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Frozen Midnight in Albuquerque New Mexico Snow Photography Black & White

Frozen Midnight in Albuquerque New Mexico Snow Photography Black & White

Frozen Treetops Over Dark Pools

Right on time to the weather forecast, snow began falling at 5pm on a Friday. By midnight it was a frozen landscape like I have never seen in Albuquerque, New Mexico before. There was not just snow cover, it was as if the trees and ground themselves had become snow leaving only dark ponds to contrast with all that white. I went out with my tripod to make these long exposure (5, 15, 30 second exposures) in black & white around my own apartment complex grounds.

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Scenes from Farmhouse Cafe in Taos New Mexico Photography

Scenes from Farmhouse Cafe in Taos New Mexico Photography

Best pancakes of my life!

I do not often eat out at restaurants, as I think it is the least value for money in nearly all of modern society.  However, after a very long day of photography and drone video at 40+ rural land properties the day before in the middle of nowhere west of Taos, I thought Jessica and the dogs (well, they at least got free water!) deserved a treat.  In our previous trips to Taos, we never got to stop at Overland Ranch, which is really just a very mountain-town looking style shopping plaza.  This time we did and in it we found the Farmhouse Cafe with its wonderful outdoor setting.  

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Nikon D750 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson in Albuquerque New Mexico with Karen

Nikon D750 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson in Albuquerque New Mexico with Karen

Karen has taken three 1-on-1 DSLR photography lessons with me at the JCP Home Studio in Albuquerque, New Mexico as she had a big family reunion coming up in Taos she wanted to be able to make great candid photos of, as well as group photos.  She has a Nikon D750, the same camera I have!  So it was very easy to show her all the custom settings I use myself on my own Nikon.  The first 2-hour lesson was focused on teaching her my 5-step process for shooing in manual mode and getting a sharp and well exposed photo in any shooting conditions.

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Sunny Florida at f/11 project #04 - Fossil Lake Park

Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 @ f/11 ISO 200 3-bracket HDR handheld (breaking my own rules again!)Continuing what I have now determined will be a summer long project, the latest entry in my own personal photography project -- Sunny Florida at F/11 is an impromptu HDR shot of Fossil Lake Park.  I had heard of this park for a long time, and driven by it several times only glancing its baseball fields.  When I first heard that St. Petersburg had a "fossil park" I obviously thought it was something like the San Andreas Tar Pits, a place I imagine to have dinosaur bones just lying around in the open!  

However, there were no fossils or even bones of any kind, unfortunately.  I would not even think the park old enough to even begin decaying a banana peel, sadly.  

Still, disappointment at not being able to finally realize my boyhood dream of paleontology work aside, it was a surprisingly nice park for what it is, a small oasis in the middle of a not so green area of central St. Petersburg.  There was decent wildlife with strange ducks, turtles and bluejays among other creatures.  Basically, it's a decent place for a 15 minutes or so stroll.

Sunny Florida at f/11 project #01 - Kapok Park Pond HDR

I broke my own rule and made this HDR image without a tripod.

I bet when most people imagine Florida in their minds, the image is of a white sandy beach with palm trees.  However, such places make up only a very small part of Florida's land mass.  In fact, most of Florida looks like the above landscape -- flat countryside with a mix of trees scattered about.  Spanish Moss hanging from live oak trees should be as iconic a Florida image as the coconut palm tree.  

I assigned myself a personal photography project for 2010 -- "Sunny Florida at f/11" and the above photograph is my first official shot in that series.  If you have no ongoing, personal photo project yet for yourself, I highly recommend it as both a means of having a photography goal for the year and to make a number of images in the same theme that could potentially be used for a gallery exhibition!  

On this particular day my goal was first to photograph birds, but when I realized my Nikkor AF ED 80-200mm f/2.8D lens was not going to get me nearly close enough, I thought I would have to change the day's shooting goal to landscapes.  Then a friend let me borrow a Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm VR f/2.8G lens and Nikon 2x Teleconverter for the day so I was able to photograph birds after all.  Still, I could not resist breaking my own rules when I saw this landscape scene and photographed something outside of my theme for the day and even worse handheld an HDR shot!

If you have a personal photography project for 2010 describe and link to it in the comments below.