Day 254 (11 Sep 2012) I remember. . .

 

I remember exactly where I was on 9/11/01.  I remember that I was a senior in college at Savannah State University starting my last semester.  I remember that I was in NROTC preparing to take the Oath of Office as an Ensign in the US Navy that December.

I remember that my clock radio woke me up some time after the first tower was struck.  I remember the DJ saying a plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York and thinking why the huge deal over a small plane collision with a big building.  I remember that the possibility of an airliner crashing into such a huge building, or that a major terrorist attach on US soil never entered the realm of possibilities as I hit snooze.  I remember that when I finally did crawl out of bed the shock and horror I felt when I finally realized what had happened.  I remember the anger, fear, and uncertainty that followed for the rest of the day.

I remember how everything changed after that day.  I remember the explosion of patriotism  that swept the nation.  I remember that you couldn’t find a US flag in the store; as they were all sold out.  I remember our nation preparing and going to war in Afghanistan while I was in my naval training.  I remember watching the news of it between classes and being frustrated that I was stuck in a brick building in Groton, CT, and not out on my ship taking the war to the enemy.  I remember about 5 years later that I would go to Afghanistan, and finally “do my part.”

When I see the indifference that the ‘people’ of this nation now have towards the conflict or the event 11 years ago, I remember the lives lost on that horrific day, and those lost since and still being lost.

I remember.

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The Offering2012_Sep_11_9-11_019

I remember 9-11

Day 253 (10 Sep 2012) Garder Lake Sunset

I know y’all have seen many, many sunset photos; I’ve shot a lot.  But I still love sunsets!  I love shooting them and sharing them, too 🙂

I’ve driven by this lake in Montville, CT more times that I can count, and last night I noticed that the sun set in such a way that I could shoot it from one of the few areas of the lake that are not private property.  I arrived just as the sun was dropping behind the trees and took some periodic photos until the few clouds started to change from white, to yellow, orange, and eventually purple.  I love the composition of the dock opposite the sun’s position 🙂

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18 mm, 1/40 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Tranquil Lake)

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18 mm, 1/60 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Purple Clouds)

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47 mm (cropped), 1/4 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Spillway)

Day 245 (2 Sep 2012) Giant Mountain

On this date, my 3 friends and I climbed Giant Mountain, and one of them and I left the other two to rest on the summit and added Rocky Peak in our quest to become “46ers“.  I’m up to 9 of the 46 High Peaks in the Adirondacks (click the link to learn more about it), and I plan on becoming a full-fledged 46er someday.  🙂

I took quite a few less photos on this hike, as it was a little more technical of a climb, and I was a little tired from the 16 miles I did the previous day.  This day’s hike ended up being just about 10 miles, the last part, being the hardest (the decent; my knees were wishing for a break about the time I hit the first summit).  You might notice that there are some trees starting to turn, I would love to come up here next fall and shoot from a peak at the peak of leaf season 🙂 Here are my favorites:

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Misty Mountians

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The High Peaks

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Weathered Tree

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Giant’s Basin

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Mountain Sunset

Day 244 (1 Sep 2012) Mt. Marcy, ADKs

Back on Sept 1st, 3 friends and I climbed Mt. March, which is one of the ADK’s “46ers” and the tallest peak in the state of New York at 5,344 feet (1,629 m).  It was the second attempt for two of us, who attempted to climb it back in May, when the last several miles of trail were still covered in snow and ice.  This time the trail was dry 🙂

It was a great hike, with some spectacular views from the top, and a great time with friends!  Here are some of my favorite photos from the day:

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Reflection

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Edge of the Path

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Nestled Berries

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Cloud Break over Mt. Marcy

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Marsh Crossing

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View From Mt. Marcy’s Summit

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Carin
2012_Sep_01_ADK Marcy_151Rock Pile
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My Accomplishment

Day 239 (27 Aug 2012) Mansfield Hollow Lake

Sitting down to leftovers at my computer, I had already decided I wanted to shoot the sunset.  There were lots of clouds in the sky so I had hopes that they would provide beautiful colors (much like when I shot the Airline Trail sunset).  I decided that the colors would probably look amazing reflecting off the surface of water, so I started looking for lakes on yahoo maps that had the sun setting across from an access location.  Mansfield Hollow Lake fit the bill perfectly, and it was only 30 min away!

However, the cloud cover beyond the horizon must have been heavier than I anticipated, as there was not a lot of color.  But I still made the best of it, I think, with some long exposer shots of the water/sky.  And as I was packing up and walking back to my car, I noticed that the moon had risen high directly to the East, and was reflecting on part of the lake when the clouds parted a moment.  I set up my tripod next to the road and capture a few frames 🙂  And to reward myself for getting off my tush and finding/making my daily images, I splurged on a frappe for the ride home 🙂

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18 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Mansfield Hollow Lake)

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18 mm, 15 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Moon over Mansfield Hollow)

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53 mm, 6 sec, f/22, ISO 100 (Waterlogged)

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18 mm, 4 sec, f/11, ISO 100 (Colors Reflected)

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18 mm, 2.5 sec, f/22, ISO 100 (Sunset Over Mansfield Hollow Lake)

Day 236 (24 Aug 2012) Morning Fog

I took this image this morning before the fog burned off.  I kinda like it, though not sure it conveys the fogginess.   Maybe if I get up earlier and get it while still a bit dark and use a long exposure? (getting up early is the hard part, lol) 🙂  Anyway, my camera is not put away for the night, so maybe I’ll see something interesting to shoot again 🙂

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55 mm, 1/15 sec, f/29, ISO 100 (Sun and Fog)

Day 231 (19 Aug 2012) Drama in the Sky

Another long day, but it ended with a nice bit of color in the sky.  I didn’t capture it well, but the clouds were great.  I ended up dong a B&W conversion since I couldn’t get the color to suite me.  I’m ok with this, though.

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18 mm, 1/25 sec. f/8.0, ISO 100 (Drama in the Sky)

Day 230 (18 Aug 2012) End of a Long Day

Yesterday I didn’t post the a photo from yesterday.  I took several, but they were mostly of the boys while camping, so I won’t post them here.  But I did try to snap a few images of this lonely cloud I saw pulling out of the grocery store parking lot.  I had to stand on one of those tall bases for the lot lights to see over the fence enough to get a ‘clean’ shot.  But since it was pretty dark already, I had to boost the ISO up pretty high, and use some heavy post processing to get this image.  Definitely not work I’m proud of, but it’s what I’ve got for yesterday 🙂

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30 mm, 1/13 sec, f/4.5, ISO 400 (Lonely Cloud)

Day 226 (13 Aug 2012) Sunset on the Farm

I’ve passed this farm many times, driving to hiking and riding trails.  I was on my way to ride this evening and just HAD to stop!  I would like to plan a shoot here, but for tonight, the clouds made it a great site! (though this, and other delays, gave me the experience of riding in the dark, lol).

I tried several presets in LR3 and used my own settings on the first one.  I really enjoy making an image my own, even if it’s not exactly what I saw with my eye.  I do at least a little tweaking to every image I publish.  Sometimes it’s just adjusting white-ballance or a B&W conversion, or taking a bad exposure and creating a great image from.  Or sometimes it’s just fun to go hog-wild!  What are your thoughts on image editing?

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18 mm, 1/320 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Sunset on the Farm)

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18 mm, 1/160 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (End of the day)

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18 mm, 1/60 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (End of a Long Day)

Day 221 (8 Aug 2012) Into The Unknown. . .

Well, sorta.  It’s actually my driveway.  Thought you never know what will happen, or where you will end up when you leave home 🙂

I was given some advice the last time I shot in the fog, and I completely forgot to bring out my tripod 😦  Maybe next time! (of course I never have time on week mornings; the job and all). I did go a little crazy on the first image; I do like it, though. it kinda looks painted to me. But on both I like how the road disappears into the mist. What do you think?

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18 mm, 1/80 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200 (Into The Unknown)

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36 mm, 1/40 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200 (Into The Mist)

Day 220 (7 Aug 2012) Airline Trail Sunset

Last night I was riding the Airline Trail and realized that there were many photogenic locations.  The Lyman Viaduct looked like it would be great for shooting the sunset.  So today I parked at the nearest road crossing, walked in and waited.  I missed the sun going behind the hill (I forgot to check the actual direction of the setting sun last night while there), but I realized that because it was setting behind a hill, I didn’t miss anything spectacular.  So I waited around for a while, hoping that as the sun approached and passed the official sunset time, that the colors would show up on the high, thin clouds.  I have to admit, I almost gave up and started creating a Plan B in my mind.  But I shouldn’t have worried, the sky ended up painted in a very dramatic fashion!  I only wish I had a wide angle lens to capture it all in one image!  I did shoot a series of over lapping images I’ll attempt to stitch together in Photoshop Elements.

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18 mm, 1/30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400 (Sunset Fire)

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34 mm, 1/25 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400 (Gradient Colors)

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55 mm, 1/50 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Fire In The Sky)

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18 mm, 1/25 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400 (Sunset Colors)

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18 mm, 1/15 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200 (Lyman Viaduct Sunset)

Day 218 (5 Aug 2012) Lightning!

I finally did it!!  I captured a lightning bolt with my camera!

As I left a birthday party this evening, as storm was coming through, so I staked out a spot where I thought I could watch it come over the distant hills.  However, as I was watching the glows grow brighter, the rain hit.  So I packed up and headed home.  Then as I was approaching the area where the casino is located, I realized that a parking garage would provide a great view, and keep me dry and safe 🙂  My first exposure captured this image.  However, even thought I was using a remote to shoot sequential exposures automatically, it’s the only bolt I captured.  But I’m happy 🙂

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18 mm, 25 sec, f/5.0, ISO 200 (Lightning Strike)

My settings may not be ideal; a lower ISO (100) might have preserved the darker sky, same with a smaller aperture (f/8, maybe?)  I’ve read many tutorials but didn’t remember exactly what I read; it was late and I was sweaty and tired.  Guess I’ll have to read up on it again 🙂

Day 217 (4 Aug 2012) Niantic River Sunset

Today was a hot and sticky day here in CT, and I spent most of it outside working.  The first part of the day I finished my clutch job on my Jetta (yay!), then worked in the yard, then cleaned up the garage a bit.  After getting cleaned up I had a last-minute idea to shoot the sunset from the Niantic River Bridge.  I knew that I woudl be cutting it close, but I figured, why not try anyway?

Well, I did miss the setting of the sun, but I usually prefer the colors just after the sun sets, so I was blessed with these images 🙂 The last image is the first one I took tonight, just before I got on the the highway to race the sun.

Watching

18 mm, 1/30 sec, f/9.0, ISO 100 (The Watcher)

Fishing

55 mm, 1/13 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200 (Sunset Fishing)2012_Aug_04_Niantic Sunset_017

18 mm, 1/30 sec, f/9.0, ISO 200 (Niantic River Bridge Sunset)

CT Sunset

55 mm, 1/640 sec, f/9.0, ISO 100 (Colchester Sunset)

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 🙂

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

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

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 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)

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 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)