Thursday, July 31, 2014

Biscuit my First Equine Portrait

Everyone Meet Biscuit aka Dial Dolley for Muscle, I had the pleasure of taking his photos late last year.  He's owned by Rebel Barrel horses out of Valley View Texas.

The owners are barrel horse trainers and they had recently bought a few photos off of me from a local barrel race; the owners called and asked if I would take photos of their stallion for their website.

I shot this entire session on JPEG instead of RAW and using Lightroom, what I know now (which isn't much) would of been helpful at the time of this shoot.  I went ahead and ran his photo thru LR and made a few adjustments; this is such a beautiful horse and sure would of loved to create a much better photo of him for everyone to see.  I'm happy with the photos we got that day, but as a learning session I can't wait to see what I can do in a year or two.

This lovely stallion has a 4 year old mare that just won top 5 in the world @ Oklahoma recently for the National Buckskin associate world finals; he's outstanding and his name speaks for itself - he throws a ton of muscle in his offspring.

I can't wait to get back out to shoot some more photos of this stallion and his offspring.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Meeting up with Fellow Photographers

I've been reaching out to some of the fellow photographers in our local camera club; I'm so thankful that I started to do that this year.  I've made a few pretty good friends, I've picked up tips, it's pushed me to help others as well as listen to the ones that know more than I do.

I also think it's built my confidence level up a bit, sometimes I still have doubt in my ind that i'm not good enough, don't know enough and that I shouldn't show people my photos.  The photo above was from a few weeks ago when I met up with 2 ladies from the club.  We had mostly been conversing on Facebook thru our camera club and I reached out and asked the two ladies if they wanted to meet up to photograph.  It happened to be a very hot day that day; so we started off at the library where we worked on some LR5; then we ventured out and came across this pond area filled with these lilypads.

I walked away with a shot that has come out to be one of my favorites; but most important I walked away with 2 ladies that have come to be good friends.  We're meeting up again next week and I can't wait to see where we go and what we photograph; I'll make sure and share a photo after the field trip.

So, reach out to your fellow photographers in the area; you'd be surprised what you learn!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Daily Practice

As part of my daily practice toward becoming a better photographer I wanted to start working on Product Photography.  I also am looking into working more for a retail magazine in the equine business, in order to grab a potentials client attention is to work on becoming a better photographer and post editor.

I have not worked much in Lightroom 5 but have daily gone into the software to see what I can do with my photos.  I hope with continued practice in both photography and editing I will gain the knowledge I succeed in something I have grown to love.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Trying new things on vacation

This year we ventured to Pagosa Springs, Colorado for our family vacation.  It wasn't a long trip in the amount of days but it was long in learning for myself as I grow into new areas of photography.

I have looked thru numerous photos of streams and how soft the photographer was able to make the water look.  I've always wanted to try it but there just are not many streams in the area where I live in North Texas (Unless it's a heavy downpour of rain which causes flooding).  So, when I knew we were going to Colorado I knew this was something I wanted to try.

I read everything I could on how to capture the water in a soft effect, asked my local camera club for tips and watched some YouTube videos so I would be educated.

On the day I wanted to try this, I had limited space to try this out, I ended up on a bridge to try to find the most appealing spot I could.  I set up my new tripod, changed my settings and captured the photo above on the second shot.  I did a little post processing in LR5 and then, the finished product for me.

I know I've seen photos 100% better than this one, but for shot # 2 and getting the effect I wanted I was very pleased with the outcome.

Next year we venture to the black hills of South Dakota and to Yellowstone - by then I hope to have found some places in the hill country to go down and practice streams so I can get up the beautiful states I mentioned and grab a few more photos.

So 2014 is still going as planned - a learning year.  Once you step out of your comfort zone it's amazing what you can capture.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Shy Deer

We are currently on our family vacation at Pagosa Springs, Colorado; we came up for a couple reasons; Carl wanted to scout his hunting area he will be hitting in September and I wanted to try my hand at photographing wildlife as well as slow shutter speed on streams and hopefully a waterfall.

Last night we headed out to one of the locations that Carl will be hunting and saw quite a few doe and from a far off distance I did see 4 bucks but I wasn't able to get a photo of them.

I had to bump my ISO up to 4000 in order to get enough light in for this photo, thankfully I did shoot in RAW and post processed in LR5.  I still don't like shooting with my ISO that high, even though I've read numerous articles to not be afraid to raise the ISO - I still am.

Overall I was happy with this little lady - she posed long enough for me to snap a couple photos and tonight when we head out I hope to catch a few more.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The year of learning

In January I set out to learn more and more, I felt like I had the basics but I just needed to refine what I had learned the previous year.  One of the things I set out to learn is Photoshop and Lightroom, the photo above was originally set in a field with green trees and grass.  I had seen a photo recently with a horse and rider but the background was black; I felt it stood out and I wanted to try this myself.

I didn't know exactly where to start to so I enlisted the talents of a very talented member of our local Camera Club, he pointed me in the right direction with links and the terminology to get me to the place I needed to learn.

I followed the steps and was able to finish the photo, I need to work on cleaning the photo up a bit, but for a first try I have to say I happy with the results; but most importantly I am happy that I tried.

2014 isn't over and I can't wait to compare how I photographed and edited in January to the end of the year.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

First Mini Session

Today I had the opportunity to have my first mini session in the little town of St. Jo Texas.  One of my friends that I've made thru photography organized and scheduled everything for me, all I had to do was show up and start taking pictures.

Today was extra special for me because I've never taken photos of babies and/or infants.  I took photos for 30 minutes of the most well behaved little 10 month old baby.  She smiled, clapped, laughed, posed and was the best subject anyone could ask for to photograph.  I ended up with quite a few photos that I really like (or maybe it's because it's my first baby session).  I spent most of the night going thru and editing them in Lightroom 5 (also new to me) and was pleasantly pleased with the outcome.

I hope to get another mini session in soon, it's fast, quick and a lot of fun if you have the right people; I had 4 families and everything went well, nobody was late and they all said they loved their photos.

Monday, July 7, 2014

New adventures

I have been seeing myself step out of my comfort zone and trying new things. This week I started a creative writing class in the hopes of picking up a few tips to help me with my freelance writing I'm doing for a rodeo magazine and the work I will be doing for the newspaper this fall. I've had a couple of opportunities come my way that first started with photography and then journalism. Football season will be a challenge for me to see if I can turn a quick article around to go with the photos I will be submitting

In a few weeks we're headed off to Colorado and I'm going to try waterfalls and streams and my goal is to get the water as smooth as possible. I've never attempted this type of photography before so I reached out to the experts and then contacted B&H for the filter I will need to help me make this a successful trip. I mean I won't go back for a year so I have to make this shot the best I can.

Trying new things and stepping out of your comfort zone makes you grow in the things you love.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


This month our theme for our local camera club is MACRO photography, it's been very interesting because I have stepped out of my comfort zone and tried a few things I normally wouldn't.

I also learned I like it quite a bit, I'm not sure I would invest in a special lens for MACRO but maybe down the road I would think about it.

I went the cheap way by getting a reversal ring and also just using what lens I currently have and making it as MACRO as I could. I ended up with July photo that I think has turned out to be one of my best since I started photography. This also forced me to work the photo more intensely in Ligjtroom5.   Friday I will work on my second submission; after much research I've decided on a photo to attempt- again out of my comfort zone.

I feel this is a good learning process for me and to make it even better one of the photographers in the group is offering a quick field trip in MACRO.

I love learning new things with photography!