Day 60 (29 Feb 2012) Leap Day

Happy Leap Day!  I hope you did some leaping, jumping, and hopping today!  I know I did 🙂

Leap Day

18 mm, 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1600, 18-55mm kit lens (Happy Leap Day!)

Leap Day

33 mm, 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1600, 18-55mm kit lens (Leaping Lizards!)

Now you know what I look like 🙂

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Day 59 (28 Feb 2012) Swinging

Since I’m busy working on a paper due tomorrow today (I only had 2 paragraphs started, out of 3-5 pages needed done before today), I didn’t have much time to do any photography.  I was going to try and shoot something w/ my iPhone (which I just got today), but I’m not familiar enough w/ it to try to get ‘fancy’ 🙂

But I remember that I have my LED strands hanging from the banister rail to straighten them, so I thought maybe I could just swing them like a pendulum and take a longer exposure and see what happened.  I know it’s a lot of photos posted, but I couldn’t pick out just one or two; I like a lot of them 🙂 Not bad for a last-minute idea, IMO.

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Day 58 (27 Feb 2012) The Tree

Tonight I wanted to shoot a small, historic cemetery I’ve seen near the Thames River in Ledyard, CT, silhouetting the grave stones against the river.  But what I didn’t notice untill tonight was the amount of brush/vines ruining the view I wanted.  But while I was exposing one of those shots, I looked up and saw the view below and knew that was my shot for today 🙂

Cemetary Tree

18 mm, 5 min, f/8.0, ISO 400, 18-55mm kit lens (Cemetery Tree)

Day 57 (26 Feb 2012) Light Painting

Today I’ve been working on a paper for my investing class.  I have to write about Bernie Madoff and his Ponzi scheme.  So in an effort to do something more uplifting than writing about the life of a crook, I decided to do a little light paining before I ate dinner.

It’s not fancy, just me messing around with some LED christmas lights.  If I wasn’t stuck doing this paper, I would have taken more time to do something more fun to do/look at.  But this will work for now.  As with any photo I’m not thrilled about, I did learn some things to apply to the next time (such as getting a better composition).  Anyway, I hope you enjoy, at least a little bit 🙂

Zoom Lights

55-18 mm zoom, 5 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 (Zoom Lights)

2012_Feb_26_Light Painting_010

18-55 mm zoom, 3.2 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100 (Light Plane)

Jumping Rope

18 mm, 5 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100 (Jumping Rope)

Camera Twist

55-18 mm zoom, 5 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 (Camera Twist)

Day 56 (25 Feb 2012) Basketball and Bridges

Spoiler alert!  There are no pictures of basketball in this post.  I put that in the title because I did shoot about 360 photos at my friend’s kid’s basketball game.  He actually asked to hire me as the photographer for the game and produce sports cards!!!    Of all the ways my improvements have been validated, this is probably the one that caused me to smile the most 🙂  I’m not saying that I’m a pro, or that my photos are pro quality, but just being hired for a photo shoot was affirming! I can’t say that I was able to capture a great photo of every kid, but I did get some good ones, and useable ones for each, at least.  I would like to blame the slow auto focus of my 50mm/1.8 and it’s softness wide open, but I think’s it’s more my ability to use the gear.  But this was my first sporting event, so I think I learned a lot, which is the most important part of the day.

After the game I headed over to the Comstock Bridge in Colchester, CT. It is a covered bridge that spans the Salmon River.  For quite a while it has been undergoing a complete rebuild, and I recently heard that it was done, so I wanted to see how it looked.  The craftsmen did a great job!  Many of the structural timbers were re-used, but all the hardware was new, along w/ a new floor, roof, and sides.  Some additional supports were added, but they are not that noticeable.  Since the sides/roof are new, it doesn’t look like an old bridge, so I can’t wait for them to weather some.

Comstock Bridge

18 mm, 1/50 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Comstock Bridge))

Looking Out

18 mm, 1/30 sec, f/9.0, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (looking out)

Looking Up

18 mm, 1/5 sec, f/7.1, ISO 400, 18-55mm kit lens (Looking Up)

Day 55 (24 Feb 2012) Snow Day Special

Today it was actually like a New England winter day!  I awoke to about 3″ of fresh snow for the first time in almost 2 months!  I have been missing weather like this 😉

I love the peaceful quite that the snow seems to bring, and the way it completely changes the landscape from the dead brown to a winter wonderland!

I didn’t take many photos today, but instead set up my camera to do a time-lapse watching the snow all day.  The temps were above freezing so I wanted to watch it melt off the trees 🙂  It’s not super exciting, but time-lapse is still very new and experimental to me.  let me know how I can improve!! I apologize if the image quality seems low; I forgot to turn my camera from a medium-sized jpg (that I was using for the vid files) to full-sized RAW.

 

Tree In A Drop

50 mm, 1/640 sec, f/1.8, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8 ii (Tree In A Drop)

Tree Top

50 mm, 1/640 sec, f/1.8, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8 ii (Tree Top)

Day 54 (23 Feb 2012) Norwich at Night

For a while I’ve wanted to find a high location and shoot down-town Norwich, CT at night.  Downtown is situated near the Thames River at a relatively low elevation compared to the surrounding area, so I thought I might find some high ground with a clear view.  As I’ve driven through it the past few times I’ve tried to pay more attention to what is around me as far as possible shooting locations.  This will need some actual dedicated planning and scouting, as all I’ve seen in my limited routes is a parking garage.  So tonight I tried it.  Since it’s winter and not the weekend, the area wasn’t exactly bustling with crowds, so from my vantage point it wasn’t real exciting.  But since it was after 9pm I parked and took a few shots.

Norwich, CT

18 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens (Norwich, CT)

Red Fire Hydrant

18 mm, 20 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens ()

Empty

18 mm, 15 sec, f/11.0, ISO 100, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens (Empty)

Day 53 (22 Feb 2012) Stress Reduction

I’m allowed to work from home twice a week (Wednesday and Friday), but sometimes there is enough BS* at my company that it can irritate me enough to start replying to emails with sarcastic responses.  (sorry for the rant, but it leads to. . .)

But I’ve found that when I’m at home, I can take my lunch break, grab my camera, and walk out into my yard and leave it all behind for a few minutes.  Focusing on seeing the beauty in front of me, and attempting to capture it is great for helping reduce the level of annoyance I have.  When I come back inside my attitude is better, I’m more calm, relaxed, and remember that this is just a job, and it’s not important enough to allow myself to be stressed by 🙂

*BS = dumB Stuff

Wood Pile

50 m, 1/640 sec, f/2.2, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8 (Wood Pile)

Fastener

50 mm, 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8 ii (Fastener)

Fir Tree

50 mm, 1/500 sec, f/2.0, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8 ii (Fir Tree)

"W"

50 mm, 1/250 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8 ii (W)

Day 52 (21 Feb 2012) Smok’n

*Disclaimer: this is not an endorsement for or against the tobacco industry or the use of their products*

As one drives through the Windsor, CT area either on I-91 or Rt 20, one can see the long, narrow, faded red tobacco sheds along side their field.  Tobacco has been grown in CT since the 1800s and there is still about 2000 acres farmed today.  The leaves grown here are primarily used in the wrapper, or outer layers of cigars.  CT’s tobacco is considered a premium variety, so the farming of this controversial crop continues.

I’ve always loved old barns and run-down/weathered buildings, and today I decided to shoot for a few minutes from near the road (I didn’t want to trespass too bad).  I decided to use my ‘nifty fifty’ or Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens to force me to think in new ways while shooting.

Tobacco Sheds

50 mm, 1/500 sec, f/2.2, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8 ii (Tobacco Sheds)

Keep Out

50 mm, 1/200 sec, f/2.2, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8 ii (Keep Out)

Hinge

50 mm, 1/250 sec, f/1.8, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8 ii (Hinge)

Day 51 (20 Feb 2012) Night Time on the Rails

Tonight’s photo is the night version of this post.  Because it was so dark, it didn’t turn out quite as bright as I had hoped, even though I shot at ISO 200 for 10 minutes.  I’ll try this under a full, or near full, moon to see how different it might be.

A credit to the capabilities designed into our eyes is that I could clearly see the tops of the rails just from the incident light from the stars and lights across the river, but it took 10 min for my camera to pick them up!  I’m still learning the limitations of my camera, compared to my eye.  It is very evident when looking and shooting a hight contrast scene; my eyes can pick out color/detail in the shadows and bright areas simultaneously.  My camera does not have that dynamic of a range.  I may have to try HDR photography at some point to see how close I can get what I see to the screen.

The Tracks at Night

18 mm, 10 min, f/11, ISO 200, 18-55mm kit lens (The Tracks at Night)

Day 50 (19 Feb 2012) Church

Today marks Day 50 of my Project 366!  I have not missed a day so far!  Though at least a few photos posted were just to have one up, but hey, at least I’m still on track!  I’m kinda surprised that I’ve made it this far, and it’s encouragment that I will finish this project 🙂

I was trying to think of somthing I could shoot that would be in line with a theme of “50”; either the number somewhere or 50 of something or whatever.  But I didn’t give it enough thought and on my way home tonight I realized that it was too late to be super creative.  So I chose another subject.

This old Congregational church in Norwich is quite beautiful to look at.  It was built in the 1850s and is in great condition.    During the day you can see it in its redish color and really appreciate its architecture.  I thought I would be great to shoot at night, since it looks cool all lit up at night.  But with the mix of lighting on the building itself, along with all the street lights that are in that area causes this to be very challenging to shoot.  There are much better sides to this building than what you see below, but between the lighting and interfering objects (power lines, poles, etc), in addition to my own lack of experience in shooting something like this, most shots came out w/ areas over exposed and others under exposed.  So I settled on the shot below which is the most evenly lit (or un-lit) side so I would not have to spend hours in Lightroom adjusting exposure on each area.

If you have any tips on how to shoot a building like this at night, please share them!  I would like to try this building again 🙂

Church

21 mm, 61 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Church)

 

Day 49 (18 Feb 2012) Weekend Jaunt

Today my gf and I decided that we would like to walk the Gold Star Memorial Bridge over the Thames River (I-95) between Groton and New London, CT.  It is about 135 feet (41m) tall and 6000 feet (1800 m) long, making it CT’s longest bridge.

I’ve driven over this bridge hundreds of times, but never walked over, and since today’s weather was nice (45 F and sunny) I figured, why not 🙂

This first photo was shot from near the apex, towards the Groton side.  The industrial looking complex you see in the distance is the New London US Navy Submarine Base, where I was stationed before I separated from the Navy.

Thames River and Sub Base

39 mm, 1/125 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Thames River and Sub Base)

This second photo was from under the south-bound lane, facing West looking into New London.  I really enjoyed looking at the geometry of the bridge’s support structure.

Under the Gold Star Memorial Bridge

55 mm, 1/20 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Under the Bridge)

This last shot is of Horse Pond, north of Waterford, CT, as the sun was setting.  My gf noticed the view as we drove by, so I pulled a U-turn and came back so we could shoot it.

Horse Pond

18 mm, 1/40 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Horse Pond)

Day 48 (17 Feb 2012) A Walk In My Front Yard

Today I was able to work from home, so during my lunch break I took a walk through the woods in my “front yard”.  To change things up a bit, I put on my telephoto lens (50-200mm) to get some practice using it, and to force me to see things from another perspective.  I wanted to shoot closer to the 200mm end, as my kit lens allows me to shoot up to 55mm.  Things looked a lot different and I had to adjust my shooting quite a bit.

Many of the images did not come out well, even though it is a stabilized lens, shooting hand-held at max zoom magnifies every little bit of movement.  Also, the lens isn’t very sharp at that extreme.  But the main point of the exercise being to cause me to adjust myself more than create art, I’m not (too) disappointed.  I put a few more up on Flickr, but here are a few of my favorites from today:

Looking Up

200 mm, 1/50 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, Sigma 50-200mm (Looking Up)

Through The Woods

200 mm, 1/80 sec, f/11, ISO 100, Sigma 50-200mm (Through The Woods)

Mossy Rock

200 mm, 1/50 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, Sigma 50-200mm (Mossy Rock)

Day 47 (16 Feb 2012) The Commute

This afternoon was a rainy afternoon here in CT.  And as such, everyone on the freeway decided that they couldn’t drive more than 35 mph.  So I decided If I was going to crawl along at a snail’s pace, I would detour and parallel the highway on city streets.  My thought was that I probably won’t lose any more time, plus I’ll get to see an area of town I normally don’t get to see.  And maybe I would see something worth shooting.

Red Lights In The Rain

55 mm, 1/30 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400, 18-55mm kit lens (Red Lights In The Rain)

But alas, the surface streets were crawling, too.  It took over 30 min to less than a mile.  As I’m sitting at a light I’ve watched turn green many time, I let my mind drift from my predicament and my focus locked onto the red dots in the rain drops on my wind shield.  And since my camera was near by, I grabbed it and was able to improve my mood a bit 🙂

But as I continued to crawl, all I saw was red.  Not anger (ok, maybe a little), but the sea of red tail lights stretched out in front of me like a slow-moving ribbon.

Ribbon of Red

49 mm, 1/8 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400, 18-55mm kit lens (Ribbon of Red)

Day 46 (15 Feb 2012) Morning Fog

As I was getting ready for work this morning, I looked out my front window and saw that there was a bit of fog in the woods.  I still had my 50mm 1.8 on from last night, so I thought I would try using a prime lens for once.

I opened up the aperture to try to blur the background, but wasn’t happy with the composition of the photo, so I cropped it to what you see here.  I wanted it to show the mystery of the fog.  Does it?

Morning Fog

50 mm, 1/250 sec, f/2.2, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8 ii (Morning Fog)

Day 45 (14 Feb 2012) What Is Love?

What is Love?  I’m curious to see what y’all think.  I welcome your definitions/explanations below.  This is what I think Love is:

Love is patient and kind.  Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.  It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
– 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love

50 mm, 4 sec, f/2.2, ISO 100, EF 50 mm 1.8 (Love)

Hearts

50 mm, 6 sec, f/2.2, ISO 100, EF 50 mm 1.8 (Love and Hearts)

Bokah Love

50 mm, 6 sec, f/2.2, ISO 100, EF 50 mm 1.8 (Bokah Love)

Day 44 (13 Feb 2012) Star Light, Star Bright

I’ve shot in this field before (see post Life and Death), but I really like how this lone tree in the corn field stood out against the glow of the town just past the horizon.  The sky was clear, and the moon was not set to rise for 3 more hours, so I pulled over just before I reached home and set up my tripod and took a few shots.

I was trying to keep from having star trails, so I limited my exposure to 30 seconds, but had to boost the ISO up to 400, so I did get some noise which I tried to reduce in Lightroom.  But in this small size it doesn’t show up too much. The tree is a little out of focus, and the noise reduction didn’t help it, either. Days like this were I don’t have time to really plan out a shot result in being rushed. But I am learning something each time I analyze a photo I’m not 100% pleased with. 🙂

Tree in Corn Field

18 mm, 30 sec, f/4.5, ISO 400, Canon 18-55mm kit lens (Tree in Corn Field)

Day 43 (12 Feb 2012) The Tracks

So I probably should appologize for yesterday’s posting, but I’m not.  This is MY blog, after all 😉

But seriously, I spent the day with my gf, and since it was our Valenties Day, spending any time in “photography” would have been to have ignored her.  Even though she is a budding photog, too, yeasterday was “us” time.  But I didn’t want to miss a day on this project, so I comprimised by snaping a pic of the dipping oil as we were about to leave the resturaunt.

But now back to using my real camera vice my old Droid Eris.  The photo’s from today were taken at the same location that I wanted to shoot when I posted the “hope” shot on Thursday.  It was 25F and windy today, so I didn’t want to linger, but I still hope that I was able to capture the beautiful sky and the Thames river.  I will try the night version again, so stay tuned!

The Tracks and The Thames River

18 mm, 1/125 sec, f/11, ISO 100, Canon 18-55mm kit lens (The Thames and the Tracks)

Side-Tracked

18 mm, 1/50 sec, f/11, ISO 100, Canon 18-55mm kit lens (Side-Tracked)

Day 42 (11 Feb2012) Oil

Since its late and I’m still not home I’m just posting a photo

of the dipping oil from dinner I took with my phone, ill make up for it with an extra photo tomorrow. Maybe ill snap a shot on my way home tonight and post in the morning.

 

bread oil

maybe It’s time to get an iPhone (so I can at least get an OK pic on days like today)

Posted from WordPress for Android

Day 41 (10 Feb 2012) Happy Fruit

I was just messing around with my tripod/camera and thought it would be fun to play with my food.  Nothing spectacular today, it was fun to try using my tripod in a different way (pointing down from a low hight).

Happy Fruit

30 mm, 3.2 sec, f/11, ISO 100, Canon 18-55mm kit lens (Happy Fruit)

( fruit )

25 mm, 3.2 sec, f/11, ISO 100, Canon 18-55mm kit lens ( fruit )