Sunday, October 31, 2010

Butterfly Conservatory

Joseph L. Popp Jr. Butterfly Conservatory
Oneonta, NY

I took a road trip this morning to the Joseph L Popp Jr. Butterfly Conservatory in Oneonta, NY. It was well worth the three hour ride to get there. It has much more than just butterflies. It has birds and reptiles too. Thanks to Victoria at for telling me about this unique place. Check out Victoria's blog she does great Infra-Red work and has taken wonderful photos at the butterfly conservatory.

The variety of creatures and the natural setting are a real draw to anyone who wants to take photos of butterflies and tropical birds and reptiles. One thing to note is that flash photos are not allowed and the lighting is a bit of a challenge. I had to push my ASA up to 1600 on my macro lens to be able to shoot. This worked well, but I would have preferred to shoot at 400 so that there would be less noise in the images. That said I am very happy with the shots I got. The best part is the conservatory is open all year. I have a feeling I'll make a trip when this winter seems too long and need a bit of a tropical vacation in an afternoon!

Keep Maklin' Art

PS Housekeeping Note: I will start posting about my new journey into Oil Painting on Monday night. I need to take some photos of the work done in my first two lessons.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

The things I do for my art...

This wild photo is the result of one of my early morning photo expeditions in Rome. I was setting up to shoot a photo in Campo Dei Fiore when a delivery van turned a corner out of the tiny alley leading to the street I was standing in. I dove into the Piazza with my tripod and camera mid exposure and got this shot of the hotel and wild streaks of light caused by the trucks lights. Pretty cool shot, but it left me counting my fingers and toes to make sure i had them all. I now know I will protect myself before my camera... Good to know I guess. Happily I was able to protect myself and the camera.

Keep Makin Art (Carefully)!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Not Sure About This...

We stopped in a McDonald's in Rome.... No not for food. We needed a rest room. What I found when I got there was a urinal with a video monitor in the top delivering the days headlines. I could not decide if this was brilliant design and good use of otherwise wasted time or disturbing. Then I remembered old hotels and country clubs etc having the days newspaper mounted on the wall above the urinal and decided it was a new twist on an old idea and felt somewhat better, but still a little disturbing for some reason.....

What's your take on this?

Keep Makin' Art

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Some Last Minute Fall Photos From Skylands

I had postponed this mornings plans to take photos upstate because I needed to get caught up on rest, but could not sit still so took a ride to one of my favorite places to go with my camera, Skylands Botanical gardens in New Jersey. It was packed and there was almost no place to park and I felt a little lackluster (but still happy to be out in nature) about my photos. I have to say though after uploading them I am pretty happy with what I got and really glad I went out.

Sometimes you have to listen to your camera when it calls to you from the corner of the room!

Keep Makin' Art

Saturday, October 23, 2010

As A wandered in Italy....

As we wandered around Rome, Florence and Venice I found myself asking the same question over and over again as I looked at the statues and fountains and bridges.... "How the heck did they make that out of marble?".... Really I am quite astounded.

On a side note I started oil painting class Delah McKay today.... I am sure this is a medium I can really spend some time on and I found the right person to teach me. I am really looking forward where the journey takes me.

Tomorrow some nature photos... Monday back to the work week...

Keep Makin' Art

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

October Greeblepix Contest

October GreeblePix Contest Entry

With all the images from Italy fresh in my mind I had a tough time deciding what to enter into GreeblePix this month.... This image of a Venetian Gondolier at rest between customers struck me as a fun image. I hope you enjoy it. Make sure to check out the rest of the entries GreeblePix entries.

Keep Makin Art!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Venice - New Series... Venetian Dreams

I am calling the series below Venetian Dreams. They are a departure from my normal stuff as I do not normally do any creative filtering in Photoshop. I made an exception for Venice as the images lend themselves to surreal painterly images I think. How about you? What do you think?

Keep Makin' Art!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Now... Back to Venice

Venice is a city that overloads your senses. It is so beautiful with so many bridges and canals and reflections that I found after a few hours I was just getting used to it. The place really is quite amazing. I don't think you ever finish shooting it as the same subject can look different at different times of day. I was only finished when I ran out of memory cards... LOL.

Keep makin' Art!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

And now a brief break from the Venice photos to bring you Autumn in NY.

Minisceongo Creek, Stony Point, NY

This morning a slight departure from the Venice photos.... Don't worry I have plenty more of those to share with you over the next few days. I just thought you might enjoy a break from my Italy photos to see what things like like here in New York right now. Fall is in full show of its colors and the morning light makes things look spectacular.

Get out there and take a walk in the woods... You'll thank me for it.

Keep Makin' Art,

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Lets start our journey through the beautiful city of Venice with some shots taken at night and very early morning. This was a great time to photograph Venice. When the crowds are sleeping you get the city to yourself and can really get the shots you want to take.

One thing I tried for the first day was to document the name of each bridge and canal. This became very difficult since some are not marked and we got lost (not so much lost as a little off course) so often and would see the same one several times. At one point Wenderina asked me.. "what's the name of this bridge? I said "J.A.B... Just another bridge" You really can't possibly keep track of them all. They are all different and all pretty and all want to be photographed!

Sunrise on one of the canals. The light was magical.

Early morning on the Grand Canal.
Rialto Bridge.

Morning on the Grand Canal from the Rialto.

Tomorrow - More shots of this more photos of this magical city in the daylight. Enjoy!

Keep Makin' Art

Thursday, October 14, 2010

One More Day of Florence

At the lovely Wenderina's smart suggestion here is another day's worth of posts from around Florence. It is a beautiful city. The food is more Tuscan and rustic than the presentation in Rome, but every bit as good. This is definitely a city I'd like to explore again.

Keep Makin' Art

PS the painting teacher I have been trying to looking forward to learning oils from is offering Saturday classes. I have to give her a call and look forward to starting a whole new medium soon.


Next Stop Florence....

Arno River in the afternoon light
Ponte Vecchio at night
Church Bells

Florence was a beautiful place to visit and our time there too brief. I would like to go back and spend a few days just in the the Uffizi Gallery!

Tomorrow I will start sharing the Venice photos. That should take us thru the weekend.

Keep Makin' Art

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What are all these padlocks on bridges

All over Italy on bridges we found these knots of padlocks. My friend Dave over at "picks and poems" had written a poem in answer to what these are a few months ago.

Keep Makin' Art!

More Rome Photos...

These some of the last of the Rome photographs I thought I'd share with you before we move on to Florence and then Venice. It was an amazing trip.

Keep Makin Art!