Day 335 (30 Nov 2012) Bokah

Nothing spectacular tonight; just trying to get some bokah practice in for when I can find a great outdoor Christmas tree 🙂  These were trees in a shopping center parking lot, strung with some white lights.

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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 303 (30 Oct 2012) Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy hit hard Monday.  Wind gusts over 80mph.  Power lost.

The first shot is shot through a rain-pelted window.  I intentionally focused between the window and the trees.  The second is the same trees, but showing blur from the drops on that same window.  the last one is a longer exposure shot after the moon peaked out of the clouds for a moment.  The wind was still blowing well over 35mph, so everything is blurred.

I came out of the storm in good shape.  I lost power for 48 hours, and had no damage.  Only thing that happened is the roof blew off of my shed, but since it’s a module plastic shed, I can simply put it back on and snap it in place 🙂

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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 299 (25 Oct 2012) Night at the Boneyard

In my town, along a narrow, windy road that leads to the landfill, is a graveyard, a graveyard for the ones that are powered by engines.  To me it’s a sad place; there are many vehicles from the classic car era that are rusting, smashed, and have trees & plants growing out of them.  It’s almost enough to make me cry, almost.

I thought I would shoot there tonight, as the moon is near full, and the sky containing some light clouds.  I exposed for 5 min, ISO 100, f/11 and edited in Lightroom.  It’s been a while since I’ve shot long exposure shots like these, so I didn’t catch that the moon was in the wrong spot to get a good exposure on both the ground and allowing the sky to be shown.  But that’s ok.  I thought about going B&W on all of them, but like the subtle colors that are captured on a night like this.

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Day 296 (22 Oct 2012) Tree and Moon

On Monday, which is one of my busiest days each week, I pulled my camera out for exactly one photo, of a tree near where I park my car at work.  There are several of these trees that are in a stage of partial-color change.  I think it’s beautiful!  I tried to frame the composition with the moon, as it was out that afternoon.

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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 179 (27 June 2012) Framing the Moon

My shot tonight is another for the Photo Scavenger Hunt hosted by Shannon and Nick.  The theme is “framed moon”.  My first inclination was to shoot the moon with it surround by trees or other natural items.  Then as I stewed on it (and the other themes) I thought, why not put the moon in a frame?  And why not have someone hold the frame?  I love this photo.  Esp. since I’m very good friends with her parents, and I have known her for about 4 years.  What do you think?

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37 mm, 1/20 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 (Framing the Moon)

I realize now I should have boosted the ISO and dropped the shutter speed, esp. since she was anything by steady (so don’t zoom in to full size!).  But I was more focused on moving my camera constantly to keep the moon in the frame, lol. 🙂

Day 178 (26 June 2012) Silence, or The End

At the end
There is silence
Silence in place of all that was
What does the silence say?
It echoes the voice of the past
Forever lost to Earth
Forever singing in Eternity

Ok, so I’m not a poet, at least not when I’m trying to put thoughts down at a quarter to eleven at night 🙂  The inspiration for today was the photo challenge hosed by Shannon and Nick.  When I read the list provided for this photo scavenger hunt and saw silence, my first thought was of death and the earthly resting place of our bodies, and how it contrasts with the eternal resting place for our souls.  As a Christian, I believe in both Heaven and Hell; and in neither of those places will one’s soul be quiet.

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30 mm, 30 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100 (Silence)

This photo has some good color in the sky, but I felt that it distracted from the image and the story it’s supposed to tell.  For me this shows that while our bodies may be buried under the Earth, out souls exist in the Heavens 🙂

Here is the list I’m shooting from for the photo scavenger hunt.  I’m supposed to “find” 15 of these, 10 down, 5 to go!

  • Chuck Norris Was Here
  • “Big Foot Footprint”
  • Reflected Love
  • Abstract Self Portrait
  • Framed Moon
  • “Whats your sign”
  • Anti-gravity
  • Unusual Perspective
  • Abandoned
  • Silence
  • Pride and Joy
  • Emerging Star
  • Buried Treasure
  • Sparkler fun
  • Clownin Around Upside-down
  • Lyric Quotograph
  • Summer
  • Patriotism
  • Night

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 93 (2 April 2012) Montville Center Congregational Church

If you’ve ever visited New England, you probably noticed that the roads here are planned as carefully as spaghetti is arranged on your plate. As such, there are numerous ways to get from A to B. A couple days ago I took a new way home and discovered a lot of cool, old buildings along the way. A lot of old brick factories (from the fabric mill days) and this church. Most of the brick buildings have no trespassing signs, and not feeling up to any jail time tonight, I decided to shoot this church.

I shot this with about a 2.5 min exposure at ISO 200. This is the first long exposure I’ve intentionally shot at an ISO greater than 100. I think the noise level is hardly noticeable, so I may try some higher ISOs to reduce my exposure time on future shots.

Montville Center Congregational Church

18 MM, 147 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200, 18-55mm kit lens (Montville Center Congregational Church)

Day 65 (5 March 2012) Moon in Tree

I know this shot’s been done almost to the point of cliché, but I still think it’s cool to see the moon during the day, esp. when there is something interesting to frame it with.  Being my typical busy Monday, I shot this right before I ran back out the door.  I didn’t want to stay up any later by finding a cool spot to freeze while shooting for 45 min tonight.

I did do some minor editing (increasing the exposure a little while decreasing it on the moon) so you could see the features of the moon.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll try a HDR shot so I don’t have to play with brushes (I know it’s not a great job I did here, but I’m still trying practicing a steady hand w/ the mouse).  Anyway, I at least love the color that the sky was, and maybe I should have shot w/o the moon in it.

Moon Tree

87 mm, 1/30 sec, f/11, ISO 100, Sigma 50-200mm lens (Moon Tree)

Day 39 (8 Feb 2012) The Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow

There are those to go through this life always striving for more; more pay, a bigger house, a nicer car, more ‘power’, higher social status, that legendary pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  When they do finally do reach the end goal, and find that pot, this is what they end up with:

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18 mm, 4 min, f/3.5, ISO 100 (Pot of Gold)

They end up dead with nothing to show, except a tombstone and an empty, broken, rusty pot.

And yet, “Better to have one handful with quietness than two handfuls with hard work and chasing the wind.” Ecclesiastes 4:6

Remember what is important in life: God, family, friends, and helping others.  Don’t forgot to take time to enjoy life, this is where you will find your true treasure!

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)

Day 29 (29 Jan 2012) Zooming Stars

Good evening!

I decided to try to have a little fun with tonight’s photo.  I’ve shot photos in the past where I zoomed while the shutter was still open, but never tried it on a longer exposure of stars.  It might be more interesting when there is no moon out (but I’m not staying up that late tonight!).

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18 –> 55 mm, 30 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens (Zooming Stars)

Day 8 (8 Jan 2012) Tree at Night

Tonight I was hoping to do some long exposure star photography, the kind that draws circles in the sky.  However it’s a full moon, which while beautiful to look at, the light hides all but the brighest of stars.  I decided to try anyway, but just as soon as I got set up, I noticed that some clouds were moving in.  I tried anyway, hoping that during the exposure (10 min), the would clear and I would get at least some stars.  That photo was a failure, as the clouds did not pass till much later 😦  I took a few other shots to see what I could capture and the only one I liked is below.

This is a shot looking north from my garage, using only the moon for lighting.  I did a very small amount of editing to try and reduce some of the ‘noise’ generated from shooting a long exposure at ISO 1600, but I think it’s still a nice shot.  At least good enought to come inside and relax for the rest of the night 🙂

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21 mm, 30 sec, f/9.0, ISO 1600, shot at night (tree in moonlight)