February 28, 2015

Big Sky Coastal Style

Big Sky Coastal Style
Blowing Rocks Preserve
Hobe Sound, Florida
November 2014

February 27, 2015

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret
Jetty Park
Fort Pierce, Florida
November 2014

I was amazed to see tropical birds like this egret everywhere there was standing water, even along the ditches of the interstate. What is "exotic" to me in Florida is as common as magpies in Montana.

February 26, 2015

Sunrise at Jetty Park

Sunrise at Jetty Park
Fort Pierce, Florida
November 2014

February 25, 2015

Dawn at Jetty Park

Dawn at Jetty Park
Fort Pierce, Florida
November 2014

February 24, 2015

To the ocean

To the ocean
Jetty Park
Fort Pierce, Florida
November 2014

February 23, 2015

Sea Grass

Sea Grass
Jetty Park
Ft. Pierce, Florida
November 2014

February 22, 2015

Avenue of Palms

Avenue of Palms
McKee Botanical Garden
Vero Beach, Florida
November 2014

February 21, 2015

Spanish Kitchen

Spanish Kitchen
McKee Botanical Garden
Vero Beach, Florida
November 2014

This oversized kitchen (of which I'm showing only half) could cook 100 steaks at a time to serve the 100 guests seated around a table made from the trunk of one mahogany tree in the nearby Hall of Giants dining room. I liked the colorful stones and enormous kettles.

February 20, 2015

"Tower" Glass Sculpture by Fraebel


"Tower"
by Hans Godo Fraebel
 
McKee Botanical Garden
Vero Beach, Florida
November 2014


February 19, 2015

Amazon Water Lilies

Amazon Water Lilies
McKee Botanical Garden
Vero Beach, Florida
November 2014

February 18, 2015

Water Lily, McKee Botanical Garden

Water Lily
McKee Botanical Garden
Vero Beach, Florida
November 2014

February 17, 2015

Pelicans and Anhingas Preening

Pelicans and Anhingas Preening
Fort Pierce, Florida
November 2014

February 16, 2015

Want Better Lenses for Your Camera?

Then check out DP Review's Round-up of Third-Party Lenses for Enthusiasts. In this article, the equipment specialists have highlighted some popular lens lengths from Sigma, Tamron and Tokina that compete with lenses made by Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony but at more affordable prices.

Wide-Angle Zoom Lens
If you are frustrated when trying to take photos indoors without flash with the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens that came with your camera, consider Sigma's 17-50mm f/2.8 lens or Tamron's 17-50mm f/2.8 lens, both with image stablization features. These constant aperture lenses are one and a half stops faster at the wide end and two full stops faster at the telephoto end than a kit lens. This enhances the camera's ability to let in enough light for motion-stopping shutter speeds inside. The quality of the glass in the lenses is better too, so you can expect sharper images (as long as your focusing techniques are good.) Note that the Sigma and Tamron lenses fit only APS-C (cropped) sensor cameras, not full-frame bodies.

Canon 17-35mm f/4

Fast Telephoto Lens
Many people develop a desire for a longer telephoto lens when their children start participating in sports or because they enjoy seeing wildlife. But if you are frustrated by not being able to get fast enough shutter speeds to stop action in dim light with your current long lens, consider a third-party lens such as Sigma's 70-200mm f/2.8 lens or Tamron's 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. These lenses provide one- to two-stop larger apertures than  telephoto zooms like a 55-200mm f/4-5.6 lens. This larger aperture lets in more light in dim situations, allowing the camera to use a faster shutter speed to freeze movement. The Sigma has image stabilization, while the Tamron does not.

Canon 70-200mm f/2.8

Disclaimer: I have not used any of the third-party lenses listed here; my suggestions are pulled from the DPreview articles. Please do your own research to see which lens is best suited to your type of photography.

February 15, 2015

Shells on the Beach

Shells on the Beach
Jetty Park
Ft. Pierce, Florida
November 2014

February 14, 2015

Jupiter Island Lighthouse

Jupiter Island Lighthouse
Florida
November 2014

February 13, 2015

Sunrise Over the Atlantic

Sunrise over the Atlantic
Jetty Park
Ft. Pierce, Florida
November 2014 

Last November I made my first visit to Florida. Starting today I'll share some of the images I made on that trip.

February 11, 2015

Thinking Ahead

Thinking Ahead
Frenchtown, Montana
January 2015 

It's not spring by the calendar yet, but our recent warm weather has melted most of the valley snow and brought rain. It sets Montanans to thinking of flowers like this one from a Christmas bouquet.

February 10, 2015

Winter Canopy

Winter Canopy
Frenchtown, Montana
January 2015

February 9, 2015

Frost on Pines

Frost on Pines
Frenchtown, Montana
January 2015

Frost has been replaced with raindrops since we've had spring-like temperatures for the last couple days. Warm and rain are expected to continue through the week. Hopefully winter will make a return visit before real spring permanently arrives.

February 8, 2015

Maple Seeds in Snow

Maple Seeds in Snow
Rock Cut State Park, Illinois
February, 2015

February 7, 2015

Using a Custom Workspace in Photoshop Elements

I just completed teaching a three-part class on using Adobe Photoshop Elements to organize and edit photos. I was frustrated by the fact that I could not keep the Adjustments and History panels open and nested with the Layers panel. They remained in a separate window and kept getting in the way of the picture I was working on.

Custom Workspace in Elements 13

While doing some internet research on a different topic, I discovered that Elements 12 and 13 (possibly version 11 also) both have a "Custom Workspace" that allows me to see the panels I use most often and keep them all grouped together in the Panel Bin on the right side, away from the image I'm editing. Here's how to access and adjust the Custom Workspace.

Read more....

February 6, 2015

Deserted

Deserted
Rock Cut State Park, Illinois
February, 2015

February 5, 2015

Snowflakes on Eyelashes

"Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes..."
Rockford, Illinois
February, 2015

February 4, 2015

Cross-Country Skiing in the Snow

Cross-Country Skiing in the Snow
Rock Cut State Park, Illinois
February, 2015

February 3, 2015

Shadow Play

Shadow Play
Rockford, Illinois
February 2015
 
Light coming in my hotel room window created these shadows on the wall. Not sure if I want the dark right edge or not. Does it balance the chair and shadow or detract?

February 2, 2015

Clear & Cold

Clear & Cold
Rockford, Illinois
February 2015

Now that the storm is past, the sky is clear (for now) and the temperature in the single digits. Wind chill is -14. Probably good cross-country skiing weather.

February 1, 2015

Blizzard Midwestern Style

Blizzard Midwestern Style
Rockford, Illinois
February 2015

If you look closely at the tree trunks, you can see the blowing snow. Glad I made it safely to my hotel yesterday!