5-Star Photos (3)

In Pics and Words welcomes the latest additions to the Jaw Drop Gallery. These honored photogs have captured images that simply make my jaw drop. As always, we are respectful of Award Free blogs. You don’t have to answer twenty questions or refer other bloggers. All you have to do is take a great picture — one that makes me go, “Wow!”

Jane Lurie Photography

I have followed Jane Lurie for over a year. She consistently posts outstanding images including landscapes, portraits, architecture and street photography. It’s not surprising to see Nikon in her list of camera gear. I often find that the most impressive images are captured with a Nikon. Her addition to the Jaw Drop Gallery is long overdue. (See samples below.)

Yosemite Love

Harvest Time, Sonoma

A Hard Rain, San Francisco


Madison Indiana

Bernie Kasper is a portrait photographer living along the banks of the Ohio River in Southeastern Indiana. His blog features the natural beauty of the Muscatatuck and Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge.

Do you like butterflies? Bernie captured some amazing butterfly portraits. (See samples below.)

Zebra Swallowtail

Black Swallowtail

Tiger Swallowtail

Common Buckeye

Monarch Butterflies in Love


Edward McDunn is a Dutch photographer who caught my eye with some of his macro pics. Macro photography is not my specialty so I’m usually impressed with detailed, close-up images. Check out Edward’s capture of a pollinating bee.


I’d love to add your name to this distinguished list so keep on snapping!

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Sunset Silhouette 4

f/4, ISO-160, 1/800 sec.

f/4, ISO-160, 1/640 sec.

f/2.8, ISO-400, 1/125 sec.

f/8, ISO-160, 1/4000 sec.

To capture a reverse silhouette of the sun I used a smaller aperture. At f/8, only the sun’s light was seen by the sensor. The dim light of dusk was not able to pass through thus creating the effect of a sunset after dark.

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If These Bricks Could Speak

There’s nothing that symbolizes small town Americana more than the iconic brick buildings that housed the Rexall drug stores. In its heyday (1920-1977), there were as many as 12,000 stores located across the United States. Today, only a few franchise stores remain in operation, but the brick structures are a reminder of days gone by when excited kids could sit down at the counter of an old-fashioned soda fountain to enjoy an ice cream sundae or chocolate malt.

The Rexall building in my community is now a sushi restaurant. It is named after the pharmacist (Dunaway) who opened the Rexall franchise in 1927. The city commissioned artist Kathleen King to paint a mural of the building, seen above, as it appeared in 1943. Photos that follow — some filtered — depict the building as it stands today including images of the mural painted in 1988.

Mural Images

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Fire Dancers 2

As I noted in the previous post, these photos were difficult to capture. Poor lighting and constant movement wreaked havoc with exposure and focus. However, creative filters and post-editing produced some marketable images that can be used in promotional brochures. In the filtered pics notice the etched background images that are almost invisible in the original print. A very interesting and pleasing result. Fire Dancers are from Pride of Polynesia. Click here to watch video from this photo shoot.

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Fire Dancers

This was a difficult photo shoot for a variety of reasons. There’s so much action and movement that blurring was an issue. I simply could not get a clear shot. The torch flame was the only source of light and it wreaked havoc with proper exposure. Images came out too dark, or too bright. The camera wanted to focus on the torch, but the flickering flame confused the auto sensor.

I am pleased with the composition of these photos and the filters which produced some rather interesting results. Exposure and focus issues can be obscured in post-editing. Below is one of my favorite shots. I wanted to capture an image with the torch in mid-toss. Out of thirty pics this was the only one that was hands-off. Again, motion and lighting resulted in an imperfect image, but the edited photos are actually pretty cool.

Fire Dancers are from Pride of Polynesia.

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