Saturday, April 19, 2014


Joining today with Saturdays critters, and a little update.
 I FINALLY GOT TO COME HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL!!!  after my little 7 day stint there.  Was thinking how lucky i am in that in my whole life, that is more days than I have been a patient cumulatively.  How fortunate I have been.  anyway, right now, I am totally lapping up the abundance of home, windows to look out on, colors, flowerrs, and the pleasure of being home  in my own bed.  I am also so grateful for all of the new lessons I have learned or been reminded of for the patients that I see in my practice, and will give me even better planning skills and compassion and empathy for their situations.   Am so so so grateful for all of the innumerable blessings of my life, and love all of you for your concern and support.   All of the messages made my hospital stay so much easier.   Hope that all of you have a blessed and meaningful Easter weekend.
 Saturday's Critters

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Gifts of love!

Great movie to watch during long hospital night compliments of my daughter! Thank you heather!

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Stopping by to join in with Five Random thoughts for Friday.  This photo above shows about how I feel today. after I came home from Charleston, I got sick and now have pneumonia. This evening, I am beginning to feel as if I may live, but it has been touch and go for a few days.  Definitely not what I had planned for this week, but live can throw us some curved balls at times.
2) While I was in Charleston, one of the things I tried to do was capture a few photos looking through things, and since there was so much metal work and art around, It was the perfect place to take some shots through the metal grill work.  It is fun to see what you can get doing this and these are a few examples.   I used a rather shallow depth of field ( A lower number F stop ( or aperture setting ) for this as I really did not want the metal work in very good focus. I wanted it to be more of a blurred framing.  The metal artwork all over Charleston was just amazing, and all had the real patina of age on it.  Every little garden and alleyway had its own special look

3)  I also loved all of the cute gates everywhere in this city.  In addition to garden gates, there were also alot of very elegant looking "garage gates" or perhaps they were carriage gates in earlier times. Each one was very unique and made out of amazing woods like mahogany.  Looked like the people polished them every day.  I thought this was a  very FRENCH effect as I remember seeing many of these beautiful gates in Paris

4)  I HAD fun trying out a few LENSBABY shots while I was there, although I did not get  the chances I had hoped to get, plan to keep working on  this. Still having some troubles getting that sweet spot in the right place.  Oh well, Practice makes Perfect... at least that is what my mother told me

5)  I had alot of fun looking at all the swampland at the Magnolia Plantation.  It was everywhere , interspersed in the beautiful grounds.  Here, I happened to see this beautiful little green heron.  He sat so patiently waiting for some food to come by. All of a sudden, he reached down and grabbed a little frog which he immediately swallowed.  I thought I was doing good to just see the heron.... and sorry to say, that although I saw him eat the frog..... my camera did not see it.  So that is my random stuff for this Friday, and hoping that I am feeling much better this time next week.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Another   fun shoot that we did after our photography class came to an end with a couple who had been in our class was to go before sunset to the RAVENEL bridge in Charleston. This is really quite a  spectacular looking bridge and is nearly 3 miles long.  Anyway, we were not exactly sure where to go to get a really good view of this, but heard there was a park down at the end of the bridge and headed that way.  We were told that we could wade out in to the marsh area alongside it for a more broad view.... however, after perusing the alligators at t he audobon swamp, and then looking down the hillside at a grassy swampy area, I opted to stay right up on the grassy field in the park and maybe not get such a great view.  Anyway, just a little review of what I did. Again, this was set up on totally manual mode on my tripod.  In this case, I increased the ISO to 400.   If it was at a higher number, it would let in more light, but I also really wanted to capture the depth of colors, and I think that this was best done at a slightly lower ISO, as opposed to 1000  or 1600.   I then knew that I wanted clarity throughout the entire bridge  so controlled that by setting a high F stop number on my camera.  In t his case, the F stop was at 22.    Remember that the higher numbers get clarity throughout your photo, and the lower numbers only have small points of focus.     Both of these settings limit the lighting available, so the way that I had left  to control the amount of light was the shutter speed.... and here, came in  the need for t he tripod.    
I took about a hundred shots of this over about a 30 minute time period, and during that time, I did do several changes, but these were mostly at the ISO and F stop  that I mentioned. The shutter speed though really was changed frequently.  As the lighting came on on the bridge, I really wanted to capture it , and to do that ,  the shutter speed got  longer  and longer.

IN these last  three shots, the top one was at about 7 seconds for shutter speed, t hen went up to about 11 seconds, and the final photo was at 15 seconds.  So you can see t hat the longer you leave  the shutter speed open, the more light is allowed to be seen in your photo .   Fun stuff to try out , and if you have not tried the manual mode.... try it out, and the more you try, the less it will seem like some foreign language.    Shooting in the manual mode gives you much more artistic license that you would be able t o get with automatic.  The most fun part of this is that if you make an error, and you certainly will, all you have to do is hit the DELETE BUTTON.  How much fun is that.   Will show you some other photos of this bridge in  the daytime on another day. One that is taken on a harbor cruise and really shows more of the shape of this awesome bridge.  


 ON  the last day of our Photo Class in Charleston, our goal was to head off to the beach before sunrise and take some shots of the sun coming up on another day. YIPEE, there was no rain on this morning, as opposed to rain on the other days of our group meetings. Thank good ness for all of those apps on the phones, and because of this we were able to know, very easily, what time sunrise actually was.  What did we ever do without these amazing phones????  Even with this information though, I felt that we did not quite arrive as early as i would have liked.  This necessitated my running down the beach, at the age of 66 with a fully loaded back pack, my camera with my biiggest lens, and carrying a pretty heavy tripod in addition to that .  When I am shooting sunrise, I really like to arrive in the dark, at least 30 minutes before the sun is coming up.  That  gives me plenty of time to get set up in an unhurried manner.ANYWAY..... This sunrise was lovely, and I did manage to get all of my stuff set up in spite of the short run.  I did want to say a few things about how I "shot " this for any of you who want to try this out.  I did do these photos in fully MANUAL MODE, as this is  the best mode to use for a shoot like this.  I always shoot in manual  though, but wanted to mention a couple of settings.   I did use a high ISO for these shots.... the higher t he ISO number, the more light  the camera will allow in  to light up your photo. I used a 2500 ISO setting on this as I also wanted to be able to get the highest shutterspeed possible, so as to avoid blur.
So now that I had chosen which ISO I wanted, my next quest ion to myself was what sort of depth of field I might want.  IN a landscape photo like this is, I wanted both the background and the foreground to be in focus, so  I chose a high number F stop.  Remember that the higher the number for the F st op, the more depth you will get to your photo.   You also have to remember though that when the number goes up on the F stop.... the amount of light that you get lessens.

So your ISO... which in this case was a high number..... and lets in more light ..... and this is offset by also using a high number on the F Stop.... and the higher this number... the less light
That is where that  tripod comes in... when your camera is sitting quietly up on this tripod.... you can also set a lower shutter speed.... and this lets in more light so you don't end up with a black screen. Is that as clear as mud??? Lost any of you yet.???   This stuff can sound so complicated, but once you try it out , and practice practice practice..... it becomes second nature.  And using your possible set tings gives you so much opportunity for shooting at times that you might not have been able to shoot at with out  this manual mode and the tripod.

Now at a Scott Kelby photo class that I went to awhile ago, Scott said t hat when you are shooting sunrise, after the sun comes up.... you soon begin to hear  the call of the  WILD PANCAKE.... In other words, the shoot is over, the best llighting is gone, and that is so true. As soon as the sun came up and I had photographed that, I began looking around for something else of interest, and WOW, there were a couple of these cute SLIDER birds right off t o my side.

Also, love the early sun beams lighting up these waves breaking.  Nothing better than the ocean in my opinion. Love that sound and the looks of the spray.

Wondered what things looked like from the base of t his big pier......see the pretty sunlight????

And, as you can see, I am now heading back in the direction  from which I  start ed..... the call of  T HE WILD PANCAKE is winning out.   So  this is FOLLY BEACH at sunrise, and now off to the LOST DOG for some great food, and also to get warmed up.   Very chilly morning, and especially  for those of us with wet feet .