Lensbaby on the Road

I’ve been keeping my Lensbaby on my camera all the time, trying to get as much practice as possible.  When we are on a long road trip, we almost never stop for photos, so it has become my habit to take photos with my phone through the window as we drive along.  On this trip, I started using my big camera instead of my iPhone to take these photos.

One of the assignments in my Lensbaby class was to take photos of objects that are moving (using manual focus, the only way you CAN focus a lensbaby).  Although the subjects of my photos weren’t moving, the car certainly was! As we drove through eastern Colorado, I used the sweet35 optic to capture the scenery along the way.  My favorite photo is this landscape (I love the light), which is NOT in sharp focus. I used Topaz Simplify and some added textures to give it a painterly feel.

20150522-MMA_5591_melinda_anderson-EditThe next day, as we drove through the plains of western Kansas, I used the Edge 80 optic on my lensbaby, which I found fairly easy to focus at 60 plus mph.  The sky was very overcast and eventually gave way to heavy rain as we drove along.

20150523-MMA_5623_melinda_andersonLonnie knows I have a bit of an obsession with photographing grain silos and farms, so he actually took an exit so that I could take photographs of this one from the road instead of from a moving car!



Acker Night

Friday night was Acker Night in Prescott,  when most of the downtown businesses- restaurants, bars, shops, banks etc.- host musical acts to benefit music programs in town.  It went on for blocks, and I have never seen such huge crowds downtown.  We only managed to see a few blocks worth of entertainment during our walk around town with our friends, Debbie and Dale, but it made for a fun evening. Below are a few of the acts we enjoyed.

acker2The group below was probably the most fun performance, and this photo is the only one I have of these guys not looking straight into the camera. I discovered that, in a small space, it is just about impossible to be unobtrusive with a camera- even though I was surrounded by iPhoneographers. I only brought my 50mm lens, which was a mistake. I chose it because of its sharpness and low-light capabilities, but found that the focal length on my crop sensor camera made it difficult in tight quarters (next year, I’ll use my 35mm).

20141212-DSC_7682_melinda_anderson-Edit-EditI couldn’t resist taking a shot of Dale in his hat- it really suits him!


I loved this old truck we saw along the way.

20141212-DSC_7722_melinda_anderson-Edit-EditAnd eventually it was time to say good-bye to the lights of downtown Prescott and head home.


Editing notes for the curious:

The layout of 4 photos in the beginning were all editing experiments in Lightroom using the Fader plug-in I downloaded a month or so ago and promptly forgot about.  If you have a lot of presets like I do, you might enjoy this handy little plug-in. Basically, when you want to use a preset, you choose it from within the Fader and then have the ability to reduce the opacity of the effect, like you would in Photoshop.  I normally tweak presets myself, but this gives me the ability to dial it up or down while looking at the results- very cool. What I don’t like about it is FINDING the plug-in in the menu in Lightroom- it’s not hidden, just inconvenient.  I wish Lightroom gave you the option to assign keystrokes to an item on the menu- or does it?

The photo of the country band was edited using my trial version of Topaz Impression (which unfortunately expired yesterday)- textures added in Photoshop.  The photos of Dale and the truck with the Santa hat also have added textures. The textures were from Kerstin Frank, Shadowhouse Creations, and Kim Klassen.