Sea Blue Lens


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Blurred Vision

Coming and Going

Coming and Going

Hi — I’m back! I didn’t deliberately set out to take a month-long blogging break, but that’s pretty much what happened. Don’t know why, but I guess I must have needed it.

I can’t say I’ve got any deep thoughts or dramatic breakthroughs to report upon my return. But since my Word for 2013 is Explore, I thought I’d jump in with Kat Sloma’s Exploring With a Camera. Each month, Kat offers up a lesson on an aspect of photography, with clear explanations, how-to’s, and plenty of examples. This month’s exploration was “artistic blur.”

I spend a great deal of effort in trying to get my photos to be as sharp as possible. The concept of trying to blur a photo by moving the camera around during exposure, for example, or by deliberately not focusing before capturing an image is difficult for me to grasp. I tried some experiments for this lesson but, sad to say, they were not successful. However, in looking through my archives I found that I do use other types of blur to create the effect I want in a photo.

Desert Willow

Desert Willow

In this photo, I used a shallow depth of field to hint at the setting of this desert willow, but the blossom is clearly the subject.

Eventide

Eventide

In this case, even though it’s the grass that’s in focus, it leads my eye to the cottage in the background. For me, the cottage in the soft, warm evening light, with its sense of peace and quiet solitude, is the real subject of the photo.

Summer Storm

Summer Storm

I took this photograph becauseĀ of the blur caused by a brief but intense summer rain pouring down the window.

Window Waves

Ripples in Time

While this image was taken on another rainy day, the blurred distortion of the clapboards is caused not by rain but by the wavy antique glass of the window that I was shooting through.

Ripples In Time

Water World

These are ripples of a different sort. The water in this cove seemed very calm, but the blurred reflection tells another story. This is one of my favorite reflection photos.

Downtown

Downtown

In this image of the Los Angeles skyline taken from the Angeles Crest Highway, the mountains and distant city are blurred by mist and rain.

Slow Water

Slow Water

This blurred water is caused by using a slow shutter speed, a common technique used by landscape photographers to give moving water that milky effect. To be honest, it’s not something I do often, but I was experimenting with it one day and this was the result. To me, milky water looks very unnatural; I prefer to freeze the motion, leaving the water clear. But I did enjoy trying and comparing the effects of different shutter speeds on this occasion, and I’ll experiment more with it in the future.

Spots and Stripes

Spots and Stripes

This effect was achieved by shooting through a flowering shrub. Focusing on the bird beyond caused the foliage to blur into a translucent wash of color. I’d like to say I did this on purpose, but I was quite surprised by the result when I downloaded the images.

Illumination

Illumination

The blur here is caused simply by hand-holding the camera. The interior of this church was very dark so the shutter speed was slow. It’s sharper than I expected to get, but I like the softness of the glowing candles.

Angry Squirrel

Angry Squirrel

Autumn Gold

Autumn Gold

My apartment in Maine backed up to the edge of a river, and I had wonderful views from my windows. I took a lot of photos through those windows, with more or less success. These are two of my favorites. I was shooting through a double paned window and a screen, which gave these images a soft-focus effect that I like.

The Blues

Singin’ the Blues

Car window + Raindrops + Reflected Sky + Wide Open Lens. Once I’d have just thrown this away, but I like it. So with this little abstract, I’ll close my exploration for now and go link up with Exploring With a Camera: Artistic Blur. I think I’ll make it just under the wire.


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Scavenging the Yard

Had to go on the Sunday Scavenger Hunt today. It’s a great distraction from the wind, which is driving me to distraction. Wind is my least favorite kind of weather. It blows here a lot, but usually doesn’t bother me. Today it’s got me a bit on edge.

Let’s think about something else and go hunting. This week’s targets were Yellow, Getting Ready, Bright, Teeny Tiny, and Connections.

Yellow:

Eye of the Beholder

I found this tiny “weed” blooming all by itself early one morning and thought it a lucky way to start the day.

Getting Ready:

Rest Stop

This beautiful bird is pausing for a drink, getting ready to head off to wherever. I believe it’s a female Nutall’s Woodpecker. My bird book says it’s “uncommon.” This is not its normal habitat, so for me, it was a truly special sighting. Please pardon the pink and green blurs — I was shooting from my desk, through the window, between the branches of the crape myrtle, which was blowing back and forth. Yup, it was windy that day, too.

Bright:

Rose Red

This rose’s blossoms are only a couple of inches across, but it’s the brightest, most vivid red I’ve ever seen. The camera hardly does it justice.

Teeny Tiny:

Eensy Weensy Spider

Luckily for me, and for it, this tiny spider was posing for me on the outside of the window glass. His body was barely a quarter of an inch long, and resembled a small freshwater pearl.

Connections:

Two-birds of Happiness

This pair of Western Bluebirds has been here all summer. I’ve also spotted a couple of juveniles that could be their offspring, though I can’t know for sure. It pleases me to think of the connections of this little bluebird family. When they spread their wings and fly into the sunshine, they are like pieces of the sky.

The common theme of all these images is the connection that I feel to all the wild things around me here. They are a distraction, too, but in the very best way!

Linking with Ashley’s Ramblings and Photos for Scavenger Hunt Sunday. Thanks, Ashley!