Showing posts with label mbgphoto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mbgphoto. Show all posts

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Photographing Reflections

One of my favorite things to photograph is reflections.  They can add beauty and interest to any photograph.
The photograph  above shows reflections in a nearby lake.  It was taken early on a foggy morning.  In this post I will review reflection photography techniques and show you some of my results.


Where Can You Find Reflections

The good news is that reflections are everywhere.  As a photographer you just need to train your eyes and camera to look for them.  You can find reflections in water, metal, glass, ice and many other surfaces.  A rainy day when many people might avoid photography can also be a great time to photograph reflections.  

In researching tips for this article, I found many different ideas of how to shoot reflections.  In fact some were contradictory to each other.  So here is my best advice on taking reflections.

It matters more on how you look at things than the type of camera you use.  I have taken good reflections photos with my DSLR, a point and shoot and even my camera.  Train yourself to look for reflections in everything and Practice, Practice, Practice.  In doing this you will learn what works best for you.

Reflections on Water


Water reflections on a still, foggy morning can really add interest to your photograph.  As you can see in the photo above the air was very still and the water was like glass.

On the other hand a little movement in the water can add an interesting abstract quality to your photo as in the photos below.



Water reflections are also a great way to capture a different view of landmarks as you see in the photos below of the St. Louis Gateway Arch.


Reflections on Buildings

The cities are full of buildings  with lots of windows and other reflective materials.  When you are taking a photo of a scene take the time to look at the nearby buildings and catch the reflections in them.  In this photo, I was shooting the Old Courthouse in St. Louis.  I turned to go and noticed the reflection of the courthouse in the nearby building.  I think it gives an interesting look to the photo.


Glass Reflections

Glass picks up lots of reflections.  As I looked in store windows in historic St. Charles, I noticed the interesting reflections I was getting of the street and historic buildings along with the items in store fronts.  I did have to be careful as I shot so I did not capture unwanted images in the reflections.

Here is another interesting reflection in glass.  I was shooting a glass full of jelly beans.  When I look at the photo, I noticed the reflections of the jelly beans in the top half of the glass.  To enhance this look, I played with the sliders in Photoshop Lightroom to bring out the reflections.


Unwanted Reflections

Did you ever take a photo and capture yourself reflected in the item you were photographing?  Sometimes this is good, but mostly it is unwanted.  To prevent this you need to be aware of items that will cause these images and move so that you will not be in the photo.  Here is a photo I took of some Mardi Gras ornaments and captured myself in one of the ornaments.  It was not the look I was after.

Enjoy Yourself and Experiment

I do think that getting great reflection photos is a matter of taking your time, looking at your surroundings and experimentation.  So relax, enjoy your self and happy shooting!!

Zazzle Products from My Reflection Photos





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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Review of Refrigerator Liners

Refrigerator liners can organize the space and help to keep your refrigerator neat and clean.

I used to dread the job of cleaning my refrigerator.  Forgotten spills would become sticky and hard to clean. Then I read about organizing with refrigerator liners and my job became much easier.




Features of DII Refrigerator Liners


  • Ultra-absorbent
  • Reversible
  • Cut to Fit any Size Shelf or Drawer
  • Quick-Drying
  • Machine Washable
  • Shape Retaining

Above photo shows the patterned side of the liner.  Photo below shows reverse side which is a checked pattern.

What I Like about These Liners

I hated to clean my refrigerator.  It seems like I never saw the spills till after they were sticky and hard to remove.  Now when I see a spilled area on the liner I can just remove the liner and throw it in the wash machine.  No more scrubbing and rubbing and I always have a clean refrigerator.

The liners in the produce drawers are great too.  The liners have a cushy  feel and provide a soft place for fruits and vegetables.

The set I purchased had 6 12x24 liners which I cut to fit my refrigerator.  They ended up fitting all my shelves and drawers.


 




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Thursday, August 22, 2019

Review of Lighthouses Seen from Avery Point


On a July visit to Connecticut, we made a stop at the Avery Point campus of the University of Connecticut (UCONN) to photograph the lighthouse that I had heard was located at the edge of the campus.  We were pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful campus that along with the lighthouse had some beautiful sculptures.  Just offshore of the campus we had a wonderful surprise when I located two additional lighthouses.  On this page I will share my photographs of all three lighthouses and some of the sculptures I saw while walking along the paths on the campus.

Avery Point Lighthouse



Avery Point is the last lighthouse built in the state as an official navigational aid.  It was completed in 1943 but was not lit until a year later because of concerns about a possible Nazi attack during WWII.

As I strolled along the paths of the university I could see the lighthouse in the distance.  It is a distinctive beige brick tower and is a beautiful icon overlooking the water.


New London Harbor Light


Across the water from the campus I noted what I thought might be a lighthouse.  When I put on my longer lens, I was delighted to find this stately structure, which I found out was the New London Harbor Light.


In reading a brochure on lighthouse cruises, I found out that this is the oldest lighthouse in Connecticut. It was said to help to guide colonial privateers who sought shelter up the Thames River during the American Revolution.

New London Ledge Lighthouse


In the water, not too far off shore from the campus, I spotted a third lighthouse.  This lighthouse has some rather unique architectural features.  I read that it is a French Second Empire structure that is architecturally unique for a lighthouse.  It is also reported to be haunted by a former keeper.


There were lots of sailboats in the harbor and I was able to capture one just before it passed the lighthouse.


Other Interesting Features on the Avery  Point Campus of UCONN


Here are some of the photos I took of a building and a few of the many sculptures on the grounds.




Zazzle Products from my Photos


I enjoy sharing my photos on products made at
Zazzle.  Here are a couple you might like.






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Thursday, August 8, 2019

Review of Nobska Lighthouse and Sharing Photography with Children


On a recent July morning I was able to visit this historic lighthouse on Cape Cod and share my love of lighthouse photography with my granddaughters.

Brief History of Nobska Lighthouse

When we arrived at this historic lighthouse on the southern point of Cape Cod in Falmouth we took a few minutes to read the signs and learn a bit about the history of the lighthouse.

The lighthouse is nestled between Vineyard Sound and Buzzards Bay with Martha's Vineyard spread right out in front of it.

From the early colonial days until the twentieth century the route from Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds provided the shortest route to bring passengers and goods from Cape Cod to all points south and west.  In the 1800's vessel traffic through this area was second only to that of the English Channel.  Because of this a need for a lighthouse to keep vessels safe was imperative.

Nobska light was first opened in 1826 as just a tower above a keepers house.  It was replaced in 1878 by the present 42 feet cast iron tower.  This tower sits 87 feet above sea level.  It flashes every 6 seconds and is visible for 17 miles.

Photographing the Lighthouse



The above is a photograph of my granddaughters, Kate and Emily in front of the lighthouse.  They both brought along their new cameras to learn about photographing the lighthouse with me.

The next two photos are ones that were taken by the girls.  The first, a close up shot of the lighthouse, was taken by Kate.  The second one was taken from across the street by Emily.



I too enjoyed the view from across the street from the lighthouse.  Here are two photos that I took looking back at the lighthouse.



Across from the Lighthouse

After looking at the lighthouse closeup we crossed the street and took a path that led down to the beach.  It was a fantastic view of the islands that lay just off the coast.  Here is a map that tells about what we saw.


It was very interesting to see the map and then look at the scene ahead of us.  We watched ferries leave from Cape Cod heading over toward Martha's Vineyard.  It was early morning when we arrived and the fog was rather heavy, but as the morning progressed the fog started to lift and we could see more of the islands.



Photographing with my Granddaughters

It was a wonderful experience sharing my love of photography and lighthouses  with Kate and Emily.  They listened carefully as I showed them how to look for interesting photos.  After they took a few of the lighthouse from different angles, their interest was more toward photographing the bees in the flowers.


Zazzle Products from our Photos

This keychain design was made from one of Emily's photos and the mug is from my photo.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Thursday, July 25, 2019

Photographic Review of Buffalo New York Lighthouse





I enjoy photographing lighthouses and on a recent July day we made a stop on our trip east to visit the beautiful lighthouse in Buffalo NY.  This lighthouse is located at the mouth of the Buffalo river at the north entrance to Buffalo harbor.


Brief History of Buffalo Lighthouse


In 1805 Congress designated the Village of Buffalo to be a port of entry into the United States.  It was determined that the port needed a lighthouse but because of the War of 1812 construction was put off.  In 1818 the first lighthouse was built in Buffalo.  As the city of Buffalo grew into a major port a new lighthouse was needed.  The current lighthouse was built in 1833 at a height of 68 feet. You can read more about the history of the lighthouse at the following link Main Buffalo Lighthouse .


Photographs from my Visit


I was hoping to get up close to the lighthouse and had read the instructions online with directions how to get there by walking alongside the coast guard station.  What they didn't say was that this path was only open on Friday, Saturday and Sundays and since it was Wednesday I had to find another way to view the lighthouse.  I got back in the car and drove down the road to the nearest park on the harbor.  I found a charming park with a beautiful rain garden, some delightful wind catchers and paths all along the harbor.  The wind catchers were on a hill and when I climbed the hill, I got a great view of the lighthouse.  I had a 210 mm lens with me and it worked great to zoom in on the lighthouse.  The following photos are of the lighthouse and the park.





                                                               




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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Review of Attracting Birds to My Backyard

                                                    

Black-capped Chickadee


I have often been asked how I attract the large variety of birds to our backyard.  In the past  several years I have documented 31 different types of birds.  I believe that the wide variety of food that I put out for the birds helps to attract different types of birds.  These birds provide hours of entertainment for my husband and me.  In this post I will share with you the different types of bird food.

Mixed Variety Bird Seed

In several of my bird feeders, I use a mixed variety of bird seed. This type of mixture includes sunflower seeds along with other mixed seeds.  I have not found any one brand that seems to be better in attracting birds, so I usually buy whatever is on sale.  Here is the type that I purchased last.

                                                   



In the photos below you will see the variety of birds that enjoy the mixed bird seed that I keep in several different feeders in our backyard.





Nyjer Bird Seed

I have a finch feeder that I keep filled with Nyjer seed.  These seeds are small black seeds that don't fall through the small mesh of the feeder.  This feeder attracts many different birds, but it is particularly popular with finches.  In the photo below you will see Goldfinch enjoying the Nyjer seed.


The birds in this photo look like they have spotty or dirty looking feathers.  That is due to the fact that this photo was taken in early spring and they were still molting.

                                              


Suet Nuggets

This year I have started to put suet nuggets in a feeder.  This food has become very popular with woodpeckers.  Downy woodpeckers are frequent visitors of the nugget feeder.




I sometimes put whole peanuts in this feeder.  They last longer than the nuggets but I find it hard to tell when the feeder is empty because the empty peanut shells are left behind.  Here is a Red-bellied Woodpecker enjoying the peanuts.




                                                            


Suet Cakes

Another popular bird food is suet cakes.  I keep one hanging in my backyard feeding area year round.  They are frequented by a wide variety of birds.  In the photo below you see a Grosbeak that visited the suet cake this spring.


Hummingbird Feeder

Each spring I look forward to seeing my first Hummingbird of the year.  I hang out the feeder starting in early  April.  I make my own food for the feeder boiling 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of sugar in my microwave.  After cooling the mixture I add it to the feeder.  It is important to change the mixture every week to ten days and more often in very hot weather.



Bird Bath

In addition to the various bird feeders I provide a bird bath on our back deck.  This gives the birds a place to get a drink and in the case of Robins to take a bath. This spring I looked out one day to see a whole group of Bluebirds lined up on the edge of the bird bath.

 I love to see the Robins splashing in the bird bath.








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The Review This Contributors

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Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner