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 157 (5 June 2012) Nashville, Day 1

I’m totally loving what I learned so far this week (only day one), and I can’t wait till tomorrow to continue absorbing this awesome material!  It was a long day, starting at 3 am Eastern time, and it’s pushing 10:30 Central/11:30 Eastern time.  I’m beat!  But it’s well worth it 🙂

Today after dinner I took a walk around the hotel area; it’s in a business park area (quite nice, it not too suburban), so I was trying to open my mind to what was around me.  As I was walking, trying to see how the buildings, vegetation, traffic, etc looked through the lens, I noticed that the sun was setting over the hills as I crested a freeway over pass.  Taking a lesson I learned from my Carrousel shot, I stopped the appeture way down and tried to hold steady as I shot the last of the sun.

Tomorrow I want to make it to the heart of Nashville for something new and interesting (I’ve not been here before), and I hope to have something great to share with you 🙂  But for tonight, this will work.  Oh, I also shot the cockpit of the airplane, check it out on my Flickr page (I was surprised that I was allowed to do it!)

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18 mm, 1/25 sec, f/22, ISO 100 (Nashville Sunset)

Day 147 (26 May 2012) Climbing Whiteface Mountain, AKDs

So, I think yesterday was the first day I did not actually put up some sort of post.  I meant to post a photo from my iPhone after we got down from the mountain while having dinner, but I was so wiped out after the hike I completely forgot.  So, today I’m posting for yesterday (I’ll post for today later).

Yesterday my good friend Tom and I climbed Whiteface Mt. and Mt. Esther in the ADKs of Upstate New York.  These two peaks, #5 @ 4867 ft and #28 @ 4240 ft, of the “46ers” , respectfully, are located just north of Lake Placid (the town and lake).  We took the trail starting at Wilmington, NY, climbed Whiteface, and topped Esther on the return trip.  From the reservoir in Wilmington, it’s a 5.2 mile trip with 3620 ft of elevation gain.  Esther is off the main trail 1.2 miles, and adds a few hundred feet of elevation climb.  In 9.5 hrs of hiking we hiked 12.8 miles with about 4000 ft of elevation gain.  We did take an hour break at the summit of Whiteface for lunch, photography, and enjoying the amazing view!

The hardest part of the trail is defending the almost 2 miles of very steep and rocky trail before reaching the turn off for Esther.  IMO its easier to go up than down, at least on the joints and feet!  Once we were down that part, with only 1.4 miles left to reach the car, my energy level spiked!  Almost done!  It was a hard climb, but lots of fun, and well worth the views and experience! (I have to note that at the top there were dozens of people, but that is because there is a road that comes within 300 ft of the summit, and an elevator takes you the rest of the way.  IMHO all the noisy people/pets/kids at the top really detracts from the serenity I normally experience at a mountain summit.)

Here is the summit the night before, as we were driving in.  There it a weather observatory tower at the top.

White Face Sunset

53 mm, 1/200 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Whiteface Summit, the Night Before)

This is a long-exposure shot of me hiking.  This is my first submission to the long exposure photo challenge I told you about a few days ago

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30 mm, 1/4 sec, f/16, ISO 100 (Hiking)

I saw this girl looking out from the summit and could not resist taking the photo.  I edited it so the focus was more on her and what she was looking at then the beauty of the view.  What do you think about it?  A good edit, bad edit?  What would you have done different?

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18 mm, 1/160 sec, f/8, ISO 100 (Looking Out)

Lake Placid is seen below:

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18 mm, 1/100 sec, f/13, ISO 100 (Lake Placid In View)

There are many areas in the ADKs where you come across a stand of dead trees like this, with many young trees crowding the ground.

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37 mm, 1/100 sec, f/11, ISO 100 (Standing Tree)

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18 mm, 1/60 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100 (Trail Marker)

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18 mm, 1/100 sec, f/13, ISO 100 (The Summit)

Day 144 (23 May 2012) Randomness

The title says it all.  I just some random stuff around my home, and one while out & about.

Hope you enjoy! 🙂

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Droplet with bug on a leaf

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Hard Worker

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Soap

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New Fern

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Crescent Moon

Day 141 (20 May 2012) Niantic River Bridge

Today while I was waiting to meeting up with friends to go see the new Avengers movie I took a short drive to the Niantic River Bridge.  I actually ended up there by accident; I just started driving south trying to find a beach/park to do some reading and maybe shoot (the shoreline is south in CT, weird, right?).  I stumbled upon an area where the crab/lobster fisherman leave their traps and had some fun shooting.

After the movie, we all went to one of those shore-line seafood joints that are only open in the summer and had dinner under an amazing sunset before I had to head home and get ready for tomorrow and the work week.  I took some liberty with editing a few of the sunset photos and enjoy how the look.  I have several more ‘normal’ photos on my Flickr feed, if you care to peruse them.

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Ice Cream

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Fishing

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Harbor Sunset

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 127 (6 May 2012) Clouds

I finally got to go through my photos from this weekend, and I got some good ones, I think 🙂  You can find them here, on my Flickr account, if you like. (there are a couple of the “super moon” (If you don’t see them, check back in a bit, they are uploading currently)

Here are a few photos I took on my way home today.

Weed in the SKy

18 mm, 1/160 sec, f/20, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Weed in the Sky)

Weed

32 mm, 1/320 sec, f/10, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Weed)

For this next one, I tried to make the clouds dramatic, like I’ve seen in other photos, but I’m not sure how.  Any tips or links to tutorials would be grateful!

Clouds

18 mm, 1/800, f/10, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Clouds)

And here is one from the drive up:

ADK Sunset

51mm, 1/50 sec, f/10, ISO 400, 18-55mm kit lens (ADK Sunset)

Day 126 (5 May 2012) Heart Lake, Adirondacks

Today is a shot of sunset taken with my iPhone, not processed, just as is. I did take some with my DSLR, but as I’m out campin still, you will have to wait till tomorrow night to see them! Enjoy!

    Heart Lake, ADK

http://www.flickr.com/photos/48627721@N06/7146630299

Day 119 (28 April 2012) Sun and Sand

Today I had a goal of shooting a long exposure shot of the sea, based on a technique I learned from SeeingSpotsPhotography (check her blog, amazing photos, great info, and lots of creative inspiration).  I was thinking I would go from an afternoon gathering at a friend’s place down to the beach (they are in a coastal town) and shoot.  It didn’t dawn on me to check what time sunset was (7:30ish PM), and as the gathering ended about 6ish, it was still very light out.  So I slapped on my polarizer and the 4x ND filter I have (strongest/only one) so I could slow the shutter down.  Best I could do was about 5 seconds, which wasn’t long enough to get the effect.  I tried various angles, compositions, but nothing was to my liking.  But the first photo is one I really like.  I’ve always been fascinated by the patterns the retreating water leaves in the sand, and a black & white conversion was just perfect, IMO.

The second shot is from this afternoon on my way to the gathering.  I pulled over from the interstate, rolled down the window, and shot a couple frames.  Worth the stop, I think, what do you think?

Sand Patterns

55 mm, 1.3 sec, f/29, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens w/ ND/polarizer filters (Sand patterns)

High Clouds

32 mm, 1/800 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (High Clouds)

On a side note, I was honored by Dan from Nine & a Half Hours Ahead for the Versatile Blogger Award

 I will be honest and say that I do feel honored by this award, especially coming from Dan!  But at the same time, I’m beginning to wonder about all the awards I’m seeing/getting nominated for.  I hope I’m not hurting anyones feeling with what I’m about to say, but each award has a unique name, but in the “rules” or “award post” there is nothing said about the meaning behind it.  This one would seem to mean the recipient’s blog covers a wide range of topics or subjects or is in some way “versatile”.  Maybe they all started that way, but now?  They all have a rule about how many other people you need to award it to.  So like those chain emails from 5-10 years ago that said you needed to send it to 10 people or your second cousin’s friend’s dog will die and you won’t get the award from Microsoft, I wonder if they are started to see how far they will spread. (I understand now why my fellow blogger Joanna does not accept awards.  You should check out her amazing blog!)

I only follow a few blogs, as I don’t have enough time to read all the really great stuff out there, so I feel like I’m awarding the same blogs awards again and again.  Not that they are not great or deserving, but I am asking myself, why did i get this particular one?  Sure, I do shoot the occasional really good photo, but i’m not a great photographer.  I do love shooting and sharing with you in the blog community, but I’m doing it ’cause it’s fun, not for recognition (yes, I do love all the likes and hits and stuff, it is very encouraging & ego boosting 🙂 ).

So, I’m going to make my own rule for this award.  I’m not going to tell you 7 more random thing about myself.  I am grateful to Dan for the nomination!  I will tell you “my” rules for this:
1. Know that I think your blog is great, and worth my limited time!!
2. Pass it on to a blog or blogs that you think are versatile in what they have (subjects, topics, etc) that you enjoy reading/following [doesn’t have to be 15!!]
3. Rules are meant to be broken sometimes 🙂

So, after all that (I can’t believe I ranted that much, sorry!), I award the Versatile Blogger award to:

lightswimming for the variety in photographic subjects

In My Back Pocket – Photography for the variety of techniques he uses in processing his photos

One Crazy Bible because of the way he tells the stories of the bible in a way that makes you think about it differently

Have a great night!  Let me know what you think of my “rant” on awards.

Day 107 (16 April 2012) The Office

The weather to day was magnificent!  It was in the high 70s and sunny!  I stepped outside of my office building during my lunch break, just to soak up some warmth and sun.  I snagged my camera, just in case.  I found myself on the north side of the building where we have a little grass and a couple pick-nic tables and the texture and patterns of the brick building grabbed my attention, almost as much as the green grass, budding trees, and birds fluttering about.

The symmetric lines drew my eyes down the side of the building as I stood next to it, and the rough texture drew my hand to the bricks’ surface as I walked down.  It was a great break from the beige fabric covered box, they call a cubical, that I spend most of my day in.

The third shot is of the sunset, shot from the parking lot of my church from right before I started my Financial Peace University class tonight.  I only had a few moments before my class arrived, but I like how this turned out 🙂

The Wall

18 mm, 1/40 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (The Wall)

Bricks

55 mm, 1/50 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Bricks)

Seaport Sunset

18 mm, 1/320 sec, f/8, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Seaport Sunset)

Day 103 (12 April 2012) After the Rain

Today’s weather was interspersed with rain and sun, which meant that there were beautiful cumulus clouds everywhere, and a few rainbows!  Unfortuantly the rainbows were to faint to see once photographed, but I was still able to take a short jaunt to the same nearby corn field that I’ve shot in a few times, now.  Most recently on Tuesday night.

There is just something about the open field, surrounded by trees, and the large, gnarly oak trees that make awesome silhouettes.  I wonder how it will look thought the lens once the corn starts coming in around June.

After the Rain

18 mm, 1/25 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (After the Rain)

Sundown on the Farm

32 mm, 1/30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Sundown on the Farm)

One thing I’m noticing about my shooting habits is my huge hesitation to go above ISO 100; I usually don’t even think about bumping up ISO unless my the lighting conditions required too slow a shutter to be hand held.  I think I tend to pull out a tripod before bumping up ISO, if I have the time/tripod available.  Any thoughts on this?  Should I ‘explore’ the higher ISOs to see how they do, or keep trying to say at ISO 100?

 

Day 101 (10 April 2012) Drive By Sunset

Sunday evening as I was driving home, turning off the highway for the last stretch of country road, I looked up and saw some bare trees sillueted against a deep blue sky.  Something in me told me to pull over and shoot.  But I didn’t listen.  So this evening I set out to capture it.  However, halfway to that point, I looked in my review mirror and saw the orange sky and a big, knarley oak sillueted against it.  This time I did stop and spent some time shooting from different spots near where I parked.  If this looks familure, it’s because it’s the same area I shot “Life and Death” back in January.  This is a different tree, just across the road and down about 20 yards.

I’m still going to try for the other shot someday. . .

Drive By Sunset

18 mm, 2.5 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Drive By Sunset)

Reaching for Venus

18 mm, 13 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200, 18-55mm kit lens (Reaching for Venus)

Venus

32 mm, 4 sec, f/8.0, ISO 800, 18-55mm kit lens (Venus)

Lebanon Sunset

18 mm, 6 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens, cropped (Lebanon Sunset)

Day 77 (17 March 2012) Newport Cliff Walk

Today my gf and I met in Newport, RI to do the Cliff Walk and to just hang out.  The weather was predicted to be mid 50s and sunny by noon.  But not surprisingly, the weatherman (or weather app) was wrong.  We didn’t see the sun till about 4pm, but instead had a dull day for most of the hike.  But it was in the low 50s, so it was very comfortable 🙂

I took many photos during the walk (thankfully my gf is into photography, too, else I wouldn’t hardly get any, or really annoy her ever 10 min by stopping), but these are a couple of my favorites.  Feel free to check out the rest of them by clicking on my Flickr feed on the right.→

The Clouds Break

The Clouds Break

The One That Got Away

The One That Got Away

The sunset was taken from the other side of the city, on our way to dinner.  We almost didn’t even notice it, but a guy taking a pic from the middle of  the street, holding up traffic, made us look in that direction.  We got to the water’s edge just as the sun was dipping below the horizon leaving us with the most spectacular sunset I’ve seen in a very long time, if not ever!

Newport Sunset

Newport Sunset

Newport Sunset

Newport Sunset

Day 49 (18 Feb 2012) Weekend Jaunt

Today my gf and I decided that we would like to walk the Gold Star Memorial Bridge over the Thames River (I-95) between Groton and New London, CT.  It is about 135 feet (41m) tall and 6000 feet (1800 m) long, making it CT’s longest bridge.

I’ve driven over this bridge hundreds of times, but never walked over, and since today’s weather was nice (45 F and sunny) I figured, why not 🙂

This first photo was shot from near the apex, towards the Groton side.  The industrial looking complex you see in the distance is the New London US Navy Submarine Base, where I was stationed before I separated from the Navy.

Thames River and Sub Base

39 mm, 1/125 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Thames River and Sub Base)

This second photo was from under the south-bound lane, facing West looking into New London.  I really enjoyed looking at the geometry of the bridge’s support structure.

Under the Gold Star Memorial Bridge

55 mm, 1/20 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Under the Bridge)

This last shot is of Horse Pond, north of Waterford, CT, as the sun was setting.  My gf noticed the view as we drove by, so I pulled a U-turn and came back so we could shoot it.

Horse Pond

18 mm, 1/40 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Horse Pond)

Day 31 (31 Jan 2012) Farmington River

Today marks 1 month down!  No days missed 🙂  But starting next month, I’ll actually have to remember what number I’m on instead of just looking at the date!

On my way home from work I decided to stop at a little park next to the Farmington River near southern Windsor, CT.  I thought it would look cool to do a longer exposure of the river, like I’ve done with waterfalls, just to see what happened.  I like how the first one almost looks like it was painted; I may print a large size of it for my wall 🙂

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51 mm, 2 sec, f/36, ISO 100, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens (Painted River)

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18 mm, 0.4 sec, f/22, ISO 100 EF-S 18-55 IS kit lens (Branch in Water)

Blue Water

18 mm, 2 sec, f/22, ISO 100 EF-S 18-55 IS kit lens (Blue Water)

Day 30 (30 Jan 2012) Windsor Sky

As I was leaving work this evening, an hour later than normal, I glanced up from the road and saw a beautiful sky!  I drove a little out of my way to get away from the business park and found an open field where I could pull over, set up the tripod, and capture the sky.  Then I turned around and pointed at the traffic circle (round-about, for those from other parts of the country/world).  The surrounding towns put these in, most of which don’t have any other roads off of them, to keep the semi-trucks from taking a short cut through residential areas.  I’m not sure how well they work, ’cause I’ve seen tracks go over the top of them, or cutting the corners.  Problem not solved, and everyone has to deal w/ driving around these.  Gotta love government solutions (stepping down from my soap box, now).

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18 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens (Dusk in Windsor, CT)

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18 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens (Windsor Sky)

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18 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens (Dusk in Windsor, CT)

Day 7 (7 Jan 2012) Devil’s Hopyard State Park

Today I spend hiking and shooting a few hundred pics (just shy of 300!) at Devil’s Hopyard State Park in East Haddam, CT.  It’s a beautiful area with plenty of trails and a constantly changing scenery.  It was very hard to belive it was January in New England, as it was almost 50F!  This time last year it was 20F.  But it made for a perfect day to get outside and enjoy God’s creation!

This first pic was of water dripping from an icicle.  My next piece of camera gear will be a macro lens (or close up filter or extension tubes) so I can get real closeups.

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55 mm, 1/50 sec, f/5/6, ISO 800 (water drop in icicle)

Nearing the end of the hike, I looked up from the ridge line as the sun was setting and saw this:

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18mm, 1/160 sec, f/13, ISO 100 (tree against sky)