Saturday, January 29, 2011

"Don't go chasing waterfalls" unless you're in shape.

Pedernales Falls.....

Was on a quest today to test out my photography skills and a slower shutter speed on my new camera. Let's just say I definitely had to work for these shots. I wish now I would have taken pictures of the actual boulders I had to climb over to get to these different areas with the pools. Stairmaster is nothing compared to this workout!!!!

I took 3 shots of each of these scenes at 3 exposures and combined in Photomatix Pro. I'm very new to HDR and just learning the ins and outs of it, so you are seeing my skills at a beginners level. With the Nikon D7000 I can set up my auto bracket to take these shots in a series of three. My skills haven't gone beyond that....

This pool was absolutely beautiful. The water is so clear you can see the formations below the surface...a return trip is in the works!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Urban Murals....

So today was the day I decided I was going to venture out and find a new area of San Antonio that I had not seen before. Most of us tend to get so comfortable with our surroundings that we never really move out of our comfort zones to discover new things. Well today I decided to venture out and discover a new path.....

I have passed up the Pearl Brewery ( a historical Texas landmark) on many occasions with the intention of stopping by and checking out the area. The open air Farmers Market was just packing up and people dispersing but I was trying to find the portion of the Riverwalk that was not congested with tourists. That was my main goal today but on my journey I came across this restaurant called, La Gloria Ice House with a beautiful mural painted across the side of the building. The vibrant colors caught my attention and I knew I had to photograph it. I did some research on the urban murals here in San Antonio and came across many that are scattered across the city. Now I'm determined to find as many of these paintings as I can to photograph, but back to this particular mural...I found out the painter is Claudio Aguillon and the scene in the mural is of angels seated around a table with Mexican food representing the food that is served in the restaurant with the outer scenes depicting landmarks in San Antonio and Mexico. The banner reads, "No hace fasta morir para llegar a la Gloria" and according to the restaurant's website it loosely means "You don't have to die to go to heaven.".... "La Gloria: Meaning the heavens. Our wish is that you experience heaven on earth through dining with us." Art tells a story so instead of just walking past that painting in a museum or mural on a building try to find out what the artist is trying to tell us. I plan on returning one evening to photograph this Urban Mural in a different light....

Love it when I come across something new that surprises me...thru the lens.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Single Shot

Single Shot

Single Shot

3 Auto Bracket HDR

3 Auto Bracket HDR

3 Auto Bracket HDR

3 Auto Bracket HDR
It's a rare moment when you actually see clouds here in San Antonio. You usually look up to see clear blue skies or the total opposite of complete whiteness and no color what so ever. This morning was a pleasant surprise as I grabbed my cup of coffee, looked out the window and had a that wow moment. Clouds...lot's of clouds moving so quickly across the sky in such an intense interesting fashion that I had to take a picture... but where the heck was my camera?!?! As any photographer should know- whether they be amatuer or professional- you should always have your camera on the ready to start shooting....Like I said "you should" as I started racing up the stairs to unhook it from the computer and run back outside in my PJ's to get that shot before the clouds all disappear. The clouds were moving so quickly across the sky and in my frenzied state to get that perfect shot I completely forgot about all the camera settings (I'd been reading up on) and put the camera into Auto mode scared to death I was not going to get that perfect shot. I calmed down a tad and put my settings back into Manual mode not realizing I still had the auto bracket on...OY! So much for that last article I read about taking a deep breath, calming down, hold the camera steady and shoot...Somehow as I was trying to capture this perfect moment I got off some shots that were not too terrible. Once I realized I was in auto bracket I kind of just went with the moment and started shooting in three's. Now looking back at the shots I'm glad I ran out to capture the moment...the sky is back to that beautiful blue with some clouds but not like they were this's to capturing moments thru the lens!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Just another fountain pic for todays post. This was my first experiment shooting in RAW and a slower shutter speed. I also downloaded the trial version of Topaz adjust, a plug-in for Photoshop and was experimenting with the different effects it had on this shot. I usually prefer a natural looking photo but somehow when I saw this effect it just worked. When the weather warms up I plan on shooting this over again but with the whole fountain in the frame surrounded by the potted flowers that are usually there.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Well, here I go...My first HDR attempt and please excuse the watermark on my photo but I'm still in the trial version and have not purchased the HDR software yet. I'm a little disappointed that my picture is not very sharp but then again I didn't use a tripod and was really just trying to figure out how the auto bracketing worked on my camera. This was a rushed attempt and when I get a little more comfortable with all of my settings I will venture out into town and make a real effort at a fabulous shot!!! You are definitely seeing HDR at a beginners level!!! This will either be the beginning of a beautiful thing or not so much....we'll see. Either way I'm working out of my comfort zone and trying new things....

Friday, January 14, 2011

My first post and I'm still working on my blog layout but here goes....

I absolutely love scrapbooking and photography and am always looking for ideas on the web or others blogs to get my creative juices flowing, so I've decided to start posting my own little creations and maybe it will do the same for others. I started working on my daughters prom pages back in 2009 just as we were getting ready to move cross country. Needless to say that halted my progress until recently. New camera in hand and new computer and I'm soooo motivated to start photographing and scrapbooking again. I feel like a kid in a candy shop!!! My pages will not be created in any type of chronological order because I have so many pictures to catch up on and I usually scrap by my mood and which pictures are making me feel creative at any given moment....yeah that's how I roll! So, here are two pages that I've actually finished. I absolutely love how they came out. I used Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 to create the pages.