Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs: Blog https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog en-us (C) Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs (Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Tue, 27 Apr 2021 18:30:00 GMT Tue, 27 Apr 2021 18:30:00 GMT https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/img/s/v-12/u184681021-o736962207-50.jpg Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs: Blog https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog 120 120 Spring Flowers https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2021/4/spring-flowers Not much photography for me last winter. Only one snow with flakes so wet they stuck together into a mush. Just a bunch of cold bare trees. So I skipped that and went straight into spring flowers. Much less depressing in a very depressing year. Early spring gave me the orange trumpets of crossvine crawling over a garden bench, delicate apple blossoms, big balls of viburnum and stately dogwoods. See them on my homepage slideshow and click on the photos for details.

 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) apple Athens blooms blossoms crossvine dogwood flowers Georgia nature photography spring viburnum https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2021/4/spring-flowers Tue, 27 Apr 2021 18:27:48 GMT
Fall Vegetables https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2021/1/fall-vegetables I had never before planted a fall vegetable garden before because the time when it needs to be planted, August, has always been too hot and dry. In August the ground is usually hard and my rain barrels are empty. But this year it wasn't. The heat came early, in July, and August was fairly wet. So I thought I'd give a fall garden a try. I was encouraged by watching a recorded lecture on the UGA Agriculture Extension Service website by a small commercial farmer. It was a great presentation. It answered so many questions. So, inspired, I ordered seeds online. Unfortunately that was right in the middle of the Post Office scandal. The heretofore reliable USPS was dismantling letter sorters, laying off workers, and deliberately slowing down service in preparation for the expected increase in mail in general election ballots due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Good plan, right? I tracked my seeds from Pennsylvania to Atlanta to Athens in just three days. Then inexplicably, they took a side trip to Chattanooga, had a layover there and finally got back on the road again to Atlanta eventually arriving in Athens a week late. Now, fall planting time is critical because seeds have to get in the ground in time for the plants to mature before the first frost which is typically early November. I complained to my Congress people with a copy of my tracking data. Over the months I cajoled and chastised, fed and weeded the plants until eventually some of them produced. Not all, but that's gardening for you. The root plants had some trouble getting going. When I tested my soil I noticed that the ph was fine and seemed to have sufficient nitrogen but the potasium was non existent. With a little quick Web research I figured that was the problem so I ordered some potasium and dug it in around the veggies. That did the trick. I'd never been very successful with carrots before but figured my soil wasn't sandy enough although it has great texture. But it was potasium that they needed. Same with the turnips and radishes. Although kohlrabi isn't a bulb it is kind of like a bulb that grows on top of the ground. See my homepage slideshow for some photos of my produce: turnips, radishes, carrots and kohlrabi. The Pok Choi haven't yet reached a size worth harvesting. But I have been enjoying making soups and casseroles with these and still have quite a few still in the ground and in storage in my garage.

 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Athens fall foliage Georgia leaves nature photography plants roots vegetables https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2021/1/fall-vegetables Wed, 06 Jan 2021 00:06:41 GMT
Marbles https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2020/10/marbles Finally squeezed out some time to take a few photos. This pandemic has kept me extremely busy. In the beginning I thought I'd have time to take photos and weave with so many activities canceled, but that hasn't worked out. Between sewing hundreds of masks and learning to order groceries and everything else we need online for either pick-up or delivery I have barely had time to repair everything that seems to have taken this critical time to break down much less take photos. I have been thinking about it, though. For a long time I've thought about photographing marbles. I have quite a few clear round and flat marbles which I used for flower arrangements. I was sure they could make some really interesting patterns. So one day I gathered them in my studio along with some printed fabric and other props. It was fun once again to be absorbed in just looking, looking at different angles, reflections, textures and colors. The close-ups and abstracts that resulted can be see on my homepage slide show. Be sure to click an image for a description. 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) circle clear flat glass green macro marbles monochrome multi-colored photograph purple red round sphere toy white https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2020/10/marbles Fri, 09 Oct 2020 00:47:18 GMT
Sheltering https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2020/5/sheltering I haven't had much time for photography lately. It seems I'm spending all my time on this **** coronavirus, learning how to shop, trying to find the items my family needs, putting in a larger garden than usual, making masks, testing Zoom with various groups (I have 25 years of web conferencing experience which I hesitate to disclose so as not to become tech support for every conceivable group), contributing to neighborhood projects to keep the kids and neighbors happy. They say some people are bored. Can't understand why. But I have managed to capture a few photos recording some of these activities from a neighborhood parade, to a Bear Hunt, to mask making to the TP catastrophe. No, we didn't actually run out but did come pretty close. My neighborhood, Kingswood, usually holds an Easter Egg hunt each year so this year we had a drive-by egg hunt in which neighbor put eggs and posters of eggs in their yards so kids could drive or walk by and find them. You can see these photos on my homepage slide show. Be sure to click on an image to read its description. When I have used up all the scraps of fabric, seam binding, and elastic in my 50 year stash making masks (making a lot of progress on that), I hope to get back to photography and weaving.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) bear coronavirus mask parade photo photography TP https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2020/5/sheltering Tue, 05 May 2020 23:59:21 GMT
Winter Macros https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2020/3/winter-macros Winter is a good time to take photos in my studio. Now that I am at home for a while I have lots of time to do that. I am adding a few studio photos to my homepage slideshow. Most are macros, close-ups done with in process of focus stacking in which I take a series of photos starting with the point on the subject closest to the camera and progressing to the farthest point focusing in succession. Then I combine the photos in software. I use a freeware called Combine ZP. It is a little buggy but I've gotten used to it and it is easy to use and produces very good results. One of the photos is not a stacked macro. Can you guess which it is and how it was done? Be sure to click on the photos to read more details about what they are and what I like about them. Please share your opinions as well. I guess I'll be spending a lot of time in my studio over the next few weeks.

 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) abstract auto car close-up macro nature photography shell vintage https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2020/3/winter-macros Tue, 17 Mar 2020 21:05:16 GMT
A Romantic Valentine's Day https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2020/2/a-romantic-valentines-day Now for something a little different. On Valentine's Day Ed and I attended the Romantic Tour of the North Oconee Water Reclamation Facility (NOT Water Treatment Plant). This is a highly prestigious opportunity. I tried to register for it last year but it was full. It is in big demand. It fills up fast. This year I jumped on it and got us in. And what a lovely romantic Valentine's Day it was! Our small group of couples began the tour by viewing videos on how sexy it is to save water. Very convincing. We then were introduced to some water saving tips and graphic specimens of what does and doesn't go down the toilet. Next we headed outside to experience the efficiency of using hilly terrain to move water via gravity. Quite a trudge. Our first stop was a view of the controls. Next we observed the lime silo. Up the stairs then to see the pipes and then over to the centrifuge. We stopped to have our photos made in front of the bacterial vats. This is where oxygen is pumped into vats of water to promote the growth of bacteria that eat bad things. The oxygen is so dense here, we were told, that if you fell in you would not float. You would immediately sink. So don't fall in. Finally we stopped at the waterfall where the oxygen is released. A lovely spread of snacks awaited us here including chocolate cupcakes shaped like, well use your imagination. As we munched we chatted with our fellow romantic couples. A newly wed asked me how long Ed and I had been married (42 years!). More romantic photos and the ladies were sent home with flowers. It was a wonderfully informative (and romantic) event. If you see the public notice next year sign yourself and your significant other up. This facility is impressive and the staff knowledgeable. They went all out to make the experience amusing as well as informative. And what did it smell like? Perfume. Seriously. Since it was such a sunny day I naturally took photos, some documentary and others creative. You can see my favorites on my homepage slideshow. Click on the images for more details.

 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) abstracts Athens Georgia industry outdoors reclamation tour water https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2020/2/a-romantic-valentines-day Tue, 25 Feb 2020 21:20:48 GMT
Winter Visit to Sandy Creek https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/12/winter-visit-to-sandy-creek Ed and I haven't been out to Sandy Creek Nature Center for too long. We finally went back a couple of weeks ago. The first photo I took was a favorite location I call “December Swamp.” A photo of that location won me my first award. This reprisal isn't quite as spectacular as the first because it doesn't have the drifting pollen and the light of a setting sun over my shoulder shining on the landscape, but it is still an interesting scene, especially in winter when this area is often flooded. There were other opportunities for landscapes as well. One of the reasons I like Sandy Creek in the winter is because, when the leaves are gone, I can see its “bones”. And it has great bones. On this visit we encountered the resident heron as we often do. We almost always see him (or her) hanging around the pond and not far from the beaver lodge. (Why is that?) And once we saw two. Recently I read an article on how to use a teleconverter so I was practicing with my 2x to get pretty close shots from a distance. It's not quite as crisp as a 600mm prime lens, but is a lot cheaper and certainly better than not getting the shot. Down the pond we were treated to a gaggle with gosling in tow. Can you find it? Finally a trip to Sandy Creek wouldn't be complete without a shot of the brickyard oven revealed in the winter from under its summer burden of foliage. See these photos on my homepage slideshow. Be sure to click on the photos to read the descriptions. Then leave a comment. Did the teleconverter do justice?

 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) athens clay pit pond forest geese georgia heron lake landscape nature pond sandy creek nature center trees waterfowl wildlife winter https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/12/winter-visit-to-sandy-creek Wed, 18 Dec 2019 20:39:53 GMT
Birchmore Trail Hike https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/11/birchmore-trail-hike Birchmore Trail starts behind the administration building in Memorial Park. It is a moderate hike through hardwood forest. Ed and I took a guided tour of this trail through OLLI learning not just the history of the trail and the Great Wall of Happy Hollow, but also about the ecology of the area from our guide. You can read a brief description of the trail here and view my photos from the hike on my homepage slideshow. Be sure to click on the photos to read the descriptions. 

 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Athens flower Georgia hike nature trees https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/11/birchmore-trail-hike Mon, 25 Nov 2019 21:27:56 GMT
A Visit to the Beloved Land https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/10/a-visit-to-the-beloved-land A few weeks ago Ed and I took another OLLI hike through 250 acres of woods known to the Muscogee as The Beloved Land. Our four hour hike was on private property that is part of the Athens Land Trust next to Tallassee Forest. The landowner was our guide. Our group included an ecologist so we enjoyed a mixture of history and nature along the way. This area was apparently the northern most limit of the Muscogee territory. We crossed several streams and lunched in a holly forest. I did not know that native hollies grew into trees. For the first time I saw a spider on a golden web which sparked a memory for me. After a little research, I realized I'd read an article in the Athens Banner Herald a year ago about these Golden Silk Orb Weavers. I sent my photos to UGA and received a confirmation that it is the Joro spider, originally from Japan. Since the hike I also saw this spider twice in my neighborhood, once in my yard. They seem to be spreading fast. We studied tree bark and lichen. Toward the end of the hike we watched a black rat snake scamper up a tree trunk. It must have been eight feet long. How does a snake climb a tree? You can see a selection of photos on my homepage slide show. Click on a photo for a larger view. Click again to read the captions.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Athens Land Trust forest Georgia Joro landscape nature plants snake spider trees woods https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/10/a-visit-to-the-beloved-land Wed, 30 Oct 2019 17:02:59 GMT
More Amicalola Falls Photos https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/10/more-amicalola-falls-photos More photos from our trip to Amicalola Falls are now on my homepage slideshow. The weather changed from cloudy on the first day of our trip to cloudier on the second day. Fortunately, it didn't rain but did provide a mixture of images of the mountains from soft to downright spooky. Be sure to click on the images twice to read the captions and see larger images. I also have updated my website to a fresh new theme. Every page has a new look. Prowl around them and let me know what you think. By the way, I have to give a thumbs up to my website host, Zenfolio. Although the switch was pretty easy I did run into one little problem. But when I submitted a ticket I got very quick and helpful advise. Thanks Zenfolio for the new theme. 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Amicalola blue clouds green landscape mountains nature photography rocks smooth spooky water waterfall https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/10/more-amicalola-falls-photos Sat, 12 Oct 2019 21:41:37 GMT
Amicalola Falls in Summer Part 1 https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/9/amicalola-falls-in-summer-part-1 Finally here is the first group of photos of our visit to Amicalola Falls in August. We stayed at the inn two nights for our 42nd anniversary and my birthday. The first day was very overcast. A great day to take photos but we were worried that it might rain us out the next day so we walked down the 600+ steps and back up again to view the falls and get some initial shots. As it happened, it didn't rain the next day so we made a second hike, a good cardio workout. The clouds were even more dramatic, more on that later. First let's take a walk through my homepage slideshow, starting from the pool at the base of the falls to the very top. Be sure to click on the photos twice and read the captions to get the full effect. Of course, it can't come close to a real visit to the second tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Amicalola falls foliage forest Georgia landscape nature photography rock trees valley water waterfall woods https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/9/amicalola-falls-in-summer-part-1 Sun, 29 Sep 2019 19:55:13 GMT
More Vogel SP photos https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/8/more-vogel-sp-photos No, these aren't the Amicalola Falls photos. These are the rest of the Vogel State Park photos. These chronicle our four hour hike over Blood Mountain through the forest, across streams, beside boulders and mushrooms.  As you view the photos on my homepage slideshow, be sure to click twice on a photo to read descriptions of the shots.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) forest georgia mountain mushrooms nature park photography trees vogel state park wildlife woods https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/8/more-vogel-sp-photos Fri, 30 Aug 2019 20:37:48 GMT
Vogel State Park Hikes https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/8/vogel-state-park-hikes A couple of weeks ago, Ed and I drove through winding, curvy forested lanes to Vogel State Park in north Georgia where we checked into a quaint and cozy efficiency cabin just big enough for the two of us but with all the comforts of home and no more expensive than a decent hotel. We spent three days, two nights there hiking and photographing and getting good and exhausted. At last I have photos ready for you to see. Because there are quite a few of them, I will post them in two batches: 1) hike around Lake Trahlyta and Trahlyta Falls, 2) hike up to the Blood Mountain overlook and down (in a thunderstorm). Although we wanted to avoid getting hit by lightning the storm didn’t get us very wet thanks to the thick canopy of foliage. Vogel State Park was only the second state park built in Georgia. The lake was HAND DUG! by Civilian Conservation Corps boys during the depression era public works program known as the New Deal. You will see what a big deal that New Deal was when you see the photos of the lake from the overlook. There is a small museum of the CCC at the end of the hike. We were escorted through it by the friendly and knowledgeable guide. It was particularly significant to me because my father was in a similar program in Texas. As you view the photos on my homepage slideshow, be sure to click twice on a photo to read descriptions of the shots. Which of the waterfall photos is your favorite?

 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) cabin forest Georgia lake mountain nature Park photography scenic State trees Vogel water waterfall woods https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/8/vogel-state-park-hikes Sun, 18 Aug 2019 20:38:18 GMT
Squirrels https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/7/squirrels I have been meaning to spend some time stalking my small garden wildlife. Finally on a cool summer morning I lumbered my gear out my front door. This particular squirrel seems to tolerate me better than others although still a little suspicious of the camera. There were actually two squirrels breakfasting in this oak tree and its neighboring shrub but only one would hold still for me. This may be more squirrel photos than you ever want to see but they are cute. I especially like the one facing me standing upright and clinging to a branch in the shrub but I also like the one hanging upside down. See them all on my homepage slideshow. Which is your favortie?

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) american animal mammal nature oak red squirrel suburban tree vertical wildlife https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/7/squirrels Thu, 04 Jul 2019 21:10:54 GMT
Moss Macros https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/6/moss-macros This week I am adding some macro photos of mosses from my Granite Outcrop excursion in March to my homepage slideshow. Click on the photo to go to the gallery and read a description. Our guide Dr. Eloise Carter from Oxford College in Oxford, Georgia provided the details for me. 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Georgia granite moss nature outcrop plant https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/6/moss-macros Tue, 25 Jun 2019 21:50:14 GMT
Barnsley Resort https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/6/barnsley-resort Last month Ed and I took another quick trip this time to Barnsley Resort https://www.barnsleyresort.com/ . This is a resort north of Atlanta established on land once owned by one of the richest cotton factors of the ante-bellum South. It has an interesting story told in a book written by the resort historian and documented in the on-site museum. We had a chance to meet and talk with him at length. Ruins of the Italianate house still stand surrounded by a village of visitor cottages built from designs by Andrew Jackson Downing. As a resort it boasts the usual assortment of recreation such as golf, shooting range, horseback riding, canoeing and spa. But we were more interested in the museum, ruins, farm and hiking up to the overlook. Although families and individuals may visit it looks like it is mainly targeted toward corporate retreats. It’s pricey but charming, though I can’t recommend the she-crab soup. Some of my photos can be seen on my homepage slide show.

 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) animals ante-bellum architecture Barnsley building farm fountain garden Georgia goat historic house llama mansion old resort ruins https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/6/barnsley-resort Wed, 12 Jun 2019 01:12:53 GMT
I fast trip to Sapelo Island https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/5/i-fast-trip-to-sapelo-island Early in April Ed and I joined a small group in a small van to ride for six hours to the coast of Georgia. This was an OLLI travel/study trip. The twelve of us toured the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum in Pooler, Georgia then took a driving tour through the Harris Neck Wildlife Refuge where we saw hundreds of nesting wood storks as far as the eye could see. Those were nice breaks before our arrival at Darien where we had hotel reservations. That evening we got to know our fellow travelers at the Waterford Wine and Gourmet before dining at Skipper’s Fish Camp. Not much time to rest after that fast day before getting up early to meet the ferry to Sapelo Island where we were met by a local guide who drove us around the island to the restored plantation, through Hog Hammock, where the Gullah-Geechee descendants of freed slaves still live, to hear a lecture at the marine research center, and to an eagle nest site. We drove to the beach for a long picnic lunch and a demonstration of Gullah-Geechee basketry. Finally, we visited the Sapelo lighthouse. Ed was the only one to climb all the steps and the narrow ladder all the way up to the Fresnel (pronounced Fernell) lens. By the middle of the afternoon we were back in the van for our six hour ride back to Athens arriving about 9 pm. It was a fast but highly rewarding trip. Our host impeccably planned every aspect. Our driver and guides was professional. Our travel companions were engaging and Ed and I were completely exhausted. Although I couldn’t take my tripod on this trip I was surprised at how well some of my photos turned out. You can see some of them on my homepage slide show. This first batch is of Harris Neck Wildlife Refuge, our tour of the island, and the beach. Click on the photos to see the gallery then click on the individual photos to read about them. More will follow.

 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) beach bird Georgia heron landscape nature Sapelo Island stork water https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/5/i-fast-trip-to-sapelo-island Tue, 28 May 2019 23:22:11 GMT
Watching Close https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/4/watching-close Close-up photos of the inner workings of Ed's collection of antique pocket watches are now on my homepage slide show. These photos reveal the elaborate secret engravings of the metal parts, the tiny teeth on the gears, and the contrasting colors of the shiny metals. These watches are tiny packages of minute engineering. Who would see these carved curlicues and the precision fittings? The next watch maker who opened the package to clean or repair it. They are like messages from one watch maker to another. "Can you do this?"

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) antique close-up engineering engraving gears macro metal old photography time vintage watch https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/4/watching-close Fri, 26 Apr 2019 00:58:45 GMT
Watching https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/4/watching The iStock brief that I mentioned a few weeks ago is now over so I can share those photos with you. Although thousands of photos were submitted for these two briefs the client declined to buy ANY. This is discouraging to some who submit because they might go to a lot of trouble and even expense to create just what the client requests. But it was fun for me anyway and I learned a lot. I had the incentive to take photos that I'd been intending to do anyway. And the photos are now in my iStock portfolio so some of them might sell eventually. The brief request was for old and new technology. Old watches are an excellent example of old technology. The batch I am showing on my homepage slide show today includes photos of my husband's old watch collection. He is a collector. He has all kinds of collections though none are valuable, just interesting. In this series I arranged his collection of old watches in various ways ending in a concept image of time receding or diminishing. Ever notice as you get older how quickly time seems to compress and how much more time there seems to be behind than ahead of you? Me too.  

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) antique clock collectible concept object old time vintage watch https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/4/watching Fri, 05 Apr 2019 19:06:40 GMT
Last Gainesville Photos for Now https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/3/last-gainesville-photos-for-now I have posted the last Gainesville photos on my homepage slideshow. They are two more bridge photos and an Art Deco building. The bridge photos are close-ups emphasizing the shadows. One includes Ed (my favorite model.). The other is just abstract. I was really glad the sky had some nice clouds that day. I'll return to get more shots of more Art Deco buildings sometime. There is a lot of potential there. 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) abstract architecture Brenau bridge concrete Gainesville Georgia photography steel https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/3/last-gainesville-photos-for-now Thu, 07 Mar 2019 21:29:43 GMT
A few more bridge photos https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/2/a-few-more-bridge-photos I have added a few more photos to my homepage slideshow of the bridge over the highway to Brenau Campus in Gainesville, Georgia. These photos are using the span of the bridge to create abstract images. The bridge cuts through the cloud-filled sky. I like the shadows created in the afternoon sun by the bridge's grating. And I like the way that the far side shows through the grating on the near side. Which of these do you like best? The close-up ones or the ones from farther away? 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) architecture blue brenau bridge clouds concrete gainesville photography sky steel white https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/2/a-few-more-bridge-photos Thu, 28 Feb 2019 20:56:44 GMT
Brenau Bridge https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/2/brenau-bridge During the holidays Ed and I took Ben up to Gainesville to see the Northeast Georgia History Center since many of the exhibits related to our family. I remember the old typewriter, adding machine and cash register at my mom’s shop. Ed’s great-grandfather was a country doctor. Some of my ancestors moved to Texas from Georgia, etc. While there we also visited the Quinlan Art Center which always has impressive local artists on exhibit. And, of course, we walked the solar system on the square. We lunched at Sweet Magnolia’s our favorite Gainesville café. After lunch Ed took us behind the buildings on the square to show us the Art Deco era buildings erected by Roosevelt after the 1935 tornedo. Ed is very familiar with Gainesville since he worked closely with the library there on the Gainesville Tornado project for GALILEO. https://www.galileo.usg.edu/scholar/databases/torn/ Nearby there is also a bridge over the highway leading to some of the Brenau campus. I could see a lot of potential photographs there and told Ed that I have to return before the leaves come out to take photos of this place. Well, a few weeks ago after the weather had warmed a bit and the rains took a break, Ed and I went back. Unfortunately, that day a stiff, cold wind kept our visit short. But I did capture a lot of shots of the bridge and one building.  I can see a lot more future photos in that small area. So here, finally are some new photos for you to see. I’ll post them on my Homepage slideshow in batches over the next few weeks since there are quite a few. Which ones do you like the best? Which ones should I enter in the next show?

 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) abstract architecture art brenau bridge building deco gainesville geometry georgia modern https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2019/2/brenau-bridge Tue, 19 Feb 2019 22:11:06 GMT
North Oconee River Greenway in the Fall https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/11/north-oconee-river-greenway-in-the-fall Ed and I finally got out to view some autumn scenery last week after the rains quit. We went out to one of our favorite spots, Sandy Creek Nature Center. But because it had just stopped raining after four days! we knew that our usual hike along Clay Pit Pond would be flooded, so we took the paved North Oconee River Greenway to the steps down to the pond and then on out to the bridge. It was a perfect fall day as you can see from the photos on my homepage slide show

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Athens autumn bridge colors fall Georgia landscape leaves nature North Oconee River Greenway photography road Sandy Creek Nature Center stairs steps trees water https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/11/north-oconee-river-greenway-in-the-fall Sat, 24 Nov 2018 19:55:16 GMT
Beech Haven: A Walking Tour https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/10/beech-haven-a-walking-tour Ed and I finally joined OLLI  last month. I originally resisted it because it seemed expensive. You have to pay a fee for each person to join and then you have to pay for each class. However, I have been convinced that it is really a bargain. Members can participate in many tours, classes and free Shared Interest Groups that are close to home or organized for the group saving time and the cost of gas, hotels, and meals. There are many classes on Athens and the surrounding area that might not be available to the general public. “Beech Haven: A Walking Tour” is an example. I knew there was something up there behind Blind Pig Tavern, but I didn’t know what. Beech Haven was the summer retreat of the Rowland family from 1909 until 2012. The tour down a gravel road led past stone sculptures, benches, and bridges through the woods to an Arts and Crafts style house at the top of a ridge.  Part of the original property is now owned by Athens-Clarke County and is planned as a public resource. Although it is not yet open to the public, tours are available through OLLI  and the Athens-Clarke County Heritage Foundation.  You can see some of my photos from the tour on my homepage slide show. Be sure to click on the photos for a larger view and to read the captions. These aren’t my most artistic photos and you’ll find much better ones in the new book Seeking Eden from the UGA Press , but perhaps they will tempt you to keep your eyes and ears open for a tour and if you get a chance TAKE IT! Also, if you are over 50 join OLLI. It’s a bargain.

 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) and architecture Arts Athens Beech bench bridge Crafts forest fountain Georgia Haven lantern nature Rowland sculpture stone woods https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/10/beech-haven-a-walking-tour Mon, 15 Oct 2018 19:54:00 GMT
Butterflies, spiders, bees, and wasps https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/9/butterflies-spiders-bees-and-wasps All kinds of insects compete with each other for pollen and nectar on the same flowers and sometimes it can get violent. The insects captured in this photo session seem to be coexisting pretty well, though. No big tears in the wings or missing limbs. The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies in this group are males. Noticed no purple tail spots. A monarch has apparently emerged from my stand of milkweed and is enjoying the onion field along with a Bumblebee and a Thread Waisted Wasp. A large, scary looking Yellow and Black Garden Spider guards my yucca feasting on the smaller bugs I had to spray for last year. It also caught a grasshopper has big as her. Spider webs are draped all over my front and back yards this time of year. I particularly like this shot of a gangly orb weaver in the middle of a web captured at an interesting angle. See them on my homepage slideshow.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) bee bush butterfly flower insect nature onion shrub spider wasp wild wildlife https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/9/butterflies-spiders-bees-and-wasps Mon, 24 Sep 2018 21:49:20 GMT
More butterflies https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/9/more-butterflies As I mentioned last week, this has been a great summer for butterflies. I have added more views of the gorgeous Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly to my homepage slideshow. These views include close-ups of the bright blue and orange tail spots, different angles and behaviors. Be sure to click on an image to read the description. Next week I will have a different variety of butterflies and later hopefully, some spider webs. This year promises to be a "good" year for spiders, as well. That is, if you like spiders.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) abelia animal bush butterfly close-up Eastern Tiger Swallowtail flower georgia insect macro nature shrub wildlife https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/9/more-butterflies Mon, 10 Sep 2018 16:00:14 GMT
A good year for butterflies https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/9/a-good-year-for-butterflies The droughts of the last couple of summers produced few butterflies. The caterpillar needs a lot to eat and the pupa needs to keep from drying out as it develops. This summer was unusually wet, raining nearly every day until the last weeks of August. This produced more butterflies in my backyard than I have seen in years. I spent a couple of days recently photographing them and hope to get out again to capture more. I plan to post a few of these photos each week throughout the month of September. So stay tuned and let me know which ones you like the best. This week the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is featured on my homepage slideshow. This large butterfly is easily identified by its yellow and black stripes as it wafts through the air flashing the blue and orange spots on the end of its tail. 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) abelia black blue butterfly flower nature yellow https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/9/a-good-year-for-butterflies Tue, 04 Sep 2018 20:28:47 GMT
Moss, lichen and weeds can be beautiful too. https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/8/moss-lichen-and-weeds-can-be-beautiful-too Moss, lichen and weeds are plants in nearly every yard. They are especially abundant during this year's extraordinarily wet summer in Georgia. But usually we gardeners try to get rid of them. Yet when seen up close, and spread out over pavement, their stems and leaves can reveal beautiful shapes and patterns. You can even see some VERY tiny flowers if you look REALLY close. This collection is only a sample of these "undesirable" plants in my yard. If it will ever stop raining I'll hunt for some more. In the meantime, you can see a few on my homepage slide show.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) flower georgia lichen moss nature plants spurge weeds https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/8/moss-lichen-and-weeds-can-be-beautiful-too Thu, 02 Aug 2018 21:30:50 GMT
Summer in the Backyard https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/7/summer-in-the-backyard I spent a couple of hours in my backyard yesterday morning trying out a new technique and trying to catch some of those fast moving insects that love my meadow of Mountain Mint and Lantana shrubs. They didn't come out until late morning when it was beginning to get warm so I didn't want to stay out too long. But I still managed to capture a nice variety: Blue Winged Thread Waisted wasp, Common Buckeye, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, and Silver Spotted Skipper. I also wanted to see what shooting through the screen window of the gazebo would look like. You can see these photos on my homepage slide show. Be sure to click on the images to read the captions.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Athens bird bush butterfly flower gazebo Georgia house nature plant shrub skipper wasp https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/7/summer-in-the-backyard Thu, 12 Jul 2018 18:55:30 GMT
North Georgia Daylily Show https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/6/north-georgia-daylily-show A few weeks ago Ed and I attended the 2018 North Georgia Daylily Show sponsored by the North Georgia Daylily Society at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. We are continuously amazed at what a magnificent resource this is only a few miles from our home. This was a great opportunity to see all the amazing and amusing varieties of daylilies. All colors, shapes, sizes and styles. My photography couldn't do justice to all of them, but I did grab a few shots worth seeing. There were many plant varieties for sale there. I wish they had also had some flowers for sale. Unfortunately, I can't grow daylilies. I had a few of the mundane variety once, but my deer ate them all so I have given up on growing them, but not at looking at them or photographing them. So if you didn't get to attend the show you can see some of them on my homepage slideshow.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) athens bloom blossom botanical close-up daylily flower show flowers garden georgia nature north georgia daylily show photography show solarium state botanical garden of georgia https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/6/north-georgia-daylily-show Thu, 14 Jun 2018 20:06:29 GMT
Light Painting Practice https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/5/light-painting-practice Inspired by Ken Storey's exhibit which is currently showing at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and by his very helpful video from the Athens Photography Guild meeting of a few months ago I wanted to try my hand at it. I love learning new techniques. This takes some practice. I will enjoy practicing more. Of course, it is no where near what Ken has done, but its a good start, I think. My orchid finished opening its last bud just in time to be a perfect subject. See my best efforts on my homepage slideshow.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) athens black bloom flower georgia light nature orchid painting phalaenopsis photography pink plant https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/5/light-painting-practice Sat, 26 May 2018 21:29:35 GMT
Springtime at the SBGG https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/5/springtime-at-the-sbgg On a bright spring afternoon at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia the colors are stunning. What a mix of pinks, purples and greens in lovely combinations. Every time we go there we are grateful that we have such a wonderful source of natural beauty within minutes of our home. See my weekend photos on my homepage slide show. Click on the photo to read a description.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) allium blooms botanical floral flowers foxglove garden georgia nature of onion pink poppy purple spring state https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/5/springtime-at-the-sbgg Sun, 20 May 2018 01:34:13 GMT
First Place! Georgia Strawberry Festival https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/4/first-place-georgia-strawberry-festival Drove down to Reynolds, Georgia today to enjoy the Georgia Strawberry Festival. I had submitted ten photos to the amateur photo contest. All my photos were displayed and one, "Strawberry Liqueur" won a big blue First Place ribbon in the Strawberry category! I was going for elegance exploiting my experience with macro photography. Fortunately, I happened to find a perfect strawberry among my breakfast fruit that was just the right size to fit inside my liqueur glass. Since this was a close-up, I had to use focus stacking, combining eleven incrementally focused photos to get the whole image in focus. My genuine love of strawberries has paid off. I think I'll plant some strawberries this year. 

You can see all the photos that were shown at the festival on my homepage slide show.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) elegance festival food fruit georgia georgia strawberry festival liqueur nature photography red reynolds georgia strawberry https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/4/first-place-georgia-strawberry-festival Sat, 28 Apr 2018 23:49:44 GMT
AARP 2019 Calendar Contest https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/4/aarp-2019-calendar-contest I like to enter shows and contests for several reasons least of all to win, although that is nice when it happens. But mainly as a challenge and a way of evaluating my work. I have learned that different shows, contests,and judges have very different criteria and in order to do well in any show I need to understand their criteria. This challenges me to try different styles. Most of the time I enter new pieces, but sometimes I rework older pieces as is the case for the AARP 2019 Calendar Contest  The theme is "Treasure Every Day." I chose three photos that I feel represent the theme by their names "Treasure Small Moments," "Treasure Quiet Moments," and "Treasure Magnificent Moments." Since there will be a huge number of entries I don't expect to win, but it is fun to try and offers me a chance to rethink my photos in a new context. You can see my entries on my homepage slide show here. These were taken at Anna Ruby Falls and Sandy Creek Nature Center. Which one do you like best?

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) aarp contest photography treasure https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/4/aarp-2019-calendar-contest Sun, 08 Apr 2018 21:35:11 GMT
ReOrchid https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/2/reorchid This Phalaenopis is the orchid given to me by GeorgiaVIEW when I retired. This is the first time I have been able to get an orchid to bloom for the second time. I repotted it a few weeks ago, water it weekly and feed it every couple of weeks. The pot sits on a bed of pebbles with a little water in it in a south facing window, but shielded by the gazebo. I'll add more photos as the buds continue to open.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) bloom bud flower life nature orchid phalaenopsis pink still https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/2/reorchid Wed, 28 Feb 2018 16:38:50 GMT
Window Glass https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/2/window-glass On my south facing kitchen window sit several pieces of unusual glassware: a reproduction hand-blown Eighteenth Century bottle, a small green crackled pitcher, miniature vases in various shapes. The late morning sun travels from east to west through the bare branches of a cherry tree, the glass pane, the back and then front of the glassware. An opaque shade catches the light and shadows splattered onto it like a canvas on which the sun has drawn its path. Morning after morning I studied these lines from early to late morning, when cloudy, partly cloudy or sunny, as the sun crossed the southern sky. One Sunday I captured some of these spatters. But as often happens that led to something else. The glassware was fascinating of itself. Their internal reflections and refractions were worth a separate study. I took them into my studio. Some of them stood well alone, but one vase needed something in it. A flower was too obvious and would be distracting. Since this is a “contemporary” study, the paired objects needn’t make sense. They just needed to express a similar style. After a few auditions I chose a silver fork. The fork actually adds color and pattern variation to the details of the vase. I like it. How about you? Check out these new photos on my homepage slide show and let me know what you think.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) bottle glass glassware life photography pitcher reflection refraction shadows silver still vase https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/2/window-glass Wed, 07 Feb 2018 01:12:31 GMT
Lightwriting https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/1/lightwriting Finally! I have some new photos on my homepage slide show. It's not that I haven't been taking pictures. In fact, I've been taking so many that I've had a hard time getting them all processed. Over the holidays I took photos of holiday bokah and zooms but those are for the next holiday season. I also subjected my son, Ben, to the indignity of modeling, which of course he sabotaged as best he could. But those are for later. Then as a fun project, I coerced Ben into assisting with some experiments in lightwriting. In my darkened studio he twirled, swirled, and whirled several glo stix while I took some long exposures. We both had so much fun it was hard to stop. These are now on my homepage slideshow. With lightwriting the fun doesn't stop with the push of a button. If you've ever wanted to push those PhotoShop sliders to the limits this is the opportunity! Anything goes here. The wilder the better. Hope you enjoy them. Which ones do you like best?

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) blue colors contemporary glo green ings light modern motion pink pyramid stix swirls twirls whirls wrighting yellow https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2018/1/lightwriting Sat, 13 Jan 2018 21:17:28 GMT
Exploring Jarrell Plantation https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2017/11/exploring-jarrell-plantation On our way back from the Georgia National Fair in Perry last month, Ed and I spent an extra night at Gray and the next day visited the Jarrell Plantation (http://gastateparks.org/JarrellPlantation). This historic site was owned by the same family for 140 years and successfully transitioned from an antebellum agrarian economy to an industrial one. It is now a large complex of buildings dating from 1847 until 1920. My previous life as a historic preservationist suddenly took over. In fact, my first experience with an SLR was taking documentary photos for historic structure reports and National Register nominations. But the photos I took at Jarrell are not documentary. On this trip I wanted to capture the mood of these antique buildings and settings and explore the textures and patterns that they express.  This is larger than my usual collection but there are a lot more photos that I could have made there. Hopefully I’ll go back. It was clear to me from this trip that I need to add Historic Sites to my list of subjects.  Click here or on Home at the top of this blog to see the slide show with all the photos. Click on the slide then on the image to enlarge it and read the caption. Why not leave a comment to tell me which you like best?

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) agriculture animals antique architecture automobile bottle buildings cabin cart chair chicken chimney doorway engine farm farmyard fence frame georgia glass goat hen history house hupmobile industry jug lamp lock mill oil old panorama plantation pottery poultry rooster saw sawmill shop silhouette south stairs steps stone table technology tools trees vintage wagon wick window wood woods https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2017/11/exploring-jarrell-plantation Sat, 11 Nov 2017 02:01:38 GMT
Spider Stories for Halloween https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2017/10/spider-stories-for-halloween This having been an unusually wet summer, September saw a bumper crop of spiders. My front yard, dotted with trees and shrubs was draped in webs requiring quite a bit of dodging to avoid them. Tip #1: when scouting for webs keep your mouth firmly closed! I may have gotten a little carried away, but it was SO MUCH FUN! watching them spin and weave through my camera’s lens. My new slide show offers a variety of webs and spiders appropriately timed for Halloween. Yellow and black Spiny Backed and Arrow Backed Orb Weavers are caught in the midst of their craft. Some are consummate artists. Others need a bit more practice. My most surprising discovery was that of a large, hairy, brown spider that made a stunning capture of a large, green grasshopper. But it wasn’t the grasshopper that surprised me. It was the fact that after devouring her catch she dug out an acorn cap and for several days sat in it like Miss Muffet on her tuffet. I had no idea a spider would sit in an acorn cap. Did you? Click on Home at the top of this blog to see the slide show with all the photos. Click on the slide and then on the image to enlarge it and read the caption. Which ones do you like the best?

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) arachnid athens georgia halloween nature october orb weaver photography spider web wildlife https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2017/10/spider-stories-for-halloween Sun, 08 Oct 2017 23:41:35 GMT
DeSoto Falls https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2017/8/desoto-falls DeSoto Falls  (https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/conf/recarea/?recid=10524) in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National  Forest is not the tallest or most voluminous pair of waterfalls in Georgia, but it is well worth visiting especially since it is an easy drive and hike and offers views, after this summer’s unusually wet season, of two towering stepped cascades.  A couple of weeks ago Ed and I drove up to the Gainesville National Park Service headquarters to grab our Senior Lifetime Passes before the price escalated from $10 to $80. While there we asked the staff for suggestions for a day hike. DeSoto Falls was the unanimous choice. Supposedly DeSoto Falls got its name when a piece of armor was found near there and it was speculated that it was left by Fernando DeSoto’s Sixteenth Century expedition through the southern states. Having been a historian in a previous life and familiar with the occasional over blown speculation, I am somewhat skeptical. (There also seems to be a DeSoto Falls in Alabama.) Still it is a wonderful day trip from Athens. The road is wide and in good repair, no sharp drop offs, no steep inclines, just a little windy. The hikes are short and moderate. I didn’t even need my hiking stick. The Lower Falls, Upper Falls and Frogtown Creek made wonderful subjects for photography as I practiced using my new “nifty fifty” 50mm prime lens.  I hope you enjoy the photos on my website’s homepage slide show. Remember, you can click on the photo to go to the gallery, and again to get a larger image and description.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) cascade chattahoochee-oconee national forest desoto falls forest georgia national park service nature nfs north park photograph portrait rocks scenic trees upper fall water waterfall https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2017/8/desoto-falls Sun, 27 Aug 2017 15:26:23 GMT
Retirement Bouquet https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2017/8/retirement-bouquet As many of my friends know, last Thursday I retired after 16 years with the University System of Georgia Information Technology Services. My co-workers honored me with a wonderful day including a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Naturally I thought what a great photo subject that would make. I used the new 50mm prime lens my husband gave me as a retirement gift and went for a moody, chiaroscuro type look.  I started with an overall shot of the entire bouquet, and then captured some of the individual flowers within the bouquet including just a bit of their context within the bouquet maintaining the look. I used two florescent light sources, but from the same direction. A large source aimed up for general illumination and a smaller light with a grid to direct the light onto the bouquet. I wish the bouquet could last longer, but at least the photos will. See them all on my homepage slide show.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) blooms bouquet chiaroscuro flowers life nature photography still https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2017/8/retirement-bouquet Sun, 13 Aug 2017 22:54:39 GMT
Georgia National Fair coming up https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2017/8/georgia-national-fair-coming-up The Georgia National Fair http://georgianationalfair.com/  is coming up in October. The submission deadline is in early September. So I have put some photos on my homepage slide show that I am considering entering, two from each of the ten classes: Portraits, Places, Things, Animals & Insects, In the Garden, Fun! Looking Down, Purple, Details and Macros, Anything Goes. Since this is my first time to enter I think I'll just submit three. Which three do you think I should enter? 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) fair georgia georgia national fair photography https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2017/8/georgia-national-fair-coming-up Mon, 07 Aug 2017 23:11:55 GMT
Tiny Bugs https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2017/7/tiny-bugs I had a chance last weekend in between the rains to get out my camera and extension tubes to take a few photos of bugs. Unfortunately, I don't know what they are all called. There is a black ant on a purple wild petunia. You have to look very carefully in the center of the flower to see it. And there is a bumble bee on the oregano flowers. I don't know what the bugs on the lantana are but they are very personable. The lantana bug shots were taken with a tripod. the others were shot hand-held. My tripod won't go as low as the petunia or oregano. I rarely do that but this was good practice. See them all on my homepage slide show.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) ant bee extension flowers insects lantana macro oregano petunia tube https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2017/7/tiny-bugs Tue, 04 Jul 2017 01:41:40 GMT
Agate Slab https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2017/3/agate-slab As promised I have added a photo of the agate slab that I bought at the Athens Gem and Mineral Show last weekend to my home page slide show. I call it Agate Landscape. I chose this slab because of the sense of depth it offers as well as the colors. It may seem easy to photograph a flat surface but it isn't as easy as it seems. I had to make sure that the slab was perpendicular, without falling over, and parallel to the camera's sensor so that the slab will be in focus from one end to the other. I also had to construct a way of holding the slab in this position. After about an hour of shooting I finally hit on a system which inspires me to retake some earlier shots. In order to bring out that sense of depth the slab is lit from behind. In order to bring out the colors I made five shots at different exposures and combined them. I also made another change to my macro studio which should help me make more macro photos. I raised the height of my light tent table so that I can now stand at full height while working at it. No more back aches! I love this stuff. I'm so boring.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Athens Gem Mineral agate and close-up geology macro mineral nature photography rock stone https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2017/3/agate-slab Sun, 12 Mar 2017 02:22:30 GMT
Sandy Creek Nature Center in Winter https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2016/12/sandy-creek-nature-center-in-winter I made my usual post holiday visit to SCNC with my family and my camera. Although it is the same place. It always looks different. Of course I took my obligatory shot of the ent at the trail head. This one will make a nice Halloween card. Look for it next October. The pond was low, the trees were bare of leaves, there seemed to be little of interest, and yet I like this landscape over the pond. It is almost a minimalist study. Since there was little in the way of wildlife that day I went up to the furnace ruins. While searching for a new angle the oven and chimney seemed to resemble to me not just the ruins of the past, but perhaps ruins of the future. An old broken portal to another dimension and a time tunnel in disuse. Someday the future will be the past, too. That seems both ominous and comforting on New Year's Eve. Here is hoping 2017 is not as bad as it could be. See these photos on my homepage slideshow.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Athens Center Creek GA Nature SCNC Sandy ent landscape nature photography ruins water https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2016/12/sandy-creek-nature-center-in-winter Sat, 31 Dec 2016 23:04:17 GMT
Gibbs Garden's Waterlilies https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2016/11/gibbs-gardens-waterlilies A few weeks ago Ed treated me to a trip to Gibbs Garden on the day before the Monet Waterlily Festival weekend. This was perfect because the waterlilies were in bloom, the garden was readied for a big event, but without the crowds. It was a beautiful day and the subjects couldn't have been more cooperative. See my favorites on my homepage slideshow.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Georgia Gibbs Garden Monet lake landscape nature photography water waterlily https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2016/11/gibbs-gardens-waterlilies Wed, 02 Nov 2016 00:40:13 GMT
Seeing Deep into a Yucca https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2016/10/seeing-deep-into-a-yucca One Saturday morning a few weeks ago, I walked past Ed's giant Yucca Filamentosa and saw pictures. This yucca is a native of the south eastern U.S. and has made itself very much at home in our south facing back yard. I have photographed its impressive florescence in the past, but this morning I looked deep into the center and saw the sharp lines of the variegated leaves contrasting with the soft curls of the filaments. I saw the curls floating in layers around the spikes. Could I capture that? The light on that cloudy morning was perfect. Although I had other plans for that morning, I knew I would never see those pictures again. I would never have that light again. Although that yucca would still be there another day, that moment would not be. I went into the house, got my camera, lenses, tripod. Checked my battery and SD card and set up. The results are on my homepage slideshow. Did I get it?

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Athens Georgia desert nature photography succulent xeriscape yucca yucca filamentosa https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2016/10/seeing-deep-into-a-yucca Mon, 10 Oct 2016 00:32:44 GMT
SBGG Summer 2016 https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2016/9/sbgg-summer-2016 My homepage slide show now features a few recent shots of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia from this summer. Close ups of big red hibiscus blossoms, the bridge of boxed flowers, the terrace of roses and perennials, the play of light and shadow on the huge prickly pear cactus. 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Athens State Botanical Garden of Georgia bloom blossom cactus flowers garden nature plant https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2016/9/sbgg-summer-2016 Sun, 04 Sep 2016 01:35:21 GMT
Euphorbia Milii https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2016/5/euphorbia-milii My Euphorbia Milii bloomed last week and I was able to get some close-ups of the flowers. This euphorbia is a native of Madagascar. The whole plant is small (mine is less than a foot tall) and its flowers teeny. The center's details are so small you can’t see them all with the naked eye. I took one shot with a postage stamp for a background as a reference.  The pink and yellow flowers bloom at the top of a thorny, succulent stalk. See the details on my homepage slideshow.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) African Crown-on-Thorns Euphorbia Madagascar Milii flora flower nature photography pink plant succulent thorny yellow https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2016/5/euphorbia-milii Sun, 15 May 2016 00:59:42 GMT
Reflected Cockles https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2016/2/reflected-cockles A simple half cockle shell has much more pattern and color in it than initially appears. In life these details are subtle and easily missed. Sometimes when wet they pop out. But usually they are overlooked. Multiple combined exposures can draw out these details and reveal the hidden beauty. A dark reflective surface adds another layer. See some examples on my homepage slide show.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) HDR. animal black cockle life marine ocean reflection sea shell https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2016/2/reflected-cockles Tue, 01 Mar 2016 02:53:53 GMT
Family Home https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2016/1/family-home I recently made a trip to Texas to visit my sister on her 80th birthday (she’s a LOT older than me). She and her husband have made the wise decision that it is time to move to assisted living. They are in the process of conducting an estate sale and will be selling the family home this summer. I am so glad I had a chance once more to visit the place. It was built in 1896. Our family has owned it since 1941 when my sister was 5 years old. It has been in our family for 75 years. When I was a little girl I thought I must be a princess to live in such a beautiful castle with stained glass, gingerbread, and a balcony filled with antiques and art. I wish I’d more time there. See some photos on my homepage slide show.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Nineteenth Century Queen Anne antique architecture building detail home house interior photography https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2016/1/family-home Thu, 28 Jan 2016 01:54:06 GMT
A Story of Reflections https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/12/a-story-of-reflections No, not metaphorical, literally reflections. I admired photos of reflections of isolated objects and tried replicating them in my little studio. I placed a shell on top of a sheet of glass with a black poster board under it. Well, it worked sort of, but a sheet of glass has two sides, doesn’t it? Which means it creates two reflections, which translates as blur in the photograph. It took a lot of doctoring in Photoshop and wasn’t really satisfying.

Then, while reading photo blogs I found a suggestion to use a large, polished black ceramic tile as the surface. Ah ha! I thought, that should be cheap, easy to find, and highly reflective. I looked at Walmart, Lowes, and Home Depot. Years ago large, polished black ceramic tiles would have been everywhere. Apparently they are no longer stylish. Now, no black tiles. Charcoal, grey or marbled, but all are flat, not polished. Ed suggested I call some tile shops. I called four. The last one was Dalton Carpet One. A very nice lady named, Kacy, said she didn’t have a large black porcelain tile, but thought she could order one. I said I only needed one, but I’d buy a box if it wasn’t too much. I called back Monday and Kacy said Yes! She found some 12” black tiles, but they were polished. Is that okay? Perfect! I said. On Wednesday I went by at lunch to pick up the tile. Kacy met me with a large box. “They have to pack them a lot to protect them. They sent two just in case.” “What do I owe you,” I said. “Nothing, the factory didn’t charge for them,” said Kacy. She even carried the box to the car for me.

The next Saturday I had a little time to play. Since I had two tiles, why not use one for the surface and another for the background and get two different reflections at once? Ed offered his traveling easel to hold the tiles. They are heavy! So I’ve added my first attempts on my homepage slide show. Be sure to click on the image to read how they were made.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Athens Georgia HDR focus macro marine nature ocean photography reflections sea shell stacking tiles https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/12/a-story-of-reflections Wed, 23 Dec 2015 19:40:36 GMT
Frosty Saturday https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/12/frosty-morning Saturday was the first really frosty morning of the season. I jumped out early to see what I could capture. An abelia bush was the most interesting with frost crystals bristling the petals. Extension tubes allowed me to get closer and closer. Later in the evening the western sun hit the tops of the trees lining my backyard where turkey vultures were settling in for the night. The evening light gilds the branches and feathers. Below, a doe's head is framed by limbs also gilt by the evening sun. See all of these on my homepage slideshow.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Athens Georgia abelia cold deer doe frost frozen golden nature photography sunset vulture wildlife winter https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/12/frosty-morning Tue, 08 Dec 2015 03:02:54 GMT
Autumn in Johnsonia https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/11/autumn-in-johnsonia Too busy to get away but fortunately, autumn came to visit me. I have heard it said that a wet fall makes a colorful fall. It must be true because we certainly have a wet and colorful fall this year. I have added some autumn photos  of my own yard, which we call Johnsonia, to my homepage slideshow The dogwood in our front yard is particularly bright this year. I rarely see a Monarch butterfly, but this morning there one was, standing on the Abelia. A bench in the back woodland looks iconically autumnal with leaves scattered on and around it. Even amidst the dying leaves there are bright blooms like the Autumn Ageratum that glistens after a shower. Curious tiny insects hide under dogwood leaves. I hope you too are enjoying this colorful fall.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Ageratum Athens Georgia Johnsonia autumn bench butterfly fall monarch nature photography scenic seasonal woodland woods https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/11/autumn-in-johnsonia Sun, 08 Nov 2015 04:12:31 GMT
Halloween Spider Collection https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/10/halloween-spider-collection In time for Halloween I have posted some new and some old spider photos on my homepage slide show. Click on the image to read about the spider and its web. October brings spiders out (and in!). No wonder they are a creepy symbol of Halloween.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Georgia arachnid insect nature photography spider web wildlife. https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/10/halloween-spider-collection Sat, 31 Oct 2015 01:36:02 GMT
Savannah River from Augusta, Georgia https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/10/savannah-river-from-augusta-georgia I just posted some photos of my trip last month to Augusta, Georgia. These were all taken from the river walk. Many are views of the South Carolina side reflected in the river at dusk. One captures a rowing team practicing. Another shows a fire thrower practicing in the Jesse Norman amphitheater. This photo is a composite of three showing the movement of the flaming batons. The amphitheater was a perfect location since it is all concrete. Check them out at my homepage slide show.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Augusta Georgia Savannah South Carolina fire photography river thrower water https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/10/savannah-river-from-augusta-georgia Thu, 15 Oct 2015 22:59:35 GMT
Tallulah Gorge https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/8/tallulah-gorge Tallulah Gorge State Park in north Georgia near Clayton, Georgia is an amazing site. It is a short drive from Athens, but the site deserves some time. We took one whole day and a half day, but it wasn't enough. We trekked the North Rim and the South Rim, but didn't go down the 600 steps (and back up) to the gorge floor. That we saved for another trip. A few of my photos of the Gorge have been added to my homepage slideshow.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Tallulah Gorge State Park cliff falls gorge landscape mountains nature photography water waterfall https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/8/tallulah-gorge Mon, 17 Aug 2015 02:23:48 GMT
Black Rock Mountain https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/8/black-rock-mountain Ed and I took this week off and spent the first three days of it in the north Georgia mountains. It was about ten degrees cooler up there than in Athens which was in the high 90s. Years ago we’d visited the area, but didn’t spend much time there. This time we didn’t want to rush. Monday we drove up to Black Rock Mountain.  On our last trip a thunderstorm drove us off the mountain before reaching the top. This time there was no storm, but some spectacular clouds to add to the “atmosphere.” After enjoying the vista from the overlook behind the visitor center we took the long hike up the mountain then stopped at the overlook on our way down. If you choose to take the short hike to the overlook, be sure that you continue to the top of the mountain where a monument gives the altitude of 3,640 feet. This is where the butterflies fly. There were dozens of them of various species. They were too fast for me to get any good shots and there is not much room to maneuver up there, but they are worth the extra short walk. My photos from the two overlooks are on my homepage slide show now. The mountains just seem to recede forever. The next two days we spent at Tallulah Gorge State Park. Those photos will follow soon.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Black Rock Mountain State Park Georgia hills landscape mountain north valley vista https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/8/black-rock-mountain Mon, 10 Aug 2015 02:07:36 GMT
iStock Contributor https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/7/istock-contributor Several of my images have now been accepted by iStockphoto.com stock photography website. iStock is part of Getty Images. Ironically, I used to buy images from Getty for eCore. Most are nature but some are still life. I'd better get busy making more. I've been submitting to stock photo sites for a while and I've learned a lot from the experience. I use the process as a way of evaluating my photos, but I won't mind it if some of them are bought, too.

Here is my portfolio page:

https://secure.istockphoto.com/portfolio/lizminkertjohnson#592ec79

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Getty iStock landscape life nature photography still stock https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/7/istock-contributor Mon, 20 Jul 2015 23:24:54 GMT
A Day at the Bot Gard https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/6/a-day-at-the-bot-gard We had just arrived at the steps of the garden when, looking up, saw the shadow of a lizard showing through a large back lit leaf. He posed for me quite a while, then changed position, and so did I. The Bot Gard looked great after so much rain. The new gardens had matured. Perhaps because of the photography exhibit in the conservatory there were several photographers there. I was looking specifically for graphic back lit leaves and I found several. See today's photos on my homepage slide show.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Athens Georgia State Botanical Garden of Georgia architecture back-lit building conservatory foliage garden green leaf lizard nature photography plant https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/6/a-day-at-the-bot-gard Sun, 14 Jun 2015 01:18:57 GMT
OCAF Members Show https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/5/ocaf-members-show The OCAF Members Show opens Friday evening. For some very interesting art of all descriptions by locals take a short drive over to Watkinsville. OCAF now has over 500 members, so only one piece by each could be accepted. Of the three that I submitted this is the one that was accepted. I almost didn't enter it, but Ed really liked it. He is a good judge. It is a view of a small island in Clay Pit Pond at the Sandy Creek Nature Center during winter.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Athens Clay Pit Pond Georgia Sandy Creek Nature Center acquatic landscape nature photography pond water winter https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/5/ocaf-members-show Wed, 27 May 2015 00:10:36 GMT
Sandcastles https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/5/sandcastles See my homepage slideshow for a collection of sandcastles from Hilton Head Island. Why do people have an impulse to build complex structures that will be dissolved by the sea in just a few hours? But they will be replaced in a day. I had never before seen the granulated style before. There is no limit to creativity.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Hilton Head Island South Carolina beach castle nature ocean photography sand sandcastle sea water https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/5/sandcastles Wed, 20 May 2015 01:48:59 GMT
Beach https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/5/beach Today I've added to my homepage slide show some photos of beach scenes from Hilton Head Island. People enjoying the beach and icons of beach life. Something to get you ready for the summer and help you plan how you can dodge the beach photographers.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Hilton Head Island South Carolina beach nature ocean photography sand sea spring break summer vacation https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/5/beach Sat, 09 May 2015 01:05:07 GMT
Seabirds https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/5/seabirds There are still a lot of photos from our Hilton Head Island trip to post. I've just added a few new ones to my homepage slideshow. This week's theme is Seabirds. This is not all the birds we saw. My great regret was missing a close-up of a Great Blue Heron - twice! That's what I get for not always having my camera at hand. My biggest catch and surprise was the Cormorant! A first time and possibly last. Of course there are seabirds in most of the photos, but these could be considered portraits.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Hilton Head Island, South Carolina beach birds nature ocean sea seabirds surf water https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/5/seabirds Sat, 02 May 2015 02:10:18 GMT
Exuberance https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/4/exuberance I have such a large collection of photos from our recent trip to Hilton Head Island it is is little difficult to decide how to arrange them in my galleries. I think I'll begin by dividing them into thematic series. My homepage slideshow now includes the first series depicting the theme "Exuberance." These photos express the tremendous, uncontrollable exuberance expressed by beach visitors. What is it that engenders this exuberance? The sound of the sea? The smell of the salt waves? The sight of the blue waves against blue sky? Is there something about the color blue that breeds this feeling? Is it the feel of the frothy waves or the sand under our toes? Whatever it is, it isn't just shared by humans as you can see from these images.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Hilton Head Island South Carolina exuberance nature ocean photography sea water https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/4/exuberance Thu, 23 Apr 2015 00:55:59 GMT
Sea Pines https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/4/sea-pines Ed and I spent a week in Hilton Head Island recently. Took a lot of photos. My first batch featuring Sea Pines Resort are now on my homepage slide show. I'll be adding more from time to time. We spent a week on the Island staying at the Comfort Inn. It is very conveniently located near the public beach access, shops and restaurants and not far from Sea Pines Resort. We spent our first two days on the beach, spent a day at Sea Pines and then another day on the beach.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Forest Preserve Hilton Head Island Lake Thomas Sea Pines South Carolina harbor lake landscape nautical water https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/4/sea-pines Sun, 19 Apr 2015 01:07:54 GMT
Art of Georgia photo op https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/3/art-of-georgia-photo-op Today was delivery of the "Art of Georgia II" exhibit at the state capital. I had an opportunity to meet many other north Georgia artists including some from Athens. The talent on display was impressive. I'm very honored to be among them. An online catalog of the entire exhibit will be published soon. I'll share it when it is out.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Amicalola Falls Amicalola Pool Art of Georgia Georgia Council for the Arts Georgia State Capital Governor Nathan Deal art nature photography reflection water https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/3/art-of-georgia-photo-op Tue, 31 Mar 2015 02:19:54 GMT
Art of Georgia II https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/3/art-of-georgia-ii For the second time one of my photos was selected for the Art of Georgia exhibit at the State Capital! The theme is "Portraits of Community." The photo selected is "Amicalola Pool." I took this on a beautiful autumn weekend at Amicalola Falls State Park. Tourists resting after their trek up and back down the steps to the top of Amicalola Falls are reflected in the pool at the base of the falls.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Amicalola Georgia autumn fall nature pool reflection tourists water https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/3/art-of-georgia-ii Thu, 19 Mar 2015 00:51:04 GMT
Canada Geese at SCNC https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/2/canada-geese-at-scnc I was able to get some pretty good shots of the Canada Geese at the Sandy Creek Nature Center over the last couple of weeks. I used my 2x teleconverter and since it was a sunny day, it worked pretty well. See all of them on my homepage slide show.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Athens Georgia. Sandy Creek Nature Center fowl. geese nature water wildlife https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/2/canada-geese-at-scnc Sun, 15 Feb 2015 21:33:42 GMT
Second Trip to the SCNC Aquarium https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/1/second-trip-to-the-scnc-aquarium Last weekend it was a bit too windy to spend much time in shade on the banks of Clay Pit Pond so Ed and I revisited the Sandy Creek Nature Center aquarium. Many of the residents moved too fast for me to capture last time. But this time I pulled up the courage to crank up my ISO to 3200 at the risk of considerable noise. However, the residents rewarded me by creeping out to meet me. See all of then on my homepage slide show

 

 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Sandy Creek Nature Center aquarium nature photography https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/1/second-trip-to-the-scnc-aquarium Wed, 28 Jan 2015 01:22:44 GMT
Sandy Creek Aquarium https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/1/sandy-creek-aquarium On a cold and damp day last week instead of hiking around Clay Pit Pond, I peaked into the Sandy Creek Nature Center exhibits where there are several aquariums. The staff was nice enough to let me take in my camera and tripod. I was able to get some pretty good photos of the eel and some turtles. A pair of turtles seemed to be a mother and child. The smaller one followed the other closely. You can see these on my homepage slideshow. I'm looking forward to returning for more practice.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Center Creek Nature Sandy aquarium eel nature photography turtle https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2015/1/sandy-creek-aquarium Sun, 04 Jan 2015 01:49:11 GMT
Window Games https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/12/window-games Light is the language of photography. The light from my south facing windows writes shadows through blinds projected onto walls and sheers. Their sentences trail off the edges of the room. They change organically never the same. Making the familiar new.

See the collection on my homepage slideshow.

 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) abstract photography https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/12/window-games Sun, 07 Dec 2014 03:17:13 GMT
Books https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/11/books Just for fun I took a series of shots of a stack of Shakespeare's plays. They were my father's. When the local Knight's of Pythias lodge burned down he brought home part of the library that could be salvaged. They begged to be stacked in a spiral. I like the graphic quality of the rotating spines and pages. I have always liked the title of the comedy "As You Like It." Today it might be translated "Whatever." See my homepage gallery for the whole series.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Shakespeare abstract books library photography https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/11/books Sat, 22 Nov 2014 04:09:43 GMT
Some Autumn Views https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/10/some-autumn-views Although it is still early in the season, I have found a bit of color emerging in my yard in Athens, Georgia. See my homepage slideshow for views of local autumn foliage and wildlife. Watch for more fall scenes as the season progresses.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Athens Georgia Virginia Creeper autumn dogwood fall flowers mums nature photography wildlife https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/10/some-autumn-views Tue, 14 Oct 2014 01:29:30 GMT
Anna Ruby Falls https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/8/anna-ruby-falls Today I’m posting the final segment of my series on Unicoi State Park and Anna Ruby Falls. Curtis Creek and York Creek tumble 153 feet and 50 feet respectively into Smith Creek. A ghostly mist drifts above. Dozens of Common Blue butterflies flutter below.  It is a classic fairytale waterfall. When the tourists leave, the nymphs must come out and scamper over the rocks. This was a wonderful trip. I’ll have to take more like it that will place me in front of something awesome. See my homepage slideshow for all the photos from the trip.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Anna Ruby Falls Georgia Helen landscape nature water waterfall https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/8/anna-ruby-falls Tue, 26 Aug 2014 00:29:19 GMT
Smith Creek https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/8/smith-creek The trail to Anna Ruby Falls follows Smith Creek. It flows at the base of the falls as a convergence of Curtis Creek and York Creek which tumble over the falls. I've posted a few shots of the creek on my homepage slideshow. Click on the pictures to read captions.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Anna Ruby Falls Smith Creek creek landscape nature rapids waterfall https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/8/smith-creek Sat, 23 Aug 2014 00:36:20 GMT
More of Unicoi State Park https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/8/more-of-unicoi-state-park Making our way around Unicoi Lake we ended the first day with a hike down Frog Pond Nature Trail.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Unicoi Lake Unicoi State Park clouds lake mountains nature https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/8/more-of-unicoi-state-park Thu, 21 Aug 2014 00:38:05 GMT
Taking a Break https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/8/taking-a-break There is a photographer’s saying that if you want to make awesome photographs, stand in front of something awesome. Last week I got to stand in front of something awesome. I took Monday off and Ed and I headed to Unicoi State Park for a couple of days. The first day we spent hiking around Unicoi Lake. The next day we drove up to Anna Ruby Falls. We’d planned the trip for some weeks and after weeks of drought it looked very much like we might get totally rained out. But we packed a couple of ponchos and even a rain coat and umbrella for the gear. As it turned out, it didn’t rain, but the sky was completely overcast, providing soft, even, light and dramatic views of cloud shrouded mountains and misty falls. As you can imagine, I took a lot of shots. I’ll be posting a few at a time over several days. You can see my first batch now on my homepage slideshow. Keep watching, because it is going to get better.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Georgia Helen Unicoi Unicoi State Park creek flower lake landscape mountains nature photography https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/8/taking-a-break Wed, 20 Aug 2014 01:55:43 GMT
More Fort Yargo https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/7/more-fort-yargo We made a second trip to Fort Yargo last weekend. There was a lot of activity there. Kayakers, a rowing team, and lots of fresh landscape. I've posted new photos in the Fort Yargo gallery and on my homepage slideshow.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Fort Yargo State Park Georgia Winder landscape nature photography https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/7/more-fort-yargo Thu, 03 Jul 2014 03:14:33 GMT
Fort Yargo https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/6/fort-yargo Not long after we moved to Athens we set off to explore the area. So it wasn't long before we visited Fort Yargo State Park. At the time it wasn't very developed. We took a couple of hikes out there, but year followed year and we haven't gotten back there until just a couple of weeks ago. It's changed a lot! We only had time to see a small part of it, but we'll be going back to take more photos. You can see my first photos of Fort Yargo on the slideshow on my homepage. BTW, does anyone know why the fort was named Yargo?

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Fort Yargo Georgia State Parke geese lake landscape nature photography https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/6/fort-yargo Wed, 25 Jun 2014 00:51:52 GMT
Shell Macros https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/6/shell-macros My gastropod shot was so successful I decided to do some more like it. I've posted some recent ones on my homepage. The first ones I took, gastropod and spiral, were relatively flat so they are a combination of only three exposures. This exposure blending or HDR brings out the colors and textures of the shells. The new photos are of shells that have more depth so they are a combination of 9-12 shots. Three or four shots were made at different focal lengths and three exposures were made of each focal length. This makes sure the entire shell is in focus and all the colors and textures can be brought to the surface. No these shells do not look like this when I hold them in my hand. But the colors and textures are there, they just can't be easily seen with our eyes because of the small size of the shell and the subtlety of the colors. This is what I love about photography. It teaches me to see so much more.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) HDR blending conch exposure gastropod macros nature photography shell snail stacking https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/6/shell-macros Fri, 13 Jun 2014 02:33:25 GMT
Spring Flowers https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/5/spring-flowers Here are a few photos from my garden taken before the recent rains. From overhead the Japanese Iris bed has a graphic quality. The large, billowing petals of the white bearded iris looks sculptural. I used double exposure to try and capture the effect of the spring breeze wafting Coral Honeysuckle and waving Yellow Flag. Don't you wish spring flowers could last forever!

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) coral flag floral flowers garden honeysuckle iris nature spring yellow https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/5/spring-flowers Tue, 20 May 2014 01:48:00 GMT
Must See Moments https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/4/must-see-moments Popular Photography is hosting a context sponsored by Transition Lenses. The theme is "Must See Moments." I interpret this as meaning a fleeting event with emotional impact arranged in a compelling image. I chose the Hidden Fawn to submit to the contest because it best represents this interpretation to me. Now all I have to do is select the PopPhoto Trek I will win!
https://www.popphoto.com/photo-contest/transitions2014/official-rules

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Athens Clay Pit Pond Georgia Popular Photography Sandy Creek Nature Center contest fawn hidden nature photography wildlife https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/4/must-see-moments Wed, 30 Apr 2014 23:52:52 GMT
Early Spring at Clay Pit Pond https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/3/early-spring-at-clay-pit-pond Ed and I seized  a rare warm Saturday to spend a few hours at Sandy Creek Nature Center to see how the spring is beginning to creep in. It is creeping very slowly here in Athens, Georgia. Nevertheless we made some interesting observations. First, the slider turtles are young, plentiful, and not as skittish as usual. Second, some slight color is beginning to slowly emerge. Third, the beavers have been working furiously to build up their dam above the high water line following late winter storms. I'm ready for the weather to make a decided change to the warm side and watch the spring burst out for good.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Athens Clay Pit Pond Georgia Sandy Creek Nature Center nature photography plants pond spring trees water wildlife https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/3/early-spring-at-clay-pit-pond Thu, 27 Mar 2014 02:10:23 GMT
Winter Garden https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/2/winter-garden In the winter, without the distraction of plants and foliage, the "bones" of the garden are revealed. It is surprising how much color there is in a winter garden. See my homepage slide show for a few views of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in winter.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Athens Georgia State Botanical Garden of Georgia bridge garden path steps winter https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/2/winter-garden Wed, 26 Feb 2014 02:13:38 GMT
Minimalism https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/2/minimalism I just read this blog on minimalism from Light Stalking. http://www.lightstalking.com/minimalism-the-art-of-less Light Stalking is one of my favorite blogs. This made me realize that I have done some of this, so I created a collection of them. I added only one of the Ramekin series, but you can see the rest in my Abstract collection. Minimalism is a good way to hone "seeing" skills. You can see the rest of my minimalist collection on my homepage slide show. Minimalism seems to be getting a lot of attention these days. I also saw a contest on View Bug for minimalist photos. Think I'll look into it.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Light Stalking abstract minimalism photography seeing https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/2/minimalism Fri, 21 Feb 2014 02:05:28 GMT
A Clay Pit Pond Winter https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/2/a-clay-pit-pond-winter A few more photos from a visit we made a couple of weeks ago to Clay Pit Pond at the Sandy Creek Nature Center are posted to my homepage slide show. Going often to the same spot over and over is the opposite of boring. There is always something new to see. We have grown to know the places to go and what to watch for. We enjoy seeing it change with the seasons, times of day and the moods of the weather.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Athens Clay Pit Pond Georgia Sandy Creek Nature Center geese heron nature pond water wiinter https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/2/a-clay-pit-pond-winter Tue, 04 Feb 2014 02:14:05 GMT
Snow Day https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/1/snow-day We saw a light snow in Athens yesterday afternoon and overnight so my office was closed today. It was a chance for me to add to my small collection of snow photos. We don't get many opportunities for that here in Georgia. These shots were taken in my yard this morning.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Athens Georgia HDR backyard bird bunny frontyard house landscape nature snow winter https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/1/snow-day Wed, 29 Jan 2014 21:23:39 GMT
Clay Pit Flood https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/1/clay-pit-flood A week ago a major thunder storm rumbled through Clarke County. The day after was a bright warm day so Ed and I spent a couple of hours at Sandy Creek Nature Center. Clay Pit Pond was flooded. Most of the lower trail was inaccessible. Following the Ridge Trail for a ways we found a small patch of the lower trail we could reach. The beaver lodge was completely submerged. Three beavers raced back and forth fetching sticks to repair their lodge. Their speed surprised us. After an afternoon of this vigorous activity, two of the beavers climbed up on a branch to rest. A new collection of photos of Clay Pit Pond after the flood are on the homepage slideshow.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) . Clay Pit Pond Sandy Creek Nature Center beavers flood nature water https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/1/clay-pit-flood Mon, 20 Jan 2014 01:28:46 GMT
Abstract Ramekins https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/1/abstract-ramekins Last week I tried something different Since is was too cool to comfortably go outside I chose to shoot some abstract still lifes in my studio. I stacked up some ramekins into patterns accentuating both the curve of their shape and openings and the straight lines of the side ribs. I then desaturated the photos creating graphical abstracts. It was fun!

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) abstract photographs still life https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/1/abstract-ramekins Thu, 16 Jan 2014 01:47:51 GMT
New Year Photo Resolutions https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/1/new-year-photo-resolutions I don't know if I would call these resolutions. Maybe goals or expectations would be closer. At any rate, here is a list of what I would like to accomplish, photography wise, in 2014.

  • Do more superzoom practice with the teleconverter.
  • Do more macro practice with the reversing ring and other methods of making macros.
  • Get really good at birds in flight.
  • Improve my studio by adding a chroma key wall, maybe.
  • For my purchase of 2014 I'd like to get an off-camera flash.
  • Enter 3-5 shows or competitions.
  • Discover another great nature area nearby for taking photos.

Do you have any suggestions?

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) New Year chroma key macros photography resolution zoom https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2014/1/new-year-photo-resolutions Thu, 02 Jan 2014 01:12:41 GMT
Photo Retrospection https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/12/photo-retrospection As everyone else does this time of year, I thought I would do a quick retrospection of my photography year. It was a busy one. Early in the year I started a store on Greeting Card Universe. In the spring I received an Anonymous Purchase Award for December Swamp at the 38th Annual Lyndon House Arts Center Juried Exhibition. One of my most enjoyable decisions was to join OCAF. Calla Lilly was displayed in the OCAF Members Exhibit. On the Web I discovered a technique for twisting photos into “orbs” with Photoshop. One of these was displayed in the OCAF Small Works Exhibit. Others were made into cards for GCU. In the fall there seemed to be more spider webs than usual, so I challenged myself to capture a variety of them. My gear expanded to include a teleconverter and a reversing ring which led me to experiment with superzoom and macro photography. It was a very eventful and fun year for me photographically. I look forward to more like it in 2014. I've added a few of my favorites from this year to my homepage slideshow.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Card Greeting OCAF Universe macros orbs photography retrospection teleconverter webs https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/12/photo-retrospection Wed, 01 Jan 2014 01:34:25 GMT
How to Avoid the Black Friday Crowds https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/11/30 Don’t go shopping. Instead, my sherpa, Ed, and I spent Friday afternoon at Sandy Creek Nature Center. I was eager to practice a couple of new techniques. Actually, I wanted to practice three, but that was a little too much. Two in one day was really too much. I should limit sessions to only one new technique at a time. Anyway, I was practicing “birds in flight” and also trying out my new teleconverter. “Birds in flight” is self-explanatory, but not easy to do. I’ve tried it before and I practice with the vultures in my back yard, but these shots of the SCNC resident Great Blue Heron are the first decent ones I’ve made. One Saturday I stood on the pier for 2 hours, but the dang bird wouldn’t budge. Yesterday, though he/she was more lively. Perhaps it was the cool weather.

The geese and turtle were captured with a teleconverter. This is the chintzy photographer’s answer to “big glass”. It is a small device that fits between the camera body and the lens to double the apparent length of the lens. So my 300mm lens was extended to 600mm letting me get much closer to the geese and turtle. Turtles can be quite skittish. Wild geese can be stand offish.

These photos are on my homepage slideshow in the New collection.

Apparently, a lot of others avoided the mall just as we did. I wouldn’t call it crowded, but there were more hikers than we usually see.

 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Athens Blue Cananda Center Creek Geese. Georgia Great Heron Nature Sandy Slider birds nature photography teleconverter turtle https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/11/30 Sat, 30 Nov 2013 23:29:31 GMT
A Variety of New Subjects https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/11/a-variety-of-new-subjects I haven't posted a blog in a while because for the last few weeks I've been busy taking and processing photos. I have created a New  collection for you to review. There is a little of everything. Some macros, some telephotos, some webs, and florals. These webs, covered with dew, are just an inch across. The red ant mimic spider that wove them can be found hidden behind one of the webs. I've named them Tiara because the dew drops, suspended in the web resemble diamonds on a tiara.

The vultures arrived in Kingswood for their annual migration last week. They circle overhead (called a kettle) between 4 and 5 pm most evenings before they finally settle in the trees for the night (called committee). Sometimes the black vultures will roost on rooftops. They stomp around like a platoon of soldiers. They've been doing this for years, but fortunately I haven't noticed that they cause any damage to the roof. Black vultures are curious and bold. They can sometimes be seen walking on the ground and don't seem very bothered by the presence of people. Turkey vultures are more skittish.  The picture of the black vultures on my neighbors chimney was taken with my newest toy, a teleconverter. It is a small device that fits between the camera body and the lens and doubles the apparent length of the lens turning a 300mm lens to a 600mm one.

The shell and sage leaf are macros taken with a reversing ring. I'll tell more about that later.

 

 

 

 

 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) dew drops macro spider teleconverter vultures web https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/11/a-variety-of-new-subjects Sat, 23 Nov 2013 01:55:05 GMT
Halloween Spiders! https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/10/halloween-spiders A new collection of spooky spiders and spider webs has been added to the slideshow on my homepage for your Halloween. Yellow and black garden spiders and Spiney Backed Orb Weavers are the featured guests. Garden spiders are big and scary looking but are actually harmless (to humans) and beneficial. They hang around your flower garden in the summer on their zigzaggy webs.

Orb Weavers come in either white or yellow. They are so tiny you have to get really close to see their spines. The markings on their back look kinda like jack-o-lanterns. They appear in October and spread their circular webs in the center of a Y shaped armature hung from limbs and shrubs. They will grab their prey (including you) by locating their web in paths where a breeze wafts them back and forth. Read the descriptions of the photos for more details.

And stay SAFE!

 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Halloween garden spider jack-o-lantern scary spider spiney backed orb weaver spooky web https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/10/halloween-spiders Thu, 31 Oct 2013 23:26:47 GMT
Autumnals https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/10/autumnals The dogwood in my yard is turning beautiful shades of red and the Autumn Azuretum is blooming. It's time for some images of autumn. I've updated the slideshow on my homepage with a few recent photos. I hope to have more as the season progresses.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) autumn azuretum caterpillar colors dogwood fall leaves nature photography red trees https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/10/autumnals Mon, 28 Oct 2013 02:15:21 GMT
OCAF Small Works Exhibit https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/10/ocaf-small-works-exhibit The Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF) is holding a Small Works Exhibit. All entries must be under 14". If you are going to Watkinsville for the Fall Festival this weekend be sure to stop by. My photo "Monarch Orb" is in the exhibit. There is a lot of good work there. 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Arts Cultural Foundation OCAF Oconee art exhibit photography https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/10/ocaf-small-works-exhibit Sat, 19 Oct 2013 02:12:06 GMT
Watson Mill Bridge https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/10/watson-mill-bridge A couple of weeks ago, Ed and I made a little trip to Watson Mill Bridge State Park. We had been there before, but it has been a while. It's close enough for a day trip. We were concerned that it might be closed due to budget cuts, but it wasn't. The office was open and lots of folks were enjoying the park.

It was a beautiful day to take pictures and there were lots of interesting vistas to photograph. The covered bridge is so long, its difficult to get the whole thing in one shot, so I made a panorama of it. I tried some stop-action on the dam overflow. It makes the water sparkle. I don't care for the style of blurring water. That is not how our eye sees it. If we look hard at falling water, we see it freeze as it falls. That is what I am trying to capture. Water Patterns is a tone-mapped composite illustrating the patterns that our eyes see in a whirlpool.

I hope you enjoy these and the other Watson Mill Bridge photos. All except the Dam Overflow are HDR images. I've put this gallery in the slideshow on my homepage. Let me know what you think.

 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Bridge Georgia HDR Mill Watson bridge covered dam landscape nature panorama photography stop-action woods https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/10/watson-mill-bridge Thu, 03 Oct 2013 00:29:02 GMT
Macros https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/9/macros I bought a reversing ring for my birthiversary. (I was married on my birthday like my great-grand mother.) It only just arrived a couple of days ago. I used the Labor Day holiday as an opportunity to try it out. But just as I went outside the sky darkened, the wind picked up, thunder clapped, and yet another summer storm started. So I retreated to my studio. That was a better venue anyway. I can use my tripod, I can control the light, and I can take all the time I need. So I did. I added my first attempts to my homepage slideshow. Bare in mind that reversing rings do not permit much, if any, control of aperture and, consequently, allow only very shallow depth of field. No matter, shallow depth of field can make for very interesting images. Tell me what you think. I'm looking forward to trying more macros.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) abstract macro photography https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/9/macros Mon, 02 Sep 2013 02:46:12 GMT
New Orb Cards https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/8/new-orb-cards Greeting Card Universe has just approved several new cards which I call "Orb Cards." I used some Photoshop manipulations to contort some of my photos into unique patterns of color and movement. They are designed around the seasons, but can be customized for any occasion or sentiment. Why don't you take a look and let me know what you think.

See the rest at my card store

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Greeting Cards abstract color modern movement notecards orb seasons https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/8/new-orb-cards Tue, 27 Aug 2013 01:03:14 GMT
A Great Resource! https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/8/a-great-resource Last spring, when my daylilies were blooming, I took my camera out to capture some of those golden blooms.  I put my camera on a low tripod with a zoom lens to get close ups of the throats when, striding across the edge of a petal, was the tiniest and most peculiar looking critter I had ever seen. It was so tiny I could not have seen it at all without the zoom lens. I had no idea what it was, but I went in even closer and focused on it rather than the flower. It posed for me quite a while so I was able to get several angles. When I got the shots in Photoshop that night to process them, I cropped them even closer. I was very pleased with the results, but I had no idea what this critter was.

Now, a few months later, I received a note from the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF www.ocaf.com ) of a Small Works Exhibit. The bizarre critter came to mind. Since I’d cropped my best shot pretty severely it could probably only be printed successfully in a small size. But I felt I really would like to know what it was. I searched the web a bit for daylily pests, pests of Georgia, etc. I even made a more extreme crop and submitted it to Google Image search. I didn’t find anything that really resembled this critter. Not wanting to waste too much of my time, since I am no expert on identifying critters, I strolled around the UGA Extension Service website and found this: http://www.caes.uga.edu/extension/clarke/askanexpert.html.

So I did. I asked “What is this thing?” and attached my photo. Then I waited a few days. Yesterday, I received a reply from Athens Master Gardner Volunteer, Pat Van Gordner, with an attached lab report. The report, submitted by Amanda Tedrow and diagnosed by Lisa Ames, stated the critter was a bush katydid nymph. Apparently the reason I could not find an image like it on the web is because the nymph looks so different from the adult and it is the adult which is most often pictured. The report provided a website with a little more information http://bugguide.net/node/view/7130.  The report recommended against any control measures because the nymph is so small it causes little damage and any control measures might also harm beneficial critters.

I was so delighted with the report that I thanked the ladies profusely assuring them that I didn’t plan to control the critter. I hoped to submit the photo to a show and wanted to identify the subject. I also sent along my website address http://lizminkertjohnson.com . I was also delighted to find this great resource for helping me to identify the subjects of my photos. It was so fast and thorough, I’m sure I’ll use it again.

If you would like to see my photo of the incredibly tiny and weird bush katydid nymph, you can see it here http://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/p697229685/h61558f5b#h61558f5b. You may also want to keep an eye out for the OCAF Small Works Exhibit on October 11 – November 15, 2013.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Georgia OCAF UGA bug daylily grasshopper insects katydid photo photography https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/8/a-great-resource Wed, 21 Aug 2013 00:46:41 GMT
St. Marys, GA https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/7/st-marys-ga I was looking through my backups and found some photos from St. Mary's, GA of a couple of years ago. I enjoyed looking through these aagain and thought you might, too. St. Mary's is a small town at the mouth of the Cumberland River and is the entrance to Cumberland Island. It has a beautiful old cemetery, shops, piers, and a marina. It is well worth a visit on its own and is a great place to stay when visiting Cumberland Island. These photos are now on my homepage slide show.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/7/st-marys-ga Sun, 07 Jul 2013 02:13:50 GMT
Birds https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/6/birds Someone asked me if I have any bird pictures. I do but they are scattered among various galleries, so I created a collection of birds and put it on my homepage slide show. Hope you enjoy it.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) birding birds bluebird gulls hawk heron ibis slideshow vulture https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/6/birds Mon, 10 Jun 2013 00:51:36 GMT
OCAF Members Exhibit https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/5/ocaf-members-exhibit Last Saturday I took 3 framed photos to the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation Members Exhibit. The exhibit opens May 24. The opening reception is May 31. I hope you can make it. Read about OCAF here http://www.ocaf.com/ .

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) OCAF arts exhibit photography https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/5/ocaf-members-exhibit Mon, 20 May 2013 23:59:02 GMT
Mother's Day card in Greeting Card Universe https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/4/mothers-day-card-in-greeting-card-universe Greeting Card Universe has approved my Mother's Day card just in time! I think you'll like it. Click on the Greeting Card link to select it from the GUC widget.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/4/mothers-day-card-in-greeting-card-universe Sat, 13 Apr 2013 00:04:01 GMT
Several new cards available at Greeting Cards Universe https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/3/several-new-cards-available-at-greeting-cards-universe I have had several new cards on a variety of topics approved by Greeting Cards Universe. There was a technical glitch for a few days, but they are now all available in my GCU card store. http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/lizscardstore. If you go to the Greeting Cards link on my website you'll see them in the GCU widget. lizminkertjohnson.com Do you have any ideas for cards made from my photos? If so, post a suggestion and I'll work on it.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) cards greeting https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/3/several-new-cards-available-at-greeting-cards-universe Fri, 29 Mar 2013 02:03:29 GMT
New Sandy Creek photos https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/3/new-sandy-creek-photos I just uploaded several new photos to the Sandy Creek Nature Center gallery. These are all part of my December Swamp series. In the winter, during December and January the low land below Clay Pit Pond is flooded reflecting the geometry of the bare trees. It is a beautiful starkness that is only visible for a few weeks.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/3/new-sandy-creek-photos Tue, 19 Mar 2013 00:59:51 GMT
ViewBug Award https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/3/viewbug-award I was just notified that I received an award from ViewBug. ViewBug is a website that hosts photography contests. It is a great place to see other great photos. I submitted a couple of shots to the Human Element Contest This photo was taken about a year ago on Jekyll Island  I find contests and exhibits really useful because they help me to understand what judges consider worthy photography.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/3/viewbug-award Sun, 17 Mar 2013 00:34:15 GMT
38th Annual Lyndon House Arts Center Juried Exhibition https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/3/38th-annual-lyndon-house-arts-center-juried-exhibition Ed and I just returned from the lovely opening reception of the 38th Annual Lyndon House Juried Exhibit. http://ga-athensclarkecounty.civicplus.com/index.aspx?nid=5172
There was certainly an impressive selection of art. I encourage everyone to go. I was also surprised and honored to see that I received an Anonymous Purchase Award for my photo December Swamp. http://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/p367923024/h538a38fc#h538a38fc How exciting! Of course everyone has his/her own tastes and opinions, especially about art. Naturally I paid particular attention to the photography. Notable works in my opinion are listed below:

The Beginning: El Capitan, 2012 ferrotype by Emily B. Hall - Winner of a Merit Award

Black Necked Stilt at Sunrise by Chuck Murphy

Doug by David Noah

San Diego by David Noah

Staircase by Jamie deRevere

On the Beach by Richard Botters

For more opinions, here is a link to the review from the Athens Banner Herald:

http://onlineathens.com/visual-art/2013-02-27/lyndon-house-juried-art-exhibition-showcases-local-talent

 

 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/3/38th-annual-lyndon-house-arts-center-juried-exhibition Sun, 03 Mar 2013 22:41:57 GMT
Spring around the corner https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/2/spring-around-the-corner Today was such a lovely spring like day I thought I would update the homepage slide show with some spring flowers.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/2/spring-around-the-corner Mon, 25 Feb 2013 00:48:54 GMT
More Greeting Cards https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/2/more-greeting-cards I am just starting a new card store at Greeting Cards Universe. I have 3 approved cards now and several more in the queue. The great thing about this place is it will mail the card for you! You can choose your card, add a note, address it, and send it all from the website. Go to the Greeting Cards link above to start searching.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Greeting Cards notecards https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/2/more-greeting-cards Mon, 18 Feb 2013 00:02:34 GMT
NEW! Greeting Cards For You https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/1/new-greeting-cards-for-you I've been sending greeting cards made from my photos to friends and family for a while. They really seem to like them and I am often asked where they can get the cards as well. I now have a greeting card store at Zazzle.com which features cards with a full photo cover and sometimes with text inside with the subject and location of the photo on the back. Some of the notecards are blank inside so that you can add your own message. These cards are designed to be keepsakes suitable for display even after the event for which they were sent. Your recipients may even want to make a framed arrangement of them. I plan to expand this store and possibly even offer more stores for more variety in the future.  See the Greeting Cards link on my homepage and let me know what you think. 

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) Greeting Cards Zazzle nature notecards wildlife https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2013/1/new-greeting-cards-for-you Sat, 26 Jan 2013 19:51:51 GMT
How did you make that bluebird shot? https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2012/12/how-did-you-make-that-bluebird-shot Someone asked me “How did you make the bluebird photo?” Do you really want to know?  It was pretty complicated.  Last spring while a bluebird papa flew frantically from cherry tree to nest house collecting food for his noisy brood, I set up my DSLR with a remote switch on a tripod under a tree a few feet away from nest house in my backyard.  The tree shaded my 300mm zoom aimed at the nest house in full sun. Since I was going to be there a while, I dragged over a lawn chair and watched my Live View screen for the Papa landing on the house top. Often he would pose there for some minutes before darting into the house with his catch and soon zipping out again. With some practice I could anticipate where he would land, how he would pose, and how long he would stay. I set my camera to take multiple shots at a time, manually focused on his usual pose, and zapped my remote when he landed.  After several of these practice shots I set up automatic bracketed exposures. I took around a hundred shots altogether. Although I was using a lot less energy than he was, I tired before Papa did so I took everything inside and hopped on my computer. First I had to convert the Raw files to TIFs in Digital Photo Professional. I reviewed everything and deleted about 90%. Eventually I chose a trio of exposures that caught Papa looking directly at me perfectly focused on his eye with no shadows on his neck and only slight blown highlights on the cricket. Then I loaded these trios into Photomatix, chose the tonemapped preset, adjusted it as best I could, composited the shots as a High Dynamic Range image (This brought out that great detail in the feathers.), saved the composite and then loaded it into Photoshop. I made more adjustments to levels, contrast, brightness, hue, saturation, vibrance, color balance and, sharpening. As a last adjustment, I cropped the full length image to a bust shot close-up. I saved the TIF as a JPG and it was ready to upload to the website. Estimated time to create this photo: about six hours. Not a snap shot.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2012/12/how-did-you-make-that-bluebird-shot Sat, 08 Dec 2012 02:42:23 GMT
New Butterflies https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2012/11/new-butterflies I just added several new butterflies to the Assortment gallery. Which ones have you seen? Most of my butterfly images are taken in my backyard where I have cultivated a large butterfly garden. I can watch them emerge all year round. Photographing butterflies is a lot like fishing. The best way is to find a flower that the butterflies go back to over and over. Set up the tripod there, frame and focus the flower and wait. Then take several frames in a row when they return.  It's also a good idea to become familiar with the flight pattern and other habits of each species so as to anticipate their movements since, once they've moved, the good shot is gone. It takes a lot of time and patience, but is very exciting to catch a Sleepy Orange with open wings.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2012/11/new-butterflies Sun, 11 Nov 2012 02:35:20 GMT
Seasonals https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2012/11/seasonals Autumn and Winter are almost opposite from an image point of view. Autumn is full and color. Winter is nearly devoid of it. Compare the two seasons in my new galleries Autumnals and Wintries with images suitable for greeting cards.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2012/11/seasonals Sat, 10 Nov 2012 02:29:41 GMT
Art of Georgia Digital Guide is now available https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2012/9/art-of-georgia-digital-guide-is-now-available See images of the other works in the Art of Georgia Exhibit and browse the websites of these very talented artists. I'm honored to be represented among them.

http://www.gaarts.org/images/PDFs/12gca008_art%20of%20georgia_exhibitguide_sm.pdf

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2012/9/art-of-georgia-digital-guide-is-now-available Sun, 16 Sep 2012 23:57:51 GMT
Art of Georgia Exhibit Delivery Day https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2012/8/art-of-georgia-exhibit-delivery-day This morning I and 27 other northeast Georgians delivered our selected submissions to the state capital for hanging in the Art of Georgia exhibit (http://gaart.org). Below is my a link to the photo of me with Gov. Nathan Deal. It was all beautifully organized and everyone was very kind. The exhibit will continue in the Executive Office Building for 6 months.

http://photos.gov.georgia.gov/GovernorNathanDeal/August-2012/82312-Photo-ops/24939809_hTQnF7#!i=2043064518&k=7jHD65P&lb=1&s=A

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2012/8/art-of-georgia-exhibit-delivery-day Thu, 23 Aug 2012 22:35:38 GMT
Art of Georgia Exhibit https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2012/8/art-of-georgia-exhibit I just learned yesterday that the Georgia Council on the Arts has chosen one of my photos to be exhibited in the Art of Georgia Exhibit at the state Capital. The photo is #2 in the Sandy Creek gallery. It will be displayed there for 6 months.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2012/8/art-of-georgia-exhibit Thu, 09 Aug 2012 22:48:25 GMT
Welcome https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2012/6/welcome Do you see something you like? If you would like a download of a particular image that is not listed as a download, just let me know through the Contact page.

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(Liz Minkert Johnson Photographs) https://www.lizminkertjohnson.com/blog/2012/6/welcome Mon, 25 Jun 2012 02:23:32 GMT