NIKON D300, Nikon 105 Macro

I have always been a fan of butterfly photos.  This little guy was in my backyard in the spring.  He was very gracious and posed for lots of photos for me.  Usually butterflies fly away as you get close.  I used my Nikon 105 Macro hand held for this shot.  I was probably only 6 inches away from him as he was taking a drink.  Not sure why he was so brave?  Sometimes you get lucky!   Its always tough to notice when you are taking shots….but its always neat to see the location of their eyes when you take a look at the photograph afterwards.   Are they looking at you or the flower?    Interesting creatures!   I would really one day try an HDR on a butterfly!  Now that might be cool!   Enjoy!

Water Lily

Water Lily - Blue

NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR

Thanks again per my post below for visitng….50,000 visitors in 5 months!!!!   This will just be a quick photo post of a water lily from Zilker Botanical garden here in Austin.  I enjoy photographing these flowers…they are my favorite!   This one was taken hand held on a nice sunny hot day!  

I hear the new Nikon D300s (HD Video) has been announced today…comes out in August for $1799.00!   And also they introduced a new version of my favorite travel lens….the Nikon 18-200 VRII (it has zoom lock to keep the lens in place on your neck and also improved coating to help out with lens flare) for $845.95 – out in September!    Enjoy your day…time to start saving for some new Nikon products!

Nurnberg, Germany – Spherical Dreams

Nurnberg, Germany - Globes

NIKON D300, Nikon 105 VR

While I was in Nurnberg walking around the Hauptmarkt (shopping area).  There were tons of little shops.   I stopped in one that looked fairly large.  I have heard Nurnberg is known for toys so I wanted to see what they had.  My goal was to find a cute toy for my little one (she is 4 years old).  Most everything was so wonderful!  Unfortunately they were all handcrafted items such as; beer steins, cookoo clocks (they were awesome!), plates, and amazing wood carved people (soliders, Santas, workers, etc…).  Everywhere I looked was a special sight to see!!   Not much for a 4 year old, but I did see these brilliant glass spheres hanging from the ceiling.  I thought to buy one, but I still had 1 week of travel left and a long plane ride…how would it survive without breaking?   I will go back later this year more prepared and pick one up!

German craftsmanship is tops in my book!   I was mesmerized at everything I saw. A wall of cookoo clocks brought me back to my childhood.  We had one growing up.  The steins were beautiful!  I luckily had my camera and took a few shots for fun.  The picture above had very nice bokeh.  For those that may not know what bokeh is…bokeh is derived from a Japanese word “boke” meaning blur or haze. Its a photographic term reffering to the appearance of a light sources in an out-of-focus area of an image caused by the camera lens using a shallow depth of field. 

I thought the image had a dreamy feel to it and I opened it up on Color Efex Pro 3.0 and added a soft focus effect to it.   Hope you enjoy!

Texas Wildflowers

Texas Wildflowers

NIKON D300, Nikon 105 VR

Springtime in Texas is great!  I started work early today so I can go out and search for more Wildflowers.  This shot was taken last year at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin.  Its a cute little place to see lots of flowers!   Gonna try to get there today.  This shot earned Snapshot of the Day on our local Fox TV station last year as well.   The blue flowers are called Blue Bonnets – they are the Texas State Flower.  The main time for them to bloom is right now!   Enjoy the spring…hope the flowers are coming out where you are!

Splash of Color – Las Vegas, Nevada


NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR

Just got back from our trip and have tons of photos to download and look at.   I will share a few over the next few days. We were in Las Vegas, Palm Springs and Southern California.  A fun wonderful trip and lots of beautiful weather!    This is one shot I took at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.  They had an amazing spring flower exhibit just beyond the registration desk.    If you have a tripod and are willing to set it up in the hotels there… just hope you dont get bumped or knocked over…you can get fantastic shots basically in any of the nice mainstream hotels….with some patience.    Just be careful with your equipment…people drink lots in Vegas.  =)   The best time to shoot is around 7 AM inside the hotels.  Many people are partied out or are stumbling back to their rooms around this time….so it is nice and quiet!

As I walked around with my daughter (at 4 years old she has her own camera also! ) and took pictures of the flowers….this angle caught my eye.  I took about 10 versions of this picture and when I finally got to look at them tonite….this looked liked the best one.  If I find a angle I like alot in any pics I’m taking…I make sure to take 5-10 pics of it from different focal lengths.  That way you have options of which one looks the best.  How many times have we taken a shot and got home and looked at it and said to ourselves…wish I had taken a few more cause this one turned out mediocre.  Thats the fun of digital cameras.  The law of averages will work in your favor…hopefully!   Enjoy the Splash of Color!

New York City – Bird’s Eye View

New York City

NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR

This picture was from last year in NYC.   I grew up about 1 hour south of NYC and just like anywhere you live…you take it for granted and overlook the opportunity to visit more often and enjoy the sights.   Now we are in Texas and when I get back to NYC…I enjoy it tremendously!  Just an amazing city!  Through the years I have seen lots, but still there are many places I still want to photograph!  I tell my wife that one day we must live in NYC…at least for one year when we are retired….just to enjoy the city life. 

I get in at least once a year these days and always enjoy the sightseeing!  Like  a usual tourist, I hop on the double decker bus and enjoy the tons of iconic sights in NYC!  The usual stops are Times Square, Rockefeller, Central Park, Flatiron Building, South Street Seaport, etc…  I try to make a list in my mind of what I want to see next on my next visit.  Hopefully this year it is to have dinner with my family at the River Cafe in Brooklyn!  You can eat dinner and overlook a beautiful view of Manhattan, nestled next to the Brooklyn Bridge!  If I do…I will surely post pics later this year!

For this shot I took a friend to see NYC and he always wanted to visit the Empire State Bulding.  It was the end of summer and lines were long.  The new saftey rules at the building are tight and you have to go though many security points.  Took about 1 1/2 hours to finally take the elevator ride to the viewing level.  Its a fantastic view!   For those that have seen it…NYC from all sides!   Its nice to overlook the city and hear the typical city traffic noises as its quiet from above.   Many people are enjoying the view and taking photos.  I was one as well!   I was ready to pack up my camera and head down and this little fellow appeared right in front of me!    He landed on a great perch and had such a wonderful view!    Hope you enjoy it as well!!