Friday, August 31, 2007

Free Microstock Photos

Like most of the microstock sites, 123RF has a selection of free photos. Difference is, You can actually find some of mine in here…. Here my favorite from among todays “recently ending” freebies, but the free part expires in 14 minutes....

123RF

I joined another microstock company at the end of last month, and have built my portfolio a good bit throughout August. This is 123RF, and here's my portfolio with them.

And here's a shot from last year's harvest time, late September 2006. It's getting close to fall.....



Thursday, August 30, 2007

Pretty Power Pole Poses for Picture

OK, another geeky powerline shot. At least this one adds a pretty sunset! This was taken just a few hundred yards from Tuesday's image, and 5 minutes later. But directly into the sun, instead of (pretty much) due south.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Bumpin' On Sunset

My son and I made a quick visit to the Watershed Nature Center the other day, while waiting for the wife/mom to do a little shopping. We had a nice walk, even though the water is WAY down, and there weren’t many as birds in evidence as usual. Just the dog-days of summer, I suppose.



Tobacco Farming

3:40 in the morning and I’m posting to my blog. Now That’s pathetic. Sometimes ya just can’t sleep, for no real reason at all. Twenty-Thirty years ago, I’d read a book. Now, I can really waste the hours, browsing the internet. Sigh. Anyway, this is an image from "The Homeplace", a “living history” farm at Kentucky’s Land-Between-The-Lakes.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Line Art


OK, every once in a while, y’all have to put up with a geeky power-system shot. Deal with it. This is a transmission tower along one of our local bike trails. Rendered in High-contrast. I’ve always liked these “line-drawing” renditions, but could never ever figure out how to do it in my “wet darkroom” days. It’s not too hard to do in the digital darkroom, as long as you’re not trying for microstock quality!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Mose Allison!!

You may wonder, who the heck is Mose Allison?? Well, he's the guy that wrote "Young Man Blues" and "Eyesight To The Blind", great songs by the Who. I've only recently heard the original versions, along with some of his other stuff. I really like it, quite different from the Who, though. Gonna have to pony up and buy a disc of his stuff......

Fenced In


Another one from Indiana Dunes. This is probably my favorite, with a little added grain….

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

From A Window To A Screen....


I found a beat up old grainery along old Rt. 66 (aka Interstate 55), about 1 hr south of Chicago… Here’s a couple of details….



Stormbringer Coming....

Leaving Chicago yesterday, I drove into, and through one of the rather dramatic thunderstorms that blew through the area. This photo was taken at 3:20 in the afternoon, just bit north of Bolingbrook. When we got to Bolingbrook, the 4 lanes each direction were bump-to-bumper creeping, in driving rain, with tornado sirens blowing nearby… yuck.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Art?


Jus’ playin’ ‘round…. a little digital-darkroom. OK, a LOT of digital darkroom.

For comparison, here's the original, no changes except resized...



It's Only Rock And Roll...

But I Like it!
A few examples of song titles starting with "Rock & Roll", from my digital collection... with YouTube links, where available.... check 'em out!!

Rock & Roll – Led Zeppelin
Rock & Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution – AC/DC
Rock & Roll All Night – Kiss

Rock & Roll Band - Boston
Rock & Roll Band – Wet Willie
Rock & Roll Boogie Woogie Blues – Edgar Winter Group
Rock & Roll Doctor – Black Sabbath
Rock & Roll Doctor – Little Feat
Rock & Roll Fantasy – Bad Company
Rock & Roll Feeling - Styx
Rock & Roll High School - Ramones
Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo – Rick Derringer
Rock & Roll N***r – Patti Smith
Rock & Roll Part 2 – Gary Glitter
Rock & Roll Queen – Subways
Rock & Roll Records - JJ Cale
Rock & Roll Runaway - Ace
Rock & Roll Soul – Grand Funk Railroad
Rock & Roll Stew – Traffic
Rock & Roll Suicide – David Bowie
Rock & Roll Woman – Buffalo Springfield

Friday, August 17, 2007

Leaf Me Alone....

Havin’ some fun with selective color. A shot from Indiana Dunes, a leaf I found along the shore line, in the band of pebbles marking the tide line… (does Lake Michigan have a tide?)…

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Elvis Is King

OK.... today is the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death. And while I wasn't really an Elvis fan during the 60's and 70's, it would be pretty hard to overstate his contributions to rock-and-roll. And he certainly has some great recordings. Just look at the numbers:

Most Charted Records?? Elvis is King, with 107 Top-40 hits (The Beatles are a distant second, with 48.

Most Top 10 Hits?? Elvis is King, with 38 (The beatles are a closer second, at 33).

Most weeks at #1?? Elvis is King, at 80 weeks (18 chart toppers). Again, the Beatles are second, at 59 weeks (but 20 chart toppers).


As Springsteen said: "That Elvis, man, he is all there is. There ain't no more. Everything starts and ends with him"

Signage


Sometimes, there’s nothing I can add. The image says it all.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Going, Going.....

We lost our landmark this week. Yep, in humble little Glen Carbon, IL, the covered bridge is gone. Not much of a landmark, but it's the best we had.... They tore it down Monday. Four months from now, we'll hae a new (and presumably better) bridge. Supposedly, they’ll put a new cover on the new bridge. I guess that’ll be alright, since it’s not like it was a “real” covered bridge before…..



Pictures Of Pittsburgh

Many thanks to my sister-in-law, who sent me a link to a great web-site, featuring boatloads of photos of Pittsburgh (or should that be bargeloads?)... Check it out:



My family moved to Pittsburgh when I was 10, I lived there until heading south for college. I've spent the last 18 years in SW Illinois (outskirts of St. Louis), but the 'Burgh will always hold a big chunk of my soul....
I found a these 2 Pittsburgh related photos in my blog-archives, thought I’d post them. Pretty humble stuff, overall...

Above: Overlook from Mt. Washington (11/2003)
Below: Point St. Park (6/2004)



Tuesday, August 14, 2007

During our recent vacation to Ky’s Land-Between-The-Lakes, we found a great little joint called Belew’s Dairy Bar. It is easy to imagine little has changed since 1951. With curbside service, or outdoor picnic tables, and great all-American food…. We opted for the patio service, since we had 7 of us… I was really struck by the menu-boards, with “Sanka” coffee, and the "Dan Quayle" spelling of potatoe (and tomatoe). But if you prefer the “other” spellings (potato and tomato), just move down to the next sign!

And what exactly does it mean by “Closed Tuesdays (except Holidays)”. If the 4th of July falls on Tuesday, will they be open?? Never mind… just remember. if you’re ever in Aurora, KY, you owe it to yourself to check out Belew’s!! GOOD Stuff.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Sand and Water


A couple of more shots from Indiana Dunes. I’m always drawn to this sort of image, ponds of water on the beach, reflections contrasting the sand....

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Groceries, Hardware

A small slice of Americana, the general store in Aurora, KY.

Microstock Update

Regular readers should know that I’ve been playing around with microstock for the past 6 months or so. “How’s it going?”, you might asked (if you were predisposed to care, that is). Well, I’m still having fun with it, and making a little money, at least. Here’s a snapshot of the nitty gritty:


This is a chart of overall sales, a rolling 4-week sum over the past 21 weeks, complete with trend lines. The top line is an overall total, and you can see that the overall trend is up. At least a little bit. The green and blue lines are iStock (IS) and Shutterstock (SS), which account for 89% of my sales. SS is very steady, but not growing like I'd prefer. IS, on the other hand, bounces around more, but is trending up nicely. Especially noteworthy, sine my IS portfolio is about ½ the size of my SS portfolio. I’ve been trying to focus more on IS, since it is performing better…. All the others (Fotolia, Dreamstime, Lucky Oliver, ImageCatalog, SnapVillage and 123RF) are down in the mud, and staying there.

So now you know! All y’all photographers out there should give it a shot, and be sure to tell ‘em I sent you! Try these links, which include my referral codes:
Shutterstock
iStock



Friday, August 10, 2007

Playing On The Dunes

During my recent side-trip to Indiana Dunes… As I was headed back to my car, I noticed this family playing along a hillside (duneside?). The youngest child and father had just plowed down the dune, and were looking at something. I thought it would be a cool shot. Right as I snapped, the dad noticed me. I should’ve gone over and struck up a conversation, maybe got some better shots and possibly even a model release. But no, I just lowered my camera and continued to the car, and home to SW Illinois. What a wimp.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Final Rest

Over at SIUE, above the playing fields, there’s an old graveyard. Sitting up on the hill, overlooking the Mississippi bottomlands, with St. Louis skyline 15 miles or so to the SW…. I was up there there other day taking a few pictures. It was late, and the sun was fading fastm but I managed a few shots….




Tuesday, August 07, 2007

6 flags and 104 degrees......

A couple of weeks ago, we picked 8/7/2007 as the day I would take vacation, and the wife and I would take our son to Six-Flags amusement park. So naturally, 8/7 (today) turns out to be the hottest day of the year. We decided to go for it, and had a lot of fun. The crowds weren't bad, and the temperature didn't seem TOO bad. We drank lots of water, slathered sunscreen, and found every bit of shade possible. When we got back to the car just before 6pm, the thermometer read 104 degrees (after getting moving). YIKES!! I'm glad we didn't realize it was so hot....

Monday, August 06, 2007

Love Stinks (Yeah yeah)

No, it’s not any sort of personal judgment on emotional involvement. I’m referring to the 1980 album from the J. Geils Band, with the hit title song. During my college days, I lost quite a few albums, and acquired a couple. This is one of the ones that showed up after a dorm-room party, and went unclaimed. So anyway, I’m listening to it now, for the first time in many years. Not a classic, but also not a bad effort. From just before the really massive (video driven) popularity of Centerfold.



Puppy Portraits


Portraits of the pups. We’ve had Stu (left) and Chuckie (right) for 8 weeks, they’re fully integrated into the family. As it turns out, I’m no better at puppy pictures than people pictures. They don't like to sit still, and always want to investigate the camera. And they tend to bark at the flash after the first shot... The pictures don’t show it, but they’re essentially the same size (Chuckie was 0.5lb more last time we weighed them, but seems to have way more loose skin). Silly mutts, they are….

Dog Days

We’re on the front end of the hottest weather of the year. The dreaded 3-H (Hazy, Hot & Humid). Really yicky, in other words. Anyway…. I was filling the puppies’ outdoor water dish yesterday, and decided to switch the hose over to “mist”. It only took Stu a couple of seconds to notice the spray, and dive in. Chuckie hung back (uncharacteristically), but eventually joined in a bit. My son took the hose so I could take a few snapshots….






Sunday, August 05, 2007

Congratulations...

My old friend from High School recently got married. He was a groomsman in my wedding, a mere 24 years ago. Congratulations, and best of luck to ya, Frothy!! I don’t have a lot of wedding/marriage songs on my iTunes, but here’s a few I’m listening to, in your honor:

Married Man – Neil Young
We Got Married – Paul McCartney
Wedding Bell Blues – 5Th Dimension
Marai’s Wedding – Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express
It’s Your Wedding Day – Original Cast Recording (an iTunes freebee)

Of course, we should probably add
My Wife – The Who

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Indiana Dunes

During a recent business trip to NW Indiana, I snuck a short visit to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Just about a hour, early morning, before heading for home… The photo above shows the view of the steel mill, were I had been the day before. Not a perfect day, but when traveling, you take what you get. I was actually raining when I left Valparaiso, but clearing when I arrived at the park. And the sun was just beginning to burst through when I was headed out. Below are some images I took during my short wanderings. It was pretty serene, but a few people were starting to show up by the time I moved on… And quite a contrast to the atmosphere at Kentucky Lake, seen in yesterday's post.



Friday, August 03, 2007

Lakeside

More vacation photos!! Just a short drive from our hotel, we found a nice spot along the shore of Kentucky Lake. A great base to hang out. The younger kids were able to swim in the lake (see below, and yes, they did wear life vests!). The older kids were able to catch some rays. And the boat could pull up for loading/unloading.

Most importantly (to me), I was able to wander the shoreline, looking for “artsy” photo ops…. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the guts to take my DLSR near the water, so all of these are from my little Nikon L2.
Driftwood:

Rocks with Dried Seaweed (or “lakeweed”, I suppose...)



Thursday, August 02, 2007

Things Fall Apart...

Some "art" shots from our vacation, taken in . I’m a sucker for old, dilapidated buildings. No idea why, but I surely am. This old gas station was across Rt. 68 from our hotel, in Aurora, KY. I couldn't resist wandering over for a few images. I like this version (above), converted to B&W, with a slight sepia tone… A longer shot (below) shows where the pumps were, which is now all blocked off.

The pumps had been removed, but the marquee is still there… If the price was really $2.319, then it’s probably been closed less than 2 years…. What do y’all think?