Listen to me, I say

I really couldn’t think of anything to title todays post because the photo didn’t really lend itself to anything snappy. But after describing my photo and how it came about , I replaced my usual temporary filler text of “blah, blah”. Good thing.

An interesting old tombstone stockpile I shot in Charleston a little while back. I find the designs, textures, and colors really interesting and hit myself for not spending more time exploring them and taking more photos. This is the only shot I have. I should take that as a lesson learned but I do it all of the time. Instinct tells me to grab a shot of something and I do just that, grab a shot in passing, only later to discover the subject had more potential and I was trying to tell myself something.

That is all a part of my need to slow it down a notch when shooting, especially when I find interesting subjects. Not only do I totally gloss over potential good images, I also forget to check camera settings a lot. I don’t always notice what my shutter speed or ISO is set on, or what the camera is setting when on Auto, and only later finding I could have improved on the shot if only I had paid attention.

Good discipline goes rewarded.

© David Guidas

© David Guidas

Like a lead balloon

Since my Johnny Winter homage went over like a lead balloon, or Led Zeppelin as I like to say ;-), lets bring it back down into normal photography again. With a horse, of course. A simple black and white image of a horse in the stable getting ready for tour duty with a brand new wash.

It looks like I am two-thirds into my July daily post mission and things are going smooth. Trying to take or find pictures of interest to post has been a challenge but so far, so good. The writing part is another story though.

© David Guidas

© David Guidas

Johnny Winter 1944-2014

Johnny Winter, the great blues-rocker guitarist passed away last week at the age of 70. Sad news for me because Johnny was probably the main reason I wanted to pick up the guitar well over 30 years ago and learn to play the blues. Although I got turned on to gads of other guitarists over the years, I still enjoyed listening to Johnny to this day.

As a commemoration, I thought I would take a photo of my own Gibson Firebird  guitar. Johnny was synonymous with the Firebird and I always liked his tone when playing one, hence my reason for purchasing a ‘bird.

I was going to post some JW videos but I’ll let you search him out. There’s plenty out there. To some he may be a relic from the classic rock past and I am sure most people have long forgotten about him.  But if you have a moment give a listen to a few full songs. The licks are endless. He was a rocker, he was a bluesman, and I liked both but it always came back to the blues.

R.I.P. Johnny

© David Guidas

© David Guidas

That’s some good weed, man. (Variations on a flower)

Chicory – Cichorium intybus

It’s a wildflower but I think of it as more of a weed. These little blue flowers are quite abundant in southwest Pennsylvania in the summer. They are along almost every road and show up almost overnight in bad lawns (such as my own ;-)) if you wait to long to mow.  Weedy as they are, I still find myself photographing at least one every year, and this year was no exception. I took a photo of a couple of these flowers a few weeks ago and figured that was my annual quota. But as I looked at the photos and zoomed in 100% I noticed how cool looking it was up close I wanted to explore the little 1″ flowers a little further.

So a few weeks later I found myself armed with my macro lens and a few plants nearby. I wasn’t out to shoot scientific photos so I shot wide open or close to it and relied on the ever magic bokeh to fill in gaps.

 

What’s your orientation?

Photographically speaking, of course.

I noticed that I shoot a number of portrait oriented photos, as opposed to landscape oriented. I don’t think it’s conscience, I just shoot the subject and try to frame accordingly for the best composition. The problem with portrait orientation (which is funny because I don’t shoot any actual portraits) when viewed on a PC screen is that you don’t get that screen filling image. It is reduced to a tiny sliver in the middle. I don’t have a tablet computer but I imagine it can be easily flipped to view the image full screen. Same with a phone, but they are too tiny to enjoy photography, in my opinion.

When printed and framed, a portrait oriented photo looks great on the wall. I make  a number of 13×19″ prints and have a whole portfolio filled with portrait oriented photos and they look great. A giant picture book! But the pc screen is still a stumbling block. Editing is tougher because you can’t work on a very large image without zooming in to the details. I think if there was a pc screen that rotates then that would be ideal for photo editing. I haven’t researched it and I imagine there may be such a thing, but most likely out of my price range.

My latest portrait oriented photo is an aging sunflower I spotted in an antique store window as I was walking by on the sidewalk. I shot through the window and my first shot was actually a landscape oriented photo because I wanted part of the weathered window frame in the picture. But there was too much reflection in the glass of the street behind me, so I switched the camera around, shaded the window somewhat,  and just focused on the subject. Bingo!

© David Guidas

© David Guidas

Riders in the storm

What to do when you’re waiting out a really heavy rain in a parking lot? Why, take pictures of the rain of course! In this case, the rain that was running down the side window of my car. Things were a little tricky because the rain was fast and heavy which meant the drops were on the move.  Throw in macro range shooting and by the time I focused and tried to make somewhat of a composition, things changed.

This was the best I could do with the gads of unsuccessful shots I took. Either the focus was off or the drops were gone by the time I snapped the shutter. The square crop worked good  here, although it was somewhat of a necessity. What wasn’t a necessity was doing a black and white conversion – the color image looked the same! :-)

© David Guidas

© David Guidas

 

THIS IS (not) A FOOD BLOG

Food blogs get all the love :-)

I think for every one photography oriented blog there are 100 food blogs. For every one photography blog follower there are 1.000 food blog followers.

People like food. I like food.

People like pictures of food. I like pictures of food.

I don’t get to take pictures of food very often. I don’t cook and I feel really dumb taking photos in a restaurant right before I dig in. I have though, usually crappy phone pictures of a good Mexican dish, most likely after too many margaritas. But on a rare occasion I take a quick snap with a good camera of something that looks good. These olives looked good (they were), the light looked good, and I couldn’t resist to capture the moment. My wife asked me what I was doing when I took the photo, thinking I was crazy, and, unknowing to me, the waiter was walking by just as I took the photo and saw the image pop up on my cameras LCD.  He told her it was a good picture. I then showed her the photo and she said “yeah, you’re right, it is a good picture”.

So, my food pic. Food blog readers welcome!

 

© David Guidas

© David Guidas

 

 

Knot or not?

A maritime still life? Too dark? Too “textury”? Too warm? Too too?

These are the questions I asked myself when working on this image. Believe or not (knot?), I like it. An old anchor, textured wood and rope, what’s not to like? I do like the lines of the rope taking you to the anchor and back.

I seem to be full of questions this evening so I think I’ll leave well enough alone and continue on tomorrow.

Good day.

© David Guidas

© David Guidas

Color in the city, at night, without a tripod

While walking around uptown Charlotte for one evening I wanted to grab a few photos of the city since this was the first, and possibly only time I would visit the city. Although I was only in town for the one night, I thought it was a very nice, clean, vibrant city. There certainly were plenty of entertainment and dining options near my hotel, the historic Dunhill Hotel, and it made for a pleasant stay.

I was with my wife and after dinner we were in more of a tourist mode, just walking around seeing what the city had to offer. I certainly wasn’t going to take tripod mounted low light photos, nor did I want to, so I mostly snapped photos handheld using my FA 43mm Limited lens, usually wide open at f1.9. The one exception being the fountain shoot where I rested the camera on the wall. I’m generally not a high ISO fan, no matter how well a sensor does, so I tried to keep it as low as possible when shooting. Sometimes it was simply too dark and I couldn’t shoot anything – that’s the way it goes when you compromise. I could have gone artsy with slow exposure moving camera shots but I was kind of trying to capture “snapshots” also.

The shot of the theatre was actually taken from my hotel bathroom window. It was a nice surprise view.

 

 

Just a photo this evening

I’m tapped out on verbiage at the moment. I’ll catch up tomorrow. For now, enjoy an architecture shot taken in Charlottte, NC.

© David Guidas

© David Guidas

 

 

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