Thursday, December 29, 2011

Don't Delete Photos

I've been taking photos for a number of years now and I would like to share some of my thoughts around deleting photos. I will not say that I am not guilty of deleting photos because I have and once I did it by accident, ouch, that one hurt. Recently I had purchased another photo editing software based on a recommendation and I started to tinker with it right away.

For some reason I decided to take a look at some photos I took in 2005 while we were in New Orleans. Here is an example of an image that at first glance does not seem like it is a picture worth keeping.

Then I took some time to look at this picture to see if there is anything I can do to make this a better picture. First thing I decided to do is crop the image to something that I consider more manageable. Using Photshop I cropped the image to get this …

I also adjusted the sharpness of this image in photoshop in the image above. I think it did justice to the texture of the buildings.

Next I tinkered with the filters in Smart Photo Editor and one of my favorites is the following image.

I posted most of my edits of this image on my Facebook page and used Twitter to promote the viewing of my images posted. Later I had a pretty interesting followup conversation with a Twitter follower @universe656, it went like this …

universe656 Gry Kristin Bråten
@TMSphotos Interesting to see what you can get out of a picture I would have deleted :)

TMSphotos TMS Photos
@universe656 I never delete photos. Seeing how technology changes and improves, you don't know what the future may hold.

universe656 Gry Kristin Bråten
@TMSphotos I agree, shall never delete anymore. The result of your pic is great :)

I contacted @universe656 to ask if I could use her name in this blog article and she agreed.

I really enjoyed that I was able to help someone rethink their options when it comes to deleting photos. If you think about this a bit more you will find that the cost of multi terabyte external drives are relatively inexpensive these days. Years ago I had stored images on multiple CD’s, then on DVD’s and now on multiple external drives. I remote store one drive in the event of an incident in my home.

For me a good photo is worth printing and displaying. For many of my other images, I study them to learn what I can do better next time I take pictures. You can think about it.

Additional Smart Photo Edit images are available on my Facebook Page if you would like to see more.

Enjoy Life, Take Pictures!

BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers.  You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.

My Facebook page is

Friday, December 2, 2011

Are You Ready for Snow Pictures?

I enjoy all of the seasons of the year and I truly enjoy some of the photos I am able to take in the snow season. I have a number of photos of various snow scenes but for this article I want to go back to 1997. I remember driving home with the family one afternoon and on our way it was snowing. Suddenly I saw an image I just had to get a picture of. Because the children needed their naps we got them home first then I went out with camera in hand.

I took several pictures that day but this is my favorite ...

This is another one of my photos that I can just stare at and enjoy and I know that it is a photo that not everyone can enjoy as much as I do. Well that's really okay with me, the art of photography is in the eye of the beholder.

Recently I had purchased a photo editing software called Smart Photo Editor and I am pretty pleased with it. I am able to edit images quickly and easily with some very good results. One of my favorite results is below ...

Now this picture I am going to have blown up and hung on the wall. The Smart Photo Editor filter used to create this is called "Melting canvas." There are a number of filters in the software application but for this image "Melting canvas" was a favorite.

Additional Smart Photo Edit images are available on my Facebook Page if you would like to see more.

Enjoy Life, Take Pictures!

BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers.  You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.

My Facebook page is

Friday, November 25, 2011

Abstract Photography

While in high school in the 1970's I kind of figured out I had a fairly logical mind. I was involved in a lot of engineering type coursework and really enjoyed it a lot. Later, when I became involved in photography I took a lot of pictures of subject matter such as people, buildings or scenery.

In my early years of photography I would read a lot of books and magazines about the subject but I really did not venture into other types of photography such as trick photography, abstract, use of filters etc.

One day in 1982 I was on location along the Des Plains river photographing a young woman. At one point during a break I was looking at different areas of the river with camera in hand. I saw these tree branches sticking out of the smooth water and at first glance I did not think much of it. 

Then I pointed the camera lens towards them and I saw something in a new light. At that moment I took the photo. Still, I did not really think much of the photograph as I only took the one picture. It was not until I had the film developed that I realized I had taken (what I consider to be) an interesting photo.

This is my first abstract photo. I enjoyed it so much I even had it enlarged and framed. To this day, when I look at this image it makes me calm. I can stare at it and contemplate on any number of things and I feel good. 

Abstract photography may not get the same reaction or comments from others but remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I used to have this picture hanging in my office, it was interesting watching others look at the photo and then move closer to get a better look. 

My suggestion to you is to take your camera and look at different things from time to time. If something catches your eye, take the picture, you might enjoy it more than you think.

Enjoy Life, Take Pictures!

BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers.  You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Mother's Memories

Thursday November 17, 2011

Recently I have been going through a lot of photographs. I have been scanning a lot of photos I had taken while I was in the Navy and writing blog posts about them. I purchased a new computer system a month or two ago and with it I purchased a new scanner. I figure I can put this scanner through its paces with the number of negatives and photos I plan to scan.

My Mom passed away in 2002 I think and my adopted Father passed away earlier this year. Some years ago I was given several boxes of photographs that belonged to my Mom. As I have been scanning photos, slides and negatives I wondered what there was about these particular photos that were important to my Mom. Unfortunately there was not any written information about these images.

So going through these photos here are a couple of her baby photos ...

These are cute pictures of my Mom taken when she was a baby. I am assuming that these were taken in 1938 in or around Dayton, Ohio. Most likely my Grampa took these pictures. I know that he was involved in photography and art throughout his life.

The photo above may have been taken around 1945. In this photo is my Mom and her three brothers. I am not sure if this was a photo studio shot or if my Grampa took it. From the stories I have heard I recall that money was tight for them and that makes me think my Grampa took the photo.

The photo above was also most likely taken around 1945, at this time I think these are the earliest color photos I have of my Mom and her brothers. There may be more but I have only just begun to go on this scanning journey.

I believe it was 1958 when my Mom married my birth father.

In this photo is my Dad, Mom, Grama and Grampa. At this time  in their lives I believe they all lived in Chicago, IL. 

This photo is of my Grama. It may have been taken it the late 1950's. My Grama had a salon at one point in time and I think I have seen a photo of me in front of the salon.

When my Mom and Dad had married my Dad was in the Illinois Army National Guard. He spent a period of time stationed at a base in Alabama. I think it was in the Huntsville, AL area. These are photos of my Dad taken around 1958 I believe.

Here is a series of photos of me in my youth, I am thinking these are from 1959 ...

What were they thinking when they put this on my head?

Grama holding me. Looks like they are ready to put me to bed.

This is me with my Mom at Lake Michigan in Chicago, IL.

I think I have pics of me bathing my children in the kitchen sink. The kitchen sink just seems to be so practical. 

My sister was born in 1960, here are some pics of her ...

What a happy and cute little baby!

My sister in her Grampa's arms.

My Mom holding my sister.

Unfortunately my Mom and my birth Father had their differences  in life and divorced. I have learned that life and God's plans can bring people back together though.

So far this is one of my favorite photos of me with my sister that I have come across so far. I smile every time I see it. I am thinking this was taken in 1962.

Always did love my Grandparents ...

I am not sure what year this was taken. Maybe the late 1950's or early 1960's.

In this photo is me, my sister, my Grama and our cousins I think. I'm thinking this was 1963.

In 1963 my Mom remarried ...

Here are my parents in Mexico.

Here I am in 1965 I think. We lived in Rockford, IL at the time.

Here are my parents around 1965.

Here is a great picture of my sister and I playing at the beach. I think this is Lake Michigan and it's a Chicago beach around 1965.

Here is a family picture that I think was taken in 1966 in Chicago.

I had a toy camera growing up, so I was taking pictures with it. I don't think I really knew what I was doing but here are a couple pics I took in 1970 of neighborhood friends.

We had some good times back then.

My Mom raised Great Danes while we were growing up. Here I am with a couple of Great Dane puppies from a litter that Gretchen had. I am thinking this photo was taken around 1973.

During my high school years I met a very good friend ...

We went fishing at the No-no pond and caught these in 1975. My friend caught the biggest fish. We are best friends to this day.

Here is a photo I took of my parents in 1980. My Mom was a redhead but throughout her life she was a decided blond. That means at times she decided to be a blond.

In the mid 1970's my grandparents moved to Alabama. This photo taken in 1982 was in front of their home in Leeds, AL which is just outside of Birmingham, AL.

In 1982 I took this photo of my Mom with her brothers. I find it interesting to compare this photo with their younger photo ...

This has been quite a trip down memory lane for me. As I write this my Mom and her oldest brother have been called away from earth and I pray they are together in Heaven with their parents.

The dates of these photos may be a bit off. Looking back I wish I had talked to my Mom about these photos to get more information about them. The photos themselves have not been altered with any filters. It gives the photos a sense of time and photo technology to me. Also, some of the photos may appear cropped, that is because my Mom had trimmed them to fit in specific albums.

As I go through the pictures of my family and children I am writing as much as I can about them so my children have a reference point. I also hope they will enjoy their memories as much as I do my Mom's memories.

As you take photos, I recommend that you journal things about the photos so that you can better share them with family and friends.

Enjoy Life, Take Pictures!

BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers.  You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.

My Facebook page is

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sunrise Ship at Sea and Sirracusa, Sicily

Scanning Negatives Project - from Roll 6

I took this photo in 1979 and I would like you to keep in mind that this image is a scan from a negative which explains some of the poor markings in the image. I need to make time to photoshop this image a bit.

Here is the story behind this photo. I had just been relieved from duty and I took a walk on the ships fantail, this is the level right below the helo deck. I saw that we had just completed replenishment detail with this ship and I knew it would be pulling away. I had a feeling that this would be a great photo opportunity and I ran back to the compartment to grab my camera.

When I returned to the fantail the ship had already pulled away and I did a quick focus, meter and shoot. I was very glad I did because the ship quickly turned and the timing of this shot was very fortunate.

After I had completed shooting the roll of film I sent it off in a prepaid film developing envelope and I was very pleased with the outcome of this photo. This is one of many photos I took that was in our ships cruise book. Sometimes timing is everything, and that’s how I felt when I saw this picture.

The picture below is another personal favorite of mine.

This alter is inside the church ruins of San Giovanni in Siracusa, Sicily. Our tour guide and other references I have say that it is believed that St. Paul had preached here on his way to Rome.

Here is a photo of the church ruins I took. It’s not great but it is good to tell the story with. That why it is good to purchase local tour books and postcards when you travel. You can add them to your mix of pics and tell a story.

Looking back this was quite a memorable experience for me. If I had to do it again I would do it in a heartbeat.

Enjoy Life, Take Pictures!

BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers.  You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.

Friday, October 28, 2011

US Navy - Ships at Sea

Scanning Negatives Project - from Roll 6

After I boarded the USS Seattle AOE-3 and the ship had loaded up in Rota, Spain we went out to sea. It was not long before I new what the mission of the ship was. We were a replenishment ship. The AOE stands for Auxiliary Oiler Explosives we were the mother ship that provided food, stores, oil and explosives to the ships at sea.

The photo above shows ships that have lined up to pull along side of us for replenishment. It provides a sense of the rough seas and wonder of what these ships are doing in such a formation.

Being on a replenishment ship provided me with the opportunity to take some interesting photos. With a fixed 50mm lens on my Pentax K1000 I was able to wait for the ships pulling along side to fill the camera frame and allow me to take the image above.

With digital cameras, DSLR’s, and zoom lenses a photographer today can capture some pretty awesome photos. Had I had this technology I could have taken many more photos that would have given me more images to select the best images from.

Looking at the photo above I might have raised the camera level a bit to put some space between the top of the ships antenna and the picture frame, but hindsight is always 20/20.

Zoom lenses provide the ability to vary the composition of an image fairly quickly and should be taken advantage of whenever possible. Sometimes you have to take the image as is, other times you have the ability to think more about the composition of the photo. Do what you need to do to take your pictures but practice often.

The more pictures you take the more opportunity you have to review the work you have done and be able to learn about your photography style. Once we learn what we do right and wrong the better we become the next time we take pictures.

Enjoy Life, Take Pictures!

BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers.  You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Twitter Etiquette

On Oct 25, I was on Twitter and there were several friends that had retweeted my posts and mentioned me in posts. This is pretty normal activity and very much appreciated.

I had responded to several of my tweeps with the following “@TheirName Looking 4 FB LIKES #photography”

Later that afternoon I went on twitter to this message “You'll receive FB likes if you write interesting news, good jokes etc. not by begging”

At first I thought ok, people are entitled to their opinions. I am ok with that. I responded with, “@whoeverheis Thx for your input. I am not trying to beg. And yes, you are right in your thoughts. I am recovering from a brain injury n trying”

To all of my Twitter followers, if I offended you by my post about looking for Facebook Likes I apologize. For the five people that liked my facebook page after my post, thanks so much.

For the Twitter follower that gave me his advice, I guess I did not live up to his standards. Oh well, life goes on.

If I was wrong in my Twitter etiquette I would really like to know so I correct my action. Feel free to leave a comment.

Enjoy Life,
Take Pictures!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Write a Photo Journal

Scanning Negatives Project - from Roll 5

By January of 1979 I already had just over a year in the Navy. I had my camera with me and I began reading some books and magazines on the topic of photography. I had finished school at Great Lakes and I was off to Rota, Spain to board the USS Seattle where I would spend the rest of my active duty.

During my travels to Rota, Spain I had taken several pictures of the trip. The photo above is the USS Seattle AOE-3 coming into port. I stood on the pier and watched her come in, I also took several pictures. This ship was pretty big, actually the biggest ship I had seen to date back then. I ended up learning that the AOE’s in the Navy were the second largest ship next to the aircraft carriers.

I remember standing there starring at the ship and wondering how I would ever find my way around it. Knowing I would be boarding her soon I returned to the barracks to finish packing for the next venture.

Now looking at the photo from a photography perspective I see that I did not have the camera level when I took the photo. In those film days I didn’t have the luxury of a balance meter as seen in some of the DSLR cameras of today. Also, the camera was a bit heavier than a DSLR.

Still, I was limited to a 50mm lens on the camera. I took the time to take several pictures and wait to the point where I got a pretty good idea of the size of the ship by taking this shot of the port side.

The picture was also taken with pretty good sunlight. Had the ship had the sun behind it I now know that I would have had to over expose the shot and or take some bracketed pictures in order to select the best image for use.

I was later pleased because of the photos I had taken of the ship pulling into port, one of my photos ended up published in the ships cruise book, which is similar to a school yearbook.

If I would make any recommendations about photography I would say this, keep a journal of your photography. I have been fortunate to be able to share my photos and tell some stories of them as I present them, a journal would have provided me with more to talk about.

Enjoy Life, Take Pictures!

BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers.  You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Moonset Chicagoland

Shooting the moon, or in other words, photographing the moon can be a bit challenging. The problem is trying to capture the detail of the moon and the actual color of the sky. Actually I am not sure that it can be done without some very high priced equipment that I don’t want to invest in at this time.

The pictures in this article were taken on Wednesday, October 12, 2011. While sitting outside in the early morning enjoying my coffee I noticed the moon was full. My wife told me the full moon was very picturesque. I stared at it for quite a while and I wasn't really ready to take any pictures but then suddenly I felt it was time to take some pictures.

I have a Pentax DSLR camera but I don’t have the new and automatic 55-300 zoom lens. What I do have is a manual 80 – 200 zoom along with a 2x multiplier. When using manual equipment on my Pentax camera I set the time exposure to B (for longer exposures) and M (for camera controlled time exposure) and my autofocus to manual. Initially I set the F-stop to F/8 and began to take some test shots. After a few shots I also decided to adjust and bracket my f-stop also.

So I started snapping away as usual. The difficulty in photographing the moon is that it is a very bright light normally with a dark background. This morning however the sun was rising as I took these photos. So the sky along with the moon had a very interesting effect. Even with the camera in a manual mode and bracketing a number of photographs the camera cannot capture accurately the colors of the sky and moon together, hence the photograph above. What I do not care for is that even though the sky color is closely accurate, there is no detail of the moon as you will see in the following photos.

In the four photos above I was able to capture some of the detail of the moon but by metering on the detail of the moon I lost the color of the sky. The sky in these photos is darker in color than the actual color I photographed.

Here are some additional images ...

In these two images the sky color and the tree greens are average to good but the brightness of the light of the moon washes out the details of the moon.

Then finally ...

This image I cropped using the camera function, then I used PhotoShop to edit and used the Auto Contrast and Auto Levels functions to generate the image seen.

Enjoy Life! Take Pictures!  

BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers. You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.