Wintertime on Turkey Mountain

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A few weeks ago I took a walk on Turkey Mountain. I came onto the recently cleared and regraded pipeline and I noticed that one could view the entire west side of Turkey Mountain and if you look really closely you can vaguely see the tall buildings of downtown Tulsa in the distance. We love our urban wilderness here in Tulsa.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Flowing Water – Our World

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Hey after all these years I figured out how to do make a photo with the smooth flowing water look.

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It takes a tripod to hold the camera steady, a long focal length, a long exposure time.  I am going to go crazy.

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I am about to finish my first photography class. I have been taking pictures for years and little did I know that there is a whole world out there. We have a final assignment where we put 15 pictures out of 21 subjects on a poster board. Wow, actually printing out physical photos. Imagine. Walgreens to the rescue!! One option was photographing “purple” I found a purple truck. I am not claiming any artistic breakthrough but it is purple. Notice that I hid the license plate. I like taking pictures of cars and posting them. I have had car owners tell me that license plate numbers are private information and it is illegal to publish photos of them.  I tell them that I won’t tell anybody that they are the owners of the cars so its okay. They just look at me.

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And a large sculpture. In Tulsa where else but the praying hands (what the world calls it) or healing hands (what the alumni prefer to call it). I like the sideways aspect instead of the full on look. It almost looks like one hand and its reflection in a mirror.

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So here is my board to present Monday night. You’ve seen some of them.Others are new. I am signing up for the second class. Portraits, journalism, any takers for free portraits. Wife and son have already told me NO WAY.  Oh well.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Kehinde Wiley’s new Painting at Philbrook

Equestrian Portrait of King Philip IV, 2016-2017 by Kehinde Wiley

I was running around at lunch Thursday and decided to pop in to the Philbrook Museum to check out their new acquisition of Kehinde Wiley’s “Equestrian Portrait of King Philip IV.” I’ve seen several photographs of it but you know, with paintings you really have to be be there.

The painting is huge. It takes up a whole wall. It shows a black man in a modern urban camo outfit atop a horse in a classic pose, complete with a sword. The rest of the painting could have come from a few hundred years ago. It is obvious that the painter is skilled and I didn’t have the “Are you kidding me” reaction I get sometimes with modern art. Wiley has been chosen to paint President Obama’s portrait to be unveiled this year.

The subject in the painting is very engaging. He is kind of half glancing at the room and that has changes the tone from your usual painting. And the painting’s colors are vivid and the paint seems so fresh it sparkles.  It is a striking work.  And yet I worry about how this work will age. Will it still be on display in 50 years or will it be stuck in storage somewhere. I know it is modern art, and nobody knows how modern art is going to “age.” So I am glad that they went got this instead of something “safer.”

I highly recommend that you check this painting out for yourself. Like I said it is a very striking work of art.

Skywatch Friday – Winter Sunset

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So Wednesday evening after work I decided to go chase a geocache that was recently planted in Owen Park which is about a mile or so northwest of my office. It has been bitterly cold lately but the temps were up to the low 40’s and there was still lots of light so off I went.

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Owen Park may be the oldest park in Tulsa, in the oldest part of town. I love it because it has lots of old school rock walls and steps and other things that are way to dangerous to be built today. So it took me a little bit to find it climbing up and down and all around. Rocks like this really drive the GPSr devices we use crazy because of all the multipath noise.  But hey, I was having fun. I even got a call from my wife while I was looking at we chatted a little bit. While chatting I spotted a good place for the hide and after the call was over sure enough there it was. Number 1493.

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On the way back to the care I took this snap with my cell phone. No clouds or color in the sky but I loved the little skim of ice on part of the pond, and the reflections of the trees. So no filters or cropping or anything like that on this post.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

My World – Photography 101 Continued – Depth of Field

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Our second lesson in our photography class was learning about depth of field and how you increase it by increasing the Fstop at the decreases the aperture which reduces the light hitting the sensor which means you have to increase the iso setting of the camera which makes for more graininess in the photo. It’s all connected in photography, there is no free lunch!!

Anyway I had all week to do the homework assignment which consisted of setting up objects in a line and then decreasing the Fstop from f22 down to f5.6 to illustrate how the depth of field works.  The teacher said that a shallow depth of field works well with portraits, especially those outside, where one wants to “fog” the background to focus on the subject.

So anyway, I waited to do my homework until Sunday when we had a cold front hitting Oklahoma. I decided to use chess pieces for my objects but that did not work well as the wind kept knocking them over.  So as we say in the oil and gas industry I decided to plug back and perforate, in other words proceed to plan b.

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I moved the table up closer to the house to protect it from the wind and used a chess board and pieces from my late father-in-law that were a lot heavier. So the above is at f22 and I am focusing on the 3rd pawn from this end. So I shot the same scene at f16, f11, f8, and f5.6, the lowest fstop that my camera with the lens I was using.

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So I am still focused on the third pawn and you can see that the rook closest to us might be a might bit fuzzier (we use “might bit” in Oklahoma without irony) and the pieces on the far end are quite a bit fuzzier.  I am sparing you the intermediate photos.

So anyway, next class is Monday night and we will be talking about freezing action with shutter speeds.

I’m still just a lowly picture taker but I’m enjoying myself.

Linking with Our World Tuesday

Tulsa Boat Show 2018

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i went through this boat. I think it was 43′ long and cost about $800,000. It was nice!!

I  took a little longer lunch the other day and went to the 2018 Boat Show  at the River Spirit Expo at Expo Square (aka the Tulsa State Fairgrounds). It costs ten bucks to get in and I gave the ticket lady ten ones and she asked if I was buying and I held up my two remaining greenbacks and said, yep, if I find one for two bucks I’m getting it. Kind of lame, but she got a good chuckle out of it.

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I like looking at the big boats and the fancy RV’s. They have gotten very good over the years with space organization, amenities and storage space.

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The pontoon boats have gotten bigger and more luxurious.

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I love these fishing boats with the center console. Didn’t use to see too many away from the cost but there seems to be more and more of them.

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The small campers are getting lighter and nicer. I know several families with small kids that have these and use them quite a bit.

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This is like the sports car of boats. So sleek and I think the price was only about $75,000 or so.

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I love looking at motorcycles. I think Indian makes some very stylish bikes. They are beautiful and so sleek and stylish.

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And they make the best logo ever.

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I saw a lot of retro colors. It used to be just beige, red, and navy blue. Now you see colors reminiscent of the 1950 Tbirds.

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The smaller boats used to be dominated by bass boats but things seem more diversified now. Bass boats are kind of fun. I used to have one when I lived near Lake Conroe near Houston, Texas. Big motors, and the platforms and chairs where you have good visibility, and a trolling motor for fine tune control, live wells for the fish and rod cabinets. They were fun.

Anyways I there less than an hour and although I saw a lot, there was a lot of other stuff. If you want to go they are open Saturday 10 am to 10 pm and Sunday 11 am to 5 pm.  (Yeah, you don’t want to spend the Superbowl at the boat show).

Skywatch Friday – The Super Moon Lunar Eclipse

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An almost full moon. I took the photo on Tuesday night so this is actually waxing gibbous at 98%. But hey, it is full enough for me.

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Then this is the following morning. I got up and went out to get the paper at about 5:30 am and I had to run back in and get my camera and then I had to go across the street and stand in my neighbors yard to get away from the trees. Yes, that is part of the eclipse I didn’t hold my finger in front of the lens to fake it.

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And this is Wednesday night’s moon. Yes, I used a Topaz filter on it to jack it up a little. Jacking up is a technical term here in Oklahoma. Do you jack things up where you live?

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And this is my favorite Wednesday night moon. Yes, another Topaz filter. I love messing with photos.

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I’m taking a photography class and one of our assignments to get a photo of a flag in manual mode. Being the apple polisher that I am I got a bunch of flags flying in a good stiff Oklahoma breeze.

What about you? What have you been looking at?

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Our World – Woolaroc Geocaching Outing

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Logan and I went up to Woolaroc Museum and Preserve today to check out a couple of geocaches installed on the grounds of the preserve.

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“The Trail of Tears” by Robert Lindneaux. Andrew Jackson oversaw the ejection of thousands of Native Americans from the southeast USA to Oklahoma and elsewhere. Many died on the way over. To this day Andrew Jackson is not a popular guy among the tribes in Oklahoma.

While there we breezed through the museum. We have been there lots of times but it has been at least a year and a half for me and I was glad to see a few changes from the last time I was through.

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I love this chuckwagon exhibit. I love chuckwagons. That is where the food is!!

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I checked on some old favorites. This is a bust of Geronimo the baddest of the bad (or the baddest of the good). My late father was a student of western history had studied up on Geronimo. His favorite story was about the Tonto Apache Tribe who were scouts for General Crook who finally convinced Geronimo to surrender. When Geronimo’s braves were on the train to Florida to begin their imprisonment, Crook’s troops told the Tonto scouts to get on the train also. One reason why we have trust issues with Native American’s maybe?

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They have machine guns on exhibit also. One time several years ago when I was there. A guy was inspecting it really closely and said, “You know, I don’t think that this actually works. I am not sure it is going to help come crunch time.” We are kind of hard core here in Oklahoma.

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I always love the airplane hanging from the ceiling in the basement. I wonder if they would ever take it out and fly it again?

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Enough of all that! Time to hit the trails. We found a couple of nice full size geocaches on the trails in the preserve on the beautiful 60 degree sunny day we had in Oklahoma.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

I’ve made about a dozen and a half posts on Woolaroc. Use the search icon (the magnifying glass) on the upper right hand corner of this page to see if some of them might interest you.

Getting Schooled on this Picture Taking Thing

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I am pretty excited. After years of thinking about and delaying and making excuses, I signed up for a four session photography class at a local junior college and already had the first class.

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It is after work on Mondays for three hours. The teacher got us all up and going. Showed us what all the dials and adjustments were and we jumped right into how to do the much feared “Manual Mode” with the in-camera metering. She talked about how to hold the camera  and gave us a few tips about what shutter speed to use for what situation and how and when to adjust the iso level. We went into the white balance adjustments and reformatting the memory card. How to, and how not to, clean the camera and lens and all sorts of stuff.

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And then the homework assignment. Go out into the world and take pictures (she said we are really “making pictures.”) In the manual mode, no editing!! Bring your memory cards next time. She will put everybody’s photos up on the whiteboards and critique them. Anonymously she said because she is very frank and wants us to learn. I guess the giveaway will be if I start sobbing when she is displaying my images.

We are to bring six images. Take them in bright sun, with the sun at our back, set the iso level as low as the camera will go, set the speed at 1/125th of a second and   use the camera’s meter to manually set the aperture. For moving objects increase the speed to 1/500th of a second.

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So I have taken a couple walks with my camera. Manual mode is not natural to me physically. I have to search for the buttons and dials to make it work and sometimes in bright light the camera metering is hard to see. Plus I have to remember to get the white balance, speed, and iso set right. The feel for it will come. I’m having fun.

I can’t wait for the next class!!

Skywatch Friday – Weather Deliverance!!

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The weather finally broke and the sun came out and the sky was almost springlike. After our extended cold spell I never realized how warm 36 degrees could feel so warm.

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Before hand we had day after day of this, and this is at the end of the day!! Ever hear of Lake Effect Snow? One morning we had “Refinery Effect Snow” the condensation from the cooling towers caused snow on the west side of downtown.

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We are finally getting some clouds,  the days are getting longer. We are a long ways from Spring but I am getting hopeful.

What is going on where you live?

I am linking with Skywatch Friday.