Saltwater Aquariums A Blast!

Saltwater Aquariums have come a long way since I remember when I was a kid years back. You had to do so much just to keep the tank stable. Check alkalinity, salt levels, check this and that. It was just a hassle, never mind keeping the fish alive! And let's face it, they're not cheap. Since then however, they have gotten smart and developed some good tanks.

My family and I bought a 34 Gallon Red Sea Max and (2) 12 Gallon Nano-Cubes from our local fish store just over the line in Rhode Island and have enjoyed countless hours of amazement at the color and seascape we created with various shapes and sizes of live rock, invertebrates, anemonies, corals, fish and more. Yes, once you get involved, there is no swimming back!

Do you own a fresh or saltwater tank? If so, send me an email. I'd love to hear from you and see your pictures!


Symphony Hall, Boston, MA

My wife and I went to Symphony Hall in Boston, MA last night to see the final Annie Lennox show before she heads back to the UK.
We had great member seats in the first balcony VERY close to the stage. The show was phenomenal and every seat was filled!

We also had the honor of seeing Rosie O'Donnell who showed up for the show too with camera in hand about 4th row from the stage. This picture is hers and was posted on her own blog which you can read here. I emailed her blog site to see if she could share more of those photos she took. We'll see if she is the one reading/posting or if she has a staff.

Now I got a little rant to get out. I hate the fact that ALL venues don't allow, or at least list, no recording devices or cameras but regardless of what show you go to, there are MANY with cameras in hand and snapping throughout the show, some even with flash! I don't get it. So, here I am, I didn't bring my camera thinking I didn't want to walk back 3 blocks to put it back in the car if they didn't allow it, and there are many there who got in with it.

Next time, regardless of what the venue says, I'm going to take the risk. This show was incredible and I can only imagine what kinds of pictures people got. Considering how close we were too, it would've been an awesome photo session!!


Fun with Filters

A friend of mine asked me to write an article about digital photography filters. At first, my thoughts were that they weren't needed for digital cameras as they are for film cameras. In most cases, I still believe this is true but after doing some pretty decent research on it, some of the filters they provide do enhance photography for digital pictures.

Now we all know the power of photo editors today. They provide endless amounts of alterations for any of your photos, yes, even the blurry ones! Think about this though; what about the initial photo that you wanted to capture in a specific way? What if you took the picture with your digital camera and there was glare or certain sections of your scene were darker? Well, with editing you could always alter that sections brightness/contrast, color spectrum or more but all that sometimes takes a considerable amount of time to make it blend with the entire photo and look unmodified.

This is where the use of digital lenses come in! Applying one of these to you current lens would alleviate the need to modify anything. There are a few that are recommended for use and they're listed in these resource links below for further information. I'll be exploring some of these myself soon. I'm especially interested in the polarizing and UV filter lenses.

Also, remember if you've made changes to your camera's configuration to accomodate for some internal camera filtering, know where you left your previous settings. If you've had them configured manually for a specific scene and forgot what they were and just go out and shoot your next scene, you'll run into major issues! So, along with exploring your filters, ALWAYS 'reset' your digital camera to normal default shooting settings. Most digitals have an 'auto' mode or a mode that will allow for general use.

Filter Reference links:
Digital Photography For What Its Worth
Nature Photographers
Adorama.Com (shows you with a picture what the filters do)


Monthly Reader's Photo for November Anyone?

Anyone interested in sending in a picture for November, please do so. The months are certainly flying by and I don't think they're getting any slower! I look forward to reviewing them.

iMACs Superior In Digital Imaging?

Yes folks, I'm still here! Unfortunately, I've been struggling with a cold/flu for that past 2 weeks! What a time but I'm getting there and the blog should be coming back to life with posts and pictures soon. I appreciate your patience.

As I'm sitting here on my wireless connection watching the Sox play in the start of the series (good start so far!), I couldn't help but think about what a friend of mine was telling me about his iMac Pro and how he uses it at work for photography and digital editing. He enjoyed it so much, he bought a couple laptops for his home and his family to use.

My questions go out to you. Does anyone else use a Mac running OS X and agree with him that Macs are easier to use and better with photography, music, and digital editing?

I'd be interested in knowing your thoughts. They do seem a bit pricey though...


Faded Beauties

The months are going by quick as we enter into the 2nd week of October! It's unbelievable to see what the seasons do to specific things in nature.

Take flowers for example. How at one point, they were a sight to marvel at but as seasons and weather changed, they soon faded away and are forgotten until next year during bloom.

But when the time is taken, even those faded beauties can turn back into treasures. Here are 2 pictures I merged together of old faded flowers that have withered from the cold weather. They've lost all their petal luster and vibrant colors. However, merging the two pictures together, cropping, and applying glow and sketch filters, yes a little digital TLC, you can come out with some good looking digital art.

So no matter what it looks like after the picture, and no matter what the condition, there is always something to work with for those who want to take the time and turn something tarnished back to life.

Enjoy and happy captures!


Paintings of Beauty

I really enjoy looking at older art, in this case it's a painting hanging in the Roseland Cottage. You have to appreciate the artistry involved in painting such a fine piece. What talent and skill people have. Everyone has a talent... have you found yours?

Inside was especially dark so you had to use flash to get a good picture of anything. The question is how do you take a picture of a something behind glass or something with extreme gloss that would cause flash spots in the shot? Quite simply take the picture from a slight angle if you have a fixed flash or try bouncing your flash up and not directly against the object.

There are the same shot just cropped at different sizes. This also shows you what you can do with your images if you take them at higher resolutions or in RAW mode.

Photo of Month (October)

Anyone have a picture they'd like considered for the October Photo of the month? Please send in as soon as you can, today is already October 1st!! :)


The Roaming Photographer: Pam Cruz

Name: Pam Cruz
Date: Dec. 27, 2005 - Jan.4, 2006

Trip to Puerto Rico

Locations: San Juan, PR-Arroyo, PR-El Yunque, PR-Guayama, PR

Picture Descriptions:
1. Looking down the streets of San Juan towards the Governor Mansion Dec. 2005

2. Looking from Fort San Felipe del Morro towards La Perla Dec. 2005

3. Streets of San Juan Dec.2005

4. El Yunque Rain Forest Dec. 2005

5. Local Iguana at Las Croabas Jan 2006

We attended a family reunion on my husbands side in Arroyo,Puerto Rico. It
was wonderful to see family members, new & old. Along with seeing family my
husbands uncles planned an island tour for every day we were there. It was

Our 1st stop was Old San Juan. We visited Fort San Felipe del Morro ( El
Morro) and surrounding areas. La Perla is right next to El Morro and is an
area of around 12 generations of history. More information can be found at
this link. Very interesting.


That evening after dinner in San Juan we went outside the restaurant into
the street. What we found was a party which happens every Fri.-Sun. night.
Live music,food & drink vendors everywhere.What a fun time...

Our next spot on the list was the islands infamous rainforest, El Yunque.
Very beautiful and peaceful.

After the rainforest we visited Las Cabezas de san Juan in Fajardo and
surrounding area, which includes tours of mangroves & coral reefs, beaches,
lagoons. Waiting for the tour bus we spotted the Iguana, he was with a
female but she hid while he climbed a tree for us to see him better!

Trip Rating:
My rating for this trip had to be a 10. We had so much fun and would suggest a trip to Puerto Rico to everyone. We have been to the island many time but this was by far the best time.

Editor Comment: I'm really liking this idea of the Roaming Photographer and I hope all of you are enjoying these posts. The last one and this one really help you see different places and activities! Thanks Pam for taking the time to send these beautiful pictures in and the narrative details you provided. Who's next??


Historic Tour of Roseland Cottage, Woodstock, CT

My wife and I decided to go on one of the tours offered at the Pink House in Woodstock, CT more formerly known as Roseland Cottage. The tour lasted 3 hours and was filled with rich history of the house, property, and family that built and owned it through the generations - The Bowens.

I'd highly recommend this tour to anyone that loves historic tours! Over the 3 hours I took about 220 pictures from the attic to the basement, outside privy, and bowling alley!


Excerpt from Historic New England site:
"Roseland Cottage depicts the summer life of a prosperous family in mid 19th-century America. Built in 1846 in the newly fashionable Gothic Revival style, the house provided a seasonal escape from a more formal city existence for Henry Chandler Bowen and his family. Bowen, a Woodstock native, made his fortune in New York and became an active abolitionist, Congregationalist, and Republican."

URL Reference: Historic New England