.  This is a Japanese term and does mean fuzzy -- it also refers to the cobwebs in the heads of older people.  Sometimes I think I have some of those cobwebs!  

Anyway -- I like good bokeh!  I love having a subject in sharp focus and the background (or other areas) very out of focus and even to the point of having the highlights look like I have water spots on my glasses.  I believe this is why I love using my Lensbabies.  Those lenses are the perfect bokeh makers.  On  the blog today there is a black and white photo that I used on my Christmas card this past season.  This shows the out of focus background and how the lights are abstract looking.  The highlight spots (along the beads) are not only out of focus here -- they are stretched slightly.  A companion photo to this one was featured on the blog in December, The Christmas Card.

Both of these Lensbaby images show bokeh.  The photo featured on the old blog post also shows how you can use special aperture disks to shape the out of focus highlights in the photo.  I love the stars in that photo!  DIY Photography has instructions online on how to create your own shaped highlights -- so if you don't have a Lensbaby (yet) and the creative aperture kit -- check out the link.

Another photo on the blog today is from the backyard.  It was taken in May of 2004 and I used my old Fujifilm S7000.  This camera has excellent macro capabilites -- including the super macro setting.  The aperture in this photo of a yellow lily after the rain was f/2.8 and the shutter speed was 1/100.  I love the sharpness and the out of focus areas equally.  I especially love the blue light that was coming under the fence and you can see it through the gaps in the petals.  The out of focus area and fuzzy highlights help make this a great photo.  This photo is one I never considered for black and white.

If you are in search of bokeh -- you will need a lens that can be opened up -- meaning the aperture needs to be large (the number small).  The 50mm lenses (1.2, 1.4, & 1.8) all will work.  I have the 1.4 and love love love that lens.  Also the 85mm (1.2 & 1.8) will also be an excellent choice.  Remember I am talking about these lenses from a Canon frame of mind.  Of course a Lensbaby works well; but think of this -- the yellow lily photo was taken with a super-zoom point and shoot.  

To see more examples of bokeh -- Google "bokeh".  You can also visit Flickr and search for groups devoted to bokeh and photos tagged with the work bokeh.   Now get out there and get those backgrounds out of focus!


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Snow Day!

I am trying to remember the last time we had a decent snow day in the south Atlanta area.  I can't remember.   Today was a halfway decent snow day.  Ideally the temperature could have been slightly colder for the best accumulation -- but there for a while when the snow was falling at a good rate -- we had a nice build up on the trees.  The flakes falling were very large and very wet.  They quickly covered trees and blanketed branches.  

I used four different lenses today.  The Tamron 18-250mm zoom was the most used.  I did get out the Composer with the telephoto attachment, the good ol' 50mm, and the 14mm.  The photo on the blog showing the sidewalk was taken with the 14mm.  

The photo of Rosebud out in the beginning of the snow -- and really the others on the blog were taken with the Tamron zoom.  I switched back and forth from auto to manual focus.  I like auto when I am in a hurry so I can be sure to nail the focus I want.  The problem with today was that the snowflakes were throwing off the auto focus.  When the snow got very heavy -- I had to switch to manual focus.

All of the photos were taken in color -- and as I usually do -- I converted to black and white with the Silver Efex plug in.  The photos were very monochromatic anyway -- the only thing is with the pine -- you could see some of the deep green of the needles -- but I prefered the black and white to really put the focus on the snow.

The photo showing the snow falling and the mailbox -- well -- I just like this composition.  Again this photo was very monochromatic -- but I took it all the way with the black and white conversion.

I am thinking that I may have created the 2009 Christmas card today!


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