July 31, 2010

RPS Photography Critique

Jim Morgenthaler of Athens, Georgia judged the photography critique for the Roswell Photo society on July 12. I learned an important new skill during his comments. He said we should be using the Shadows/Highlights feature. Select the following from the main screen in Photoshop:


The window on the right pops up. Below, on the left below is a before picture. On the right is a photo that I adjusted and pulled the slider down to about 15%. This is plenty of highlights for most photographs. Notice you can now see the green underneath the flower (the shadow section).

And, as a final note, should Jim judge again, he prefers us to use glossy paper to pull in the full tonal range of colors. My image, Morning! placed 3rd in the color prints category this evening even though it was on matte paper!

www.cactushuggers.etsy.com has added a comment and I reworked the photograph below and included this new screen shot explaining his comment. I like this version of Pink Umbrella much more. Thank you.

Check the [Show More Options Button].
Then, this dialog box appears. I changed these sliders until I was happy with the image.
And, I end up with an even better photograph. Thank you so much! Which version do you like? This image, Pink Umbrella, is available in my Etsy shop.

July 30, 2010

More to Big South Fork than the Trails

The park is host to hundreds of sandstone arches. Visit the National Park Service's page on  Big South Fork to learn more. On the left, I pulled this photograph out of my previous visit, published it and am adding to my Etsy shop. It is titled Path.

I like this pretty Fall image because it is about the path into the forest. Where are you going? I know exactly where I am heading with my art... I am just not sure how many turns I will make. This photograph is of one of the twin arches located in Big South Fork Recreation Area in Tennessee. I am preparing photographs to send to a store in the area.

I am also sending Sup, below, to the store, which was one of my very  first published images. It is available in my Etsy shop and as notecards too. I think I will travel back to the park this Fall for more photographs. These images are both for sale (along with several others) at The Hitching Post in Jamestown, Tennessee.

July 26, 2010

Big South Fork National Recreation Area All about Horses

Just back from Tennessee. We rode horses with Southeastern Pack Rides from Jamestown into the Big South Fork National Recreation Area. The park covers 125,000 acres in Kentucky and Tennessee and has 180 miles of horse trail. Our guide, Kristi, took us down the Cumberland Valley Look and to the Laurel Fork Overlook. Nearby we ate our picnic lunch and had a quick swim in the river.

It was fun, and one of the few times all three children enjoyed a difficult activity without complaint. It was a long hard ride, but we all loved trotting and galloping so much, that we put up with the bruises and heat. Below is our picnic site and to the left my horse, Captain. The kids rode  Romeo, Dickson and Rusty.  Other activities available in the park include: camping,  hiking, mountain biking, paddling, hunting and fishing.

P. S. I have tried to shoot photographs from a horse in the past, and it's too wiggly. I suggest you wait until your feet are back on the ground.

July 17, 2010

Exercise -- How do you do it?

So, with my found puppy I have spent lots of my time walking the neighborhood and not biking. But thought it would be fun to ask around to see what people do for exercise.

How often?
What do you do?
Do you like it?

Above is a photograph of one of the bikes in John Pennekamp State Park. I love my bike and riding. We took the bikes on the trip with us to Florida. At REI yesterday, I found a pretty bike seat bag to match my bike's funny green color. Actually, I found a lot of things at REI. I think we were "shopping" for 1 1/2 hours. Thankfully I left with most of my money.

July 14, 2010

Naples Really Stands Out

What a beautiful city -- Naples, Florida. The flowers lining the streets were exotic and blooming! My daughter said, "That was the best beach we went to." The fishing must be good to as there were so many pelicans hanging out at the beach. I did try to talk everyone into eating without me, so I could take photographs, which I would have preferred! But I was sitting enjoying a shrimp dinner while the sun fell into the ocean. I found another waitress to bring me the check and was able to catch the tail end of the sunset.

Total mileage: 1792

We are back home now. A friend asked why we "just went to Florida" (it's a neighboring state) instead of a longer road trip like usual. There were a lot of reasons we went to Florida. I wanted to add beach photographs to my portfolio, and it was close. But honestly, I will be hurrying back because there really was so much to see in so many places. I think LeBron make a good choice to move to Florida, and I would love to move there. If you live in Florida on the gulf coast and have lots of flowers blooming in your city, like Naples, let me know. I'll stop by!

July 13, 2010

Floridian Birds are Out of There!

The beautiful, varied birds in Florida more than make up for the lack of flowers in my path. I really can't believe the opportunities I received today and yesterday to photograph so many winged creatures. I haven't seen this many birds on any one day, never mind being able to photograph them. I photographed birds at the John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo and also in the Shark Valley in the Everglades off of Highway 41. And, I almost forgot the beach in Naples, Florida. Here are a couple images.

Woodpecker at the John Pennekamp State Park

Egret in the Florida Everglades

July 11, 2010

Coconut Grove Marina Pretty

Lots of boats here at the Marina in Miami. We enjoyed walking down Grand Avenue last night for dinner. Nice shopping with unique merchandise. Looks like there is an art show here in February called Coconut Grove Arts Festival. Here's how it looks here right now.

My biggest road trip tip is to ALWAYS put stuff back in the same place. In other words, bike helmets in the same green back. Sheets in the same blue bag. Bike gloves in the small black bag. We save our old mismatched gloves and use those pairs when we need an emergency pair. Moving stuff around gets confusing if it is in the first location or the second one. Keep it simple. So we are off to John Pennekamp State Park.

July 10, 2010

First Light at the Beach

This morning was a pretty sunrise mostly blocked by a big bunch of clouds. But as soon as it was up, I headed to a garden of flowers. I captured them as the sun first hit them. Here is First Light. Anyone know what flower this is?

July 09, 2010

The View from Miami Beach

Mileage 231.7
I woke up just as the sun was rising this morning. Thank goodness. And found these beautiful pictures.

 I was wondering how to find the view of Miami from the island. I asked a gas station attendant, and she said I couldn't. These kinds of statements really motivate me. I found the view and a wonderful bike path at the same time.

Orlando Universal

95.1 Miles

We enjoyed Universal Studios and Island of Adventure and our $29 campsite in Kissimmee. Considering we were there 9 hours at the most, the green grass, shady tree, electrical outlets and clean restrooms and clean, hot showers were more than you could ask for. Take a quick stop at Orange Grove Campground at 2425 Vineland Road to balance out your summer road trip budget.

We visited Islands of Adventure to ride the amazing Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and the Flight of the Hippogriff and eat at Three Broomsticks. Harry Potter was really unbelievable. We were flying high and really in our own world on a moving vehicle. I recommend re-watching all the movies before visiting! The new exhibit opened on June 18th. Here is a blog of the event with links etc.

Then we located our campground and set up the tent. We headed straight back and rode Spiderman, Popeye and Bruto's water ride and Jurassic Park River Adventure. We did get very wet and needed a way to dry our clothes. Then, we had a quick dinner at Margaritaville, which was okay.

By this time we were very tired and easily slept through the night in our tent. Next morning we made it to the park by 9:10 AM. Again, we chose preferred parking, which got us very close to the entrance. We went straight to the back of Universal Studios. We rode Simpson's Krustyland, which was a nice simulation roller coaster and then Men in Black Alien Attack twice. This was a shooting aliens game like Buzz Light Year. Our high score was 116,000. Next we took a ride with ET to save his world. We enjoyed a quiet lunch at NBA City. We watched Fear Factor Live, which I didn't care for and won't tune into, but the kids enjoyed it.

Twister was fun because it really gave a nice behind the scenes view of making the movie. We experienced a mini tornado on the set. Jimmy Newtron's Nicktoon Blast was okay, but we could see all  the riders as we experienced our ride. We picked up a best spongebob kit, which reminds me of Mr. Potato Head.

I need to check these spellings and details later today. Have a great one!

July 07, 2010

Tampa Bay

The Dali museum holds 196 images in St. Petersburg, Florida. The works were of a variety of subjects and sizes. I liked the images best which were of his wife, Gala. He used mixed media, which I thought was interesting. I thought the $12 admission for children over 9 was steep. I needed to prepay with AAA to receive my discount. There was a nice slide show with voice overs. But for those without any previous exposure to Dali, there was something missing. I didn't notice a children's book in the large gift shop, which was almost the size of half of the museum. (But there were several including the World's Greatest Artists series about Dali.) Here is a link to the Dali museum.

Our family tradition is to attend a professional baseball game on our summer road trip. This year we watched Boston lose to the Tampa Bay Rays. We were all rooting for Boston. :( I took several photographs during the game. Here is one.

Before we head out... a nice image to start your day.

July 06, 2010

From the Gulf -- Clearwater

After our over 499 mile drive, we found our way to the beach; the sunrise was worth the car ride. And there were lots of pretty birds feeding this morning.

July 05, 2010

Sunflower Festival was Blooming!

Just back from the Rutledge, Georgia Sunflower Festival. One of my favorite moments was when a browser said, "That's magnificient" when eyeing my 12" x 18" canvas of a magnolia tree. Then, he realized that was the title! Which I named for the flower's name. And, how cool I think magnolias are. Lots of sales and many names for my constant contact list during this show. If you want to be on my monthly email list, which features new works and upcoming shows, just subscribe here.

Here is my booth from the show. The holes are sold works. I also sold lots of ACEOs this weekend. Recently bought the print bins. I like the new look. But the best part of this show was the view. The field was gorgeous. I loved listening to live country music and looking out my shop window at the field. The garden near my booth was also home to many hummingbirds. Of course, I brought my camera.