Saturday, February 28, 2009

33 - Break the Rule of Thirds

I took this the other day at a park in Plano, Texas.  This little leaf just refuses to go down!  If there had been a theme of perseverance (or stubbornness--oh, I don't know, the donkey would probably have won that one!), this single leaf might have been just right for that.  
I thought this looked like an interesting macro photo, but I took it with my 70-300 lens.  It was the lens I had on the camera, so I just stood back from it and fired away.  Most of the ones were out of focus, because it was handheld, and the shutter speed wasn't all that fast, but this one came out surprisingly clear!  So, here it is.  (I never have quite decided if it really breaks the rule of thirds, but it's the closest I could come!)

Friday, February 27, 2009

252 - Reading Material

When I got my first donkey, I knew nothing whatsoever about the longest-eared of equines.  This book, recommended to me by the wonderful people at the American Donkey and Mule Society, was a lifesaver!   My eternal thanks to the ADMS and the Hutchins, who wrote it! 

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Not Part of the Challenge!

Remember the theme 258 Relaxation?  The fuzzy filly lying down in the sun?  I got busy yesterday and clipped heads, necks, chests and tummies of the two horses I'm about to start in training.  The photo above is of Kittyhawk, the filly in the photo.  There are two more photos of Kittyhawk below, as well as one of her half brother, Mustang.  Mustang was subject of the theme 115 Furry.  He's not only not furry(at least his head and neck aren't), but his undercoat is almost totally white.  With a partial clip (the full bodyclip will be in April--and it probably won't be any better a clip job than these were!) he's a two tone horse!  I used to think his head was coarse (I've never done a head clip on either of these two), but I'm about to change my mind!  It's like Christmas all over again, unwrapping gifts.  I just can't take my eyes off of them!  

9 - Advertisement

From the same Gypsy Horse show as the gorgeous stallion, this is the American registry for the breed.  The photo on the right is the traditional use of them in Europe.  I just love the one on the left!  Fascinating breed with a fascinating history.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

35 - Bridges or Tunnels

One more Stock Show shot!  This is a rotating tunnel that is the exit to the fun house.  I couldn't resist this as the "Bridges or Tunnels" theme!  (Wish I could have gotten someone staggering out!)  

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

11 - Angels or Devils

This is Mischief Maker, one of a litter of kittens born in my pickup 17 months ago.  She is incredibly smart, and is always into something.  It's a challenge keeping her busy little mind occupied so she will stay out of trouble, hence the name Mischief.  Angel when she's loving, Devil when she's playing.  This theme was made for her!

Monday, February 23, 2009

When I Grow Up . . .

I decided to use one of my free themes today.  I was just playing with my camera, trying to get the settings right, and just for fun I snapped this little tree in front of the big ones.  It almost looks as if it's looking up at them, and I can almost hear it's leaf-rustling whisper, "When I Grow Up, I Wanna Be Just Like Them!"

Sunday, February 22, 2009

161 - It's Saturday Morning

It's Saturday morning, and it's horse show time!  This gorgeous little stallion is a Gypsy Vanner, and he is headed to the ring in the first Gypsy Horse show ever in Texas.  (The breed originated in Europe, developed by the Romano gypsies to pull their caravans--hence the name "vanner".  They're fairly new to the US.)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

246 - Purple

I don't know what these are called, but they survive the winter cold and the spring storms, but die off in the summer heat.  If you pull one of the little purple tubes out and touch it to your tongue, you get to taste the tiny bit of honey sweet nectar that it stores inside.  I remember doing that as a child, plucking every other one to get that miniscule drop.  (You have to leave some, or there won't be any the next year!)
I treated this photo with the Paint Daub filter, then Posterize.  (I thought it was time to play around a little!)

Friday, February 20, 2009

258 - Relaxation

My three-year-old filly Kittyhawk, was caught napping in the sun.  When I clicked the first shot of her, she opened one eye to check on the goings on, then closed it again, totally unconcerned.  A picture of perfect relaxation!  (But notice that ear--she's aware of my every move, just the same!)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

175 - Logs

Our Christmas present from my brother-in-law:  A load of firewood.  We are using the last of last year's wood while this load seasons.  It is much prettier than the seasoned wood, but produces too much smoke.  So we bring the ugly grey wood indoors, bypassing the lovely golden colored fresh wood.  I thought it would work OK for this theme (even though they're split logs, rather than whole ones).  

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

169 - Leaves

Delicate lacing on the edges of these leaves caught my eye.  With all the wind and the storms we've had this winter, I can't believe that there's a single 2008 leaf left in all of Texas!  I thought the frost was fascinating, the way it tatted the edges of the uppermost leaves.   

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

365 - Yellow

This is one of the games on the midway at Ft. Worth.  You have to circle the yellow-painted bottle in the middle with some pretty small rings to win a prize.  The motorbike in the corner of the shot is the prize for getting 10 in a row.  Probably why the rings are so small!

Monday, February 16, 2009

238 - Portrait

This fellow was standing outside one of the horse barns, enjoying the warm sun and a cola, and I asked if I could take his picture.  He seemed bemused that I would want his photo, but he was willing.  I just thought he had an interesting face.  (He looks like he's still not sure why I wanted his picture!)   He may look a little grumpy, but he was a very nice man.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

255 - Red

Separated from the regular midway at the Ft. Worth Stock Show (yet again), is the mini midway, for the little ones.  The rides are a little slower and a lot less scary (about my speed!)  This is the Berry Go Round.  Made me hungry to watch it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

281 - Show Us Your Bokeh

Playing with my new set of three macro-filter lenses, I took this photo of some of last summer's weeds.  The only problem I've found with the macro thingies, is getting close enough!  These were low to the ground, and I'm certain my neighbors are now absolutely POSITIVE that I'm certifiable.  Only a crazy person would stand outside on a freezing morning with her camera pointed at the ground and her posterior pointed at the sky!  Well, at least I'm keeping my neighbors entertained, and giving them conversational subjects!  sigh

Friday, February 13, 2009

207 - On the Water

The small park in Allen, TX has a few ducks that come to visit occasionally.  I managed to capture this face to face standoff (float-off?) between a pair of Mallards and a turtle sunning on a dead tree limb.  I'm not sure who won!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

356 - What Am I?

Before a rain, I put the recycled rubber (former tires) feed tubs all together and turn them upside down off the ground, to keep them out of the mud.  We had a big rain storm, followed by a freezing fog the following morning.  The fog had formed ice crystals on everything, so I had to go get my camera (of course!) and photograph some of them.  This is a macro photo of the bottom of one of those rubber feed tubs.  Look at the full size version.  I had so much trouble deciding which photo to post, I put them both up, and could have added a dozen more.    The ice crystals are fascinating!

This one is a horsehair caught on a splinter of wood on a fence post.  Barely visible usually, the hoar frost gives it the appearance of yarn.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

278 - Shades of Grey

I couldn't help myself - I had to snap a shot at these three riders coming down the middle of the street (Ft. Worth Stock Show again--surprise!)  The sun was almost behind them, and what I saw wasn't much more than a silhouette.  When I opened it on my computer and added fill light to it, I discovered three more of Ft. Worth's finest!  I blurred the background, cloned out a troublesome pedestrian, added B&W, and Voila! an acceptable photograph.  (This is the only one I managed to get of them before Troublesome Pedestrian moved completely into the way.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

178 - Lost and Found

On the pathway to and from parking at the stock show, I happened to find this old brown button.  I wonder how long it has been there.  It looks like it's been there awhile.   Did someone lose it at this year's stock show?  Last year's?  Earlier?  Or maybe at one of the equestrian events that are held there throughout the rest of the year?  I'll never know, but I wonder how long after did the loser notice they were short a button.  (Busy mind . . .)

Monday, February 9, 2009

168 - Law Enforcement

This Fort Worth police officer seemed a little camera shy.  As soon as he saw my lens pointing at him, he moved out of sight, but not before I got this shot of him.  In deference to his obvious desire to stay anonymous, I played with filters until you could still make out the badge and uniform, but wouldn't recognise him if you met him.  
He'll probably never know I did that, but that's OK, too.  He deserves the respect for the tough job that he does (I don't mean patrolling the stock show, either!)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

275 - Sense of Motion

Indoors, the shutter speed on the action setting of my Nikon D80 really isn't fast enough.  Of about 20 or so shots of a Palomino western pleasure class, only 3 were in focus.  This one, out of focus though it is, weirdly enough turned out to be my favorite!  Sense of Motion just seemed perfect!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

329 - Tilt!

Back to the midway at the Ft. Worth Stock Show!  Thought this would make a good Tilt! photo, although my first thought was Pinball.  I don't have a pinball machine, nor do I go anywhere that has them, so I thought this would work out OK!

88 - Eyes (Wide Shut)

Oops!  I missed yesterday's post, so I'll do two today to play catchup!  
A palomino show horse walking by, barely awake, trusting his human partner to direct him safely through the considerable foot traffic on their way from the show ring.
Horse and human should have a true partnership, built on trust and common goals.  Looks like these two do!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

234 - Pink

This chair was in one of the cattle barns at the Ft. Worth Stock Show.  It seemed the perfect theme for "pink", so I stopped and got a couple of shots.  Got some strange looks from a couple of the 4H boys walking past, too!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

253 - Recessionary Economics

Cancelled horse sale.  Fewer exhibitors.  Empty rows.  The recession affects everything.

This is one of the horse barns at the stock show.  While the stalls at the far end are occupied, there were far too many aisles that looked like this one, something I've never seen in all the years I've attended.  Empty spaces, sure.  Empty rows?  No.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

332 - Tools of the Trade

Rodeo cowboys getting their ropes, and their arms, limbered up in preparation for their upcoming competition.

Monday, February 2, 2009

219 - Out West

What better photo for the theme "Out West" than a genuine Texas Longhorn?  He's a steer (Rusty 2nd), 9 years old with a hornspan of 78 inches, tip to tip.  That's 6 1/2 feet!  He stands 62 inches tall at the withers (the highest point over his front legs for you non-horsey folks out there). 
 The first Rusty, who died of old age 4 years ago, was a couple of inches taller and his hornspan was 81".  He was 20 at the time of his death.
Rusty is owned by the Forth Worth Star Telegram, a daily newspaper in the area.  Rusty is on exhibit at the Stock Show every year.  I never fail to stop and say "Hi!"  (or "Moo").

Sunday, February 1, 2009

More Fair or Amusement Park Photos - 2 & 3

Hey everyone, it's February (already)!
The Challenge photo for today is below these two.  I just couldn't decide between the three, so I posted them all! The Avalance rotates up right down left, at a much higher rate of speed than would make me comfortable!
The Power Surge rotates every whichaway.  Oh, my!

91 - Fairs or Amusement Parks

The stock show has a midway, complete with some vicious looking rides.  I couldn't choose just one, so I've included a couple (well, ok , three) of my favorites.  

This little girl is having a ball!  Her dad looks less thrilled.