Tag Archives: photography

Sadler State Park South Carolina June 4th 2017

Sadler State Park turned out to be quite a gem, 395 Acres of beautiful forests on a peninsula of Lake Hartwell (56,000 acres).  We stayed on Loop #1, site # 1, a pull through that abutts up to the water.

After quickly setting up, little man and I took a walk down to the beach area. He and I, loaded with our cameras, partook in a few photography lessons. I talked to him about composition and foreground and background. He caught on quickly; took a few of his own shots on his Kodak camera his dad had given him and then took off to run the beach. Lessons over, I took many beautiful landscape shots of the lake and its shores. I practiced what I learned in the book Perfect Exposure (I’ll edit with the authors name later.) Using the sand as my midtones, I got perfect shots. Can’t wait to see them on my Surface.

When we checked into the campground little man decided, for some odd reason, that he was afraid to fall in the water! He didn’t want to stay at the site we had chosen. Of course, we didn’t listen to him and number one it was. After seeing how shallow the water was at the shore he decided it was quite safe to play knee-deep for several hours.

We had a lovely evening and slept very well. The next morning, little man earned his level 1 Junior Ranger badge. We had a nice chat with Ranger Austin who suggested we come in the fall. I do believe our Thanksgiving week plans have been made.

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No coffee in the house

Saturday,  June 3rd,  2017

After an uneventful, quiet night at Laura S Walker State Park we are once again on the road. Having no coffee “in the house” causes one to pack quickly and efficiently. The gas problem was solved five miles down the road in a teeny tiny town called Hoboken. I kid you not! We filled up tanks, coffee and gas and continued our travels down Highway 121. Some travelers would not be content to take these country highways, but I truly am. Lately, I have suffered terrible traffic anxiety, seeing an accident in every turn. Taking these meandering byways are peaceful and truly beautiful. It allows you to see a side of life one cannot see on major highways. Little to no traffic makes it stress free for both myself and Captain Jim. My only regret is I can’t stop at every rustic barn, quiet town and cute cow to take a picture. Destination Gordonia State Park.

Here we go again

Friday 6/2/2017 

Away on another adventure exploring the unknown and revisiting some known. The traveling Willoughby’s leave the misty, overcast humidity of Florida and head for Roan Mountain, Tennessee. Days of last-minute appointments, end-of-year school prep, airport excursions, family visits and of course, packing, has left us subdued, but most definitely ready for the peace and quiet of the mountains. Follow us as we once again travel, play, photograph and explore.

Confessions of a Not So Professional Photographer

Recently I was asked to do the class photos for our Charter School.  I teach first grade there.  I didn’t think it would be a big deal because I had done them last year too.  But, this year, since I had recently graduated from NYIP I decided I needed to be paid for the endeavor.  After all, I’m working toward being a professional photographer, part-time yes, but still professional.

Well, I gathered my backgrounds, my lighting equipment and of course my brand new Nikon D750.  I set up a schedule.  I took the pictures.  Man, it’s not an easy task getting the attention of approximately 18-20 wiggly kids.

Then came editing time.  I cried.  I cried more.  I told my husband I was returning everyone’s money.  Because the camera is new to me I had to ISO too high.  The pictures were noisy and the background wasn’t wide enough to accommodate so big a group.

I wanted to give up!

My husband, a teacher at our school and formally in the printing business, said NO, you can’t give up.  We worked hard at coming up with a different place to take the pictures.  After a week of retrying with cute, rambunctious volunteer youngins we hit gold.  I now have a plan for retakes.  My class and my husbands are done and look great.  I wish I could post them here, but alas can’t.

Our yearbook person needed photos ASAP so I worked like a dog for over a week on the pictures that I had already taken.  With the help of my wonderful husband and the book, Teach Yourself Raw in Photoshop by digitalcameraworld, I had a crash course on learning how to denoise and save photos.  The photos that I thought  were so terrible actually turned out really well.  I learned how to fix them and I also learned how to take out the background and add a different background.  I looked at the class photos from 2014 and 2015 that a “professional” school photo company had done and found that mine very much outdid theirs.   I have my confidence back.

In fact, this weekend I took the senior pictures of one of our secretaries’ son.  It was such a fun photo shoot.  My  subject was handsome, sweet and did a great job modeling.   My camera did exactly what it was supposed to do.  And so did I!

I can now call myself a professional!  I’ve broke the barrier.

DC Statues

One cannot help but notice the thousands of statues and sculptures that are scattered throughout Washington DC.  Notice one and you are probably missing half a dozen more.  These are great subjects to photograph as they don’t move.  They can be challenging in that you have to get your shots without people in them.  The shots are usually in the what I call the “crane your neck” view as you have to look up at them to take the shots.  This also means you have to watch that the sky doesn’t blow out your highlights.  This view, however, can add to the immensity of some of these works of art.  Especially my favorite, the view of the Infinity Sculpture/Artwork that we found outside the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.  I’ve taken this shot before, but never did it come out like this one.  The reflection of the sky in the metal just added to the feeling of motion.  I don’t know what the names of many of the statues are, as I took them as we were walking from point A to point B.  Often, I was only afforded a few minutes to point and shoot.  We were always on the go!  There is just so much to do in DC.

 

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Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

The first place we visit when in Washington DC is, of course, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.  This is a must due to my very nerdy men.  My husband, a fifth grade teacher, loves science almost as much as he loves me and that’s a lot.  Our 8 year old son, gifted, cute and truly a young scientist at heart wants to be a NASA engineer when he grows up.  Last year he even got to meet a real NASA engineer, which of course, further fueled his desire to one day build a faster rocket than anything they have today!  Watch out future American citizens, he just might do it.

 

These are only a few of the photos I took.  I didn’t take near as many as I did the first time we went to the Air and Space Museum.  Back in 2014, I think I took a photo of just about every exhibit.  This year, not so much.  I wanted to concentrate on what I was seeing.  Of course, the coolest exhibit this year was the original model of the spaceship Star Trek Enterprise.  Being a fan of the show, this was a must see.

Urban Legend not a Hoax

For many years we heard that there were monkeys living along the Silver River in the Ocala National Forest.  Many people, myself included, felt this to be urban legend.  Well, I have proof it is not.  Back in February we took a canoe trip down the Silver River.  It was such an enjoyable, beautiful day, made even better by encountering these fun creatures.  They live about 5 miles from the Ray Wayside Park.  Their territory seems to be about a mile in length.  We found it interesting that both times we came here, this was the area they hung out in.  Why they don’t travel farther, we don’t know.

My photos are not the best, as it is difficult to get a steady shot from a canoe, sometimes moving at that!  Unfortunately, we were limited to staying inside the boat.  My dream is to get a faster lens so that some of this issue is eliminated, but until then……

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