January Photos

Just some photos from this past month, I hope you enjoy 🙂

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2013_Jan_21_Street Light Snow_002

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Days 353-363 (18-28 Dec 2012) Catch Up Post, and GOOD NEWS!!

These past several days have been crazy, busy, and awesome!  I have not had a chance to post, but I have taken photos every day (even if just with my iPhone), so I am still on track for this project!!!

Below are some of the photos, the most important/best ones of these several days.  Some have not been processed yet, and others (such as the iPhone snapshots) are not worth posting here.  Starting next year, I will move my blog to another WordPress address; I have a few reserved, but will let you know the new address to subscribe to.  I will not be doing another 365 project, but I will still be making photos all the time, and posting.  My goal is to have a site (WordPress or other) where I can post not only a blog, but also galleries to show off my best work.  I will also be buying a domain name (or two) and professional hosting.

Please take a moment and view below what is my absolute favorite photo of all time!!

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She said YES!!!!!

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Christmas with my Fiancé

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Maine Lobster Pots

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FIshing Boats in Portland ME

2012_Dec_26_Lensbaby_024Rain On A Window (Shot with my new Lensbaby Spark!)

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Latte (Shot with my new Lensbaby Spark!)

Day 245 (10 Dec 2012) Parking Trees

Tonight as I was pulling into my church’s parking lot to lead the final Financial Peace University class of this series, I noticed that many of the trees in the parking lot islands had lights very close to them.  From the right perspective it looked like there was a light shining from the top of the tree itself, illuminating it’s branches from the top.  The rain had broken by the time class was over and left a light haze which was illuminated by the lights and gave the area around it a nice glow.  So what did I do?  Bust out my tripod and camera, of course!  I know you are not surprised 🙂

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Day 340 (5 Dec 2012) Power

On my way to class I thought I found a  great thing to shoot; I saw a large electrical substation that was lit up (for security), and the way the light fell on the shapes of the components was compelling!  I took a few minutes during class to look at it on Google Earth to see where I could park and get close to shoot.

So after class I drove the short distance, but after parking, I felt there was too much traffic and someone might think I looked suspicious shooting a large electrical distribution center at night, so I chickened out.  But across the street was a power line cut in which several different types of power lines ran.  It looked kinda neat as I was standing there in the cold wind, so I set up my tripod and made several exposures.

Between the dead weeds, mixed lighting, and busy scene, I wasn’t thrilled with the results.  I did a black & white conversion with some cropping and a little cloning, but it’s not how I pictured it in my minds eye.  The alternating light and dark sections of the wires (from the multiple passing cars) is distracting to me, and I did not do a good job in establishing a singular point of focus.  I will chalk this up as a learning experience and choose my composition better next time 🙂

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I have to admit, its a lot easier to say “I don’t like that image” about one I made than it is to actually spell out what it is exactly that I feel I didn’t do well at in creating it.  I’ve never been good at proofing my own work (writing, etc), and it’s not different in photography.  But from what I’ve read, and from my (minuscule) experience, it’s one of the most powerful things you can do to improve your photography (other than practice).  So I challenge you to on occasion look at a final image you have created and critique it; whether it’s one you love or one you are not fond of.  Figure out what it is about it that you love/hate!  It’s HARD! But worth it 🙂

UPDATE (2 min later): Right as I was about to hit “publish” for this post, I recieved an email from Flickr (where this image is hosted) stating someone had marked this one as a “favorite.”  I don’t know why; maybe they just randomly do that to drive traffic to their images or maybe they really like it?  What do you think?

Day 337 (2 Dec 2012) Christmas in Colchester

Tonight I wandered over to the Colchester Town Green to see our tree.  The tree that was decorated in the past was damaged during Hurricane Sandy and was removed after Thanksgiving and replaced with this one from the edge of the Green.  It’s a bit smaller, but still a beautiful tree!

I set up my camera with my 50mm f/1.8, radio trigger and tripod and just had fun!  It was a warm 50 F with minimal breeze, so I wasn’t in a hurry to be done and was able to enjoy myself out there!  There weren’t very many people out for me to get in the way of (or vice versa, lol), either. 🙂

I’m curious as to your thoughts on my interpretation of the scene.

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Self Portrait 
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Christmas Light

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Christmas Lights and Tree

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Christmas Tree

Day 336 (1 December 2012) Christmas Parade

Today makes 336 consecutive days of taking photos!  Only 30 more till I hit 366!  This dude isn’t stoping at a mere 365, I’m going all the way to 366!! Oh Yeah! LOL

Tonight I hung out with some friends (and their kids, lol) at the Groton Holiday parade.  It wasn’t the the greatest parade ever, but how often do you get a chance to see several floats all lit up at night just drive past you?  It was a good time to light paint many times with minimal effort, lol.  All I had to do was stay warm 🙂

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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 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 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 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 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 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 313 (8 Nov 2012) Footprints

I wanted to post the poem, “Footprints in the Sand” poem, but when I did a quick google search for it, I discovered that it appears to be still under copyright, with no blanket permissions (unlike the creative commons license I use for my work).  So, please follow the link above to read the poem.  I did send a request to use it, but I didn’t plan ahead for that 😦

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Footprints in the snow

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Town Green in White
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Traversing the Snow

Day 309 (4 Nov 2012) A Night at the Tracks

Driving home this evening it was darker than I expected, probably because I’m not use to not having Day Light Savings (after all, its been less than a day!).  But I did notice a nice color on the horizon, so I pulled down to a boat launch near some rail road tracks I’ve shot at before and fired off a few ’rounds’. 🙂

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I just realized it’s been a while since I’ve broken out my macro lens; I miss shooting macro! Keep your eyes open for a macro shoot this week!

Day 305 (31 Oct 2012) Flower After The Storm

On Wednesday my college had power, so I headed in for classes.  The clouds had thinned slightly and allowed some of the setting sun’s light to penetrate.  I saw this nursery and thought it made a good foreground for the sky, esp. since it shows the flowers knocked over by Hurricane Sandy (this is several miles inland, where the wind wasn’t as bad).

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Day 306 (1 Nov 2012) Sandy’s Clouds

Hey everyone!  I’ve got power back! It’s a great thing to have it, even after a short period (I got it back last night).  My part of CT had very minimal damage, unlike the shoreline and areas south, and for that I’m grateful.  I just lost power for about 48 hours, and the roof of my plastic shed blew off (I can just put it back, easy enough).  But my thoughts and prayers go out to those who are still suffering from Sandy’s wrath.  I hope none of you were in her path.

I shot tonight’s images from a small bridge on a dirt road just across the main road from my street.  I like how the moon glows behind the remnants of Sandy, and how some of the stars are starting to come out 🙂  Nothing too fancy, but I enjoy this kind of night/long exposure photography 🙂

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I did manage to shoot Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, but I’m just now uploading the photos, so I’ll post those in a day or so.

Day 301 (27 Oct 2012) Fall Trees and a Stone Wall

Took a short walk this afternoon, under the cloudy sky, which provided nice texture to the sky.  I also noticed the moon out tonight before it got dark and thought it looked good 🙂  I’m not sure which version I prefer, so I posted both 🙂

This weekend I’ve been working my way through my photos from Spain, and I’m about halfway through; feel free to check out my Flickr Photostream Spain set, though it’s not complete yet.  I’ll repost the link once I’m done with them.  I don’t think I’ll make up the posts, but do one that has my best/favorite photos once I’m done.

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Day 260 (17 Sep 2012) Empty Field, or Corny Photos

I’ve shot corn fields full of corn before, but how about an empty corn field?  I think they are pretty interesting with the short stubble all in rows and the odd ears lying on the ground.  But what really caught my eye about this field a few days ago was a lone corn stalk in the middle of the field.  Just one, all by itself.

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18 mm, 1/50 sec, f/8, ISO 100 (Lone Corn Stalk)

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18 mm, 1/15 sec, f/8, ISO 100 (Last Sunset)

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18 mm, 1/30 sec, f/8, ISO 200 (Heaven Bound)

Day 258 (15 Sep 2012) Fire Dancers

Last night I went to the wedding of a very good and close friend.  After the reception ended at 11:30 pm, a friend and I headed to Downtown Providence, RI to see Waterfire. But due to the late hour, most of the fires were out 😦  But we just hung out a little and stumbled upon a group of people who were playing/performing some ‘fire dancing.’  They had torch-like objects on the ends of two chains which they twirled around. It was pretty cool.  I used the opportunity to set up my tripod and take some images of their art.  I was able to meet and talk with one of them when I showed her the photos I took of her friend, then she wanted me to shoot her doing it.  It was pretty cool to see them and meet them.  She was very appreciative of the fact that she can now get photos of her doing it.

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18 mm, 1 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100 (Ring of Fire)

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18 mm, 8 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100 (Fire Dancer)

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18 mm, 1 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 (Flaming Dance)

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18 mm, 30 sec, f/14, ISO 100 (WaterFire Basin, After)