Skywatch Friday – In Like a Kitten Out Like Lamb

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The Blue Rose Cafe on the River. I love it. Not in the cards today though.

I still can’t run and today I was planning on getting on a cycling machine but the forecasted rain had ended and temps were moderate so I decided to get outside and walk a few miles instead of getting on the cycling machine. I don’t know about you but exercise machines are a necessary evil. So I went walking in the windy, gusty, cloudy weather (I love that kind of weather.)

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I had to go check out progress on a high rise condo/apartment complex going up. I enjoyed my time out on the river. I went a total of about 3.2 miles.

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This is in my employer’s parking lot. We are all about checking, double checking, and rechecking. We have protocols for everything and used to be March was a big month for snow. In like a Lion, out like a Lamb is what they say about March in Oklahoma. With our climate change, February is the new March. So soon I expect we’ll be outfitting the parking lot security vehicle for snow in late January instead of March.

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After work, I drove home, and this sky greeted me just before I got to the house.

Here in Oklahoma, we have our issues but we do have great skies. How are the skies where you live?

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – What Has Been Edition

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I am like zero for zero on sky photos the last week. No excuses, I mean the sky is always there right? Sure, but you need something in the sky to make it interesting. Not to worry, I dug into my archives. So this was taken in June 2010 in downtown Tulsa. I had to have been working late and that is not like me? So I didn’t wake up at work in time to go home after work.

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I remember this photo well. Our family had gone to eat Mexican food with another family at a restaurant in a not very good part of town. After we ate we were talking and I noticed the sun set across the old vacant lot. I pulled out my old trusty Android clone and took a photo through the chain link fence and loved the sun flare, which of course I accentuated with snapseed and posted on Instagram. Speaking of instagram, are we instagram following each other on Instagram. Check my side panel, lets be followers. I love instagram but there are a lot of dishonest people on it and it took me a while to figure out how to deal with them. But I digress.

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This is a blast from the way past. This is my mother in front of the house she and dad had at Happy Jack, Arizona when he had his first job as a junior ranger for the US Forest Service. I love the beautiful blue northern Arizona sky peaking through the trees.  I think they lived there before any of us kids were born.

And now an optional digression.

Mom talked one time that Dad was gone for an extended period of time and she was snowed in and got so bored she read through his college forestry textbooks. Another time, when we lived in a better house in Coyote, New Mexico she accidentally put a sewing machine needle through her thumb. Nobody was around so she pulled it out herself with a pair of pliers. She said I was around but I was about two or three years old and have no memory of that gruesome event. Mom was a copper miners daughter, and a Forest Service wife and  one tough lady. She loved her children fiercely and you didn’t really want to mess with her, or her kids. We lived in a succession of close knit small towns in the southwest and almost everybody was very nice but especially at school there might be some teacher or administrator who tried to lean on  one of us kids. If we were wrong, we would pay, if they were trying to twist things, she would twist them. It never took more than one encounter with her to straighten them out. 

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

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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aa

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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