Days 353-363 (18-28 Dec 2012) Catch Up Post, and GOOD NEWS!!

These past several days have been crazy, busy, and awesome!  I have not had a chance to post, but I have taken photos every day (even if just with my iPhone), so I am still on track for this project!!!

Below are some of the photos, the most important/best ones of these several days.  Some have not been processed yet, and others (such as the iPhone snapshots) are not worth posting here.  Starting next year, I will move my blog to another WordPress address; I have a few reserved, but will let you know the new address to subscribe to.  I will not be doing another 365 project, but I will still be making photos all the time, and posting.  My goal is to have a site (WordPress or other) where I can post not only a blog, but also galleries to show off my best work.  I will also be buying a domain name (or two) and professional hosting.

Please take a moment and view below what is my absolute favorite photo of all time!!

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She said YES!!!!!

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Christmas with my Fiancé

2012_Dec_24_Portland Fishing Pier_079

Maine Lobster Pots

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FIshing Boats in Portland ME

2012_Dec_26_Lensbaby_024Rain On A Window (Shot with my new Lensbaby Spark!)

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Latte (Shot with my new Lensbaby Spark!)

Day 352 (17 Dec 2012) Reflections

It just dawned on me that reflections is the perfect follow up for my journaling post for yesterday!  Yet I didn’t even plan it out, lol 🙂

I drove around town a bit trying to find good puddles; it had been raining all day.  I wasn’t feeling very energetic, but after driving a bit, I finally found something usable.  There were not a lot of good puddles in the parking lots (at least not where the traffic was non-existant, lol), but this will work 🙂

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Day 245 (10 Dec 2012) Parking Trees

Tonight as I was pulling into my church’s parking lot to lead the final Financial Peace University class of this series, I noticed that many of the trees in the parking lot islands had lights very close to them.  From the right perspective it looked like there was a light shining from the top of the tree itself, illuminating it’s branches from the top.  The rain had broken by the time class was over and left a light haze which was illuminated by the lights and gave the area around it a nice glow.  So what did I do?  Bust out my tripod and camera, of course!  I know you are not surprised 🙂

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Day 343 (8 Dec 2012) Foggy Lake

I love fog! I was on my way into town to study at a coffee shop (I get too distracted at home sometimes) and it was one of those days where it’s just a light drizzle with fog and clouds and just a chill the permeates everything. I took the short way into town, which I’ve taken many times, and I noticed just enough fog on the lake to slightly obscure the trees. It was perfect to shoot! I set up the tripod, took some exposures, then it dawned on me that the gate was open, so hopped in the car and drove down the road a bit to get another angle on the lake. That’s when I saw this swimming dock just floating out in the lake. That was the shot I was looking for, the shot I’ve wanted to take for a long time!

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Day 293 (19 Oct 2012) Rainy Autumn Day

It’s been raining since before I awoke today.  So I shot a few images from my spare room’s window.  I shot a long exposer using a 4x ND filter so that I could catch the mist/rain better.  I softened them a tad and boosted the saturation a hair to bring out the colors.

Then I saw a video on Adorama TV and tried to replicate the idea.  It was pretty fun!  Try to guess what was held behind the screen 🙂

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30 mm, 2 sec, f/22, ISO 100, 4x ND filter (Autumn Rain)

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60 mm, 0.6 sec. f/5.0, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Rainy Screen)

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60 mm, 0.6 sec. f/5.0, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Green Screen)

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 227 (15 Aug 2012) Dragon Tree

For some reason I keep trying to type May or April for the date of my blog; it’s been happening over the past few days.  Am I stuck in a time warp, or is there a wormhole passing over my desk chair?  Anyway. . . .

This morning we had a few thundershowers pass through, with sun in-between.  I noticed my baby Dragon Tree looked pretty cool with the few drops that remained glistening in the sun, so I busted out my macro lens and spent a few moments between meetings shooting.

In case you are wondering why I say “baby” Dragon Tree, well, its because the momma died (I’m not the best with house plants), before I had a chance to dump the pot, two babies sprung up!  Talk about Grace 🙂

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60 mm, 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Dragon Tree)

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60 mm, 1/150 sec, f/5.0, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Dragon Tree)

Day 109 (27 July 2012) Rain, Rain, . . .

Early this afternoon we had a heavy thunderstorm move through the area; the rain was so heavy at times I couldn’t hear my radio!  I decided to venture out a bit (with my umbrella).  After I got back inside, the sun came out before the rain left, and caused a really neat effect, it’s like I had a mega-flash illuminating the drops! 🙂

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29 mm, 1/160 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400, (Staying Dry)

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55 mm, 1/20 sec, f/10, ISO 100 (Sun and Rain)

Day 202 (20 July 2012) Connecticut Corn

You may not know it if you never leave the larger towns, cities, and major highways of Connecticut, but CT has a thriving agriculture industry.  Nestled in the rolling hills, away from major highways and large towns & cities are thousands of acres of corn!  I run past a couple fields during my morning jogs, and when I take the backroads in the eastern part of the state, I see lots and lots of corn.  As such, corn mazes are also quite popular (and fun!).  Also, the local sweet corn is available all summer long, both in major grocery stores and road side produce stands.  It’s perfect the perfect grilling companion for a steak (or chicken or burger or . . . )!

What statistics I could find say that there are about 300 farms planting 4,600 acres of corn (as of 2007) in this small state.  Sure, a single farm in Iowa will surpass that, but this is New England 🙂

These photos are from one such farm along my jogging route:

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18 mm, 1/60 sec, f/11, ISO 100 (Connecticut Corn)

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55 mm, 1/40 sec, f/11, ISO 400 (Rolling Hills of Corn)

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33 mm, 1/60 sec, f/10, ISO 100 (Tall Corn)

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60 mm, 1/40 sec, f/11, ISO 800, 60mm macro lens (Corn Tassels)

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 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 164 (12 June 2012) Rainy Day

I had this great plan to do a photo walk after work.  Next time I’ll check the weather before I plan, LOL.  But as the rain let up before it got too dark, I wasn’t too disappointed.  I’ve enjoyed the “challenge” of shooting rain drops.

I say “challenge” because it can be frustrating.  The slightest breeze or movement of the plant will ruing an image or I just have to sit and wait.  However, all I need is one good image, so I shoot several and hope that the movement is slow enough for the shutter speed or that I capture the movement at the apex, where it stalls momentarily.  I was using a tripod, which was necessary today, as it’s too dark to shoot hand-held.  I did use live view to get the focus just right (or just right until the subject moved! lol).  Anyway, I may have to invest in an inexpensive ring light/flash so I can use faster shutter speeds.

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60 mm, 1/13 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Rain Drop On Leaf)

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60 mm, 1/5 sec, f/5.0, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Drop on Buds)

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60 mm, 1/5 sec, f/10, ISO 400, 60mm macro lens (Tiny Flowers)

Day 155 (3 June 2012) Flowers

Today after church I went to ride my mountain bike at Bluff Point in Groton, CT with some friends from church.  After the ride I dropped off my friend’s son and went back out there to shoot.  It rained while we were en route, but the sun was back out when I returned.  There were so many wild flowers that I had a blast shooting with my macro lens 🙂  I started out with my 18-55 zoom and as I was admiring the flowers, I asked myself, “is it worth it to go back and swap out for the macro lens?”  Stupid question!  I had to correct myself for even asking such a question!  🙂

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60 mm, 1/200 sec, f/9.0, ISO 100, 60mm Macro lens (Wild Flower after the rain)

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60 mm, 1/80 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 (Protecting the Beauty)

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60 mm, 1/200 sec, f/9.0, ISO 100, 60mm Macro lens (Future Beauty)

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60 mm, 1/200 sec, f/9.0, ISO 100, 60mm Macro lens (Basking in the Son)

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60 mm, 1/00 sec, f/9.0, ISO 100, 60mm Macro lens (Yellow and Green)

Day 143 (22 May 2012) Case Mountain

This afternoon after work I took a detour to Case “Mountain” in Manchester, CT.  I put mountain in quotes because it summits at a mere 744 feet (227 m).  It may not be tall, but since it’s located near the edge of town, it feels quite secluded.  There are many different trails winding through the park, many not on the map or even marked!  It was a nice break from just heading straight home 🙂  However, I didn’t ‘pack’ smart for this hike.  I hauled my tripod, my full camera bag (sling type), an umbrella, and light jacket for the 3+ miles.  I should have left the jacket and tripod at the car (which was near the waterfall), but I guess I was prepared for anything, lol.

As it was drizzly (light rain/mist) I didn’t take the camera out a lot, but I did take a few tripod mounted shots of the waterfall near the park entrance.

Case Reservoir Dam

18mm, 1.6 sec, f/22, ISO 100, 18-55m kit lens (Case Reservoir Dam)

Case Reservoir Waterfall

18mm, 1.6 sec, f/16, ISO 100, 18-55m kit lens, cropped (Case Reservoir Waterfall)

Trail Wall

60 mm, 1/30 sec, f/6.3, ISO 400, 60mm macro lens (Trail Wall)

Hartford from Case Mt

18mm, 1/100 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 18-55m kit lens (Hartford from Case Mt)

Day 135 (15 May 2012) Bank Street, New London, CT

Tonight I was down in New London for the first session of Work and Learn, where I will be teaching a class on personal finance in a couple months.  Work and Learn‘s mission is to, “… help unemployed and underemployed adults develop their mind, body, social skills, and spirit[i] to be able to contribute to their families and community.”

It was raining all day and night so I took the opportunity before I left for home to shoot Bank Street (during a brief break in the rain).  On the weekend, this street is packed with people visiting the reasutraunts and bars, but on a rainy Tuesday, there were few people out.

Part of my reason for wanting to shoot here was to scout it for a photo challenge hosted by artbycamila.  Keep a look out for that post coming up 🙂

Bank Street

18 mm, 25 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Bank Street)

Bank Street

18 mm, 30 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Bank Street)

Day 130 (9 May 2012) Rain Drops Keep Falling . . .

I think I’ve fallen in love with taking macro shots of water drops 🙂  I would be remiss to not mention the that I’ve drawn some inspiration from H2O by Joanna!  It’s amazing what these small little worlds look like up close.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I enjoyed taking them 🙂

(Rain Drop Reflection

60 mm, 1/60 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400, 60mm macro lens (Rain Drop Reflection)

Inverted World

60 mm, 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400, 60mm macro lens (Inverted World)

Flowers in a Drop

60 mm, 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400, 60mm macro lens (Flowers in a Drop)

I have a few more on my Flickr feed, but these are my favorites from today.

Day 113 (22 April 2012) A Rainy Welcome Home

I just got home about 2 hours ago from a weekend long retreat with about 35 guys from my church; It was an amazing weekend! But at the same time, exhausting. Sometime after lunch, it started raining, so we were all welcomed home to pouring rain, but that’s ok, because as exhausted as I am, the rain will just help me feel better about going to bed really early 🙂

Since it’s dark and rainy, I figured I would give you a shot that shows that. The ‘attitude’ of the photo in no way represents how I’m feeling ( a mixture of joy, elation, and tiredness), but about the weather only.

Rain on the Screen

60 mm, 1/20 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1600, 60mm macro lens (Rain on the Screen)

 

I still have a lot of catching up to do on your comments, and of the blogs that I’m following. With the exception of posting real quick during a break to my blog, I’ve been on a media blackout from Friday afternoon till about 4pm today. So please be patient with me 🙂

Day 91 (31 March 2012) Rain Drops

We had a little rain here last night and today, so it wan’t a great day to be out and about.  But after it stopped, I grabbed my camera and shot some photos of what the clouds left behind.

The first two are the last two I shot; I couldn’t figure out which one I liked best, so I included them both.  They are the reflection of the trees in an oily puddle on the top of the tractor in my yard. I did not color manipulation on these 🙂

Tree Reflection In Oil

60 mm, 1/13 sec, f/13, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Tree Reflection In Oil)

Tree Reflected In Oil

60 mm, 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Tree Reflected In Oil)

Crystal Ball

60 mm, 1/50 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400, 60mm macro lens (Crystal Ball)

Drops of Light

60 mm, 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Drops of Light)

Day 47 (16 Feb 2012) The Commute

This afternoon was a rainy afternoon here in CT.  And as such, everyone on the freeway decided that they couldn’t drive more than 35 mph.  So I decided If I was going to crawl along at a snail’s pace, I would detour and parallel the highway on city streets.  My thought was that I probably won’t lose any more time, plus I’ll get to see an area of town I normally don’t get to see.  And maybe I would see something worth shooting.

Red Lights In The Rain

55 mm, 1/30 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400, 18-55mm kit lens (Red Lights In The Rain)

But alas, the surface streets were crawling, too.  It took over 30 min to less than a mile.  As I’m sitting at a light I’ve watched turn green many time, I let my mind drift from my predicament and my focus locked onto the red dots in the rain drops on my wind shield.  And since my camera was near by, I grabbed it and was able to improve my mood a bit 🙂

But as I continued to crawl, all I saw was red.  Not anger (ok, maybe a little), but the sea of red tail lights stretched out in front of me like a slow-moving ribbon.

Ribbon of Red

49 mm, 1/8 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400, 18-55mm kit lens (Ribbon of Red)

Day 27 (27 Jan 2012) Rain, Rain, Go Away

It’s January, and it’s warm.  47 F was the high, to be exact.  It’s supposed to be in the 20s and snowing, but what can I do, but take the opportunity to try to photograph the weather?

In the first photo I was trying to capture the splash of rain drops.  I used my 50-200mm zoom lens so I could get ‘close’ w/o getting my camera wet 🙂  I like how you can see the remainders of the drops flying out from the railing in addition to the actual splash.

The other two photos are of trees and fog.  They seemed a bit bland, so I decided to jazz them up with filters in Lightroom.

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178 mm, 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1600, Sigma DC OS 20-200mm 1:4-5.6 HSM (Splashdown)

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200 mm, 1/60 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400, Sigma DC OS 20-200mm 1:4-5.6 HSM (Green Fog)

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50 mm, 1/100, f/8.0, ISO 400, Sigma DC OS 20-200mm 1:4-5.6 HSM (Blue Fog)