Thunder, Rain & Photography

I woke up this morning to the sound of pounding rain and crackling thunder. Don’t you just love to sleep when it’s raining? It’s so lulling.

Shingles Update: I woke up yesterday morning with a new sore in my mouth. And just when it had cleared up in my mouth or so I thought.

I feel like a wet dish rag. I read that shingles will last from 2 to 6 weeks, so I suppose I need to be more patient.

I have finished the shingles medication and am now taking an antibiotic. Is this normal to keep having sores after you’ve taken a round of anti-viral meds?

I had some questions this morning I will answer. 

Question: Did I take photography classes? Do I just point and shoot?

Answer: I have never taken photography classes. And I have never learned how to use my camera in manual mode. So yes, I just point and shoot.

However, lenses are important here too. I get close-ups with a zoom lens I’ve had about as long as I’ve had the camera, which is probably 7-8 years.

Then I download my photos to my computer. I open Picmonkey, which I pay for, but there is a free version I think. I take each photo and edit it. I get the really close-up shots by cropping, cropping, cropping.

I size my photos to 600 pixels. So I have to watch as I edit to make sure I don’t go below 600 pixels. I don’t usually crop lower than about 975 pixels. Then I of course size it on down to 600 pixels.

Then, still in Picmonkey, oftentimes I sharpen and tweak the photo a bit using the applications in the left column of Picmonkey. It has things like Sharpen, Exposure, etc.  

I’ve been taking photos for about 20 years, so you get better as you go along.

I want to touch on bokeh in photography. I love it when I inadvertently get a bokeh shot, the round prisms of light.

What is meant by bokeh in photography?

In photography, bokeh
(originally /ˈboʊkɛ/, /ˈboʊkeɪ/ BOH-kay —  is the aesthetic quality of the blur
produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens. Bokeh has been defined as “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light”.
 These last two photos I took at the park in the fall season.

This looks like a good article on achieving bokeh. As I’ve stated, I don’t use manual settings, and when I get bokeh photos, it is happenstance usually. 

I don’t use anything else. I either just take the photo from where I stand or sit. And sometimes I’ll lean against the wall.

What I consider good photography and what you consider good photography might be different. I like to take photos of objects on an angle, as you see in the candle photo above.

I will often crop nature/flower photos where I crop off part of it. I think it adds more interest. Just having a photo that is centered, to me, is kind of boring.

I know there were several other questions. I may have forgotten some. So let me know here.

One was how to attract birds to your birdbath. I found these links for you:

I notice as I scanned these sites that the recommendation is to keep the bird bath low. I don’t do that, and I have a wealth of visiting birds and squirrels at the bird bath.

Speaking of bird baths, my standing bird bath, which has raised leaves in its surface, has become very hard to clean. You don’t want to have a dirty bird bath, because that can harm the birds.

I have scrubbed and scrubbed it. And I guess due to the raised pattern, I just can’t seem to get the residue around the raised edges. 

So I kind of gave up and put the frog bird bath, that I had below the standing one on a bench, inside the standing bird bath. They still get water, but I don’t have to worry about their drinking dirty water.

NOTE: Someone told me I could just leave the power plugged in on my new Lenova laptop. But today one of their representatives called me to see if I resolved a problem I had typed into their site. And she told me that when the battery is completely charged, to unplug it. So I was wrong.

I’ve been posting twice per day the past couple of days. I always have a post ready to go out first thing in the a.m. I do this because many readers say they want to get the post early.

As of late, I’ve had my breakfast and drank my cup of coffee, then written another post. 

So there’s no confusion, the first post was written the day before. I will sometimes write two posts if I have it in me!

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  1. Some people just have a good eye for composition and you are one of them, Brenda! I studied in a photography program at our local community college before the advent of digital photography–yes, I am that old!–and learned to work with a manual camera and lens. Switching to digital has not been easy for me, but I do use a digital camera now. I just don't feel that I have the same amount of control of the light and focus as with the manual. I certainly don't miss buying film, though! I do kind of miss doing the developing and printing process and I think photos on film have a certain quality of authenticity or something –I don't know what to call it–that you don't get with digital images. But, times change, methods change. I'm glad I experienced learning photography in the old "manual" days, because you experience learning the way light behaves and the many ways it can be used for certain effects. But I will learn to accept the digital and call it more than "good enough." No sense resisting progress, right?!

    By the way, I love your images. You have a superb talent for composition. And that is at least half of what makes a good photographer in my opinion.

    If that new sore doesn't get better in a day or so, I would consult the doctor again. Maybe the length of time you were on the first medication–was it the anti-viral?–wasn't long enough to do the job.

    Take care of yourself. We all want you to be well and able to enjoy your life!

  2. Brenda, I just love your blog and look forward to it every day. It's amazing to me that you have never had any photography lessons. Just amazing pictures. I'm going to ask you, what might seem like a silly question, but I hope that you will please send me a response. It's really very important to me. Is that yellow flower in your blog today, Sunday, June 18, a rose? I'm certain that it is, but I needed to ask you. I know it sounds crazy but it really is very important to me.
    Thank you again for everything you do to brighten up so many people's lives. I hope to hear from you soon. God bless. Jackie

    1. There was no email address for me to respond to. So I hope you check back here. Yes, it is indeed a rose at the very top. The other yellow flowers are various annual daisies. Doesn't sound crazy at all!

    2. Brenda,
      I cannot thank you enough for your response. I am so sorry about the lack of e-mail address. Here it is anyway… [email protected] (My name is Jackie)

      You have no idea how much this means to me. Thank You SO, SO, much. As always, your blog is the one I look forward to every day. I also love the cardinals and the flowers. This one was especially important and very meaningful.
      I hope that you are feeling better today.
      Thank you again for everything. Blessings to you always. Jackie

  3. I would never have guessed that you hadn't taken some photography classes or that you point and shoot. Your pictures are always good ones. I enjoy them. Great job.

  4. So enjoy all of your explanations. I didn't know anything about Picmonkey and think I have to visit it now. I will tell my daughter about it when she gets home. She's in Asia for three months and can't wait to see her pics. The picture with the yellow leaves is outstanding. You always amaze me and you are one fantastic lady to me.

  5. You also have the "eye" for your photos. Also talent.

    I think you need to see someone about the sores. Just seems so strange. But then again I have several strange things going on too.

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