Tag Archives: Photography

Topaz Studio

Downtown Tulsa from ONEOK Field-Edit -Studio HDR

Downtown Tulsa seen from ONEOK Field, home of the Tulsa Drillers, a AA minor league time affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Son and I went to a game last week and really enjoyed it. We were behind home plate and so the protective net provides a built in texture to the photo.

Topaz Studio is a new editing program by Topaz Studios. It has a lot of capability including accessing the filters purchased from Topaz instead of going through Photoshop or Corel Draw. I love PhotoShop but I use only about 1% of its capability. The photo above is my first attempt. I used the HDR filter with it. So I will be testing the software more very soon.

Weekend Recap – Picture Taking

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Hey, can I have two posts for a weekend? No, well I’m going to do it anyway. During our family get together I brought my “good” camera and just snapped away. Everybody was pretty tolerant of me doing that.

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I like taking photos of buildings, and the woods, and trails, rivers, and the Gulf of Mexico and the sky and strange things that you see here and there.

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But really people are my favorite subject. People are infinitely fascinating to me although nobody would ever call me a “people person.”

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I sometimes think you can read a person’s story in their face, especially the eyes. The eyes reveal a lot of character.

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And it is fun, especially when people will play along with you.

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How about you, do you like taking photos of people?

Negativity and More with my Takashi Special Effects Camera

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Holy Family Cathedral

When I was rummaging around Saturday looking for my generic Go Pro camera and I found my Takashi Special Effects Camera. It is kind of strange little camera with only 5 MP but it has various special effects built in such as negatives, black and white, sepia, and so forth. Check here for a list of my previous posts. Anyway I found it and fed it the AAA batteries it chews up like candy and took it for a walk at noon in downtown Tulsa.

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I love the negative effect. It makes me see old sights in a new way.

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It also gives scenes a spooky feel. I kind of like that.

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The camera also has no shutter. When you press “the button” the camera just scans the photocell. So if you are moving the camera while it is scanning it distorts the image in ways that are pleasing to me. It is called the Lartigue Effect after a Frenchman named Jacque Henri Lartigue who discovered the effect in the early 1900’s. It can make buildings look kind of wavy.

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I went down to the temporary replacement library for the Tulsa Central Library to pick up a book that I had on order and found out that that since they are closing it to move back to the regular library  they moved it to another library, miles away. Oh well.

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I love our library and the staff and have known a couple of them over the years but the present administrator I kind of worry about. The library gave him several months off to finish his PhD and then we come to find out that that he spends a huge amount of time and money flying to conferences here there and yonder. Much more so than libraries of similar sizes both regionally and nationally. He says that is where he found out about automated book checkout machines. Wow, I remember those from the last century. Oh well. I go to one conference a year and I think I’m pretty much up on what is going on in the natural gas industry. Oops, off topic.

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My favorite sidewalk in downtown Tulsa on Denver avenue.

So I walked back to the office taking pics along the way. Isn’t it wonderful that electrons and photons are still free?

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Downtown Tulsa in a negative mode.

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The entrance to a downtown apartment complex.

Anyway I always dragging my lowfi funky Takashi out, feeding it some batteries and taking it for a walk.

Bike Ride to Sand Springs and a Blowout

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I was on my own Saturday afternoon. Heather is in Dallas with other fitness instructors learning all sorts of stuff and son Logan at rehearsal as has a small part in musical based on Romeo Juliet (more to come later on that) so I thought what the heck I will ride my bike over the recently reopened bridge linking the Tulsa bike trails with those of Sand Springs. Also, I wanted to use my GoPro camera clone. An SJ4000 that I’ve had over a year and half and hadn’t used much. See it mounted on the handlebars of my bike.

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Here I am adjusting it.

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Us guys know that looking at something sideways always helps with whatever you are doing.

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I finally got it going. It can take video continuously or it can take photos when you hit the button or it can take pics at set intervals. I had it set to take pics every 20 seconds. Once you get it started it just keeps on going.

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So I got to the north end of the of the Riverparks trails and went under the freeway via the new underpass headed to the reopened pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks. The bridge has been closed for several years it seems.

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And here is the bridge, just as narrow as I remembered it. The approach from the south is a lot better with more room but the exit at the far end is still a blind turn and very sharp. Oh well. As a bonus a train was going under just as I passed over. Have I ever told you that I love trains. I do.

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And then across the bridge and then along Charles Page Boulevard to Sand Springs. 

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Past the Tulsa Police Department garage. Lots of wrecked police cars there. Makes me think of the guys who keep us safe. I am totally behind Black Lives Matter but am also totally behind Police Lives Matter also. Shoot, everybody’s life matters. You may notice the photo is tilted. The bicycle mounts that come with the the SJ4000 are not very robust. I might have to invest in something better. They lose position with the jostling and vibration of the ride.

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Oops, I used to ride this route a lot years ago when the bridge was last open. I forgot about the steep climb from the Arkansas River Bottom up the hill. I didn’t have to walk the bike.

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At the top though there were two other bikes and this walker all hit the intersection at the same time so we all turned into walkers. They guy walking said, “What a ***** traffic jam you guys have going on, in a good natured manner. I turned to the left. Going to the right heads you back to Tulsa and you go past back side of the jail and then by the Day Center for the Homeless. Years ago, I took that route and a couple drunk guys outside the Homeless Center were cheering me on: “Go Lance Go!!!” they yelled and pumping their arms.  That was kind of the highlight of my athletic career. I went by there a couple of other times and they weren’t there. You know, fans are fickle. Just ask Lance.

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Hanging a left, the trail is an old railroad bed. So it is flat and shaded in a few places. 

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You have a few roads to be concerned about.

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Oops, the camera shifted again.

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I met a few bikers coming back at me.

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I had a three hour window and so my plan was to turn around after an hour. Give me an hour leeway in case something went wrong. With Heather out of town and having to pick Logan up at a set time after rehearsal I was a little nervous. So here is the one hour point where I stopped the bike and took a little water break. Oh, and don’t worry I wore a helmet. I just took it off during my break.

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So then I headed back and pretty soon the bike was like bonk, bonk, bonk, It is like what? Well the front tire had a little hernia. So I said well, I’ll just ride it until it quits. And then I thought that last time I had a blowout it was on the back tire and I almost lost control. Not good on the front tire. So I got off the bike and walked it and sure enough, POW!!! and it was all over. So, now what?? Hmm, my plan was to stash the bike and get an Uber or a taxi back to my car.

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I didn’t see a good place to stash the bike on the trail so I went under a freeway overpass. 

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So see that white fence leading to a concrete wall? I walked the bike and put it up against the wall. Hidden from traffic and no sidewalks or anything. Best I could do.

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Yep, that is the spot. I didn’t lay it down, I leaned it up so it was all shadowed. I was a little nervous. Then I went across the street  to the Taco Bueno, found out that there were no Ubers available so I called Yellow Taxi. About 15 minutes later, Enrico showed up in the Taxi  and took me back to my car. I drove my car back out to the Taco Bueno and my bike was still there. So I loaded it up and went to pick up the kid with 15 minutes to spare.

Pretty amazing I think. Just think how different things are now compared to when we didn’t have cell phones and apps and all that.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun. My camera, with its 20 second timer, took 240 photos and I cut them down to about 30. Digital is a lot more convenient and cheaper than film. Maybe next time I’ll cu cut the interval down to five seconds. The camera is pretty noticeable and I had a couple of pretty female bicyclists smile and wave at it as they went by (surely they weren’t smiling and waving at me!). I passed a couple geocachers looking for a cache. And lots of other people. None of them showed up on the camera.

So, all in all, not a bad day it turned out. I got to visit an area of town I hadn’t seen in a long time, check out my camera, and was able to bail myself out of a situation.

My First Gallery Showing

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As some of you know I am pretty active on Instagram (@yogiab, see the sidebar, and just why are we not instagram friends?) The local Tulsa newspaper, the Tulsa World, has a hashtag, #MyTulsaWorld, that can be used if one wants use it for Tulsa area photos and they publish in the paper (like on real paper) once or twice a week photos with that used the hashtag. They ended up publishing four of my photos and I got to know, via Intagram, anyway a whole lot of talented photographers in the Tulsa area. 

So I got an email from the Tulsa World inviting me to submit two photographs to an exhibit of Instagram photographers in the Tulsa area. So me and 17 others sent out photographs in and then we got invitations to a private reception for the an Invitational Exhibition at Mayfest, Tulsa’s annual arts festival in May. So anyways I was pretty excited. I’ve never had my photographs shown before. You know, except for my Mother in Law. 

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Heather couldn’t make it because of a previous engagement with our son so after work I headed down to the venue all by myself. I was pretty nervous.

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There were all sorts of people who were mainly looking for the art featured in the gallery. Lots of good stuff there.

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I scooped up some free food and drink and found the Instagrammer section. It was very disconcerting to see my photos on display along with other peoples. I would look at it and then circulate around and then come back to you. It was a great feeling but humbling also. 

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I picked two photographs that showed two sides. One a peaceful scene at Post Oak Lodge in the Osage Hills north of town and the other action frozen during Tulsa’s riotous Tulsa Tough bicycle races.

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They asked for a bio so I asked my good friend Mr. Google about bios.They have to be written in the third person and really have to get to the nut of the matter and leave out extraneous words but have a humorous part also. I left out the humorous part. If I had to do it over again I would add Heather and Logan to it.

So anyways it was all kind of fun, and flattering, and humbling. From the faces of the my fellow Instagrammers they were pretty pleased with the thing themselves.

So, thank you Tulsa World for a great opportunity and experience. And thank you dear readers who provide so much support.

And why are we are not Instagram friends again?

Digital Art Meme – Art Deco Canyon

Tulsa's Art Deco Canyon

I took this pic on Saturday morning with my Nikon AW110 point and shoot camera. I like it because it is small, waterproof, and shock proof so I take it with me almost everywhere I go especially when I go running or hiking.

So then I took the photo, uploaded it to Flickr,  and moved it over to my Ipod Touch and used an app called “DistressedFX” to put a texture on it and it made everything “pop.” So I posted it on Instagram and Facebook and uploaded back to Flickr and so here we are.

More and more of my photo processing is done on my Ipod Touch. It is just a lot easier to do that than firing up the ole laptop and loaded Photoshop and trying to figure out what I need to do. Photography and editing is changing fast.  Who knows what we will be doing in a few years.

Linking with Digital Art Meme

Apollo Moon Mission Photographs now on Flickr (13,911 of them)

Saturday night I was writing a blog post and checking email from other bloggers and saw an email from National Geographic. I clicked on it and it was a news digest that talked about this that and the other and then I saw something that got my attention. An amateur photographer had talked NASA into giving him a bunch of DVD’s of scans of photographs taken during the Apollo Moon missions a long time ago. What!!!! Anyway the guy, Kipp Teague, along with his friend Eric Jones uploaded 13,000 images from the space program up to Flickr where they sit free for anybody to use for whatever they want (within reason). There are not copyrighted (after all, the US Citizens among us have already paid for them.) They are spectacular.
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Time was, Space had a thrill, going to the moon was a spectacular vision.

AS07-4-1600 Even now, I can’t believe we did it. Talk about an achievement. AS08-13-2244 The follow on was kind of boring. The Space Shuttle to me was basically an expensive, hazardous, semitruck. Hauling up groceries and taking back garbage from the International Space Station. AS11-40-5868 Apollo,Mercury, Gemini, those were adventures.  AS12-49-7278 These pictures bring it back. Most of them are kind of boring. The link I gave you will take you to instructions on how to go right to the good ones.  These were mainly Hasselbad film cameras but also lots of other types.AS17-134-20386

I still can’t believe that we walked on the moon. Can you? I can’t believe that all these photos exist.

Go check it out.

Skywatch Friday – Manual Mode Moon

#Moon #FullMoon #SturgeonMoon #SuperMoon #NoFilter #NikonD5300 #300mm

First shot I tried, then the clouds came in and out.

I have had my fancy schmancy Nikon D5300 for several months now and haven’t taken the time to really learn it. I bought a pretty good book and learn a few things but then life gets in the way and the thing is just so complex and it really does well on the Auto settting and blah, blah, blah. One thing that doesn’t work well on Auto though is taking shots of the moon. The results look like perfectly focused white disks. No color or detail or anything like that. Last Saturday we had a “Super Moon” or “Sturgeon Moon” anyway a really pretty full moon. So I got the old tripod out and then hit my good friend that knows everything Mr. Google and poked around there some.

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Same moon with some clouds moving in front

So I found out Auto isn’t going to work. Also, you have to have a pretty fast shutter speed at 1/125th seconds because the moon does move and most people recommended keeping the iso at about 100 to 200 and the f stop at about 8. Totally counter-intuitive to what I was thinking, max the iso, slow down the shutter speed, and open up the aperture as far as it will go. Well, the deal is that the moon is pretty bright so you have to tone things down. So I tried it and I got some decent results. (At least they are decent to me.) The main thing I couldn’t figure out was how the timer worked on the shutter. I know, I know, that is pretty lame but doing it manually very gently seemed to work out for now and I can read up on the shutter timer or use my cable release or my fancy schmancy wifi control of the camera from either my ipod or generic android cell phone.

Anyways, I learn best by doing rather than reading about how the menus work in a book. Give me a task and I will work with Mr. Google and consult a half dozen sources and then figure it out. So in addition to the timer thing, I have to figure out how to manually the focus the camera.

What is your best way of learning new things?

Linking with Skywatch Friday

Weekend Reflections – Noir

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Son and I went on a walk around Tulsa’s Lafortune Park last week and as usual I took three cameras with me. A Nikon point and shoot, an Apple Ipod Touch, and my generic Android cell phone. I took this with my cell phone and then filtered the photo through an app on the phone with a “Noir” app that provided the ghostly reflections above.

It is kind of hard to see where photography is going, the cell phone apps are getting ever more sophisticated and both my point and shoot Nikon and my “big” Nikon have wifi capability where I can move photos from the cameras to either the Ipod or the cell phone for processing and posting. I’m really enjoying see how things are changing. I don’t know where they are going though.

So where are you on the App revolution? Do you use them or not?

Linking with Weekend Reflections

Hot Weather Run on the River

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Hot weather means less people running and cycling on the Trails.

While we were in Hawaii the weather here in Tulsa got hot. We are now approaching full blown summer weather. Last Wednesday I went for a run after work in the 96F heat. I know how to run in the heat. Run slow, which comes naturally to me, carry water, take lots of breaks and listen to your body is what I do.

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With the construction of a gathering place going on, running is limited on the east side so I cross over to the west side of the river. With all the rain we have had the river is up and there are lots more fishermen that what I normally see. I don’t know what they are fishing for but they are hard at it.

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I found a little cross stuck in the ground. A memorial to somebody obviously. I don’t know who and there were no names. I say a little prayer for peace to whoever put it there and move on.

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The main function of Tulsa Power Station is to bolster the rate base. I think it is the last unit on and the first one off during the summertime heat loads. It sure seems to fire up during smog alerts in the summer.

I only went about a mile and a half down the river to the PSO Tulsa Power Station and went down to the long forgotten kayak run (now visited only by geocachers I think) to where you can right down on the river.

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180 degree panorma

The river is up several feet and was pretty wild. It would be easy to drown in this water if you were not careful.

A 12 second video of the water. Loud and fast. Thank goodness and the Corps of Engineers for Keystone Dam upstream of Tulsa or things could really be interesting. Tulsa used to have bad flooding way back when before the dam was put in.

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Running back I got this subtle reflection of the river of a condo across the way. You can tell why we call northeast Oklahoma “Green Country.” Everything is greening up this year with all the rain we have had.

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The shadows are longer. Time to go home, shower, eat dinner and down a cold one ( or two.)

Have you gone any adventures yet?