Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fall In Madison Co.

After a few days of resting at home and hardly touching my camera I decided to go for a short drive in the country Friday to visit a few of our covered bridges and some early fall color.
On the way I stopped at the mum farm to see if they had some falls displays,it was a bit early for many of the potted mums,But I found some color in thier beautiful display garden. I only wish my gardens looked so nice. The tables were filled with every pumkin and gourd variety you could imagine. I only wish I could have taken a mum or two home with me.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Clouds Floating AcrossThe Full Moon

It's been a quiet week since Monday,and I haven't used my camera as much,I did go out one night to capture long exposures of the clouds floating across the surface of the moon. The sky was filled with light fluffy clouds.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Exploring Area Parks In Search Of Wildlife

Monday I spent the day with a friend and fellow photography nut. We visited several central Iowa parks in search of wildlife big and small.
It was a beautiful morning ,although overcast at times. We started out the day at Saylorville Lake,just down from the dam. on the river. There we saw Great Blue Herons,a Jouvenile bald eagle,Hawk and Kingfisher. I still have to pracxtice with wildlife photography,many of my action shots were just not very clear.
We also visited Jester park,where they keep Elk and Buffalo.The park is lovely,and they had recently built a new garden/seating area that overlooked the animals enclosures.The sun decided to come out and play,and it was easier to capture the animals in the sunlight.
I had some technical issues at that point,my long zoom lens has developed some problem,and I will have to send it in for repair.
Towards the end of the outing we found ourselves at Glenwood park in Des Moines. There is a large pond full of turtles and frogs,I spotted a blue dragonfly,but he was to quick for me. There was also plantings of wildflowers,grasses and even a patch of orane mushrooms at the base of an oak tree.Lots of photo opportunities.
To sum up the day,it was a beautiful early fall day spent with a good buddy,enjoying some good natured teasing,Lots of smiles,and a few good laughs.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Step Back In Time...

Saturday I met with a flickr group in my area for photography day at The Living History Frams in Des Moines. It was a beautiful day,the sky was beautiful,and it wasn't even too hot.
The farms have existed in this site for generations. They have sights form the Ioway Indian tribes that used to live there t,to pioneer settlers in the 1800's ,up to the gfarms of the turn of the century. The workers dress in period clothing,and di things as they were done back then.
The phoyo ops were many,and there were photographers on hand to discuss tips.
I walked way too much and have appreciated the day of rest that came with editing all the photos taken. Here are just a few, To see a slideshow of the day's images visit my flicr set.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Rural Beauty

Just an ordinary drive home,instead of staying on the Interstate I took the last 6 miles of the trip down a small rural road. The fields of corn and soybeans are drying in the sunlight and turning the fields shades of toast and gold.The landscape at this particular farm is so lovely, It is a favorite place for me to go to take sunset images.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Still Beauty In The Garden

It is quiet here in the garden these last few days. I have been staying in nursing an increase in back pain.I did get out wit Pete and Rosa and found some bits of beauty still going strang in the garden.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Night In The City

I found myself in Des Moines last evening to meet with Hubby on his way through. After having dinner together I headed to Capital Hill to capture some evening summer shots of our fine State Capital. I was pleased to see all the construction at the front of the building is finished,the new landscaping with benches and plantings overlooks the city skyline,and the sunset was a lovely one. I also went to the corner to capture the Capital reflected in nthe Wallace Building,the largest funhouse mirror I have ever seen. The image was distorted like a wierd acid effect had melted parts of the building reflected.

After I left the hill, I headed to Grays Lake just South of downtown, I still wanted to capture the colored lights on the padestrian bridge in the park. The last time I tried about a month ago a thunderstorm rolled in before it got dark enough.

The parking lots were full,there were alot of people out enjoying the evening air. There was some wind, so the longer exposures I tried blurred, even though I was using a remote shutter and tripod. The first shot turned out to be the best, Isn't that the way it always goes,LOL

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Road To Heaven

Road To Heaven

It was a big day today,we had my nieces baby shower in the was a fine day,although a bit cold.Everyone had alot of fun.The Mommy to be had alot of nice gifts to get ready for the big event.It didn't start to sprinkle till we were ready to leave. We had a rain storm along the way home,and when we drove out of it there was this huge sunburst through the clouds. Looked like we were driving towards the heavens. I was riding,so I was able to capture this through the windshield between raindrops. The color was adjusted in PSE since I had accidentally left the WB on sunny from earlier in the day.LOL

Friday, September 14, 2007

It's Officially Time To Break Out Your Hoodies

There is a chill in the air today,and tomorrow morning is forcast to be the first light frost in the northern half of the state. I am not worried here,since we are so far south.It is time to break out the hoodies, and wear long pants.
Rosa loves her sweatshirt,though she will not keep the hood up. She has a few jackets appropriate for colder winter weather as well. It is so cute to see her romp and play in the yard instead of hovering at the door shivering. In the middle shot she had just chased a truck out of town on the shoulder and was running back after I yelled at her. We have a real problem with her chasing trucks and motorcycles,she hates them with a passion. Somehow she thinks she is put on this earth to tell these loud things off. In the 3rd shot doesn't she look so satisfied with herself for a job well done? LOL

A Little Night Time Goofing Around

Just on the edge of town,set up on the shoulder to practice some long exposures. The wind was blowing briskly,and there was a fall coolness in the air. The flags were waving and snapping in the wind.I played with shutter speed to find the effect I thought showed the best effect.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wilderness at Home & State Parks

Got a bit behind yesterday,I had a call from a perspective job at a local Medical Supply Office and set the Interview for today. I needed to rush to town for a much needed hair cut and to pick up some comfortable shoes that would fit the carrer casual appearance I wanted to be able to show for this interview.I did however get out in the wildflower patch to capture some of the grasses and seedheads,and found a butterfly chrysalis ,the colors and patterns are wonderful.
(Thanks to ventl8r for the monarch ID.)

I feel very good about how the interview went,and I hope to hear some good news about the position in the next few weeks.

On the way home I stopped at Somerset State Park,I was looking for some wilflife and wildflowers. I didn't see any birds or wildlife,but there were some interesting grasses and wildflowers.I went down on one of the floating docks to sit and found a huge spider web,I also noticed how detailed and clear the reflections from the trees were.It was a beautiful afternoon,sun shining and mild teperatures.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Perfect Pose

My nieces kitten Levi is growing up fast.He is such a comical cat,and he spends alot of time trying to make up to the new kitten in the house,my Lily. Here he was hanging out near her on the back of the couch and had his paws draped over the back of the wicker cair.It looked so perfect I had to grab the camera and external flash and grab it quick before he could move away.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Sunday's, Quiet Days of Relaxation

Today I saw a hard copy of the Welcome Centers rack card that features 5 of my covered bridge images. It looked pretty good,even if the photos were fairly small.

Around town we are starting to think about covered bridge days,so today I spent some time out in the garden trying to get things in better shape for the celebration and to get it ready for winter.

While out I found a few fall beauties starting to bloom,the new feverfew plant was covered in cheery white blossoms,the mum just beginning to bloom,and the aster that is covered in buds had just a couple flowers.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Learning Custom White Balance

Get Top The Heart Of The Matter

Sweet Autumn

This last week I met someone who has a little gadget that helps you set the WB in the camera by measuring the actual light for a given shot through the use of the custom WB feature of most DSLR cameras.Since I have struggled in overcast conditions to get a proper WB,I was intrigued so I went to my local camera store to see one and see what the difference was for myself.The item looks like a filter to be put at the end of your lens,and through special glass layers accurately gives the camera a 18% grey scale to set the WB off of.It is called the expodisc.I compared it to using a grey scale card that cost $7.The difference was noticable in the lighting of the store.Besides with a grey card you have to hold the card next to your subject and shoot the photo to set the WB,making it a bit difficult unless you have a helper.w The expodisc is held right up to your lens while focusing at your subject.

Since I could not afford the expodisc at the store, I went online to check out what was available.I found the same company made a expocap,wich is similar,only made of opaque white acrylic.It too is held to the front of the lens while setting a custom WB.(There were some cheap plastic knock offs too,but they looked too cheesy to really work the same)At half the stores price for the expodisc I decided to give expocap a try.

It arrived today,and I went out in the shade of the lilacs this afternoon to attempt to do custom WB settings on the sweet autumn clematis just starting to bloom as well as a pink single rose.I was amazed at how bright and crisp the pink came,and how closely it appeared to what I was seeing,I was equally surprised at the quality of the white in the clematis bloom. With the custum WB feature you have got to adjust to any different light making it something you have to change if you move locations or the ligt changes,But when I am doing macros on subjects that are not going anywhere time is not an issue, and I can't tell you how much time I have spent struggling to find a decent WB only to give up when I could not get what I thought was a decent color no matter how hard I tried. Under indoor conditions you should be able to set it once and have consistant results from that point forward unless someone turns off a light.