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 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 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 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 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 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 188 (6 July 2012) Frogs and Benches

In my town there is a Lion’s Club skating pond that in the summer is a good spot to see frogs (assuming you don’t scare them off).  There are some benches and pick-nick tables, too, so it would be a good spot to enjoy lunch 🙂

I don’t shoot wildlife that often, but was able to get some shots of the frogs using my 50-200mm lens (which is too short to be of much use, IMO, which is why I haven’t used it in months).  But anyway, I hope you enjoy the change of pace 🙂

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200 mm, 1/40, f/8.0, ISO 100, 50-200mm Sigma (Peak-a-Frog)

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200 mm, 1/60, f/5.6, ISO 100, 50-200mm Sigma (Camo-frog)

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175 mm, 1/40, f/8.0, ISO 400, 50-200mm Sigma ( Bull Frog)

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60 mm, 1/125, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60 mm macro lens (Broken Bench)

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 165 (13 June 2012) 10 Minute Challenge

Today I decided to take Shannon up on her 10 Minute Challenge (check out her amazing blog, Seeing Spots Photography).  Basicly what you do is gather up your camera/gear, and “go” (drive, bike, walk, jog, dance, conga line, etc) for 10 min.  You then stop and shoot where you end up.  I decided to hop in my car for the 10 min trip, as it was a bit too wet to get a conga line going 🙂  I found myself on a dirt road I’ve never been on before.  I still had my macro lens on, and decided to leave it. I pulled out my tripod and snapped some interesting shots, if I do say so myself 🙂

I highly recommend taking up this challenge, esp. on a day where you may not feel so inspired.  It forces you to use what you find, rather than try and think of a subject/location.  I will deff do this again, it was fun!

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60 mm, 1/50 sec, f/5.0, ISO 100 (Dry Hydrant)

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60 mm, 0.6 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 (Fence Post)

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60 mm, 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 (Tall Grass)

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60 mm, 0.3 sec, f/11, ISO 100 (Wet Weed)

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 142 (21 May 2012) Rock and Roll

Tonight on my way home I passed through foggy Waterford, CT, and thought a shot of something in the fog would be cool.  But when I pulled into a parking lot, I saw this music store right next to a music themed pizza restaurant.  I thought it was kind of cool, esp w/ the neon in the window.

I also stopped at a small pond to try some stuff out.  The last one is just light painting with a flash light, then using split toning to change it from white to colors.  I dedicate the last one to my awesome gf 🙂

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Rock and Roll Pizza

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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)