Rather than take the time to write an actual post today, I thought I’d go back over some of the highlights of the last month and just share lots of photos with you. July was a great month for pictures!
July was also a great month for blogging. My traffic is increasing and I’ve been getting more attention on social media as well. Yay!
July 2nd–I spotted this little guy along the river trail at Ijams.
Fourth of July fireworks in downtown Knoxville.
Brownie fudge ripple from Cruze Farm Dairy.
This sunflower was shot at an aperture of F 1.8, the widest I can produce at the moment. The image in the foreground is fairly sharp and the soft background makes it stand out even more.
This one was taken in manual, just a few seconds after the auto picture. It is a bit darker, but I feel like the colors are much richer.
A goldfinch? I’m not sure.
Another test shot
This is the full version of the flower from today’s header. I thought a little editing might be fun for a change.
Gay Street after dark. I love the lights and theater signs (and the ice cream shop down the road).
A deliberate camera shake can add some interesting effects to a long exposure shot.
I was trying really hard to get a shot of the bees in the air, but it just wasn’t happening that day.
Surely it’s too early for pumpkins?! I do love that bright color against all the green, though.
Taken from the same spot as above, but with the 50mm lens
Knoxville taken from Sharp’s Ridge. It’s a shame about the power lines because this is a magnificent view.
French macarons from Honey Bee Bakery in Knoxville
I noticed this fungus when I stopped to take a little break on the walk back. I had to do some editing to get the exposure just right, but I think it looks good.
Decommissioned railroad tracks that run through Ijams. This photo is slightly underexposed, but I left it as-is because I love the dark, mysterious look.
This formation was well lit already, but shooting with a low ISO was still too dark. Flash helped to brighten things up a bit more and it doesn’t look too washed out.
So tell me, which one is your favorite? Leave a comment below or talk to me on Facebook. I’d love to hear from you!
I have to admit that I was a little nervous about packing up and moving here. The last time I lived in a large city was when I went to college in San Antonio. It was so crowded and dirty and I just hated it. The part of town where I lived was pretty rough, unlike the polished tourist areas around the Alamo and the Riverwalk. Vandalism and burglary were regular occurrences in my neighborhood and after witnessing one really bad incident, I was afraid to even go outside. I basically hid in my apartment until the school year was over and I could transfer to a college in a smaller, quieter town. And then I stayed there for the next 10 years.
So far, the Knoxville I’ve seen doesn’t intimidate me the way San Antonio did. I don’t know if it’s because Knoxville is actually a kinder place or if it’s just because I’ve grown older and, dare I say it, wiser, since that time, but I’m certainly more comfortable here. There are neighborhoods that are run-down and places that I’ve been cautioned to avoid, but overall it’s not so bad. Downtown seems to be undergoing a bit of a renaissance; lots of old landmarks and buildings are being restored and that just suits me to a T. I’ve dreamed of renovating an old farmhouse or Victorian home for years, so I love seeing people breathing new life into these old buildings.
But even all the restoration isn’t the best thing about Knoxville.
My favorite part is all the green space. There are so many parks and Ijams Nature Center is just loaded with things to do. It makes Knoxville feel like less of an urban sprawl to a small town person like me. I got up early Monday morning and decided to explore a part of the park that I hadn’t visited yet. Of course I brought my camera.
I specifically wanted to take more practice shots with my 75-300mm lens. I do pretty well with my other two, but this one is still giving me headaches sometimes. As you can see.
I think I have a habit of getting in too close. This is a big lens and its strength seems to be focusing on things that are fairly far away. Luckily I’m a lazy hiker and wanted to stay on the path, so I had plenty of opportunities to shoot for things that were not so close to the trail I was following.
I brought all my lenses with me, and I have to admit that the temptation to switch from the unfamiliar 75-300mm to my trusty 50mm was very strong. But I tried to stick with the big guy for the most part because I’m never going to get comfortable with it if I don’t use it.
I did decide to switch to the 50mm when I got to the quarry. It seems to be better for those wide landscape shots and I wanted to show them off as much as my abilities and equipment will allow. This is the side of Knoxville I was talking about when I mentioned all the restoration going on–this quarry was converted into a lake with gorgeous views; you can fish or rent boats, part of it is sectioned off for swimming, and there’s even a trail to hike. It’s also a great place to look for wildlife.
I walked around the quarry for a while, and then reattached the 75-300mm lens and walked back to my car. What a hike! The way back to the Ijams Visitor Center, where I parked, is mostly uphill. I’m not used to these inclines yet, and I’m big-time out of shape right now after having surgery on both legs earlier this year, so I didn’t take many photos on the way back.
I feel so fortunate to have a place like Ijams here in Knoxville. Driving in the mountains makes me horribly carsick, so it’s hard to get out of town on my own and do anything. Luckily there are lots of great sights downtown and plenty of green spaces to explore. Check back on Friday for the next part of my photography basics series. We’ll be talking about aperture again, and I hope to have lots of shots to share! In the meantime, please be sure to give this post a like and a share on Facebook. Thanks everyone!