8 Feb 2013 – Baby it’s cold outside!

Here are some of my images from the past week or so, I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them!

There is an irrigation pond not far from my home where the ‘old timers’ like to gather and fish.  Not having good ice traction, I wasn’t able to talk to this gentleman, other than to ask if I could take his photo.

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I was able to borrow my friends’s wide angle lens (Tokina 11-16mm), so I brought it to Avery Point in Groton, CT to try it out a little bit. As it was my first time with the lens, I wasn’t too impressed in general w/ my images, the lens is fun, though it feels almost like a prime. I think I’ll try the Canon 10-20 next 🙂

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Wednesday night, after teaching a class to kids on photography, I felt inspired to shoot some night photography. I shot these from a pedestrian bridge over Rt 32 in Waterford, CT. In the first image you can see the athletic complex for ConCollege in the foreground and the town of Groton across the river. The brightest lights lights across the river, on the left side, are SubBase New London (yes, it’s in Groton) where I was stationed before I got out.

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These last two I took today. I had a green glass bowl that I had used to make banana bread that was in the drying rack over the portion cups I used to pre-measure my ingredients. It looked pretty cool as the muted sun glinted off the now-green cups.

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Day 289 (15 Oct 2012) Autumn Morning

This morning as I was leaving for work, I saw what is represented in the first two images from my drive way.  These are the days when I’m glad I live out in the country, many miles from the nearest big town or city.  It’s great having the relitive peace and quite (I can hear the occassional car or truck on the road near by), and the dark nights (pretty decent for night photography).  It’s hard to imagine living in a city or large town on days like this.  I included both images because I’m not sure which composition I like the best; each has elements that speak to me in how they are captured.

The other images were taken at Horse Pond in Salem, CT, on my way into town to teach a personal finance class called Financial Peace University.  Fall is my favorite time of year, and in New England, it’s even better because of the fall foliage.  I actually met an Irish couple during my flight back from Spain  (the Dublin – Boston leg) who fly to the US to be “leaf peepers” almost every year.  It’s great to live in such a beautiful area!!

For those of you who are near/in CT, I have planned a Fall Foliage hike at Sleeping Giant State park that is open to anyone who wants to join.  Of course there will be lots of photography, so leave a comment and I’ll give you details if you are interested!

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Day 261 (18 Sep 2012) Stormy Sky

Today has been very stormy; lots of wind, clouds, and rain.  My area of CT is currently under a tornado watch, and I’ve lost power 3 times while trying to edit the photos and post this blog!  On my way home I swung into Gay City State Park and shot a few images of the sky and pond.  I would have loved to say longer and watch the clouds race across the sky, but it was raining, and I had stuff to do, as always.

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18 mm, 1/40 sec, f/8, ISO 200 (Storm Over Pond)

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18 mm, 1/40 sec, f/8, ISO 200 (Sky Drama)

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18 mm, 1/15 sec, f/8, ISO 100 (Stormy Sky)

Tomorrow will probably be my last post for several days; Thursday begins my trek to Spain with a drive to my gf’s parent’s house to stay that night and work from there Friday, before my flight Friday to Barcelona for 2 weeks.  I will land Sat morning and get to see her for the first time in 6 months!  As you can probably guess, I’m a bit excited 🙂  I know I won’t be posting daily while over there, but I will still be shooting every day (yes, she is a photog, too!).

Day 257 (14 Sep 2012) Disappearing Lake

Last night on my way home from Providence, RI, I took a slight detour to shoot a lake from a different perspective than I normally see and discovered this really neat dam.  As I approached the bridge, I could see a hole in the lake!  I think I’ll go back here during daylight to explore it a little better 🙂

I shot at ISO 100 last night and the issues I had the previous night shooing at ISO 200 were not present. I guess I could say that I learned that my camera does much better w/ very low ISOs on long exposures. Which is fine, I usually don’t mind waiting the extra few minutes, as I usually shoot something I enjoy looking at 🙂

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18 mm, 4 min, f/8, ISO 100 (Disappearing Lake)

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18 mm, 4 min, f/8, ISO 100 (Hole in the Lake)

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 240 (28 Aug 2012) Day Pond State Park

Do you ever have one of those days where you just don’t feel very creative?  Today was one of those days.  I wasn’t in a funk nor did I have a bad day or anything like that.  I was eager to go shoot (not my most eager ever, but eager enough to venture outside my home), but when I got to the Day Pond State Park in my town of Colchester, CT, I just didn’t “feel” it.  Not like other times, at least.  But I still put my camera on my Blackrapid strap, put my macro lens in my pocket, and just started wandering aimlessly.

My shooting felt a little forced, a little uninspired, and it probably shows.  I’m not sure how to kick myself into a more creative mood, or if this is just part of a natural cycle that tends to show itself when you are shooting (or otherwise engaged in a creative pursuit) every day.  What about you?  Have you experienced this?  Is it normal and I just have to sleep it off or is there something you do to reboot your creative side?

On a completely separate note, this weekend 3 good friends and I will be heading up to the Adirondacks for 4 days of camping including 2 extended hikes 🙂  That is exciting!  Since I’ll be on the trail for 2 days, and camping 3 nights, what kind of photos would you like to see?  I’m going to have to look at some outdoor photography to see what techniques work; I’ve not been satisfied by my trail photos as of yet.

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60 mm, 1/40 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 (Frog)

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18 mm, 1/30 sec, f/11, ISO 100 (Moon Over Day Pond)

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 182 (30 June 2012) Sparkler Fun

Tonight I was attempting to spell out my blog name with a sparkler.  Not as easy as it sounded, given my short-lived sparklers, windy location, and lighter that was almost empty!  And trying to do it all solo!

Actually, I really need to blame my poor hand writing, as I couldn’t read it when it was done.  So I tried again (several times, lol) with something simpler, in honor of this project.  This shot was inspired by the photo scavenger hunt I’m participating in, hosted by SeeingSpotsPhoto and Nick Exposed.

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18 mm, 30 sec, f/9.0, ISO 100 (365 Painted)

Day 150 (29 May 2012) The Lake at Night

I had a couple ideas of what I wanted to shoot tonight, and my first idea worked out (I won’t tell you what the other is, you’ll just have to wait till I shoot it!)!  Cedar lake is a fairly large lake (for CT) near my house.  I’ve shot here before, but not at night.  Tonight a storm was moving in, so I didn’t want to wait till it was raining and dark, so I shot just after sunset, when there was still enough light to see and shoot moderately long exposures.  It was a bit breezy, so the water was not smooth enough for to see the reflection.

My favorite of the two is the first one; which is yours?

 

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18 mm, 60 sec, f/11, ISO 100 (Cedar Lake Moon)

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18 mm, 30 sec, f/16, ISO 100 (Cedar Lake)

Day 148 (27 May 2012) Reflections

Tonight I continued to experiment some more with long exposure photography for the Long Exposure Photo Challenge.

For my first shot I wanted to capture the reflection of the trees and sky in the pond near my house.  I guess I shouldn’t have used ISO 400, but have used a lower IOS and longer exposure.

For my second shot I thought it might be cool to do a moon-trail.  You have heard of star trails before; this is like that, but with the moon drawing a line 🙂  It is only a 10 min exposure, so it’s not really a long line, but what do you think?  It’s not what I was expecting.  Have you done this before? How did it turn out?  Feel free to post a link to your shot and discuss the settings!

And as you can see below, there is a reason I called it experimenting! 🙂

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18 mm, 5 min, f/5.6, ISO 400 (Reflections)

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18 mm, 10 min, f/20, ISO 200 (Moon Trail)

Day 135 (14 May 2012) Great Brook Pond

On my way home from a men’s group, I was trying to think of what I could shoot.  I had a couple ideas, but I happened to look out the passenger window and see this pond I pass every week going to/from church.  So I quickly turned around, came back and drove down near the water and took some shots.  These two are my favorites; the shutter speed is quite different between them, so it’s nice to see how that can affect the photo with the same effective exposure.

Great Brook Pond Sunset

18 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200, 18-55mm kit lens (Great Brook Pond Sunset)

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18 mm, 3.2 sec, f/6.3, ISO 400, 18-55mm kit lens (Great Brook Pond Sunset)

Day 131 (10 May 2012) My Most Expensive Photos

Today I was stupid.  After a great face-time date with my gf, I was in a great mood and rushed out the door to capture the sunset.  I wasn’t thinking clearly as I pulled over near an over-grown field of grass, parked, and put my key in my jacket pocket.  The grass/weeds are tall, so I’m bounding to get to a good spot to shoot before I loose the light.  After a couple shots and lots of jogging, It dawns on me to check my pockets.  My car key was not there, because I failed to zip up the pocket 😦  I spent about an hour searching the tall grasses to no avail, and decided I better head home while there was still some light.  Thankfully my house was only 1.5 miles away.

I bet you are wondering why I say “expensive”; my car is a VW and takes those special cut keys, and it was my only one!  Learn from my mistake and always, ALWAYS have a second somewhere!

Anyway, enough whining; here is the photo I stopped to take:

Sunset

18 mm, 1/60, f/13, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Sunset)

This shot is from my short walk home. I didn’t feel like setting up the tripod, so I had to boost the ISO way up, but at a small size the noise isn’t too bad.

Don't Fence Me In

27 mm, 1/15, f/6.3, ISO 800, 18-55mm kit lens (Don’t Fence Me In)

And this shot is from last night on my way to class; it was rainy and foggy and I couldn’t resist pulling over and shooting a couple frames when I saw it.

Foggy Pond

60 mm, 1/55, f/8.0, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Foggy Pond)

Day 129 (8 May 2012) Reflections

I drive by this pond any time I leave my house, as it’s next to my driveway.  It dawned on me this morning as I took this photo that I have not really shot much around it; I should ask my neighbor if they mind if I wander around shooting; I’m sure they will be ok w/ it!

I really enjoy reflections in water, especially in natural areas.  Kinda makes me reflect on my own life a bit each time, which is always a good thing 🙂

Reflections

35 mm, 1/20 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400, 18-55mm kit lens (Reflections)

Day 126 (5 May 2012) Heart Lake, Adirondacks

Today is a shot of sunset taken with my iPhone, not processed, just as is. I did take some with my DSLR, but as I’m out campin still, you will have to wait till tomorrow night to see them! Enjoy!

    Heart Lake, ADK

http://www.flickr.com/photos/48627721@N06/7146630299

Day 121 (30 April 2012) Long Exposure Lake

Tonight, like most Monday’s, I don’t get a chance to shoot until after 9pm.  And most Monday nights, tonight included, I didn’t really plan the shot out ahead.  So I took a random road I’ve never driven when I saw it crossed a lake on the Garmin.  I found one of the town reservoirs and shot from near the road.  The road was mostly deserted; I think only about 5 cars passed in the 30+ min I was out there.

The moon was trying to peak through the clouds, giving just enough light to see by once my eyes adjusted; it was quiet, and peaceful.  A relaxing experience just looking out on the lake while my camera did the same 🙂

Rosemond Lake

18 mm, 5 min, f/8.0, ISO 200, 18-55mm kit lens (Rosemond Lake)

Rosemond Lake II

55 mm, 3 min, f/8.0, ISO 200, 18-55mm kit lens (Rosemond Lake II)

This last shot has the exposure boosted way up in post, but it was taken after 10 pm, like the other two.

Middle of the Road

21 mm, 2 min, f/8.0, ISO 200, 18-55mm kit lens (Middle of the Road)

Day 88 (28 March 2012) The Empty Bench

Driving to class tonight I took a different route and noticed a bench sitting across a pond from the road I was driving.  I made a point to stop and do a single 6 min exposure and hoped it turned out well.

I loaded Magic Lantern firmware onto an SD card today and wanted to try to use the bulb timer function (it makes it possible to set an exposure longer than 30 sec w/o an external timer or remote).  As I’m still figuring out this new suite of tools, I didn’t realize that long exposure noise reduction was turned off, so the photo is slightly noisy.

I also took a couple minutes between work and class and shot a few of the flowers sprouting up in my front garden and got one that I think is nice.  I’ll shoot these again under better light w/ more time; I want to get it right 🙂

Bench By The Pond

23 mm, 6 min, f/8.0, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Bench By The Pond)

Purple Flower

60 mm, 1/40 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Purple Flower)

Day 70 (10 March 2012) Mooween Park

Today I decided to have a low-key day, slept in real late, took a short hike, and had a good evening w/ a bunch of guys at church watching the movie Courageous.

These photos were taken at Mooween Park on Cedar Lake in Lebanon, CT. The park used to be a campground up untill the 60s, so there were lots of ‘ruins’ from it which were interesting to explore.

Old Car

Old Abandoned Car Rusting Away

Rocks

Rocks Piled, marking the trail

Abandoned Tree Fort

Abandoned Tree Fort

Day 62 (2 March 2012) The Edge and The Pond

Tonight I bring you two different shots.  The first one is a test of my new close-up filter kit.  I shot the blade of my Letherman (which I carry everywhere except the airport).  I can’t wait to have some more time to experiment with these lenses.  I’ve been wanting to break into macro photography for a while, but haven’t had the cash to get a good macro lens.  The $12 I spent on this kit will allow me to keep putting money aside for a quality lens.

That was going to be my only shot for today, but on my way home from a friend’s house, I took the shortest way (according to Garmin), and ended up passing the pond in the second shot.  I probably wouldn’t have noticed it, as I was paying more attention to the pot holes on the dirt road that my GPS directed me along, but there were several deer in a field bordering the road, so I slowed down then noticed the pond.  Sometimes deer near a road are a good thing 🙂

The Edge

55 mm, 1/20 sec, f/11, ISO 1600, 18-55mm kit lens w/ 10x close up filter (The Edge)

The Pond

18 mm, 30 sec, f/11, ISO 800, 18-55mm kit lens (The Pond)

Day 49 (18 Feb 2012) Weekend Jaunt

Today my gf and I decided that we would like to walk the Gold Star Memorial Bridge over the Thames River (I-95) between Groton and New London, CT.  It is about 135 feet (41m) tall and 6000 feet (1800 m) long, making it CT’s longest bridge.

I’ve driven over this bridge hundreds of times, but never walked over, and since today’s weather was nice (45 F and sunny) I figured, why not 🙂

This first photo was shot from near the apex, towards the Groton side.  The industrial looking complex you see in the distance is the New London US Navy Submarine Base, where I was stationed before I separated from the Navy.

Thames River and Sub Base

39 mm, 1/125 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Thames River and Sub Base)

This second photo was from under the south-bound lane, facing West looking into New London.  I really enjoyed looking at the geometry of the bridge’s support structure.

Under the Gold Star Memorial Bridge

55 mm, 1/20 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Under the Bridge)

This last shot is of Horse Pond, north of Waterford, CT, as the sun was setting.  My gf noticed the view as we drove by, so I pulled a U-turn and came back so we could shoot it.

Horse Pond

18 mm, 1/40 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Horse Pond)

Day 37 (6 Feb 2012) When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth

On my way into town tonight to lead a personal finance class I teach, I passed by The Dinosaur Place and saw the first sight and thought it was fun!  It may not be a work of art or my best photo, but I had fun taking it (I’ve always loved dinosaurs!) 🙂

The second photo I took at a pond near my house; normally this time of year it’s iced so thick that people are out fishing on it; right now it just has a thin sheet of ice, not even all the way to the edges all around.  But with the full moon, I thought it was nice to look at.

T-Rex Eatign the Moon

55mm, 1/25 sec, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens (T-Rex is Hungry)

Lake House on Frozen Lake

40 mm, 30 sec, f/11, ISO 1600, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens (Lake House on Frozen Lake)