Day 91 (31 March 2012) Rain Drops

We had a little rain here last night and today, so it wan’t a great day to be out and about.  But after it stopped, I grabbed my camera and shot some photos of what the clouds left behind.

The first two are the last two I shot; I couldn’t figure out which one I liked best, so I included them both.  They are the reflection of the trees in an oily puddle on the top of the tractor in my yard. I did not color manipulation on these 🙂

Tree Reflection In Oil

60 mm, 1/13 sec, f/13, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Tree Reflection In Oil)

Tree Reflected In Oil

60 mm, 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Tree Reflected In Oil)

Crystal Ball

60 mm, 1/50 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400, 60mm macro lens (Crystal Ball)

Drops of Light

60 mm, 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Drops of Light)

Day 90 (30 March 2012) Diesel Power

Took the macro lens out to shoot non-macro shots, and settled on shooting some shots of ‘my’ tractor.  Hope you enjoy!

Diesel Power

60 mm, 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro len (Diesel Power)


60 mm, 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro len (Control)


60 mm, 1/40 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro len (Generator)

Spider Web

60 mm, 1/40 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro len (Spider Web)

Day 89 (29 March 2012) Gum Drop Sunrise

So, it is really two themes, not one like the title suggests.

But this morning on my way down my driveway, I saw the sun starting to peak over the trees.  I usually see this, but it was the shape and color of the clouds that cause me to stop and pick up my camera (It’s usually sitting on my passenger seat while driving for moments such as these).  I wish I wasn’t running late for work or else I would have stayed longer and watched the sun fully rise.

On my way home from work I had to stop at a drug store for something.  Drug stores cary the candy that I used to eat as a kid that I don’t see most other place, such as circus peanuts, orange wedges, Boston baked beans, and of course, gum drops.  I thought it would be fun to shoot them with my macro lens (and it was!), but I noticed a disturbing fact: the longer I shot, the less gum drops remained in the bag!  I wonder what happened to them . . . 😉


32 mm, 1/160 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Sunrise)

Red Gum Drop

60 mm, 1/6 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Red Gum Drop)

Gum Drop Row

0 mm, 0.8 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Gum Drop Row)

Gum Drop Stop

0 mm, 1/6 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Gum Drop Stop)

Day 88 (28 March 2012) The Empty Bench

Driving to class tonight I took a different route and noticed a bench sitting across a pond from the road I was driving.  I made a point to stop and do a single 6 min exposure and hoped it turned out well.

I loaded Magic Lantern firmware onto an SD card today and wanted to try to use the bulb timer function (it makes it possible to set an exposure longer than 30 sec w/o an external timer or remote).  As I’m still figuring out this new suite of tools, I didn’t realize that long exposure noise reduction was turned off, so the photo is slightly noisy.

I also took a couple minutes between work and class and shot a few of the flowers sprouting up in my front garden and got one that I think is nice.  I’ll shoot these again under better light w/ more time; I want to get it right 🙂

Bench By The Pond

23 mm, 6 min, f/8.0, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Bench By The Pond)

Purple Flower

60 mm, 1/40 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Purple Flower)

Day 87 (27 March 2012) Spanish Longing

Today in honor of my gf’s arrival in Spain, I dug out some Peseta’s from a port call in Mallorca, Spain while on a naval training exercise. If you would like to follow her missionary activities in Spain, click here. You can also help support her, if you feel led 🙂

Before the Euro, Spain used the Paseta as currency. If you want to read up on the history of the Peseta, click here.

One of my favorite items to collect while traveling outside the US is currency. Most other countries’ currencies make our money look boring. I love the use of color and art in other currencies. I make a point of collecting at least one of each coin denomination, and one each of the lower bill denominations. One day I’ll make a scrapbook of it all.


43 mm, 1/40 sec, f/5.0, ISO 800, 18-55mm kit lens (Pesetas)

Not my best photo, but I’ve got a big homework assignment due tomorrow, so look for a good one tomorrow, after class 🙂

Day 86 (26 March 2012) Father Daughter Time

Today I’ll be seeing my gf off to Spain for a 3 year tour in the mission field.  It’s a bitter-sweet day as I’m excited for her and proud of what she’s doing, but I’m gonna miss her a lot.  I’ll of course get to visit her and thanks to technology, get to “see” and talk to her often.

Her family and I took a short walk before heading to the airport and I was able to take this shot of her and her father getting some father/daughter time together.

Father Daughter Time

60 mm, 1/40 sec, f/6.3, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Father Daughter Time)

Day 85 (25 March 2012) Money, money, money, mo-ney, MONEY!

“For the Love of Money” by the O’Jays is a song most of us have heard, or at least heard the opening chorus.  But there is one thing that is on US currency (at least for now) that helps me remember where my trust belongs:

Who Do You Trust?

60 mm, 1/40 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200, 60mm macro lens (Who Do You Trust?)

A Helpful Reminder

60 mm, 1/50 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800, 60mm macro lens (A Helpful Reminder)

Day 84 (24 March 2012) Memories

This weekend I’m visiting my gf before she leaves for Spain for a long-term missionary trip; we took a walk back behind her parents house so she could show me the woods she and her sister played in as kids.  She showed me the tree below where here sister and friend had carved their initials when they were little.  All these years later, you can still read them.


60 mm, 1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200, 60mm macro lens (Memories)

Day 83 (23 March 2012) Painting With Fire

Tonight I did a few shots based on a post I saw on Photo Extremist (he has some really fun stuff up there, you should check it out).  These shots were taken at the beach in Plymouth, MA:

Glowing Orb

18 mm, 15 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100, Glowing Orb

Walking Fire

18 mm, 15 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100, Walking Fire

Ring of Fire

18 mm, 15 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100, Ring of Fire

Ok, so the secret is this: I put some steel wool in a wire egg beater, attached it to a short cable, lit it on fire, and spun it around and I “orbited” the center of the circle.

Day 82 (22 March 2012) Dessert

I didn’t have internet access last night, so here is the post from last night.

I tried to shoot my ice cream cone in the light of the stove top light before it melted. It was tough to not start eating it right away 🙂

Ice Cream

60 mm, 1/20 sec, f/8.0, ISO 800, 60 mm macro lens (Ice Cream)

Day 81 (21 March 11) More Macro

I’m so in love with this new lens; and I got it just in time for spring (esp. since yesterday was the first day)!  I spend about an hour after work walking my woods/yard shooting some new growth.

I never realized how unsteady I am w/o a stabilized lens; many shots didn’t come out because I was swaying ever so slightly and it was enough to move out of focus when the shutter activated.  I’ll have to either bring my tripod out next time or look into getting a monopod (or use a piece of string to step on).  It didn’t help that the slightest breeze more than “compensated” for the times I was steady, lol.  I know I’ve got a lot of learning to do with this new lens 🙂  Any and ALL suggestions are welcome!

Oak Blossom

60 mm, 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Oak Blossom)

Oak Blossoms

60 mm, 1/60 sec, f/11, ISO 400, 60mm macro lens (Oak Blossoms)

Wild Rose

60 mm, 1/80 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Wild Rose)

And just in case you didn’t guess yesterday’s puzzle, It was the surface of the Pepsi I was drinking, the light coming out of the can caught my attention as I was shooting “Redemption”

Day 80 (20 March 2012) Macro Lens

It finally came!  My Canon 60 mm macro lens (EF-S 60 mm f/2.8 macro) arrived!  So I spent  a little time learning how to use it.  I quickly realized that it requires a lot of light, and since it’s dark out and my house isn’t the brightest inside (low wattage CFLs), I realized I had to use a tripod.  I created an ad-hoc studio (kitchen table covered in white printer paper) so I could shoot some macro shots 🙂 There are a lot of photos posted here, more than normal, anyway. I invite all critiques and criticisms and tips to do better. This goes for all posts/photos (including if I’m too long winded in my write ups). I can’t improve if I don’t know where I need improvement 🙂

My favorite from tonight is the first one; can you guess what it is?  I have the answer in the “alt text” so if you hover your mouse over the photo it will tell you.  I will give you a hint: the photo is severely cropped.

I can already tell that this may become my favorite lens.  I’ve always loved looking at macro photos, now I get to make them!  I’ve also heard it is a great portrait lens, so maybe my gf will let me practice this weekend 🙂

Surface of Pepsi inside the can

60 mm, 1/25 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, EF-S 60mm macro (What Am I?)


60 mm, 1/50 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, EF-S 60mm macro (Redemption)

No Pressure

60 mm, 1/8 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, EF-S 60mm macro (No Pressure)

Fool's Gold

60 mm, 1/5 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, EF-S 60mm macro (Fool's Gold)

Old Brick

60 mm, 1.3 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, EF-S 60mm macro (Old Brick)

Day 79 (19 march 2012) The Distant Tribe and the Planets

Around here one of the biggest “attractions” is the Mohegan Sun casino complex.  They have all sorts of ways to donate your money to the tribe ( gambling), but also have some great restaurants and host many big concerts and shows, in addition to a WNBA team.

The hotel tower is quite striking, and stands out from the wooded landscape it sits in.  Tonight I saw it from afar, peaking over a fallow cornfield on the top of a hill.  In this photo, the red lights at the bottom/center is the hotel tower.  The two bright lights above it are Jupiter and Venus (higher/brighter one).

The Planets Align

18 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400, 18-55mm kit lens (The Planets Align)

Day 78 (18 March 2012) Spring Time

Since we never had a real winter here, I’ve been ready for it to actually become spring and warm up some.  Give me a season where I know what to expect! LOL

Today I took out my macro filter (my real macro lens is due to arrive Tuesday!!) and just wandered around my yard for a little bit between homework and dinner.  Nothing spectacular, but it was nice to be out in the warm sunshine (I was even studying on my deck today) 🙂

New Growth

18 mm, 1/25 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens w/ 10x filter (New Growth)


55 mm, 1/100 sec, f/6.3, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens w/ 10x filter (Awake)

This is the work that awaits me in the yard!


55 mm, 1/80 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Briers)

Day 77 (17 March 2012) Newport Cliff Walk

Today my gf and I met in Newport, RI to do the Cliff Walk and to just hang out.  The weather was predicted to be mid 50s and sunny by noon.  But not surprisingly, the weatherman (or weather app) was wrong.  We didn’t see the sun till about 4pm, but instead had a dull day for most of the hike.  But it was in the low 50s, so it was very comfortable 🙂

I took many photos during the walk (thankfully my gf is into photography, too, else I wouldn’t hardly get any, or really annoy her ever 10 min by stopping), but these are a couple of my favorites.  Feel free to check out the rest of them by clicking on my Flickr feed on the right.→

The Clouds Break

The Clouds Break

The One That Got Away

The One That Got Away

The sunset was taken from the other side of the city, on our way to dinner.  We almost didn’t even notice it, but a guy taking a pic from the middle of  the street, holding up traffic, made us look in that direction.  We got to the water’s edge just as the sun was dipping below the horizon leaving us with the most spectacular sunset I’ve seen in a very long time, if not ever!

Newport Sunset

Newport Sunset

Newport Sunset

Newport Sunset

Day 76 (16 March 2012) This Little Light Of Mine

Fire.  I love it.  Am I a pyro?  Maybe?  I do enjoy starting fires (not arson, think campfires & bonfires), burning things, watching flames, experimenting with burning different materials to see what color they burned.  Maybe this is what pushed me into joining the local volunteer fire company (had to quit due to change in job 😦  ).  The live burn training was amazing!  Until you’ve been in a 600°F room watching the smoke ignite because of the intense heat, you’ve not lived! LOL

So, anyway, back to my photos.  I shot a medium-sized candle, some of the shots with a 10x macro filter.  Hope you enjoy!

Candle Glow

50 mm, 1/25 sec, f/2.5, ISO 800, EF 50mm 1.8 (Candle Glow)

Glowing Ember

55 mm, 1/60 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens w/ 10x macro lens (Glowing Ember)

Melting Wax

55 mm, 1/30 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens w/ macro lens (Melting Wax)

Day 75 (15 March 2012) Flowing

This creek is one I’ve shot before, but it continues to draw me to it.  It would be a great place to just relax and listen to the rushing water or explore its banks and the flood debris.  Even though it’s within 30 yards of a major highway, the flow noise drowns out all but the loudest trucks.  I will probably stop here many times over this year and shoot it as the seasons change.  It will be interesting to look back and see how it changes over the months.


55 mm, 1/4 sec, f/20, ISO 400, 18-55mm kit lens (Rapids)

Dead Wood

18 mm, 1/40 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit slens (Dead Wood)

The Creek

18 mm, 1 sec, f/22, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens, hand held (The Creek)

Day 74 (14 March 2012) The Birds and the Beans

I know today is Π (Pi) Day and I should have pulled something witty out of my bag, like baking a pie, or making the symbol with 3.14 grains of rice and shooting macro, but not today!

I had placed a stale piece of bread on my deck hoping to attract some birds, and it worked!  I set up my camera with my 200mm zoom and pre-set the settings and shot away as a couple of birds ate.  I also dropped a coffee bean this morning while doing the daily grind, and being inspired by Pablo’s Day 100 post, I figured I would try shooting it with my macro filter.

Bird Feeding

200 mm, 1/50 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, 50-200mm lens (Bird Feeding)

The Coffee Bean

55 mm, 1/20 sec, f/36, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens w/ 10x filter (The Coffee Bean)

Coffee Time

55 mm, 1/80 sec, f/16, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens w/ 10x filter (Coffee Time)

Day 73 (13 March 2012) We do not live by bread alone. . .

Except maybe if it’s home-baked, from scratch, beer bread!  Just kidding!  I’ve been craving some for a while and I finally picked up some flour the other day and made some tonight!  It’s probably the easiest thing to bake, next to a frozen pizza.  If you are interested, the recipe is below the photos (I have to get you to want it first, right?)

Beer Bread

45 mm, 1/25 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1600, 18-55mm kit lens (Beer Bread)

Loaf of Bread

55 mm, 1/25 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1600, 18-55mm kit lens (Loaf of Bread)

2012_Mar_13_untitled shoot_016

41 mm, 1/40 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800, 18-55mm kit lens (Beer Bread)

Beer Bread

  • 3 Cups self-rising flour
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 12 oz beer
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375F
  2. Butter a loaf pan and set aside
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and beer.  Mix well.  The mixture will be sticky
  4. Pour mixture into the loaf pan
  5. Bake for 55 min, or until done (test with a toothpick
  6. 5 min before done, brush the top with butter and return it to the oven
Notes: the type of beer will dictate how light/heavy the bread.  Light beer makes for a lighter bread, and vice versa.  I would recommend starting with the lightest beer you have and adjusting from there.  The beer also influences the bread’s flavor.  Serve while it’s still warm, with butter for a great treat!
Also note that the cooking removes all the alcohol, so this is safe for kids and those that don’t drink.

Day 72.5 (12.5 March 2012) The photos I wanted to post yesterday

I figured out my problem (my hard drive was full!  go figure!), so here are two photos I wanted to share last night:

Chain Link Fence

Chain Link Fence

Red Door

Red Door