Tuesday, July 28, 2015

East Mountain Sunrise
A couple of mornings ago, as we were waking up, Jeff commented that the sunrise looked like it would be a good one.  So, I crawled out of bed, grabbed my camera, put on some slippers and went out on our back patio to see what there was to see.  Take a look!
Morning Glow
The sun’s rays were great as they played across the clouds in the sky.  I love the contrast between the warm sunrise colors and the cool blues and purples of the night.
Peeking Sunrise
The sun hadn’t yet peeked up over the horizon when I got this shot.  I was standing at the very edge of our patio and included part of a lovely bushy tall shrub that we have growing there.  I thought it added a nice balance to the wide open sky and clouds.
Dead Calm
It seems that often, right around sunrise, the air gets completely calm and peaceful.  You can see that’s what happened on this morning – the airport’s wind sock is hanging limp!  Again, I included that bushy shrub as a bit of balance for the image.

Monsoon Sunset
Last evening, there was a lovely sky that only seems to occur during the summer monsoon season here in New Mexico.  The sky puts on its own magical show –
Patches and Jazz Approaching
Patches and Jazz, our friends’ horses, were more interested in me wandering around off our back patio that the lovely sunset show going on behind them.  The sun’s rays are outlining the Sandia Mountains in the distance very dramatically.
Evening Glow
Well, the curiosity about me wandering out back is clearly over for Patches and Jazz!  They are once again back to grazing in their corral, still oblivious to the wonderful evening show going on behind them.
Evening Sky
Here I’ve pulled back a bit to give you a better view of the great sky we had last evening.  You can still see the Sandia Mountains on the left side of the image, but now you can also see “our” mountain, South Mountain, on the right.  South Mountain is part of the San Pedro Mountains just a bit north and east of the Sandia’s.
Storm over the Mountain
And, finally, here’s a view of someone getting a sunset rain storm.  The rain is happening over the Sangre de Christo Mountains almost directly north of us.  You can still see a bit of the San Pedro Mountains off to the left, and Lone Mountain between the San Pedro’s and Sangre de Christo Mountains.  Lovely evening show!

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Secret Garden – Ethereal Beauties
And, finally, I thought I’d share some images that turned out to be sort of ethereal in nature after I processed them.  I really like each and every one of these quite a lot.
Delicate Purple Bloom
It almost seems like you can see thru the petals of this flower, altho truly you cannot.  The soft focus on the leaves in the background really allows this image to pop.
Dreamy Waterlilies
 I tried a special effect on this image – a dreamy effect (that’s what it was called!).  This did give the image a dream-like quality.
Soft Columbine
Again, the soft focus of the greenery behind this bloom gives the image a sort of other-worldly feel to this.  Each one of these images makes me feel like I’m having a wonderful day dream.
The Secret Garden – Other Blooms
This garden was incredible – so many different flowers and plants to see while wandering the paths.  You’ve seen orange and yellow, so now let’s check out some other colors!
Pink Rose
I have to admit, after visiting the garden and seeing how well they got roses to grow, I bought home a plant to see if, finally, we could get roses to grow.  Jeff & I had no luck in IL!  I’m cautiously optimistic – at the time I’m writing this, it’s been a couple of weeks, and the rose bush we planted is doing well, and even has a new branch shooting up from the ground!!
Ok, so this is not a flower or bloom, but it is a very cool plant!  I love the detail in this image.
White Bloom
I have tried taking images of this tree bloom without much luck.  This image comes the closest (so far) to being something that I really sort of like.  That is, until I take a better one!
Purple Wildflowers
Now, I doubt that any flower in this garden is a true “wildflower”, meaning growing without being sown and tended to in some way.  But, these purple beauties remind me of wildflowers and I really like them!

The Secret Garden – Orange Blooms
In addition to the beautiful yellow blooms, some that fell into the orange-ish category are pretty impressive, too!
Orange Daisy
I think part of why I like this image is the contrast between the cool green of the leaves and the warm burst of color of this bloom!
Field of Gold
I got down on one knee so I could be at more of an eye level of these beauties.  I just love fields of flowers all in bloom.  Now, truth be told, this was a rather small, almost tiny, field, but you get the idea!
Orange and Red Daylilies
One of the things that make summer so wonderful are the daylilies.  I loved them when I lived in the Midwest, and they thrive here as well.  Such happy flowers!

The Secret Garden – Yellow Blooms
As we wandered around the garden, there were several different types of blooms in varying shades of yellow – take a look!
This flower looks like it belongs in the daisy family – I’ve tried looking it up and it doesn’t say it is.  A more common name for this flower is the “blanket flower”.  It’s such a bright, happy flower and always seems to be saying “Hey, look at me!”.
Lacy Day Lilies
This bloom is as muted and pale as the Gaillardia is bright and loud.  I’m calling this a day lily, but I’m not really certain about that.  I especially like the sort of lacy effect of the edge of the petals
Day Lily
Here’s a more traditional day lily – and I love how it’s situated in a lush green setting.
This bloom sort of looks like a columbine, altho all of mine are finished blooming!  I love the crisp look of this bloom.
The Secret Garden – At the Pond
At the local nursery, there is an oasis that I think of as “the secret garden”.  It is as lush as the rest of New Mexico tends to be very dusty and dry.  One morning, a friend and I took our cameras and explored this lovely place – the next few blog postings will show you how wonderful it is!
At the Pond
This is the pond that, to me, is the heart of this garden.  The morning we were there, we met a woman who said that she comes there almost every morning to sit and meditate.  I don’t meditate, but this seems like it would be a lovely place to do that.
Translucent Pink
I like this image for a few different reasons.  First, the lighting is so wonderful, sort of glowing thru the petals.  And, if you look closely, you can see a reflection of this bloom in a bit of the water of the pond.
Yellow Blooms
The yellow water lilies were not to be outdone by those that are pink, either!  This pond is truly a magical place, full of calm and peace.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Morning Walk
One of the last mornings that we were in Seattle, we took one of Jeff’s sister’s dogs for a walk down a dirt road just a bit from his sister’s home.  Hopefully, these images will reflect the lovely peace and quiet we felt while walking Lizbeth, a sweetheart of a pup that just happens to be a pit bull.
Morning Walk
This was the road that we walked down.  I love the shading of the trees, with the dappled sunlight filtering thru the trees.  Can’t you just smell the fresh air?
Country Road
I love the look of this fence/gate?  I’m not sure what it was supposed to be, because this is all there is to it!  Still, it makes for a nice image against the trees with a dirt road or driveway alongside it.
In the Woods
I always like to take photos of trees in the woods, and this one just seemed to work best as a black and white image.  I like the contrast in it.  It creates a feeling of depth.
In the Trees
For this image, I left it in color so as to enjoy the green, white and blue colors of Nature.
Green Leaves
This image just seems to sum up what I think of when I think of the Pacific Northwest – beautiful, deep green.  I love the lushness of the leaves and how plump they look with the veins running thru them, creating texture.

The Old Rusty Truck
When we’re in the Seattle area, very close to Jeff’s sister’s house, there sits this old rusty milk truck.  I know, to many it seems an eyesore – but, to me, it’s one of my favorite things to photograph!  This time, I photographed it, bracketing images and then working with my HDR (High Dynamic Range) software.  Oh, and for those of you who may not know what I mean when I use the term “bracketing”, that means I take one image with the “correct” exposure, and then take 2 more, one underexposed and the other overexposed.  When I process them, I combine all 3 shots into 1 image.  It allows me to capture more detail in the full range of the photo – from really bright to really dark.  It’s very cool and not nearly as difficult as it sounds, if you’ve the right equipment!  Anyway, let’s take a look at my rusty model!
The colors of this truck weren’t someone’s attempt to be creative – it’s just the effect of the Pacific Northwest weather on the metal of this truck.  And, the texture is provided compliments of the moss now living on the truck!
Delivery is Late
And, that delivery will continue to be very late!  You can really see the moss in this image.  I also really like the look of the old headlights, even with the broken glass!
Old Truck
Here’s a view of the truck from the rear.  It’s not quite as interesting and doesn’t show off the character of the truck as much as the view from the front.  However, I like it because there’s a sense of whimsical mystery here – why the electrical cord going into the back of the truck?  I didn’t go up and check it out.  Perhaps I was afraid of what I would see inside!  Maybe next trip I will!

Hibiscus Stars
I know I included a hibiscus image in another posting, but these two were just so pretty, I decided to devote a short posting to them! Again, this was while we were in Seattle, and I took these just after a rain shower (wow – how unusual for Seattle, right? LOL!).  I love the rain drops that cling to the petals.
It’s as if the rain washed off any dust that may have been on things, so that what we’re left with is the most brilliant color that I could image!
After the Rain
Every so often, I am lucky enough to capture an image that takes my breath away. This is one of those images.  And, I feel like I can’t take any credit for it – it’s Nature at its finest.
Red Blooms on the Deck
There weren’t only yellow blooms on Nancy’s (Jeff's sister) deck – she has some lovely red roses on her deck as well!  Take a look at these beauties!
Single Bud
I love the simplicity of a single rose bloom and was lucky enough to capture it in this image.  You can sort of see a blurred image of another flower growing off the deck along the wall running next to the deck.  But, the star of this image is the beautifully perfect red bud.
Two Buds
Here’s a lovely flower portrait of a red rose just starting to bloom and the companion bud next to it.  I think both of them are equally beautiful – what is and what will be.
Close Up
By photographing this in a bracketed fashion and processing it with my HDR (High Dynamic Range) software, you can really see the depth of color and texture that this bloom has to offer.  It’s almost past its prime, but there’s a different sort of beauty in that.
Yellow Blooms on the Deck
While visiting Jeff’s sister and brother-in-law in the Seattle area, I played around with the auto bracketing feature on my camera and combined that with my HDR (High Dynamic Range) software to create some images that are more like what we actually see with our eyes, or can see if we slow down enough to really look.  That’s one of the things I love most about photography – it forces me to slow down and really see. All these blooms are of blowers that Jeff’s sister grows on the deck off the back of her house.  Take a look ~
Nancy’s Rose
I really like this image, even tho it’s not perfect.  The breeze was blowing ever so slightly, and so when the software combined my bracketed images, a sort of shadow effect was inadvertently created.  It makes it look almost dreamy.
Horizontal Rose
No breeze for this image!  I love the depth that’s created by combining images in the HDR software.  Don’t you feel like you could just bend down and smell the roses (literally)?  Watch out for the thorns, tho!
Rose Profile
This lovely profile image is of a rose just starting to bloom.  It will soon be joined by a few others, in bud or in earlier stages of blooming.  For whatever reason, this image just makes me feel calm and peaceful.
Doesn't this image just seem like it’s reaching off the screen at you?  I get sort of mesmerized when I look at this image for a while.

Pima Air & Space Museum – Cool Views of Planes
As we wandered around the Pima Air & Space Museum, I managed to capture some cool views of the war planes on display there – even some not from the US!
From the Outside In
It was really interesting to be able to capture this image of a plane – it’s not often that one can stand outside and in front of the cockpit window!
Interesting Plane Window
This is the same plane as above, just a more pulled back view.  I thought it was really cool how the cockpit is actually below the nose of the plane.  I don’t know the reason for this, but it makes for a cool looking plane!  (You’ll get a better view of the rooster plane art in another post.)
Royal Air Force 06
As we walked out on the outside lot of the museum, I was able to get this cool view of the underside of the wing (and remaining fuselage) of a British war bird.  I love the perspective of this shot.
Comin’ At Me
I like this image because it’s not often that you can get the feeling of what it would be like to have a plane bearing down on you, without the danger!

Pima Air & Space Museum – Total Plane Art
Some creative folks took plane art to an entirely new level, and their efforts can be seen at the Pima Air & Space Museum.  Take a look at some crazy creativity!
Wild Plane Art
This plane is very lighthearted and bright, altho the face of the plane (and the engine visible in this shot) seems almost menacing, don’t they?
B&W Plane Art
This plane is really cool – very graphic and stark….with a bright splash of color on the wingtip!
Death Mask Plane Art
If we were in New Mexico, I’d say the artists were honoring the celebration of the Day of the Dead….but we weren’t!  This plane was found in the far back of the museum lot, behind some buildings.  Notice the landing gear is gone – I guess it really is on its last legs!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Pima Air & Space Museum – Plane Art
One of the things that I found really cool is the art work on the noses of the old war planes – take a look!

Boxing Rooster
I always get a kick out of the different types of art one can see.  A boxing rooster?  I’d like to know what the inspiration for this was, wouldn’t you?

Little Grasshopper
Actually, I thought this looked more like Jiminy Cricket from Walt Disney, but then…..where did he get it from?

Torpedo Bomber
This is more along the lines of what I think of as more typical plane art – pin-up girls or girls that reminded the men of the women they left behind.  Stay tuned for some total plane art!