When I’m out walking among the aspen eyes early in the morning, I always feel like somebody’s watching me. While Michael Jackson was referring to his fans or the paparazzi with those lyrics, I’m referring to the eyes of nature. These aspen trees watch over me, always making sure I’m safe. My many-eyed guardians are beginning to leaf out with their distinctive fluttering leaves.
Last month, we collected petrified wood bits from Bear Creek, south of Prineville Reservoir in Oregon. The following pieces are one inch or less in size. Getting decent photographs of these tiny stones proved to be a challenge.
I set up a tabletop studio and tried a Panasonic Lumix and a Galaxy Ultra phone camera. I had to keep adjusting the spotlights outside of the studio. Each stone was given a quick spritz of water to bring out their color. After many unsuccessful attempts with both cameras, I finally got some good shots with the Panasonic.
Today I’m sharing a photograph of a colorful walk in Portland processed three ways. We visited the Portland Japanese Garden in October 2021. The fall colors are a photographer’s dream!
I’ll be showing how I processed this picture from the garden three ways with Corel PaintShop Pro 2021. Prior to trying out the various effects, I increased the contrast slightly.
The first two show the original and the same picture with a retro effect. For this image I went to Effects>Photo Effects>Retro Lab>Hue 90. This effect blurred the edges like a vignette and cast a green glow over everything. Even the carp in the foreground is green! It’s easy to imagine this as a strange world in a fantasy or science fiction book.Read more Continue reading
You’ll find The The Bend Wall mural on the side of Newport Market, a neighborhood grocery store in Bend, Oregon. The bright painting covers a 100-foot long wall on the side of the building.
This impressive piece of artwork was created by Bend artist, Kim Smallenberg.
The mountain in the center of the mural is Pilot Butte, a dormant volcano. On the right side near the peak, you can see a small fire. On the Fourth of July, commercial fireworks are launched from Pilot Butte, and sometimes, it catches on fire. Our Fire Department is always there and ready.
A large metal sculpture of a bear sits in front of one end. The mural behind the bear shows dogs around a campfire. Bend is a dog-centered town. Many residents own one, or two, or…
The Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum in Hood River, Oregon has a large collection of cars from the “Golden Age of Transportation” – the period from the early 1920s through the 1940s. The Museum has a collection of over 130 vehicles from the 1900s to the 1960s. You can get more information on vehicles in the collection by year or manufacturer here.
Cars from the Golden Age and beyond
Artifacts from the time period are on display near many of the cars. Here’s a camping scene.
Storefronts around the perimeter of the building add visual interest to the collection.
The color and design of the cars make them great subjects for photographs.
I noticed these whimsical doors in Tumalo, Oregon while visiting a pod of food trucks. The Bite currently hosts five food trucks. You can get an assortment of beers on tap inside the main building. There is comfortable seating inside and out.
These paintings were done by local artist, Nicole Fontana. There are more pictures of her work at The Bite here. She even included her whimsical take on things in the signs for handicapped parking spots. 🙂
Here in Central Oregon, homeowners can take steps towards fighting future fires for free. In the spring, you can dispose of yard waste for no charge. In Bend this year, the free disposal runs from April 30 through May 15. Here’s a link showing dates at all locations. The landfill also takes yard waste for half price in early November.
You may wonder why the local landfill is taking yard waste without charging the usual amount. Central Oregon is in the exceptional drought category, according to U.S. Drought Monitor.
A couple days ago, we went on a Lower Crooked River drive. We were there early in the morning, attempting to avoid an incoming storm system. I remembered I had been there about a year earlier for an afternoon drive. How would the lighting differ in the photos taken on both trips?
Just south of Prineville, Oregon, the Lower Crooked River Back Country Byway winds its way along the Crooked River. The 43-mile long road meets up with Highway 20 to the south.
This post highlights the 8-mile section between Prineville Reservoir and Castle Rock. See map at the end of the post. On this drive, the curving lines of the road and river contrast with the straight lines of geological features.
A morning drive
As we drove north from the reservoir, shadows covered the east side of the road. The morning light cast a warm glow over the canyon lands.
Basalt columns looked pretty in full light…
But took on more character in the shadows.
Here’s a western tiger swallowtail painting I did on a small wooden box.
Here’s one I saw on the High Desert Garden Tour a few years ago. The Western tiger swallowtail, Papilio rutulus, ranges throughout western North America.
The state insect in Oregon is the Oregon swallowtail butterfly, Papilio machaon oregonius. They have paler yellow coloring on their wings.
Would you like to attract butterflies to your garden? Here are a few things you can do, according to Gardeners.com:
- Choose plants that attract pollinators
- Limit, or eliminate, your use of pesticides
- Provide shelter for breeding and avoiding predators
- Provide water
- Consider keeping a beehive
For a good list of plants that attract butterflies, go to Attracting Butterflies, Hummingbirds and Other Pollinators.
Do you have artwork you would like to share? Be sure to include the First Friday Art tag.
Deadwood Stagecoach, 1867. Buffalo Bill Cody Center of the West, Cody, Wyoming
When taking pictures, you might want to think about composing your photo in thirds. What?
According to the Digital Photography School, the rule of thirds “is a compositional guideline that breaks an image down into thirds (both horizontally and vertically) so you have nine pieces and four gridlines. According to the rule, by positioning key elements along the gridlines, you’ll end up with better compositions.”
While browsing my photos, I realized horizontal layers are more important to me in composition. Do my pictures always follow the rule of thirds guidelines? No, it’s okay to bend the rules.
SLR Lounge notes, “Of all the “rules” in photography, the rule of thirds is one of the easiest to successfully break.”
My photo in thirds examples (with layers)
This sandhill crane is in the upper third corner, but the differing textures and colors of the plants catch your attention. This photo has four layers.
This pronghorn is near the lower third of the picture. I could have cropped it more, but I didn’t want to cut out the misty mountains in the background. This photo has five layers.
We have a resident herd of mule deer here and I refer to this buck as the guy next door. He didn’t seem to be bothered by my presence at all.
the path meanders
up a rocky desert butte
embraced by spring clouds
A white poppy up close growing in our garden last year. Poppies come in a variety of colors, but they’re also pretty in white.
I often look at bird photos I’ve taken later and find out they’re slightly blurred. Fortunately for me, the Bird Weekly Photo Challenge this week is “Blurry.” I’m highlighting funny bird moments to go along with the Lens-Artist Photo Challenge of “Humor.”
This American robin looked kind of mad that I interrupted a private moment with its Ring-necked Dove friend. Ooops!
Is this an ad for Subaru? Look a little closer to spot the Mountain Bluebird admiring its reflection in my mirror. It was quite taken with itself.
This western juniper looks like it had too much fun on Earth Day. I think it was trying to sleep it off. 😉
Thermophile color blooms near Earth’s core
In bouquets of startling brilliance
Fertilized by extreme heat
In caldera water
Where few dare to tread
Find a home,
Focus on what is important and blur the distractions.
Magnify the delicacy of Nature’s architecture.
Find subjects that stand out from the herd and capture their strength.
Focus on the palette of colors used to create distant masterpieces.
Terry’s Hanger Shop is part of one of the displays at the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum located in Hood River, Oregon. This large museum features airplanes, automobiles, and other artifacts. This shop is one of the many storefronts featured around the perimeter of the building.
Did you notice the sign showing the hours they are open? “Gone Yesterday Today and Tomorrow.” Someone has a good sense of humor. 😉
I saw this gorgeous red Indian paintbrush at Great Basin National Park in Nevada. This park doesn’t get as many visitors as others nearby, but it’s definitely worth a visit. We enjoyed our drive up to the the 10,000 foot level of Wheeler Peak. We drove by ancient stands of singleleaf pinyon pine, Great Basin bristlecone pine, and curlleaf mountain mahogany covered with a dusting of spring snow. These brilliant wildflowers were near the beginning of the 12-mile long Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive.
This picture of an ammonite fossil up close shows their beautiful spiraling structure. In ancient times they were called “snake stones” or “serpent stones.” The stones were thought to have healing and oracular powers. Fossils of these once abundant, now extinct, marine molluscs are popular with collectors.
Here’s a pencil drawing I did of a peregrine falcon guarding its prey. I have been fascinated by falcons ever since I read accounts of Genghis Kahn hunting with them. Some of my earliest crayon drawings are of mounted riders carrying falcons. This site describes the 6,000-year old Mongolian tradition and features photos of falconers on horseback.
On our trip to Ireland in March 2020, we looked forward to participating in the Dingle Falconry Experience in County Kerry. Trained owls and hawks briefly perch on your gloved hand before flying to the next participant.
This photo shows their peregrine falcon feeding after its flight. The falcon was only handled by the trainer, Andi Chewning.
When I drove the highway west of Cody, Wyoming, I saw stories unfolding in rock formations along the road.
The short paved trail in the photo below takes you to a place of wonderment along the North Fork Shoshone River.
Stories unfolding from a distance
The rock formations along the ridgetop are a village of homes with a view carved by the common folk. At one time, the richest man in town lived in a round home atop the tallest tower. He bragged about his wealth to anyone who would listen. One day, he danced with glee around and around inside the house. It fell to the ground, but he survived. From then on, he lived a humble life in a square home and he never danced again.
Sheep Mountain is a distinctive landmark about 15 miles southwest of Cody.Continue reading
Today I’m sharing a photograph of a Lost Forest pine tree processed three ways. The Lost Forest is a geographically isolated forest in the High Desert of Central Oregon. A visit to this unique forest inspired me to write a short story.
I’ll be showing how I processed this picture three ways with Corel PaintShop Pro 2021. Prior to trying out the various effects, I increased the contrast and vibrancy slightly.
The first two show the original and the same picture with a box camera effect. For this image I went to Effects>Photo Effects>Time Machine>Box camera. I was pleased how this effect enhanced details of the tree’s structure.
The second two show the original Lost Forest pine tree and the same picture with a warming filter effect. For this image I went to Effects>Photo Effects>Film and Filters. I chose the Warm earth tones option with an orange warming filter. This effect made the tree’s red bark stand out. The puzzle-like bark of ponderosa pines is one of their most interesting features. This effect also highlighted the bare branches better than other effects I considered.Continue reading
This bridge with a view takes you to the entrance of the Portland Japanese Garden. The bridge’s glass walls bring you closer to the natural world beneath you. Straight lines contrast with the curves and textures of the surrounding forest. When you ascend the stairs and exit the path, you’ll enter the Cultural Center. With its minimalistic design, it stands out yet blends in at the same time.
Driving around the bend, visions of new worlds come into view.
Splashes of warm color, framed in cool blue, catch our attention.
Images pass by fast and vanish, remembered as a dream.
Today I’m sharing photos and a short video related to the Guinness harp. The emblem is based on a 14th century Irish harp known as “O’Neill” or “Brian Boru.” Guinness has featured a harp image on its beer labels since 1862 and trademarked it in 1876. The logo consists of the harp, the GUINNESS® word, and Arthur Guinness’ signature.
Harps outside the Storehouse
Here’s a harp on a sign outside the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland.
Here’s another harp outside the entrance where visitors can take horse-drawn carriage tours.
Harps inside the StorehouseContinue reading
This is a beautiful piece of stilbite up close. Specimens like these, from the stilbite subgroup, can be found near Mill Creek, Polk County, Oregon. The crystals on this mineral are gorgeous, but I also like the parallel lines surrounding the cavity in this piece.
A gray fox blissfully basking in the sunlight on a log.
Zooming in a little closer to see the details of her coat.
Zooming in closer still to focus on her exquisite and intelligent face.
propelled by whispers of wind
settles on snow drifts
It’s time once again for fun with photos. Welcome to Photo Bloopers 5! This is what I do with pictures that don’t quite fit in or turned out weird looking. They needed a few words to make them more interesting. Hope they entertain you!