Rich cracked me up so hard and I just have to share the joke. Recently I finished editing this image and I took the laptop to him, asking "Can you tell?" His response was priceless. "I don't know if there was a branch, and I don't know if there was a bird!" Such are the joys of Photoshop fun. :)
Happy Valentine's Day! This macro shot of an azalea combines flowers, water, and some filter effects that reminded me of a heart. Perfect for sharing on Valentine's Day!
Up on our housetop reindeer pause Out jumps good old Santa Claws Down through the chimney with lots of cat toys All for the kitty cats' Christmas joys! First comes the stocking of Goldilocks A neat orange clock that really talks! Here is some cat grass and a blue blanket too Sunshine catnaps in store for you. Next comes the stocking of Mr. Squirt A catnip toy for the …Read More
Astropad provides a fun way to use your iPad and stylus for fine-tuned photo editing - in my case, of a Painted Bunting on a flowerRead More
Topaz Glow makes for fun rainy day projects, like Sandhill Crane digital art versions of some precious moments with Baby UnoRead More
This is a "digital art" version of a photo from last March. The two Sandhill Crane colts were just a few days old. The day was windy and cold, and Mom would occasionally sit down and create an "insta-nest" for her two tired colts. The babies would scurry behind her back and crawl into her warm feathers. That's the realistic story behind this photo. After staring at it on our calendar …Read More
When it's too rainy to go out, it's time for image filters like Topaz Glow. I had fun experimenting with Glow effects.Read More
I processed some of my Sandhill Crane family pictures in Topaz Glow. What a fun program! I loved all the different effects.Read More
Fun with filters and effects. At least one of these made Rich go "Wow!" See if you can figure out which...Read More
Poor Squirt - it wasn't enough that I withheld pansies for lightpad photography once, but I had such a good time that I did it again! I took some pansies and some small petunias and played more with my new ArtOGraph Lightpad. Then I spent a rainy afternoon having fun with the post-processing. A few of these got a "hmm! I like that!" from Rich. Can you guess which ones? This …Read More
Rich got me an ArtOGraph Lightpad for Christmas, after seeing me drool over some of Denise Ippolito's flower shots. I infuriated Squirt by photographing some pansies on the Lightpad out on his porch, where he sat waiting to devour my subjects as soon as I finished photographing them. Whiskey was right there, too! At our house, flowers are meant for eating…at least according to my favorite felines. I had a …Read More
Oops! I had a special image planned for my 2013 Year in Review post, and I forgot to use it! So I'll share it today. It's a filmstrip of some of my favorite images from 2013. I created the filmstrip using this tutorial that I found online. Little graphics projects like these make me realize just how few features in Photoshop I use. I learned a lot about duplicating tiny …Read More
From our backyard to yours…a very Merry Christmas!
My mom's neighbors (hi Dick and Connie!) recently gave her a branch from a flowering orchid, and my mom was sweet and froze it for me! I guess she wanted to see more frozen flowers on my blog. :) Then she was nice enough to keep it in the freezer for me for a few weeks until I had a chance to take my macro lens over to shoot. So …Read More
In my last post I wrote about photographing pansies under a hose. After I finished playing with the flowers, I was inspired to try a different take on my Colorful Water Droplet experiment. With my first colorful water droplets, I focused close on a single water droplet as it dripped from my kitchen faucet. The setup was surrounded by colorful cloth, which reflected in the water droplets. Well, I decided …Read More
I have a secret. Don't tell Squirt. The last time we bought him pansies, I didn't give them to him right away. I took them to the backyard and photographed them. Then he got to devour them. I have another secret. I wanted to try photographing pansies in rain, but there was no rain in the forecast. My solution? A garden hose hanging from my crape myrtle! That and a …Read More
We took a walk around the neighborhood the other night and I had to take my camera. Our community flower beds are full of colorful pentas right now, and they call my name every time I drive by them! The mass of colors made me want to experiment with some intentional blurs… First I tried moving the camera in small circles with a long-ish exposure. I got a lot of …Read More
A few weeks ago I spent a Saturday morning at Bok Tower, a wonderful garden in Lake Wales, Florida. It was architected by Frederick Law Olmstead and dedicated by President Coolidge in 1929. The tower itself is fun to photograph, but what attracted me was the possibility of migrant warblers. I seem to find a lot of them on good days. There was also a Rufous Hummingbird that visited there …Read More
I'm still processing images from my trip to Maine. This was one of my favorites from my expedition to Machias Seal Island. It shows a pair of Razorbills in the middle of a courtship nuzzle. They were so sweet as they did little beak-to-beak nuzzles, and then one (who I'm assuming was the male) seemed to raise his wings in a victory pose. Maybe that's the birdie way of saying, …Read More
Move over, Filter Boy - I have a new camera assistant! He's black and white and pink all over. I think he's the most adorable little boy in the whole world. :) Regular readers of my blog may remember when Whiskey fit into my Beast's lens hood. Whiskey is two years old now, and he's a curious little thing. He loves to help me with my camera equipment. I was …Read More
The little brown truck brought me a new toy this summer! It's a Canon 5D Mark III camera body. I'm so excited about it, as it has much improved autofocus, even better than my 1D Mark IV. It also does in-camera HDR and in-camera multiple exposures. It's a full-frame camera, which will be fun for some of my more "artistic" photography. There's a rule at our house that the first …Read More
A while back I read a fun blog entry by Denise Ippolito where she froze flowers to photograph. It sounds weird, but she got some amazing results. Then my friend Kathy Urbach started experimenting with the same technique. I liked their images and decided to try the technique myself. It's not as easy as it sounds! First you have to pick a flower or composition that will look good frozen. …Read More
The other day we got home from work and Squirt really, really wanted to go out on the porch. So did Whiskey. How to say no to two adorable cats? So I grabbed my macro lens and extension tubes and we all went outside. While the boys sniffed the breeze and chased lizards, I photographed flowers. One of my favorite daylilies, a pale pink variety with a yellow center, was …Read More
My daylilies in the backyard are starting to bloom, and they are so colorful. I've been having fun with my macro lens, Photoshop, the Nik filters, and some Fractalius. (Rich loves to tease me that I have Windows running on my Mac for almost the sole purpose of the Fractalius Photoshop filter!) It's fun to sit and play with angles in-camera, and then colors and effects on the computer. …Read More
You know you've been bitten by the photography bug when you're in a garden center, and you see a display of flowering Gerber Daisies, and you purchase it thinking, "oooh, that one would look good with the Fractalius filter applied!" You can have lots of fun with a pot of Gerber Daisies, Photoshop, and filters… I love Gerber Daisies. They are colorful, they have such interesting centers, and they are …Read More
This is one of my favorite Great Blue Heron nesting shots from last year. I had fun on the computer with it today, applying Fractalius and some texture to the image. I'm looking forward to getting out to the Viera Wetlands to enjoy this year's nesting birds.
It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! Work is done for the year, the cats are enjoying the cold front breezes out on the porch, and I got to photograph Squirt's favorite holiday treat. Well, one of Squirt's favorite holiday treats. :)
I'm tired of all this cloudy, foggy weather we've been having lately! I hope the skies clear up for my upcoming time off from work. This was taken back in November at the Orlando Wetlands Park. I liked the cloud formations of the original image, and then I really liked the effect of the golden colors framing the clouds in the polar coordinates version.
Foggy mornings inspire me to play with the computer…and be a little silly! I took this picture of a Snoopy astronaut statue at Kennedy Space Center on Friday. Except he looked like he needed a better background than the bars surrounding his exhibit. I played with some of the astronomy filters from Flaming Pear to create a moon and a cosmos. Then I edited Snoopy into the scene.
I recently photographed some tiny flowers. I don't know what kind they were. Rich stood patiently as I crawled on the ground to get really close. I liked the images, but they seemed a little boring. So I played a little bit with the Color Efex Pro and Fractalius filters…
Sometimes it's fun to mix up your photography using filters and effects. I took a nice picture of a lake scene with fall colors earlier this week at Callaway Gardens. But it was a little boring…straight lines, nicely executed, but nothing special. I noticed the layers in the trees and the waves of the lake and decided to play with Photoshop's Polar Coordinates filter. It wrapped the waves of the …Read More
I keep playing with water droplet experiments, and I think I'm getting better. I still haven't quite captured the image that's in my mind's eye, but this one comes the closest. This is one of Squirt's first-of-fall pansies, photographed through water droplets scattered on my porch glass-top table. I dragged a lamp out on the porch on a very overcast morning to improve the lighting conditions. I also tried a …Read More
This was taken the same day as the flower in my Reflection post. I loved these little pink flowers and how they contrasted so nicely with the green leaf background. For this one, I used Nik's Midnight Filter to emphasize only the brightest tones of green, which created the effect of "ribbons of green."
With this week's cold snap, my summer flowers are dying off, including my clumps of Mexican Sunflowers. I photographed these a while ago playing again with water droplets. I liked this attempt better than my last one, when I had very little light. This latest attempt was at sunset with lots of light - and the reflections were so much better!
Before I let the cats devour their first-of-fall pansies, I claimed the six-packs for myself and had some fun with my macro lens. I love the colors of pansies - purples and reds with great yellow centers. They are my favorite wintertime flower and I'll have to take advantage of this week's cold snap to go plant some in the backyard!
It's not often that my non-photographer husband walks into the room, looks at my screen, and says "oh wow!" So I decided I should share the recent image that got his attention. These pink flowers caught my eye as the pale pink contrasted so nicely with the dark green tones. I put on my extension tubes and photographed the little flowers from all angles. Then I had fun with filters …Read More
It was a gray, icky day yesterday, so I had fun playing with my camera and flowers in my own backyard. I had read about a technique for water droplet images on Denise Ippolito's blog, and I decided to experiment and see what I could do. This is a zinnia flower taken through a sheet of glass sprayed with water droplets. I had a great time experimenting, and this was …Read More
I've been having fun playing with some post-processing effects and filters. This is my latest experiment, using an image of a half-open Mexican Sunflower. I blurred the background a little bit to make the flower pop, then I played with the colors a little to darken the background. I learned something, too - these effects programs are addictive! :)
I've seen friends experimenting with Topaz Simplify, so I tried downloading it to see what it was all about. I like how it makes pictures more art-sy, although I'm not sure that these are effects that I want to use very often. The cartoon and paint effects are a little over-the-top. But I did like the effect that turned this bird flock into what looks like a pencil drawing. It …Read More
I played with Fractalius and one of my Spoonie images from Circle B last weekend. I thought the pink bird flying out of the dark background was very dramatic. Fractalius can be a lot of fun!
(Rich picked the title. I hope you agree with him.) This is a Fractalized image of two Tricolored Heron babies taken last weekend at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. The nest was at waist-level and so close to the boardwalk that I had to add an extension tube to the Beast to be able to focus. I love how these little babies look like they are having such bad hair …Read More
This was the first weekend that I had free time for photography, and the weather most certainly did not cooperate. So I spent some time with Photoshop instead…
Regardless of Punxsutawney Phil's verdict today, I think spring is in the air. The trees flushed with new growth several weeks ago. Stores are stocking summer annuals that they usually don't have until April. Poor Squirt is having trouble finding his pansies already (Lowes ran out of six-packs!) Today's image is a Roseate Spoonbill from MINWR at the beginning of January. I liked the pose, but a little bit of …Read More
I feel like this Red-breasted Merganser today, shaking off two looooong weeks of work. It was literally eat-sleep-work, where I was logging over a hundred hours a week. I think I'm just about done with the insane hours, so I hope to start blogging regularly again. Today's image is another Out-of-Bounds effect that I did in Photoshop. It's surprisingly easy to do. This one took a while because of all …Read More
I drooled over Dan's recent Flickr image of a Black-Crowned Night Heron with the "out of bounds" effect in Photoshop. Then he started a blog and posted how he did it! (Thank you!) So I watched the video, learned about the effect, and had to try it myself. Rich told me that I had to practice on turtles. After all, this site is called "cat and turtle." (Don't tell Rich, …Read More
Since I couldn't go out to photograph much this weekend, I played some with my Fractalius plug-in. I'm learning that pictures that have good poses but aren't perfectly exposed or focused can be good candidates for Fractalius. In this case, I blew the highlights of the Sanderling a little. But what I really liked was the way the bright white bird stood out from the blue ocean. I chose settings …Read More
Mum-mum still has hummingbirds visiting her feeders. I'm jealous. I'm hoping that they are winter residents and not just migrants. She's had them for about a month now. Since I don't have hummers in my yard, here's a hummer from Callaway Gardens. I used the Fractalius filter to play with it…
Car trouble kept me home this morning…and then after we got the car back home, we discovered that it still had issues, so we spent a good chunk of the afternoon in the car dealership. So not much photography is happening today. :( I took my laptop with me to the waiting area, and played with the Fractalius filter in Photoshop. Looking at the golden tones of the background of …Read More
It's getting harder and harder to find good birding subjects in this heat! Even the mallards are scarce in Stoneybrook West right now. So here's a Fractalius image for the day…
We needed the rain. We needed the rain. I kept repeating that to myself as I looked outside, wishing I was out with my camera. Why can't it rain on days that I have to work instead of days that I have off? So I stayed inside and worked on post-processing today. I had a lot of fun with my Fractalius plug-in. There are some pictures that it works really, …Read More
I played more with Fractalius tonight. This is a Limpkin picture from this weekend's Circle B Bar Reserve visit. I love how the beak turned out.
Can you imagine going through life with ridiculously long red legs? It's not often that I devote a Beyond The Backyard blog post exclusively to one bird. But after spending the morning at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, I had a ton of great images of Black-Necked Stilts. They are all over! I found a nest that was very close to the trail. When I first arrived, one bird …Read More
I downloaded the Fractalius Photoshop filter this afternoon. It's fun! It works by finding fractals inside your image. You control how the image looks by dragging sliders to vary the line size, diffusion, and a bunch of other factors. For some of these pictures, I blended the Fractalius output with the original image. For others, the most dramatic effect was to leave the Fractalius output alone. (The wavy lines in …Read More