Finding Nemo – I found him!! 11 Feb 2013

Wow!  What a storm!  I was lucky enough to receive 3-4 feet of snow!  Well, lucky in that I have a good shovel, a 4wd truck, and a back strong enough to shovel a few hundred feet of driveway.

Well, anyway, I survived, didn’t loose power, and took a break after shoveling to break out my camera and enjoy the winter wonderland 🙂  On Sunday I took a few moments to visit a small beach to see what snow on the beach was like.

Please let me know what you think of these photos!

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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 338 (3 Dec 2012) Sunrise in the fog

This was one of those mornings we have here in New England where a warm, humid day is followed by a cool night, resulting in patches of dense fog.  There is something about fog that lends an air of mystery to the landscape, that just draws me into it.  I just want to enter in and see what it’s hiding my sight.

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Mystery In The Field

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Morning Fog

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Morning Commute

This project is winding down, with less than a month to go!!  I’m excited about that fact!  This has been a HUGE commitment, more than I could have ever imagined when I began 338 days ago.  While I’m on track to meet my goal of taking a photo every day, other goals have been pushed aside to reach this one (most notably my goal to read 24 books this year, I might get to 16-18).  However, I have learned A LOT and my skill has improved more so in the last year than the all the previous years combined!  From my photography side of things, it has been worth it, but overall, taking into account the time I should have been studying, reading, doing house/yard work, etc, I’m not sure.  And to be honest, I’m not sure it matters at this point.

I will not be doing another 365 project in 2013, but I will still be very active with my camera still!  I will spend a lot more time learning and studying techniques, learning more about editing, and not feeling the pressure to come up with an idea at 10pm when I should be sleeping, just to say I shot that day.  If you have a lot of time, or really want to improve your photography, I do recommend a 365 project.  If you don’t have a lot of time, a 52 project (one a week) might be more fitting.

Now as this project approaches completion, I am looking for an idea for my last post of the year; something to top off a year of shooting some great images with style!  I’m open for suggestions, but with the caveat that I do have to work the 31st.  So fire away!

I’m also looking for ideas of what you would like to see in the next year.  I will be posting my best images, at minimum.  But I could start creating some tutorials on my favorite styles/techniques (both to help y’all out, and to make me learn them better!), and maybe do some gear reviews, of the stuff I have used (which is limited).  I don’t see this as a profession, but maybe someday I can make some money to by new gear 😀

Day 322 (17 Nov 2012) Jack Frost

This morning I awoke to sub-freezing temps, and as soon as the sun was high enough, I pulled out my camera and macro lens and tried to shoot the frost.  I want to try this again! I love how the ice refracts the light like a prism, too.

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Day 262 (19 Sep 2012) Sculpture

I got to campus about 30 min before class started today because there is a huge red-painted sculpture on the campus I wanted to shoot.  I made several images from various angles, distances, etc.  It’s very interesting with the hard and soft edges, the arcs and angles.

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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 236 (24 Aug 2012) Morning Fog

I took this image this morning before the fog burned off.  I kinda like it, though not sure it conveys the fogginess.   Maybe if I get up earlier and get it while still a bit dark and use a long exposure? (getting up early is the hard part, lol) 🙂  Anyway, my camera is not put away for the night, so maybe I’ll see something interesting to shoot again 🙂

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55 mm, 1/15 sec, f/29, ISO 100 (Sun and Fog)

Day 234 (22 Aug 22) Morning Flowers

This morning I grabbed my camera and marco lens to shoot some flowers (aka weeks) growing in my yard as soon as the sun peaked up over the hills.  I was really tempted to spend an hour shooting dew on grass (cause I love the images and it’s fun), but had to work, so I limited it to a couple subjects 🙂  Plus, I’ve shot dew a couple times already 😉  Let me know what you think of these images:

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60 mm, 1/160 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400, 60mm macro lens (Dandelion)

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60 mm, 1/100 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400, 60mm macro lens (Flower and Fly)

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60 mm, 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Clover Flower)

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 226 (13 Aug 2012) Sunset on the Farm

I’ve passed this farm many times, driving to hiking and riding trails.  I was on my way to ride this evening and just HAD to stop!  I would like to plan a shoot here, but for tonight, the clouds made it a great site! (though this, and other delays, gave me the experience of riding in the dark, lol).

I tried several presets in LR3 and used my own settings on the first one.  I really enjoy making an image my own, even if it’s not exactly what I saw with my eye.  I do at least a little tweaking to every image I publish.  Sometimes it’s just adjusting white-ballance or a B&W conversion, or taking a bad exposure and creating a great image from.  Or sometimes it’s just fun to go hog-wild!  What are your thoughts on image editing?

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18 mm, 1/320 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Sunset on the Farm)

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18 mm, 1/160 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (End of the day)

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18 mm, 1/60 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (End of a Long Day)

Day 219 (6 Aug 2012) The Morning Dew

This morning as after I awoke, I noticed that the lawn was sparkling like a field a diamonds!  I recalled the photos I took a while ago, and how pleased I was with them, so I decided right then and there to grab my camera, macro lens, and my cardboard (It keeps me dry and comfortable when shooing on the ground, esp. after last nights rain 🙂 ).  I cropped most of these to focus on the best elements of the image.

I hope you enjoy these images as much as I do!

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60 mm, 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (My World In A Drop)

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60 mm, 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Dew on Grass)

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60 mm, 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Edge of the Blade)

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60 mm, 1/80 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Morning Dew

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60 mm, 1/1250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Diamond Field)

as an FYI, I cropped most of these to focus on the best elements of the image.  I may experiment with a slightly smaller aperture on the drops next time, might get a shaper image, or more of the drop-world in focus 🙂

Day 215 (2 Aug 2012) Shifting Gears

. . . is something I have not been able to do for a week and a half in my TDI Jetta 😦  I’m in the process of replacing the clutch, flywheel, and other misc parts to get it back to 100%.  For those of you that are car-savy, my throw-out bearing disintegrated!  Not just wore out, but when I separated the transmission from the engine, a bunch of parts fell out: ball bearings, metal pieces, and other stuff.  Because one of the parts that was destroyed was the clutch fork, I had to order more parts to continue.  The first photo is the edge where it has worn agains the clutch housing.

The second photo I took on my way home today.  I had to stop and shoot some photos 🙂

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60 mm, 1/60 sec, f/4.0, ISO 400, 60mm macro lens (Clutch Fork)

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29 mm, 1/1000 sec, f/9.0, ISO 100 (Sun Rays)

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 207 (25 July 2012) Fly Away. . .

Today at lunch I was walking around I found a feather: I almost didn’t pick it up, but I’m glad I did 🙂
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60 mm, 1/80 sec, f/18, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Feather Silhouette)

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60 mm, 1/1600 sec, f/18, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Feather In The Sky)

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60 mm, 1/250 sec, f/5.0, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Blue Feather)

Day 203 (21 July 2012) Oh Christmas Tree. . . .

Thats what I was thinking when I looked at the LCD after shooting this image.  I wanted to get the blue spruce as a silhouette for the Photo Challenge, and the sun was in the perfect position to become the tree topper, just like it was Christmas in July!  I even got a little (lot) of lens flare for decoration! 🙂

2012_Jul_21_Tree Silhouette_00418 mm, 1/60 sec, f/22, ISO 100 (Christmas Tree)

Day 187 (5 July 2012) Thistle Sunset

One of the challenges for me with this 365 project is that I have to come up with an idea of something to shoot every day.  It’s a HUGE stretch for me to think creatively that much, and it shows sometimes.  Today was one of those days where I didn’t have a great idea till shortly before shooting.  I was on my way to a friend’s to work out and saw the sign for Harkness Park and made the decision to go there to shoot the sunset.  I’m glad I didn’t have a different idea 🙂

I couldn’t decide which images I like best, so there are a few for your viewing pleasure. I almost didn’t post the last one, cause I like the others so much more, but I added it for variety 🙂

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60 mm, 1/160 sec, f/5.0, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Thistle Sunset)

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60 mm, 1/500 sec, f/5.0, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Thistle Silhouette)

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60 mm, 1/800 sec, f/5.0, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Glowing Thistle)

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18 mm, 1/25 sec, f/14, ISO 100 (Harkness Park Sunset)

Day 181 (29 June 2012) Reflected Sunset

First of all, I have to admit that I Love sunsets!  I love watching them, and esp. I love shooting them!  I find myself snapping a photo every few seconds sometimes, and end up with well over a hundred photos to sort through by the time I get home.  Tonight was not any different.

A good friend asked if shooting from the upper deck of the parking garage at the Mohegan Sun casino in Eastern CT would be good for shooting the sunset.  I thought so, so I looked at my Sun Seeker app and determined the best garage (of many) to shoot unobstructed.  I got there about 1.5 hrs before sunset to verify. (note: in CT, with the many hills and trees, finding an area to shoot the sun set from takes some searching; either a tall structure or a very large field on the proper side of the road has to be found, and be accessible.)

So we chatted till the sun started approaching the horizon, and then the haze began to explode in color!  It was  a beautiful sunset 🙂  The casino hotel’s exterior is paneled with reflective glass, so I made sure to turn around and shoot the casino periodically.  This first shot is my submission for “Reflected Love” on SeeingSpotsPhoto and Nick Exposed’s photo scavenger hunt challenge, because I love sunsets 🙂  I moved closer to the fence on this one to get it in the frame, as I think it adds some interest to the image.  What do you think?

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35 mm, 1/25 sec, f/4.5, ISO 400 (Mohegan Sun Set Reflected)

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18 mm, 1/25 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100 (Shooting the Sunset)

Day 166 (14 June 2012) Flag Day, Hartford

Today is Flag Day in the US.  Many nations have their own Flag Day to celebrate the adoption of their national Flag.  Old Glory was adopted by Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777 (see Wikipedia for more).  So, of course I had to shoot some shots of the National Ensign. 🙂

Today also happened to be a great day for clouds.  There were many puffy cumulus clouds floating around the sky.  My goal was to shoot them above the city of Hartford, but by the time I got there, they were not really around.  Or maybe they were just in the northern area of CT (where I work).  Either way, I had a great time wandering the area of the Founders Bridge in Hartford.

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18 mm, 1/125 sec, f/11, ISO 100 (Flag Day, USA)

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18 mm, 1/30, f/18, ISO 100 (Phoenix Bridge, Hartford)

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18 mm, 1/30, f/18, ISO 100 (Connecticut River Reflections)

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21 mm, 1/25, f/18, ISO 100 (The Two Sided Building)

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18 mm, 1/80, f/18, ISO 100 (Tobacco Field)

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21 mm, 1/40, f/18, ISO 100 (Phoenix Bridge, Hartford)

Day 160 (8 June 2012) Going Home

As I write this I’m about 30,000 feet in the air, on leg 2 of 3 of my journey home. This past week has been long, exhausting, but amazing in what I’ve learned, both in skill and in knowledge. Though my mind and body are both tired, I’m filled with excitement about the vision of my future that this past week has solidified!

Today as I travel I’m relying on my iPhone for its camera to share with you. I’m not usually a fan of the filters/etc that most of the photo apps have, but I did tune it a little in Snapspeed, which is probably the best photo app out there, at least according to many pros out there. I have not used it before now, but I am now in 100% agreement with them! (I managed to score it for free!). It’s hard to tell how good this image will look on a full sized screen, but on my small phone, I’m happy with it 🙂

I’ll get back into my normal shooing routine tomorrow!! 🙂

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Day 118 (27 April 2012) Do the Dew

I finally got up earlier enough to have time to shoot some shots of the dew before it evaporated away. After I got dressed and was about to grab my camera, the sun disappeared. I thought I had missed my chance by taking those extra minutes luxuriating in the shower. But as I sat down in my chair, the sun came out and gave me the perfect light for the shots! Then results have given me motivation to set the alarm a bit earlier on occasion!

Morning Dew

60 mm, 1/200 sec, f/6.3, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens, cropped (Morning Dew)

Dew Drop Bokah

60 mm, 1/50 sec, f/6.3, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Dew Drop Bokah)

Dandelion

60 mm, 1/250 sec, f/4.0, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Dandelion)