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Posts tagged ‘nature’

Beach Art

I just had to share some beach art that I am incredibly proud of… my nephew David (15 yrs old) created this amazing large-scale portrait out of sea weed last week while we were down on Padre Island. We were all so blown away – he is truly talented! Way to go David!



Wildlife/Nature Photo Challenge

A friend of mine on the We Will Create website recently posted her first entry of her genre-a-month photo project. Her theme was wildlife – and her pictures and stories so inspired me! Since my plans for barn hunting didn’t quite work out as expected yesterday, I took a little detour to shoot some wildlife and nature. Here’s some of the highlights, lowlights and things I learned…

I’m happy to announce I saw my first armadillo close-up on this trip! I also learned that they are fast little devils… and that you shouldn’t assume you can just walk up to one, tap it on the shoulder, and ask it for a photo… Well, you can, but this is all you will get… (forgetting to use my zoom lens did not help either).

For next armadillo sighting I had my zoom lens handy (70-200mm). I managed to get a little closer with the right lens in a moment that he stopped to think to himself “oh my gosh! I think that human is following me!” and then promptly ran off. However our lovely winter background of deadness really doesn’t do much to help things..

After another hour or so I came across yet another armadillo! He was foraging for food on the edge of a tree line which thankfully had a rare patch of green soft grass. I quietly sneaked up to him, a little at a time. I was able to get some decent shots of his butt at least… oh animals and their rudeness!

At the closest I was about 6 feet away from him… which is when I learned how hard it is to get a clean close up shot when you’ve got twigs and branches and brush and tall grass all over the place.. this one below was the best of the bunch. The sun was also really harsh and not helping things. I conclude that nature is very inconsiderate.

Right here is where you would be seeing my really gorgeous macro shot of a beautiful golden butterfly sunning it’s wings… however you will not see it because butterflies are really kind of bitches about having their picture taken. Didn’t get a single shot – just as soon as I was almost close enough, they took off. Such a tease. I decided to work with a spider instead, who was a little more accommodating (although not by much).

Mr. spider was about 3-4cm long. I didn’t quite get the focus right – yet another factor to have to consider on top of the issues of ugly natural backgrounds and horrible harsh sunlight.

Later in the day I found a great little pine forest with plenty of mushrooms and pine cones to practice macro photos on (and way more convenience since they don’t move!) I did a little light study on this mushroom.. moving from more frontal light all the way to backlit. It was fun to see how different each direction made the image feel.

I came across this little finch-like bird who was just flitting about on this dead tree by the lake. Finally an animal that is not camera shy! For about 10 minutes I photographed him while he flirted for my camera.. it was definitely a lot of fun. Still working on trying to get the right settings to get clear shots of birds in action… they usually end up looking like strange alien things hovering in the air…

He unfortunately seemed to share the same animal rudeness of the armadillo in mooning me a lot…

I did manage to get a few really pretty shots of this little guy though – slowly he let me get closer. This one below was one of my favorites.

I also learned that cows are boring… especially on flat ground.

I learned that sometimes just when you are coming up on a cool ominous-looking scene of a beach with ravens on it… some stupid kids come walking by noisely and chase off all your subjects.

I learned that sometimes making a shot better is as simple walking around the subject to see if there is a better angle with less clutter…

This last shot was inspired by a similar shot my friend took (mine on the left, hers on the right).. the diagonal shadows must have stuck in my mind, because as soon as I saw them out on the trail I instantly thought of her image and decided to take a version of my own! Thanks Alyshia for getting me inspired for this trip! It was a great learning experience and a lot of fun!!

Otherworldly Sunsets

A great and rumbling storm came barreling through Dallas tonight. Just about dusk, I was sitting on my couch watching a documentary about the history of the American Whaling Industry (fascinating, actually!) and I noticed this very odd light outside. A crept outside with my camera – suspecting something possibly peculiar was amidst – and walked over past the next building that was blocking my view.

As I walked out through the doorway I was left breathless by a sunset like none I had never seen before. The clouds hung heavy overhead – exhausted from their raging. And off in the distance appeared silken streaked clouds that lay across the horizon like a golden ocean. I grabbed my camera and got to work… only wishing I’d gotten there just a bit earlier so get the full power of this show.

I decided to post this as part of my monthly project because, to me, this did remind me of something I might see way out there.. on another planet in some galaxy far away. It also reminded me of Star Wars – to which the beau can attest that all things spatial and fantasy-like almost always make me think of! =) And either way – it left me feeling such wonder and excitement and bursting with creative energy!

The Blog (and my door) Get A Facelift!

Welcome everyone! You’ll notice the blog has a nice, new look to it! The original was something I really just sorta slapped together to get things started.. so I’m happy to have finally found a new, cleaner look that has more of the features I want. I’m still tweaking things and working on a custom header, so you will likely discover new little nuggets of goodness here and there in the next few weeks.

I thought it fitting with the welcome of the new look here to show off the summertime wreath I made today as well! It’s been probably a decade since I’ve made a wreath.. and oooh i forgot how much fun it is! I am positively in love with the colors and textures on this little guy! Hoping you like the new face to my door as well as to my blog.. Would love to hear what you think of either! =)

My First Video Test!

Hi all!

Well, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’ve been a bit MIA lately on the blog. Barring some increased workload outside this project (i.e. the one that pays my bills!) I have been just plain too exhausted most of this month to really focus on this project. Yup.. I’ve been pretty near burnout for the past few weeks… but have learned some important lessons about how to work through it, as well as how to keep that creative flow going even when life is throwing you curve balls. More on that later!

I played around a bit this weekend while camping, and came up with an idea for what I’m going to do. I won’t divulge all the secrets just yet, but here is my very first teeny tiny film clip with some music laid over it.

It may appear to be nothing more than a 14 second clip of shaky footage of a rock… but what this really is folks, is a daring leap into the uncharted and scary territory of creating things in motion & sound… fighting valiantly to ignore the inner critic that says “you can’t do this, like wow, this is so feeble and lame in comparison to what others can do”. Not listening. Only concerned with seeing what I CAN do and being proud of it even if it is feeble by someone else’s standards. =)

Check back soon for more teasers, hopefully not all of rocks. ;)

Later Alligators!

February: Charlotte’s Web Comes to Life

Hey all!

Well, this is almost a month late in posting – but I DID actually finish this project the last week of February.. it just took me a while to actually put it up outdoors and get some pictures taken of it. I finally had some free time this afternoon to tackle it.

As you may remember, February’s project was temporary sculpture with the theme friendship. I ended up doing two projects for this – one was the friendship sculpture posted earlier in which a few good friends and I created a nature sculpture from sticks, twigs, and leaves.

The second project was to bring Charlotte’s iconic “some pic” web to life!

The above image is certainly one of the most memorable of E.B. White’s classic children’s book Charlotte’s Web. This story so beautifully captures the idea of true, loyal friendship to me. Being one of my favorite books as a child, the idea of bringing this to life in the form of a temporary sculpture that I could share with the world really got me excited! Below is the finished project – created from dead vines and twigs.

I soaked the dead vines in warm water in order to work with them. Once soft, they are actually quite flexible and strong. I attempted a few methods of tying the twigs on – without any good results – so I eventually settled on hot-gluing them to the vine-web.

This project certainly turned out to be more time-consuming that I thought – probably around 10-15 hours. I actually got pretty attached to this guy after putting all that work into it. It was definitely a bit hard to say goodbye as I left it tied up aside a walking trail just north of my house. Although it helps to imagine someone coming across it – perhaps this book was a favorite of theirs as a child too – and for a moment they will be reconnected to that childlike wonder once more. =)


P.S. If you live in the DFW area and happen to get a kick to go discover this little jewel yourself, it can be found on the southern end of White Rock Park Trail (near the small creek that flows under the trail).

The Art of Jim Denevan

Hi everyone!

Been doing a bit of research on various kinds of temporary art and thought I’d share some great stuff I have found so far! The first I’d like to share is the art of Jim Denevan.

Jim makes temporary drawings on sand, earth and ice that are eventually erased by waves and weather. The first time I saw Jim’s art, I instantly fell in love with it. It’s simple and complex at the same time. It inspires me to think in new ways. It reminds me to think both infinitely small and outrageously big in all that I do.. to stretch things to their limits.

Some of his pieces have such a large scope that they use vehicles to create the shapes.

This overlay shows the size comparison for the piece above.

Well, that is all for today. I hope his work inspires you to think in new ways about even the most ordinary of things!

To see more of Jim’s work, and to read about his other project Outstanding in the Field, visit his website:

later alligators!

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