Tuesday, November 25, 2014

vets' pets

Special circumstances preclude my ability to participate in this week's Header Competition. Instead, how about we look at how I've been keeping busy and (supposedly) staying out of trouble?

Back in June, I was given the opportunity to take portraits at a veterinary clinic. The job was to shoot staff and their pets. Here is how that turned out:

The owner has a few more clinics and asked me to do the same for another location. Cool! Now, I have absolutely no desire to depend on full-time photography to pay the bills. It is a wonderful hobby, but less than wonderful as a business. Still, this kind of assignment is a fun diversion from my regular day-to-day responsibilities.

For the 2nd clinic, I tried to use as little flash as possible. Instead, I borrowed a constant light from a friend who shoots videos. I like using flash, but it makes some animals jumpy. Not only that, but when shooting animals, it helps to hold the shutter down on continuous mode because they're so unpredictable.

 I think what makes pets special is the positive impact they have on the people who take care of them.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014



November 19, 2014

This week's challenge selection is waves by Mac.  Check out my pals for their interpretations on this theme: Fishing Guy, Katney, Imac, Lew, and Christine Anne.

Waves. That is a tall order for a landlocked Bolingbrook resident. Especially since I have rarely been to either coast to see a proper wave. Lake Michigan produced some fantastic waves last week, but everyone who was smart had the good sense to keep away from the exponential congestion that happened as a result of the weather. The best views came from highrise residents who safely looked below to see the waves crash past the beaches and cover Lake Shore Drive.

This was so challenging, that I was forced to think outside the box and may have fried a few brain cells in the process. That is unfortunate, because I am already barely causing a splash when it comes to brain waves.

Anyhoo, for today's header, we modified a sign from a residential community. The sandblasted sign at the entrance of Creekside Apartments has been absconded because of its waves, and transformed to be my header for a week... maybe two.

This is what our water usually looks like in Bolingbrook.

And this... no waves. Except perhaps amber waves of grain.

How about the illusion of a shock wave?

Hello, Mr. Mayor! Ladies and gents, the mayor of this fine town!

And these happy people... court jesters? Either way, they're making waves.

These colors don't run, but they'll wave.

Flag wavers in action!

Waves of tulle. A bridal puppy? How very strange!

This hair is magnificent. That's her natural color, as is the wave.

A wave of madness overcame me as I tried to escape the (August) heat wave.

Sometimes I manipulate sound waves.

I added water to these swashes because they look like waves.

How about an underwater look for the current that produces waves?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

cell phone pics

cell phone pics

November 12, 2014

This week's challenge selection is cell phone pics. It was my choice.  Check out my pals for their interpretations on this theme: Fishing Guy, Katney, Imac, Lew, and Christine Anne.

This week's idea came as a result of hearing that the photographer's mind is more important than any of his or her photographic equipment. That is to say, it is not a piece of technology or expensive glass that makes a good photo, but quality can be attributed to the photographer's own eye. That in mind, I proposed that we take pictures with the cameras on our mobile phones this week as an alternative to the pics from our favorite cameras.

My cell phone is the LG Rumor Reflex. Here is how PC Mag.Com describes this phone's camera:

"The 2-megapixel camera lacks auto-focus or a flash. Shutter speeds were fine, at 0.5 second, but test pictures were poor. Photos look soft and hazy, and colors are dull." And,"You can transfer photos and video via Bluetooth or microSD card, but they really aren't worth the effort."

This project was more difficult for me than I expected. The cell phone camera's limitations forced me to think harder about each picture. I did not do more cropping or post-editing than usual. This week's header is a silhouetted selfie--a reflection from tinted glass.

sunset reflected off a black pickup truck

crayons on canvas - original art by Melissa Swierenga

desktop still life - the cigarrette holder was printed off the web (I don't smoke)

I decorated a friend's beanbag with cardboard cutouts for Cookie Monster's eyes and smile

3-d art in my library

more 3-d art in my library

hanging globe lights on the 3rd floor of... my library

same pic, but I added a bokeh effect

Addendum: Pardon the misrepresentation. When I speak of "my" library, I mean of course the Bolingbrook Public Library.