Welcome to Our Blog

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.

Posted in Breaking News

May 24th, a very special day

On May 24, 2009, I went on my first photo shoot with Roxanne. A love of pets and photography brought us together. Even though we were two very different photographers—I chased clouds and sunsets, she chased birds—within thirty minutes I felt like I’d known her for half my life. We were married on October 16, 2012. Life was good. In April 2014 we hit a major roadblock; Roxanne was diagnosed with cancer. She endured six months of chemotherapy, and now she’s on a very promising clinical trial.

Even though we were married in October, we always considered May 24th our anniversary. I’m very grateful for many things in my life, meeting Roxanne ranks at the top of the list. I’m also very grateful that we’ve had six wonderful years together and that the clinical trial seems to be helping her.

So today was a day to be grateful and celebrate. After breakfast, we piled our gear into the Blue Bus and drove to the first place we shot together, Babcock Webb. On May 24, 2009, the weather was stormy. Today it was hot and humid. But we persevered, shot up a storm with our Fujifilm cameras. Today was indeed a very special day, a day I’m grateful for. Thank you, Roxanne.

Here are some images from our “Anniversary Shoot” at Babcock Webb.

Cheers,
Doug

Blue skies sunshine...

Blue skies sunshine…

Lovely landscapes to discover

Lovely landscapes to discover…

The long and winding road...

The long and winding road…

Infrared landscape

Infrared landscape…

Breathe in the air...

Breathe in the air…

Posted in Breaking News, Picture Postcards Tagged , , , , |

Learning to See

Photographers see their world through a viewfinder or LCD monitor. But do they really make an effort to create images that show the beauty in their world, or are they merely attracted to all the bells and whistles on their digital cameras? In the old days, just about everything was done manually. You adjusted your exposure manually, and manually focused the lens. Back in the old days, many photographers used prime lenses(lenses with a fixed focal length), and had to walk closer to or farther away from their subject to frame the image. This is known as foot zoom. In the old days, the photographer was in control of the image he was creating. He had to be. Unless he had a darkroom, he had to wait until his film was processed to see whether or not he got the shot he envisioned.

The advent of digital cameras with auto-exposure, auto-focus, and zoom lenses tended to make photographers a little lazy. They saw something that piqued their curiosity, zoomed in or out to pick the low hanging fruit, took a picture and moved on. Photography is so much more than that.

If you consciously make an effort to be in control, you slow down and make sure you’ve got all the settings right before taking a picture. When you slow down, you have the opportunity to determine if what you see in the viewfinder is what compelled you to stop and take a picture. If it isn’t, you can zoom in until you remove objects that will distract the viewer, or move to a different vantage point and then take a picture.

The first picture you take is what caused you to stop. But you’re not done yet. Milk the scene for all it’s worth. Is there a picture within the picture? Can you create a more interesting or different image from a snail’s eye view or bird’s eye view? When you slow down and take multiple pictures of a scene or subject, you learn how to see. You notice textures and patterns. You notice shapes and curves. Instead of taking a picture of an oak tree, take a picture of a pattern of leaves, a close-up shot of the veins in the leaves, the texture of the bark and so on. Think creatively outside the box and you learn to see and put a unique stamp on your photography.

Another thing to remember is that you don’t have to carry every lens you own. If you limit yourself to one or two lenses, you’ll use your creativity to make wonderful images, instead of rummaging through your camera bag and using technology as a crutch. Less is more.

The following images were photographed with vintage manual focus prime lenses mounted to Fujifilm XE-2 with an adapter. I started with a 50mm f/1.4 Pentax Takumar and then switched to a 135mm f/2.8 Pentacon lens.
Cheers,
Doug

Shapes and repeating patterns

Shapes and repeating patterns

Details of a vintage railroad car.

Details

Lines and Curves

Lines and Curves

Details

Details

Posted in Tutorials Tagged , , , |

Old Friends Who’ve Just Met

Facebook photography groups are wonderful venues to exchange information and learn by viewing the images uploaded by other photographers. Roxanne and I administer a Facebook group called Lensbaby Artistry. The group now has almost 2400 members, who create amazing images with their Lensbaby equipment. Thursday Roxanne and I got a chance to shoot with one of the first members of the group and her husband. They were vacationing from Connecticut and rented a campsite in Myakka State Park for two nights. We met at their campsite in the early afternoon, exchanged pleasantries and started shooting—with the exception of Barbara’s husband John, who works magic with a gas grille, but is not a photographer. Oddly enough, we were not shooting with our beloved Lensbaby gear. Barbara was traveling light, and we recently switched to Fujifilm cameras. The Fuji FX mount is not currently supported by Lensbaby, but we understand that will happen in the near future. We can’t wait.

At any rate, we showed Barbara and John our favorite spots in Myakka State Park and created lots of images. Our Facebook friend and her husband are now personal friends. Roxanne and I hope to shoot with them again. Here are some of my favorite shots from our time together.

Decay can be beautiful.

Decay can be beautiful.

Myakka River

Myakka River

Bird land.

Bird land.

A canopy of trees provides a respite from the sun.

A canopy of trees provides a respite from the sun.

Clay Gulley

Clay Gulley

Bobette's Place

Bobette’s Place

Upper Myakka Lake in late afternoon.

Upper Myakka Lake in late afternoon.

Posted in Picture Postcards Tagged , , , , , , |

A Blast from the Past

Roxanne and I decided to make a big change in our gear. We traded our Canon dSLRs for Fujifilm mirrorless cameras. Roxanne got the XT-1 and I got the XE-2. The cameras are marvelous. Mine looks just like the rangefinder I owned 40 years ago. In addition to the XE-2 body, I have the Fujinon 18mm f/2.0 wide-angle lens and the 18-55 mm f/2.8-4.0. Both lenses deliver incredibly clear pictures that rival the L-series lenses I used with my EOS 5D-MKII. We love the Fuji line. They’re compact, easy to carry around, have Pro features, and deliver wonderful images.

Recently we discovered the wisdom of purchasing vintage lenses. Many companies make adapters that enable photographers to mate vintage lenses with modern cameras. Today I put the Pentax Takumar 50mm f/1.4 lens Roxanne gave me for my birthday to the test at a local car museum. This lens is manual focus, but the Fuji has a manual focus aid known as Peaking, that shows a crisp white line around edges that are in focus. I like the results I’m getting with this lens. The colors are saturated, but the contrast is a bit soft. This is easily remedied using the Tone Curve panel in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Here are my favorite pictures from today’s photo shoot.

Auburn Boat Tail Roadster

Automotive Sculpture

 

Porsche Whale Tail

Porsche Whale Tail

 

Hey Little Cobra

Hey Little Cobra

 

Flower Power

Flower Power

Porsche Speedster

Porsche Speedster

Color Me Red

Color Me Red

Cheers,
Doug

Posted in Breaking News

Sunday Morning Walkabout

Sunday morning the alarm went off early in our household. Our furry kids, Micah and Niki were thrown off guard. The thought of their humans getting up at dark thirty had them totally flummoxed.

After breakfast, the Lensbaby Duo hit the road and drove to Sarasota for a walkabout with our Lensbaby gear. We started our walkabout in historic Burns Square. It was a warm morning, so I had my air conditioner on stun level, which of course totally fogged my Sweet 35 optic as soon as I got out of the car. I decided to create some images with the lens fogged over. This is the best of the lot.

Sweet 35 optic @f/4.0

Sweet 35 optic @f/4.0

At the south end of Pineapple Street is a restaurant with what I’d classify as Mediterranean architecture. The restaurant has changed ownership many times. As interesting as the outside of the building is, I was intrigued by the inside of the restaurant and the reflections in the window.

Sweet 35 optic @f/4.0

Sweet 35 optic @f/4.0

Burns Court has a little bit over everything, including an eclectic variety of shops with very interesting window dressing.

Sweet 35 optic @f/4.0

Sweet 35 optic @f/4.0

Burns Court is home to many quaint houses and some upscale restaurants. I loved the details in one restaurant, but the dynamic range was more than my camera could handle. So I created three bracketed exposures (-2.0 EV, 0 EV, +2.0 EV) and merged them in HDR Efex Pro 2, which is part of the Google Nik package.

Sweet 35 @f/4.0-bracketed exposures merged in Nik HDR Efex Pro 2

Sweet 35 @f/4.0-bracketed exposures merged in Nik HDR Efex Pro 2

Sweet 35 @f/4.0-bracketed exposures merged in HDR Efex Pro 2

Sweet 35 @f/4.0-bracketed exposures merged in HDR Efex Pro 2

We ended up at one of our favorite Sarasota buildings, home of the Sarasota Herald Tribune. Because of the sculptures outside we have affectionately dubbed it “The Egg Building.” In addition to having very cool sculptures outside, the glass walls of the building are great subjects because of the reflections and the name.

Single Glass Optic - f/4.0 aperture disk

Single Glass Optic – f/4.0 aperture disk

All too soon the temperature started climbing to an uncomfortable level and as the sun rose higher, the shadow edges became very harsh, which meant it was time to head home and edit images.

Cheers,
Doug

Posted in Picture Postcards Tagged , , , , , , |