For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery. Note that the SmugMug Gallery has additional photos not shared in this post.   

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the upper-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

On June 7th, I happened to be out on the patio refreshing the birdbaths when I noticed a lot of activity on one of the shrubs.

Bug activity. Well, shoot! I’d not done a bug safari in a long time, so I went in and got me the D7500, strapped the 105mm f/2.8 Macro, and went back out to shoot me some photos. Over 200, to be precise, in two sessions totaling eleven minutes. 

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery (slide show by clicking THIS<<link). 

When you click the links, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button near the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: Above the play/pause button there’s the option to go full screen. Most of these look really good viewed full screen. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

If I’m outside, odds are I’ll be snapping a photo or two. Sometimes it’s just mundane stuff, and other times, it’s flowers.

For them not interested in reading, you can see photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery. 

When you click the links, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button near the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: Above the play/pause button there’s the option to go full screen. Most of these look really good viewed full screen. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

Them who might have noticed me not doing much online these past four days probably knew I was traveling. Them who didn’t notice me not doing much online these past four days probably don’t read my blog.

Well, I was traveling, and when I travel, I travel with my photography equipment (plus the phone camera).

I’m still busy, but I took the time to output a few photos; a sample of Note 20 photos and D7500 captures.

Let’s begin with some flowers from the memorial we had for Pops . . .

Nothing fantastic, but I was happy with these photos pretty much as they came right out of the Note 20 Ultra (I added the dark framing and a minor auto-tweak in Lightroom that barely touched the photos).

The “Z” stories voting block is live and running . . . and not getting much love (votes). Likely, it’s because so much time had passed between the end of the “Y” stories and this round, the last of the Alphabet Challenge.

That’s right . . . as a reminder to them for whom it may not have registered, this is the last round of the challenge — hard to believe three writers wrote 26 short stories each and posted them all here, for all to read. For them who procrastinate, this really is the last chance they will have to participate in voting for their favorite.

If you’ve been a loyal reader of our offerings and someone who votes, you have the writer’s unending gratitude.

Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge Z-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Thursday, April 8th, 2021.

So, Note 20 Ultra . . . .

Once again, these are presented without any editing on my part . . . no post-processing of any kind . . . and today I want to address macro photography with the Note 20 Ultra.

The “W” stories are jockeying for the top spot with just six days — or five days , depending on how one counts them — before the voting closes.

We often have a rash of last-minute votes, so it’s still anyone’s guess which story will win the round. Reader’s choices have surprised me a number of times before, and also how narrow the margins of victories have been in many recent rounds. It bolsters the argument that in these voting rounds, a single vote — and sometimes one more — determines the outcome, so consider participating.

If you’re a reader of our stories and someone who votes, the writers wish to express their gratitude and appreciation. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge W-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Monday, January 25th, 2021.

So, gourds . . .

These were all photographed on the Note 8 at an orchard in Michigan during our September visit with friends and family.

The name might seem odd to new subscribers, but the title will make sense to long-time subscribers because I’ve done one of these before . . . this is a post about future posts that will show past stuff.

I mentioned in the last post that I aim to change (reduce) the number of ‘reminder to vote’ posts. I also aim to reduce the number of blogs I subscribe to.  That process will be painful, but many of the blogs I’m currently following I originally did so because of something that was useful or interesting to me, and — for some blogs — that has changed to just being a habit without much benefit.

I rather follow fewer bloggers and have meaningful interaction than follow a lot of bloggers and have interactions equivalent to a nod you give a stranger as you pass them on the street.

. . . and yes, I expect I’ll lose some followers who will either be upset I unsubscribed, or will forget about me because they’ll no longer see me on their blogs. Again, meaningful engagement is the key, and even then, I want more time to do my own thing, and right now I’m keeping up with too many blogs (if I subscribe, I read the blogs), and that means I often can’t do justice to all the blogs I’m following.

. . . it’s gonna be tough, I tell you what.

Anyway, on to future past stuff . . .

So, I have a lot of photos I’d like to share. Some are new, like the above.

“What is it?” you ask.

Tomorrow, the Alphabet Challenge “R” Stories voting round closes at Noon, Central time (Chicago time). For them who have patiently waited until the last minute before voting, behold! . . . it is nearly here.

If you are a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge R-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link Votes will be accepted until noon on October 20th.

And now, onto a few photos for them who already voted (or have not voted and don’t plan to vote) . . .

A cone flower artified

That would be a cone flower adorned by a bug . . .

Two more days . . . that’s how much longer the Alphabet Challenge “R” Stories voting round is open.  

If you are a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge R-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link Votes will be accepted until noon on October 20th.

And now, onto a few photos . . .

I’m really sleepy, so just one more . . .

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.

For a SmugMug slideshow click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos as this will pause the slideshow.

If you manually scroll, you can click anywhere on the photo to get the 100% view of the photo. The cursor will change from a (+) to a hand symbol and you can click-and-hold to drag the view. Click again to zoom out.

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

The “L” Stories voting could use a bit more participation, and that’s what the writers are hoping for the coming week. 

If you lead a blissful life, you probably need to temper said life with a bit of a bother, like reading three stories by unknowns. You can find links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge L-Stories” HERE.<<<Link

 . . . as usual, the final variant of a subject is when I go all artsy on them (I use Topaz Labs plugins for all these).

I’m in a hurry, so I’m just dumping a gallery below and forego all my usual witty banter.

The “L” Stories voting had a momentary swell of activity (three votes) before falling back to dormant status.

I’d like to think it’s because of my promoting efforts, but I think it’s friends of the twins who account for most of the activity (note to self: get some friends of my own . . . but not too many).

If your life feels devoid of meaning and purpose and you want to spice it up, you can find links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge L-Stories” HERE.<<<Link

Not saying reading these stories and voting will improve your life, but stranger things have happened, so I’d say it’s worth a shot.

 . . . for them who don’t know, once I post a set of photos, I’m likely to post variants (see previous posts). In this case, I again decided to go monochromatic. Specifically, on the photos of the clematis seed head.

Wait . . . why two versions of the same photo?

The “L” Stories voting has ground to a halt.

I don’t think that COVID-19 resurgence, social unrest, impending economic catastrophe, impending climate catastrophe, a government at odds with itself and its constituents, and global tensions are affecting people’s motivation to vote, so I’m at a loss as to why we’ve stalled.

If you’re bored and you want to participate in the process, you can find links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge L-Stories” HERE.<<<Link

Clicking on the above link will take you to the post with the poll where you can cast your vote. The post also contains links to the individual stories.

So . . . for them who don’t know, a clematis <<link flower looks something like this . . .

That’s a photo I snapped with my phone in my yard, literally a few days ago.

The “L” Stories voting has stalled, but you can be the one to kickstart it back to life. If that sounds like a mission you’re willing to accept, you can find links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge L-Stories” HERE.<<<Link

Clicking on the above link will take you to the post with the poll where you can cast your vote. The post also contains links to the individual stories, in case you’ve yet to read them. Hint: read them all before voting. After voting, readers can — if so moved — spread the news about the story to friends and family. Or, not. But, we hope for yes.

So . . . the rock (geode<<link) I’ve been sharing — while interesting — ain’t exactly in the same league as geodes showcased in photos and museums. Not wanting my rock to come down with an inferiogeode complex, so I treated the photos to a bit of Topaz Labs Restyle plugin . . .

Whereas before we showcased shape and texture, these treatments are all about the colors.

We’re almost at the halfway mark for the “L” Stories voting round. If you want to participate, you can find links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge L-Stories” HERE.<<<Link

Clicking on the above link will take you to the post with the poll where you can cast your vote. The post also contains links to the individual stories. After voting, readers can — if so moved — spread the news about the story to friends and family. Or, not. But, we hope for yes.

So . . . yesterday’s rock got treated to some Nik Collection Silver Efex Pro 2 . . .

Once again, I think the monochrome treatment enhances all that texture and shapes, making it easier to “see” faces and figures on a surface that reminds me of a representation of Dante’s Inferno.