Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Fountain

This fountain was taken in Seoul Land (I think) when I was living in South Korea.  It's at a theme park, what they call their version of Disneyland.  It's nothing like what I've seen of Disneyland (I've never been there but I've seen pictures).

I used the point and shoot I had at the time, and have adjusted colours, brightness, contrast using Photoshop Elements.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Frost 3

Another frost shot from the photos I took the other morning.  I like the way this turned out. It's the remnant of some flower from my mom's garden.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Frost 2

Another frost picture I took the other morning.  I would like to have gotten closer to the frost in the photo, but I was having difficulty with focusing when I did that.

Monday, November 23, 2009


I went out early this morning to try and take some photos of the frost.  The above photo is of frost on the windshield of the car with a little early morning sun creating sparkles on some of it.

The majority of the shots didn't turn out, but I was somewhat satisfied with a few of them.  Out of about 80-90 shots, there were maybe 3 or 4 that I thought were OK.  I wonder if I need an actual macro lens in order to take decent shots of frost.  This is one subject I would like to learn how to take good photos of.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Photography Learnings - Part 1

I need to get out and take more photos.  I don't want to keep posting different shots of the same subject, otherwise you (and I) will get bored of this blog.  Until then, I thought I would post some of the things I've been learning about photography recently.  I want to try to create awill try to post these hints and tips I've learned, and post some links to other articles that may explain what I discuss better. 

I am by no means an expert photographer, but what I post is what I am learning as I venture into the wonderful world of digital photography.  If anyone reading this can explain the topic I focus on little better, or has some links on the subject, or can even add their own thoughts on the topic, feel free to leave a comment.  Just remember to be nice; I am learning and don't claim to know everything. 

Get To Know Your Camera

This is probably one of the biggest tips I've read about recently.  Not every camera is the same, nor does it have the same setup.  It's wise to learn how to operate your camera correctly, otherwise your photos won't be as good or as creative as they could be.

It seems that most people, upon purchase of a new camera, are excited to take photos immediately.  They go out to a location where there is plenty of opportunity for stunning photos, or they prop up a common household item on the table, or use their friends and family as subjects, and begin clicking the shutter.  Once the photos are uploaded, the new photographer doesn't see the photos he/she thought had been taken (colours aren't accurate, someone has a tree growing out of his/her head, the dog started scratching his ear and there is a big blurry spot from that).  Granted, some shots might turn out great, but they could have been much better shots if the photographer knew how to change or use the features (or even know what the features are) on their camera.

I am guilty of this very thing.  I got my Pentax K200D a little over a year ago and was in love.  I looked briefly at the manual, but I wanted to get out shooting photos.  I have gone over to a photographer friend's home to get her help in taking photos (like practicing lighting or depth of field), and we've gone out to a park to take some photos.  However, at one point, I needed to set the white balance to a specific setting.  I didn't know how to do this.  On this particular day I was at my friend's home, and she was able to get on the internet and find an online copy of the manual for my camera.  By using the manual, she was able to discover how to set/change the white balance, so I was able to make the necessary adjustment. 

Sadly, I quickly forgot how to change/use this feature and never adjusted it again for some time.  Trust me when I say that I have now gone through the manual to see how to make this particular adjustment again, and I use it all the time (though I do admit that sometimes I forget to change it until AFTER I get home and realize I didn't make the changes while taking the photos).  But, I am still learning and I now make the changes a lot more than I used to.

While I am still new to photography, and will also admit that I need to go through my manual more and actualy take some photos using the particular features on my camera (this helps me learn and remember what to do for those specific features, and when to use them), I think learning about your own camera and how to operate it is one of the most important things a photographer can do.

If you have any thoughts on this topic (or links) and would care to contribute, please leave a comment.  Remember, be nice.  I want this series to be all about learning and helping photographers to grow in their learning and photography.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gerbera 2

Same pot of daisies as the prevous one, this time I took a photo with the morning sun coming through the front window.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Gerbera Daisy

I bought a pot of Gerbera Daisies today (three blooms on it).  These have never been a flower I had been attracted to for some reason; I don't know if it was because I just hadn't seen them often before or what.  Lately, well at least since this past spring or early summer, I've found myself liking these flowers - so much so, that I've added them to my list of favourite flowers.

The actual flower on this isn't as bright pink as the photo shows.  It's more of a subdued, faded looking pink.  However, I should say that it's not faded from being in the sun, but it's just the shade of pink.  I don't remember if I used the flash on this photo or not (I suspect I may have), but I did play around with it in Photoshop Elements.  No matter what I did with my adjustments, I couldn't get it to look like the colour it is in reality.  That being said, I do like the way this photo turned out.

I would like to also take this time to thank Crista over at Nature As Is.  She has awarded me with this Friend Award!  Thank you so much Crista! 

If you haven't been to her blog, please go visit her.  She has such a lovely and friendly blog and has lots of great photos of birds and nature.  I haven't known her long, but she is very friendly, positive and kind.

Now I must pass this award on to six other bloggers.  Be sure to check out their blogs as well:

1. Pixellicious Photos - another very friendly blogger and awesome photographer

2. Georgiana - sadly, I don't get to her blog as often as I would like.  She is a writer/author and is a great inspiration to me (even though she doesn't know it).  Right now, she's working on NaNo, and I wish her all the best as she strives to finish 50,000 words by the end of November!

3. Jodi -she's very caring, kind, and an awesome person.  She's been busy with school lately (amongst other things), but I'm sure she'll be back to blogging soon (and hopefully her computer issues have been resolved!).  She makes great cards and has her own Etsy shop, Flutterbye Dreams (be sure to check out her awesome items for sale - clippies, toothfairy pillows, felt finger puppets, and more)

4. NannaPEI -  such a friendly lady - and very crafty too!  She's working on some slippers right now, but sadly she's not liking the yarn (which I don't blame her at all, because I've tried using that yarn too and it's not all that great to knit with).

5.  Chris - another kind and friendly woman.  You should see the cards she makes - so awesome!  She really inspires me with my card making - though I'm not all that great at it yet (need more practice, I think).  Be sure to stop by her blog and see her great work!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Moon - Sort Of

This is a shot I took the other night.  I was attempting to get the moon between two sections of the tree.  Unfortunately, the cloud covered the moon.  Also, I think I moved the camera a little or the tripod wasn't stable enough.  I do know I need a better tripod though.  Anyway, the shot turned out a bit of shake to it and it was quite dark.  In PSE, I lightened it up some and applied the dry brush effect and got what I think looks like a painting.  It's not the best shot, but I kind of like the way it looks here.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cluck, Cluck

A friend of mine and her husband got three chickens for their children as pets.  I believe these are Silkies, and they are apparently a good animal for a pet.  They are super soft!  I got to pet this one, and she didn't even try to bite.  I don't know too much about this kind of fowl, so I'm just going by what my friend told me (they did research).

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Bare birch trees at the park.  I like the lines the trunks make, but the little branches seem to take away that effect some...

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Church

I took this photo of a church (not mine) back in September.  I should have gone back when then leaves were pretty colours, because there are a lot of them in the area where this church is located.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Rose By Any Other Name

I took this photo last Sunday at church.  I've adjusted colour and contrast some using Photoshop Elements.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Apartment Complex

Another photo from my recent walk in the park.  I thought this tree looked pretty interesting, figuring a woodpecker made some holes in it.  I tried to get a few macro shots, but unfortunately they didn't turn out.  While I was up close to the tree, I inspected the holes somewhat and it looks like they were made much bigger (as you can see here) than what a woodpecker would do, by biting and gnawing at the wood around the holes.  I figure this must be an apartment complex for some squirrels.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


This is another photo from my walk in the park the other day.  Can you see the face in the trunk?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Taken on my walk in the park yesterday.  I like how this shot makes it look like the leaves are floating or hovering in the air.  I auto adjusted the colour and contrast using Photoshop Elements.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Walk In The Woods

I took a walk in the woods/park near my home again today.  This time I went in a different entrance on the other side of the park.  Here's one of the photos I took today.  There is definitely not much colour left on the trees now.  I'm sure this area will look really pretty when the snow comes though.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Word

Tonight was the first time in a long while that I went to Bible study.  I really enjoyed it, and will be heading back again next week.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Gold Coast

During my last week in Australia, I had the opportunity to go to the Gold Coast for five days.  This photo is of some sort of...well, I don't know what it is exactly (some kind of fruit maybe?).  These were growing on some of the trees around this beach that was right by the hotel.  If anyone knows what exactly they are (or what kind of tree these would grow on), please leave a comment. 

I enjoyed the Gold Coast, but unfortunately, I hurt my back and couldn't do much.  I ended up going to the doctor and getting some medications to help my back.  Ultimately, even with the pills, the doctor told me it would take awhile for my back to get better.  Even now it still feels stiff when I get up or after I've been sitting for awhile, and it's been about two months since it happened.  At least it doesn't hurt now.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Just playing around with the macro setting on my camera.  These were taken after a recent photo shoot at a local park.  Neither shots have been edited.

Friday, October 23, 2009

In Melbourne

This is a photo from my trip to Australia this past July & August.  It's a street in Melbourne (don't know which one though, but I think it was pretty central).  I wish I was able to capture more photos when I was there, but it's a real hindrance when no one else in your group is into photography other than clicking the odd picture here and there.

This building (near the Eureka Tower I think) had this giant bee/wasp sculpture on it.  There is also a wall below to the right of this that has several of them on it - really cool.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Yesterday, I went to help a friend come up with some ideas for activities for a Halloween lesson she was planning.  She works in a school library and wanted things to center around that.  While I was there, I wanted to try some shots of books on the shelves.  Here is one of them.  The photo was auto adjusted for colour and contrast.

This is the same shot as above, only this time I chose the "colour in the center" application on Photoshop Elements.  I might try to play with the contrast a little more, and maybe see how that looks (especially on the black and white parts of the photo).  I also want to learn to do selective colours as I think that might look pretty cool in a photo like this.

P.S. Yesterday's photo is of some blurred books on this book shelf.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Today's photo was an experimental type shot I tried.  Can you guess what the photo is?  Let me know in the comments section what your guess is.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

B is for...

Today I decided to capture something blue.  This is a garden ornament in my mother's garden - a iron/steel and glass butterfly.  I pointed up towards the sky, hence the background.  It's not the most creative picture, but that wasn't particularly my focus today - just to take a photo of something that was blue.  I auto adjusted the colour and contrast, and that was all for editing.

This is the same photo as above, only I decided to play around with it.  I added, in Photoshop Elements, what I think was called "glow edging" (I could be wrong with the name though), and thought it might look cool.  I like the way it turned out.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Three Leaves

A simple photo of three leaves which I took at a recent photo shoot at a local park.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


A simple photo of a small grove of trees.  I took this in the park near my home, part of the collection of photos I took that day.  Mostly what I was going here for was the lines - the vertical lines caused by the tree trunks.  Again, it's not amazing or anything like that; but I like how the photo depicts the end of the fall season.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bit o' Bokeh

These aren't great photos, I'll be the first to admit it.  But, they are from my first attempt at trying to do bokeh.  I definitely need to find my old tripod and make a better setup, but out of the several photos I shot in this session, these are probably the better two. 

I have three coloured bottles - blue, red, and yellow - and I tried shots using the different ones.  I was only satisfied with these two of the red bottle.  Mind you, I'm not completely satisfied with these shots, but like I said before, they are the better ones from what I took.  I also used some Christmas lights to try to get the bokeh effect.  In some shots, the lights had the effect a little bit, but the rest of the light was too visible.  I might try this when it's dark instead of having some light shining through the blinds. 

I've done some reading on this topic (bokeh), and it said it was pretty easy to do this type of photography, but at the same time, it takes a lot of practice to "perfect" it.  I'll keep trying though, because some of the photos of bokeh I've seen are amazing.

Friday, October 16, 2009


I had taken a photo of this without a flash and it turned out dark, so I turned the flash on and got this image.  I auto edited the colours, brightness, contrast, etc., and I'm sure it could be fixed up much better.  It doesn't help that there is a big white cloud in the background - I wish it had been broken up by blue sky somewhat.  Anyway, I took this yesterday when I went to the park near my house for a little photo shoot.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Leaf x 2

I went out to another local park today, this one closer to my home (practically in my backyard).  I wanted to see if there were still some nice fall photos to be taken.  Sadly, most of the leaves have fallen now, but I did get some nice shots.

The above shot was taken using the macro mode of my camera, using my 18-55mm lens.  I've auto adjusted the colour and contrast a bit in this photo.  The one below is the same shot, only I converted it to black and white and adjusted the RGB levels some.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

B & W Bark

Ganted, this might not be the best or most interesting photo, but I was playing around with the maco setting on my camera and wanted to try to capture the texture of the tree bark.  I converted the photo from colour to b&w and adjusted the RGB levels some.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

B&W Tree

This photo is from my excursion a few weeks ago to a local park to take fall pictures.  I changed this over to black & white and adjusted the RGB colours.  I like how black & white helps show of textures - like the bark on this tree trunk.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Pretty Dahlia

One of last year's dahlias; not sure of the name of this one.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Just Grass

A few weeks ago, I went with my friend Michelle to a local park to take some photos.  This is one that I took that day - just some tall grass growing next to a little brook that ran off the lake.  This photo is untouched with regard to any editing.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


It was raining again today, so when I waited for a time when it was more like a mist and headed out with a plastic bag around/over my camera with just the lens poking out of a hole I cut in the bag.  I wanted to try to capture raindrops on leaves, flowers, etc.  At some point I would like to try prettier rain shots, but this is what I have for now.  This is a leaf from a flower/plant in one of the front step window boxes.  I used the lens that came with the camera (18-55 mm) and used the macro setting on the camera.  Some day I would like to have a real macro lens so I can take really good macro photos!

Friday, October 9, 2009

The End of A Season

The end of flower season is pretty well upon us.  This is one of the few remaining purple cone flowers left in my mom's garden, and it's seen better days.  I still liked it though, and thought it worthy of photographing.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Another Autumn Photo

I love the beautiful colours of the trees.  God has done some mighty fine work!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

It's Autumn

This is another photo from the park I went to yesterday to take pictures of the beautiful autumn leaves.  I think this is one of my favourite shots from the photo shoot.  I should try to get back to this same location next summer and take a duplicate photo of this scene just to have a different look (all green leaves).

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Crimson & Clover

I was out taking some pictures of the beautiful fall leaves today.  I came across this little tree with red leaves.  I like the red ones the best.  I saw this little stubby leaf that looked like it was only beginning to grow when the colour change took place.  I wanted to capture it just because I thought it was cute.

On my way back to the car, I came across 2 or 3 clovers and after a few shots (using my 18-55mm lens set to macro), I got this one.  Using Photoshop Elements, I auto changed the colour and contrast.

I hope to put some other pictures I took today of the fall foliage over the next few days.  I also got some more photos of my mom's dahlias.  It was a beautiful overcast day - perfect for taking pictures!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Downtown Yesan

This is a picture of one of the streets in the downtown area of the small town I lived in for a year in South Korea.  This particular day was quiet and not many people or cars were around at this point - otherwise it would have been crowded!

In this particular town, there were only about a dozen of us foreigners (white skinned as well), so we were quite the novelty.  The kids may or may not have been at a school where one of us taught.  They were definitely not at my school, because I taught at an all boys middle school.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Tinker Belle

I took this shot yesterday of my cat, Tinker Belle.  I had been attempting to take some photos of tomoatoes, but I don't think they quite turned out.  I'll need to try when there is more light, since I took them when it was getting dark.

I know I should have adjusted it so her ears were in the shot, but I was trying to get her washing her paw.  I like how she has one eye opened and the other closed.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Off Shoot

This is a grove (?) of tree trunks on the hill beside my house.  I took the shot a couple of days ago around supper time.  The light was coming from the back right hand side.  I adjusted the white balance (I believe it was on cloudy because that's the kind of day it was) and snapped the shot. 

Using PSE, I converted the photo to black and white and adjusted the red, green, and blue colours.  This was just more or less a test shot because I was trying to figure out how to change the white balance on my camera.  I had learned awhile back but forgot; so when I found out how to do it again, I tried adjusting it.

I had hoped the photo would have had the trunks in the front more in focus, as well as the shoot of the other tree growing among them, but I guess I didn't have the camera set for that.  It's a learning curve - to make sure you adjust your camera settings, apertures, etc. and take several pictures (using the different settings).  I'm not overly disappointed with the photo though.

Friday, October 2, 2009

South Korea Part 2

This is another photo I took on the excursion my class of Korean English teacher's took me.  This was taken last spring with my Sony digital point and shoot camera.  I liked this tree, even though it didn't have any leaves on it; it seemed to have some character to it and I wanted to take a photo of it in front of the buildings.  My focus was not on the buildings, but the tree.

Unfortunately, I don't know how to fix the sign in the picture (it's way too bright/over exposed).  I might try my hand at removing the object - same with the person who is squatting and taking a photo...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

South Korea

Today's photo comes from South Korea.  I spent a year there (2007-2008) teaching English.  In the spring of 2008, the Korean English teachers I taught took me on a little field trip to a somewhat nearby Buddist temple to visit.  Buddism is the largest religious sect in the country, and Christianity is the second largest (I'm Christian).

It was a nice outting, and the temple was located in a lovely spot which was quiet and serene.  When we went, it was close to Budda's birthday so there were little paper lanterns strung out along the paths leading up to the temple area.

I took this photo on my Sony digital point and shoot.  I touched up the colours in Photoshop Elements to make them look a little brighter.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

In The Garden

When I got together with my friend Michelle this past Saturday to go on a photoshoot, she dropped off a book and some magazines for me to look through to help with Photoshop Elements.  She had version 6, so these reading materials deal with that.  I have version 7, but she said there isn't much difference between the two so I should be able to use them.

I finally got around to going through the book a little bit today.  Since I've been trying my hand at black & white conversion, I checked out the section on that.  Boy, was I doing it "wrong".  All I had been doing was clicking on the "convert to black and white" option (at the top of the screen under enhance) and then playing around with sliders for adjusting colour, contrast, brightness, etc.

I am much happier with the technique I tried today - and I learned something new as well (the technique).  I follwed the step-by-step instructions and came up with the photo you see in this post.  It's probably not the best shot, or b&w converstion, but I like it.

The book I was following is called the photoshop elements 6 book for digital photographers (no capitals used in the title) by Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski.  It seems like a great book, and Michelle said it is an excellent tool to learn PSE.  She said it was expensive, but well worth having.  The magazines, which I haven't had a chance to look through much yet, are called Adobe Photoshop Elements Techniques.  I hope to get around to reading through those very soon.

Do you use Photoshop Elements (any version)?  If so, what's your favourite technique to use?