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October’s Pumpkins and Halloween

What did one pumpkin say to the other.

What did one pumpkin say to the other.

Halloween is one of the most photographic times of the year. It is rich in decorations that beg to be photographed. Pumpkins are a recurring theme and between the leaves changing color and the pumpkins, every photo becomes a potential seasonal masterpiece.

If you remember from one of my earlier posts, I never go anywhere without a camera. A few years ago when I was living in the Ocean Beach area of San Diego, I would always walk my son’s dog while he was at work. It kept the dog and me active, and I was always on the lookout for a photo opportunity.

When I made this photo, I always knew what I wanted to do with it artistically, it just took me a while to refine the idea. There was always a project or two distracting me. I finally settled on pumpkins, coffee and Starbucks. Love pumpkin pie, and hot black Starbucks coffee. I’m not a fan of the Pumpkin Spiced Latte, too sweet for me, but it does have a huge following.

Two full size pumpkin scarecrows.

Two full size pumpkin scarecrows.

The Ocean Beach area of San Diego is both eclectic and eccentric. The residents there are very easy-going and never turn a neighbor down if they need a hand. It has also been called “… where the 60’s Hippies retired  …” You never know what you will find photographically throughout the community and the various seasons.

These two photos were made while I was out walking the dog just before Halloween. Two separate locations, blocks apart, and basically the same theme. The Happy Halloween photo was made with my Nikon D90, Nikon 18-200 lens, massaged with Lightroom 5, finalized with Comic Life 3.

Strategy Meeting

Strategy Meeting

Strategy Meeting

Whenever I decide to spend a few hours just making photographs, I will shoot everything. If it’s in my field of vision, I compose to capture the subject at hand and I also think about  what I can do with the photo in post-processing.

This photo shows of one of my favorite subjects, seagulls. Most of the early photos that I made in my childhood were of seagulls, probably because I was always at the fishing piers or the beach. I burned a lot of film on seagulls. In the early years, it was Kodak film, and a lot of blurred photos. My favorite format, because I could not afford color film, is black and white. I shot so much Plus-X and Tri-X, sometimes I think in black and white.

Stats on this photo: Nikon D90, Nikon 70-300, 70mm, 1/320 at f8.0, ISO 200. Post processing with; Lightroom, Tonality (trailing), and Photoshop Elements 12.

Weekly Diner Stop

Western Omelet, rye toast, home fries, and coffee - fairly standard fare for any diner, and a good test of their overall quality.

During the week I am very good about watching what I eat and try to stay healthy. However, on Sundays I get up early, and head out in the truck to find a diner that I haven’t eaten at before. My favorite test of a diners food is always the same; Western Omelet, home fries (crunchy), rye toast – actually toasted and not that sponge they try to pass off, and last but not least, good fresh hot coffee.

This past Sunday I stopped at a diner on Rt. 37 (no names), and could only give it two stars. Overcooked eggs, and spongy toast. I gave them a try.

The parking lot and my view; I suppose the overcrowded lot should have been a clue.

The photos were made with my Nikon D90, no flash, ISO 400 and a lot of stares as to why was I making a photograph of my breakfast. I explained that it was a religious ritual and everyone just backed away.

I post processed with Nik Software’s Snapseed running on my iMac. Fantastic software, I also have it installed on my iPad and both products are easy to work with and very intuitive. I’m also a big fan of their complete collection of plug-ins for Aperture 3.xx, Lightroom, and Photoshop. More on that topic in the future.

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