September Challenge: Landscape… Entry #5 In the Bayou

Our next entry is from Marylin.

“This picture I took in Louisiana deep in the “bayou”. I did not want to unhook the travel trailer from my van so I went exploring, riding my folding bike around the lake to find good spots for pictures. I was carrying 2 cameras with me and most of the time I had to walk the bike through pathways to get an interesting shot. I talked to other campers and they shared that the fishing there was excellent. No boat on my horizon yet… maybe a fishing kayak?” LOL

Bistineau State Park, Louisiana In the Bayou (Photo by Marylin)

Bistineau State Park, Louisiana
In the Bayou
(Photo by Marylin)


September Challenge: Landscape… Entry #4 Spring Break

What a pleasant surprise to hear from Kristen P.. Her children are back in school and she is now done with school and looking for a job so she can buy more photography equipment. Now she’s thinking like a crazy woman!

“It’s more of a seascape than a landscape but I thought it was kinda cool with the fog.
This was back in March when I took my girls to Padre Island during spring break.”

Spring Break 2014 (Photo by Kristen P.)

Spring Break 2014
(Photo by Kristen P.)

September Challenge: Landscape… Entry #3 The Cascades

This next entry is from Sassy in Oregon…

“Here are a couple of photos I fortunately happened to take earlier this summer. These are of Mt.Hood and part of the Cascade Mountain Range here near us. I say I was fortunate to get up there and shoot these ’cause from the sound of it, this little play area of mine and the guys (we also take the Bronco’s up here to play) is now gone, destroyed possibly by the Pit 36 Fire that is burning near Estacada, Oregon. Estacada is only 13 miles from us. At the moment, the fire has consumed 5400 acres and is only 40% contained. Hillockburn Rd. up below where we play was at level 3 evacuation, however as of this morning those residents are being allowed back. I’m looking forward to this fire being out and us being able to get back up on Hillockburn to see how bad it is.”

So… here are Sassy’s photos and I will put the fire photos in a little slideshow. A couple of the fire photos were taken by a fire fighter friend. They are quite dramatic!

Cascade Mountains (Photo by Sassy)

Cascade Mountains
(Photo by Sassy)

Cascade Mountains (Photo by Sassy)

Cascade Mountains
(Photo by Sassy)

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September Challenge: Landscapes… Entry #1 Winter Reflections

It had suddenly occurred to me that we have not done a landscape challenge and that is certainly a favorite of many.  Of course a lot depends on where you are at the time.  Sadly, living in “scenic” Rowlett,  leaves a lot to be desired, so I look forward to see what you will enter in this challenge.

We will begin this one with a photo from Lorraine. This is a view overlooking the pond at Harry Meyers Park in Rockwall on a beautiful January day. Perhaps I am wishing I could feel that cool breeze right about now!

Winter Reflections (Photo by Lorraine)

Winter Reflections
(Photo by Lorraine)

August Challenge… Black and White Entry #9 Playing With Photos

OK… so today I will be doing a Tess. I will admit that I have been wiped out with the summer heat this year and consequently, I have spent way too much time on the computer! Sheesh! Maybe that’s why my other computer self-destructed!

I chose this challenge because I doubt that we think often enough of changing our photos to black and white, and certain photos can actually look better in B&W. Soooo… I sat down to play!

I really wanted to try this flower photo in B&W and add a quote but the way it was shot, there was not enough room at the top to do so. You must understand that I am very challenged by photoshop, and I only have the basic/old Elements 6 but I do have fun fooling around with it and certainly wish I knew what I was doing. I’ve picked up “the book” to figure things out and then put it down in frustration. Just a slow learner, I guess.

In Lightroom (my favorite editing software), I converted the photo to black and white and tweaked it a bit and then took it into Elements to add to the top as there was little detail there, making it easy to do by expanding the crop and then cloning in the black area from the photo, and finally I added the text. I actually like the B&W flower more than the color as it seems to show more crisp detail.

Before and After (Photo by Fay-la-la)

Before and After
(Photo by Fay-la-la)

I then thought it would be fun to play around to see if I could do a composite image. By choosing bits and pieces from different photos, you can make a fantasy photo that only exists in your mind. I have watched tutorials about this but I must admit they are beyond me, so once again I bumble along trying to put the components together. Something I have learned is the importance of how the light falls on your subjects to make it look just a bit more believable.

At the time I was so sad when I lost my feral cat OC (Orange Cat) and I guess she was weighing on my mind as I put this together. Once again… photography to the rescue!
Here are the photos I used.

(Photos by Fay-la-la)

(Photos by Fay-la-la)

The woman with the lantern was shot at the Mesquite Meander where actors portray some of the people who are buried in the local cemetery and tell their story. The feral cat was shot at Lake Ray Hubbard and the landscape was along the banks of Lake Ray Hubbard.

I edited each photo separately and then put them together and worked with the lighting in Elements to make it look as though the lantern was glowing. It was a fun challenge. I also took it into one of the editing programs and decided to add the clock and text.

And here is the story… “As I was driving past the lake, a light caught my eye and there on the bank was a well dressed woman with lantern in hand searching for the feral cats. Yes… I had seen her before! This was CAT WOMAN… a woman obsessed with saving the cats that roam the lake at night and hide during the day.”

Cat Woman (Photo by Fay-la-la)

Cat Woman
(Photo by Fay-la-la)

August Challenge: Black and White… Entry #8 CWPC Clubhouse?

As you all know, I look forward to entries by Lorraine as she seems to go above and beyond what is expected and why should this challenge be any different?
After all, she is a CrAzY woman!

“I was out on Hwy 276 looking for some old or interesting subjects to shoot for this months challenge. I was just east of the town of Blackland when I saw this bright flash of light out of the corner of my eye. The sun was bright and I thought perhaps I had glanced a bit too directly towards it. In a matter of seconds, off to my side, something was spinning and coming toward the ground. I could not believe what I was seeing! My heart started racing and I broke out in a sweat. Was I really seeing what I thought I was?

I frantically got to the side of the road and grabbed my camera. I knew my camera would not lie to me about what I was seeing. This spaceship had landed in this open field. With my body trembling and my knees wobbling from fear, I approached slowly. As I got closer I saw these stairs fold down and a gate at the top very slowly swung open. Oh my…what should I do now?

It then occurred to me….just start shooting….what are you waiting for? Get the photos!!! I quickly grabbed some shots and ran back to my vehicle! I was curious to board their spaceship and would have loved to meet them and take some selfies with them, but I had no idea if they would be friendly or not. Or if they would take my camera or transport me to some unknown place! I decided to play it safe and got out of there as soon as possible. Whew!!!

Seriously, I saw this a couple of years ago. A nurse I used to work with gave me a bit of info. She mentioned about 15 years ago when she was a kid, she would often look out the window and see this as her parents drove by. She mentioned that someone was living in it and would see the lights on at night. Apparently it’s been vacant a very long time and has received some vandalism. When I saw this a while back it was really in bad shape. This time when I saw it it had been nicely painted.

Some of you local crazy women may know a lot more about this. I have read that homes similar to this called Futuro homes were produced in Finland back in the 60’s and 70’s and that they were sometimes used as ski lodges and could be moved easily and sometimes even set down by helicopter. Apparently, only about 100 were manufactured and approximately 50 exist throughout the world today. But I am not so sure that this is a Futuro home. It may have been manufactured someplace much, much further away!!”

(Cue up the extra-terrestrial music please… )

CWPC Clubhouse? (Photo by Lorraine)

CWPC Clubhouse?
(Photo by Lorraine)

Happy Birthday Robin!

We interrupt this challenge for some heart pounding excitement!  Just want to wish Robin… you know, the “other” Robin, a very Happy Birthday!

There’s no telling where you might find this CrAzY woman and you might even find her riding her motorcycle on occasion, but I don’t think she is racing cars… at least, not yet!



August Challenge: Black and White… Entry #7 Mary’s Garden

This next photo is from Linda and she says…

“It was  taken at Festival Hill in  Round Top, when I  was attending a poetry conference there.  The gardens are breathtaking and I spend almost as much  time  walking through them as I do listening  to poetry when I am  there.”

Now the first photo she sent had a bit of a pale green tint to it and I wondered if perhaps she had used the saturation slider to desaturate the photo.  Here is the shot that she sent.

Mary's Garden (Photo by Linda)

Mary’s Garden
(Photo by Linda)

I rather liked the desaturated look and mentioned it to her.

“On my old computer I had some software that would turn a color photo into black and white. Since I no  longer have any photo editing software, I tried both ribbit  and fotor, but couldn’t find a way to automatically make  it black and white. I did use the saturation feature, but  didn’t realize it had a green tint. Any suggestions?”

So in response I advised her to go into “effects” under those programs and she could find multiple options for black and white.  With that, she redid her image and sent it my way.

Mary's Garden (Photo by Linda)

Mary’s Garden
(Photo by Linda)

 Thank you Linda for helping us all learn as we do these challenges!