Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Stars on Ice 2

Daughter Erin has an iPhone 5 that completely blows away the capabilities of my 4.  These are two of her better shots from Friday night:

Monday, April 28, 2014

Stars on Ice

Daughter Erin bought us floor seating tickets for the Stars on Ice show at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh on April 25.

Here are a couple of crappy shots taken with my old iPhone 4.

I'm really terrible at remembering names. My best guess is based on these biographic shots from the Stars on Ice home page.  I'm guessing that these are Josh Farris and Allisa Czisny.  Apologies if they're not.

I can't even hazard a guess as to the guy in this shot.  His face is blurred because I caught him in the middle of a jump.  Cool shot, though.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Beauty and the Beast

Just this morning I was reviewing some of my "second string" shots from my Easter Sunday wildflower walk.  This picture of Spring Beauties (Claytonia caroliniana) caught my notice because the focus was particularly nice.

Then I zoomed in and noticed all of these little photo-bombing ants crawling around many of the blooms.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Flowers on the Rail Trail

I have yet to break out the bicycle this year.  Instead, I took advantage of a nice, seventy degree day to walk the rail trail up from Little Falls.

The right bank of the road going down to Little Falls always has clumps of Bluets (Houstonia caerulea).

This is a good year for them.

Once at the rail trail, I strapped a tripod on my back and grabbed my macro lens and ring flash.

The first flowers that I saw were Spring Beauties (Claytonia virginica), which were everywhere.  Here's an interesting shot of some poking through the leaves.  Unfortunately you can't see their foliage here, but you do get a relatively rare double-bloom.

Near an old coal mine portal, the hillside was full of Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria).

These look like they're being hung out to dry.

While looking unsuccessfully for Jack-in-the-pulpits, I did find some nice Trilliums.  Here's a close-up of the Red Wake-Robin (Trillium erectum):

There was also a more common White Trillium.  At first, I thought that they may be the white variety of the Trillium erectum, but I read that they are supposed to have dark purple gynoecium. I guess that makes this one a Great White (Trillium grandiflorum):

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I'm Melting!

Was following the steps on a PhotoShop tutorial at work this morning when both monitors suddenly went blank on me.  It was finally determined that my AMD Radeon HD 6450 graphics card had failed.  A visual inspection confirms this:

We weren't quite sure if this saddle shape on the heat sink is normal, but a quick peek at a co-workers machine confirmed that this sucker is supposed to be straight across.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Rock / Paper

Still not giving up on texture blend.  This is a Plymouth Rock over paper.

Rock beats scissors?

Oh, Ruby (Don't take your love to town)

Today's weather is cloudy with a chance of evening thundershowers.  This is also the time of year when the tree blossoms are peaking down along the waterfront at Hazel Ruby McQuain Park.  I stopped off on my way to work this morning and took a few shots with the Lensbaby Composer.  Despite it being a "golden hour," the colors were pretty muted.

Not leaving well enough along, I took the picture home, where I could post-process with Nik's Color Efex Pro, making it a little warmer.  Since I could add a little blue to the pasty sky, I recropped and provided more of the original image.  


Link to today's eponymous title.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Have you seen the Saucers?

Saucer Magnolias have started to bloom around town.  I had to stand on a steep bank and battle gusting winds to get this shot:

The sex organs on the flower remind me or either anemones or deep sea tube worms.

The title of this posting owes a tip o' the hat to this eponymous Jefferson Airplane tune.

Friday, April 11, 2014


Tried my hand at another textureblend photograph.  I had a large, crisp closeup shot of a stone face (mascaron) that appears to the left of the entryway to Stewart Hall.

It's this face, anyway, but a different angle.

The mascaron provided the texture for a seascape that I shot a couple of years ago, down in Venice, Florida.  Flipped the face horizontally to give the appearance of a mythical wind god, blowing into the sail.

Granted, this is not a great picture, but I'm disappointed with the lack of notice that it received in the #textureblendphotography group in Google+.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Good Morning, Mr. Sunshine

Here's a hold-over from the previous Backyard April Flowers posting. 

The title, Good Morning, Mr. Sunshine, (SLYT) comes from the Bee Gees song "Lonely Days."

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Backyard April Flowers

Today was the first decent weather day in quite some time.  I managed to get a few macro shots out of the back yard.

Above is a Hellebore cultivar called Spotted Lady, a 2005 perennial of the year. 

This next shot is a focus stack of a tulip bloom that I produced manually in Photoshop CS6, using smart objects and layer masks.  This is the first time that I recall using Photoshop's Large Document Format to save the original work.

This is a heavily processed shot, coming from three stacked camera raw shots.  For added measure, I ran it through HDR Efex 2.

Both shots should be expanded to full-screen in order to be appreciated.