My photo
... is a freelance photographer working in Middle Georgia

Thursday, December 31, 2015

This Old House

This old house sits alongside Highway 96 between Geneva and Reynolds, Georgia.  Have no idea how old it is, but I have been driving past it for well over fifty years. It looks very Antebellum, like it should have been in the middle of some huge cotton plantation. Maybe it was.  Though someone has always lived in the house, I don't remember ever seeing any folks around the grounds.

Tracy, my daughter,  has a fascination for the place like her old daddy does. Guess I kinda did this one for her. I was driving back from Columbus yesterday in the rain, and as I passed it, decided it was time I did a photo of the place.

I really wanted the trees and some of the grey sky in the image. There was no way to do that without a bunch of utility lines....and I do mean a bunch.  This image has about thirty minutes of work in it. Besides the usual toning and photoshopping, I worked for quite a while removing power lines.  Some went through the trees, and that was tedious work.

After removing the unwanted elements with the clone tool, I enhanced the sky, and added a bit of fog and gloom. This is the way I have always seen the place, a dark reflection of what it may have been.

Happy New Year.....

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Stormy Christmas Eve

It has been a stormy week so far. Lots of rain, very un-Christmas like weather.
This morning Gussie and I went out for his morning walk and the clouds were really whipping by. Very low,
and fairly well lighted by the ambient city light. 

I decided to try a couple of photos, so I grabbed a camera and tripod. The exposures were all manual, around 10 seconds at f10. I wanted to get the movement in the clouds as well as the trees. Did fairly well.

Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas, and hope some of you will be getting gifts of a photographic nature.
Make a resolution to do some photography with a real camera, not just your phone.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Christmas Lights

Tis the season for Christmas lights again, and this morning was a great time to shoot them. Fort Valley is really pretty at Christmas, this year we have some new lights. The huge oaks at the bandstand have these
new lights wit various colors. In the past, they were all clear lights.

This morning we awoke to light fog, and a misty rain. The fog added a little glow to the scene, and the rain wet the streets to give a nice reflection. The wide shots were shot at 1/6 second at f4 with my 28-70.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Autumn Is Falling... All Around Us....

 This Ginkgo tree is several blocks away from our home in Fort Valley. It is always so pretty, but I have not photographed it for several years. It was looking good last week, and I was afraid that by the rains were gone, I had waited too late to shoot it.

I braved the 30 degree weather to get some shots this morning, and it was worth the cold. Both shots are with the fish eye lens. For the bottom shot I got down in the grass, with the front element of the lens inches away from the closest leaf. 

When shooting trees like this, always be sure to walk around a view from all sides. The way the light hits the leaves can make a huge difference in you photo. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

A Place From My Youth

This past week while in Columbus, I rode out to Flatrock Park.
Our family often visited the park while I was growing up. It was one of my favorite places.
Spent lots of time climbing those hills, playing on the huge rocks. Here is one of the images I shot Wednesday. The first is an HDR, the second I converted to black and white. Love the black and white.

I shot at a really low shutter speed (1/5 sec) and used a very low ISO (50) to get the blur in the running water.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Friday Night Lights Got Brighter

I shot my first football game of the year last Friday night here in Fort Valley. It was Peach County and Warner Robins. It was actually the first football game I have shot in two years. Partly due to my work schedule, and partly due to what I was shooting with. I had been using my D90 and it was a bit too slow, plus the stadium is so dark I was having problems stopping the action.

I had two cameras die recently, so I bought another camera, a D600(Nikon, of course)
It is a wonderful little box, quite fast and has enough ISO to shoot in the darkest stadiums. 
Since it is full frame, I loose the extra magnification, so the 300f2.8 is actually 300mm, but no worries.

 The first ten minutes were pretty dismal as I worked on my timing and figuring out where to stand. The timing came back fairly quick, but after 40+ years of football, I still stand in the wrong spot half the time. 
Joe Holloway always said shooting football was half luck and half knowing where to stand. He was a wise man.  Anyway, not too bad for an old man.  The originals were color, and turned in to the Telegraph as color. I decided I wanted to see them as black and whites. 

All those Friday nights of Tri-X and Accufine developer have stuck with me, the way I still see football.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Little Bokeh, If You Please....

The top bloom has been by our back porch for a couple of days. This morning I grabbed the D600 and my old Nikkor 300f4 along with a couple of lenses, deciding it was time for a photo.  The 300mmf4 is a great old lens, really sharp and quite hand hold able..... even for an old guy like me.  

I saw the cool leaves in a window box after shooting the first flower and had to try it.  It was shot with the 300 as well.  The minimum focus distance and the fact that it was shot at f8 gave great detail while dumping the background.
 The background colors made for good contrast with the color of the plant.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

I found this house, or should I say I rediscovered it several months ago while shooting an assignment in the Fort Hill area of Macon.  I remember passing it on several different occasions over the years. Its current color scheme and the lions on the fence yanked me in like a fish on a hook.  I had to shoot it. 

I have been back to Macon a few times since I saw it lasy, but for one reason or another, just didn't work to shoot it, light was wrong, too busy to go by, whatever.  Well, I had to buy a new camera, two of my oldies died.  My new pick is a Nikon D600.  Its a full frame digital SLR.  Just what this photo needed.
Once again my 15mm is really a 15, not a 21, but that will save for another post....

Monday, August 10, 2015

Getting Close

 I photographed some crepe myrtle flowers last week. If you have never gotten up close to crepe myrtle blooms before, they are quite tiny.  Today I decided to try with my close-up lenses.

The white ones are so soft looking, almost surreal. These were done with a +2, +4 and +10 stacked
and shot with a 70mm lens.

This last shot is not a crepe myrtle, but a pull tab from a can. We gets lots of beer cans dumped in our yard each weekend, but not too often just the tab. If you are wondering about the odd background, that is the palm of my hand.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Using Light

I photographed this plate of pears this afternoon. Saw them in the kitchen and thought I should 
shoot. The light caught my eye, the way it played across them. Light was from above and behind them, but not very nice light, and in a bad spot to shoot. 

I moved them into the dining room and set up a light. The top was my second light setup.  I put a light above and slightly behind them.  The subtle light touching the left side of the pears really makes a big difference in the photo. 

The second photo is dark on the left side.  To ad that bit of light, I placed a white card up close so it would reflect back onto the side of the pears. Really makes a difference.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Meet brothers Moe, on the left, and Milo. Two of our outside cats. They were enjoying breakfast yesterday morning, and I grabbed the D90 and a 24mm lens for an early portrait session.  Milo is the larger of the two, but Moe is the fighter. Both can give you the look.

When shooting pets and kids, get down to eye level, makes a better image.

The photo was enhanced a bit using Topaz Adjust 5. Used the detail enhancement and beefed up the highlights a bit.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


There is a really cool cornfield alongside Highway 49 in Peach County. Every time I pass it, I think about shooting some pictures.  Today as I came home, I noticed really neat storm clouds gathering in the east.  I found a spot to get corn and clouds. The top image is an HDR combo of three images, one overexposed, one correct exposure, and one underexposed.  They were combined in Machinery HDR. The second image is a straight exposure, done by the meter in the D90. By combining the three you see good detail in the highlights, mid tones and shadows. The second image is an average of the three, so you loose detail.

The bottom image is an HDR, swapped the fisheye for the 15mm.  I have some other images from the shoot I will share another day.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Yet More HDR Software

I found a new(to me) HDR program last week and downloaed a free trial. This sunflower photo from last Monday's playtime was toned in Photoshop, then ran it through Machinery HDR. I like it. The program has some presets, or you can do your own tuning. This is not a true HDR image, but a single frame(film flashback!) that got the HRD effect.  I have not tried to do ma multiple exposure HDR image with it yet.

For those of you who don't know HDR, it combines bracketed exposures so you get all the shadow detail and all the highlights in your image. When you take a picture, your camera averages the exposure, so you loose detail in both shadow and highlights. So you bracket, doing some underexposed, some overexposed and the combine them for the final image.  That is very simplified, but you get the idea.

Some HDR programs give very exaggerated tones and colors, I call them clown colors. This one does not, it is more normal.  Give it a try. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Good Will Cemetery

 I rode through Good Will Cemetery in Fort Valley today. It is surrounded by Bluebird, and I had never visited it before. I shot a few pictures, just things that caught my eye.The spinning pinwheel was a bit of a challenge. I wanted the blur, and I was shooting mid-day. Had to drop the ISO really low to slow the shutter.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Another Summer, And Gladly, Another Sunflower

Gary Harmon called last week to tell me about a field of sunflowers he had found. He shot some with his iphone and posted on Facebook.  Anyway, he invited me to come along and shoot some photos. We met at the field this morning and had some hot fun.

The second photo is Gary blazing away with his 17-55 Nikkor,  the third photo is me getting up close with a bee.  The top photo was done with my old D 70, using a flash. It was shot at 1/3200th second and f10 so I could get the sun without it being blown out. The flash was on a stand to camera right.

The bee was with my 50mm Nikkor and close-up lenses. The bottom photo is first unopened sunflower bud I have ever seen. Just too cool. It was a good morning.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Cicada on a Sunday Morning

I spotted this cicada while walking Gussie after church this morning. Usually just see their old shells,
not often you find one still live and moving. I had to get some photos. The top photo is with the 70-300 set on macro.

 To get closer I swapped for the 50mm and used a +2 close-up lens for the middle photo, then the 50mm with a +4 for the last one.  I was only inches away for the last ten minutes of shooting, and the cicada pretty much ignored me. I was afraid it would bug out on me, but crawled slowly along.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Be An American

  I passed through Reynolds yesterday going and coming from Columbus.  Each year Reynolds Methodist Church adorns their entire block alongside Georgia Highway 96 with American flags. I have stopped and shot a picture or two over the years, and yesterday it felt really important to stop and photograph these beautiful flags.

I love this flag, and I love my country. Granted, it gets crazier and crazier, but this is still the best place to live in this world, and I am an American. That is a blessing from God, not anything I have earned, or anything that is owed me.

Each of us in this country has a heritage, ethnic background, different religious upbringing and beliefs.  A lot of the problems we we have could be overcome by doing what Jesus told us to do, " Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

So, be an American, be proud of who you are, and realize that it ain't all about ME.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Peace Lilly

I noticed the Peace Lilly bloom this morning as I was crossing the front porch. It was early, soft morning light falling across the bloom.  Soft, subtle and quite beautiful.  Shot with the 300mm to blow out the focus on the background.  This was probably a stop and a half underexposed.

We are surrounded by beauty in an ugly world, we just have to take the time to see it. So, see beauty, don't create ugly!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Capturing Water with a High Shutter Speed

What happens when you shoot a fountain at really high shutter speed? 
These are at 1/4000th second.

Instead of streams of water, you get droplets.

 The two top photos appear to the eye as solid streams of water.
 The bottom photo is the water falling into the basin.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Playing in the Sprinkler

Nothing fancy here, just getting wet shooting the sprinkler.

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