Sunday, October 31, 2010

Spotlight Photos Spooky!!

I just got done handing out most of my treats to the little ghosts and goblins, and a few princesses, creatures, little bugs and some I don't know what they were! No tricks yet, that I know of. The first Halloween in my new neighborhood and it was lots of fun. I will say most of the parents were also dressed up. One of my neighbors was handing out hotdogs, chili dogs, coffee and treats. What fun they are having! The party is still going on at their house. 

 On with the Spotlight Photos for Spooky!






 and a second one of Mark's. the look on Bill's face is priceless!!

 Have a fabulous week everyone! This weeks theme is the Letter N. If you haven't checked it out yet, Rebecca has started a new monthly post called Double Takes with Rebecca. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Member Voice for November 5 - The Letter N

Anything that begins with the letter N. 

Naughty, nice, narrow, nature, neighbor, nuts, numbers, neck, noodles, notable and so on. Could be a street, location, person, etc. I think you get the picture. Well, I hope you get the picture!

A pride of lions made entirely out of individually welded cut nails. The pride is resting underneath a savannah type tree. In the shade tree there is an undiscovered mischievous monkey who is about to tango with the lions. Dancing with Lions by Bill Secunda entered in Artprize this year. NAILS.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Double Takes With Rebecca: Your New Best Friend

Take the time to find your camera's manual...
It WILL be worth it.

A great way to improve your photography 
and also get out of a shooting slump if you happen to be in one,
is to make friends, really good friends, with you camera's manual.

Whether you use a Point and Shoot or a Digital SLR it doesn't matter.
Understanding all the bells and whistles on your camera 
and to know how to use them instinctively
will give you greater command over your photographs.

I married my first camera (above) 25.9 years ago...
it just so happened to come with a husband.

I know, you're thinking, "Really, I am not going to read a manual."
But once I did, my photographs improved significantly.
And I don't mean to glance through the manual
thinking, "Oh, isn't that interesting."
What I mean is taking it page by page.
When you get to something 'new to you,'
put the manual down, pick up your camera, and go try it out.
Try it out for a week or more...until you are 
completely comfortable with your new skill.
Then go back to the manual and pick up where you left off
until you come across something else 'new to you.'
Repeat the cycle.

Above, an old find from an auction box lot.

Once you've mastered the contents of the manual
you'll know everything your camera is capable of,
you'll feel more comfortable and knowledgeable taking photos,
you'll be happier with your results,
you'll be better prepared to venture into manual mode if your camera has one,
you'll spend less time editing,
and best of all...
You'll have a great excuse to buy a new camera
so you can do it all again!

Above, little friends investigate a vintage camera I rescued from a neighbor's trash.  ;)

Really, that's what I did.
I stuck with my old camera til I knew it like the back of my hand.
Now I need to get started all over with the new camera.
I confess, there are a lot of things I don't know how to use on the new one. 

Leave a comment below to tell all of us what you are shooting with
and what 'new to you' skill you 
will be working on this week.
That way we can stop by your blog and encourage you.

Go forth and shoot!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Introducing Double Takes with Rebecca!!

FMTSO is proudly announcing Double Takes with Rebecca. Rebecca is one of our members and she is from Ambler Pennsylvania. Her images are phenomenal, very creative and inspiring. A while back, out of the blue, I asked her if she would like to do a monthly post on photography. So here she is!!

 Here is a bio written by her son, Mathias.

My Mom: Rebecca Haegele
 by Mathias Haegele

My mom enjoys taking pictures of anything and everything around her. She never leaves one of her cameras behind when we go places. She knows them so well that she has names for them, the old one is “Snappy,” he was her first digital SLR, a Canon XT. The newer one is called “Frank the Tank” because he is so big compared to Snappy. Frank is a Canon 50D which she bought this summer with her birthday gift money. She has a bunch of other camera stuff too. Earlier this year she even won a new Tamron lens in a photo contest. She was very excited about that.

Once my mom takes her pictures she puts them all onto her laptop and selects a few to go on her blogs. My computer games hardly work on the laptop because her photos take up all the space. That's why I need my own laptop, but Mom doesn't listen to that. You can see her photos on one of her two blogs, The Dusty Cellar or The Dusty Cellar Shoots or on her new photo gallery on Smug Mug.

Double Takes with Rebecca will begin soon so stayed tuned!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Spotlight Photos Patterns suggested by Gordon

While going through the posts and reading the comments, I think everyone really enjoyed this theme. Thanks to Gordon for suggesting this. Everyone has a different interpretation and awesome images of patterns. If you have not made it around to visit all the entries, be sure to! 

  As always I had a hard time narrowing down the images to just a few. I am trying something different this time. Hope it works out!
Images shown are Jama, Sarah-Paige, JarieLyn, QMM, Lena, Pauline, B&B, Camella, Psychelen. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Member Voice for October 29 - SPOOKY -

Here in the United States we celebrate Halloween October 31 each year. Halloween (or Hallowe’en ... but also known as Samhain, Summer’s End, All Hallow’s Eve, Witches Night, Lamswool, and Snap-Apple), is a holiday that's celebrated annually on the night of October 31. It originated in Ireland, and is celebrated in quite a few countries including Ireland itself, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Sweden among others. It's celebrated in a variety of ways and activities including trick-or-treating, ghost tours, bonfires, costume parties, "haunted house" tours, carving pumpkins (Jack-o'-lanterns) and reading / watching scary stories / movies. How do you celebrate Halloween where you live? Do you like decorating your home, dressing up and greeting little trick or treaters at your door?

  Here are a few words that may be spooky....... you decide ........
like or befitting a spook or ghost; suggestive of spooks.
eerie; scary.
(esp. of horses) nervous; skittish.
 easily frightened; highly strung
 chilling atmosphere

Monday, October 18, 2010

Spotlight Photos Chairs!

Once again our shooters have out done themselves. What a variety of chairs; old and new, antique and abandoned, colorful and blah. In no particular order the "spotlight photos" for chairs. As always, if you have a favorite one to suggest for the "spotlight" feel free to email me. Thanks!!

JarieLyn unique saloon stools

 Kerry and her birthday chair

 Ann's colorful chairs

 Ginger beautiful ruins

 Jama's aunt antique chairs

 and NanU and her chair stupid chair tricks!! how fun!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Member Voice for October 22 - Patterns

I emailed Gordon but have not heard from him. I found a little info on Patterns in photography. 

While repetition in the humdrum of daily life can at times be a little boring – capturing it in your photography can create an image with real impact.
Life is filled with patterns – many of which we overlook due to the business of our days – however once you get an eye for spotting them (and it takes being intentional and some practice) you’ll be amazed by what you see and you’ll wonder why you didn’t incorporate them into your photography before.

to show as an example, this is one of Lena's saved from prior shoot outs

Patterns, both natural and man-made, bring a sense of visual rhythm and harmony to photographs that, like a series of repeating notes in a melody, capture the imagination. Patterns appear whenever strong graphic elements—lines, colors, shapes, or forms—repeat themselves.

one of Jama's from a prior shoot out

Once you do become aware of the power of patterns, you will discover them almost everywhere: in a field of Maine lupines, in crowds of faces in a stadium, even in the zigs and zags of modern architecture. The secret to finding patterns is to explore potential subjects from a variety of angles. While you might not notice the colorful design of umbrellas as you maneuver a crowded Paris sidewalk, they become blatantly clear from an upper-floor window or balcony. Lighting is another potent painter of pattern. Fresh-plowed furrows in a cornfield, all but invisible on a dull, overcast day, rise into waves of highlight and shadow when lit by a bright, low-angle sun. Close-ups are also filled with pattern—consider the swirl of seeds in a sunflower or the intricate tracings of color in a butterfly's wings.

one I found on the internet as an example

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

In The Limelight

 Hi All! That time again........... In The Limelight! This weeks guest interview is with Mark of Butler and Bagman fame, The Butler and Bagman Chronicles.


When did the photo bug bite you?    My grandfather was an artist so I think the bug was in my genes.  He taught me to really look at things from fresh perspectives, not to just recognize something as a tree or a dog or a cat but to actually see it.

What was your first camera and what do you use now?   My first camera was a little plastic brownie and I set up scenes with my toy soldiers or model airplanes.  I also had a Polaroid Land camera -- instant gratification!  All through college I drooled over Nikons but could only afford a Mamiya-Sekor, or however it is spelled.  Now I shoot with a Nikon D-90 but I'm lazy and haven't really explored all that it can do. 

  Have you ever taken any photography courses?   Not really.  I've always learned everything best by fooling around, reading, talking, and experimenting.  I read every textbook Ansel Adams wrote, but doubt I understood it and can't remember half of it.  The best lesson I got was from Peter Simon, a photographer and sister of Carly Simon. He said, "Never be afraid to burn film."  Now with digital it is not so expensive.  I must be learning something because every year I look back and dislike more of the pictures that I once thought were pure genius. 

What inspires you to turn on the camera, the gotta have it shot?   I don't really know.  I like landscapes, wildlife and abstracts.  I want to shoot more candids of people but am often shy.  Now with Adobe Photoshop, I sometimes will shoot something simply because it has a color or shape that I might combine with something someday. 

What is on your equipment wish list?   A really good strong telephoto lens although they cost as much as my car.  When I retire in a few years, I want to get a large format laser printer so I can do big prints.

Have you missed an awesome shot because you didn’t have your camera with you?   Duh!  Hundreds of them.  Although now I almost always carry it in the trunk of my car.  But worse than that are the times I have my camera with me but am going somewhere with too much inertia to actually stop and take it.  "Should I stop? Should I stop?  Should I go back?  Darn, I wish I'd stopped."  

 Can you recall the first photo you took that made you go WOW!?    Yes.  I was at the beach at sunset on Cape Cod with a girl I was dating and some seagulls flew by at just the right angle.  I think she was a little miffed that I suddenly stopped paying attention to her.  But I still have the picture and can't remember her name, so I must have made the right choice.


Blogging since ……January 1, 2009. 

Why did you start blogging?   I've always been a journalist.  I even majored in journalism in college and was a newspaper reporter/photographer for a short while.  For some reason, I always got inspired to start a journal on New Year's Day but the momentum always died out by February.  In 2009, I thought I'd do a blog because even a small audience makes it personal.  I really didn't expect it to last, but comments from Barry and then the rest of you made me fall in love with it.

Is there a story behind the name of your blog?   A few years before Blogspot, I was part of a five person poetry group that shared poems, thoughts, stories with each other by email.  All of us began to develop alter-ego personalities.  Mine were the lusty, rule-breaking devil-may-care Bagman and the ultra proper, prissy Butler who kept them in line.  They fit me well because I've always had arguments with myself about what I wanted to do versus what was the right thing to do.  Morality.  Bagman and Butler allow me to argue different sides of an issue.  And I'm a Gemini. 

What does blogging mean to you now?   It has become less obsessive.  For awhile it seemed almost more important than daily life and I'd be frustrated with work or family for getting in the way of it.  Although I sometimes still regret not having time to read everyone's blogs or to blog every day, I think it is now a more healthy expression.  I also always try to keep it light and funny.  Sometimes that is frustrating because I'm having real problems at work or with children but unless I started another more anonymous blog, I'd be expressing feelings that would be hurtful depending on who read them.  Besides, whining seldom makes interesting reading.

What advice would you give to a new blogger?   Be yourself.  Find your own voice.  Try to keep blogs short -- I know I fail at this.  If it is a long blog, split it up and try to end the first part with a teaser.  And mostly to read and comment on other people's blogs.  I don't have enough time now but I always try, at least, to look at the blogs of anyone who comments on mine.  Simple courtesy.  If someone says "hello" it's nice to say "hello" back.  I've made some wonderful friends that way which is really more important than the blogs themselves.

Do you have a favorite time of the day to write posts?   I almost always blog early in the morning if I can drag myself out of bed before the alarm goes off at 6 a.m.  If I wake up any time after 4 a.m. and can force myself out of bed, I get some quiet time before my wife wakes up.  Sometimes I will stay in my office at lunch time and write on Word and then later copy and paste it. 

Have you set any goal about your blog? Anything you want to achieve with it?   My only goal is, hopefully, to make somebody, somewhere laugh.

Guest Interview Questions

From NanU:
Do you ever comment on a blog to disagree with it? If not, why not?   Not exactly.  Sometimes I will try and slide around to a different perspective and present an alternative point of view, but I try to do it gently.  I'm capable of giving and taking constructive criticism but someone has to ask for it.  I won't force it on someone.  And I would do it by email and not in public. 

How do you find new blogs to follow?   I've already got too many to follow properly.  But sometimes a comment on someone else's blog will inspire me to click over to look at the commenter's blog.


If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?     Anywhere, I think.  But I prefer real life environments to touristy ones.  The old newspaper journalist in me is still interested in going where things are happening -- wars, earthquakes, etc.  But my wife thinks I'm crazy, would never want to go with me.  And hanging out with her is more important than running off to Afghanistan.  And, honestly, at my age, I've grown too lazy.

What would you like to teach others?   To chip away at self-righteousness, to love everyone and to try and celebrate different points of view. 

Which adjectives best describe you?   Loving, kind, sensitive, intelligent and funny.  Wow!  What a guy!  So I should probably balance it with egotistical, conflict avoiding (i.e. sometimes scared), and -- although it is thankfully growing more mellow with age -- lustful.      

What is happiness to you?   This is strange.  I'm having trouble with this question.  I guess, for me, I feel happiness mostly when I make someone else happy. 

Do you have any special talents; such as singing, dancing, playing a musical instrument?   I've always loved trying new things.  Jack of all trades, master of none.  Playing banjo, juggling, Tai Kwon Do, stock trading, magic, entertaining children, baking bread, playing guitar.  Whenever I see something, I think, "I wonder if I could do that?"  But I usually get just so far and move to something else.  For instance, I'm a pretty good juggler but limited to three balls.

What are your basic stats that you would like to share?   I'm 64 years old, stand 6 foot even, weigh 225 pounds, mostly bald, and batted .425 in Little League.  And I'm a recovering alcoholic.

Besides blogging or photography, what is your favorite thing to do?   This is very embarrassing.  It used to be sex.  Now it is lying on the couch and playing mindless strategy games on a hand-held Nintendo. 

Favorite saying or quotation: (or any comment you would like to make)   If I over-think this one, I'll confuse myself.  But the first one that came to mind was "Love each other as I have loved you," from Jesus.

Thank you Mark for accepting to be our guest interview for October. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Spotlight Photos ~ Water Glass Shiny Objects Reflections ~

This was a fun theme. Hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did. Our members are so creative!!


 Half Crazy




Just a reminder, see the previous post for this weeks Member Voice by JarieLyn. 

 And coming soon, our next In The Limelight!!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Member Voice for October 15 - Chairs by JarieLyn

Chairs. They appear to be such ordinary objects, but really they are extraordinary. They are functional, they are decorative and many are made with love, sweat and tears.  Some show intricate detail and others are simple.  Some are hard, some are soft and comfortable.  Chairs are everywhere and they are all unique.  I look forward to seeing a wide spectrum for this shoot out.  Good luck with finding the detail in your seat.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Spotlight Photos for Black and Orange and next weeks theme

I like when someone says ........ I didn't think I could find anything pertaining to the theme but when I started looking, I saw this and that and etc.  The fun thing about this group is it opens yours eyes to the world around you. On with Spotlight Photos, in no particular order, as always.






Next weeks theme is Water, Glass, Shiny Objects Reflections. I love reflections and they are everywhere. Store windows, dishes, mirrors, cars and of course water; one of my favorites. 

Basket Forest by Dale Chihuly

Let's have a little fun with this one. Who can capture the most unusual reflection. The most unusual object reflection or weirdest location reflection, etc.