52 Week Challenge

52 Weeks of Susan's Life


Week 32 #1 Zoom Burst

Zoom Burst, Flowers, Zoom

Zoom burst photography, also known as zoom blur photography is a photographic technique that is achieved with a zoom lens that has a zoom ring, by zooming in or out during the time when the shutter is open.  I purchased a vase of artificial flowers in shades of pink that have fooled a few house guests into thinking they were real!  I decided to use this subject for my zoom photo.  In addition to the flowers, I incorporated the clear vase and the stems for additional visual interest.  I used my Nikon D7100 with my 28-300 mm lens with the camera on a tripod.   I set my aperture to f8 and my shutter speed to 4 seconds.  This technique requires a longer shutter speed to give you time to manually zoom the lens while the shutter is open.  I also added a flash which was set on rear sync which allows the flash to fire at the end of the exposure.  I was happy with the results but as with most photography, the beauty is in the eye of the artist.  Personally I liked the abstract quality of the image.  I think this would be an interesting exercise at night with car lights or street lights.  I hope to try this again.



Week 31 #40 Wild Card

Magnolia, Magnolia Flowers, Ring of Magnolias, life of Magnolia

The Magnolia trees are in full bloom in my neighborhood.  This year, it seems that the bud no sooner blooms when it begins to turn brown and die.  I thought I would demonstrate the life cycle of these magnificent flowers through a photograph.  The circle begins with the buds and progresses to the dying bloom.  This flat lie was shot with my Nikon D850, 35mm, f8, ISO 100 and SS 250.   I used a OCF with a white umbrella and a white reflector board. I did a quick edit in LR and then took it into Topaz Impressions for a creative touch.


Week 30 #4 Wild Card

Magnolia, Flowers, White Flower, Florida Flower

I love this time of year because the Magnolia trees are blooming in my neighborhood.  They are so versatile to photograph in their blooming stages.  I often photograph them in natural light and in studio lighting.  I will use a single bloom, buds, new blooms and also a dying flower which I find very interesting. This flower was taken with natural light in a black box which allows for selective lighting.  I did in-camera focus stacking with about 30 images.


Week 29 #14 Humor


My sweet granddaughters were visiting for Easter this past week. We ventured out to Urfer Park for a photo shoot. They were cooperative inspite of being separated from their newly filled Easter baskets. Towards the end of the shoot, they were getting a bit tired and silly but it gave me a perfect opportunity to take a humorous photo of them.

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Week 28 #34 Squares


On a recent photography trip to Death Valley we visited Rhyolite, NV which is a ghost town in Rye County in NV. The town began in early 1905 as one of several mining camps that sprang up after a prospecting discovery in the surrounding hills. During an ensuing gold rush,  thousands of gold-seekers, developers, miners and service providers flocked to the Bullfrog Mining District. Many settled in Rhyolite, which lay in a sheltered desert basin near the region’s biggest producer, the Montgomery Shoshone Mine.

The town did not last long – the  decline coming after ore production was exhausted and the financial panic of 1907  By 1920, Rhyolite was a ghost town with its buildings deteriorating and becoming shells.

The tallest building in Rhyolite was the Cook Bank building which cost its owner $90,000 to build. It was the largest building in town, with two vaults, Italian marble floors, mahogany woodwork, electric lights, running water, telephones and indoor plumbing. It was the first business to close in Rhyolite, shutting its doors in 1910.

The square window spaces  with the brilliant blue sky streaming through was the perfect opportunity to fulfill this weeks “square” challenge.

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Week 28 #31 Eye Lines

Sand Hill Crane, Baby Sand Hill Cranes, Celery Fields, SarasotaSand Hill Crane babies are all over the area this time of year. I enjoy photographing them and watching their interactions with their parents.  They are simply adorable.  On a recent trip to the Celery Fields I came across this family of Sand Hill Cranes.  It’s amazing how instinctive they are in regard to feeding and searching for food.  On this occasion it seemed that the Mom was trying to show them the way of spiking her beak into the ground in search of beetles and other insects.  She must have seen a juicy bug and was encouraging her offspring to find the unlucky critter.  All of their eyes were intently focused on one spot in the ground.  I love that they are all looking in the same direction which gave me the opportunity to have three eye lines where there is no mistake where they are looking.

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Week 27 #11 Golden Ratio

Big Horned Sheep, Valley of Fire, Overton NV

This shot was taken on a recent trip to Death Valley CA. On our journey home we stopped at The Valley of Fire State Park in Overton NV.  We were hoping to catch sight of the Big Horned Sheep and on the way out we spotted them and were able to take a few shots.  In culling through my shots I realized that cropping with the Golden ratio in mind is a powerful composition tool. The Golden Ratio provides a more balanced composition which is more pleasing to the viewers eye. It provides both balance and harmony to  your photos.  I now have my crop overlay set to the Golden Ratio!