Fall Leaves Resting on the Ground at Hiawatha Highlands

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These Red Sugar Maple Leaves had fallen off a tree and were resting on the ground. Notice the colorful bright red side of one leaf facing up and the duller side of another leaf on the left.

We were walking along this trail searching for bright red sugar maple leaves. My wife was noticing the lavender and pink colored leaves. She was thinking it was a different type of fall leaf. But in reality those colors were the reverse side of the bright red maple leaves.

These bright red leaves are my favorite. In this photo, we can see how much the red stands out. Even though this leaf has some holes and is not perfect in shape or color, it still looks unique and pretty. I love the various shading between darker hues and slight orange on the top right portion.

These double sided leaves represent how we all can have duplicity in our character. Do we project ourselves sometimes with the attractive bright personality? Are we always genuine in our concern or interest in other people? Are we more concerned in how we appear to people than show our true selves? In reality, are we hiding who we really are since it may not be very nice? Do we pretend to be someone that we really are not?

Since I can get angry over social injustice or a bad driver I encounter, I constantly try to pray about this problem. I strive to hide this angry side. My goal is to replace this anger with peace.

Consider how to unify a 2-sided persona into one whole person?

Photos Teach!

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Red Leaf Sugar Maple Basking in the Sun at Hiawatha Highlands, Sault Ste Marie

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This photograph was taken at the top of Crystal Falls at Hiawatha Highlands in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada. My wife’s cousins took us to this beautiful park. We hiked on a trail that ran parallel to Crystal Falls, where I saw some Red Sugar Maple Leaves near the trail at the top of the falls. My focus during this trip was to find these bright red leaves.

This leaf is not a perfectly symmetrical Red Sugar Maple Leaf. In our minds, we can see the the perfect points of the leaf gradually come down the side in an “A” slant. Then we can imagine each point has parallel corresponding point.

This leaf has been torn and broken apart randomly. I shot this leaf since I found it’s lack of asymmetry interesting. The holes and interesting shape is what I found attractive.

Can we accept ourselves with our imperfections – i.e. a funny shape or holes in our character? Does this mean we should be content and not strive for change to improve? No – Goals should be a constant in life.

Can we accept that who we are inside and out is good and can get better with work?

Photos Teach!

 

Silhouette of the Blue Angels during Fleet Week 2019

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The Blue Angels flew in the Diamond Formation over San Francisco during Fleet Week 2019. It was fun to watch their perfect formation as we sat underneath. Looking up shows the silhouette of the planes – meaning the planes appeared darker against the lighter blue sky background. It is also cool to watch their white cloud exhaust as the planes are flying fast together.

This photograph shows the contrast between what appears to be the darker planes versus the lighter blue sky. We can appreciate the outline of the planes when we have this contrast.

Look for the contrasts between dark and light when you take your own photographs. The contrasts will make the objects you are shooting to stand out.

Darkness is not always bad when it can highlight the outline of the plane.

Seek contrast in life too! We cannot appreciate sweetness without experiencing the sour. I love the cold more after experiencing extremely hot temperatures. Feeling peaceful moments after a turbulent roller coaster type experience is a relief.

Appreciate contrast in your photos and in life!

Photos Inspire!

 

 

 

 

 

Close Fly-by Maneuvers by the Blue Angels at Fleet Week

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The precision and expert maneuvers by the Blue Angels during their air shows amazed me as I was shooting the Blue Angels at the San Francisco Fleet Week. How do these fighter planes move so close to each other and not collide or touch?

I appreciate the great skill and expertise of the Blue Angels every time I watch their shows. Their dedication to be the best is an inspiration to me.

How often do we feel discouraged about improving ourselves in a particular skill? For me – photography has evolved a lot from the beginnings of my career. Technology has greatly improved how photographs look. There are a variety of ways we can share our photos thru Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. The internet has provided a different dimension in the way we see our world. Today’s world provides more ways we can express creativity.

I am striving to find my own road to perfect my photography expertise. This photograph reminds me not to give up on how to create my art.

Expertise takes time to develop. Keep striving to be your best at what you do.

Photos Inspire!

F-35 Lightning II Stealth Fighter flying with the Legendary P-51 Mustang

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It was a real treat to watch the F-35 Lightning II fly alongside the P-51 Mustang during the Heritage Flight part of the Fleet Week Airshow in San Francisco on Friday, 10/11/19.

The P-51 Mustang was very lethal fighter and was the highest scoring US fighter in the Europe Theater of Operations. Please see the link below for more info about the P-51 Mustang.

Link to Information about the P-51 Mustang.

It was nice to watch the new F-35 Lightning II fly with the old P-51. Having the old with the new interact with each other was really cool. The old fighter airplane is fun to watch with the front propeller which shows the technology of that time.

These pictures remind us how we need to remember the old and examine the present. We can see how the technology of the fighter airplanes has improved from the P-51 to the F-35. Today we see the new plane has such different technology and moves significantly faster than the P-51. But without the beginnings of the P-51, the improved F-35 would not be possible.

When I think of my past and how I was and compare myself to who I am today – what do I see? I hope I have mellowed out a little and learned from my past experience. My wife tells me I have grown slowly over the years to recognize my mistakes and move forward. I expanded my skills in sharing my photos with this blog and social media. I am seeking to improve my photography skills. I am beginning to create my own scenic area to take photographs of nature, birds, butterflies and etc. – More about this hopefully in my future blogs.

A good retrospective question for each of us – Is my new self an improved version of my old self from 10-20 years ago? Our physical bodies of course change with time and may not be the same. But our mental self and our determination to achieve should improve over time. Is there any satisfaction with the person we are today versus the person we were in the past? Do you like the new “you” of today? Have I changed for the better? Can you ask a close friend or family member to share their opinion about who you are today? Self examination is hard but useful.

If we are not happy with ourselves today, can we figure out what we need to do to be better?

Photos Inspire!

Sleek F-35 Lightning II Stealth Fighter at Fleet Week 2019

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We were fortunate to see the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter perform maneuvers at Fleet Week in San Francisco on Friday, 10/11/19.  It was very cool to see this fifth generation stealth fighter flying over the San Francisco Bay.

The sun was behind me when I shot this picture. The bright blue sky is behind the plane. The plane was at angle where the sun did not illuminate it.

The flames from the fighter’s afterburners looks more dramatic and bright in contrast with the dark silhouette of the fighter jet.

This plane flew before the arrival of the Blue Angels and also flew alongside a P-51 Mustang.

This was the first time I saw this jet at the San Francisco Fleet Week. This is the latest stealth fighter for the Air Force, Navy, and Marines.

I have always enjoyed watching and studying fighter jets. As a child, I would build models of fighter jets. I admired the F-15 Eagle and F-14 Tomcat jets as they were front line fighters when I was a teenager. I collected reference books with information on the various fighter jets. It is easy for me to rattle off information about various fighter jets due to my interest and love for our military’s fighter jets.

I appreciate how our military continues to improve and develop their air superiority fighters to defend our nation.

It reminds me as individuals we should always try to improve our expertise or abilities in our own lives. These fighter jets are reminder to me to keep moving forward and aim to achieve high goals.

See the below link if you are interested in more info about the F-35.

Photos Inspire!

Link to Information about the F-35A Lightning II

Incredible Blue Angels Show at Fleetweek in San Francisco

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It was a joy to watch the Blue Angels this past week at Fleetweek in San Francisco. Here was a modified diamond formation with Blue Angels #1, #2, #3, #4, and #7.

We enjoy watching the Blue Angels during the Friday rehearsals. It is less crowded which makes it enjoyable. Watching at Aquatic Park is a great location to watch the air show. We paid to watch the Blue Angels in the Marina. But I think the view at Aquatic Park is better.

I am always amazed how these planes can maneuver together so closely with such precision at high speeds. A lesson can be learned how individuals who have a common goal need to be united to work as one to move effortlessly to achieve.

What goal do you want to focus on? It is always better to be in a team to work together to achieve a goal. Working closely with good communication is the key to moving together as one.

Hope you can be reminded by this photo how a unified team makes it easier to obtain a goal.

Photos Inspire!

Why I love the Transforming Fall Foliage in the “Soo”

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We traveled to the border of Michigan and Ontario, Canada. My mother-in-law was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, otherwise, known as “The Soo”. So my wife has relatives still in the Soo. After my wife and mother-in-law had completed a phone call with a relative from the Soo, I felt an urge to go back. My wife and I had been trying to decide where we should go for a week of vacation. We originally were thinking about Hawaii. But when I started to think about this quaint town and my first previous big fall foliage experience, I felt the need to return. I also wanted to visit my wife’s relatives, since we had not been back to visit for 5 years.

This leaf is in transition to becoming a bright red color. I love the interesting pattern of green and the orange red. This photo was taken in the Hiawatha Highlands located in the north east corner of the Soo. There was a luscious waterfall along side as we climb up the small hill. Fall foliage was in its beginning stages. It was still exciting to be there and experience the changes in the temperature and scenery.

The Soo is a small town where I love it’s scenic and quiet countryside. We wondered how my wife’s grandfather emigrated from China and ended up in the middle of Canada.  But I’m glad he did end up in the Soo. Otherwise,  I would not have found or fallen in love with this place.

The changing colors of the leaves reminds me also how our own lives are in constant change. When we returned to visit our relatives, we realized how we missed many of the aunties and uncles we visited previously. I appreciated the remaining relatives and knew I did not want to delay our visit.

Fall is wonderful time of change which I enjoy to see. I learned to embrace the changes in our lives and make the most of today with the people who are important to me. Our visit with our relatives gave me a refreshed attitude about my photography and ambitions. They were a blessing to us, and we treasure the time we spent together.

Fall reminds us change is a constant in our life. Make the most of today. Make time to visit those important people to experience our life changes together.

How to Envision Your Next Photograph?

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We recently visited relatives in Northern Ontario. My wife’s cousin is a great artist who paints. See below a link to her website!

Susan Chow’s Website

It was great hearing her suggestions for my art, and hopefully we were able to give her suggestions for her art.

We enjoyed a great time exploring the beginnings of the fall foliage during our time in Canada.

We shared some of photographs we are selling on Etsy. She was amazed when she saw my Blue Aspen Tree Magnet Pin – photograph.

She had never seen this site. I photographed this image in Vail, Colorado a few years ago. We missed the true Fall Foliage colors when we visited. I was a little disappointed. But I learned that you never know what sites you will see.

We went hiking in the late afternoon and enjoyed the bare aspen trees. What was amazing was with the shadows and the setting sun on the the white aspen trees gave us the illusion of blue trees! I was so excited to capture this image.

What is more amazing is that Susan created this image in one of her paintings without ever really seeing this. So she was so excited to see the real photograph that I happened to shoot.

It was her goal to one day find this real photograph of Blue Trees. I’m just glad I was able to show her this photograph. Remember I do not alter my photographs. So my images are real and true!

What kind of images would you like to capture? Think about nature, and what you would like to see. Just like anything, we need to plan and envision what sites we would like to find and shoot. Since I love fall foliage, there are some shots I was hoping to find on my fall foliage expedition.

Finding that scenery for a particular shot is like going on a treasure hunt. It becomes so exciting when you actually find that shot in nature.

Stay tuned to see if I found the shots I was seeking in my last trip.

See below if you are curious to see my Blue Aspen Tree Photo Magnet Pin.

My Etsy Store – Aspen Blue Trees in the Shadows Photo Magnet Pin 

How to Photograph Moving Things?

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Do you find it difficult to shoot pictures of things that are moving?

My wife’s cousin has been trying to take photos of a turtle in a Marsh with Reed’s. She was trying to focus on the turtle, and the turtle was not focused.

I checked the settings on her camera and found several of her settings were incorrect to use the autofocus. It is easy to forget or not understand how these settings should be.

So if you have problems taking moving objects like these Blue Angel planes, make sure your camera settings are correct.

If you have questions about you camera settings, please send me your questions with info about what kind of camera you own. I will be happy to answer your questions to help you take better photos.