Friday, May 28, 2010

Pictures to Calm the Soul

Spring (and Fall) are normally higher stress times for me. It is the time to prepare for the coming season (Summer or Winter - funny Spring and Fall really do not require any preparations). There is always alot going on in the Spring and Fall (kids sports, needed work around the house etc). So it is a good time to sit back and make sure that some time is spent enjoying a hobby. In order to advance this theme, I am including some pictures of just that, calming and relaxing scenes. I do not know why, but for me (and many others) water tends to have a calming effect, so I will begin there.

This first picture was taken along a stream during one of my youngest's baseball practices.  Though I watch the games, I tend to wander around the field for the practice (its either that, or sit there and wonder why he is dancing in the outfield etc, taking some relaxing pictures is definitely better for the soul).  You can see, the foliage is not full yet at the time this was taken (a few weeks back), but is really coming in now.

You can see that this is a nice wandering stream.  We are at a quite bend in the river, and can look quite a ways down stream.  The picture below is a slightly zoomed in to show the ripples in the water as it works over the rocks in the bend. 

This final one from this stream is a close up of an interesting rock.  The SX210 does a nice job of being able to zoom in and pick out details.

This picture just shows some of the rocks sitting in the stream, getting continually carressed by the current in the stream.
In addition to Baseball Games and Practices, the little guy also gets me out to other things.  The pictures below were taken along a stream at the Woodlands.  The little guy was there for some testing, and I figured I would take some pictures while he was hard at work.

This stream was nice, you could hear the water rushing over the rocks.  It was still peaceful (probably due to the size, not thundering).  The Stream Meanders around the back of the woodlands (were there are a few places to sit and watch the stream - as I said water has that calming affect). 

This picture is just a close up, a little bit more up the stream.  Both of these pictures were taken from the same small walking bridge going over the stream (a nice place to hang out).  I took a few pictures from the bridge (using the stream as a nice background) as well (but those are for the web page).

Finally, a calm sky also gives the feeling of relaxation.  So to not make it feel left out (and have our focus only on the water), I will include some sky pictures.  Both were taken at Baseball games between ininnings.  I did modify these pictures slightly (a little Photo Shop Shadows-Highlights to put some color into the foreground).

In this picture, the sun had just gone down.  The sky was becoming more blue, but the sun was getting under the clouds (see how they are lit up on the lower edge away from us).  I thought the contrast in colors was nice (the sky goes from light to blue, with bits of grey and pink clouds fluffed in).  I did not overdue the lightening on the shadows, here, but just enough so the trees were not fully black (digital cameras have lower contrast capability and can not always distinguish between light skies and dark trees, so if exposed for the sky (as I did) the trees will be dark).

This final image was taken from the rain game (same one I got the picture of the rainbow through the cemetary I posted previously.  I think the lightening of the trees is a little more obviousl in this picture, but felt I needed to do it.  You can see the street light in the foreground was not yet on (and they were still playing baseball), so I wanted to have some light in the foreground.  However, the sky was really bright.  Was a nice sky to look up into while waiting on the game.

All of these pictures were taken with the SX210.  It pays to have a camera in the pocket.  Though I really like the quality out of the Digital Rebel more, I do not like it that much more to carry it around everywhere.  I will get some pictures up here with that eventually.

Enough for this post.  We have recently taken a  visit to Mohonk Mountain.  I will post some pictures from there next (I even took a few IR photos, so we can see how those come out). 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thats Why You Should Always Carry a Camera

I have been taking alot of pictures lately.  Most of the little guy playing baseball, but some more general ones I will post here as well.  I will post them over the coming week or so.  The SX210 is working out very well for me.  Small enough to carry, and a nice boost in quality and the zoom is very nice. 

After taking the picture below, I thought it was important to update the blog.  I think this is a very interesting picture.  Even beyond interesting, it shows that upgrading the everyday carry camera (vs the special DSLR) definitely has it advantages.  We were at a little league game, and it started to pour.  Though the clouds were severe, they were also patchy.  The storm only lasted about 15 minutes.  Interestingly two rainbows followed it (but moved quickly). 

I had to snap quickly (for my second picture, the rainbow was already out of the graveyard into the woods).  The long zoom of the SX210 was very helpful, as without it, I would have either had to crop greatly to get this picture, or run out into the field (and as the rainbow was moving faster than I can, that would not have worked out well).

You can see from the tree in the foreground (and the shadows) that it became light very quickly.  You can also see the second rainbow in the top right of the picture.  These were full rainbows, but the other side was not nearly as interesting.  Catching the rainbow coming down into the cemetary was an interesting combination of pictures you do not see together often.  Here we have the brightness from the sun and the colorfulness of the rainbow offset by the somber emotion evoked from the cemetary and the menacing dark sky in the background.  Without a little camera in my pocket, I would never have gotten this one. 

There is always alot going around us, and if we want to be able to capture it, we have to be ready.