Day 213 (31 July 2012) Morning Fog

I was treated to some fog covering my front door landscape; I’ve always like the way fog adds an air of mystery to any landscape 🙂

 

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30 mm, 1/30 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100 (Morning Fog)

When I look at this image, I’m not too fond of it.  It doesn’t really grab my attention, speak to any feelings/emotions, or look ‘cool’.  My next step is to look at some fog photos I think are great and see what they did.  Have you shot a great fog photo or know what I can do to improve?  Either editing, composition, camera settings, etc that should be changed?  The biggest thing I did was to drop the clarity to near the far left on the slider (reducing detail), if that will help you provide some feed back.

One of the things I love about this community is the ability to receive honest critiques.  And in this case I could use some!  Not the “it’s fine, you are too hard on your self” stuff, but “this is why your image isn’t very good. . .”  Yes, I do crave that kind of feed back, even though it’s not as fun to receive as the positive stuff.  I can’t get better if I don’t fix my weaknesses!

Day 212 (30 July 2012) Canon AE-1 Program

Today was a super busy day; It’s 10:30 and Im just now coming up from the garage, halted by needing more parts than I expected to do my clutch replacement (when my throwout bearing disintegrated, it caused the clutch release lever and some other parts to be destroyed).  And I hadn’t thought about making a photo yet.

But earlier today, I scored a deal on another film camera, a Canon AE-1 Program.  The image below is what I used to show it off on Facebook to my friends (heavily edited in Snapseed).  And since I count any camera for use in this blog, this iPhone photo is today’s image, if for no other reason than it’s late and I’m tired, LOL.

Yesterday evening I did end up editing some of the photos from my time in the studio on Saturday, so I hope to get some up tomorrow 🙂  I’ll leave you to today’s image as I go and clean up enough to get into bed 🙂  G’night y’all!

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For some reason, the photos seem better on the smaller phone screen, I may have gone a bit overboard on this one, LOL.  Always learning, I am!

 

Day 211 (29 July 2012) Somewhere Over the Rainbows . . .

Nope not a typo, Rainbows is correct 🙂  But you say, “Hold on a minute, what about yesterday’s post?  You didn’t post anythingI  Does this mean you broke your streak??”  Nope, I actually shot a LOT yesterday, about 350 images!  I was invited to a studio party, which I’ll tell you more about when I actually post some images.  I will tell you it was a LOT of fun and I didn’t get to sleep till about 2am, so that’s why I didn’t post.

Now, back to today’s post.  Yes, I know Dorothy sang it with a singular rainbow (even though hers was monochrome, lol).  But today I shot more than one, at once!

I was trying to think about what to shoot, so I asked my gf for a suggestion, and she said, “the 5th thing your eyes land on.”  First time it was my monitor, and she clarified and said, “non-electronic.”  Well, sitting on my desk from a small movie project I did was a DVD.  I’ve seen cool photos done w/ CDs and DVDs, so I thought I would try my hand at it.

So, as I was creating rainbows using various lights, I happened to look up and out my window.  God went ahead an one-upped me!  He had made a double rainbow right out my front door!  Talk about awesome!  All I can say is that when God “shows you up”, its bound to be pretty cool 🙂

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18 mm, 1/80 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Double Rainbow)

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60 mm, 1.3 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (DVD Rainbow)

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60 mm, 1.0 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Light Traces)

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60 mm, 2.0 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Crazy Colors)

Day 109 (27 July 2012) Rain, Rain, . . .

Early this afternoon we had a heavy thunderstorm move through the area; the rain was so heavy at times I couldn’t hear my radio!  I decided to venture out a bit (with my umbrella).  After I got back inside, the sun came out before the rain left, and caused a really neat effect, it’s like I had a mega-flash illuminating the drops! 🙂

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29 mm, 1/160 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400, (Staying Dry)

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55 mm, 1/20 sec, f/10, ISO 100 (Sun and Rain)

Here is the next photo challenge, co-hosted by SeeingSpotsPhoto.com. Check it out and join in!!

SeeingSpotsPhoto.com

One of the hardest things for any photographer to do is be objective about their work.  It’s not surprising – photography is an emotional art.  You aren’t just sharing an image.  You’re sharing your vision of the world, and your feelings about the moment as you press the shutter.  Photographers pour their heart into their work, and sometimes, it’s difficult to separate the emotional attachment you have for an image from the compositional and connective realities of what lies within the frame.

So David Pasillas and I are issuing a two-part mini-challenge.  First, push the limits of your creativity.  Second, embrace your objectivity.

Step 1: Grab your camera, any camera. Creativity isn’t limited by the tool, it lies within the artist.

Step 2: Pick a subject and take 100 different photos of it.

AGGGGHHHHHH!!  100 photos!!!???!!  We know, it’s a very intimidating number, but before you run for…

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Day 208 (26 July 2012) Cracked

Ever get in a creative rut?  Can’t think of something to shoot or an idea for a photo to make?  Just check the trash!  Well, if you have some old chicken or fish, you may not want to do that, LOL.  A few days ago I bought some eggs to use for some photography experimentation with light.  I saved a couple of the shells because I knew there would be a day where I needed an interesting subject to shoot.  Today was that day!

I experimented with different orientations, DoFs, number of ‘subjects’, etc.  I did a black & white conversion in Lightroom, because I like the texture and shape (and brown eggs just are not very interesting from a color standpoint).  When I was setting up, the available light I used was the lighting fixture above my dining room table.  The fixture has 3 bulbs which make for multi-shadows, so I unscrewed two of the bulbs to give a simple shadow.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I enjoyed creating them!

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60 mm, 3.2 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Cracked)

 

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60 mm, 0.6sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Empty Eggs)

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60 mm, 3.2 sec, f/9.0, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Cracked Open)

Day 207 (25 July 2012) Fly Away. . .

Today at lunch I was walking around I found a feather: I almost didn’t pick it up, but I’m glad I did 🙂
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60 mm, 1/80 sec, f/18, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Feather Silhouette)

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60 mm, 1/1600 sec, f/18, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Feather In The Sky)

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60 mm, 1/250 sec, f/5.0, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Blue Feather)

Day 206 (24 July 2012) New London Nights

After a class I’m helping teach I decided to wander the streets of downtown New London with my camera and tripod.  Not a lot of activity, though it’s only Tuesday night, not Friday or Saturday, which was good.  I could shoot w/o having to worry about people getting in my way or me in their way 🙂

I only took time to clean up a couple images, just ’cause of the time.  I’ll clean up the rest and put them on my Flickr page eventually.  Have a great night!

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18 mm, 25 sec, f/18, ISO 100 (Amtrak)

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33 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200 (Bike Racks)

Day 205 (23 July 2012) “We mortals are but shadows and dust. . .”

That line from Gladiator (the movie) is what comes to mind when I look at the first two images.  It’s one of my favorite movies, and possibly my favorite quote from the movie; It reminds me that while my time on Earth is short, and in the span of existence, I’m but a speck, I can leave a lasting legacy, as did Maximus for Rome in the movie.

I’m really enjoying this month’s photo challenge, Silhouettes.  It is what inspired the first two images.  However, this was not my original plan.  I had wanted to catch the last glow of the sun in the overcast sky from a particular location, but I did not know that the closest access point was off limits (something about private property between it and I).  So I kept driving, looking for a site that would work.  But I lost the light.  Then I looked at the GPS display and saw where I wanted to go.  I was hoping for a shot of the tracks with the river under the overcast sky.  And this is what I shot:

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18 mm, 2 min 15 sec, f/13, ISO 200 (Shadow Watcher)

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18 mm, 2 min 15 sec, f/13, ISO 200 (River Silhouette)

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18 mm, 2 min, f/13, ISO 200 (Route 2a Bridge)

Day 204 (22 July 2012) Gates and Fences

I have to admit that today was one of those days were I was totally unmotivated to do anything, much less hop in my truck and drive to the location for today’s shoot.  And even though I really like the results of my shooting/editing, I can’t get excited about it.  Have you ever had one of those days?  What did you do to get out of the funk?

Anyway, today’s images have a double inspiration.  First from my friend Carol, who requested that I shoot fences, and also from Shannon, co-host of this months collaborative photo shoot project/challenge.  This month’s challenge is silhouettes, and one of the idea-fostering images she shot prompted the shot of barb wire below.  Thank you both, ladies, for the inspiration for today’s shoot 🙂  I don’t know which of the two silhouettes below will be my submission.  I really like the barb wire shot, but don’t want to be a copy-cat.  Though I think I should have used a larger aperture in the wooden fence image to reduce the star-ing affect of the sun.  What do you think?

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35 mm, 1/25 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200 (Red Gate)

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43 mm, 1/25 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200 (Gate Post)

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18 mm, 1/160 sec, f/11, ISO 100 (Barb Wire Silhouette)

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18 mm, 1/200 sec, f/13, ISO 100 (Farm Fence Silhouette)

Day 203 (21 July 2012) Oh Christmas Tree. . . .

Thats what I was thinking when I looked at the LCD after shooting this image.  I wanted to get the blue spruce as a silhouette for the Photo Challenge, and the sun was in the perfect position to become the tree topper, just like it was Christmas in July!  I even got a little (lot) of lens flare for decoration! 🙂

2012_Jul_21_Tree Silhouette_00418 mm, 1/60 sec, f/22, ISO 100 (Christmas Tree)

Day 202 (20 July 2012) Connecticut Corn

You may not know it if you never leave the larger towns, cities, and major highways of Connecticut, but CT has a thriving agriculture industry.  Nestled in the rolling hills, away from major highways and large towns & cities are thousands of acres of corn!  I run past a couple fields during my morning jogs, and when I take the backroads in the eastern part of the state, I see lots and lots of corn.  As such, corn mazes are also quite popular (and fun!).  Also, the local sweet corn is available all summer long, both in major grocery stores and road side produce stands.  It’s perfect the perfect grilling companion for a steak (or chicken or burger or . . . )!

What statistics I could find say that there are about 300 farms planting 4,600 acres of corn (as of 2007) in this small state.  Sure, a single farm in Iowa will surpass that, but this is New England 🙂

These photos are from one such farm along my jogging route:

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18 mm, 1/60 sec, f/11, ISO 100 (Connecticut Corn)

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55 mm, 1/40 sec, f/11, ISO 400 (Rolling Hills of Corn)

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33 mm, 1/60 sec, f/10, ISO 100 (Tall Corn)

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60 mm, 1/40 sec, f/11, ISO 800, 60mm macro lens (Corn Tassels)

Day 201 (19 July 2012) Egg-celent Shadows

A few days a go I read a post on the Photofocus blog about lighting.  It suggested using a light source and an egg to see how different positions and distances for the light would affect the image.  So last time I went grocery shopping I bought a half dozen eggs, cooked with 5 tonight and kept the other for my practice.

Here are some of the shots I found interesting.  However, I did learn a bit about how the light envelops, or doesn’t, the subject.  I would like to do this exercise again, with more time, to really just study it.  I can’t say I’m ready to go buy a bunch of studio lights, but I have a little bit better understanding of how distance and angle affect the image, and can try to use this in my photography 🙂

I’ll probably also submit one of these to the Silhouette photo challenge, which I highly encourage you to join!

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50 mm, 1/250 sec, f/1.8, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8 (Egg Shadow)

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50 mm, 1/640 sec, f/1.8, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8 (Egg Silhouette)

2012_Jul_19_Egg Silhoutte_00750 mm, 1/400 sec, f/1.8, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8 (Egg Shadow)

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50 mm, 1/640 sec, f/1.8, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8 (Half Moon Egg)

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50 mm, 1/1000 sec, f/1.8, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8 (Full Moon Egg)

Day 200!!! (18 July 2012) Silhouettes in the Dark

As you may have seen, the next photo challenge hosted by NickExposed and SeeingSpotsPhoto is Silhouettes.  The challenge is to create (w/o photoshop) 3 images that consist of silhouettes.

Today’s photos came almost by accident; I saw some lighting to the south of where I was and looked at my weather app and found that the storm was just off shore, so I headed south to try and capture some lightning.  However, by the time I found a good shooting spot, the storm had moved sufficiently such that none was visible anymore.  Then I noticed the tree in the first image.  And remembered the challenge for July.  Then I moved further south to Avery Point, hoping still to see the storm, but to no avail.  But I did end up with the second image as my compensation.

I can’t say that it’s a worthy trade, as I’ve wanted to shoot lightning for years, and have had no luck as of yet, but I am very happy with it as one of my submissions 🙂

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18 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Thames River Silhouette)

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18 mm, 30 sec, f/7.1, ISO 100 (Silhouette and Light)

Join me in July’s Photo Challenge!! An keep an eye out for my submissions in this fun project!

SeeingSpotsPhoto.com

HEY CREATIVES!!  IT’S THAT TIME OF THE MONTH!

Ummm…wait…that came out wrong.  What I meant to say is that it’s time to announce the details on this month’s Community Collaboration Project (CCP for those of you who are hip to acronyms and initialisms).

But First!!

Before we spill the beans about this month’s skill set project, we wanted to give a RIDICULOUSLY LOUD, GINORMOUSLY HUGE thank you to all who have participated in our last couple projects!!  Did we mention we had over 100 images submitted to our Scavenger Hunt??  OVER 100!!  Seriously, give yourselves a round of applause.  I mean, think about it…you took on an ambitious project, rocked it full of creativity, and throughout it all, you continued to make new friends (*cough network cough*) all while becoming stronger photographers.  That’s like a win-win-win…um…win.  Or a win x 4.  Or a win to the 4th degree?

Anyway…

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Day 199 (17 July 2012) Shadows in the Dark

Was helping a friend replace his starter tonight after work, and as normal, the repair when longer than planned (due to having the wrong part and having to go back out for the correct one), so we finished up by flashlight.  I had one of my lights pointing slightly under the car for light to see the tool pile, and I noticed that as it shone across the driveway, this row of seeds from the tree we worked under cast an interesting set of shadows.  So, I paused my help, grabbed the camera/tripod, and took the shot 🙂

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39 mm, 13 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Shadows in the Dark)

Tomorrow is Day 200!  I will have to come up with something special to celebrate!  So, come back and see what happens!

Day 198 (16 July 2012) New Toy . . .

Today I traded an old riding mower that I couldn’t get running (and had already replaced w/ a new one 🙂 ) for an old film SLR.  It was a win-win as we both had something we didn’t want, and the other something we wanted!

I’ve been on the look out for an older film SLR to use to teach some boys at my church about photography, without risking an 11 year old drop my DSLR, and this opportunity came up, so I jumped on it!  It’s probably not the best, or the most feature-rich SLR out there, but I figure that it’s a great place to start in teaching the mechanics.  I can use a cheap P&S for teaching composition, etc, that will give quick feed back, and this new one to teach the technical side (shutter speed, DoF, etc).  But I’m going to have to learn how to shoot film first!  My last film camera was a simple P&S Kodak Advantix, from the early 2000s!

So, any tips, links, websites, etc that you can offer would be very much appreciated!  I’m thinking of starting the boys (and myself) out with B&W film (gotta find it), but not sure of what ASA, brand, etc to go for.  So, if you shoot film, or ever have, please chime in below and give a fellow some help 🙂

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60 mm, 1.6 sec, f/11, ISO 400, 60mm macro lens (Minolta X-370)

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60 mm, 1/8 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400, 60mm macro lens (Old Camera)

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60 mm, 1/10 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400, 60mm macro lens (No Auto Here!)

Day 197 (15 July 2012) Going Home. . .

So yesterday’s post wasn’t a work of art, that’s for sure.  What you saw was my reward for 4hr, 8min of grueling Tough Mudder!  It was probably the most awesome thing I’ve ever done, and a TON of fun!  I am defiantly going to do it again next year!!  When I posted that photo, I was at some small pizza joint with my team, reliving the glory of the day and refueling our bodies for the drive home.  If you are interested in a physical challenge, I HIGHLY recommend you go to www.toughmudder.com and finding the nearest event, signing up, and training for it!

On my way home from spending the day with my teammates at a post TM hang out, I noticed all the other people headed home after their weekend’s actives.  I got me thinking, I wonder what they all did this weekend?  Did they have to work?  Did they get to spend it with friends/family?  Was it a terrible weekend?  We all probably had different weekends, but we all had one thing in common: we were all going home.  Home to rest, relax, prepare for the up-coming work-week.

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55 mm, 13 sec, f/20, ISO 100 (Going Home)

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55 mm, 13 sec, f/20, ISO 100 (Tail Lights)

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55 mm, 13 sec, f/20, ISO 100 (Coming Home)

Day 195 (13 July 2012) Tough Mudder

Tomorrow is Tough Mudder!  If you have heard of it, you know what I’m going to face tomorrow.  If not, check out the link; It’s basically a 12 mile, military-level obstical course, created by British SpecialOps guys.  I’m totally excited and nervous at the same time!

I’ve been training in a new-ish type of shoe called “minimalist”, with has virtually no cushion, and is not much more than a protective sole held to my feet.  I love them!  But I’ve never done anything this extreme in them, yet, so that’s part of my nervousness. 🙂  So, in honor of the Tough Mudder, I decided to shoot my shoes.  Not super exciting, but I’m excited for tomorrow 🙂

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