Day 334 (29 Nov 2012) Kids, don’t try this at home. . .

“Now wait a minute,” you say, “that is just a tame photo of a city in the distance, and you forgot to follow the rule of third. Why are you implying danger in this shot?”  Well, I would have to say it’s because of where I was when I shot it.  I was on the side of a bridge on a local freeway (I-291) over the Connecticut river at rush hour.  There wasn’t much room to bet into/out of my car, so I had to time it just right.  But I was smart enough to place the car “up stream” of traffic while I set up my tripod. 🙂

I had thought of doing this shot several times before, but was always concerned a police officer would stop me, but I gave it a shot today and succeeded!  Not a great shot; bridge vibrations on 30 sec exposures caused it to be very unsharp on the details, and the composition wasn’t great, the city in the center and all.  Guess I was distracted?  Yeah, you could say that 🙂

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Day 333 (28 Nov 2012) The Melting of the Snow

After yesterday’s snow, the sun came out today and it warmed up a tad, so the snow started to melt a bit.  Most of its still here as of tonight.  So during my lunch break I took out my macro lens & tripod and attempted to shoot some droplets.  I’ve been following H2O by Joanna for quite a while and she creates some amazing drop photos, and she has inspired many images of mine, such as todays (though hers are better 🙂 )

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Day 332 (27 Nov 2012) A Snowy Road

Winter in New England means snow!  I love the snow; I love watching it fall, snow ball fights, hiking in it (gonna go for snow shoes this year, I think), driving in it, and LOVE snowboarding 🙂

I took my truck for a drive down an old farm road in the woods near where I live on my lunch break and took these shots.  It’s not a lot of snow, yet, but it’s still November 🙂

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Tomorrow I’m going to try for an early AM shot, so lets hope I can get up on time!!

Day 331 (26 Nov 2012) A Firetruck in my Studio

Over this past year, when I wanted to shoot random household objects (aka Still Life?), I’ve had to clear off a part of my ‘dinner’ table (which is where my work computer is set up for telecommuting, I don’t eat there unless I’m eating while working) and had to rely on either sunlight or the overhead light for my lighting.  But recently I got the idea of setting up an old small dinette table in my basement to use as my ‘studio.’  I purchased a couple flexible neck clamp lights and some daylight-colored CFLs from Wal-mart, laid out some printer paper, and viola, I have a studio, of sorts.  Obviously this isn’t sufficient to shoot people, but the space could be set up for that, if I ever decide to shoot things that are alive 🙂  It’s right near a window, so I can get some sunlight, depending on time of day/year.

I enjoyed moving the lights around, turing them on/off, and just observing the effect they had on the toy.  I’m not sure if I like the translucent reflectors on these lights, but they may be able to act as a soft box.  Guess I’ve got more experimenting to do!

While I knew I wanted to test out my new setup tonight, I didn’t know what to shoot.  I was thinking of just grabbing the first interesting shape I saw, just to practice with, but on my way home tonight I passed the scene of a structure fire.  Having been a volunteer fire fighter and knowing a few still, I chose a toy fire truck, in honor of those who put their life on the line for others, every day, most of them as unpaid volunteers.

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2 Lights

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1 Light

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2 Lights

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Home “Studio”

Day 330 (25 Nov 2012) Cows At Rest

I pass this field several times a week, and can’t help but watch the cows as I drive by.  It seems at times that they live a life of ease, with nothing to do but relax and eat all day.  Then I go grab a burger and realize that maybe I don’t want that life!

Let me know what you think of the treatment I gave these images.  The foreground wasn’t very interesting, and the sky wasn’t that great, either, so I cropped them out.  The grass is a mix of dead and green, so it was hard to get the cattle to stand out a lot; that’s why I tried the B&W in the last one.  Critiques are welcome!

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Day 329 (24 Nov 2012) Blue Hour

Right after sunset is “blue hour’, in which the sky takes on a deepening and darkening blue as it transitions into the black of night.  I think that this time of day is the best time to shoot sky photos, especially since if the clouds are just right, the sun will shine a beautiful array of reds, oranges, and purples onto them as it sinks lower below the horizon.

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Day 328 (23 Nov 2012) Plymouth

Today after hitting the one Black Friday sale for the one item I needed I made my way to a beach in Plymouth, MA.  There was a heavy fog this morning, and I was hoping it would linger a bit.  There was still some by the time I shot, so I’m happy w/ the shots 🙂  I just need a sensor cleaning (spent some time correcting for the sensor dust tonight)

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Day 327 (22 Nov 2012) Happy Thanksgiving!!

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and I was blessed to be able to spend it with my girlfriend’s family.  She is in Spain, and my parents are in CA, so It was good to be able to be with ‘family’ yesterday.  I brought my turkey fryer and introduced them to the best turkey the’ve ever had 🙂

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Day 326 (21 Nov 2012) Night Tracks

There is something that keeps drawing me to railroad tracks at night with my camera.  I took these late Sunday night after watching the new Bond movie; I drove into Jewett City in Eastern CT.  As I was leaving the theater, I looked at the GPS to see if there was anything interesting, and I found this old train depot and tracks that run past it.

There wasn’t much color, so I tried some black and white conversions.  I wasn’t thrilled the lens flare, but i didn’t know it was that bad till I got home, oh well.

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Day 325 (20 Nov 2012) Blasted Weather. . .

Well, It isn’t anyone’s fault but mine for thinking the sky would be clear tonight, and that I would be able to get the shot I had planned.  Better luck tomorrow 🙂  So, here is what I shot, not exactly the plan, but I did get to try out my new-to-me 75-300 zoom!

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Day 324 (19 Nov 2012) Meteor over Avery Point Lighthouse

A couple weekends ago I was talking with my friend Shannon from SeeingSpotsPhoto about her lighthouse project, and that inspired me to shoot the Avery Point Lighthouse in Groton, CT tonight.  The moon was just under 1/2 and I wanted to try my new-to-me 75-300 mm zoom to try and make the moon larger over the lighthouse.  However, the moon was not in the right place (I would have has to be swimming to get the angle I wanted, lol).  However, the constellation Orion was in the perfect location to shoot with the light house.  I tried several perspectives, trying to keep the shutter speed at 25 seconds or less to minimize star trails while having a sufficient exposure.  And during one exposure a meteor blazed almost directly over the top of the light house, and IN THE FRAME!!!  It’s intensity changed as it flared in and out before dying.  It was one of the most spectacular meteors I’ve seen, and I got it on the image!!!!  I was (still am) so excited I texted Shannon and some other photog friends right away (past 10pm, lol).  So, here it is for you to see, as well 🙂

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18 mm, 25 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100 (Avery Point Lighthouse Meteor)

This is one image, no layering, not combining, just some minor tweaks in Lightroom.  A bucket list shot, if I do say so myself 🙂

Day 323 (18 Nov 2012) Blue Jeans Blues

Today was one of those days were I didn’t feel like picking up my camera, much less trying to shoot something creative.  But as I was doing laundry, the pattern of stitching and threads on my jeans caught my eye.  So I whipped out my macro lens and took some shots.  Not too bad, and the subject is worthy of another chance, IMO 🙂

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Day 322 (17 Nov 2012) Jack Frost

This morning I awoke to sub-freezing temps, and as soon as the sun was high enough, I pulled out my camera and macro lens and tried to shoot the frost.  I want to try this again! I love how the ice refracts the light like a prism, too.

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Day 321 (16 Nov 2012) Harry’s Place

In the summer and into the fall Harry’s Place is a happen’ place.  Lines almost to the road, just waiting for their chance to get their own savory burger 🙂

But alas, it is not longer burger stand season, and Harry’s Place is closed for the season 😦

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Day 320 (15 Nov 2012) I-91 South, Hartford

Looking south on I-91, just north of Downtown Hartford, CT.  Even at 11 pm, there is still plenty of traffic coming to and from the city.  This is part of my daily commute, into the city, then out again to my home, in the country. 🙂

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Day 319 (14 Nov 2012) Along a Dark and Deserted Road. . .

I came across this old building.  What it was in a former life I do not know.  But it’s decay drew my eye, each time I drove this stretch of road.  The contrast of the brick and white paint.  The tall grasses growing through the pavement.  The closed doors hiding it’s past.

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18 mm, 5 min, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Abandoned)

Day 318 (13 Nov 2012) The Gift of Life

I’ve been a blood donor since I was 17, giving my first pint as a Junior in high school.  I’ve not always been consistent in giving every time possible, but always do when asked.  I’ve been more regular since moving to CT, and its always a good feeling to be able to help someone who I will never meet!

I highly recommend you go to www.redcross.com and find a donation site near you and give!  There is almost always a shortage, so your donation will be greatly appreciated by someone and their family!  If you don’t like needles, you won’t even have to watch them stick you or look at your arm at any time.  All you feel is a little pinch and it’s over!

Do you give blood?  Why or why not?  I’m curious to know 🙂

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Day 317 (12 Nov 2012) Winter Tree

I was driving around Sunday afternoon and stumbled upon an open hilltop bordering a semi-industrial area and saw this tree.  Its one of the few I’ve seen that is in such an open area, near the top of a hill.  It makes this perfect to shoot against a cloudy sky.  There is too much light pollution to shoot with stars in the background unfortunately, but the way the light from the town plays on the clouds is worthy of spending time with my camera outside 🙂

The last image is pretty close to the natural color, but I started playing with the white balance and and tint in LR to get the colors in the first image, which I really like.  I also like the black and white treatment, esp. since there wasn’t much color to begin with.  When I saw the view of image 3, I saw that there seemed to be a sharp difference in light levels split by the trunk and tried to capture that.

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Day 316 (11 Nov 2012) Veterans Day

Veterans Day.  This is the day in which we honor those who have (and are currently) served our great nation.  But what does it mean to be a Vet?  Have you ever pondered what serving in our military today is like?  Do you know anyone who has or is serving?

There is so much I could tell you about the daily scarifies that our men and women make, and that their families make, too.  But It would fill up much more of your time than I normally do.  Of all that they sacrifice for our freedom, it is my opinion (from experience) that leaving your family behind is the biggest.  Imagine giving birth with out the father present.  Christmas with out mom.  Anniversaries alone.  Imagine not being able to watch  your child’s first steps.

Regardless of your political views of the wars and conflicts our nation is involved in, honor the men and women who go, no questions asked, do to the bidding of their Commander In Chief, regardless of who it is.

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From my time in Afghanistan, though embedded in an Army unit, I was still a Sailor!

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My “Fish”, or the recognition that I qualified as Submarine Warfare Officer

Day 315 (10 Nov 2012) Sleeping Giant

I went with a few friends, including Shannon from SeeingSpotsPhoto, to do what was originally supposed to be a Fall Foliage hike, but it appears the early predictions were wrong on when the season ended, or Hurricane Sandy messed it all up, as all the trees were bare 😦

The best part of the day was talking photography with Shannon; she’s helped me by answering questions and introducing me to people and probably the closest thing I have to a photo mentor.  One thing I suggest, strongly, is that you find someone better than you who can, and will, help you with your photography!

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