Out and About Photos

Now that summer is approaching, our travel and leisure time away from all the hustle and activities of school, and sports are upon us. This time of year, before the dog days of summer and heat, are the best time in Austin to explore your city.

If you haven’t checked out the National Park IMax movie at the Bob Bullock Museum you need to put it on your list. The Bullock also has a nice photographic exhibit on Big Bend. It is always interesting to see what other travelers and hikers see that you missed.

In  Austin, there are many new street art murals popping up. We have some very talented artists in our city and they need to be documented before they are defaced. austin-street-art-guide.jpg

Here is a quick guide to some of the more famous sites. Infographic courtesy of the freepeople blog. 20160425_151323 - Copy.jpg

I found this one  on Comal and 4th.

Take you phone, lock the focus, and expose for the wall not the light behind it.

Stayed tuned for more tips on taking street art in the next blog. Join us in June for photo editors and photo storage classes.

June 2016

Free Photo Editors
Online Photo Storage
Travel and Technology
Microsoft Outlook: Ask the Expert
Google Office – A Free Alternative
All About Gmail
Microsoft Word: Ask the Expert
Coloring Workshop with Grandkids
Microsoft Windows 10 Introduction
Book Making – Special Effects
Coptic Christians, Who?

Wildflowers are Here


If you live in central Texas this is the best time of year. Indian Paint Brushes, Poppies and Bluebonnets to name a few are in abundance on the highways and in the pastures.

Even if you have hunted down the perfect flower last year, this years crop is different.

For poppies right now, Georgetown and Castroville are in full bloom. Tips on cameras- this one was taken with a phone. Get close, push your finger on the focus spot, wait and then either use a voice command or your ear buds to remotely take the snap.

Here are a few sightings from readers to a site called http://texas.wildflowersightings.org/sightings/202

  • I-20 and Hwy 67 west to 408 – Duncanville, TX
  • Just South of Waxahachie on 287 – Hillsboro, TX
  • TX 16 between Fredericksburg and Llano – Willow City, TX
  • Willow City Loop seems to be spotty at best

TX 16 is on fire according to a report on Facebook

Facebook Wildflower Page

  • Roadsides just before Babyhead Mountain were covered with a mix of bluebonnets and paintbrush. This has expanded over the weekend to include all the way down to the intersection with CR-215.
  • Farther south of Llano along Texas 16 to RR-1323 there are now numerous long stretches of roadside fairly covered with either bluebonnets or a mix. 

Camera Settings

  • When you photograph flowers, shoot in Aperture Priority mode. This enables you to control your depth of field. When you’re shooting lots of wildflowers, you have two options: You can create a photograph where every flower is in sharp focus or where the flowers in front of the scene are in focus and the rest of the image is a dreamy blur.
  • To create the first type of photograph, use a small aperture and focus one-third to halfway into the field of wildflowers. This ensures that the entire field of flowers will be in focus.
  • Create a dreamy look by shooting with a large aperture (small f-stop number). Focus on the flowers nearest the camera, and the distant flowers will be a creamy blur.
  • Use a fast shutter speed as the wind is always blowing and you can stop the action.
  • Bring a prop.chair

Or better yet, take a seminar in the Shooting of Wildflowers on

April 25th http://www.agecomputer.org/seminars0/wildflower.php

See you in class after you go out and about and enjoy our spring.

Spring has arrived in the lab.

Now that April is upon us I wish I had spent more time learning Simple Record Keeping. I promise before tax time next year to take one of our Excel or Record Keeping classes.

Along the sidewalk into our computer lab, there is a row of iris. After 15 years, I can’t remember them being this pretty. If photography is your thing, come to our class on April 6th at 10 to learn how to take close up and other type of flower shots. We will use a variety of lens, including Lens Baby. Flowers will be outside as well as inside. 20150209_123741 (3)

If you like to take photos with your phone, especially for flowers, use a selfie stick to get down low and a remote. Your back camera is anywhere from 8 to 13 megapixels on your phone. Your front camera (selfie) is only 1 to 3 megapixels. Put the phone on the selfie stick and use it as an extension of your arm. Remember to point it at the flower.  Tanga, an online retail store, has selfie sticks with remotes for $8.99.

Favorite f stop for me for flowers  is f-8 to f-11 for the sharpest image. The smaller apertures require no wind ( f22) but will give you that blur background and nice effect. If the wind is blowing, try using a foam board to block it, up your ISO to 400 or 800 even if it is a sunny day and use a faster shutter speed.

Speaking of shutter speed, we have two classes to help you decide if 1/125 is best or 1/ 25 or 1/ 2500 . Doug and Kathy are offering shutter speed classes this month. One will be inside and Doug’s will be an outside field trip.  When you are finished taking photos we need you back in the lab for computer work. The Plug-In Club has a few openings left and Corel Paint Shop Pro Editing club also has openings. See the flower below that has phone apps , layering from Corel, and plug-ins. So much fun after the shot…

Julia is stopping by to share her knowledge of iPhone medical apps just in time for your vacations. Last time I went to the emergency room, I was searching for all of my information. Wish I had taken the time to input the doctors, the medicines, and specialties BEFORE I had my unexpected visit .

If you like to write about your flower experience , see you in the Advanced Word class taught by Rod especially for writers and bloggers. Wouldn’t a poem or motivational quote make a complement for your photography?flower spring.

If you have any special request classes for example, genealogy, video memories, travel blogs, phone apps, Word classes, Windows,Photoshop classes, please let us know. Drop a line or two in the comments. I would love to hear from you. Our lab is here to help you navigate the technology available.