Walking Around Downtown Nacogdoches-B&W Photos

Usually downtown Nacogdoches has so much traffic zooming by that I don’t really like walking around taking pictures. It’s just so loud and stressful. But during this coronavirus lockdown, the town has become so much quieter and I was able to take some peaceful walks with my dog and my camera.

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I call it the WoW building, which stands for Woodmen of the World. Built in 1923, it’s one of the popular historical buildings in our area. It’s been photographed so much so I think it’s good to try to think of a creative way to capture it. I like that the building is too dark and I also like that I have three black specs on my lens that showed up in the image. It can be fun to shoot weird angles and let so much of the sky take up the image.

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I like how this one turned out. I like the angles and the way the light and shadow, and black and white alternate.  Another popular photo subject, the Historic Fredonia Hotel. I had some school events there, one in 8th grade for an etiquette class and again for some band competitions in high school. It’s been used for many things. I think it actually closed down for a while and was remodeled and reopened and is doing well again. It was built in 1952 and was called Hotel Fredonia. I think I like how that sounds better than it’s current name.

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Just a door in the back of one of the closed small businesses. I love how doors look. And I really like how the light and shadow turned out. I like how dark the shadows are and how bright the light is.

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Another door at The Best Water Store. I was playing around with the lens flare. Also, I’ve been trying to take more vertical orientation photos.

 

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There’s nothing particularly exciting about this one. I just like how it turned out. I like banal subjects like this and the shadow caught my eye. There were some construction workers to the left shakin their booties to some upbeat Mexican music.

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I was walking along this old historic building and I saw this through the window. I just thought it looked neat.

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Another vertical picture. And I love playing around with overexposing my light and underexposing my shadows. I was also careful to include those power lines in the corner. I really like how it turned out, it’s one of my favorites from that day.

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The last photo I’ll be sharing from that day, and one of my favorites. It’s just a chair with the light casting an interesting shadow.  Right after I took this photo an old truck slowly pulled up next to me and stopped. They took their time rolling down their window, and I have to admit I was feeling a little nervous. It was an old man, probably 80 something. He didn’t speak so I said, “Hello…”

Then he pointed at the business behind me and said in a slow East Texas drawl, “They’re closed…” I giggled and responded that I knew that, then he drove away.

Tree Textures in b&w

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Lately I’ve been shooting textures in b&w. I think it was Ansel Adams who believed the beauty of the photograph could only show in a b&w image because it wasn’t competing with color. I love color photography, but there really is so much beauty in b&w photography.

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The trees in East Texas have really interesting and strange bark. I think this one is called a Texas Sugarberry.

I love the vines that grow on trees too. They even have hair on them. At least it looks like hair.

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I’m going to keep playing around with textures. I think I can come up with some cool images.

What do you like about b&w photography?  Do you think these images would look as good in color or do you think they would lose interest?

A Head in the Woods

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I was walking deep in the woods near my house, like I usually do. I had been walking for a while and I decided to stop and take a short break. I was talking on the phone with my boyfriend and I wasn’t really paying much attention to my surroundings. Then, I saw it. A deer head. Or maybe that’s a doe head. No body. No eyeballs.

I suddenly let out a shriek of fright when I finally noticed it. I want to know why there was no body. How did that head get there? I got out of there pretty quickly because I love horror movies, right? And my mind started going places I didn’t want it going.

I thought maybe there was some kind of pagan ritual. Or I guess maybe some wild hogs had something to do with it. Regardless, I got out of there. It doesn’t help that the woods tend to have a scary effect on me anyway, without random animal heads.

Reminds me of the time I was walking on a trail with my friend. We stumbled upon a cat that had been hung on a tree by it’s neck. Were there witches? Or just some evil pranksters?

Has anyone ever stumbled upon some dead freaky sight like this? Well, I’m sure I wont be brave enough to go to that spot for a while.

Some Pics and a Project for a Customer

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I took this picture the other day while taking a walk through one of the trails on the college campus. I loved how the petals on the ground looked in the sunlight.

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Right next to those fallen petals was this dead looking plant. I liked how it glowed brightly in the sunshine.

Cornhole Toss Game

Someone recently asked me to paint her Cornhole Toss Game. She wants it to match her Luau theme, so she wants me to paint an underwater scene for her that includes an octopus on one and a shark on the other.

The first step is to remove those Dallas Cowboys stickers. Just pealing it off isn’t gonna happen, so I’m planning to use steam to get the majority of it off, and whatever is left I think I’ll use some olive oil. That should nourish the wood some.

Once the wood is exposed, I can check it out for impurities and then get started preparing it for paint. I love the ocean, so I’m pretty excited to see what kind of images I can come up with.

Who likes playing this game? I remember playing it in my hometown when I was 8 years old. It was a tiny town, so there was always some kind of town/church/school/Brownies function going on. And this game seemed to always be there.

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There I am at Vacation Bible School tossing bean bags at some square holes.

Some Neat-o Pics of the Mundane

I was pretty happy with a lot of the pictures I took today. I picked out my top 5 favorites, basically the photos that jumped out at me during my initial viewing.

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This one is my favorite. While I was playing darts, the light shining on that ashtray caught my eye, so I grabbed a couple of pics, one in color and this one in b&w.

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See that bump in the middle? That’s a bug. I saw that little guy haulin’ butt and thought he looked just like the weathered plastic table he was crawling on.

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This is a picture of a gross collection of water in a bird bath. I amped up the luminance and  the dark tones in post processing.

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Check out that lens flare! I like how that turned out.

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My friend’s peach tree is producing some pretty good lookin’ peaches. You know that song, Peaches by the POTUSes? Soon, we’ll have Millions of peaches, peaches for me,
Millions of peaches, peaches for free . . . LOOK OUT!

I really like how dark those shadows are, and how the light is shining on the peach.

Some b&w Pictures

I was at a location that I go to a lot, and I’ve gotten pretty bored of the scenery. So, I set my camera to the Dynamic Monochromatic setting. I also decided to play around some with overexposing my lights and underexposing my darks.

Overexpose is when too much light enters your camera and the bright spots can become “blown out” or too bright.  Underexpose is when there isn’t enough light entering your camera and those areas might be too dark and without detail. Choosing what type of exposure you need to use will be determined by the kind of effect you’re going for in your photography, and by the lighting conditions.

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This picture is very overexposed by +3 and I brought those dark shadows out in post processing. I’m happy with how it turned out. Especially since it’s different from what I usually do.

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I shot this under the bridge. The left side is so dark and has no detail which is a nice balance to the overexposed brightness of those rocks.

I like the blurriness created by the movement of the creek water. And I really like the wavy edges of these heart shaped leaves. Both of these pictures have a closer to normal exposure.

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This spot looked pretty cool to me. I liked how overgrown all the plants were. I played around with some stuff because the original image was a bit too sepia colored.

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I took this one while standing under the bridge. See that hole? There was a whole bunch of those little rusted out holes. Hmm, I wonder how old that bridge is.

 

 

 

 

 

Rural East Texas – A Photographic Journey

Driving up and down the roads of rural East Texas is a very enjoyable and satisfying experience. At times, I am so enthralled by the beautiful landscape that I am shocked I haven’t flipped my car and truly become one with the land.

 

Barns always grab my attention, and we’ve got a lot of barns in East Texas. I love how the bright blanket of yellow flowers takes over the land. This rural landscape is located on US 259 in between Nacogdoches and a small town called Mt. Enterprise.

The Hardwood Barn is located on the left as you approach Mt. Enterprise. I think it’s used as an auction house. It’s fun to watch the surrounding landscape change throughout the seasons.

I found this rickety little barn on a quiet winding backroad.

I love how old rusty farm equipment looks . . . It’s soooo country. These old tractors are located near Mt. Enterprise on US 259.

Here’s the final image of our journey through rural East Texas. I like how the cacti in the foreground frame the blue tractor in the distance. A large vicious dog was barking at me the whole time, so I shot this picture from the safety of my car.

These Are Not Clouds – pt. 2

It happened again. I looked up and saw a rainbow around the sun with some strange looking “clouds.” If you haven’t read part 1, check it out.

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Setting: Normal

Remember how to say, “these are not clouds,” in French?: ce ne sont pas des nuages. It’s soooo much fun to say.   

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Setting: Cross Process with a yellow tint.

I really like how it turned out in cross process. The colors look interesting.

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Setting: Impressive Art – This effect gives your photo a dramatic contrast look.

This setting shocked me when I saw it on my laptop, because it really helped bring out the effect the “clouds” were making. I couldn’t even see the details with my eyes . . . Mostly because it was way too bright to look at.

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I’ve heard a lot of people tell me, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” I don’t really run into that problem. Although, I guess this effect isn’t actually that new anymore, since these “clouds” are becoming more ubiquitous.

Not sure what I’m breathing in, but at least I can get some interesting pictures. How about you? Do you notice any cool “cloud” formations in your area?

Cool Spider and Snake Pictures

First off, I’m freaked out by spiders and I imagine them scurrying up my arms . . . but, I think their webs are interesting. And when I see a snake my heart beats so fast, my adrenaline kicks into high gear, and I’m outa’ there.

I feel so alive in those moments.

And even though I imagine snakes slithering up my leg and eating me alive, I am completely fascinated by these age old beguilers.

Spider

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I noticed this spider web glistening in the morning sunlight. The wind was really strong, so I used a faster shutter speed than metered, which resulted in a pretty dark picture.

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I used auto correct for this picture and I thought the background lost too much of the darkness that allowed the spider to pop. Also, The highlights and the green at the top were a little brighter than I liked.

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So, I tried again doing the work manually. I brightened up the exposure slightly around the edges which resulted in a more balanced contrast between the light and the dark. The differences between these pictures are small, but I wanted to include both.

I really like how the lens flares and the rainbow colors turned out.

Snake

Later in the afternoon, my dog Sunny was barking wildly. I checked it out but I didn’t see anything. When we got back from our walk she went right back to the same spot and that’s when I saw it.

The snake looked more brown when I was running away from it.

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He’s actually blue with a yellow belly. How cool is that? I can’t tell what kind it is though. I’ve narrowed it down to three possibilities:

  • Blue Indigo
  • Yellow Bellied Blue Racer
  • Yellow Bellied Water Snake

If anyone can identify this snake, I’m all ears.

Fight or Flight . . . Flight!

Even though she’s an amazing snake killer, I got Sunny in the house and I went back outside to try and get a picture. I like to think me and snakes have come to terms with each other. Because this one let me take his picture and then he was gone.

I love that I got the opportunity to photograph and to experience the snake, without being in any danger.  What’s cool about this picture is the tree limb right in front of the snake mimics the bend in his body. They’re amazing at camouflage.

I wonder if I was staring right at him before when I checked, but he was hiding . . .