Sunday, June 29, 2008

Challenge #1 - Composition

My photography group is back up and running - yeah!! So this is our first challenge. We were supposed to concentrate on our composition on three different subjects (music, tea, and feet). We were to do two different shots of each subject for a total of six photographs. I was really, really trying to think outside the box... we'll see. This is Tea#1 - so I interpreted it as "t" and not "tea". LOL. I think the shadows look like a bunch of "t"s.
Tea#2 - I don't drink coffee. I don't drink tea. Sorry! So... I DO drink kool-aid:
Music #1 - this one was really hard for me - music! Ugh. So this is the remote for my IPod docking station.
Music #2 - I did think outside the box a little on this one. With all the flooding in our city, the power has been completely cut off downtown. This is one of those huge generators (I made it into a black/white) - not exactly music, but it did sound nice to hear them running downtown.
Foot#1... I was a little better with this subject. This is the foot to my tripod:
Foot#2 - I think this is my favorite of the whole challenge - this is a bull's foot at the zoo from last weekend. I put it through CS3 and tried to give it that "western" look. I really like how it turned out.
The other thing we were supposed to do on this challenge was give a tip. Hmmm.... ok. Since the subject is composition, make sure you really look at your subject before you take the shot. If there is something in the background that you don't like, take a couple steps left or right to change the angle to get rid of the unwanted element in your shot. If that doesn't work - see if you can "get rid" of it in your processing.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Play Ball!!!

My friend, Kate, asked if I would like to come to her son's baseball game and take some pictures of Kyle. Well, color me there!!! Kate is a riot to talk to and her son is about as cute as cute can get. He is twelve years old and I told Kate she is going to have to beat the girls off with a stick. LOL

Thursday, June 26, 2008

To Catch A Thief

How does one catch a thief? Run away!!! Yep - it really works. Phoenix decided last night in class to grab a toy (not his!) and run with it. A game of keep-away is only good if someone wants what you have. Well, Melinda (Phoenix's mom) doesn't play that game!! LOL. He grabbed the toy and ran to the opposite end of the ring. She promptly left the ring and went elsewhere - guess what Phoenix did?
Where is she going? Doesn't she want to play?
Wait! Come back and chase me!!!!Phoenix really is a good boy. He's just an adolescent male and has some growing up to do. He is going to be a REALLY nice agility and obedience dog for Melinda very soon. Here is a shot that I took of him in the weaves last night. Actually, it's a series of shots that I had fun with in Photoshop!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Trip to the Zoo!!

I got to go to the zoo!!! I can't remember the last time I went to the zoo. Tammy was able to take a guest for a trip her employer was sponsoring. We had an awesome time! So this is my partner in crime... I wonder what that little girl was thinking?
And just to prove it... Tammy WILL stick her finger where it doesn't belong!!
These are a few of my favorite shots from the zoo. This is a Serval. They were very cute and not nearly as big as I thought they would be - probably about the size of a medium sized dog. I was really happy how this shot turned out - I was shooting through a fence.
The baby swans are the poster children for cuteness!!
The giraffe are awesome. This was the only male and he was so photogenic and funny.
This is a ring tailed lemur. They look like a very exotic raccoon. I love their tails. This one was shot through a fence too.
The lions were totally crashed on their rock in the sun. Lazy kitties. This was another lucky shot too. The lioness was facing the inside viewing area and I had to shoot through the glass (and everyone's sticky little fingerprints! Ick!!)

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Brian and I went camping this week in Des Moines. We have been camping several times at Saylorville - it's a gorgeous place. Well, Des Moines has had a lot of flooding too. These two pictures are our regular campsite - we have never camped anywhere else in this park other than this site. We drove down to see how the site looked, and this is what greeted us. Usually, we would drive down this hill (yes, there really is a hill here!) and around to the other side of the campground. Our regular site is actually about a quarter of a mile from the edge of the lake. Now, it's about 30 feet! Yikes! There is normally a little potty shed thingy just down at the bottom of the hill - that's the roof of the potty shed that you see on the road. You can't even see the rest of the building. Needless to say, we went looking for a different campsite (and we found a really nice one!).

So I wanted to go walking down the road towards the main entrance to see where the water level was at there. This guy spotted me. He actually walked towards me for several steps before deciding that he needed to leave. Meanwhile, I was trying to decide if I could cross a dog and a deer for the perfect agility dog. They can jump!

We saw a few critters while we were there. This was an ITTY BITTY toad that I spotted - he was only about the size of a quarter, but was very, very brave while I got all up in his face taking pictures.
Then there were the Turkey Vultures. Seriously a LOT of TVs.
While we were taking pics of the TVs, this totally adorable goose family swam by. Baby geese are so extremely cute!
On one end of the park, they have bison and elk. On our way to see them, this little guy was sitting on the side of the road having breakfast.
There were deer everywhere. We never saw any large groups - just singles. We did see a pair of fawns on our way out of the park, but didn't get any pics. This is probably the best shot I got all weekend of the deer.
They have about a half dozen elk in one end of the park. Kinda lazy... LOL
They are supposed to have bison too, but this is the best proof I can get that they exist. I think there were two of them, but they never even moved!
So... did you know they have firewood vending machines? Stay tuned!!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Karate Chicken!

After spending time with Tammy's ponies the other day, I had to visit the chicks and ducks. They are so funny. Let me tell you, they love their food - no question! I got them a handful of food so I could keep them out in the sun for some shots... This is our "villain" - the sneaky little ducks. They are the messiest little critters (look at their beaks!).
This is our "hero", McNugget. Yep, McNugget. He's Tammy's rooster and he loves his girlies.
Who wouldn't? They are cute cute cute!! Look at this face - how could you resist?
And they have the cutest little behinds:
So... McNugget and his girls are happily munching away on their chicken chow... minding their own business, when suddenly...
the duck gang shows up on chicken territory!!
Uh oh... McNugget is NOT going to take kindly to this duckie invasion...
Yep... off goes McNugget... time to defend his girlies and their food.That boy can move!! I love watching Tammy's chickens run - you'd be surprised how fast they are!
McNugget takes a bite out of crime!
Take THAT duck villain!!
Our hero conquers the duck villains once again!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Every 500 years...

it floods like this (or so they say). Cedar Rapids is in the middle of a 500 year flood. That means this is only supposed to happen every 500 years. Good thing, as we are taking on some serious water here!!

This is Center Point Road - where I work. Every time we get a serious bit of rain, it turns into instant river. This is the sewer backing up creating quite the little fountain.
Every once in a while some idiot (every town has 'em!) will try to pretend his (yep... HIS) car will make it though water like this. You probably can't tell from the picture, but the headlights are still on and the wipers are still going.

This is the alley way behind the CVS Pharmacy down in front of our clinic. Note the two cars in the distance (burgundy and green). We'll get to them later (more idiots!).
This is looking down the street in front of our clinic. It's not normally supposed to be a river either. Ugh.
Another view of the road and the fun fountain. Center Point Road fills up very quickly like this when it rains and then before you know it, all the rain is gone - like it was never there. Today, the road filled up twice and emptied just like that.

This is the CVS parking lot - glad those are not my cars. Yikes!
Well, here they are. Two more idiots. Wouldn't you think if there was already one car there that couldn't make it, the second one wouldn't either? Guess not.
Oooops.... time to go. They frown on folks taking pictures...
So.... I was able to head home on 380 - the main highway through town. This is Quaker Oats (where you get your morning cereal)... sometimes you can smell the Captain Crunch! That water is NOT supposed to be there! The river is just off to the left.
For those of you that wonder about my picture taking while driving, these are just lucky shots. I am driving and just taking random shots out the window with the other hand. This is the river. See the train? They put loaded trains on the bridges to hold them down and hopefully keep them stable. It's not working.

Another lucky shot. This is the river again. See those little dots out in the middle of the river? Those are meters on the bridges. YIKES!!
I stopped by the house and picked up Brian and then we headed down where I would usually drive to work. This is supposed to be a corn field. There shouldn't be any water here.
These people have been working on this house for the last year. New garage, new siding, etc... Now it's all under water. They were using a canoe to get around their property.

This is the road that I normally drive down to work. I would drive down the road and around through those trees. I don't think I'll be driving down there for quite some time.