Welcome to the blog of Doug and Roxanne, two photographers who are head-over-heels in love. In this blog you’ll find our musings about photography, camera equipment, image editing programs and more. Roxanne is a talented photographer who enjoys wildlife and landscape photography. Doug is a published author and photographer. We’re both Canon shooters. Between us we have a bushel full of lenses, and lots of enthusiasm. Currently we’re exploring the area near our home with Lensbaby Composers. Stay tuned for news about our photo shoots and lots of photos. The following image is one of Doug’s Lensbaby captures. He tweaked the image in Photoshop using images of textures on layers with different blend modes.
Spring came and went with nary a whisper. The weather now is a typical Florida summertime pattern: heat and humidity, which means you travel light, and you shoot early or late when it’s somewhat cooler. Roxanne and I did the travel light part perfectly. We stowed our gear in the awesome Think Tank Photo Change Up bags. I brought my Canon dSLR and minimal Lensbaby gear and my Fuji X-100. Roxanne had almost the same setup, but her Fuji was the X-Pro 1. Oh yeah, we both brought a cold bottle of water.
Our destination was the Cortez Fishing Village in Manatee County, Florida. This is a working fishing village with a fish packing plant and lovely old working boats in various states of repair and decay. We arrived fairly early and started creating images from the Star Island Fish Company restaurant, which incidentally serves an awesome grouper sandwich for lunch or dinner. But the restaurant was closed when we got there, and we were all alone except for a couple of fishermen working on their boats. When you photograph a place like this, there is a wide variety of subject matter. Within a small area, you can photograph birds, Sarasota Bay, islands, boats, and all of the wonderful minutiae, such as fishing gear, nets, buoys and so on.
Our original goal was to stay long enough to have a grouper sandwich for lunch, but Mother Nature turned up the wick and we were sweating bullets an hour before the restaurant opened for business. So we sought the solace of the Bird Blind, Roxanne’s white Honda Odyssey, which is blessed with a wonderful ice-cold air conditioner. But we did stay long enough to create a wide variety of images. The following are some of my Lensbaby shots, which I edited in Lightroom and converted to black and white with Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2.
Sunday morning, May 12, 2013 – Mother’s Day. It’s a special day. My mother was the best friend I had on the planet, but she’s with us in spirit only. So what better way to spend the day than to go on a photo shoot with my 2nd best friend, and one of the best photographers on the planet, my wife Roxanne. We went to Gasparilla Island. Our first and only stop was at the old lighthouse that was built in 1890. There was a fleet of fishing boats in front of the lighthouse, filled with anglers fishing for tarpon. We started at the west side of the island, which was positively serene except for one lone lady, spending a quiet morning contemplating nature and the rhythm of the ocean. We were traveling light: I with my 5D Mark ll and my Fuji X100; Roxanne with her 5D MKll and her Fuji X-Pro 1. We both had Lensbaby gear.
The Real Florida
We created images with both cameras. My Fuji comes with a 23mm lens, which is the 35mm equivalent of 35mm, the perfect lens for photographing seascapes. I started my Lensbaby photography with the Plastic optic and the f/8 aperture disk.
Pristine White Beaches and Puffy Clouds
Sea Oats and Vegetation – Lensbaby Style
We walked to the end of the beach and then backtracked toward the point.
Serene Beach – Lensbaby Style
And the Tide Rushes In..
I’m glad there are still beaches like this that aren’t littered with condos. This is indeed part of the real Florida: a photographer’s paradise.
This blog post is dedicated to two very special mothers: Inez Anderson and Virginia Brown.
Today Roxanne and I decided to visit a local car museum that also happens to sell its inventory. Ideal Classic Car Museum in Venice, is a stone’s throw from our home. Armed with permission from an Ideal Classic Car employee named Lisa, our Lensbaby gear, creative minds and just a bit of automotive lust, we drove to the museum and started creating images; that is when I picked my jaw up off the floor after seeing the beautiful replica of a 1935 Auburn Boattail Speedster. In addition to the Auburn, there were beautiful classic Chevrolets and Fords from the 50s, plus a smattering of foreign beauties including a dazzling red Triumph TR3A, a British Racing Green Triumph TR6 and a yellow Jaguar XKE. Here are my favorites from today’s car crazy photo shoot.
I created this image of a replica of a 1935 Auburn Boattail Speedster with a Lensbaby Single Glass optic with the f/2.8 aperture disk.
I created this image of the Auburn hood ornament with a Lensbaby Edge 80 optic at f/4.0
The graceful fender and flowing exhaust pipes of the Auburn as captured with a Lensbaby Edge 80 optic at f/4.0.
The beautiful hood ornament of a vintage Chevrolet Bel Air.
The hood ornament of a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air photographed with an Edge 80 optic at f/4.0.
Car Crazy – I created this image with a Lensbaby Single Glass optic and the f/2.8 aperture disk.
Roxanne and I have our birthdays in April, so we try to do something special to celebrate surviving another year on the planet. Sunday we decided to go the Babcock Webb, where we went on our first photo shoot almost four years ago. The rest as they say is history. We traveled light, with only a couple of lenses, plus our Lensbaby gear. Most of my images were captured with the Lensbaby and the Double Glass optic. I also tried my hand at some macro photography, which can be tricky when it’s windy, especially when you stack two Lensbaby Macro filters over the optic. Your depth of field is so minimal, it’s hard to get your subject in focus.
When I’m shooting macro with a Lensbaby, I set focus to minimum distance, and then I move closer to my subject. I also shoot in continuous drive mode. When the subject starts coming into focus, I press the shutter button and squeeze off several shots; the theory being that a couple will have my subject in sharp focus. This is also a safe way to hedge your bet when shooting macro on a windy day.
Roxanne and I were in the back part of Babcock Webb when we saw lots of wonderful wildflowers. I spotted a white flower that kind of looked like a dandelion. As I was moving closer, I noticed a green spider, so I moved in closer and created this image.
Today was a wonderful spring day with mild temperatures, so we decided to celebrate Easter by creating images in one of our favorite haunts: Myakka State Park in Sarasota, Florida. Instead of going loaded for bear, we traveled light with our Fuji cameras and our EOS 5D MKII bodies with a Lensbaby Composer and just a few optics. We wound up on a trail we’d never explored before, and were treated to a stunning display of nature’s majesty.
Tomorrow is April 1st, April Fool’s Day for some, but for us it’s the start of our Lensbaby Artistry Group’s challenge. If you’re a Lensbaby shooter, check out our Facebook group: Lensbaby Artistry. When you get to the page, navigate to the Files tab and read the Welcome document, which lists all the rules for the challenge. It’s not a contest, but we have garnered some awesome gifts that will be awarded to the photographer whose image Craig Strong, Chief Creative Office and Co-founder of Lensbaby picks as the best of the month. Gifts include hardware from Wacom, Bert’s Photo Cheat Sheets, and Think Tank Photo as well as software from Nik, Topaz Labs and OnOne Software. And the list of gifts is growing day by day.
Stop by and check out the fun.
Here are some images I captured with my Lensbaby Double Glass optic and the f/4.0 aperture disk. Images were converted to black and white using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.