Day 182 (30 June 2012) Sparkler Fun

Tonight I was attempting to spell out my blog name with a sparkler.  Not as easy as it sounded, given my short-lived sparklers, windy location, and lighter that was almost empty!  And trying to do it all solo!

Actually, I really need to blame my poor hand writing, as I couldn’t read it when it was done.  So I tried again (several times, lol) with something simpler, in honor of this project.  This shot was inspired by the photo scavenger hunt I’m participating in, hosted by SeeingSpotsPhoto and Nick Exposed.

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18 mm, 30 sec, f/9.0, ISO 100 (365 Painted)

Day 181 (29 June 2012) Reflected Sunset

First of all, I have to admit that I Love sunsets!  I love watching them, and esp. I love shooting them!  I find myself snapping a photo every few seconds sometimes, and end up with well over a hundred photos to sort through by the time I get home.  Tonight was not any different.

A good friend asked if shooting from the upper deck of the parking garage at the Mohegan Sun casino in Eastern CT would be good for shooting the sunset.  I thought so, so I looked at my Sun Seeker app and determined the best garage (of many) to shoot unobstructed.  I got there about 1.5 hrs before sunset to verify. (note: in CT, with the many hills and trees, finding an area to shoot the sun set from takes some searching; either a tall structure or a very large field on the proper side of the road has to be found, and be accessible.)

So we chatted till the sun started approaching the horizon, and then the haze began to explode in color!  It was  a beautiful sunset 🙂  The casino hotel’s exterior is paneled with reflective glass, so I made sure to turn around and shoot the casino periodically.  This first shot is my submission for “Reflected Love” on SeeingSpotsPhoto and Nick Exposed’s photo scavenger hunt challenge, because I love sunsets 🙂  I moved closer to the fence on this one to get it in the frame, as I think it adds some interest to the image.  What do you think?

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35 mm, 1/25 sec, f/4.5, ISO 400 (Mohegan Sun Set Reflected)

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18 mm, 1/25 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100 (Shooting the Sunset)

Day 180 (28 June 2012) Emerging Stars

Last night (and by last night I mean at 2 am today) I attempted to capture some meteors from the Bootis Meteor shower.  It’s usually not a huge show, so I set the camera on bulb, opened the shutter (after driving for 40 min to find an open area with a view to the north), took a nap, then shut the shutter, and drove home.  I awoke to this image.  No meteors, but I’ll try again during Fall’s big show 🙂

This is my submission for “emerging star”, on the SeeingSpotsPhoto and Nick Exposed photo scavenger hunt since there were so many ’emerging’ 🙂

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18 mm, 60 min, f/3.5, ISO 100, Emerging Stars

Day 179 (27 June 2012) Framing the Moon

My shot tonight is another for the Photo Scavenger Hunt hosted by Shannon and Nick.  The theme is “framed moon”.  My first inclination was to shoot the moon with it surround by trees or other natural items.  Then as I stewed on it (and the other themes) I thought, why not put the moon in a frame?  And why not have someone hold the frame?  I love this photo.  Esp. since I’m very good friends with her parents, and I have known her for about 4 years.  What do you think?

2012_Jun_27_Moon Frame Ella_001

37 mm, 1/20 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 (Framing the Moon)

I realize now I should have boosted the ISO and dropped the shutter speed, esp. since she was anything by steady (so don’t zoom in to full size!).  But I was more focused on moving my camera constantly to keep the moon in the frame, lol. 🙂

Day 178 (26 June 2012) Silence, or The End

At the end
There is silence
Silence in place of all that was
What does the silence say?
It echoes the voice of the past
Forever lost to Earth
Forever singing in Eternity

Ok, so I’m not a poet, at least not when I’m trying to put thoughts down at a quarter to eleven at night 🙂  The inspiration for today was the photo challenge hosed by Shannon and Nick.  When I read the list provided for this photo scavenger hunt and saw silence, my first thought was of death and the earthly resting place of our bodies, and how it contrasts with the eternal resting place for our souls.  As a Christian, I believe in both Heaven and Hell; and in neither of those places will one’s soul be quiet.

2012_Jun_26_Grave Yard_001

30 mm, 30 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100 (Silence)

This photo has some good color in the sky, but I felt that it distracted from the image and the story it’s supposed to tell.  For me this shows that while our bodies may be buried under the Earth, out souls exist in the Heavens 🙂

Here is the list I’m shooting from for the photo scavenger hunt.  I’m supposed to “find” 15 of these, 10 down, 5 to go!

  • Chuck Norris Was Here
  • “Big Foot Footprint”
  • Reflected Love
  • Abstract Self Portrait
  • Framed Moon
  • “Whats your sign”
  • Anti-gravity
  • Unusual Perspective
  • Abandoned
  • Silence
  • Pride and Joy
  • Emerging Star
  • Buried Treasure
  • Sparkler fun
  • Clownin Around Upside-down
  • Lyric Quotograph
  • Summer
  • Patriotism
  • Night

Day 177 (25 June 2012) Gold Star Sunset

All day today and most of the afternoon thunderstorms rolled through New England, and when the weather turned nice in the late afternoon, I knew I had to try for a sunset with the clouds that remained!  I was going to try and shoot from the beach, until I realized that the sun sets over land this time of year over here (the CT shore is south facing), so I drove along the river and saw this view and fell in love.

An interesting thing happened while I was setting up my tripod these two guys started walking from across the street towards me.  It was a purposeful walk, and this isn’t high-income housing (not poor, either), so I get slightly nervous as they approached.  I was hoping they owned the business of the parking lot I was borrowing or local concerned citizens.  I was wrong.  The older of the two guys used to be a pro photographer and lived across the street and was curious about what I was shooting!  We shot the breeze for about 30 or so minutes until the bugs got too bad and the light was fading.  It was a cool experience 🙂

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18 mm, 1/4 sec, f/16, ISO 100 (Gold Star Sunset)

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18 mm, 1/6 sec, f/16, ISO 100 (Sunset on the Thames)

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44 mm, 1/15 sec, f/16, ISO 100 (Two Bridge Sunset)

Day 176 (24 June 2012) Coffee

Today just before leaving the camp I was at I noticed this old crate and knew I just had to shoot it.  I don’t know why it was there, or for how long, but it intrigued me.  So I took a few minutes to shoot it before leaving.

2012_Jun_24_Coffee Crate_008

42 mm, 1/60 sec, f/5.0, ISO 100 (Coffee Crate)

Day 175 (23 June 2012) Buried Treasure

This weekend I’m camping with my church’s Royal Rangers Outpost (it’s similar to scouting).

I did take a lot of photos with my camera, but still want to post today. As I was walking the area I stumbled upon the below. It marks off “Buried Treasure” off my scavenger hunt list 🙂

I edited them a little in Snapspeed.

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Day 174 (22 June 2012) Patriotism

Today’s image is for the photo scavenger hunt (hosted by SeeingSpotsPhotography and Nick Exposed), under the title “Patriotism”.  When I think of the word Patriotism, my first thoughts are of the US Flag, followed closely by our men and women in uniform: Navy, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Air Force, Fire Fighters, Police, and others who risk themselves for their fellow man.
2012_Jun_22_Patriotism_004

60 mm, 1/640 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Patriotism)

Here is the list I’m shooting from.  I’m supposed to “find” 15 of these:

  • Chuck Norris Was Here
  • “Big Foot Footprint”
  • Reflected Love
  • Abstract Self Portrait
  • Framed Moon
  • “Whats your sign”
  • Anti-gravity
  • Unusual Perspective
  • Abandoned
  • Silence
  • Pride and Joy
  • Emerging Star
  • Buried Treasure
  • Sparkler fun
  • Clownin Around Upside-down
  • Lyric Quotograph
  • Summer
  • Patriotism
  • Night

Day 173 (21 June 2012) Night at the Gold Star Bridge

Today almost slipped by w/o taking a photo; it was hot (for CT) and sticky and I didn’t feel like doing much of anything.  But I did make the trop to Groton to lend a friend an extra A/C unit (since they only have a very small unit for the entire house).  After hanging out in the now-getting-cooler house for a bit, I left and drove to the Thames river to shoot the Gold Star Bridge, as my “night” submission for the Photo Scavenger Hunt.

I got to try out my new ball head (a Vanguard SB-100) and I like it so far, esp. since it’s considered a ‘budget’ ball head.  But it’s a HUGE improvement over the one that came on my tripod.  (I’m saving towards a new tripod to match the ball head).  Anyway, here is my submission:

2012_Jun_21_Gold Star Bridge Night_008

18 mm, 30 sec, f/20, ISO 200 (Gold Star Bridge at Night)

Day 172 (20 June 2012) Bone Yard

Today I took a side trip down a road to an area of town where there are countless abandoned vehicle of all types.  It’s an interesting place; It’s not your typical wrecking/bone yard where you can go buy parts.  All these vehicles are just sitting, rusting, having tress fall on them, and all along the road are painted “Keep Out” signs.  There are also signs warning of video surveillance.  To me, a car guy, it’s confusing and sad.  I can see many classic cars and trucks just rusting more and more each year, and it pulls at my heart strings.  I don’t know why someone would want all these vehicles and not restore or sell the parts from them.  Or at a minimum sell them for scrap metal.

So today I found a spot that didn’t have any signs and shot a few frames.  I could have spent hours, broken out the macro lens, but I didn’t want to risk any more than I had.

This first image is a submission to the photo scavenger hunt I’m participating in; this one is under the entry, “abandoned”.  They all could fit that title.  The last one may be submitted under another category, depending on what I can think of for it.

2012_Jun_20_Bone Yard_002

36 mm, 1/200 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Abandoned)

2012_Jun_20_Bone Yard_011

55 mm, 1/400 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Fire Truck)

2012_Jun_20_Bone Yard_009

37 mm, 1/60 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Chuck Noris?)

Day 171 (19 June 2012) Wild Sweet Pea Blossom

On my way into work I happened to take a slightly different route (avoiding a red light) and saw a patch of wild sweet peas in boom.  I just knew I had to stop and use them for today’s post.  I tried a few shots in the field, but being in my work clothes (slacks/shirt), I wasn’t able to get a great shot w/o getting dirty, so I plucked a particularly nice set of blossoms and took them home to shoot.

When I was a kid growing up in Northern California, I used to see these growing all over the place.  We used to eat the peas, though I just read that when ingested in large quantities, they can be toxic!  Good thing we didn’t eat a lot of them 🙂

2012_Jun_19_Pea Flower_033

60 mm, 0.3 sec, f/5.0, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Sweet Pea Blossom)

This second photo is one of my entries for the Photo Scavenger Hunt I’m participating in.  This on is, “Unusual Perspective”.  Not often to I see a photo of a flower taken from behind.

2012_Jun_19_Pea Flower_016

60 mm, 2 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Unusual Perspective)

Day 170 (18 June 2012) Important Paper

The photos below are of some very important paper that almost all of us use on a daily basis, most don’t even realize it.  As you may have guessed, it’s an Air Cleaner Filter, similar to what is used in your car (this one is from a mower).  The filters job is to remove dirt and other particles that can, over time, cause your engine to wear out quicker.

It’s important to ensure your filter is clean for two primary reasons:
1. so that it isn’t letting any dirt past
2. a dirty filter restricts the air flow, reducing the fuel efficiency and power of the engine.

An easy way to tell if you need a new one, is to pull it out, and look through it at a bright light.  If you can’t see the light, then it’s time to replace it!  Depending on how bad it is, you may notice the difference in fuel economy (esp. if you calculate it), and maybe it’s “pep”.  It’s also a good idea to ensure you have a recent tune up and that your oil is changed on schedule.  All these things help the longevity and efficiency of you car’s engine.
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Day 169 (17 June 2012) Summer Fun

Today after church was spend w/ a good friend and her kids. After some catch we went to a local farm called Cows & Cones. The kids can see and pet some live stock, run in the open field, and get really good ice cream. Later the kids and I played on their trampoline. A friend suggested that I set up the camera on a tripod and remotely trigger it. So I did. It was a lot of fun and the kids LOVED having their photos taken and then seeing them 🙂

This first photo I would like you to let me know what you think of it. The editing, composition, etc. I’m looking for honest critiques. I can post the original if will help (just let me know, and I’ll edit the post). Thanks in advance! The second is just for fun 🙂

2012_Jun_17_Cows and Cones_017

20 mm, 1/400 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100 (Ice Cream Time)

2012_Jun_17_Trampoline_020

18 mm, 1/200 sec, f/3.5, ISO 1600 (Trampoline Fun)

Community Collaborative Project :: June

Join me in this really cool and challenging Photo Challenge!

I usually just tell you about them and link to them, but this is easier for me, and provides all the info upfront to you. Hope to see y’alls work in the final showcase!

SeeingSpotsPhoto.com

HEY CREATIVES!!  IT IS THAT TIME!!!!

We are excited to bring you this months Community Collaboration Project (CCP? That could catch on ;)  )!!

But first, before we get into the AWESOME project theme, Shannon and I wanted to send out a HUGE thank you to all who have participated in our last couple projects!! With out all of your continued support, these projects would be uber lame. We look forward to continuing to make these projects bigger and better in order to consistently stretch your creative imagination and skill sets. :)

So with that being said… if you’ve been following along on our Facebook pages (you doooo follow the Nick Exposed and Seeing Spots pages, right??) then you know we’ve been leaving you clues about this month’s theme.  The trick was…the fact that we were leaving clues was the clue!  So, without further ado… We bring you this month’s CCP…

View original post 447 more words

Day 168 (16 June 2012) Beach and Clouds

Today I was in Westerly, RI, for a pancake breakfast fundraiser, and decided to take the LONG way home, including a stop at the shore and a few other places along the way.  I had lots of time and my camera 🙂

Turns out that the beaches are so popular that they charge for parking, so I drove to a rocky portion of the shore where there was limited free parking (gotta save my money for more camera goodies, right? 🙂 ).  The painter below allowed me to take a couple photos of him.  However, I can’t decide which of the three images from the photo I like better.  I’m leaning towards the first one.  Which is your favorite?

2012_Jun_16_RI Beach_026

55 mm, 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 (Beach Painter – 1)

Painter 1 - B&W Landscape

55 mm, 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 (Beach Painter – 2)

Painter 1 - color

55 mm, 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 (Beach Painter – 3)

2012_Jun_16_RI Beach_018

39 mm, 1/250 sec, f/10, ISO 100 (Peace Sign)

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55 mm, 1/160 sec, f/4.0, ISO 100 (Field of Dreams)

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42 mm, 1/82 sec, f/11, ISO 100 (Power Lines)

Day 167 (15 June 2012) Bokah

Tonight I went shooting with a good friend; she likes my work, and has even used some of my images with her writing on her blog, and wanted to hang out and learn a little about night photography.  We had a good time shooting some long exposure traffic, an old church, a local bar, and then we moved to a tree I’ve shot  a few times (here, & here)in an open field under the stars.

Since tonight wasn’t about me, I didn’t shoot too much, but I do like this one, esp. since it’s been a while since I’ve played with bokah lights.

2012_Jun_15_Colchester Night_015

32 mm, 0.6 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100, (Bokah)

Day 166 (14 June 2012) Flag Day, Hartford

Today is Flag Day in the US.  Many nations have their own Flag Day to celebrate the adoption of their national Flag.  Old Glory was adopted by Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777 (see Wikipedia for more).  So, of course I had to shoot some shots of the National Ensign. 🙂

Today also happened to be a great day for clouds.  There were many puffy cumulus clouds floating around the sky.  My goal was to shoot them above the city of Hartford, but by the time I got there, they were not really around.  Or maybe they were just in the northern area of CT (where I work).  Either way, I had a great time wandering the area of the Founders Bridge in Hartford.

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18 mm, 1/125 sec, f/11, ISO 100 (Flag Day, USA)

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18 mm, 1/30, f/18, ISO 100 (Phoenix Bridge, Hartford)

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18 mm, 1/30, f/18, ISO 100 (Connecticut River Reflections)

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21 mm, 1/25, f/18, ISO 100 (The Two Sided Building)

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18 mm, 1/80, f/18, ISO 100 (Tobacco Field)

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21 mm, 1/40, f/18, ISO 100 (Phoenix Bridge, Hartford)

Day 165 (13 June 2012) 10 Minute Challenge

Today I decided to take Shannon up on her 10 Minute Challenge (check out her amazing blog, Seeing Spots Photography).  Basicly what you do is gather up your camera/gear, and “go” (drive, bike, walk, jog, dance, conga line, etc) for 10 min.  You then stop and shoot where you end up.  I decided to hop in my car for the 10 min trip, as it was a bit too wet to get a conga line going 🙂  I found myself on a dirt road I’ve never been on before.  I still had my macro lens on, and decided to leave it. I pulled out my tripod and snapped some interesting shots, if I do say so myself 🙂

I highly recommend taking up this challenge, esp. on a day where you may not feel so inspired.  It forces you to use what you find, rather than try and think of a subject/location.  I will deff do this again, it was fun!

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60 mm, 1/50 sec, f/5.0, ISO 100 (Dry Hydrant)

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60 mm, 0.6 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 (Fence Post)

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60 mm, 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 (Tall Grass)

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60 mm, 0.3 sec, f/11, ISO 100 (Wet Weed)

Day 164 (12 June 2012) Rainy Day

I had this great plan to do a photo walk after work.  Next time I’ll check the weather before I plan, LOL.  But as the rain let up before it got too dark, I wasn’t too disappointed.  I’ve enjoyed the “challenge” of shooting rain drops.

I say “challenge” because it can be frustrating.  The slightest breeze or movement of the plant will ruing an image or I just have to sit and wait.  However, all I need is one good image, so I shoot several and hope that the movement is slow enough for the shutter speed or that I capture the movement at the apex, where it stalls momentarily.  I was using a tripod, which was necessary today, as it’s too dark to shoot hand-held.  I did use live view to get the focus just right (or just right until the subject moved! lol).  Anyway, I may have to invest in an inexpensive ring light/flash so I can use faster shutter speeds.

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60 mm, 1/13 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Rain Drop On Leaf)

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60 mm, 1/5 sec, f/5.0, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Drop on Buds)

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60 mm, 1/5 sec, f/10, ISO 400, 60mm macro lens (Tiny Flowers)