Sunday, August 28, 2011

Introducing Fine Art/ Nature Wallpapers Set 2 by Rhonda Holcomb

Announcing: Set 2 of Digital Wallpapers by Rhonda Holcomb are available for purchase.  Download just one or download the entire set by clicking the buy button and then scroll down to
All Digital Downloads
This set has a fiery theme.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Yay! It finally rained.

Yesterday, Betty and I went on a photo adventure and decided to go to Brazos Bend State Park. We were there only 30 min when the storm clouds rolled in. Yay! It finally rained in Brazoria County! Everyone was happy! My camera isn't waterproof so being the practical one, I put a garbage bag over my head to protect my gear. It was fun and you really do see differently when only looking through one eye.

I didn't have a smaller bag or I would have put it over the camera.
It was a fun filled day and the rain was a welcome refreshment. :-)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Working For The Weekend

I spent the weekend practicing with and using my new extension tubes.
I'm so excited about my new extension tubes but I'll blog more about that at a later date.
Right now, I'm posting my entry into Brian Matiash's contest that he's having over at Google +
The winner gets a free copy of the onOne Perfect Photo Suite

Thanks Brian!

P.S. I used your texture brush on several of these images.

Here's my entry

Working For The Weekend

From Movies

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Breaking rule # 5 and finding my style

I took this picture after a night of skating with family at our local skating rink. Some of the rules would still be relevant for today's youth, but I think it's time to update their sign. :)
I couldn't imagine my boys skating with tucked in shirt tails because tucked in shirt tails are for Church, not the skating rink!!!
I couldn't imagine myself wearing a shirt with it buttoned all the way to top either because that’s just way too restrictive. Choke, choke!

RULES and Finding my Style
If I were to go back in time to 1978 I'd imagine this rule was broken by a lot of roller skaters. Why? It was probably outdated even at that time. I'd imagine some of the rules were strictly enforced while others were overlooked, depending on who was managing the rink that night. If it were a religious person managing the rink, then they wouldn't have put up with a 1978 Disco Dancing stud with his shirt unbuttoned half way down to his belly button.  However, if it was a cool cat running the rink, then he would have overlooked it.

How does this relate to finding my style? The past couple of weeks I've been trying to write a good "About Me" section on my website. I don't know if other photographers and artists have the same problem but I'm finding it very difficult to describe who I am and what my style is in a few sentences. I have looked at others websites and some describe their style in that section, when I get to that part I become stuck and can't continue. Well, after taking this picture, combined watching two movies where the main characters discover who they are, I've found out a little about myself.

I like rules! Rules are my friend :-) Rules guide and direct me but most importantly if I follow them I stay out of trouble. I’ve always been a rule follower and it’s helped me out in photography.
But when I first started out, I didn’t know the rules. I didn’t have any restrictions. I just had fun and played! I played with settings, played with angles, and (gasp) I didn’t use a tripod. Those were fun times, for sure.
Back then, I posted one of my pictures of a sunset which I felt was beautiful and someone made a comment that they liked the tilted horizon.  Huh? What is tilting? I didn't even know what they were talking about, so I researched and found out that there were rules for Sunsets, several in fact.

What was I to do with these new rules? I learned them is what I did. I put them into practice, but at the time it seemed to hinder the creative process took the fun out of it.
I was used to just going out with a curious eye and capturing a moment and a mood.   Now, I was forced to slow down, remember the rule and still make a pretty picture.
It was extremely difficult at first to be creative. However, after a while of practice, eventually I began to take the rules and combine them with my creativity.  As time went on,  the blending of the two became a natural thing.  It felt wonderful to take my new learned skill and create even something more beautiful to me than before I knew the rule.
Now days when I approach a sunset picture, I know not to put the horizon in the middle but I still tilt it if I want. :)

Maybe there’s a rule about TILTING but those who like tilting will overlook the rule, right?

I’d love to hear how you came up with an “About Me” section on your website or blog.
Did you include your style or just list the obvious like you’re a photographer, where you’re from and what you do.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The LookOut



This week while I looking through my Lightroom catalog, I came across this cool picture that was taken a couple of years ago.  I’m glad I did, because this sign is now gone and all that is left is a sad pile of lumber.
This was a sign painted on the side of what used to be a popular, local hangout at Surfside, Beach in the 19 Eighties.  I was a teenager in the crazy eighties, but unlike other teenagers from my town, I wasn’t allowed to go to THE LOOKOUT.

 I wished I had checked out the happening place when I was younger because of all the wild and funny stories which I had heard from the older, cool kids.  Unfortanetly I didn’t get the chance until I reached my early 30s and all I can say is I was disappointed because it was dark, silent and there were only two people inside, the bartender and a patron.  Before while in its prime, I heard that partiers would dance the night away to songs like Wipeout, but now the only person who was wiped out was the guy sitting at the bar.

Several years later I ran across this place again while out on a picture adventure with my photographer buddies.  The building with the cool sign were still there but no one was home.  The erosion had torn down the pier that reached out to the water and the building was decorated with graffiti. Then, last week after enjoying an evening of boogie boarding at Surfside Beach, we drove by this place and I almost missed it because there was nothing left but a sad pile of lumber

Today, as I reflect back by looking at this picture of a place that was and is no more, I realize some important things and want to share especially with those of you who are just starting out and learning the craft of photography. 

Determine to become the best you can be but don’t let it consume you to the point where you burn out.  Take it slow and master one thing at a time.  Start with the basics like camera controls, focus and settings.  Master one technique before going to the next technique.  After you have the basics mastered,
GET OUT of your comfort zone. Explore the unfamiliar with camera in hand and practice your mastered technique on something new and interesting.  You’ll find that firsthand experience hammers the nail of your technique into your being not just brain. 
Turn Out  only your best work for the world to see and keep your mess ups for your own eyes only.  Yes, I know it feels good when all the things you’ve learned start to click so naturally you want to share what you’ve captured.  But you must resist to
put out
every shot that you take.  Remember this-you’ll get even better with more time and in time those pictures that were blurry and out of focus will be ones that you’ll wish were for only your eyes to see.
Check Out other photographers work and learn from the best.  In the process don’t check out and then quit. 
When I first started in photography, I didn’t know the work of a single famous photographer. Just like an amateur would be, I had a passion to capture the beauty around me and the loved the challenge of learning which actually turned out to be a good thing because when I compared my work to others, I became overwhelmed with inadequacies and then felt like hiding in a cave.
I thought to myself ‘why would anyone want to see a picture that I took of a flower or bird when hundreds of other photographers had already taken pictures of the same subject and did a technically better job than I could’.

Thankfully, the passion for learning and curiosity kept me from hiding and I continued on by reading tutorials, practicing, and shared and received Shout Outs in the form of feedback on SmugMug . Click Link to try SumMug

After several months of posting pictures, receiving and giving feedback,
I decided to
Break Out
by entering a contest with my best picture.  I struggled with putting myself out there at first, but finally decided what could it hurt-it was free to enter and if I didn’t win, then no harm done.  Well, to my surprise, my picture won.  Sadly though, before I knew I won, I received two terrible emails sent through my Smugmug site written in capitals of HOW bad I was, how horrible my photography was and how I should just throw my camera in a lake. I didn’t understand until later that these guys were called trolls, which showed just how new I was to the online world of photography.
Let's Spend It Together by Happenings Photography 8x10 Version
BREAK OUT but don’t
Wipe out your wallet.  With all the excitement of winning, I almost broke the bank by going out and buying all the equipment I thought I needed to impress and shoot with Rick Sammon, and Scott Bourne then only to find out that I brought more than was actually needed. 
It’s okay to invest money in basic equipment, but wait until you’re further down the track to buy more.  Believe me, your sanity and pocket book will thank you later.

Take TIME OUT to be thankful and share what you’ve learned with others along the way. 

I’m thankful that I won the trip to Washington not only because I had the opportunity to learn from the best but because I also learned several valuable lessons. 

One of them is-
Don't Hide Out and keep on shooting because
It’s not about how big your camera bag or wallet is that matters most-
but it’s what is in your heart, and the willingness to share it.   

I would love to hear from you...What kind of experiences have you had in life when you wanted to quit but didn't and what was it that cheered you on?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Introducing Fine Art Nature Wallpapers by Rhonda Holcomb

Several people have requested that I make my fine art and nature images available as wallpaper for their phone, so I have created a gallery set with 6 fine art nature images.
Purchase just one or download the entire set by clicking the buy button and then scroll down to
All Digital Downloads.

Hope you enjoy!

Fine Art Nature Wallpapers

Thursday, August 4, 2011

you don't have too go to far to enjoy the chase

Chasing the Texas Sunset
Chasing The Texas Sunset by Rhonda Holcomb ©2011 Panoramic, H.D.R.

"Adventure can be an end in itself. Self-discovery is the secret ingredient that fuels daring. --Grace Lichtenstein"

The inspiration behind the image Chasing The Texas Sunset 

You don't have to go too far to chase your dreams because sometimes 
fulfillment lies right outside your front door.  

I found this to be true one March evening after spending a dreadful day inside tackling taxes. I had put off three years of taxes while following my passion, photography.  I’ve enjoyed every minute while on my adventure but in the meantime a lot of other things were left undone.  I am this way in pursuit of most of my enjoyable endeavors.  I’m the type of person who gives a hundred percent to anything in which I find curious, enjoyable or entertaining.  But here lately, I’ve been trying to balance all the roles in my life more effectively. 
Anyway on this day, what I would like to call the Procrastination Monster, had taken a big bite out of my sanity.  I know that I had deserved the attack but still I wanted to save myself so late that evening I packed up my camera bag, tripod, and the song I had been listening all day, Foreplay/Longtime by Boston and headed down a familiar road.  

It’s not a destination that landscape photographers would find interesting, but it’s a place which I have found, where during springtime, I can capture a beautiful Texas Sunset.  It’s down a china berry tree lined, dead end road only about a mile from my home.  As I traveled down the road and listened to Foreplay/Longtime, my imagination wandered with the lyrics and my heart beat raced at the thought of the challenge I was about to undertake. 

Challenges and good music always get my heart racing.  I stepped out of my van, looked down the road to see if anyone was coming my way.  Then I left the door opened so I could hear the song and breathed out a long sigh and looked at the western sky.  The clouds were singing along with Boston and I knew this was going to be a perfect sunset.  I set up my tripod, put my camera on manual focus and set up my shot for a H.D.R.- Panoramic.  I knew I wanted the sun to have a star-burst effect so I set f-stop on F11.  I also wanted to silhouette the fencepost so I set my ISO at 100 and the metering mode to pattern.  I set up my composition, set my bracketing to one step over and under, plugged in the remote shutter and the show began as the sun started sitting in the horizon.  I shot several frames in horizontal and then in vertical in three stops for H.D.R. 

It seemed like time slowed down just for me while the lyrics, I’m taking my time, I’m just moving along played in the background.  :-)

After the show was over and the sun set behind the fencepost, I packed up my gear really knowing in my soul that I didn’t have to travel to a places like Switzerland or Africa in order to create wonderful images.  I could create and capture images with a since of mystery, mood and music within a mile of my home because it’s what’s in my heart and mind that truly shines through and sings out to the world. 

On this day, a day of running from the Procrastination Monster and insanity, I also found that you don’t have to go too far to enjoy the chase and getting away to pursue what you love doesn’t have to take a long time because sometimes  it’s just right outside your front door