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 242 (30 Aug 2012) Walking Around

Today I had a little time between work and class, so I took a stroll around the edge of the campus, away from all the buildings and students.  It was kinda relaxing to have nowhere to be for a while and have my camera 🙂

Though when I was shooting the second photo, I could hear what sounded like mini-zaps, “zzzzzzzppptt”.  It was a little unnerving!

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53 mm, 1/100 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Hydrant in a Field)

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29 mm, 1/200 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (High Voltage)

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55 mm, 1/500 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Power Transmission)

Tomorrow right after work I head up to the ADKs for 4 days of camping and hiking w/ some good friends.  I may post tomorrow, but possible not again until Tuesday or Wednesday.  I’m planning on setting up some of my prints Tuesday evening, after work, with a friend at a local coffee shop as a gallery!!  I’ll deff post a photo of the prints 🙂

Day 237 (25 Aug 2012) Power

I remember when I was learning how to drive, while growing up in Northern California, that at night it was easier to tell if there was an oncoming car around a bend or on the other side of a hill, because I could see the headlights reflecting off the power lines.  They would light up in advance of the car.  I used this cue to dim my brights and if necessary, signal them to dim theirs.  To this day I still use that clue, esp. here on the hilly, windy roads of CT.

For a long time I’ve thought about shooting the glowing power lines, but tonight was the night!  I pulled over on a semi-busy road after leaving a friend’s house, set up my tripod in front of my car, and took several exposure while cars zoomed by at 55+mph.  This image I cropped once I noticed the power pole’s silhouette, as it grabbed my attention, almost as much as the lit up power lines.

2012_Aug_25_Power Lines at Night_00655 mm, 20 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Power Lines)

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 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)