photography

Review of ‘Precious Paws’

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If you have pets you’ve probably taken lots of pictures of them, and you will no doubt like pictures of pets—I mean, who doesn’t, right? Debra George’s little book of pet photos, Precious Paws is kind of cute, but too many of the photos are poorly lit, and look like they were hastily shot with a phone’s camera. The captions, too, are cute, but so random. It’s as if she threw a bunch of photos into a scrapbook and then just randomly wrote whatever came to mind.

Not a bad idea, but would have been much better if the photos were more professionally done, and if the captions told some kind of story.

Doesn’t really make it as a book of photography, and not enough narrative to qualify for anything else.

I give it three stars.

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Review of ‘Flowers’

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Flowers by Werner Stejskal is a small collection of photographs of flowers taken during the author’s trips to various countries. Each photo is accompanied by a flower-related quote.

Technically and artistically, this is a great little book. The subjects are shown to best advantage, in high-definition color photos with effective lighting. Two of the photos had hands in them, no doubt to hold them still for the camera, but that’s the only jarring note in the whole book.

If you like flowers, you’ll like this book. If you like photography, or photographing flowers, you’ll also like it, although, you might like it more if the author had included some details on how each photo was made (lighting, exposure, etc.). If you like pretty pictures, you’ll definitely like it.

I give it four stars.

http://www.zazzle.com/my_journal_pocket_journal-256204831801084185?

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Pocket journal with ‘Buffalo Soldier’ photo on front cover and ‘Writer’ cartoon on back cover

Source: http://www.zazzle.com/my_journal_pocket_journal-256204831801084185?

Four Elements

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Lisa Dorenfest, on her blog ‘One Ocean at a Time,’ posted a photo challenge of sorts – a photographic representation of the Four Elements, Water, Earth, Fire, and Air. This seemed such an intriguing challenge, I decided to give it a go. I’m posting some of my photos sans captions–let’s see if they represent well. Oh, and comments are most welcome.

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A country road in Zimbabwe, coming down from the mountains.
A country road in Zimbabwe, coming down from the mountains.
An IED exploding kicks off a mass casualty/rescue exercise at Playas, New Mexico.
An IED exploding kicks off a mass casualty/rescue exercise at Playas, New Mexico.
A bright blue sky frames the pastel shades of foliage and birds' nests in the Kalahari Desert, South Africa.
A bright blue sky frames the pastel shades of foliage and birds’ nests in the Kalahari Desert, South Africa.

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Morning Light – 2

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Here’s a slightly different view of the weekly photo challenge Morning Light, horizontal rather than vertical.

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Daily Post Photo Challenge: Orange

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This Daily Post Photo Challenge is a multi-photo challenge related to the color Orange.  There are many versions of the color orange, from the warmth of an orange sun to the muted brownish-orange of dead grass. Here are a few photos from my files that feature the color orange.

The sun is the largest fire in our solar system.
The sun is the largest fire in our solar system.

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"Sunset near Lake Kariba"
A golden sunset near Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe.

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: You Are My Sunshine Chorus

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This week’s Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is the chorus from the song, ‘You are My Sunshine.’ That’s hard one, because there are so many possible interpretations, but here’s my attempt. I took her advice and did a play on the word ‘dear.’

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The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Express Yourself

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The week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is ‘Express Yourself. Now, that’s a hard one. How, among all the photos I’ve taken over the years, do I find one that expresses me or my ideas? I rifled through my archives, though, and came up with this. What do you think?

I'm something of a loner, and am always taking a flyer at new things - a bit giddy even. A lone goose soaring through the sky, I think, expresses me perfectly.
I’m something of a loner, and am always taking a flyer at new things – a bit giddy even. A lone goose soaring through the sky, I think, expresses me perfectly.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Converge (2)

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In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Converge.” My second shot at this theme. See the first one at https://charlieray45.wordpress.com/2014/11/29/weekly-photo-challenge-converge/.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Converge

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It’s been a while since I did a Weekly Photo Challenge. This week’s challenge is Converge. There are a number of ways to show lines meeting. I decided to go for some conventional and unconventional.

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Photography 101: Triumph

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I can’t quit, though, without sharing a photo for the final assignment – Triumph.  This dog gone bird, after chasing all the other birds away, shows triumph and bravado in every feather.

This arrogant pose by a redheaded woodpecker, after having chased all the other birds away, is almost human in its gesture of triumph.
This arrogant pose by a redheaded woodpecker, after having chased all the other birds away, is almost human in its gesture of triumph.

Photography 101: Just Messing Around to End the Week

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I’ve not been able to do all the assignments, but I’ve enjoyed the ones I did do. Been sitting here on Black Friday catching up on book reviews and outlining my new novel, but as i go into the weekend, when I’ll be totally focused on these two tasks, I’d like to share some photos I took on Thanksgiving Day near my daughter’s home in Woodbine, Maryland in neighboring Howard County – a mainly rural county.

The Patuxent River, at the border of Howard and Montgomery Counties. A light dusting of snow fell Thanksgiving morning. It was mostly gone by the time I shot this, but enough remained for contrast against the brown earth and leaves.
The Patuxent River, at the border of Howard and Montgomery Counties. A light dusting of snow fell Thanksgiving morning. It was mostly gone by the time I shot this, but enough remained for contrast against the brown earth and leaves.
After shooting the picture above (from a bridge over the river) I turned around and shot in the opposite direction (upstream). The snow-coated trees make this look a lot colder, don't you think?
After shooting the picture above (from a bridge over the river) I turned around and shot in the opposite direction (upstream). The snow-coated trees make this look a lot colder, don’t you think?
Then, after arriving at my daughter's house, I'm always drawn to the bird feeder in her back yard.
Then, after arriving at my daughter’s house, I’m always drawn to the bird feeder in her back yard.
Despite the cold weather, the feeder and the trees near it are always full of many different species of birds.
Despite the cold weather, the feeder and the trees near it are always full of many different species of birds.

Photography 101: Double

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Again, I think I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. This is for Photography 101: Double.

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Photography 101: Edge

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Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I’m taking a stab at the Photography 101 theme Edge here. I’ll let the photo speak for itself:

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Photography 101: Treasure

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What do you treasure? What is important to you? Today’s Photography 101 is on Treasure, and I had to think for a few minutes before coming up with a photo that shows the things I treasure most in the world, my granddaughters, Samantha and Catherine.

Catie (l) and Sammie, my granddaughters, are the things I treasure most in the world.
Catie (l) and Sammie, my granddaughters, are the things I treasure most in the world.

Photography 101: Architecture

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Okay, this is my last one – promise. London’s architecture is unique, a combination of old and new that is somehow still uniquely English.

London's architecture is unique.
London’s architecture is unique.

Photography 101: Moment

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Grabbing that quick shot that tells a story is often difficult. Light is poor, and subjects are moving, and you get strange reflections. Then again, that in itself can make an interesting composition.

A hotel doorman, complete with top hat, at a hotel in Central London, chats with a cabbie.
A hotel doorman, complete with top hat, at a hotel in Central London, chats with a cabbie.

Photography 101: Buckingham Palace

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During the past week in London, one of the areas that caught a lot of my attention was Buckingham Palace. Partly because I was staying at the Royal Air Force Club, just across Green Park from the palace, making it easy to get to, but also because of the history of the place. The guards are not as colorfully dressed during the dreary fall and winter, but still impressive.

I started with a shot of the palace from Green Park.

017 This was shot around 4:00 pm, when the sky was already starting to darken, and lights come on inside the building. This helps to establish the size of the structure.  I was also impressed by the statue and fountain in front of the gates, which attract less attention than the palace itself, but are in many ways even more impressive. Take the water gushing from the mouths of the figures, for instance. You cannot help but be drawn to that. 013

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One’s attention is drawn to the ornate gates and the crowds gathered around them; then the building itself:

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Finally, we have the Buckingham Palace guards and these two photos I got just before it got too dark to get good exposures:

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