#29 - On the Edge

I guess you could say this shot is on the edge twice - it is on the edge of the longest suspension bridge in Germany, which is on the edge of the two sides of a deep gorge in the Palatinate.  About 1,000 feet across and 300 feet above the treetops below.  


#51 Worst ________ Ever

Is it a truck?  Is it a scooter?  Is it a trike?  Is it an ATV?  UTV?  Whatever the heck it is, it is the worst one ever.  While I was hiking I met this guy who has a little garden-slash-hunting compound up on a hilltop and he drives this one-seater 1950's contraption up the trails from the village below a couple times each week.  The bed isn't much bigger than a wheelbarrow and he can't drive it on roads because it only goes about 15 mph.

#9 Close Up

By the first of November, most of the flowers have given up around here and most of the bees have either gone south or gone to bee heaven or whatever they do when it's time to call it a season.  I don't know my flowers or my bees, so I have no idea what kind these two stubborn bastards are but they apparently decided to hang on together long enough for me to get this photo before the snow buries them.


#26 Isolated Objects

Not much to say about this photo - it is a wind turbine on a ridge in Rheinland-Pfalz, one of several dozens that would have been visible from any other vantage point.  Probably the most interesting thing about the shot is that there is a blue sky in Germany - that is pretty rare stuff.  


#5 An Action Shot

Well, you know what they say - buffalo boys will be buffalo boys.  These two young bulls were doing a little head-butting over a feed block on a nearby nature preserve and it made for an action shot opportunity you don't get every day. 


#48 Urban Exploration

Recently I found myself in downtown Kaiserslautern, Germany and when I went out exploring I discovered all sorts of old buildings with rich history and intriguing architecture.  Like this Volksbank branch location, for example....


#24 - I found this

I went for a walk in a large city center to shoot some architecture and quite by accident I found this instead - a very large and very beautiful cemetery.  There were many visitors like this man - coming to relive memories with the love of his life in peace and quiet.  It was an oddly uplifting place - more like a park, really - I am glad that I found it.  


#38 - Serenity in Nature

Is there anything more serene in nature than a rainbow after a violent thunderstorm?  In fact there is - there is a double rainbow, twice as serene.  How about a serene double rainbow over a serene golf course?  That's serene to the 3rd power.  And a double rainbow over the golf course two days after a hurricane came through and made a mess of things all over?   Epic serenity, right there.   


#15 - F4 or lower

Sometimes you are the gecko and sometimes you are the ants.  My advice - be a gecko. 


#46 - the color purple

Well, duh...  the theme said the color purple, so I found something purple and took a shot of it.  


#17 Fireworks

Who doesn't like fireworks?  Little kids, old people, men, women, city people, rednecks, cowboys, sophisticates, millionaires, junkies, goodie two-shoes and naughty boys who drive across three states to get the good stuff that is against the law in places where the bed-wetters write the rules. Well, guess what - nobody goes "ooh" and aahhhh" over those stupid rules and nobody ever threw a parade or wrote a song to celebrate the people who wrote 'em, sparklers are for chumps.  So even though the legal displays put on by towns and cities on July 4th might be bigger and more impressive, I like the little ones out in the boonies where some pirate took a little risk to remind us of what we all want to be independent from - somebody else's stupid rules.  


#52 Zig Zag

Everyone knows I love waterfalls, and that I love to photograph the ones near our summer home - all of the rivers start in cedar swamps and cascade over the granite they have carved over millennia on their way to Lake Superior.  There are no crowds and no guard rails; the paths lead you to the rock formations and you crawl around until you find your shot.  In the spring, the snow runoff makes for thunderous flood-stage fury, but I like the late summer low-flow times.  The water zigs and zags and forms small rivulets that make for quieter contemplation and better photographs.  


#33 - Part Of A Face/Head

For the past three years I have done the 52-week challenge themes in order, even though it is not required.  This year I decided to unburden myself of all that unbearable pressure...hehehehehe.


Last Post for 2016-17 - Photographer's Choice

This photo probably would not win a ribbon in any contest - the composition is unbalanced, it is too dark on the right and too bright in the upper left corner, the editing is choppy where I tried to take out the sun flares, and I should have taken the shot at a different time of day when the lightning was better. 

But it is one my favorites because it salvages the best of what was available.  It was the only day and time of day I could take the shot.  I had to climb down a steep bank to get the composition angle I did get and darn near broke a leg doing that.  I had to learn two new Photoshop techniques to take out the sun flares, and ended up with a black and white rendition to make up for the awful shadows against the colors in the the sunlight. 

So despite its flaws, it is a memorable photo because by rights it should have been just god-awful and deleted, but it turned out ok.   I love waterfalls - they are very difficult to shoot well and the time that takes to set up the shots forces me to be fully engaged with the most beautiful thing in nature for an hour or two.  My 8th grade art teacher said art was 90% seeing and 10% doing.  I am am starting to figure out what he meant.  


#45 Underneath

There aren't too many places where you can shoot a waterfalls from underneath or behind, but the LaSalle Canyon in Illinois is one of them.  The trick is to get up early and get your shot before half of Chicago shows up to swarm the place and take the obligatory nature selfies.

#41 Night Sky

Taken las September at our lake place in northern Wisconsin.  Northern lights and cloud flares through the big dipper from down on the shore after midnight.   It is not a great technical image, but it captures the moment - perfectly still and quiet with a fantastic color light show over the water.

#39 The Garage

I am not a "car guy"; really don't care that much what I drive as long as it gets me from here to there.  But a couple of years ago, I joined some of our photography club members at a car show and discovered how much fun it is to capture the distinctive features and rich colors of the cars from the late 40's to the early 70's.  There was rolling art in the garage back then, I just did not appreciate it at the time.  


#38 Street Scenes

How pathetic is this:  I'm standing at the corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Flamingo Rd - on one corner is Bally's and Paris, on the other the Flamingo, on the other Caesar's Palace, and on the fourth, the Bellagio.  So what do I do?  Take long exposures of the traffic and back in the room by 10, where Joanne is reading a book.  20 years ago, we would have been just getting started at 10...

#37 - Stop Action

I used to stop the action with a 12-gauge pump, but those days are in the rear-view mirror and it is just as much fun to bag 'em with a camera - a bit harder to do, actually.  The only thing I miss is the dog - nothing like a day in the woods up north with a bird dog doing what it was born to do.  Bliss.  

#36 Stitched Together

this is actually two images stitched together and then cropped in Lightroom to give more width to the shot.  Florida has beautiful sunsets, but also some gorgeous sunrises, too.  The obvious problem is that you have to get up early to see them....

#35 - Starts With A "C"

My dad did not believe in borrowing money - he saved and paid cash.  The first brand-new car he bought was a 1965 Chevrolet (starts with a C, get it?) Biscayne when he was 41 years old.  He was a practical guy and always described his choice of the Biscayne over the top of the line Impala as "I won't pay $400 bucks for an extra taillight."  The Impala model in that era had three taillights and the Biscayne had two.  I think of him saying that every time I see an Impala with its distinctive 3-light tail.   


#34 - Splash of Color

I recently visited Vancouver, BC for the first time.  Everyone told me it was beautiful, but I can't say that I agree - it was grey.  Grey sky, grey pavement, grey buildings, grey or black hair, grey to black clothes.   And then there was this one girl - dancing with reckless abandon in a fuscia pom-pom suit and a Mexican wrestler's mask.  She tried to spray paint something on the sidewalk but just made a smear - said she was protesting the high price of weed, and asked me to join her in the fight against the injustice of it all.   I had to decline - didn't bring anything pink and left my luche libre mask back home, too.   I offered to sign her petition, but she didn't have one; she said I could take her picture instead so here you go...


#33 Something With Wings

Here are two things with wings - do I get extra bonus points?

#32 - Signage

This sign was hanging over the doorway of a shop in St. Thomas.  I did not go inside, so I do not know if Zora's sandals are works of art or if he is a starving artist who makes sandals on the side to keep bread on the table.

#31 - Show With Flash

I am learning how to use the speedlight, so be gentle - shot this at a car show in downtown Lakewood Ranch with off camera flash and think it turned out ok for a handheld after dark.  I wish I brought my tripod, but didn't plan to stay that long.


#30 Show Us Your (color) Bokeh

I don't do much macro shooting, but I took this shot of the stigma (I think) with a wide open aperture and got a nice color bokeh effect from the petals to set off the small area in focus.  


#29 Shot at 9 AM

Pacific time.

#28 Repeating Patterns

Oh, man - we got lines and patterns and reflections of lines and patterns and stuff going on all over the place in this photo.  Do I get extra credit?

#27 Quaint and Quirky

While visiting Vancouver, I took a little walk in the area around our hotel and I happened upon this quirky vintage bicycle front frame with some winter-killed flowers on it.  It doesn't get much quirkier than this.


#26 Prohibited

How do you prohibit people putting money into defunct pay phones in the cellular age?  Cut off the handset.  

#25 Places of Worship

The Caribbean island of St. Kitts does not have a lot to offer to the photographer on shore leave from a cruise ship for the day.  If you like to shoot people...check that, photograph people...there are many interesting street people and hustlers to be found in the tourist zone.  But if you ignore the passed-out drunks and walk a ways past the t-shirt shops and rum bars, you will find this gorgeous stone church.


#24 - Out Of Bounds

Oh, this is so wrong - completely out of bounds.  Utterly tasteless.  Juvenile.

#23 Orton Effect

This is a stack of three duplicate photos with varying degrees of focus, blur, and saturation to simulate the Orton Effect in film developing.   I think it gives a 3D feel to the image.


#21 - On The Water

I was down at Centennial Park in Sarasota shooting diving pelicans and when the sun began to set I saw a fellow trying unsuccessfully to get a shot of his hot car - the sun was so bright it was just a silhouette.   I suggested he just wait 5 minutes until the sun started to slip below the horizon and bingo - nice little car shot.   This is the stuff you learn in a camera club like LWRDPC; if he was a member I would have had him turn the front wheels a bit away from the camera...      


#20 - Negative Space

The hills give it away - this photo was taken in northern Wisconsin where we have plenty of space, not in Florida, where they call in a silver alert if you stand in the middle of the road to take a photo. Nobody stuck in stop-and-go traffic on I-75 with the other last minute Christmas shoppers, arriving snowbirds, and first wave of visiting relatives would call this much space "negative" - more like heaven on earth.  Merry Christmas!    


#18 Movie Title

"Splash!" was - I guess - a movie from the 80's about a regular mermaid, and it is being remade - I guess- with Channing Tatum as a guy mermaid.  I didn't see the first one and have no interest in seeing the remake, but I had this photo with a splash and I have no idea if that is a boy duck or girl duck doing the splashing, so....close enough.  


#17 Missing/Misplaced

"Ok, so I think we are ready to put the guard rail up in this little open section here.  Do you have the hole locations marked, Jesus?   Jesus?   Did you hear me?  What are you....oh, shit."


#16 - Macro/closeup

I picked up photography a few years ago and started out with a super-zoom bridge camera and discovered i like taking close-up images of flowers with it.  When I joined LWRDPC I learned how to take photos of other things, but I still like flower closeups that fill the frame, too.  Being too cheap to buy an expensive macro lens for my full-frame Sony,  I pull out the old Canon super-zoom and bang away with the lens extended out to to 1200 mm equivalent.  Not macro; make-do.


#15 - Looking Up

 I was looking up as I took this photo of the window washers looking up at the lifeboats.  One of those things should count for this theme.    

#14 - Line From A Song

"Take these broken wings and learn to fly".   I didn't really like that song much, but the lyric pops into my head very often when I see the Great Blue Heron lift off.  They have an orange patch on their elbows that look at first like glance like a broken wing with dried blood.  This guy just got done eating a very large bass and it must have weighed him down - he struggled to gain altitude, but it gave me a nice series of reflection shots. 


#12 - Hair

Don't you just hate it when some guy has a ridiculous comb over and the wind blows it off the side of his head?  Yeah, well YOU tell him he looks like a dork; I'm not going to tell him!

#11 - Four

What a stupid idea for a theme - anybody can go take a picture of a Ford, the dang things are everywhere.  Mustangs, Focuses (or is it Foci?), Fusion, and of course F150 pickups.  Just walk outside, wait a few minutes and somebody will come driving by in a Ford.  So I decided to be bold and suffer for my art - jump out in front of a Ford truck and get the grill right before it runs me over. Here it is bearing down on me the moment before impact, pretty steady under the circumstances, eh?  ....what's that you say....the theme was four, not Ford...like f-o-u-r?   Dang,  I could have just shot the coffee table and counted the legs.  Never mind...

#10 Cozy, Comfortable

This little guy was cozy and comfortable in a sunny side bank of the 4th tee at Stoneybrook Golf Course.  Wasn't bothered by the golfers teeing off about 20 feet from his spot in the grass and they did not seem to notice him either.  


#8 Break The Rule of Thirds

Here's the other rule of thirds: as soon as the third one craps out, we shoot up the pile of them.  Admit it - you have wanted to put a few rounds into your laptop more than a few times, especially when it locks up at the most inopportune moment and hours of work go down the drain.  And yes, it was tons of fun.


#7 Bent and Twisted

This old ore car at the Quincy mine was once straight, square, plumb, and stout.  A few decades of work and then a few more put out to pasture (literally) have left it bent and twisted, rusted and rotting; ignored and alone with its memories of the days when it carried a whole region's prosperity on its axles.  Unlike the rest of us bent and twisted relics, it can't go to Florida before the snow comes, so the moral of the story is its better to be an old man that an ore car.   Or something.   


#6 Bright Lights

To see an aurora in summer, you need a combination of solar winds, no moon, clear skies, location, and luck. Two hours of sitting on the shore catching some faint glow on the horizon was rewarded with a bright flare and a shooting star going through the big dipper.  And then it was over - just like the big finish of fireworks when they save the best for last.


#5 Artistic

I actually was an art major in college...until I ran out of classes that started after 10:00 AM.  Then I switched to psychology but did not finish that either - abnormal psych started at 8:00 AM, and some days the previous night's abnormalities weren't even over with by then.  We had a meeting in which it was decided that it would best for everybody if I would complete my undergraduate studies "at any institution other than this one",  so don't get your hopes up, ok? 

I took this photo of a flowering weed at the edge of a beaver pond the other day and ran it though an infrared filter to give it some artsy fartsy pretensions.   Damn thing thinks it is one of the Queen's roses now, but it is more interesting this way.