Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Review of Photography Scavenger Hunt Game

B=Butterfly

 At our last photography meeting we were told to meet at a local park.  When we arrived we were given a sheet of paper with rules for a photography scavenger hunt.  I wasn't sure about this game, but it turned out it was a lot of fun and really got our creative juices flowing.

Rules for Scavenger Hunt




The sheet of paper we were given had place to enter our full name at the top.  We would then circle 7 letters from our name.  Below that were ten lines each starting out with a box for the letters we had chosen.  We entered the 7 letters from our name and then added three additional letters of our choosing.


My Letters and Photos


The letters I chose from my name were: M-Y-B-T-H-A and R.  The three additional letters I chose were L-D- and S.  When we chose the letters we were not sure what we were going to do with them so they were pretty random.  After we chose the letters we were given the rules and then we had an hour to go through the park and find something to match each of the letters.  I found the first few letters to be easy.  I took a photo of a tree for the T, a bench for the B, a house for the H and a sculpture in the park for the A (art).  I got down to the M and Y and really struggled to complete the last two.  I ended up photographing a yellow flower for the Y and mulch for the M.  I finished in about 35 minutes and then took some additional photos that could also be used with the letters.  I found it a fun activity to wander the park with a purpose and take photos.  It will be interesting to see what photos everyone took when we share them at our next meeting.

Photos Taken  during the Game



B-Bench

Y= Yellow Flower

Amazon Products on Scavenger Hunts



This one looks like it would be great for children to spark their interest in photography.




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Thursday, June 10, 2021

Review of Lavender Farm

Lavender at Entrance to Long Row Lavender Farm

 If you are looking for a pleasant way to spend a late spring day, I would suggest visiting a lavender farm.  In the St. Louis area we have a farm about an hour west of the city that my friend, Barb and I spend some time exploring on a beautiful June day.  

Long Row Lavender Farm




Long Row Lavender Farms is located on 15 acres just south of Wright City Missouri.  It is a family owned farm that was started in 2007 by 6 family members as a way to bring the family closer together and work toward a common purpose.  They see the farm as a midwest destination and offer a variety of activites and services.

Cafe


One of my favorite features of the farm is the Cafe.  The cafe offers a small but delicious menu that you may eat at a variety of small areas around the farm.  There is seating both inside the remodeled barn, outside on the porch or down by the pond.



I enjoyed a delicious  sandwich of grilled cheeses, tomatoe and bacon on sourdough bread.  I also had a refreshing glass of lavender lemonade from their menu you can see below.


One of the walls in the cafe has live  wall hangings, which I found fascinating.




 Gift Shop


Inside the barn you will find a gift shop full of lots of handmade products from the farm.  There is a variety of bath and body products, seasonal clothing, and home decorations.  You can also buy plants at the shop.



Workshops


Lavender farms offers weekly workshops at their facility where local artists teach of variety of different crafts.

Enjoy  the Grounds


The  grounds of the farm are beautiful and full of flowers  and lots of little nook and grannies to sit back and relax.  There are benches on the porch, a wonderful porch spring, a pond, and lots of flowers.  Here are a few of the photos I took around the grounds.




Lavender


Of course it wouldn't be a lavender farm without lots of lavender.  In looking up  lavender online, I found that the name is Lavandule and lavender is the common name for the genus.  There are 47 known species of these flowering plants and they are members of the mint family.

At Long Row Farms they have about 1200 lavender plants and 7 different varieties.  The varieties they  have are : Provence, Phenomenal, Hidcote Blue, Twickel Purple, Edelweis, Grosso, and Ellagence Pink.  Here are some photos I took of the different plants.







In the midwest the lavender blooms in early to mid June.  The blooms are then harvested a few weeks after  they bloom and then go through the drying process which takes about 3 weeks.  The drying takes place in the loft of the barn where they are hung up in bundles to dry.

The farm also grows peonies, zinnias and sunflowers so there are lots of blooms to see throughout the summer.


Zazzle Products


I always enjoy make products from my photographs.  Here are some from my visit to Long Row Lavender.





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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Review of Tips for Photographing your Pet

Dixie Rose

 On April 10, 2021 we adopted a new dog.  We had been looking for a dog for nearly a year but had been unable to find a small dog to fit our needs.  Then, in early April, Tricia from Stray Paws Rescue contacted us and said she thought she had the perfect dog for us.  Dixie is a two year old Jack Russel Terrier who had been abandoned and was rescued by Stray Paws in January.  She was a month pregnant at the time and was brought to a foster home to have her pups and recover.  Tricia took excellent care of her and the pups and the four pups were all adopted once they were weaned.  It was then that Tricia, who had read our application, thought she would be perfect for our household.  Tricia brought her over to meet us and she is indeed a perfect fit.  She loves to follow my husband around and go on long walks with me.  Here are the first photos I took of Dixie right after she came to our house.






Photography Tips for Dogs


Now those of you who know me or have been reading my posts know that I love photography. So, when sweet Dixie arrived you just knew she would be my next photography model.  The first photos I took were quick shots to show our family and friends what the new member of our family looked like.  I knew that I would want to take some better photos once Dixie got to know me better, so I did some online research on tips on photographing dogs.  There is a wealth of information out there, but for now I thought I would share a few of the tips I have used.  I have a lot of work to do in improving my technique but it is a fun new challenge.

Use a Black Background for Classic Portraits


I found this tip on several sites and decided to give it a try.  It is not one I would have thought of on my own but I like how they turned out.  My favorite is the intro photo for this article and here are two more that I like.

This first photo shows Dixie in her classic pose every time I walk up  to her.  She rolls over on her back and waits for me to scratch her belly.  She is so cute.  This was also another tip I read to have them on their back looking up at you.



By holding up a treat I got her to sit and look up toward me.  



Keep Their Personality in Mind


On all of the tip sites that I read they suggested to get to know your pets personality and keep that it mind when taking the photos.  The following photos show some of Dixie's favorite activities.

Dixie loves to watch the squirrels in our yard and on the trees in our backyard.  She will spend hours just looking at them as you see in the two photos below.  




When Dixie is tired from her squirrel patrol you will find her curled up on the bed or on a blanket on the sofa.  Here are a couple of her resting photos.




Both of these photos also use another tip I read about online.  That is to "focus on the eyes to create depth" .   That isn't always easy to do because when I put a camera in front of my face Dixie tends to look away.  I'll have to work more on that technique.

More Photography Tips for Dogs


Here are a few more tips that caught my interest.  I will have to work on them.  Stay tuned, I see another post on dog photography after I've had Dixie for a while and have perfected some of these techniques.

  • Capture Owner Pet Relationship
  • Think before you Snap
  • Rule of Thirds- don't always have dog in center of photo.  Look for unique angles.


Dog Toys Provide Hours of Fun


Dixie loves all types of dog toys, but I think balls are her favorite.  Here is one she recommends.





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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Spring in Full Bloom

Spring Trees and Bushes


Last month when spring was just beginning, I shared with you my tips for early spring walks.  Now that spring is in full bloom, I will review some of my favorite spring flowers and flowering trees and bushes.  I hope you enjoy my photographs and a bit of facts on each of the types of blooms.


Lilac Bushes


Lilac bushes are my very favorite spring bloom.  I love the beautiful purple flowers and the fragrant blooms.  Here is a photo from the lilac bush in the corner of my yard.  This bloom is just starting to open and I was able to capture it right after a rain shower while there was still drops of water on the leaves.



Lilac bushes are very easy to grow and take little care other than good soil and sunshine.  They are a deciduous bush that blooms for about two weeks in late spring or early summer.  The most common color is a light lavender shade but they are also have bushes that are a darker purple, burgundy, white and shades of pink.

Red Bud Trees


I love the look of red bud trees in the spring.  In the midwest, where I live, you can see them dotting the wooded hillsides as you drive down the highways.  There are also a lot in our subdivision.  The photo below is one in my neighbors yard.



Redbud trees boast beautiful clusters of lavender-pink flowers in the early spring.  These flowers last for several weeks and then are replaced with delightful heart shaped leaves.

Redbud trees are easy to grow and need well drained soil and full sun or light shade.  The grow well in USDA Zones 4-8, and should be planted in early spring.  There are several different varieties of redbuds so you will want to choose one that is best suited for your area.

Here are a few more photos from spring blooming trees.  They are shots I took at a park and I'm not sure of the type of trees, but I thought they were quite beautiful.




Tulips 



I love tulips.  For me they are the perfect spring flower.  There are lots of tulips in my neighbors yards when I go on my daily works and they always bring a smile to my face.



Here is a card I made from one of my tulip photos.

When I searched online about tulips, I found several interesting facts.  Tulips are part of the Lily family and the petals are edible.  Most tulips sprout a single flower but there are a few varieties that have up to four flowers on one stem.  There are actually 1000's of varieties of tulips.

Did you know that in the 1600's tulips were considered to be quite valuable in the Netherlands.  In fact some cost as much as houses.

The beautiful blooms from tulip bulbs last only about 7-10 days until they start to whither and die.


Spring Annuals


 


One of my favorite spring annuals is the pansy.  This cheerful little flower is ideal for that time of year when you will still get cold mornings and possibly a little frost.  They bounce right back after a brief cold spell and florish until the really warm weather sets in.  I love having a pot of these flowers on my porch in early spring.  They are a favorite flower to photograph too.  I always think they look like cheerful little faces looking toward the sun.




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Thursday, March 11, 2021

Photography Tips for Early Spring Walks

 

Crocus are a First Sign of Spring

I am thoroughly enjoying my early spring walks.  The weather is warming up and buds are on the trees.  The crocus are blooming so I know that spring is on it's way.  In reviewing information for this post I came across several poems about crocuses.  On this post I will review my tips for photographing early spring and also share a poem I discovered.


Crocus Poem


I found many different poems about crocuses online.  Some were older poems and many were new.  Here is one that spoke to me and it is old enough that it is now in the public domain.  It speaks to how I feel when I see my first crocuses of the year.



Camera for my early spring walks


This year I received a new iPhone for my birthday in February so I've been busy exploring the features that it has in the camera and editing features.  It is a iPhone 11pro, which has three cameras and some amazing editing features for a phone.

  1. 12MP regular camera | 26mm f/1.8 | Optical image stabilization
  2. 12MP ultra-wide camera | 13mm f/2.4 | 120-degree field of view
  3. 12MP telephoto / portrait lens | 52mm f/2.0 | Optical image stabilization

I have found that the camera takes some really great photos and decided to use it exclusively for this review.  The added benefit is that I can carry it in my pocket during my walk and easily pull it out to take a photo when I see something I want to shoot.

The link below shows the phone my husband bought me from Amazon.  We have always had really good luck buying their renewed products.




Early Spring Photography




While walking in our neighborhood park, I noticed the way the grasses looked so beautiful against the bright blue sky. I took out my phone and photographed them from several directions.  I wanted to capture the way they looked in the sunlight so I tried all angles to find the best look.  The next week when I walked in the same park I noticed that the grasses had been cut down to get ready for new growth.  I'm glad I photographed them when I did.


Don't Forget the Buds




When you are photographing in late winter/early spring, don't forget to capture the new buds forming on trees and bushes.  They can make some great photos.  You will want to get in very close to capture all the details in the buds like the photo above of a pussy willow.



Buds on spring flowers poking through the ground can also make great photos.  These hyacinth bulbs are just poking through the ground.  I will be back to photograph them when they are in full bloom.


A Trip to the River




If you have water near you, they can also make some great early spring photos.  We had a hard freeze for several weeks in early February and when it finally got warmer the ice broke up on the river.  I took this photo down at the Missouri river where you can see the ice floating down stream.




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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Reviewing a Heated Dog Bowl for Birds

 

Carolina Wren enjoying the Heated Dog Bowl


I enjoy watching and photographing birds in my back yard.  In order to attract birds to my yard I know it is important to provide a steady supply of food and fresh water. 

For food I fill several different feeders with different types of food.  I love song birds so I make sure to put out a steady supply of black oiled sunflower seeds.  I also put out nyjer seed for the little finches.  I love to attract woodpeckers so I offer both suet cakes and suet pellets.

For water I have a birdbath which the birds love both for drinks and bathing.  This winter has been particularly cold and the bird bath water is always frozen so I searched for a good way to provide fresh water.  I know there are heated birdbaths, but they were a little out of the cost range I was considering.  I read on one of my bird groups that a heated dog bowl works great for birds and is inexpensive so I decided to try that.

Heated Dog Bowl


After looking at several sites I settled on this dog bowl.

                                  

This bowl had several features which I find works well.  At one quart it is a good size for my deck.  It is thermostatically controlled so that it only operates when it is necessary.  The bowl has an anti-tip construction and the cord is covered with a heavy duty protector.  It comes in several colors and I chose the bright blue because I was hoping to attract some blue birds and I thought that would look great in the photographs.

I have had the bowl for 2 months now and it has worked great.  It has really been tested the last two weeks when our temperatures have been below freezing the entire time and we've had wind chills in the -10 area.  The bowl has worked perfect and provided water for the birds in the chilling weather.  When it has snowed the snow just melts into the bowl.  I am very pleased  with my purchase and I think my birds are too!

Photographs of Birds at the Water Bowl


Here are some photographs of birds taken at the new water bowl.  First of all it did attract the Eastern Blue Birds I was hoping to get.  I love the way their coloring matches with the bowl.





Here are some of the other birds enjoying the water. The Robin looks pleased to have some fresh water and the Cardinal and House Finch also enjoy the water.  








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