iPhoneography: Bradford pear blooms

3 04 2018

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved. iPhone 7Plus / Snapseed app borders

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iPhoneography: Freeway sentinels

7 02 2018

Playing with Snapseed and Distressed FX apps

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.  iPhone 7Plus

Birds on Wire

 





Guest Post! Capturing the Beauty of Your Garden

24 09 2013

Thanks to my friend and fellow photographer/blogger, Scott Thomas, for inviting me to guest post on his blog. He did a great job laying out all the components for the feature, which was first published in the Summer 2013 issue of Celebrate Home Magazine. You can download all four issues of the magazine FREE on our website at http://www.celebratehomemagazine.com. Print copies (at cost + shipping) are also available and our site will link you to magcloud.com to purchase.

Want a print copy of this article? This feature is available in a 16-page, full-color printed excerpt for just $4.00 plus shipping through http://www.magcloud.com in the link here: http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/602141

Head on over to Scott’s blog, Views Infinitum, to see the post!

http://viewsinfinitum.com/2013/09/20/garden-photography-capturing-the-beauty-of-your-garden/





Announcing Art, Photography and Cooking Workshops in Tuscany in April and May, 2013

16 09 2012

Earlier this year, my friend and fellow artist, Suzy Olsen, invited me to teach photography workshops at her villa in Tuscany. We had originally planned for workshops to happen later this month but the timing was too short for planning, so we moved the date to spring 2013.

Join us in Italy for a feast for the senses!

Spend seven days/eight nights in Tuscany for workshops in watercolor painting and photography, topped off with authentic Italian cooking lessons! Accommodations are in a lovely artist community at the top of a hill overlooking Poppi. The little town of Poppi is located in the beautiful Ortignano Raggiolo region at the center of the Casentino Valley, not far from Florence.

Two dates to choose from: April 19–27 or May 2–10, 2013

Trip includes accommodations, all meals, and daily workshops—watercolor and pen and ink classes with Suzy Olsen each morning; a travel, nature and portrait photography class with me each afternoon, and three authentic Italian cooking classes in the evening with Chef Daniela Cursi.

WORKSHOP INSTRUCTORS

Artist Suzy Olsen will teach you a great way to use watercolor with pen and ink for travel sketches using just the supplies in your backpack. You will learn how to access views and single out what works best—sketching and using your pen, then you can later fill in with watercolor back at the studio where you will utilize photos for reference. Her demos will be done every day to assist you with how to use pen, papers, and watercolor to your best advantage. You can paint with both a notebook and a watercolor paper pad, and are encouraged to further your creativity in the studio at the villa. She will share her paintings and demonstrate watercolor and sketching techniques during the morning hours.

Graphic designer, avid blogger and award-winning photographer Cindy Dyer will show you how to capture the beauty of the Tuscan countryside with your camera including landscapes, nature, still life and portraits. You’ll learn about composition, depth of field and lighting and receive hands-on, personalized instruction in every session. Cindy will review your digital images throughout the week so you can improve your skills with each session. She will show you how to combine your watercolor paintings, sketches and photographs with narrative and captions to create an online blog or publish a travel journal with magcloud.com.

Chef Daniela Cursi has spent more than 20 years mastering traditional Tuscan cuisine and has worked as a chef since 1998. She will prepare our food and teach us how to make our favorite Tuscan meals such as homemade pasta and wood-fired pizza. She has mastered the local cuisine of the Casentino Valley near Poppi and Arezzo, which is famous for lasagna and ravioli. During late afternoons, Chef Daniela will host three cooking classes in which she will focus on these areas:

Homemade Pastas—You’ll learn how to roll it out using fresh country eggs to make the classic noodles: raviolis and lasagnas. Chef Daniela will also teach you how to create pestos and vegetable- and meat-based sauces.

Vegetables and Roasting Meat—You’ll learn to use fresh vegetables in side dishes and salads and how to grill meat over an open fire. Chef Daniela will share how the locals prepare wonderful appetizers—the traditional way to start a great meal!

Pizzas—You’ll learn how to make homemade pizzas using wood fire and desserts using pastries. You’ll see firsthand how beautiful simple food can be. We embellish with good wines from the area, and we’ll sample cheeses, local delicacies, sweets and more.

QUESTIONS? Contact Suzy directly via e-mail at suzy2art@gmail.com or text her cell phone at 210.556.8909 for more information. Contact me at dyerdesign@aol.com or call 703.971.9038.

For more details, download the preliminary brochure by clicking this link here: Tuscany Workshops

If you are unable to download the brochure, please e-mail Cindy at dyerdesign@aol.com and I will send you the brochure electronically.





A meeting of creative minds

8 01 2012

On Wednesday morning I drove from San Antonio to Austin to visit my friends Brian and Shirley Loflin. The next day I had the pleasure of lunch at P.F. Chang’s in Austin on Thursday with four fellow creatives.

BRIAN LOFLIN
Brian is my former boss, photography mentor and friend of more than 25 years. He is a freelance photographer and photography instructor in Austin and his career spans more than four decades in the advertising, aviation, bio-medical and publishing industries. Brian is past president of the Minnesota Nature Photographers and founder and current president of the Austin Shutterbug Club. He is a photography instructor in the Informal Classes program at the University of Texas at Austin.

Brian and his wife, Shirley, actively teach and conduct seminars and workshops in many areas of photography. They authored, produced and photographed Grasses of the Texas Hill Country and Texas Cacti, two photographic field guides for Texas A&M University Press and available at most booksellers. They have just completed text and photography for their next book, Texas Wildflower Vistas and Hidden Treasures, also by Texas A&M University Press.

Visit Brian’s natural science photography blog here. You’ll find his commercial work here. In his other business, The Nature Connection, he provides photography and digital imaging services to biologists, professionals, educators and others involved in the natural sciences. He is also available for workshops, seminars and presentations, as well as group and one-on-one training in nature photography, macro/close-up photography, beginning digital photography, field photography and composition and light.

STEVEN SCHWARTZMAN
Austin photographer Steven Schwartzman began his blog, Portraits of Wildflowers, just eight months ago. He commented on my blog many months ago and we formed a sort of mutual admiration society and have kept in touch ever since. His work is beautiful and many times I have said to myself, “I would have shot that one just like he did.” I think that his style, composition and capture of light is so similar to mine.

I e-mailed him when I left Virginia and asked if he would like to get together for lunch when I came up to Austin. It was then that I discovered that he also knew Brian through the Austin Shutterbug Camera Club and the Native Plant Society. He said he was surprised to learn, via my blog posts last March after I visited Brian in Austin for a Joe McNally / Dave Hobby workshop on the Flash Bus Tour, that I had known Brian for more than 20 years!

Steven’s photography has been published numerous times in Texas Highways magazine. In 2007, his photograph of a basket-flower was one of a hundred finalists in Parade magazine’s photo contest on the theme “Celebrate America’s Beauty.” In 2009 and 2010, he was commissioned to provide all the photographs and text for three laminated wildflower guides for Quick Reference Publishing. He has contributed more than 200 photographs to the native plant database of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. His other interests include natural foods and language. I particularly enjoy his fascination with words in his other blog, Spanish-English Word Connections. He has written an excellent tutorial about his photography techniques on his blog here.

From Steven’s blog:
I grew up on Long Island and went to college at Columbia University, where I majored in French. Upon graduation I spent 1968 and 1969 as a Peace Corps math teacher in Honduras; I learned that I was good not only at math (which I knew) but also at teaching it (which I’d had no reason to suspect). It was also in Honduras that I learned the rudiments of photography and got my first “real” camera, a Pentax Spotmatic. In the late 1970s and early 1980s I did a fair amount of art photography and eventually published three books of 3-D infrared photographs. The combination of 3-D and black-and-white infrared was an unusual one but I was fond of it, at least in part because it was unique. My book
Bodies of Light won an award from the Printing Industries of America in 1981.

I moved to Austin on July 6, 1976, two days after my birthday and the 200th anniversary of American independence. In my early years in Texas I did some landscape photography, still primarily in black and white infrared. I was an early adopter of digital photography: in 1999 I launched into a project to produce a photographic CD documenting the Austin area. In the process, I grew increasingly aware of and captivated by the many species of native plants that grow here; they became and remain my primary photographic subject.

It was such a treat being able to meet Steven in person. He is the first fellow blogger I’ve officially met in person and likewise for him! I’m hoping to be able to do a mini photo field trip with Steven in Austin before I head back to Virginia later this month.

SONYA MENDEKE
Sonya Mendeke, a freelance print and web designer living in Austin, is my former college classmate, one-time roommate and lifelong friend. You can see her design work on her newly-redesigned website here. Her hobbies include painting, sculpting and photography. You can see her graphic design work here. She also created whimsical and colorful paper clay “Bugs with Attitude” as well as birdhouses and plant pots.

During our lunch, I shared one of my favorite memories of Sonya. When we were both in college, I lived with her in a large two-bedroom apartment not far from the university. Both of us made extra spending money by doing odd freelance illustration jobs. At some point Sonya connected with a cattleman who wanted her to do drawings of his prize sire bulls for a catalog he was publishing. She showed him her portfolio and one of her illustrations was done in an illustration method called stippling. Wikipedia identifies stippling as “the creation of a pattern simulating varying degrees of solidity or shading by using small dots. … the dots are made of a pigment of a single colour, applied with a pen or brush; the denser the dots, the darker the apparent shade—or lighter, if the pigment is lighter than the surface.” Folks, we’re talking thousands upon thousands of dots to create one illustration. Thousands.

The cattleman loved the stippling style and asked her to replicate it on at least a dozen or more illustrations. She recalls being offered something like $300 for the project. Since we’re talking early 80s, I’m quite certain it wasn’t $300 per illustration. It was most likely that much for the entire portfolio of drawings. With dollars signs in her twinkling brown eyes, Sonya jumped into the project immediately.

It wasn’t long before I heard sailor-worthy words muttered from her bedroom studio, occasionally drowned out only by the never-ending tap-tap-tap of her trusty India-ink-filled Rapidograph pen. Night after night I would find her, mechanical pen in one hand, cigarette in the other, endless cups of coffee nearby, stippling into the wee hours of the morning—exhausted, hopped up on caffeine and almost losing her (creative) mind. The illustrations were wonderful and she did get paid. Afterward, check in hand, she vowed she would never stipple again, no matter what the compensation. I’m sure that, to this day, she still hears the tap-tap-tap sounds deep in her subconscious. In addition to the stippling method, I doubt that she is so fond of things bovine either.

Two years ago, Sonya was interviewed in a video by Roy Gatling and Austin-Artists.com. You can view that video, Saving the earth, one piece of art at a time, here. Roy Gatling is Senior Manager, Project Management at Dell and the husband of another of my college classmates, Maria Gatling, also an Austin artist. Roy and Maria are the co-founders of Austin-Artists.com and Austin-Architecture.com. Check out Maria’s self-published notebook and workshop titled, Be Inspired—Creative Something Every Day, here and her creativity blog here.

PHIL CHARLTON
Phil is a friend of Brian’s and a professional photographer in Austin. He specializes in architectural interiors, but shoots beautiful landscapes and fine art images as well. I especially love his images of Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas (at left). The chapel looks very much like Garvan Woodland Gardens’ Anthony Chapel in Hot Springs, Arkansas, which I photographed a few years ago on a road trip with my friend Sue.

From Phil’s zenfolio site
(www.philcharlton.zenfolio.com):
I am a native Oklahoman with a Cherokee heritage. After graduating from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1966 with a double major in math and physics, I moved to Texas where I entered the space industry at NASA. During my 17 years at NASA I worked in the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle programs designing and testing many systems essential to space exploration.

I left NASA for a second career in the computer business. I held positions at Compaq and Dell before taking early retirement. It was during my NASA years that a friend influenced me to buy a professional quality camera and that led to my current interest as a professional photographer.

My wife Amanda and I have lived in the Austin area for the past 18 years. We enjoy traveling the world and have visited many exotic locales such as Belize, South and Eastern Africa, United Kingdom, Peru, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, and Canada. The beautiful sites of these distant lands are inspirational to my photography.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





West Virginia wedding

3 02 2010

In 2003 I photographed the wedding of the daughter of some friends in West Virginia. The wedding was held outdoors on their 33-acre farm, and for July, it was remarkably nice weather! The bride’s best friend was supposed to shoot the wedding as a gift to her, but her parents gave her a trip overseas as a graduation present and she just couldn’t pass it up. I had already volunteered to help with decorations and flower arrangements, so my friends asked me if I would consider covering the event for them. I was very happy to do so. It was my first wedding shot in digital format—utilizing my (then new) Fuji S2 camera. I also wanted the opportunity to do some of the more popular and more casual “photojournalistic” style now popular in contemporary weddings. The majority of the 100+ weddings I’ve shot in the past were a bit more traditional (I even had a list of specific poses to cover when I worked for a wedding photographer one summer!). Obviously, I still covered the traditional group shots (just a few are shown below), but I had the freedom to shoot whatever caught my eye, too. Below is collage with just some of hundreds of images I captured that beautiful day.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






What is it about cats and suitcases?

1 06 2008

I just shot some really beautiful photos of orange lilies glistening with drops of water from the afternoon thunderstorm…drops of water on the leaves of the passionflower vine…a rather fat squirrel shimmying away from the bird feeder…and macro shots of my very late-blooming forced daffodils in their mossy container on the front porch with that soft after-the-storm light illuminating the blooms.

After I came in, our cat, ZenaB, settled in for a nap on Michael’s black computer bag, blending right in. I knew I had to get that shot, too! Michael rushed down to get a flash for me and I rattled off several images of her blending into the suitcase.

These images were stunning. You’ll have to take my word for it. I would love to show those images to you, truly I would. But I can’t. They exist only in my head. For the first time in almost five years of shooting digital images, I neglected to actually put a compact flash card into the camera. I shot all of these without “film,” feeling mighty confident that I had captured shots worth blogging about! I’m sure I’m not the first, nor the last, photographer to make this mistake. That wouldn’t have happened in the “old days” with film, I know. Pass the Ginkgo Biloba.

ZenaB, quite settled in, waited patiently while I popped in “film” and got this shot.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.