Day 256 (13 Sep 2012) Night Pond

This is definitely not my best image, and I’m really reluctant to post it, but it’s one of two exposures I shot at a pond on my way home from class, and it’s the least bad of them.  I think that it was a mistake to shoot such a long exposure at ISO 200.  I was hoping to keep the exposure time down since it was late and all.  Guess I should have more patience next time 😦  Though it looks like I may have caught a meteor (center, top), unless it was a plane.

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18 mm, 5 min, f/8, ISO 200 (Night Pond)

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 252 (9 Sep 2012) Night Flows

On my way home this evening I saw sight I wanted to shoot, so I turned around, found a place to park, and tried to capture a good image.  I wasn’t really impressed with what I shot (limited access due to road and private property is what I’ll blame tonight, lol).  So as I walked back to my car, I heard rushing water.  I kept walking to the back of the lot and discovered a small creek.  I swapped out my battery (the indicator was blinking) and took some shots.  There was a motion light that stayed on for many minutes and I didn’t realize it was affecting my images, but I did end up with a couple after it shut off that I was able to tweak to my liking.

Normally I would have been home much earlier, but I was spending the afternoon hanging several of my prints at a local coffee shop as the featured artist for September!  So, if you are in the New London, CT area this month, swing by the Bean and Leaf and help a starving artist buy more lens! 🙂

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18 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400 (Night Flow)

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 249 (6 Sep 2012) Night Silhouette

On my way home from class tonight I pulled down the driveway of a public golf course near Hebron, CT.  I saw this tree silhouetted by a distant street light, and the light fog cause it a glow around it.

There is also a pond there that I’ve shot in daylight before, but I think I’ll give it a shot at night some day after class 🙂

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55 mm, 2 min, f/8.0, ISO 200 (Night Silhouette)

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 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 227 (14 Aug 2012) A Walk Around The Block

I was in New London, CT this evening to attend a graduation ceremony for an employment class I taught a lesson in.  I arrived early and decided to just go for a walk with my trusty camera.  I ended up just circling the block.  My initial intent was to shoot the sun behind the steeple of the church where the ceremony was held, but as I walked, I noticed an old guard rail for a basement access of one of the old buildings that populate the are.  I then took several more photos as I went on this short walk.  I was glad that it was empty so I could shoot w/o distraction 🙂

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37 mm, 1/50 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100 (City Fence)

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33 mm, 1/50 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100 (City Guard Rail)

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55 mm, 1/80 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 (Blue Doors) 

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21 mm, 1/60 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Power of God)

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35 mm, 1/50 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Blue Bricks)

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 225 (12 Aug 2012) Perseid Meteor Shower

Seems I’m running a day late!  Well, I did send the last hour of yesterday with my shutter open (and the first hour of today waiting for the image), so I hope you like the result!

Since the sky was clear and the Perseid meteor shower in progress, I set up my tripod in my drive way, triggered the shutter, took a nap, and hoped for the best.  Well, actually I did spend about 10-15 min on my deck and saw two meteors.  However, in an hour, my camera only caught one (maybe North isn’t the best direction?).  My lens fogged up at some point, so you can see the it in the way the star trails change over time, but It’s still a good image.  Can you spot the one meteor streak?

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18 mm, 61 min, f/4.5, ISO 100 (Perseid Meteor Shower)

It crosses the bottom left corner 🙂

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 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 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)

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 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 191 (9 July 2012) 10 Minute Challenge, II

Today’s shot is a my submission to a “10 Minute Challenge” hosted by SeeingSpotsPhoto and WhereToWillie.  It’s a shot of a small power plant across the Thames River from the CT town of Gales Ferry.

The gist of a 10 minute challenge is to travel for 10 minutes, by any method (car, bike, foot, skis, riding mower, etc), stop, and shoot what you find.  I did this before and it is a great way to shoot when you can’t think of anything (which happens a lot to me on this 366 challenge), or just need to be jolted from the daily grind in your photography.  If you have not done this, I challenge you to do it!  It requires almost no planning, and you can do it in 30 min (or less, if it’s on your way somewhere).  Let me know if you do; I’d like to see what you discover close to where you are 🙂

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18 mm, 60 sec, f/13, ISO 200 (Power Plant on the Thames River)