Fractalius Friday!

It’s Friday!   Time a fractalius flower!  One of my favorite artistic plug-ins from Redfield.  Still no filter for the Mac.  I have to use an old PC with the filter on it and transfer files…oh the fun!   Hopefully one day they will jump on the Mac bandwagon!

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Johnson City, Texas – Bluebonnets

It is spring in Texas…this means wildflower season!  At this time of year hopefully you can find bluebonnets all over.  Unfortunately, this year in Austin they are hard to find!  Sometimes when we do not get enough rain..or this year it may have been too cold near spring..it can affect the amount of flowers.  We can see small patches near our house here and there…but not enough to take the traditional family shot with.  On Saturday we decided to take a drive to Fredericksburg, then up to the Willow City Loop.  The Willow City Loop is a 13 mile scenic drive through the hill country canyon area that is a hot spot to see wildflowers.  We made the drive (my first time) and saw only a few small patches…so sad!    During our drive up through Johnson City…we did see our biggest patch yet and on the drive back…we stopped and took a few pics!  They are lovely flowers and this shot was done up with the Pixel Bender plug-in for CS5.  Its free and I love using it on flowers and landscape…this is the oilpaint option.  Enjoy spring wherever you may be…hope some flowers are popping up!!

Akita, Japan – Cherry Blossoms

The past few days it has been 70+ degrees here in Austin.  So nice to feel spring weather!  Some of us are only a few weeks away!  Green grass and flowers will pop up soon!  I cannot wait.   So I was thinking of a trip I had to Japan in April a while back.  I had just missed the Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo, but luckily was traveling up north in Japan.  The Cherry Blossoms were in full bloom!   We went out to lunch one afternoon the roads in town were so beautiful…trees everywhere!!  For the shot above, I asked my co-worker to pull over so I can grab a photo.  I looked up at the great tree and snapped away!  If you are ever planning a visit to Japan…the first few weeks of April is Cherry Blossom time!   A dream of mine would be to visit Kyoto with the Blossoms in full beauty!   Sayonara!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 70.0 mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  1/200
  • Aperture:  f/22
  • Gear:  Hand Held
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, Photo Tools 2.6

Flower Power

In the past few weeks I have been having fun adding textures to my shots.  I was doing some portraits and decided to add a few and they looked great!!  I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder…but for some reason, I really enjoy looking at a photograph with a texture(s) added.  Its like art!   Take a flower shot..add a texture and it is instant art to hang on your wall!   It is very easy to do in Photoshop.  You cannot go wrong with textures and flowers!! I have built a nice collection of textures and enjoy this type of post processing.

I know like every other style, you can go crazy, so I always try to limit myself…but the outcome of adding textures is addicting!! LOL  This shot above was a nice Daisy photo…and I added three textures.   Spring is just a few months away!!  Hope it gets here soon!!

Austin, Texas – Water Lilies

The summer is almost over and here is a nice summery shot of 2 beautiful water lilies.  They are one of my favorite flowers!  These are from our local Zilker Botanical Garden here is Austin.  I visit here just to take these shots.  The little pond is right by the entrance.  They are just so pleasing to the eye!!   Especially when the sun hits them right.  The center looks like its on fire!  Hope you had a great summer!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 70-200 VR f/2.8
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 102.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:   1/250 second
  • Aperture:  f/11
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4
  • A Splash of Spring

    Spring is here…hopefully in your area!  As I am not a flower expert…I am not sure what type this wonderful yellow guy is?  I need to get back into macros flower shots…been a while since I last took a few!   I have been traveling tons recently…I basically missed Texas Wildflower season here.  Time to hit our local gardens!!  Have a sunny day!

    Talke Photography Settings:

    • Camera:  Nikon D300
    • Lens: Nikon 105 VR f/2.8 Macro
    • Setting: Aperture  Mode
    • Focal Length: 105.0mm
    • ISO: 200
    • Exposure:  1/320 second
    • Aperture:  f/9.0
    • Gear:  Tripod
    • Post Process: Adobe CS4

    Tokyo, Japan – Cherry Blossoms (HDR)

    From my recent visit…here is a Cherry Blossom tree in near full bloom from Tokyo!  This tree was the only one this far along at this early point of the spring…so a special tree!   I enjoy seeing the Japanese architecture in the shot as well!   There was a temple nearby…I will post a shot from there soon.  These days there are Cherry Blossoms all over the US…Washington DC, New York City, San Francisco.  Possible gifts from Japan! Arigato Gozaimasu!!!   =)

    Some info from the web:  In Japan cherry blossoms also symbolize clouds due to their nature of blooming en masse, besides being an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life, an aspect of Japanese cultural tradition that is often associated with Buddhistic influence, and which is embodied in the concept of mono no aware. The association of the cherry blossom with mono no aware dates back to 18th-century scholar Motoori Norinaga. The transience of the blossoms, the extreme beauty and quick death, has often been associated with mortality; for this reason, cherry blossoms are richly symbolic, and have been utilized often in Japanese art, manga, anime, and film, as well as at musical performances for ambient effect. The band Kagrra, which is associated with the visual kei movement, is an example of this latter phenomenon. There is at least one popular folk song, originally meant for the shakuhachi (bamboo flute), titled “Sakura”, and several pop songs. The flower is also represented on all manner of consumer goods in Japan, including kimono, stationery, and dishware. Cherry blossom is an omen of good fortune and is also an emblem of love, affection and represents spring. Cherry blossoms are an enduring metaphor for the fleeting nature of life, and as such are frequently depicted in art.

    Talke Photography Settings:

    • Camera:  Nikon D300
    • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
    • Setting: Aperture  Mode
    • Focal Length: 13.0mm
    • ISO: 200
    • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
    • Aperture:  f/22.0
    • Gear:  Tripod, Cable release
    • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza