Rocks and Feathers On a Cloudy Day

During a recent trip to Crescent Lake, I was hoping to get some good landscape shots but with the weather being gray overcast, the lighting wasn’t ideal to capture the lush, vivid colors of the foliage around the beautiful lake. I was using aperture priority mode and didn’t like the results. The landscape images were dark, bluish cast and very flat looking. I decided to go manual and started to experiment with the camera settings. Such as: changing the white balance to sunny might give the image more warmth and color; increase exposure time and ISO while lowering my standard f/11 landscape aperture to f/6.3 to get better light.

As I was making the adjustments, a mallard duck waddled up a few feet from me. Quickly, I took a shot of the duck and was pleasantly surprised by the result. I really like the contrast of the duck’s soft feathers against the shallow depth field of the rocks on the beach. It created an attractive looking background. For me the background is just as important as the subject — especially when shooting shallow depth of field. I know from experience, a distracting background can ruin otherwise a perfect shot.  It is something to keep in mind when shooting — a boulder might become a big black blob that takes up half of the image.

For the next several shots, I focused on the feathers and rocks but also lighting and composition. I didn’t want it to be just a photo of a duck. And lucky me, seem like the duck knew what I wanted and posed nicely for me. It’s interesting how a situation like this helps me learn more about photography than just shooting a pretty landscape.

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Celebrating 100

As I looked back on all the photos I’ve taken since starting this blog; I have to admit… it’s an immense feeling of accomplishment for me. I didn’t really know where this blog would take me or what I would accomplish by posting my images and thoughts for the world to see. Now six months and 100 posts later — one thing I do know is that without the motivation and commitment of this blog; I wouldn’t have taken so many photos and in the process gained some profound insights about who I am and my view on life. Thank you to all who have support the unfolding of my blog and leaving encouraging comments. The comments are a definite motivational source. I guess it’s like having someone patting you on the back… telling you a job well done. And even if it isn’t your best; it feels good to know your effort is appreciated. I’m sure many of you bloggers out there can identify with what I am talking about when I say — blogging is a life changing experience in more ways than one.

So what have you learned from your blog? For me, it was learning to Shoot for the Moon even if it seems so far away…

Because you never know what tomorrow will bring… but know that it’s
Another Day, Another Opportunity

To see things from a different perspective…  and be amazed by The World of Tiny Details

and Living In The Moment because the joy and laughter you can have by not dwelling on the past…

Even though at times when I feel like a Photographer in Distress

Uncertain that Shooting Ducks is my best…

Yet I feel blessed… to have the choice of Marching to a Different Drummer beat; knowing I’ve never been much of a sheep.

 The blog lets me shoot whatever I think is cool. Although, I realized I’m Stuck On Food. And it’s a passion I would like to pursue.

Shooting Ducks

Trust is very important in any relationship… human or not…

I’ve tried to shoot these ducks living in the golf course pond – with my camera of course. Yet… every time when I come near they would swim away. I tried sneaking around to get close; of course they could sense what I was up to and would swim to the far end of the pond or fly off. Finally, after a week of chasing… and getting mostly blurry images, I decided to respect their boundaries and left them alone.

Yesterday, I tried shooting the ducks again and was surprised they didn’t swim away this time. Instead, they started to swim towards me. At first I thought maybe they think I was going to give them bread; which I didn’t have any. However, after a few minutes, they continued to play in front of me. It was as if they were giving me a free show to take all the pictures I want. It occurred to me that perhaps after a couple of months of seeing me hanging out in the bushes… and respecting their territory; I have finally earned their trust…

Life In The Golf Course Pond

I never would have guessed the abundant life could exist in a small man-made golf course pond. All this time, I thought it was just a golf balls burial ground. What I thought was going to be a quick photo session turned into a two-hour adventure. I spent most of it  just sitting and observing… waiting for some good shots.

Good things come to those who wait… as I crouched between the bushes being eaten alive by the mosquitoes, my patience finally paid off. This little bird flew right in front of me with a white moth in its beaks. Quickly, I shot off a few frames before it spotted me and flew off.

Marching To A Different Drummer

It never fails… however perfect it seems, there is always at least one in every family who doesn’t like to go with the flow.

Who choose to be different… to march to the beat of a different drummer.

Even if it means blocking the flow by doing the backstroke swim…

or by going the opposite direction than everyone else…  sibling rivalry never ends and defying authority is natural.

 It’s good to be different. I think it makes life more exciting and interesting.  In the end, we will eventually cross the finish line… just at our own pace.