Category Archives: Photography

2022 Photo Contest Entries

My former employer has a photo contest every year and they let retirees enter it. It’s always a lot of fun. I have a talented group of former coworkers who make great photographs and I have been lucky enough to win some awards over time as well.

This is what I submitted this year. I don’t think it is my best year but hey we’ll see what happens.

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This is Logan Lake at the YMCA on Turkey Mountain. I submitted it in the “Landscape” category.

And this is Rascal when he graduated from Physical Therapy. It was hilarious they put a cap and tassel on him and the little ham posed. This is in the “Flora and Fauna” category.

This is a scene from the Arkansas delta country last year as we returned home from our vacation on the Gulf Coast.

And this is the Union Pacific Big Boy Locomotive at one of its stops in northeast Oklahoma. I love this shot but I doubt my previous employer will want to use anything that was part of another company’s promotion campaign. This is the “People” category.

This is a tribute to the Choctaw Code Talkers of World War I and II. This is in the “Our Company Values” category.

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And this is the moon. I entered it in the “Creative” category as I always edit my moon shots to make the details stand out.

So there you go. You get an advance look. I think all these shots have been in my blog the past year. Wish me luck!!

Photoshop Class Projects

I have subscribed to Photoshop for years and I have fooled around with it, looking at their videos and taking free classes but not really getting anywhere with it at all in terms of understanding what it does and how to go about using it. Our local Junior College, Tulsa Community College advertised classes and since I had good luck with them with other photography classes I signed up for their six class session course on Photoshop.

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There was six sessions and we went through different aspects of photoshop and on their computers modified their photos for the first five sessions and then their was a project for the sixth class where you applied what you learned to five photos. People can check out Andrew Defrancesco if they need photography lessons. Learning how to modify other people’s photos is okay for learning but not very much fun as modifying one’s own photos. The above photo was my project illustrating how to enhance old automobiles.

Creating Dreamy Photo Effect Heather

This is my wife Heather. This photograph was the result of creating “dreamy” photographs. Heather gave me an F on this photo. She didn’t like it at all.

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And this was a photograph where we used photoshop to enhance natural features. This is Fairy Falls in Yellowstone National Park. I can’t really brag about this photo but I hey, I am still learning. Photoshop is such a big powerful tool and I am feel that I am finally like I might be able to get my head around it. I think now that I can understand some of the videos that Photoshop

A New Photo App, Oilist

I love photo editing apps on my iphone. My favorite is the free Snapseed, followed by Prisma, and IColorama. Recently I found another one, OIlist.  Oilist is a little unique because instead of just picking some a type of filter and then seeing a results, you pick more of a process and then watch as the process “paints” the photo and you can interact with the process as you wish. It is really very cool. I’ve had a time learning it. I’m not much for tutorials or manuals, I like to jump in and try it out so I’ve been experimenting with it.

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This is a bay scene at Orange Beach Alabama. I didn’t like all the black in it so i set it out on a new course.

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Subtle difference I know, but I like this much better although still not happy with it. The instructions on the app said that it works best on more colorful photos.

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I tried it on a photo of flamingos that I had and I like this.

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is there anything more colorful than 1950’s era Ford Thunderbirds. I loved this. Apps like this are not for everybody. I’ve some “photographer” friends who hate these apps. To them fidelity to the original image is what counts. And hey I get that. What I am looking for is what I see in my mind.  I love the interactivity of Oilist and how one can try different things and save interim works and go back and try again. It’s a lot of fun but it does take time.

How about you? Do you have any photo apps that you like.

Our World Tuesday – Nature Photography Class – Spring 2018 – Chapter One

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I am all excited!! I did a one day Nature Photography class by Tulsa Community College.  We met early in the morning and then headed off to several venues, the Linnaeus Gardens, Tulsa Garden Center, Tulsa Botanic Gardens, and Oxley Nature Center.

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So the over a dozen of us, clicked and snapped away and we walked, and walked. My little garmin wrist device tells me that I walked 7.76 miles today. I believe it. My dogs are barking, you know what I mean. I do trail running, and this was about the same except I had a camera and was clicking happily away.

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This is at Wooward Park, before the class really even started. So what do you like best, pink tulips in front, with yellow in back?

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Or the other way around? Without cars in the background. Ignore the cars in the background.

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Or how about the Redbud Trees.

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How about some ancient stone steps.

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At Oxley, do you like the little snake my fellow students found?

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Or do you like the bigger snake a few hundred yards away. They said, don’t worry, no triangular head, and the eyes are round so it is not venomous. Like I even cared. Who is going to get close enough to snakes to figure out the roundness of its eyes?

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I forget where this is from. It is pretty is all I know.

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I love this also. No idea what it is.

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Anyway, the more I learn about this photography thing, the more ignorant I get. I am firmy entrenched into manual mode, and metering the photos and all that but the complicated things get me. Like the above. Sunny on one side, shady on the other, overeposed on one side, under on the other. Who you going to call? Nobody, suck it up big guy, figure it out.

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Or focus on the blossoms. The yin and the yang. Big picture, small picture. I am so confused.

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Here is a redbud up close.

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Linnaeus Gardens

How about a flag reflection. The reflection looks okay, but the sky is blown out.  No editing done anywhere on this post by the way.  Haha you say, we could tell that.

That is all for now. I took over 200 photos and I store them all in cloud and it is painfully slow to get them there. I used to store them on an external hard drive. Big, huge mistake. It cratered.

I really enjoyed the class. Kudos to my fellow students who really got into it, the various venues, who welcomed us with welcome arms and the instructors, Larry and Natalie who spent a considerable amount of time scheduling us into the various places, and led us around making sure that everybody had a fun time. I’ll be taking more classes from them again.

I am calling this Chapter One because I have so many photos to upload and don’t want to  wait until they are all uploaded before I post something. Call me impatient.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

 

Blue About Blue, Learning About Color

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That sinking feeling…

I am taking a photography class and it has been fun (I originally typed “phun”, I like it) and this week we are supposed to take a Pantone color and match it to something and photograph it and then talk about what the Pantone color of the year is. You may wonder what Pantone is? It is a company in New Jersey who is known for standardizing colors in a repeatable way. I had always wondered because in previous lives I had occasion to have signs made for various things, such as compressor stations or new offices and whatever company I was working for would send the sign design and the colors were just listed by numbers and I would ask, how do you know they will get it right and they told me not to worry about it, a good print shop will get it right. And sure enough they did whether it was British Petroleum Green, Shell Oil Yellow, Lear Petroleum Aggie Maroon, Champlin Petroleum Red, or Mobil Oil Red. They always got it right.

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Great pic, except you can’t see the object I am trying to match.

Anyway I had a problem because I lost my assigned paint chip which was some sort of bright pinkish red so I decided to work things backwards and take an object and find the Pantone equivalent. Smart plan right, well guess what I couldn’t find the Pantone colors. So being the problem solver that I am I just went to Lowes with my Yeti and found the color among what they had that matched the object as close I could get it. They had several displays of different paint chips and I tried to get as close as I could. I tell you what matching colors is tiring and frustrating. Some colors that seemed close, didn’t seem so close later. They all look different depending on the light it is in.

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This was taken with my cell phone. Looks like several matches.

I know people who are good at matching colors and it is magical. Once they do it, I can see the match but I can’t come up with it on my own. Often it seems counterintuitive but it works. I guess that I’ll stick to my day job.

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Taken with my fancy schmancy Nikon D5300 with full sun whitebalance. This color looks lots less dark than the above photo.

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So the winner, after much worrying and sweating is Olympic Paint’s “Florentine Lapis” number OL635.6 and I am not happy with it. Color is difficult. I pick out what I think is closest and it doesn’t quite photograph right despite taking the photo outside with the white balance adjusted. Color problems drive me crazy. You got how it looks to my eye, and then what the camera sees, and then what the monitor displays to you when you look at my photo.

Do you have a good eye for color? Tell me about it, because I don’t.

And as a bonus here is a link presenting Pantone’s color of the year.

PANTONE 18-3838 ULTRA VIOLET!

from the page: “…Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.”

Now you know all the secrets!! The color Violet is the solution to all our problems.

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!!

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.

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.

Tulsa Mayfest 2016

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?

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.