Thursday, July 12, 2012

Red Eyes and Orange Flames

If you've been following the blog, you know that I'm definitely into many diverse art forms. Photography is among them. You saw some of my photographs in the post Guerilla Art - Experiment #001 (other posts too, but in this one I really worked hard to make the pictures nice), and I wanted to share more of my images.

For the first three photos in this post and most of the photos in the guerilla art post, I used a special DSLR camera lens called a Lensbaby. This lens is unique because it looks like a ball in a socket, and allows you to tilt the lens (see this). You'll notice the pictures taken with it have a sharp spot of focus, but the rest of the frame is blurred. The ball and socket design of the optic gives you this effect, and you can tilt the lens to change the sweet spot of focus. Pretty weird, huh? Another weird thing about it is that I must shoot in full manual mode. It has no auto focus, aperture ring, or even exposure metering (with my camera, some cameras will meter with the Lensbaby)! When I first got the lens I was inexperienced in manual settings and knowing what button to push when. This lens quickly taught me manual mode - sometimes the best way to learn to swim is to simply jump into the pool!

While shooting the guerilla art images, our backyard box turtle was sniffing around my camera bag, curious about the black, squishy mountain that had landed in her abode. She's the most curious box turtle I've ever seen, and she's most interested about feet. She'll come right up to your shoe to check it out without a care in the world. It's also really interesting to watch her eat - an activity any other turtle would never partake in with us standing above.

Despite the popular stereotype, turtles can actually be pretty fast, especially if they're scared or in front of a camera, making them rather difficult to photograph! I came away with only three good shots, fleeting moments of stillness. Look at those beautiful, fiery eyes! That was the first thing that struck me when I first saw her. Green head, red eyes. Blue and yellow/orange shell. Complements. God knew what colors would be pleasing together when He designed this turtle!


I love fire. But I'm not a pyromaniac, I swear! At least, not compared with some of my buddies. I'd rather photograph it than play with it, so it's all good. Some great friends have been hosting weekly bonfires, so I brought my camera along and shot the flames. Even when static the fire mesmerizes, bursting and crackling, flowing and flaring. My friend blew the fire to get it going, sending sparks twirling in one picture.

Finally, once it was dark enough, I broke out the light-up Frisbee and danced around in front of the camera. It was quite liberating, especially since nobody could truly tell who was holding the light in the darkness. I love how it is faint when I moved it fast, and more vivid when I slowed down. I think more after-dark experimenting will be a must!


  1. Hey, like those turtle photos! She does have beautiful eyes! My son who lives in the Ft. Worth area has been into buying old cameras at Goodwill and trying his hand at photography. Have fun!

    1. Thanks! I love vintage cameras too! A few months ago I took an old camera and put a music box inside it, with the crank sticking out the back. The music box played "Favorite Things" from the Sound of Music. I gave it to my photographer cousin. It was a really fun project - I'm in the process of finding a nice, old, cheap camera for me to do one for myself. Tangle on!