Saturday, May 28, 2016

Memorial Day

Memorial Day here in the US is for remembering those who served, and died, in combat. Some really went through hell and their sacrifice should always be remembered, not just on Memorial Day.
For Memorial Day I decided I wanted to photograph the memorial at Memorial Park here in Colorado Springs which I did yesterday. The memorial has some very interesting curves and angles. It was cloudy, and it had been raining a little earlier, which I felt would accentuate the somber feeling I was experiencing.
Here is the first frame. Not bad framing with the anchor in front of the main memorial.

I like exploring my subject further however so I continued on. For my second frame I decided to get a little closer to the main memorial.

Noticing the flag I decided to get even closer so I could get it better in the image.

This I think is the best of the bunch. About half a meter from where I shot the last one I pointed the camera up and got down on my knees.

These three seemed to line up nicely.

This is the same anchor from the first frame. After looking it over I decided to get down on the grass and frame the image using the chain as a main element. I think it's my second best image of the day.

I photographed the memorial one last time.

That's it for now, have a great day. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Building shots.

Yesterday my MIL was getting her teeth pulled. For a little bit I went outside of the building and began to notice the way the clouds were reflecting on the glass. It looked interesting and the building reminded me loosely of the Flatiron Bldg in NYC. Here's my first shot. 

Not being entirely happy with my first frame I moved a bit and recomposed.

Studying the building a bit I decided to focus on the one side of the building.

This is the one I was happiest with of the four.

My phone is a LG G4. It takes 13 megapixel pictures. It doesn't do too bad though pretty much everything is automatic unlike a lot of cameras. You can get it to focus on a particular part of the framing. It also has a fairly decent zoom except I'm not a fan of the way it interpolates the pixels if you zoom in a lot. It also has very few image controls, like the F stop you want. Despite the limitations photographs from my cell phone have won a few awards, though not as many as with my Fuji.
Beyond those issues the composition really is pretty similar to what I do with my Fuji. Most of the time I even have the rule of thirds lines up on the screen. Those were lined up on the tops of the windows of the bottom two floors in the last frame.
When I first discovered a love of photography was when I was a courier many years ago. I had a Yashica SLR at the time. I'd do a very few frames. Film processing, and having large prints done, was rather expensive as I recall. I entered a large print of an Iris as I recall in a 4H art competition in Holly, CO. My image won third place. It made me realize I might have a bit of a talent in photography. 
Later on the costs involved was bothering me. I wasn't making much money at the time so I dropped photography for a few years. I rediscovered it via a Polaroid digital camera after Patricia passed away in 2002. It had very low resolution of something like 1.2 megapixel. Really an awful camera but it was one of the first available to consumers and I could afford to do a lot of images which I did on the ranch I was living at during that time. I look at them on a computer though. 
It opened a world of wonder to me. I captured sunsets, the horses, life on the ranch, and some of the parks around Colorado Springs. I didn't care about entering any of the resulting images in any of the photo competitions though. Over several months I upgraded cameras and I think the best camera of the time I had was a 2 megapixel Vivitar with a 3x optical zoom which expanded my capabilities quite a bit. It was the first decent camera I had since the Yashica SLR and was one of the best available at the time to the average person. 
Now my Fuji is very comparable to the Yashica on image quality. It takes really good images though I'd like a few additional settings though that are only available on DSLR's however. Believe me I do look at what's on the market but haven't quite decided yet to splurge like that. Photography is mainly a hobby for me, after all, and it's hard to justify the expense when you aren't making any money at it.
If you look at my book covers some time you'll notice photographs on the covers of several of the books. I shot most of them with a 7 megapixel Canon. It made it a bit cheaper when I needed a book cover as I didn't have to pay for the licensing of the image. After I quit writing a year and half ago I upgraded cameras once more and got the Fuji which is my main camera now.
Have a great day. Hope you enjoyed my reminiscing today.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Hi there!

This is Pikes Peak from just before our trip. I shot it from the parking lot where I work. It probably would have been a little better if I'd used the polarizer filter to bring out more of the blue in the sky. 

We have plans to go to several places in the coming weeks. One is seven bridges trail in North Cheyenne canyon. It's been several years since I was on that trail last. I'm thinking Susan should be able to hike it with me. She has no cartilage in her knees so she can only hike the easy trails wherever we're at.
One of the things that's happened with me is apparently I have the start of skin cancer. I've been having to use a chemo cream, Fluorouracil, on my forehead, and temples. The particular condition is called Actinic Keratoses. Over many years you build up damage from too much sun. Eventually it turns into something that sounds really nasty, Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Having looked at pictures of it it looks really nasty too. My second two week round with the chemo cream starts on Friday.
While you're are using the cream your breaks out where the skin is damaged. It looks like a chemical burn, and I guess it is. I still have a couple of small scabs as of this morning from the last two week round. In my case they are mostly on my temples. I do have to wear a hat all the time so I bought a cool looking fedora to wear outdoors. Your skin where you're using the cream gets even more sensitive to sunburn, and further damage. I can expect the skin cancer to come back in another year, or two. I'll have a regular dermatologist from now on, and the one I have now is pretty cool.
One benefit, other than with my skin cancer, is that the hat helps shade the viewfinder on my camera better. I also get a lot of compliments on the hat which is nice.
Until next time have a good day. I need to head out the door shortly so I can go to work.