Day 103 (12 April 2012) After the Rain

Today’s weather was interspersed with rain and sun, which meant that there were beautiful cumulus clouds everywhere, and a few rainbows!  Unfortuantly the rainbows were to faint to see once photographed, but I was still able to take a short jaunt to the same nearby corn field that I’ve shot in a few times, now.  Most recently on Tuesday night.

There is just something about the open field, surrounded by trees, and the large, gnarly oak trees that make awesome silhouettes.  I wonder how it will look thought the lens once the corn starts coming in around June.

After the Rain

18 mm, 1/25 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (After the Rain)

Sundown on the Farm

32 mm, 1/30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Sundown on the Farm)

One thing I’m noticing about my shooting habits is my huge hesitation to go above ISO 100; I usually don’t even think about bumping up ISO unless my the lighting conditions required too slow a shutter to be hand held.  I think I tend to pull out a tripod before bumping up ISO, if I have the time/tripod available.  Any thoughts on this?  Should I ‘explore’ the higher ISOs to see how they do, or keep trying to say at ISO 100?


Day 102 (11 April 2012) Blackledge Falls

At about 25 feet high, Blackledge Falls is one of the tallest water falls in Connecticut.  It’s located in Glastonbury just off of a minor highway, and easily accessible on foot.  A short, half-mile hike from the parking area brings you into full view of the twin falls.

Since this set of falls is normally only flowing well after a rain, I thought I would check it out tonight, since we had some light rain today.  It wasn’t gushing, but under flash light, it looked pretty cool.

I think now I know why it’s called Blackledge Falls.  Almost no light was present on the face of the cliff.  It took over 6 min of exposure time, a high ISO, and lots of editing to bring you this photo.  Below the photo is just a little narrative of my photo jaunt tonight.

2012_Apr_11_Blackledge Falls_003

This little hike was not a perfect event; after I get set up, I take a couple 30-second exposures to try and test the photo’s composition.  I knew I had the falls somewhat centered and in focus by using my flash light and LiveView.  But I didn’t realize that it was way too dark for only a 30 second exposure; even with ISO 800 and shooting wide open at f/3.5.  At that point I realized I forgot my IR remote (which allows me to lock open the shutter in bulb mode) in the car.  So, leaving the tripod, I hustle back to the car.

I quickly locate the remote in my other bag and head back to the falls at a quick pace; the clock has already passed 10:30pm and I do have work in the AM.  So, I re-set up the camera, get the focus set, and then my battery indicator starts blinking red.  At this point I realized that I don’t have a spare battery with me; it is in the car.  But It’s late, so I open the shutter and pray the battery can last at least 10 min (I’m planning a 5 min exposure).  Praise God it held out long enough to complete the shot and process it!  Lesson(s) learned!

I think I would like to do this shot in the daytime, with a better perspective, and more flow (I did have my umbrella, because it was raining a little during this whole ordeal).  Stay tuned!

Day 101 (10 April 2012) Drive By Sunset

Sunday evening as I was driving home, turning off the highway for the last stretch of country road, I looked up and saw some bare trees sillueted against a deep blue sky.  Something in me told me to pull over and shoot.  But I didn’t listen.  So this evening I set out to capture it.  However, halfway to that point, I looked in my review mirror and saw the orange sky and a big, knarley oak sillueted against it.  This time I did stop and spent some time shooting from different spots near where I parked.  If this looks familure, it’s because it’s the same area I shot “Life and Death” back in January.  This is a different tree, just across the road and down about 20 yards.

I’m still going to try for the other shot someday. . .

Drive By Sunset

18 mm, 2.5 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Drive By Sunset)

Reaching for Venus

18 mm, 13 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200, 18-55mm kit lens (Reaching for Venus)


32 mm, 4 sec, f/8.0, ISO 800, 18-55mm kit lens (Venus)

Lebanon Sunset

18 mm, 6 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens, cropped (Lebanon Sunset)

Day 100! (9 April 2012) 100th day! (and Star Trails)

Monday’s begin the crazy days where I usually don’t get to pull out my camera before 10 pm left me with limited ways to celebrate my 100th post.  So, I thought: it’s gonna be dark out, why not try some basic light painting?  And what better to paint than “100”?

Well, it being late and after a full day, I didn’t spend the effort to get any fabulous shots (I thought I had some sparklers left, but they ended up being fire crackers.  With fire danger being high this week, I didn’t feel up to that risk).  So, day 100 is here, and soon to pass.  Regardless of what these photos look like, I am happy that I’ve made it to 100 w/o missing a single day of shooting!

Looking back over the the past 100 days, I can’t help but be pleased with many of my photos, and even more pleased with the growth I’ve had in my skill and creativity.  I can’t wait to see what I’m doing by day 200!


18 mm, 30 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (100)

2012_Apr_09_Day 100_001

18 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (100)


18 mm, 30 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (100)

Edit: here is a nice 30 min exposure of star trails, Too much light pollution here, but I like anyway 🙂

Star Trails

18 mm, 31 min 8 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Star Trails)

Day 99 (8 April 2012) Happy Easter!

Yesterday I was astonished when I realized that I had reached 100 followers!  Wow, that is so humbling and encouraging 🙂  When I started this project I was surprised that anyone would follow me (except for maybe some family and close friends).  You support and encouragement over these past 99 days has been amazing and has encouraged me to keep from missing any days, even when I just didn’t feel up to it.  This is such a great community here; I’m very glad that I’ve been able to interact with all of you in this way!  It has helped me to learn more about photography and has helped me gain confidence in this skill/art!  Thank you all so much!!

Also to day is day 99, the day before my 100th post.  I want to try and do something special for tomorrow, but an drawing a blank as what to shoot for tomorrow.  If you have any suggestions, ideas, thoughts, etc, please let me know 🙂  Also, at any time you have a suggestion for something to try, I’ll take it as a challenge and do my best, esp. if it’s something I’ve not done before.

The first shot shows the reason for this holiday; as a Christian, Easter is the celebration of the day that Jesus Christ rose from the dead after taking the penally for my sins and wrongs.  It is because of this day that I will have a place with Him in heaven.  It is the most important event in Christian history; it’s why there are Christians!  I’m not going to preach at you, here, but if you have questions or what-not, please feel free to ask!

The second shot is from my way home tonight after spending a wonderful day amongst friends; the remaining glow on the horizon looked amazing!  I’m afraid I didn’t take the time to fully devote to this shot to get it perfect; it looked better in person. But I did stop, set up the tripod, and pointed east, capturing Venus (the brightest dot).

The Empty Cross

18 mm, 1/13 sec, f/8.0, ISO 1600, 18-55mm kit lens (The Empty Cross!)


21 mm, 25 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Venus)

Day 98 (7 April 2012) Busy as a Bee

Today is what my employer would call a ” day off.”  But it’s funny that I always have tons of work to do on my day off.  Not for my job, but home work, yard work, auto work, house work, etc.  It seems I never have enough time to get it done, but that’s ok.  Most of it will still be there for my next “day off” lol.

On one of my errands, I swung into the local high school parking lot since I noticed a lot of trees blooming.  I swapped out the kit zoom for the macro lens and spend about 20 min shooting the flowers.  Today was bright and sunny, and shooting at about 2:30 pm meant the light was bright and harsh.  So could that with the challenge of shooting white flowers against a back-lit sky, I was happy that I was able to get some good shots 🙂

Busy Bee

60 mm, 1/1600, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Busy Bee) {cropped}

White Bliss

60 mm, 1/2000, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (White Bliss)


60 mm, 1/80, f/5.6, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Azalea)

And this is a sight I’m never tired of seeing!

Old Glory

60 mm, 1/500, f/5.6, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Old Glory)

Day 97 (6 April 2012) Smoke

Every time I blow out a candle, I am mesmerized by the patterns and shapes that the smoke creates as it wafts up from the wick.  Today I grabbed my camera just as I blew one out and took a few shots.  And just for fun, I played with the split toning to see what it would look like in different colors.  A bit different than what I normally do, but it was fun and a learning experience 🙂

I think I would like to do this again more deliberately, with a  cleaner back ground and play with the  shutter speed to see how it comes out.  But for now, I like how these turned out.

Blue Smoke

60 mm, 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60 mm macro lens (Blue Smoke)

Red Smoke

60 mm, 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60 mm macro lens (Red Smoke)


60 mm, 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60 mm macro lens (Smoke)


I am so happy and excited right now that I can barely stand it!  One of my photos was used as the cover of a book currently for sale on  The author of “Nicky Nighttime” contacted me through this blog about using a photo I posted from my day in Newport, RI as the cover of a book he wrote.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure at first if it was a legit request, but It turned out to be and after creating a use license for his book, he used it for his book!

This is the photo he used:

Newport Cliff Walk Breaking Clouds

Anyway, I just had to share this great moment with all of y’all 🙂  I encourage you to check out his book, I think it’s only about $3 (I haven’t read it yet, but will soon).  He’s a self published local author (local to Newport RI), and is a very nice and considerate guy.  He was a real pleasure to work with on this project 🙂

Good night!

Day 96 (5 April 2012) An iPod Autopsy

This evening I didn’t have a subject in mind for today’s photo/blog post, so I started rummaging through drawers looking for interesting objects to shoot.  I came across my fist iPod from about 10 years ago.  It is the one w/ the four touch buttons under the screen, black and white, and a 15 GB hard drive.  I remember thinking how tiny it was to hold so much music.  It was great to have with me on deployments on my submarine while I was in the navy.  As you can imagine space is a premium and I was used to packing a Diskman, batteries, a battery charger, and two cases of CDs.  Replacing all that with something the size of a deck of cards was amazing!

But anyway, it had died about 5 years ago.  Being a pack-rat, I held onto it for some reason, i’m sure.  But today I decided I wanted to see the inside.  So I took it apart carefully (mostly) and took some shots to share.

The third shot I wanted to have a little fun with, so I tried playing with split toning.  I didn’t really know what it did, but I’ve got a great idea how it works now 🙂

iPod Autopsy

60 mm, 1/25 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200, 60mm macro lens (iPod Autopsy)

Apple Chips

60 mm, 1/25 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200, 60mm macro lens (Apple Chips)

Apple Guts

60 mm, 1/25 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200, 60mm macro lens (Apple Guts)

Day 95 (4 April 2012) Spring Flowers

Today is such a wonderful spring day; I wish I didn’t have to leave shortly for school, or that I didn’t have to work today.  But at least I was working from home so I could have my door to the deck open to let in the fresh air, and I had some time to go out and enjoy it for a few min.

I took some macro photos in my yard, using a tripod this time.  There was a gentle breeze that made it a little difficult; I had to use a wide open aperture and fast shutter speed on most of them to snap the moment the flowers paused their swaying.  It was fun, though 🙂  enjoy!

Three Amigas

60 mm, 1/30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Three Amigas)

First one this year

60 mm, 1/30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (I'm First!)

Ready to Bloom

60 mm, 1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60 mm macro lens (Ready to Bloom)

Day 94 (3 April 2012) Rings of . . .

Ford. Not Saturn. These ‘rings’ are from a brake job I did tonight on my friend’s Ford station wagon. You may not know much about cars, but when the brake rotors get grooved and warped like these ones, they need to be replaced (because they don’t stop your car very well).

I’ve been working on cars since before I knew what a car was, handing my dad tools as a little kid and then learning and doing more as I grew older. Now one of my hobbies is working on cars and restoring my 1973 Chevy El Camino. I also do work to earn a little money and help out those who can’t afford it. Or in this case, trading auto work for some hair cuts with a friend who is a stylist. This is what I call a win-win situation 🙂

Rings of Ford

60 mm, 0.8 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60 mm macro lens (Rings of Ford)

Brake Rotor

60 mm, 1/4 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200, 60mm macro lens (Brake Rotor)

Day 93 (2 April 2012) Montville Center Congregational Church

If you’ve ever visited New England, you probably noticed that the roads here are planned as carefully as spaghetti is arranged on your plate. As such, there are numerous ways to get from A to B. A couple days ago I took a new way home and discovered a lot of cool, old buildings along the way. A lot of old brick factories (from the fabric mill days) and this church. Most of the brick buildings have no trespassing signs, and not feeling up to any jail time tonight, I decided to shoot this church.

I shot this with about a 2.5 min exposure at ISO 200. This is the first long exposure I’ve intentionally shot at an ISO greater than 100. I think the noise level is hardly noticeable, so I may try some higher ISOs to reduce my exposure time on future shots.

Montville Center Congregational Church

18 MM, 147 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200, 18-55mm kit lens (Montville Center Congregational Church)

Day 92 (1 April 2012) Help Wanted

So I think my camera decided to play an April Fools day joke on me. Ok, I can’t really blame it on my camera, so I’m asking all of you for help today.

On my way to church I saw the sun trying to break through the clouds and it looked beautiful!  There was a little color, but it was more the shape and contrast in the clouds that grabbed my attention.  So I pulled over and put my camera up to my eye and fired off a few shots, adjusting the exposure some between each shot.  Some looked good on the LCD so I felt happy all day ‘knowing’ I had captured a great shot I could use here.

But when I got home and uploaded them, I was thoroughly unimpressed.  Even with spending over 30 min trying to tweak them to bring out what I remembered seeing, I feel like I missed the shot in some way, or messed it up when capturing it.

So, can you give me some tips on how to either fix it, or get it right in camera next time?  The first shot is straight from the camera, the last is tweaked and converted to black and white (not really happy with it).  Thanks.

Shining Through

37 mm, 1/500 sec, f/13, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Shining Through - un edited)

Shining Through

37 mm, 1/500 sec, f/13, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Shining Through - edited)

Shining Through - B&W

37 mm, 1/800 sec, f/13, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Shining Through - B&W)