Tag Archives: reflections

The More Things Change . . . .

I call this photo “shadow selfie.”

I call this photo “shadow selfie” (snapped during my 12-mile run last Saturday).

The start of a new year means yet another blogiversary for me. I now have a whopping five years of random snippets and apertures under my too-large belt. I’ve written 1,307 posts and have never missed answering the blogging bell on Monday through Friday.

But that’s about to change.

As much as I really enjoy writing and oversharing photos, the time has come to move in a slightly different direction. Of course, it doesn’t help that my two main characters, aka my sons, Jake and C.J., are in college and aren’t giving me lots of new blogging material. And there are only so many sleep pics that I can snap of them when they are at home (they are so lazy!).

But I’ve also found that I need more time to work on projects (such as slurping this blog into books and finally catching up on the boys’ scrapbooks, where “catching up” means “actually starting them”; gotta love being 22 years behind!) and decluttering.

So I’ve decided to cut down my posting schedule to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I might occasionally chime in on a Tuesday and/or Thursday, but that will be the exception instead of my five-year rule. It’ll be interesting to assess after six months or so whether I’ve accomplished a lot or merely spent time watching lots of Jimmy Fallon on YouTube (C.J.’s current obsession).

One thing’s for sure . . . .

Still love those reflections!

Always love those reflections!

There still will be plenty of photos, especially of nature during my morning walks and jogs, posted here. That will stay the same.

Thanks for continuing to be part of my journey!

Dynamic Reflections

Our local park offers wonderful reflections.

After I finished my walk around my community last Saturday morning, I checked out a few pics I had clicked with my trusty trekking companion, my iPhone 4.

The park’s trees look great in and out of the water.

As I fancied them up a bit using the Camera+ app, I liked how they accurately showed what I had seen that morning. The reflections were simply beautiful.

But then I got curious about using a different Camera+ setting—HDR. High dynamic range imaging ramps up the contrast such that the colors and texture you see in real life aren’t accurately represented in your photo.

The HDR version of my favorite bridge and gazebo in our park.

Usually I don’t like how HDR pics look more like paintings than photos. They often seem too fake.

The HDRed trees really stand out!

But these I really like! Maybe reflections are just meant to be more dynamic.

Galleria Reflections

A metal arch hangs high above a street in Houston’s Galleria.

Last month when I took my life into my hands and drove from quiet suburbia (and my usual 10-mile radius) into Houston’s posh Galleria area, I couldn’t help but notice the large, metal arches that cross the busy streets.

What a great mirror effect!

It was a crystal-clear day, and I was glad I had my Nikon digital SLR along for the ride.

Do my hands look really big?

It was fun getting up close and personal with a reflective metal arch.

The arch reflects the flowers’ beauty.

The city planting gorgeous flowers nearby to be reflected in the shiny metal was fortunate indeed.

Flowers look reflectingly great.

It was nice seeing pretty blooms in a different way.

But one of my favorite reflections that I captured wasn’t viewed via the arch. Instead, I looked just past the metal monstrosity and noticed the sun being reflected off a steel streetlight.

A cool star effect without using a star filter

I was star-struck!

Nature Continues to Call

Perfectly reflected!

At the risk of turning this blog into Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, I’m going to share more photos of my egret pal. Mostly because I love the above photo that I snapped when the great white bird started to fly away from me yet again.

Yes, I am a slow learner.

Come back! I’m not trying to sell you insurance!!

Once I snapped the pix I shared yesterday of the egret soaring across the lake, I again drove to the other side to take more photos of him. But he wasn’t putting up with any of my nonsense, and he quickly skedaddled away.

Is that fall I spy reflected in the lake?

I really didn’t mind, though, because of what I saw reflected in the lake as he glided over it.

The egret looks for a nice spot to land in.

It was unmistakably autumn, the search for which had set about the events that caused me to blog all week about reflections and birds in the first place. How ironic!

The landing gear is down!

My feathered friend had given me so much in an hour of shooting: His beauty amid the changing fall colors.

The egret has landed.

Guess I’ll leave him alone and concentrate on other compelling subjects . . . for now.

The Third Time Is the Charm!

Reflections of fall . . . with a twist

And on the third day, I finally got my reflections of fall photo!

The timing, around 8 a.m. yesterday, was spot on, so much better than my attempts on Sunday and Monday.

Several colorful trees reflect on autumn.

Standing across the lake with the sun at my back, I reveled in the colorful, reflective fall scenery. How fortunate I felt being able to capture such beauty!

Then I took a good look at what was sitting on top of one of the trees. I added my Nikon 1.7x teleconverter to my Nikon 70-200mm lens so I could zoom in better.

An egret enjoys its colorful perch.

Bonus, baby!

Back to Nature

Tony putts his (white) disc through nature towards the basket.

Disc golfers have to commune with nature whether they like it or not . . . and more often than not, they don’t! Most courses are set in parks, which usually have lots of trees. During a round you’ll hear the not-so-pleasant thunking of plastic hitting bark too many times.

So it’s nice when a disc golf tournament moves away from the parks, as was the case for the Southwest Handicap Mini, which held its season finale at a course designed around the house of one of the players, Marcus (who, ironically, was ineligible to play officially). Some of the venue is wide open, but, as you can see from the above photo, nature still managed to get into the way.

An orange spider climbs one of its web strands.

Despite the ferocious mosquitoes, I delighted in that nature (armed with my Nikon 105mm lens) much more than the players did. For example, when Tony walked through a spider’s web (don’t you hate when that happens?), I strolled over to it and was pleased to see that the orange occupant was still hanging on by a thread.

Little white flowers dotted the grass.

Of course, there were some wildflowers here and there just begging to be photographed.

Little purple flowers add color to the green landscape.

Some, like these tiny purple flowers, I had never seen before.

Which way is up?

For two of the holes, the players had to throw across a pond. Look at the great reflection the surrounding trees made! Definitely my favorite hole.

At least the plant leaves seem like fall

Most of the scenery was very green, which is typical for fall in the Houston area. Fortunately, one of the nearby homeowners showcased these colorful plants in their front yard to break up the monotony.

Anyone home?

Just as I was wishing for a chance to shoot something besides plants, I spotted this large webbing in a tree. Who had done this dastardly deed?

“You rang?”

There’s the culprit nestled comfortably inside the webbing. That was a nice photographic change, but I still wanted to snap something more warm and cuddly. Unfortunately, my #2 son, who thinks I’m a disc golf jinx, wouldn’t let me take any pix of him. Were my maternal feelings doomed to go unused?

A cute dachshund smiles at me.


Reflecting on Non-Dragonfly Nature

A dismal photo of a dragonfly in the air

After I lucked out shooting those red and blue dragonflies at that old ball golf course with my Nikon 105mm macro, I decided I wanted another shot at them. But this time I would use my Nikon 70-200mm lens, so I could get up into their grinning grilles.

A few weeks ago, after I dropped off my #2 son to play disc golf with the Mister, I made the short drive over to that old golf course and got ready to have some fun. Unfortunately, not one single, solitary dragonfly was near that same lake. Although there were plenty of d-flies buzzing around close by, I only snagged one pathetic photo.

Kind of depressing. I had been looking so forward to snapping great pix; it was such a letdown.

An egret warily eyes me.

But then I did what every photographer does when his/her subject disappoints: Look around for something else to shoot.

The egret flies away and is about to land on the opposite side.

As usual, nature failed to let me down. I stayed around the small lake and took advantage of what was there instead of lamenting about what wasn’t.

A bright damselfly rests on a leaf shooting out of the lake.

Although there weren’t any dragonflies, several damselflies, a similar insect, perched on leaves. Small with long bodies, damselflies have a penchant for posing for short periods of time.

Reflective ripples paint a dreamy portrait.

As I began to lose my light, I was drawn to the lake itself. I love reflections. They have that dreamlike quality, looking so much like an impressionist painting.

Reflection or upside-down photo?

It’s hard to feel frustrated when there’s so much beauty all around . . . real and reflected!

Reflective Disc Golf

A disc golf basket is reflected in the lake.

Reflections are one of my favorite photographic subjects. I especially like how different things look when water is added into the mix.

Rob putts reflectively.

During last week’s handicap mini tournament, I immediately was drawn to a small lake that provided an interesting perspective to that same old blah blah blah disc golf photography.

Nicole and her watery twin putt.

As I was shooting across the water at the players putting, I was lamenting that I was using my trusty Nikon 105mm lens on my Nikon D700. True, it’s a versatile lens that comes in handy when there are possible macro photo ops, but my Nikon 70-200mm would’ve been a better choice given the distance from where I was standing to the basket. Live and learn!

Dale tees off across the lake.

The lake was nice enough to provide me with a couple different shooting vantage points.

My #2 son hones in on the basket, as Rob watches.

But on most of the holes, players had no interaction with the big pond, much to their relief (fewer lost discs). That didn’t make the photo action any less compelling, fortunately.

Dr. Steve messes with my photo timing.

Especially when one certain player decided to yank my photo chain and pretend to release the disc as I was snapping away. Hey, Dr. Steve, I’m working here!

Thar it goes!

Upon further reflection, so was he!

Beautiful Reflections on Nature

The sun sets over the disc golf course.

When the sun dodges behind the trees, and the available light for photographing action starts to wane, it’s best to look for subjects that don’t move. Like sunsets.

The #2 son is reflected in a pond.

And reflections.

Is it the sky or the water?

Love those reflections!

A gorgeous sky

As the early orangish (is that a word?) sky adds pink to its sunset color palette, the day’s stresses seem to melt away amid all that beauty. It’s hard not to smile and feel thankful for another day on this earth.

Time for the moon to shine!

Nature has the day’s final word!

In a Reflective Mood

Reflective cross-country runners

Reflective cross-country runners

When I was reviewing photos I had taken of some of our high school’s runners on my Nikon D700’s LCD during last Saturday’s cross-country meet, I couldn’t believe my eyes: Right there was a photo of Justin . . . and his reflection in a conveniently placed puddle. A happy accident soon become a dogged experiment for me.

The #2 son leads a small pack of fellow freshmen runners.

The #2 son leads a small pack of fellow freshmen runners.

When I’m shooting a sports event, I always remember that what’s important are faces and action, mostly in focus. But once I’m done with the essentials, I free myself to look for the unusual, especially if it’s another photographic way to tell the sports story.

Junior varsity girls float on the ground and through the water.

The runners passed this particular puddle twice. So the first time I moved up the trail and concentrated on capturing their faces and strides. The next time I returned to the puddle, pulled back, and focused on how they looked reflected in the water. It was fun for me! I only wish they had to run through the water; that would’ve made for some dramatic photos.

The percussionist is reflected in his drum.

The headless (oops!) percussionist is reflected in his drum.

I’m  a big reflections fan, so I try to look for those mirror images whenever I shoot. I think they add a touch of drama and flair to a simple photo.

The bell of an instrument mirrors back when it sees.

The bell of an instrument mirrors back what it sees.

Looking at these reflection photos got me to thinking about my own self-portrait.

The "old" me

I had taken the one I had originally put on my About Me page a couple years ago in the bathroom mirror with my Nikon D200. Figured it was time for a change!

Just some of the outtakes of my reflective photo shoot.

Just some of the outtakes of my reflective photo shoot.

So I grabbed my D700, slapped on the Nikon f/1.4 50mm lens, and headed out into the steambath that the Houston area has became this week. Got into my Honda Pilot, rolled down the window, and proceeded to try to capture the real albeit getting-sweatier-by-the-minute me . . . using the side mirror. I even got out of the car to take my self-portrait in the same mirror. It was tough work getting the focus and lighting right!

Sidebar: In all its infinite wisdom, Texas decided that with August being too hot for National Night Out, we would stand alone from the other states and celebrate NNO in October. As in last night. When it was 85 degrees and a million percent humidity. Maybe we need to shoot for December next year?

Sidebar II: While I was sitting in my car snapping away at myself, a guy delivering flyers came up the sidewalk. He saw me . . . and quickly walked away from the house. Did I seem a little crazed or a little crazy?

The real me, fall 2009 style

The real me, fall 2009 style

After about 39 possible photos and a bunch of delete-delete-deletes, I think I found a decent shot that reflects the real me behind the Nikon . . . for now!