some favorite photos from the archives...

It’s the week of the 4th of July. The time for vacations, or at the least, a short mid-week break. But I didn’t want to leave you all without something from me this week, so I took a look in my pictures folder to see if I could bring you a couple you might not have seen before.
And yes, that is an egg.

Have a great week, everyone.



a photo before the snow...

...tomorrow is our first snowfall. Or so they say. But it’s looking pretty certain to get a little something. So today I went looking outside near my house and found this. I don’t know what it is, or rather was. I also decided to use my Lensbaby lens today with one of the creative discs (I think it’s the “diamond” one for those interested) and +4 macro . It was this creative disc that gave a wonderful texture to the now-tan-and-dead weeds in the background of the image.
Why so many versions of the same photograph? The original—because I think most of us, whether a photographer or not, are curious to see what the artist started with. The others—just different interpretations. I think the monochrome image is my favorite. But the other two I like as well. Since it’s supposed to snow tomorrow, my plan is to take another image of the same subject with the same lens, etc. So the next post will be “a photo after the snow”. You saw that coming, didn’t you?

When you click on one of the images below, you’ll get a nice full size slideshow. :) If you’re an iPad user, let me know if the slideshow doesn’t work. That will be good to know.)




244/365, originally uploaded by Barb Kellogg.

Can you believe it’s September 1st? (I know some of you don’t receive this until the next day, but I’m sure you were thinking the same thing yesterday.)

I think this was our last hot and humid day of the year. But, it was overcast, so it was perfect for scouting with my camera today. I’m so glad the owners of the vacant lot next to our house don’t mow often, because the best stuff grows over there. Weeds are in the eye of the beholder, right? We can’t all be roses. But I see the roses within the weeds.  :)


crazy with the Lensbaby...

...a few days ago it was nice and overcast, and I just went nuts with my Lensbaby. You know I like to add some textures to some images, but these I did very little processing work to.

The vertical “texture” is from a special creative aperture disk that goes in front of the lens. That’s the one with the lines. The other disk with the holes helps the soft focus be less soft.

And of course a final image made with the Lensbaby is of my dog. No soft focus optic, just the regular outer blur. A few of these images can be purchased over on my website,

I figured since my last post was word-heavy, I’d make this one picture-heavy. :)



110521__DSC3425, originally uploaded by Barb Kellogg.

Via Flickr:
Trying to get the knack of shooting through. Still working on it. :) But thought I’d share a couple of my attempts. There’s more I posted on Flickr. Just click on the photo and you’re there.

By the way, “shooting through” means you’re literally shooting through some of the stuff you’re actually wanting to focus on. In this case, I shoved my camera right on the leaves, then focus ahead on the other leaves.

Capture notes: Lensbaby lens (no aperture ring), minimal post processing.


flowers flowers...

110509__DSC2697wfFLAT, originally uploaded by Barb Kellogg.

Via Flickr:
Visited a friend who has some pretty flowers around her yard. And what do I post? The dead flower head from last year. But I’ve got some others to share. This is just the teaser. :) (And I might still mess with this one. This is the flattened work file—“wfFLAT”—so I’ll look at it again later. Sometimes you see things differently after the photo percolates a bit.)


111/365, originally uploaded by Barb Kellogg.

Via Flickr:
Paph. Lynleigh Koopowitz…more info here ... the greenhouse is in Plymouth, MN—Orchids Limited. Full of orchids! And Jason was nice, knowledgeable, and answered my questions. (So I guess that’s my bit of advertising for them if you live in the Twin Cities area.) But don’t bring your camera…there just isn’t room and too many past photogs were rude and didn’t buy anything. So they now have a no camera rule. Perfectly understandable. This is a business, not a conservatory.

And I love my new plant! Will take more pics when the lighting is better. There is so much fantastic visual interest in this plant!


little sfo...

...soft focus optic, that is.
I was bored watching tv tonight, and my dog was looking cute. And I figured he’s good portrait practice for me. Well, sort of. He doesn’t care if he looks good. But I do! So I wanted to spend some time with my new little lens.

In the living room there are all sorts of visual distractions. The tv stand. A computer armoire. The blinds on the windows. Who wants to see that stuff? No one. The solution? Get in close. Then a little closer. Move the camera around to see how the subject looks. You don’t have to have the camera perfectly horizontal or vertical. Getting rid of the visual clutter applies to most photographs, by the way. (Of course there are always exceptions, not to mention artistic vision.) So after you’ve taken that wide shot, get in closer. Then closer still. The results might surprise you!

I really need to photograph other people’s dogs/pets. I have it too easy with mine. And aren’t you tired of seeing my dog over and over?

Capture notes: Lensbaby Soft Focus Optic; Capture NX2—curve adj, b&w conversion; Nik Filter—Darken/Lighten center


First pics...

110414__DSC1394lr, originally uploaded by Barb Kellogg.

Via Flickr:
Once again, my easy target for the camera. Had to snap a few with my new Lensbaby soft focus optic. The softness in the image is from the lens. I did minimal processing on this.

This will make a great portrait lens…instantly creates a soft, glowy portrait…and far cheaper than botox for softening those fine lines and wrinkles!

Orchid, lovely...

110325__DSC0770, originally uploaded by Barb Kellogg. orchids are blooming! This is one of many shots taken yesterday. And one of my favorites. So soft and glowy, with very little post processing on this. The softness of this image is due to the Lensbaby lens. This can be a frustrating optic, but one gets better using it with practice.

Can’t you see this on your wall somewhere in your home? So, yes, I’ll be adding to my barb kellogg PHOTOGRAPHY website.

One week to go…

101127_DSC_7981, originally uploaded by Barb Kellogg.

…is everyone ready? All the shopping, wrapping, preparing, cleaning…and then POOF the holiday is over.

But here is a little holiday cheer for you. My Christmas Tree to you. (You didn’t think I’d photograph the tree as it literally sits in my living room, did you?

Merry Christmas to all! Just in case I don’t get another blog post out before the 25th.

Capture Notes:
Lensbaby, no aperture ring, defocused


oh baby…


Nope, not crying babies— my Lensbaby lens. Much quieter, and no mess! :) The only noises were from the roosters, cows, and other farm critters nearby.

And can you believe it? I was actually out the door by 7:30 am! It was foggy, and sometimes that can be all sorts of fun for taking pictures. I drove a few miles to find something that I thought could be interesting. These pretty daisies have been blooming in roadside ditches for several weeks now. I think they are so pretty, and they spiff up an otherwise boring roadside or acre of corn.

One of the many things I enjoy about this lens is it forces me to do everything manually with my camera (set the shutter speed, manual focus). The only luxury I have is to be able to preview the photo on a tiny screen on the back of my camera.  So why is that enjoyable? Because it forces me to slow down. Think. And zoom with my feet. This is not a zoom lens, so to get closer, you walk!

I love how the lens blurs all sorts of things in the photo.  And because it was all dewy outside and the sun was still low and diffused by the fog, the lens created all these cool little glowing “bubbles.”



Lots of photos in this post! I know. But one last one of my pup who came along for the ride. He stayed in the car, and when I walked past him, I took this shot through the window. (The reflections are of me and  power lines.)

Have a great week!


Walk the line

Shot this on a drive through rural western Minnesota a week ago. The farmland was freshly tilled. I really like how this is a classic perspective shot, with everything converging at the horizon. This was taken with the Lensbaby lens. I promise I’ll use a different lens soon! :)DSC_7406ppsop



Bought a nice bunch of tulips at a farmers market. This is one of my favorites. Taken with a Lensbaby Composer, no aperture ring. This shoot yielded several nice shots. If you want to see more, just click on the photo of the tulip and it will take you to my photo site.

I’m at the tail end of a photography class that focuses exclusively on using the Lensbaby lens. It’s been a good learning experience—figuring out what subjects and compositions are better than others. And the class gets me using my camera more.