My photo blog… visual thoughts around me.



The opportunity to take pictures sometimes can be both thought-provoking and time sensitive. I very rarely turn down an invite. Pat Worley, the SJCC’s trips coordinator, was told about a possible field trip to the Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge in Medford,NJ. Pat, being the organizational wiz she is, set a date and 19 of us participated.

I quickly found myself immersed in the background of the refuge and its inhabitants. Cedar Run takes in injured and abandoned wildlife. Their goal is to rehabilitate the hurt creatures and return them to the wild. Many times the animals cannot be returned because of severe enough injuries that would keep them from fending for themselves.

Our group split and took turns shooting the different species that were available. When viewing them through my lens, I found myself captivated by their  gaze. I tried different angles to get that special composition that would spotlight the subject. This isolation proved to be just what I was looking for. You can truly form both an appreciation and attachment to the subject and its surroundings.

Upon returning home to start the editing and developing process, I thought of the other photographers and what they were seeing. I then chose to transform my images into variations of the same picture. From black and white to HDR and even a sketch and watercolor finish, this metamorphosis from one image to another brought me back to the live animal I found originally staring at me through the lens. I felt reinvigorated by seeing different takes of the same subject.

See which one moves you, and touches your soul… it’s all in the eyes of the beholder.

The slideshow below shows the transitions of each subject. To stop the slides… just click the arrows.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

31 responses

  1. I like all the effects but I notice that when the colors are more on the monotone or black and white, a greater depth and interest is added on to the already intriguing subject. Moving? Definitely! It pierces the heart…just look how those eyes looked at you back.
    Great to know you had a wonderful Holidays…now comes the New Year event. Stay blessed my friend….


    December 25, 2011 at 3:04 am

    • Thanks ‘IT’… the eyes are the opening to ones soul. Seems try with animals also. I love to see what happens in b/w, so glad you noticed.


      January 1, 2012 at 1:22 pm

  2. I love your layout, it’s nice when you can tell somebody actuallly puts effort into a website, and gives the designs. If you set up notifications value.


    December 3, 2011 at 7:24 am

    • Thanks Stewart… it took me awhile to settle on a design… glad you liked it.


      December 11, 2011 at 5:40 pm

  3. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I don’t know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already Cheers!


    November 28, 2011 at 3:58 am

    • Thanks for the great comments.


      November 28, 2011 at 7:05 pm

  4. It is always amazing to me what you can do with post-processing. The different moods of images that come out and the different details that emerge are fun to play with. Nice job; great shots.


    November 27, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    • Thanks Dan… I always try and see what post processing will do, especially in B/W. Love your blog also.


      November 28, 2011 at 3:37 am

  5. very beautiful pictures as usual Mike.. so amazing!! 😀


    November 18, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    • Thanks Abby… still working on my writing by reading inspirational blogs such as yours.


      November 18, 2011 at 10:21 pm

  6. ive got to show this to my friend, bookmarked


    November 15, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    • Thanks for sharing Aubrey.


      November 16, 2011 at 9:52 pm

  7. Thanks for the post


    November 11, 2011 at 5:35 pm

  8. Great photos Mike! I really like the turtle 😀


    November 9, 2011 at 12:23 am

    • What’s up with the turtle… I have gotten a lot of questions about that little guy. Glad you liked the post.


      November 9, 2011 at 12:33 am

  9. denisebushphoto

    I like your thinking and your photos. I even like the snake images even though I didn’t want to see them. Now I wish I went back to take photos of them too!


    November 7, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    • Sometimes it’s the lil animals that surprise you and me. The turtle I thought was going to be a wash… but really liked how it came out. Thanks ‘D’ for sharing.


      November 7, 2011 at 11:24 pm

  10. Jack Mroz

    Been there a number of times with my grandson. A great place to pass on nature to our kids and grandkids. Great captures. Isn’t the software we have available wonderful to create many artistic expressions of a single image. I know many purists are not embracing software manipulation, but I love the fact that with it, I can show my personal interpretation and even break some rules in the process.


    November 7, 2011 at 10:04 am

    • Right on brother!!!! I love to break rules… but and this is a big but…. most judges hate broken rules. Glad I still shoot for myself.


      November 7, 2011 at 11:22 pm

  11. I really like seeing the animals in HDR. It brings out their magnificent colors 🙂


    November 7, 2011 at 12:17 am

    • Cap…so do I. I t was fun just trying different levels of HDR.


      November 7, 2011 at 11:19 pm

  12. Tobilyn Gidzinski

    The Black and White pic. of the snake has S-S-S-S-s-s-sensational textures :)=


    November 6, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    • Thanks sis… I would say something here but you would probably dis-own me!!! Glad you are getting that speech problem taken care of. 🙂


      November 6, 2011 at 11:38 pm

  13. I like them all Mike but I Hawk in HDR is my fav. Thanks for the slide show. It sure was a fun day!!!


    November 6, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    • Hey Kathy… just trying to live up to your expressive texture photos. It was great seeing the group have fun.


      November 6, 2011 at 10:43 pm

  14. Barbara

    I love the one of the owl where the owl is the focus of the picture. The muted colorful background makes the owl the focus of the picture. You again have taken some beautiful pictures and added outstanding elements to them.


    November 6, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    • The owl was fun to do Barb… used a lil watercolor brush on it. Glad you like them.


      November 6, 2011 at 10:42 pm

  15. Bonnie Rovere

    Very nice Mike. I like the variations of each photo, especially the HDR hawk. (Could have done without the snake!) I love looking into their eyes and wondering what they are seeing.


    November 6, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    • Thanks Bonnie…. I really did know how HDR would work on them… I was pleasantly surprised. The snake surprised me also when he came straight at the lens.


      November 6, 2011 at 10:40 pm

  16. Nice piece of work, Mike. I particularly like Majestic in B&W.


    November 6, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    • Ralph… that Hawk seemed to know how to pose!!!


      November 6, 2011 at 10:38 pm

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