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 🙂

2012_Nov_29_Hartford Night Skyline_001

2012_Nov_29_Hartford Night Skyline_002

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.

2012_Nov_26_Toy Ladder Truck_010

2 Lights

2012_Nov_26_Toy Ladder Truck_017

1 Light

2012_Nov_26_Toy Ladder Truck_015

2 Lights

2012_Nov_26_Studio_001

Home “Studio”

Day 241 (29 Aug 2012) Playing with Traffic

Not in traffic, but with traffic.  And my camera 🙂

Class started today so it was dark by the time I got around to shooting, and since I was in Manchester, CT, I thought I could try shooting a busy intersection and shooting the light trails from tail/head lights.  After a couple frames I changed things up.  I’ve been a big fan of bokah since I first learned about it, so I flipped my lens to manual focus, and put the camera deliberately out of focus to get these shots:

2012_Aug_29_Traffic Lights_027

43 mm, 2.5 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 (Unfocused Drivers)

2012_Aug_29_Traffic Lights_016

55 mm, 2.0 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 (Focus on the lights)

2012_Aug_29_Traffic Lights_00218 mm, 30 sec, f/11, ISO 100 (Phantom Car)

Day 215 (2 Aug 2012) Shifting Gears

. . . is something I have not been able to do for a week and a half in my TDI Jetta 😦  I’m in the process of replacing the clutch, flywheel, and other misc parts to get it back to 100%.  For those of you that are car-savy, my throw-out bearing disintegrated!  Not just wore out, but when I separated the transmission from the engine, a bunch of parts fell out: ball bearings, metal pieces, and other stuff.  Because one of the parts that was destroyed was the clutch fork, I had to order more parts to continue.  The first photo is the edge where it has worn agains the clutch housing.

The second photo I took on my way home today.  I had to stop and shoot some photos 🙂

2012_Aug_02_Metal Wear_010

60 mm, 1/60 sec, f/4.0, ISO 400, 60mm macro lens (Clutch Fork)

2012_Aug_02_Sun_007

29 mm, 1/1000 sec, f/9.0, ISO 100 (Sun Rays)

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.

2012_Jul_15_Rt 2 Tail Lights_004

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

2012_Jul_15_Rt 2 Tail Lights_006

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

2012_Jul_15_Rt 2 Tail Lights_007

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

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 162 (10 June 2012) Underpass

Long day today, but on my way home I passed under one of the highways and thought the pattern of the support pillars as I drove under the underpass.  So I turned around, set up the tripod up to the white line, and tried a couple shots.  I thought that in black and white the pattern would stand out since there wasn’t really any color (esp. at dusk).  It also seems to reflect the deserted, dark feel it has as I drove through it.

2012_Jun_10_Underpass_003

43 mm, 25 sec, f/5.0, ISO 100 (Underpass Tilt)

2012_Jun_10_Underpass_001

55 mm, 25 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 (Underpass)

Day 157 (5 June 2012) Nashville, Day 1

I’m totally loving what I learned so far this week (only day one), and I can’t wait till tomorrow to continue absorbing this awesome material!  It was a long day, starting at 3 am Eastern time, and it’s pushing 10:30 Central/11:30 Eastern time.  I’m beat!  But it’s well worth it 🙂

Today after dinner I took a walk around the hotel area; it’s in a business park area (quite nice, it not too suburban), so I was trying to open my mind to what was around me.  As I was walking, trying to see how the buildings, vegetation, traffic, etc looked through the lens, I noticed that the sun was setting over the hills as I crested a freeway over pass.  Taking a lesson I learned from my Carrousel shot, I stopped the appeture way down and tried to hold steady as I shot the last of the sun.

Tomorrow I want to make it to the heart of Nashville for something new and interesting (I’ve not been here before), and I hope to have something great to share with you 🙂  But for tonight, this will work.  Oh, I also shot the cockpit of the airplane, check it out on my Flickr page (I was surprised that I was allowed to do it!)

2012_Jun_05_Nashville_023

18 mm, 1/25 sec, f/22, ISO 100 (Nashville Sunset)

Day 47 (16 Feb 2012) The Commute

This afternoon was a rainy afternoon here in CT.  And as such, everyone on the freeway decided that they couldn’t drive more than 35 mph.  So I decided If I was going to crawl along at a snail’s pace, I would detour and parallel the highway on city streets.  My thought was that I probably won’t lose any more time, plus I’ll get to see an area of town I normally don’t get to see.  And maybe I would see something worth shooting.

Red Lights In The Rain

55 mm, 1/30 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400, 18-55mm kit lens (Red Lights In The Rain)

But alas, the surface streets were crawling, too.  It took over 30 min to less than a mile.  As I’m sitting at a light I’ve watched turn green many time, I let my mind drift from my predicament and my focus locked onto the red dots in the rain drops on my wind shield.  And since my camera was near by, I grabbed it and was able to improve my mood a bit 🙂

But as I continued to crawl, all I saw was red.  Not anger (ok, maybe a little), but the sea of red tail lights stretched out in front of me like a slow-moving ribbon.

Ribbon of Red

49 mm, 1/8 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400, 18-55mm kit lens (Ribbon of Red)

Day 30 (30 Jan 2012) Windsor Sky

As I was leaving work this evening, an hour later than normal, I glanced up from the road and saw a beautiful sky!  I drove a little out of my way to get away from the business park and found an open field where I could pull over, set up the tripod, and capture the sky.  Then I turned around and pointed at the traffic circle (round-about, for those from other parts of the country/world).  The surrounding towns put these in, most of which don’t have any other roads off of them, to keep the semi-trucks from taking a short cut through residential areas.  I’m not sure how well they work, ’cause I’ve seen tracks go over the top of them, or cutting the corners.  Problem not solved, and everyone has to deal w/ driving around these.  Gotta love government solutions (stepping down from my soap box, now).

2012_Jan_30_Windsor_003

18 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens (Dusk in Windsor, CT)

2012_Jan_30_Windsor_001

18 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens (Windsor Sky)

2012_Jan_30_Windsor_005

18 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens (Dusk in Windsor, CT)