Archives for posts with tag: barns

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Some places are just worth visiting more than once. Old Friends Farm, refuge for retired race horses, is one such place. I visited earlier this year with my husband and son and decided to take my sister there while she was visiting from out of state. Boy, does that farm dress up for fall.

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The farm was founded over 10 years ago by Michael Blowen to be a retirement place for these athletes. It is funded almost entirely by donations.

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There were a few of the horses that I didn’t get to see last time I was there, that were out the second time. Popcorn Deelites, above, is a movie star. He was one of the horses used to play Seabiscuit in the movie. He and his paddock mate are known as the “frat boys” of the farm because they are usually up to some type of mischief. When I was at the farm earlier this year, they were in a corner of the paddock and wouldn’t show the tour anything but their hindquarters. This day, they were much more friendly.

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This is, in my opinion, the prettiest horse on the farm, and probably the most well known. Silver Charm, winner of the 1997 Kentucky Derby and Preakness, was in the barn during my first visit. This day, he was all about showing off.

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To see my previous post about Old Friends Farm, visit here. For more information about the farm, click here.

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A great place to fill your belly and your senses is the Windy Corner Market, just north of Lexington, KY. A horse country tour wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Windy Corner. It is literally surrounded by horse farms.

IMG_2948Visitors to the Windy Corner order at the counter from a Kentucky-style gourmet menu of foods mainly grown locally. Even most of the beverages (beer and wine included) are local. After you order, you find a seat either inside the store, on the screened porch, or outside and wait for your order. I almost always get the shrimp po boy, but the barbecue is wonderful, too.

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The market is located at a crossroads along the Bluegrass Driving Tour.

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Horses, living (above) and statuary (below), watch diners enjoy their food.

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For more information about this Kentucky treat, directions, menu, ect., visit www.windycornermarket.com

I am currently in the midst of teaching a class of new photographers and have, of course, been touting the wonderfulness of high dynamic range photography. I explained to my students that the best way to accomplish HDR is to take three bracketed shots and combine them. You can however, apply HDR to only one shot and get some pretty stunning results.

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After

As you can see the results are smashing. I love the way HDR brings out the texture of the barn siding and the colors in the sky and on the foliage.

Keep shooting 😉

IMG_8444A must-stop attraction along the horse country tour would have to be Old Friends Farm, near Georgetown, KY. A farm for retired race horses, tours are conducted several times a day. You can get up close and personal (we’re talkin’ horse drool all over the hands, if you want) with some beautiful former racing thorobreds. If you follow thorobred racing at all, you will recognize the names of some of these horses.

IMG_8455There are a lot of great photo ops here. I lagged many times taking pictures, while my husband and son listened to the tour guide tell about each race horse, but no one minded.

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For more information on the farm, directions, etc., visit www.oldfriendsequine.org

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Canon Powershot, F/5, ISO 800, 1/1600 sec.

One day, before a thunderstorm, my husband and I were taking a ride and noted that the sky was, at that moment, my favorite color sky. In an unimaginative tone, he said, “Gray?”.

Most definitely not gray. I see something much more beautiful and multi-dimensional than gray.

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Canon Powershot, F/5, ISO 800, 1/1250 sec.

I love the contrast between the sky and the green grass. I love the color combination so much, it has become the inspiration for our upcoming kitchen remodel color scheme.

 

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Canon Powershot, F/5, ISO 800, 1/1600 sec.

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Canon Powershot, F/5, ISO 400, 1/1250 sec.

I also love the way this color and its various shades translate into HDR.

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Canon Powershot, F/5, ISO 400, 1/1000 sec.

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Canon Powershot, F/5, ISO 400, 1/1600 sec.

What better time to do some high dynamic range photography than after a snow storm. Snow can be pretty boring. If you add some wonderful depth to the photo, it can give the scene a dreamy feel. Check it out.

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These two were processed to be black and white.

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These almost make me like winter. Have fun 🙂

If you follow this blog at all, you know that I am craazzy about high dynamic range photography. So it is only fitting that I include HDR photos in my series about using photos as dramatic wall art. I am going to show a series of before and after photos that illustrate why I love HDR so much. Each of the before pictures were taken recently locally of scenes that are much prettier in the spring. Each of them is pretty bland. However, since you have the option of manipulating one, two or three photos in Photomatix, I opened the single image and let Photomatix do its magic.

See for yourself:

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Before

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After

Wow, right!

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Before

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After

Beautiful clouds!

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Before

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After

Stunning!

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Before

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After

Pretty good, huh? Now without any further manipulation, these images are wall worthy. If you are a photographer who likes to push the limits of creativity, you may want to check out Photomatix.

Next up, watercolor collage 🙂

One of the lessons I teach in my photography classes is on how to properly photograph a landscape. When I ask my students “What is a landscape?”, they usually describe an image similar to the one below, containing a subject element, some ground and some sky.
That is not incorrect. It is simply inconclusive.

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The image below is another example of landscape photography. There is no sky, no large element, but flowers are part of the landscape, after all, and make a nice respite from sweeping images of a large scene. I like to make diptych or triptych groupings of a specific area showing closeups as well as large scale photos.

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One thing to pay close attention to in landscape photography is your depth of field. If you set your camera to the landscape setting (the one that looks like mountains), you will be allowing your camera to set a high F stop, which will give you unlimited depth of field, fine if that is what you want, like the photo below. However, as I talked about in this post earlier, sometimes limiting your DOF makes a better image.

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If you opt for a more creative landscape, you can set your camera on aperture priority (AV), and lower your F stop number. Then turn off the auto focus, so you can control what is in focus in the shot.
If you are shooting in relative brightness, the shutter speed set by the camera should be fast enough that you won’t need a tripod.

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When composing a photo, leading lines help the viewer to know where to look. In the photo above, I intentionally left the bare tree branches in the corner to help lead the viewer toward the subject of the photo. The fence posts also serve the same purpose.
I am unhappy with myself for not composing the barn differently on the shot, however. When taking a portrait, the shot would typically be composed with the subject facing into the picture. The same holds true for a building. The “face” or front of the barn is pointed out of the shot, leaving the viewer to feel like something important was cropped out.
Had I moved to the other side of the barn or been directly on front of it, there would have been no tree branches to frame it nor would I have gotten the water tower in the picture.
What I should have done was moved to the right of the barn, so it would be facing inward and let the fence posts do the job of leading the viewer.
Oh well, hindsight is definitely 20/20 when you have a digital image to look at. 😦

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Another one of my favorite subjects from my favorite part of the world – Kentucky 🙂

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