Bring On The Bluebonnets

Today is overcast. Gray cloudy skies. I was cooped up in the house until late afternoon. Great time to get out and shoot new bluebonnets. They only come once a year, for about 3 weeks.

The natural lighting was good enough to snap some keepers! The monotone diffused white of the cloud deck provided even white balance for the photos. No bright spots or harsh shadows. Nice even lighting.

I got three pictures I like well enough to star in Google Photos. And share in this blog post. I shared one of them on Instagram and Twitter. But the other two are exclusive to my blog!

At the end of the 2020 Bluebonnet season, I plan to take the best of the best and place them in a new gallery here on the blog where previous years are showcased.

While I’m kind of bummed I no longer have my DSLR to take exceptional photos, I’m glad to have the simple limitation of the iPhone 7. It forces me to try being creative or inventive to get interesting new images. And while the results are not going to win cash prizes, I’m pleased with them, thankful, and dare I say…content.

Please, enjoy!


What beauty have you found outside your door recently? Share below, or write to me here! Thanks for reading!

Cameraphoning Bluebonnets

Good Blues To Have

Guess what, my friends? The Bluebonnets are back! For about three weeks each year, they bloom their blue earth decorations around Texas. My yard in the past two years had huge thick patches of them. This year, we have only a few small thin patches. Nonetheless, I’m enjoying them through photography but in a simpler way than before.


Camera Necessity

Last year, my Nikon DSLR broke. I had used different lenses, even a borrowed macro, to capture the vibrant beauty of these flowers. I had also used my old-going-on-ancient Canon point-n-shoot with its close-up mode and more. But so far this year, I’ve not dug it out and dusted it off.

This year has been much more simple. I’ve only had my cameraphone. It’s a nearly 4-year old iPhone 7 with a single lens on the back. There’s no depth sensor. No portrait mode. Nothing but plain’ol wide angle shooting.

Despite that, it’s been really nice to shoot with. The quality of the regular photos is really great…I almost added, “for a phone” to that. Really, I’m impressed by my phone camera that debuted almost 4 years ago. Of course, I shoot bluebonnets in optimal lighting conditions: outside, full sun or partly cloudy in the golden hour near dusk.

Still, for a teeny-tiny sensor and itty-bitty lens, the iPhone 7 gives me pictures I really like to keep and to share. Maybe my wants and needs in photography have devolved. Maybe I’ve softened on the hobby. I no longer use Adobe Lightroom or a “real” camera! I use a smartphone and Google Photos. I don’t use Flickr. I hardly use Instagram. Mostly I share on Facebook.

But I like simple and convenient. Those have been the herald of smartphone photography. And quality has grown better over time. Of course, it’s been declared years ago that smartphones killed point-n-shoot cameras. I tend to agree.


The Coming Macro Lens

In any case, the Bluebonnets are here, and the best camera for them is the one I have with me. That’s my iPhone 7. But in two weeks, that is supposed to change! The Moto G Power is scheduled to arrive at my house, bringing with it three (3) lenses (!) on the back instead of one! And the lens I want to try the most with the Bluebonnets is the macro!!

I don’t expect super good resolution, but I’m eager to see what creativity I can push with a macro-lens-that-fits-in-my-freaking-pocket!

If the bluebonnets hang around long enough, I should be able to snap them with a new smartphone camera system. Maybe I’ll even try a new fancy photo app on Android to tweak them to new levels. Time will tell.


What camera do you love to use? Comment below, or write to me here! Thanks for reading!

Favorite Fall Fotos

Welcome To The Fall

We made it, y’all! It’s finally here, the first day of Fall!


Autumnal Affections

Like many of you, my favorite season is Fall.

Traditionally, it’s a time of harvest when you reap the bountiful blessings sown in Spring and Summer.

But my favorite reasons for loving Autumn are the cool relief from the scorching Summer heat and the multicolored leaves.

The Fall also excites me because it’s the build-up to “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” – Christmas! And lest I be accused of ingratitude, let’s mention Thanksgiving too.

Yet there’s two more personal pluses for my Autumnal Affection: my birthday and my wedding anniversary occur in October and November. How’s that for celebration?

The only real drawback for Fall is the overabundant proliferation nigh infestation of Pumpkin Spice – it gets into everything! Too much of a good thing…

But who can resist a steamy cup of your favorite flavored sugar and caffeine beverage on a crisp overcast Autumn afternoon?

Texas Trees

Here in Texas, we don’t have the amazing plethora of color-changing trees as New England does. But we do enjoy some yellow, sometimes orange or red, leaves of Autumn.

Over the years, I’ve tried to capture some of the beauty of Fall in my neck of the woods. I’m sharing a few select samples here to celebrate Fall 2019. Enjoy!


Hope Harvest

Here’s to hoping this Fall season 2019 will be one of the coolest in a long time and as enjoyable as ever.

By the way, there’s another special something coming at the end of Fall this year: Star Wars Episode IX!


What’s your favorite time of year? Comment below, or write to me here! Thanks for reading!

Palo Duro Photo Mojo

Photo Mojo

Remember when Instagram was about photography rather than celebrity? Yeah, me too. I don’t hang out there anymore. Instead, I share photos here on my blog, but it’s been a while. So…you’ve heard of the Grand Canyon. But what about the Grand Canyon of Texas?


Palo Duro

Texas is a big state and is kinda known for big stuff. In this case, it is outdone by only The Grand Canyon. Just south of Amarillo, Palo Duro Canyon sits nestled in the Texas panhandle. It’s a popular state park.

My family got to visit for the first time 8 years ago on a Fall vacation. And once again, this year we’re planning to enjoy this wonder of creation right after Halloween!

So I revisited the canyon in my photo library (thanks, Google Photos) and found a few nice pictures to share. One day (it’s on my bucket list), I hope to visit The Grand Canyon in Arizona to see its breathtaking chasm with my naked eyes. Okay, I’ll hold the camera up too and take a few hundred pictures.

Until then, here’s a few Palo Duro Canyon shots I took with my wife’s now broken Nikon D60. I also took some with my amazingly trusty Canon Powershot S5 IS. (That thing, after using it since 2007 and falling on it once, which damaged the lens ring a little, still takes good photos today. I used it this year for some of my Bluebonnet pictures. Anyways, I’m chasing a rabbit.)

Enjoy!

UPDATE: I added a Palo Duro Gallery page with additional photos, and I plan to add more photos after my upcoming trip back to the canyon!

A Deck Of Clouds

My family lives in the countryside of Texas with lots of horizon and big skies. One nice thing about it is having more photo opportunities with nature.


One morning this week, I was treated to an extra nice sunrise. I stepped onto my front porch to let the dogs out when suddenly my eyes were caught by the glowing orange ball peaking out from a blue-ish cloudy sky.

Immediately I did a 180 back into the house to grab my camera (iPhone 7), thinking I had maybe 60 seconds of that golden moment before the sun was hidden behind the cloud deck.

I jogged over to my farm truck, stood up on the bed, and snapped away. I tried to frame the landscape nicely and expose the image in a balanced way.

Yeah, that means I just tapped on parts of the image I wanted to focus/expose on and let auto-HDR handle the rest. It was a snapshot moment worth getting.


Hopefully the results are appealing. There’s so much texture in the clouds, and I like the orange sun contrasted with the blues in the sky.

Enjoy!


When was the last breathtaking sunrise you saw? Shout out below or write to me. Thanks for reading!