This year I joined a group of photographers for a photowalk in downtown Houston on Christmas day. It was quite the experience. We were able to take middle-of-the-road shots on what would normally be very busy downtown streets, shoot from the top of several buildings, and photograph some famous Houston landmarks.
It was great to get my camera out and take photos just for fun. Here are some of my fave captures from this photowalk:
This weekend I visited the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern. It’s basically an underground cavern completely surrounded by cement. Staggered columns support the roof and provide a really interesting pattern of light and dark for taking photographs.
Yesterday I took my husband and my two dogs to the dog park. My intention was to recreate a photo I had seen of a dog racing through an open gate. The caption on that photo read “Live like someone left the gate open!” I thought this was a fantastic idea. So I had Bob hold the dogs back at the gate to the dog park and then release them on my say so. The photos we got were hilarious. They turned out so well I wanted to share them here.
Last weekend my husband and I attended a Photo Day at the Zoo. The idea was to allow photographers the chance to take photos early before the crowds. The trainers came out and fed the animals while we ran around and took pictures. They told us funny stories about the animals and tried to help lure them to where we could take better photos of them.
This year the dog show did not disappoint, how could it? Between Meet the Breeds, all the vendors, the show ring area, Fly Ball, the Barn Hunt and the dance ring there was so much to see. We decided to go on Friday this year. We had been going on Saturday when there were more people and different activities.
This is photo challenge #2 on my New Years list. This challenge I expected to be more of a practical effect but what I found was, unless you want to invest a lot of time into building miniatures, this is going to require some Photoshop skills.
What I found interesting were the issues I had with depth of field. I ended up taking two shots of each “picture.” One where the foreground was in focus (Deadpool) and one where my background was in focus. For example, you can see where the images below could work with a little trickery. If I’d had something on the same scale as my model for him to stand on or partially behind and some fishing line I might have had something.
This past weekend I was responsible for photographing a Texas Best competition. My husband, as a member of TASBT, was asked to judge the competition . While this didn’t fit into any of my predefined New Years Challenges, I did manage to find a few set-ups that work for Challenge #3 which was framing.
To me, framing is a very important element of photography. The use of it, or even the absence of it, can really affect the way a person views a photograph. My favorite technique is to use hanging tree limbs, or a gap in the shrubs, or even tall grass to soften and darken the edges of an image. The darker colors provide a nice contrast to the lighter subject matter. It also gives the image a slightly surreal feeling like you are are spying on your subject. My favorite images have always been candid images where the subject appear unaware the are being photographed.
This year the Rodeo did not disappoint. They had a little of everything from the absurd to the exquisite. We ate barbeque from Goode’s, visited the petting zoo and the birthing center (where we saw two baby lambs that were just born today), shopped, then watched the sheep dog herding trials.
My favorite thing at the rodeo is to people watch. We saw families buying tiny cowboy boots for their kids, foreigners gawking at everything, vendors in period costumes, 4H kids and their animals, highschool kids involved in engineering project related to AG, a watercolor artist creating a new work live, people wearing steam punk couture, and on and on.
This week I decided to attempt to recreate a photo from one of my favorite photographers Carli Davidson. She did an entire series of pet portraits, which is now available as a calendar and a book, that I adore. You can see more on her website:
The challenge was simple enough, capture a split second still of a dog mid-shake. The execution was a tad more complex. To start I didn’t want to shoot this inside because I was expecting to make a mess. Thankfully even though it’s still February in Texas the weather has been fantastic.
I haven’t been keeping up with my blogging lately because I have been feeling well. For those of you who don’t know I suffer from fibromyalgia and migraines. A fibro flare up or a migraine trigger for me can cause me to be sluggish and hurt all over for days. Mentally I feel lost in a fog. Even small things like having a conversation on the phone or walking the dogs takes herculean effort.
I have this recurring dream especially when my symptoms are bad that I am trying to climb out of a muddy hole in the rain. I push forward with all I have on hands and knees but no matter how hard I try I keep sliding back into that hole. To me that’s how it feels when I am in the middle of a flare up.