Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Transforming a stair landing into my office/studio

I love old houses! My home was built in 1900 and has gone through several renovations over the years. It’s fascinating to think about all the people who have lived here before us and imagine how they used the space. 

For example, what is now our dining room used to be the kitchen. I can almost picture the original owner cooking meals for their family on a cast iron wood burning stove. Our kitchen, on the other hand, used to be the back porch, which had its own well. You can still see the old stone lining of the well underneath the floor in our kitchen.

The second floor of my house used to be an apartment with its own entrance. The stairs were removed in the 1960s and the porch was enclosed to create a sunroom. We still have the two original bedrooms and bath, a hallway that also once served as a kitchen for the apartment, and the landing. There are also four separate attic spaces, each at one corner of the house. 

Speaking of my office, I recently converted the small landing at the top of the stairs into my office/studio. It’s a cozy 8x9 feet, and I’ve decorated it with a few tongue-in-cheek touches that give it a Ron Howard vibe.

Friday, July 12, 2024

Photo Friday - Roadtrip

It's Friday. Another opportunity to participate in the Photo Friday weekly challenge. The challenge word this week, July 12, 2024 is #Roadtrip. This is a shot from a trip that my wife Susan and I took to Scotland in March / April this year. The Highlands and the Isle of Skye are beautiful and we absolutely fell in love with this country.

Photo Friday is the fun, easy, and sociable photo sharing website where photographers of all skill levels share pictures from their lives with people all over the world, for free!
Launched in 2002 as a weekly photo challenge website, today that tradition continues with a weekly challenge word or phrase that we hope will inspire you to get out and create your own personal photographic interpretations of the challenge. You don't have to participate in challenges to share your photos on Photo Friday, but we hope you will!

Saturday, July 06, 2024


This is a night-time shot of the Heidelberg Materials plant in my hometown of Leeds, Alabama. I am posting this one here for the Photo Friday July 5, 2024 challenge "TOWER". If you are a return visitor to my blog  then you know that I love night-time photography. There is something about the light at night that transforms an object or scene, often giving them an almost magical appearance. 

Shot on an Apple iPhone 15 Pro  ƒ/1.78  1/5  6.765mm  ISO1250

Friday, June 28, 2024

Capturing the Beauty of Wildflowers

Purple butterfly bush with Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

NIKON D80   ƒ/8  1/125  135mm   ISO125

Spring and summer bring an explosion of color as wildflowers bloom across meadows, forests, and even urban spaces. This week, Photo Friday has set an exciting challenge for photographers: capturing the ephemeral beauty of wildflowers. Whether you're a seasoned photographer or a budding enthusiast, this blog post will provide you with tips and inspiration to make the most of this vibrant subject.

#### Understanding Wildflowers

Wildflowers are not just pretty faces in the plant world. They play crucial roles in ecosystems, supporting pollinators and contributing to biodiversity. Understanding a bit about the types of wildflowers in your area can help you plan your photography sessions better. Research local wildflower species and their blooming seasons to time your outings for peak color.

#### Equipment Essentials

While it's true that the best camera is the one you have with you, certain gear can enhance your wildflower photography:

1. **Camera:** A DSLR or mirrorless camera with manual settings will give you the most control. However, smartphones with good cameras can also produce stunning shots.

2. **Lens:** A macro lens is ideal for close-ups, capturing intricate details. For broader shots, a wide-angle lens works well.

3. **Tripod:** Essential for stability, especially in low light or when using slower shutter speeds.

4. **Filters:** A polarizing filter can reduce glare and enhance colors, while a diffuser can soften harsh sunlight.

Techniques for Stunning Wildflower Photos

1. **Composition:** Follow the rule of thirds to create balanced and visually appealing shots. Get creative with angles – try shooting from ground level to give a different perspective.

2. **Focus and Depth of Field:** Use a shallow depth of field (wide aperture) to isolate your subject from the background, creating a beautiful bokeh effect. Ensure the flower's most interesting parts, like the center or petals, are in sharp focus.

3. **Lighting:** Early morning or late afternoon light is soft and warm, perfect for flower photography. Overcast days can also be great, as the diffused light reduces harsh shadows.

4. **Background:** Pay attention to the background to avoid distractions. A simple, uncluttered background will make the wildflower stand out.

When photographing wildflowers, remember to respect nature. Avoid trampling on plants or disturbing wildlife. Stay on designated paths and leave no trace of your visit.

Editing your photos can enhance their beauty. Use software like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop to adjust brightness, contrast, and color saturation. Be mindful not to overdo it; aim to maintain the natural beauty of the flowers.

Once you’ve captured and edited your wildflower photos, share them on social media with the hashtag #PhotoFriday and #Wildflowers to participate in this week’s challenge. Engage with the Photo Friday community by commenting on and liking other participants' submissions. It's a fantastic way to get inspired and connect with fellow photographers.

Photographing wildflowers is a rewarding experience that combines a love for nature with the art of photography. As you embark on this week's Photo Friday challenge, take your time to explore and appreciate the beauty of these natural wonders. Happy shooting!

For more information on Photo Friday and to participate in future challenges, visit the [Photo Friday website](

Kudos to CHATGPT for taking an idea and putting it into a very nice format.

Friday, June 21, 2024

 Photo Friday - #Film

This weeks challenge on Photo Friday is #FILM. I tried to think of the last time that I actually shot anything on film and one of my favorite photos came to mind. This shot, from 1974 - 1975,  is of Todd Rundgren and John Siegler at the Boutwell Auditorium in Birmingham, Alabama. The picture was shot using a Pentax K1000 with Kodak Ektachrome film at ISO 1000. I've since digitized the image many, many times and what you are seeing is not the original photograph although I do still have the original negative. 

Todd has always been one of my favorite musicians and I enjoy sharing pictures from past concerts.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

 CityScape - This weeks' Photo Friday Challenge

I love Photo Friday challenges. If you go back through this blog you'll no doubt come to the conclusion that its' sole purpose was to participate in Photo Friday challenges (and you'd probably be right).

Each week Photo Friday posts a challenge word or phrase, with its associated hash tag. Challenges exist as a fun diversion for our members, a chance to creatively interpret the word and seek out photographic situations that embody your independent expression of it.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

My Photography Arsenal

Embarking on a photography journey is akin to delving into an ever-expanding universe of gear possibilities. Each piece becomes not just a tool, but an extension of your creativity, allowing you to capture moments in ways previously unimaginable. In this post, I’m thrilled to unveil the ensemble of camera gear that accompanies me on my photographic adventures.

Nikon D80 DSLR:

Let’s begin with where it all started – the Nikon D80 DSLR. This venerable camera marked my initiation into the world of digital photography 16 years ago. With its 18mm to 135mm zoom lens, the D80 offers versatility, allowing me to capture a wide range of subjects with ease. From sweeping landscapes to intimate portraits, this trusty companion has been by my side through countless photographic expeditions, capturing memories with precision and clarity. I am including a link to a YouTube video by BoostLeekd Media that is very informative.

5 Reasons WHY the NIKON D80 is still a great camera in 2023!

GoPro Hero12 Black:

Enter the GoPro Hero12 Black – a powerhouse of action-packed photography. As a recent addition to my gear collection, the Hero12 has revolutionized the way I capture dynamic moments. As a senior citizen I no longer go mountain biking  or scuba diving but its compact size and rugged design make it the perfect companion for adrenaline-fueled adventures, from mountain biking escapades to underwater explorations. With stunning 4K video capabilities and advanced image stabilization, the Hero12 ensures that every thrill-seeking moment is immortalized in stunning detail.

Here's a YouTube video by Jordan Hetrick that is good starting spot for using the GoPro Hero12 Black.

GoPro HERO 12 BLACK | Beginner's Guide & BEST Settings

DJI Mini 3 Drone:

Taking my photography to new heights – quite literally – is the DJI Mini 3 Drone. This nimble aerial marvel provides a bird’s-eye perspective unlike any other. Whether soaring above majestic landscapes or weaving through urban skylines, the Mini 3 unlocks a realm of creative possibilities. Its intuitive controls and impressive stability make capturing breathtaking aerial shots a breeze, adding a whole new dimension to my photographic repertoire.

Here's a great video from the DJI website-

Meet the DJI Mini 3

iPhone 15 Pro:

Last but certainly not least, we have the iPhone 15 Pro – a pocket-sized powerhouse that is redefining the boundaries of mobile photography. With its advanced camera system and innovative Night mode capabilities, the iPhone 15 Pro has quickly risen to prominence as my go-to device for capturing stunning photographs, especially in low-light conditions. From spontaneous street scenes to captivating cityscapes, this pocket-sized marvel delivers unparalleled image quality and versatility, ensuring that no moment goes uncaptured.

Here's a link to a great video by AppleInsider on using the camera on the iPhone 15 Pro

How to master the camera on the iPhone 15 Pro

In the ever-evolving landscape of photography, having the right gear can make all the difference in bringing your creative vision to life. From the enduring reliability of the Nikon D80 DSLR to the cutting-edge innovation of the iPhone 15 Pro, each piece of gear in my arsenal plays a unique role in shaping my photographic journey. As I continue to explore new horizons and push the boundaries of creativity, I’m grateful for the tools that accompany me on this exhilarating adventure, capturing moments both big and small with clarity, precision, and boundless imagination.

Transforming a stair landing into my office/studio I love old houses! My home was built in 1900 and has gone through several renovations ove...