Belden Designs

Paintings, photography and jewelry

Countdown to the Ky. Guild’s Fall Art Fair

Hand-beaded Necklace

 The leaves are starting to change and the early morning air has a cool refreshing feel to it. All the signs say fall has arrived and with it the Kentucky Guild of Art & Craftsmen’s Fall Fair. This has always been one of my favorite Art shows and I think many artist & craftsmen feel the same way. The show is located just outside Berea , Ky.  in a beautiful setting at the foot of the Allegheny Mountains.  You start the journey from the parking lot and wonder through the forest on paths lined with booths.  Be prepare to see world-class arts and crafts, as the  members are composed of the best that Kentucky has to offer. My wife Jeane is a long time member and will be doing the show again with her jewelry. You can see more of Jeane’s Jewelry by visiting the show Sat. & Sun Oct. 9-10 from 10am till 5pm or by checking out her website at  

Crystalline cabachon with hand Beading

  Yesterday was spent helping long time friend and craftsmen Randy Bates repair a show canapy. The frame had some pieces that had to be repaired due to an accident. We stole parts off of an old canapy of mine and pieced together what looks like a new one. This turned out to be a lot of work for a $5 lunch, which was my payment for helping. I think he is squared away and ready for the Guild show. Randy is a Pen Turner from Danville, Ky….. You can check out more of his pens at PensbyRandy




September 30, 2010 Posted by | Photography | Leave a comment

Early morning at the arboretum

Dew on Rose petals

   I decided to try out some new extension tubes that I bought a while back.  So “What is an extension” you ask. Well an extension is nothing more than a hollow tube that goes between you camera and the lens. This has the effect of moving the focus point and  thus turning you regular lens into a macro lens. The closeup of the dew on a rose petal was shot with two tubes stacked together ( 36mm and 20mm) on a 70-200L f/4.  This combination allows you to get very closeups at the expense of loosing depth of field. A tripod is a must with this setup due to the shallow depth of field. I find it hard to get good sharp photo’s unless I use the live view and zoom in to focus.  The biggest downside to this setup as opposed to a dedicated macro lens is you are unable to shoot at infinity. With the 36mm and 20mm stacked it will not focus much farther than 3-4 feet away. So if you need to shoot a sunrise or landscape,  it requires a lens change. Most of the time I go out with the intent of shooting only flower macro’s, which eliminates the need for lens changes in the field. The upside? Cost, only a small percentage of what a good macro would set you back. There is no loss of f/stop as you would get with a 1.4x or 2x  extenders. 

Heavy dew on Rose


This photograph of the “bunch of Roses” (how is that for a technical name) was shot after the sun was up. 

September 28, 2010 Posted by | Photography | Leave a comment

Cloudy with rain makes better photo’s


 Finally we are getting a break in the weather. Temperatures down into the low 70’s and light rain brings out the best in people’s attitudes and flower photography. Even with the cloud cover I prefer to shoot early in the morning because the wind is normally lighter at this time. Your exposures will be long so you need to use a tripod unless you have nerves of steel. Even then, if you plan to enlarge the prints at all, you should be using a tripod. A heavy tripod makes a world of difference. I took a very light tripod on a trip to Europe and ended up with a lot of blurry photo’s. 

Rose in rain

  With a tripod, mirror lockup and using a cable release or timer, you will get sharper photos.

Taken during a light rain

September 27, 2010 Posted by | Photography | 4 Comments

World Equestrian Games, Parade

Horse Statue, downtown Lexington

   The world Equestrian Games Started today in my hometown of Lexington. We decided to meet the Grandkids downtown to watch the parade that was to highlight  the main athlete of the games, the horses. It was one of those days that starts good and gets better as the day rolls along. Lexington’s tempertures have been into the 90’s for the past 3-4 weeks. The type of weather that is hard on flowers and the photographer’s that photograph them. But today they were calling for mid 70’s and a light breeze and it was beautiful. I took a few photograph’s of the statue’s that are dotted around Lexington while we were waiting on the parade to start.

Lexington Horse statue.

and one that was in the parade

Horse in World Equestrian Games Parade

September 27, 2010 Posted by | Photography | Leave a comment

The art of Blur


   On a trip to Amsterdam I found myself at the Cobra Museum wanting to take photo’s of this very cool place, but without a tripod. I took several shots by resting the camera ( Canon 50D w/ 17-40 lens) on rails or what ever was handy and found this limiting. After I became bored shooting this way, my granddaughter and I started taking blurred photo’s. The technique is easy, but only a small percentages will turn out. The photograph’s were made by setting the shutter speed at 2-3 seconds and moving the camera during the exposure. We played with focused and unfocused shots and found the one’s that were focused and then blurred by camera movement seem to be the most pleasing.  


Most of my photograph’s are for sale through Art Shows or by visiting Etsy.

September 26, 2010 Posted by | Photography | Leave a comment

Working on the new website!

  I have spent most of the day working on the new website.  If you get a chance to check it out, let me know what you think.

September 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Free-Roaming Horses in Ky?

Free-Roaming Horses

I have been hearing rumors of wild free-roaming horses in Kentucky. Seemed a little far fetched to me, having live in Ky. most of my life, but I started looking into it. I googled it and found a website that was setup to talk about Ky.’s elk herd. They say that Ky. has around  400-600 free-roaming horses in the eastern part of the state, most on deserted coal mines ( strip mines that have been reclaimed). I made several trips up to the area with no luck.  I received a call from long time friend Randy Bates asking if I would like to go with him to photograph elk.  Obviously I jumped at the chance and several days later we headed for eastern Kentucky.  With a two hour drive and wanting to get there before sunrise, we where on the road by 4 a.m., arriving just after sunup. No elk. No deer. Sunrise was bland and it looked like we had wasted a day with nothing to photograph. We decided to take a different way home and found ourselves on Ky 1098, a small blacktop road with mostly dirt roads leading off it.  We stop at a old cemetary that sat high on a hill overlooking the surrounding mountains.  With a pair of binoculars we found two different herds of horses. The next hour was spent driving up and down dirt roads trying to get close enough to photograph then. The area is open with no fences , but is way too hilly and rocky to just head cross country.  But it all turned out to be worth the trouble.  We have now made several more trips into this area and have never failed to find horses. Every trip has produced different groups, some as small as 8-10, others as large as 30-35. I hope to be able to go back to the area when the leaves change and get some shots of not only the horses, but maybe an elk or two.

Mare with Foal born in wild.

September 25, 2010 Posted by | Photography | | Leave a comment

And in the beginning.

It was very early morning and the sun was still below the horizon. The sky was just starting to glow and the flowers seem to stand out from the darker background. Catching a moment when the breeze has died…the light seems right…click.

People ask me how did you (of all people) get into flower photography. Well, I have always liked photography and finding myself bored out of my mind one day, I went looking for something to shoot. I think it was the middle of the day with the sun beating down, when I found a daylily blooming. Needless to say every picture I took came out horrible. That started a 5 year learning process that still continues today.

All of my flower photographs are taken outside in the garden. Some from my yard, others from the Lexington Arboretum(A very special place if you love flowers). Almost all are shot before or right as the sun comes up, during that 30 min. period when the light is perfect.

I am expanding my interest to include landscape, travel and equine. The interest in horse photography came about when I found that Kentucky (where I live) has 400-600 free roaming horses. It took many trips to deserted area’s of eastern Ky. before a friend and I found them. As with everything in life, a new subject and the learning begins again. Hopefully never to stop.

September 25, 2010 Posted by | Photography | | Leave a comment

Where to begin?

The greeting post from WordPress when I started this new blog says ” Hello World”. Seeing this and my mind immediately  freezes. What do I have to say to the “World”? Most people who know me would say I run my mouth freely, but when you approach a blank screen……..UH?  So I guess the best way to start is to just start typing something and see if the fog lifts at some point.

September 25, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hello world!

Welcome to

September 25, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment