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Lake Hefner





Here are a couple of pictures I took while out at Lake Hefner recently.  The first was with a Nikon 55-200mm zoom lens.  I was pretty zoomed in on this one, maybe even all the way.  It’s great to have a lens with VR as it prevents the shake from a hand held camera while zoomed in.  It really does work:



A shot of the lighthouse at Hefner super close up with an ultra wide angle lens.  I was almost touching the lighthouse when I shot this.  Ultra wide angle lenses let you get really close and you can sometimes pull of some cool views:



Wow, it’s been awhile!  I wouldn’t know where to start on excuses for not posting pictures in such a long time.  I guess the main reason being busyness but also I lost a lot of photographic inspiration during the winter.  Not much to take pictures of when everything is dead in a flat place like OKC, at least for newbies like me. I’m really just trying to get back into the practice of having a photographic eye, which can be really tough to do.

This was taken from the balcony of the room Zane, Hayley, and I stayed in the Hotel Colorado in the President’s Suite.  According to Zane, the room we stayed in was the one Theodore Roosevelt used to always stay at when he vacationed here.  This was an awesome birthday present from the both of them:

One of the staircases at the hotel.  The hotel reminded me of “The Shining”:

These are a few pictures I took while in San Diego with Hayley’s family.  We got to drive over to La Jolla, which I highly recommend doing if you ever get the chance.  The picture below is using a technique called the Orton Effect, which gives the photograph a “painterly” feel.

the sunset on the beach was beautiful. I liked how the rocks where all facing the same direction, also green is my favorite color to photograph. If I had my filters, I would have stacked them and made this like a 5 sec. shot to smooth out the water, but alas they were stolen:

Couldn’t resist taking a picture of this beauty:

The Alpha male of the group:




Messing around with my macro lens again.  This is a picture I took awhile back but finally got around to editing.  Made the same way as my previous post on “celestial” with a CD for the reflective colors.  I confess, this one was edited a bit more than the last:


Materials used:

Pyrex pan
Vegetable Oil
Macro Lens (Wide Open) exposure 1/320th of a second


New York/Delaware/D.C.

Hayley and I just got back from a trip we took visiting Lindsay, Dustin, Ethan, and Elliot.  Initially, the thought was we would go to New York, quickly see some of the sites, and then move on to Delaware where her sister’s family is located.  What a surprise it was for us when we found out we were also getting to spend a night in D.C. with Lindsay, Dustin, and the boys!  Of course, I brought my camera and it was by my side the entire time.  Here are some of the pictures from the trip:

I was lucky to have Hayley as my beautiful photog. model for the trip.  One of MANY snaps taken as the subway was passing by, the flag and reflection were sheer luck:

I snapped this while he was waiting to cross the street.  If you haven’t been to Times Square, let me be the 5 millionth person to tell you it’s amazing:

City Never Sleeps

On top of 30 rock, facing the Empire State Building:


Hayley and another American flag.  There’s a connection there.  She’s an American.  I talked her into posing while the people passed by at the busy station.  I don’t know if the couple leaning on each other in the background was trying to get in on the action, but I thought it turned out pretty cool.  One second exposure is what got the blurred movement for everyone else:

Passing By

This may just look like a snapshot to everyone, and maybe it is, but this was super difficult to acheive! (just ask Blake and Elyse).  I didn’t have my tripod with me so my camera was resting on a building ledge, remote shutter.  This couldn’t be taken with a normal flash as the city in the background would be washed out.  I had to set it to rear flash to capture the city in a long exposure and then the camera would fire the flash for the foreground after.  Basically, it was a long exposure and everyone had to stand really still for like 15 sec.

Honeymoon Crashing

Yes, that’s the camera remote in my hand.  What of it?:

NYC Panorama.  My first try at a pan:



Possibly the biggest bubble I’ve ever seen…oh and I’ve seen some bubbles!:


Here’s me, trying to avoid holding a camera at the normal height for taking pictures because it’s usually not the best point of view.  For this shot, I actually set my camera on the ground, focused on the leaves, and set the camera to F4 for a super fast exposure, as I was wanting to blur everything but the foreground:

Central Park

Maybe…no probably…no definitely the cutest little guy ever:


Arlington National Cemetery is an absolute must see:

Section 33

Not only was the feeling of the place one to remember, we also got unbelievable fall colors to go along with it.  I really loved this place:

On the ground once again, as I didn’t have my tripod.  This took about 20 shots to achieve.  The end result is still technically underexposed but I like it that way.  I got some pretty weird looks from people walking by as all 6’4″ of me was sprawled out on my stomach trying to get this picture to work:

Lincoln Memorial Reflection

This picture doesn’t do it justice.  You can tell from the picture above how big the statue is compared to the people walking up to it.  This picture was really underexposed but I did it on purpose because I wanted everything dark except Abe.  I used photoshop to dodge the statue and words while burning the corners to try and make the whole thing stand out:

Honest Abe

World War II memorial:

Well, that’s that.  We had an absolute blast and I’m extremely thankful that Dustin and Lindsay allowed us the visit while making us feel really special by planning a visit to D.C. for all of us.  Hopefully we’ll get to go back again someday and spend more time in both NY and DC as they are both amazing places to visit.


My Camera Lens is My Hubble Telescope

I recently got a Sigma macro lens for super cheap on eBay, and I’ve been experimenting with it a little bit. There are some really talented and creative photographers on 1x who are really open about their methods used in getting certain shots. I had seen these sort of reflective color macro shots before and asked how they got them. After receiving instructions from a few different photographers, I decided to give it a try on my own:


No photoshop other than levels, contrast, and sharpening.

No clue what that is? I imagined outerspace with some really crazy looking planets!

Here’s what I used to get that shot:

Pyrex pan
Vegetable Oil
Macro Lens (Wide Open) exposure 1/320th of a second

The reflective color is from the lamp hitting the surface of the CD, while the shapes are from the water and oil mixed in a pan. This shot was super difficult to get, as even breathing changes the focal point of a macro lens. Tripods are highly recommended. It’s also very hard to get the out of focus components of the picture to compliment the focused parts, as only a sliver of the image is in sharp focus from the lens being wide open.

I blame my crazy experimenting lately with the lack of landscape picture potential in Oklahoma. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s landscape photography is very difficult when everything is so flat! Can’t wait to visit New York, Deleware, and take the Talimena Drive into Arkansas later next month. Hopefully some good fall color shots will be coming soon, as well as some more potentially crazy looking macro shots. Still got a few ideas I want to try..


Excitebike II

My final version of a photo taken a few months back:

The original version looked like this:

To be honest I was pretty happy with the original version but I felt it lacked impact.  The two elements (rider and sun) seemed to compete for attention.  My goal when capturing this picture was to keep everything as simple as possible, which is why I only included the sun and sky without the ramp or any ground area.  So I finally decided to enhance that goal even more with my final edit by combining the two elements.  The hardest part was getting the colors inside the wheels to match the surrounding sky.  That was definitely a challenge!


The Orton Effect

Thanks to one of my favorite landscape photographers, Darwin Wiggett, I’ve learned a new concept called “The Orton Effect”, which is a method used for creating photographs with a “painterly” feel to them. I re-edited a couple photos from California last summer that I felt would benefit greatly from this method:

Both of these shots were right behind the hotel we were staying at. 🙂 We were really roughing it:

This Next shot is one of my favorite beaches in Cali:

I’m really excited to use this technique once the fall colors start hitting the trees. Could definitely make for some interesting stuff! If you are a photographer, be sure and check out the link I included to “The Orton Effect” as I truly believe this opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for photography.