Thoughtful Thursday ~ HDR or Not?

Demolished Building_01

Demolished Building_01

Demolished Building_02

Demolished Building_02


Which one of these photos is an HDR (High Dynamic Range) photograph?



Check back this weekend to find out the answer.

~ Daniel Kmiecik

Wild Wednesday ~ Bats at Sunset?

Bats at Sunset

“Bats at Sunset”
Macro of about 1/16″ of dendritic agate.

Nope. This is actually a 1:1 macro of about 1/16″ of dendritic agate. Using a cutout filter gives the black dentrites a feeling like thousands of bats have just left the cave at sunset. I think there are more photo ops in dendritic and moss agate than in picture jasper.

I can hear you saying, thanks Dan, but I don’t have a macro lens. No problem. If you want get started with macro photography there are inexpensive alternatives:

  1. Closeup lenses
  2. Reversing rings

Closeup lenses screw on the front of your lens like a filter. Reversing rings are normally used with a 50mm lens. You literally use the ring to mount the lens backwards on your camera. It’s kind of like looking through binoculars backwards, but instead of stuff getting smaller, it gets bigger.

~ Daniel Kmiecik

InspireMe Monday ~ Music Helps

Last Day of a Black-eyed Susan

Last Day of a Black-eyed Susan
This Black-eyed Susan kept well in a vase for well over a week. The blend of the colors in the petals as it started to wilt were very interesting.


This is one song in a playlist I call InspireMe. How does it relate to this photo? Everybody creates photos of beautiful flowers in their prime. I went against the grain to show the beauty of a flower past its prime.

Against the Grain by Garth Brooks

Be a rebel, try something different instead of what everybody else is doing or what is expected. You might surprise yourself.

~ Daniel Kmiecik

Thoughtful Thursday ~ What Makes it Art?

Emerging Hydrangea Leaf

“Emerging Hydrangea Leaf”

Closeup or an emerging leaf on our hydrangea bush.


Yesterday I mentioned that I couldn’t recreate my photo “Forest Fire” again if my life depended on it. In my post “Thoughtful Thursday ~ Art is Serendipitous” I said creating art should not be a consistent and predictable process, that it should come from the heart. So the question is, What makes art, art?

I struggle with this question because I don’t believe as photographers we should have to defend our work as art. It’s not as if I’m making something up from thin air and painting it on a canvas. I’m not chipping away at a block of marble and deciding as I go how perfect to make a human form. I’m not even putting a bunch of, what others might call trash, together in some “meaningful” way. I’m starting out with something that actually exists, right there in front of my camera lens. The fact that my brush, chisel, welding torch or nail gun aren’t the tools I use to create my artwork does not make it any less a work of art. Just because I choose to use a digital paint brush and manipulate light to bend to my will, I shouldn’t have to defend my tools any more than any other artist.

Time for another quick etymology lesson:

  • art (n.)
    • early 13c., “skill as a result of learning or practice,” from Old French art (10c.), from Latin artem (nominative ars) “work of art; practical skill; a business, craft,”

    The old saying, “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” cannot be more true than when anyone looks at any work of art. Not everyone will like it. So what. I like it. It took creativity and skill to create it. This is what makes art, art.

    ~ Daniel Kmiecik

    Wednesday’s Impressions ~ PhotoFusion “Forest Fire”

    Forest Fire

    “Forest Fire”
    This is a “sandwich” of two photos using the overlay function in Photoshop.


    What the heck is a PhotoFusion? It’s a name I make up for marketing purposes. One problem…it hasn’t caught on…yet.

    What a PhotoFusion really is, is a combination of art photos fused into a new piece of art. Sometimes the resulting artwork resembles its originals and sometimes it doesn’t, like in this case. The two original photos I fused together to create Forest Fire are below. I know, hard to believe this came from those.

    In several previous posts I’ve talked about how to merge photos in Photoshop and some of the things you can do with them. With this PhotoFusion I had a lot more fun. I wasn’t trying to create a representational piece of art. I just started playing with the layers and contrast and filters until I had something I liked. I couldn’t tell you how to recreate this if my life depended on it. This is a piece of art, which I’ll get into more in tomorrow’s post “Thoughtful Thursday ~ What Makes it Art?”.

    In the meantime, please help me promote the word PhotoFusion by reblogging and or sharing this post. Thanks.

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    ~ Daniel Kmiecik