Thursday, June 27, 2013

An Adorable Rodent

On the night of the full moon my husband and I went out to take pictures of the bats emerging from under a bridge. Sadly I didn't get anything good from them. This is my best bat pic.
It's right in front of me and moving super fast!
However on the way back to the car my husband heard a rustling noise and we investigated. These little guys and girls were all over! 

They are tiny kangaroo rats eating mesquite seed pods! They looked and acted like mini gerbils and they were only afraid if I leaned down at them. There were tons of them all over the place, but they didn't like the flash. After getting a few shots we left them to eat in peace. I love shooting wildlife!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I Got A New Camera

I love my XP50, but I hated auto-focus and that had been my only complaint until I tried to print out a photo to hang on the wall. It's a great shot of Herman the lizard.
This is the photo, he is peeking out of his house.
It looks great on the screen and Herman is in focus. It's a good photo and I love it. My husband has one of those fancy printers that prints photos for sale so I thought I was set. I choose the 8x10 size so it wouldn't be to big and was so excited. The print came out pixelated and not very good. That was the blow that made me cry. 
For my birthday, which is coming up next month, my darling husband got me a new camera. It's an Olympus E-PL3 and I'm still learning how to use it, but I love the manual mode. I control everything! It's smaller in the body than my XP50 but the changeable lenses make it heavier. Fortunately the neck strap will be comfortable after a pad is made. He ordered it so early because of a special deal to save on a second lens so now I have two lenses. I actually like the way it feels in my hand better than my Fuji, it feels more real. The pictures it takes seem better too. I guess the camera does have something to do with it after all.


The down side is I'm spending even more time outside taking random photos and bothering strangers and less time writing and painting. I'm even thinking of selling some of my photos to see if people will buy them. My husband who has sold photos and been paid to take them thinks I could actually do it. I still hate messing with them in photoshop though, so that could be a problem. I think I've gone a little crazy. This is the most fun I've had in years! Now if only I could tan and not burn.
I didn't even see the mantis when I took the shot!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Some Great Shots on My Walk Today

I got a couple of great shots on my walk today and one of the moon last night that I'm really proud of. I think I'm getting the hang of this! I only wish I could manually focus then it would be perfect.

A big ant was being attacked on my porch as I was leaving. I took some shots then rescued her on a leaf.

She was kicking but and had killed 3 so far.

I saw a doves nest in a tree.

I think this shot looks better.

A neat fern like plant.

My usuall flower shots are improving!

Short tree in an alley. I think it's a rogue olive. I want an olive tree but they're illegal to plant here and the pits from jars don't grow anyway.

I took some of the seeds so I can try to grow my own fuzzy ball plant.

You can see stars and the rest of the moon behind the glow!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

All Work and No Play

I haven't been writing on here as much as I'd like,  (or anything else) because I'm trying to write two to three more short stories to send to that anthology before the deadline. The hardest part is I'm a slow writer and I constantly change things so it takes forever for me to be happy with something I've done. I'm still riding Lucy around, but we still haven't made it to the store yet. We've gone farther than that, but I haven't had the money to go shopping. On payday we always hit Costco so no fun rides to the store yet.
Today I saw a beautiful pink azalea flowers so I had to take a few shots. Enjoy!

I really should write a few draft posts, but you never know what is going to happen. I actually have one about Lucy typed up so I may post it later in the week if I don't run across something more fun.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Went to a Meet up

Yesterday My husband and I went to a photography meet up so we could learn more about photography.  I was one of two point and shoot cameras there; and I was the only Fuji at all. The two people I talked to hadn't seen my camera make before and I had fun showing it off.

The meet up was full

 They had fun playing with it and I got a lot of good tips on how to get into position for better shots. They laughed at my lizard butt photos and told me to focus before the lizard gets there. Definitely going to try that out. It should work with birds too.
Lizard butt between leaves.

The only annoying thing was everyone asked me when I was going to upgrade. This is my upgrade, and since it had been years before I got this camera I probably won't "upgrade" until 2016. Unless I get one as a present or win the lottery. I love my camera and it's way better than my phone.
 I learned a lot about Photoshop that makes me want to try to do more with my photos than just crop them and mess with the exposure. I always thought that was cheating, but some of the things it could do were just amazing. The downside is they were using something called Lightroom and I have Elements. I did recognize a lot of the features though so that will be fun to play with. Breaking out of my Etsy photo box is fun!

Not photoshopped

A very nice construction worker who let me take his picture. His hat is a custom hardhat a friend gave him. I love his smile!

I definitely will be taking more pictures of people as well as plants. It was fun talking to him on his break!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I've Started Using My Flickr!

After having this account for awhile I've finally started using it. In large part because you guys like the photos I post on here. Thanks for the encouragement! So far I've only uploaded from my phone, but I plan to add lots more as I get better with my Fuji. It's addicting and a little intimidating to look at all the pics on there, but I'm having fun and learning a ton!  Come check it out! B.J. Halsey's Photostream on Flickr.

A Few Close-Ups From My Porch

I get to spend the day taking shots (again) of my paintings for etsy. For  a warm up I practiced on the plants on my porch. Here are my favorites plus one of the photos I'm liking of a painting!
My love rose is done for the year. It's already too hot.

I love my shamrock, it's been with me for 15 years and keeps having babies.

This mint gives me fits. I swear it waits for the 90's before it even starts growing back.

I love this painting. Can you find the cat?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Proof Reader Liked It!

Just got word back that the proof reader I sent a short story to likes it and with one minor edit it is sellable!
Tonight I'll fix the small issue and then send it out for an anthology I hope to get published in. If it gets chosen it'll be my first (in a looong line) of publishing credits!
I'm so stoked and I really hope it gets picked. I also plan to send in a couple more just to pad the odds in my favor. 
This is great!!!!
I won't know until Sep. or Oct. if I get picked, but the fact that I'm even trying after all these years is a win!
Ginger and Princess have faith and so do I!

Monday, June 3, 2013

A Trip Up The Hill

My husband and I went up to Saguaro National Monument during the last new moon so he and his friend could take photos of the stars. I took my camera too and had a great time. My photos are nowhere near as good as his, but I think they came out ok. My camera takes better sunsets in my opinion.


Mine again.


His from a different day. Only one he could find to compete.

Nice silhouette. 

I liked the shots I got of car lights.

My star shot, I can see a few stars here.