PawPaw’s Barn

Handy husband’s grandfather is a gardener and a retired owner of a vacuum and sewing machine repair shop. He’s practical and industrious and a bit sentimental about barns and tractors. On our recent Thanksgiving visit we walked the fallow fields, prepped and waiting for its next crop. Right next to PawPaw’s new, double-decker barn is his very old, rickety barn. The day I took these photos it was windy and I wasn’t entirely sure the barn wasn’t going to topple over (on top of me.)

One day this barn will collapse and I hope we can salvage some of the wood for frames and other decorative items. But for now, it’s a great photography subject.


Backyard Birds: Red-Bellied Woodpecker

This morning when I went out to feed and tend to my backyard flock, I heard the telltale sound of a woodpecker tapping the tree in our backyard.

Red-bellied woodpecker.


Now that the trees mostly have dropped their leaves, you can clearly see the birds in them. The name of this woodpecker is curious to me, considering his head is red and not his belly.

Woodpecker looking for insects in the trees.


Thanks to my trusty telephoto lense, I was able to capture this guy. A few days ago the wide angle was the winner, today it’s the telephoto.

Red-bellied woodpeckers do not migrate south for the winter.


This little guy kept eyeing me. He was very chirpy to the other birds in the area that were singing their own songs. It was almost like there was an inter-species conversation going on.

Big-Girl Camera: The Sky and the Lens

Today the sky was beautiful. The high, wispy clouds and bright sun and blue, blue sky, made everything seem to drip in light. I’m a hobby photographer, with a very good friend who loaned me her lovely [and expensive] lenses.

Occasionally I can make my images represent what my eyeball actually sees. And sometimes, I can frame an image that I couldn’t have seen without the camera.

Today I experimented with wide angel and telephoto lenses.

I’m standing in basically the same spot; I did adjust and position my body to frame the photo. I started by trying to capture agriculture in action with the beef cattle in the foreground and the tractor planting wheat in the background.

But I ended up going to school in the difference between the two lenses, which is remarkable. Can you see it, too?

These next four photographs are not cropped or edited other than adding text labels for a visual point of reference. (they are also saved down into smaller files for web publishing).

Telephoto: I can’t get all the cattle in the shot. And look at how “flat” the sky appears.

Wide angle: amazingly all the cattle fit in the shot– all I did was change the lens. And you can see both tractors. Notice how “curved” the image looks. Much closer to the way our eyeballs see the world.

Telephoto: I repositioned to catch the tractor as he made another pass, and to frame out the parked tractor and hay bale.


Wide angle: The tractor is farther away (he was moving the whole time I was shooting). Notice the difference in the color saturation the wide angel captures v. the telephoto– how blue, blue the sky is.

And the sun flare – I would have been marked down at least 10 points in Ashton’s photo journalism class at Texas Tech. I personally love the sun flare in photos like this one.


My favorite sky images from the day: the wide angle wins for today and does the best job at capturing the glorious sky.




Photographer in the Making

I came home tonight ready to write my blog post about pies and church suppers and small-town goodness. But when I opened up my camera’s files to see what photographs I had to work with, I got a surprise. (or maybe I should say gift.)

Apparently my son has been playing with momma’s camera.

Jdub’s babysitter, Flor, going down the stairs with coat hangers in hand. (Note blank wall where aquarium used to be).

Flor with coat hangers.

A picture of Jdub’s foot stepping down on the stairs. (This is a little unnerving for me, but I think it’s very metaphorical at the same time).

A blurry right foot. Better than a left foot, I guess.

A blurry photo of Flor putting something in the closet.

Action shot of Flor. I don't think she was expecting it.

Photo of wall and play closet. The walls are very blue – Jdub picked out the color himself.

Toys and stuff.

Photo of floor/rug in Jdub’s room, and the letters O, P and Q.

Hey man, nice rug.

He figured out how to flip open the flash … another photo of a right foot, and some trash. At least it’s in focus– progress.

More toes.

A picture of a partially eaten apple. There are about six just like this one—I think someone pressed the button over and over. We’ve made headway though—we are starting to experiment with composition.

Hopefully this wasn't meant for Snow White.

More experimentation with lighting and effects.

A study of light and shadow.

We’re taking risks here – experimenting with composition and perspective.

Apple in a different light.

An artist in the making …

Momma loves you, Jdub!