Windsor Castle

IMG_6803 On our tour, we were able to visit Windsor Castle. What a place! We were not allowed to take photos inside but I did manage to get a lot of photos outside. My history of the castle is not very good. When PBS had a show on about “Queen Victoria and her Children”, it was quite interesting how they lived in the castle. In my mind, I thought it must be a wonderful place to live. Having parties, dances, and special events. I was surprise, at least for Queen Victoria and her children, it was not that ‘cheery’. It seems after Prince Albert died, Queen Victoria’s life deteriorated. It was like if she couldn’t be happy, her children wouldn’t be allowed to have any joy and in a sense were prisoners at the castle. Hopefully today, things are a bit more cheery at the castle.

European Trip Overload

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My husband and I went on a trip of a lifetime. After watching Rick Steve’s travel shows on Europe, we decided that we could do it on our own. What a trip!! We were gone almost two months. We flew to London and stayed there for six days. Caught the Eurostar to Paris and stayed there for five days. Caught another train to Nice, France. What a city!  We stayed there for three days and caught a plane to Barcelona, Spain. After five days in Spain, we caught a transalantic cruise ship to come home.

The weather was perfect. Only one day of slight rain, when we went to Stonehenge. By the time we got there, the sun was coming out, so I was able to get some pictures of the stones with shadows.  While I have seen these stones on TV many times, being there was amazing. The feelings I had while wondering through the path is really undescribeable.  I could had stayed there several days, just absorbing the magic from these stones. I took lots of photos and was lucky to get several without the crowds.

Where does the overload come from? The many photos I took – around 2,000, not counting the videos. When we plan our next trip, I will have to do something different. Trying to go through these have created a block.  Where do I start? Since we have been back, I have gone through the majority and now trying to get my videos together.  I think I have learned a lesson. :)

Practice, Practice, Practice

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I have been out of touch for a bit. One of my goals to work on since I retired, is to learn Photoshop Element better. I mean a lot better!  I’ve been able to get by but I want to learn more. For some people, it probably is very simple process to work. However, for me, I have problems remembering what I did to create something different. Like this picture. I was following a tutorial and it worked but to go back and do it again, I’ll have to relearn. UGH!  So most of my afternoons have been watching tutorials and practicing. I lucked out and found a tutorial that is simple and I can understand. 

When I first started editing my photos, it was on a PC with a Microsoft program. There were no layers. Now that I’m using a Mac, my son gave me Photoshop Element and it’s all about layers. For whatever reasons, I couldn’t wrap my brain around it. So, I did what I could, lots of time the hard way. 

Since taking the time, I think I finally got it. At least a start. I am pleased with this picture and it is motivating me to keep on learning.

 

Wait For Me

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hot air balloons, balloon glow, orange, yellow, green, night

I have had several ‘irons in the fire’, one might say, this past week. The above photo is one of them. It was accepted in an art show and I had to get it printed, matted, frame and mailed before the deadline. I do my own matting and framing. This time I had some extra frames for the size I was using. I went to the store to get my glass, came home and started to put it together and realized my metal frames were not the same width. :( So, back to the store to get new frames, put it together and mailed it off. I believe next time, I’ll go ahead and have it printed even if it doesn’t get accepted.  I was cutting it close. This show was for photography only. It was a nice show and had a lot of different photos in it.

This is one of my most recent photo. I went to our 2nd annual hot air balloon show. It was hot and humid. My night shots are not my strong suit but I was able to get several decent pictures of the balloons, so maybe I am getting better. :)

It was a surprise to see the smaller balloon against the bigger one and I thought it added a lot to this photo. Sometimes, I am often surprise what come up in my photos once they are on the computer.

Don’t Fence Me In

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Mocking Bird

I was down at the river yesterday. A photo group that I belong had their meeting at the River Market. It was nice to get with other photographers and learn different techniques. While walking around, this Mocking bird flew up on the fence right near me. So, of course, I took it’s picture.

I’ve been off this site for a while due to being gone and busy with other things. It is nice to be back on and catching up with everyone.

I’m excited that one of my photos was selected in a contest in a Gallery. I enjoy entering different contests and especially being nominated. I’ll post that photo later.

Summer in Arkansas can get pretty sticky and hot. So far, this summer has not been bad. As I’m writing this, thunder is off in the background and we had a small shower earlier. One of our weather person predicted that August would be cooler and more rain. I can handle that. :)

My husband and I are planning a trip to Europe. It has been, at times, overwhelming preparing for this trip. We plan to use the trains for all of our transportation once we arrive. We are also planning to pack light. My question is, should I take my Cannon camera and the 28-300mm lens? It is heavy but I do love the zoom on this lens. I follow a guy on twitter who uses his Iphone for the majority of his photos. While I will have my Iphone, I’m not sure about not having my DSLR with me. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Beach Days

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We had a great trip to the Gulf. We went with my Son’s family and enjoyed watching the kids play in the ocean. This pier was near our condo and I took lots of picutes of it. The lighting on the beach was awesome! I had a filter on my lens, mainly to protect the lens from the sand since it was so windy. I think the filter might added to the color however, it isn’t a strong filter.  When I look at this picture, it reminds me of a painting in the 17th century about a beach scene. Sorry, I can’t think of the painter’s name.

The weather was perfect while we were there. It was cool, cloudy, and windy. That’s unususal for the gulf. So we were able to spend a lot of time on the beach. The red flags were out, so swimming was out of the question. We had an Osprey to entertain us by catching fish. I was able to get some videos of it.

Balloon Festival

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My city had it’s 2nd annual balloon festival. I wasn’t able to make the one from last year, but did make it to this one. It was fun and colorful. It was also very hot and very humid. However, I did get some nice photos from this event. I don’t consider my night photography to be very good. So, I was out of my comfort zone. Plus the balloons didn’t all do their “burn” at the same time and I was hustling to one then to another trying to get a picture while worrying about, “is this the right Aperture,  ISO?, and F/stop.”  With the photos that did turn out, has enhance my love for night time photography and will encouraged me to get out more at night to improve those skills.

I have joined with a group of photographer from my state and they have a closed Facebook group. They are very active and this past weekend with the balloons and the supermoon has kept me busy. I’m usuallly a bit shy on getting out but have really enjoyed the new experiences.

I also got back from the gulf and will be posting some of those pictures. These past 3 weeks have been productive – at least with photography.

Stormy Weather

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I’m just sitting here, looking out the window, wondering what is in-store for AR. Most of the state is under a moderate risk for severe storms which include the possibilities of tornadoes. After yesterday terrible disaster in Moore, OK, most of us are hoping we can dodge the bullet. OK is on the west border of AR. We know to well, what damage can from these monster storms.

I do enjoy following the Storm Chasers, just don’t want them to come to our state. I was on the Internet and watched the tornado go through Moore, OK. The news reporter was in a helicopter, following that storm. Letting people know where the storm is and where it is going is an important service for the public.

For now we are having heavy rains and some wind. I’ve been trying to work on some photos for an upcoming contest. However, it is hard to keep my focus on that and not the weather radar. The radar is pretty much lit up like a Christmas Tree with red, green, and yellow blotches. The above picture is one I’m considering to enter. I like the reflection of the modern SUV and the guy walking away with the old coke machine in the foreground. I would appreciate andy comments on this photo.

Hope everyone that is in the track for these storms will stay safe.

Swamp Trees

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We took a short day trip to a small town called, Scott, AR. This is where the Delta starts. The land flattens out and fields of cotton, soy bean, and rice is grown in this area. Those who have read my other posts, know that I prefer mountains but this was a nice change.

On the way down we follow this lake and swamp area. A lot of large Cypress trees are there and made for some really neat photos. Trust me, I didn’t get off the road unless I could see what might be in front of me. I have noticed that while taking photos, my fears do disappear. :)

I like how this photo invites you to look past the large trees and to imagine what is further on the lake.

Another stopped we made was this field of yellow flowers.

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I truly love how the sunlight is shining on this field. It was around noon, when the light is not at the best, but for me this worked well. It was wonderful to get out and just focus on taking photos. Need to do this more often.

 

I’m so Excited…..

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Their promise was kept! The sun is back. It was hard to decide which title to use on this post: “Sunshine on my Shoulder” or “I’m so excited”! I went with my feelings.
For those who read my blog yesterday, I was getting down from a week of cold, dreary, rain. It is amazing what the sun can do for a person. :)
Now I’m full of energy and heading to the great outdoors. See ya!