Day 297 (23 Oct 2012) Creek in the Woods

On my way home from work on Tuesday, I took a short detour to get an image.  I find it difficult to capture forest scenes to my satisfaction.  Maybe it’s because my memory of the scene is much more vivid than what my camera captures?  I don’t know.  But I’ll continue to try till I get it right 🙂

2012_Oct_23_Fall_004

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!

2012_Oct_15_Fall_002

2012_Oct_15_Fall_003

2012_Oct_15_Fall_016

2012_Oct_15_Fall_005

Day 288 (14 Oct 2012) At the Pier

Today after having a great lunch (both food and conversations) at Paul’s Pasta in Groton, CT, I noticed some  abandoned, rotting pier pilings just past the parking lot (the restaurant is on the Thames River).  Which, by the way, if you have never been, you must!!  It’s worth a drive!  But I digress.  The pilings, and a lone fishing boat, caught my eye, so after grocery shopping, I swung back by and shot today’s images.

2012_Oct_14_Pier Pilings_023

Hiding Mussels

2012_Oct_14_Pier Pilings_016

The Thames River

2012_Oct_14_Pier Pilings_010

Pier Pilings

2012_Oct_14_Pier Pilings_025

Fishing Boat

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.

2012_Sep_18_Gay City Park_009

18 mm, 1/40 sec, f/8, ISO 200 (Storm Over Pond)

2012_Sep_18_Gay City Park_010

18 mm, 1/40 sec, f/8, ISO 200 (Sky Drama)

2012_Sep_18_Gay City Park_005

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 258 (15 Sep 2012) Fire Dancers

Last night I went to the wedding of a very good and close friend.  After the reception ended at 11:30 pm, a friend and I headed to Downtown Providence, RI to see Waterfire. But due to the late hour, most of the fires were out 😦  But we just hung out a little and stumbled upon a group of people who were playing/performing some ‘fire dancing.’  They had torch-like objects on the ends of two chains which they twirled around. It was pretty cool.  I used the opportunity to set up my tripod and take some images of their art.  I was able to meet and talk with one of them when I showed her the photos I took of her friend, then she wanted me to shoot her doing it.  It was pretty cool to see them and meet them.  She was very appreciative of the fact that she can now get photos of her doing it.

2012_Sep_16_Fire Dancer_003

18 mm, 1 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100 (Ring of Fire)

2012_Sep_16_Fire Dancer_007

18 mm, 8 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100 (Fire Dancer)

2012_Sep_16_Fire Dancer_013

18 mm, 1 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 (Flaming Dance)

2012_Sep_15_Steph & Jared Wedding_323

18 mm, 30 sec, f/14, ISO 100 (WaterFire Basin, After)

Day 259 (16 Sep 2012) Down by the Tracks

Today I took the scenic route home from church, which ironically is shorter distance-wise than the ‘normal’ route.  As I was driving and enjoying the fall sunshine and scattered clouds in the sky, I saw a sign for a boat ramp I had not explored yet.  So hit the brakes, hoping they guy behind me was paying attention and cranked the wheel to aim my car down the heavily potted road down to the river.  I parked, took a stroll to the tracks that parallel the river, and did a little shooting.  As you probably know, I have a thing for trains and rail road tracks (I have several posts that feature rail road tracks, such as this, this, and this.)

Enjoy!

2012_Sep_16_Rail Road Tracks_007

18 mm, 1/100 sec, f/11, ISO 100 (Into the Distance)

2012_Sep_16_Rail Road Tracks_010

18 mm, 1/60 sec, f/11, ISO 100 (River and Rails)

2012_Sep_16_Rail Road Tracks_014

18 mm, 1/40 sec, f/11, ISO 100 (Rail Road)

2012_Sep_16_Rail Road Tracks_017

18 mm, 1/40 sec, f/11, ISO 100 (Low Rider)

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 🙂

2012_Sep_14_Disappearing Lake_004

18 mm, 4 min, f/8, ISO 100 (Disappearing Lake)

2012_Sep_14_Disappearing Lake_003

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.

2012_Sep_13_Night Pond_002

18 mm, 5 min, f/8, ISO 200 (Night Pond)

Day 255 (12 Sep 2012) Bubbles!!

Today’s photos were fun and simple; simply a glass bowl full of soapy water, bubbles, my macro lens, and the sun shining through the window.  Of course using the straw to blow more/larger bubbles was the highlight 🙂  I may never grow up!  I think I saw something similar at one point on h2o by Joanna’s blog (she does all sorts of great work centered on the team of water).

Enjoy!

2012_Sep_12_Bubbles_025

60 mm, 1/40 sec, f/8, ISO 200, 60mm macro lens (Bubble Colors)

2012_Sep_12_Bubbles_038

60 mm, 1/30 sec, f/4, ISO 200, 60mm macro lens (White Colors)

2012_Sep_12_Bubbles_029

60 mm, 1/40 sec, f/8, ISO 200, 60mm macro lens (Bubble Colors II)

2012_Sep_12_Bubbles_053

60 mm, 1/40 sec, f/8, ISO 200, 60mm macro lens (Bubble Bokah)

2012_Sep_12_Bubbles_060

60 mm, 1/250 sec, f/8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Soapy)

2012_Sep_12_Bubbles_020

60 mm, 1/40 sec, f/8, ISO 200, 60mm macro lens (Bubble Colors III)

Note: most of the images are cropped by various amounts.

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 🙂

2012_Sep_10_Gardner Lake Sunset_069

18 mm, 1/40 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Tranquil Lake)

2012_Sep_10_Gardner Lake Sunset_062

18 mm, 1/60 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Purple Clouds)

2012_Sep_10_Gardner Lake Sunset_008

47 mm (cropped), 1/4 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Spillway)

Day 252 (9 Sep 2012) Night Flows

On my way home this evening I saw sight I wanted to shoot, so I turned around, found a place to park, and tried to capture a good image.  I wasn’t really impressed with what I shot (limited access due to road and private property is what I’ll blame tonight, lol).  So as I walked back to my car, I heard rushing water.  I kept walking to the back of the lot and discovered a small creek.  I swapped out my battery (the indicator was blinking) and took some shots.  There was a motion light that stayed on for many minutes and I didn’t realize it was affecting my images, but I did end up with a couple after it shut off that I was able to tweak to my liking.

Normally I would have been home much earlier, but I was spending the afternoon hanging several of my prints at a local coffee shop as the featured artist for September!  So, if you are in the New London, CT area this month, swing by the Bean and Leaf and help a starving artist buy more lens! 🙂

2012_Sep_09_Night Creek_008

18 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400 (Night Flow)

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:

2012_Sep_02_ADK Giant_019

Misty Mountians

2012_Sep_02_ADK Giant_038

The High Peaks

2012_Sep_02_ADK Giant_021

Weathered Tree

2012_Sep_02_ADK Giant_064

Giant’s Basin

2012_Sep_02_ADK Giant_071

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.

2012_Aug_28_Day Pond_034

60 mm, 1/40 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 (Frog)

2012_Aug_28_Day Pond_053

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 🙂

2012_Aug_27_Mansfield Hollow Lake_041

18 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Mansfield Hollow Lake)

2012_Aug_27_Mansfield Hollow Lake_039

18 mm, 15 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Moon over Mansfield Hollow)

2012_Aug_27_Mansfield Hollow Lake_018

53 mm, 6 sec, f/22, ISO 100 (Waterlogged)

2012_Aug_27_Mansfield Hollow Lake_033

18 mm, 4 sec, f/11, ISO 100 (Colors Reflected)

2012_Aug_27_Mansfield Hollow Lake_025

18 mm, 2.5 sec, f/22, ISO 100 (Sunset Over Mansfield Hollow Lake)

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 🙂

2012_Aug_15_Dragon Tree_008

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

2012_Aug_15_Dragon Tree_022

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

Day 222 (9 Aug 2012) Water Drops

Today’s post is inspired by Joanna of H2O by Joanna.  She’s done this kind of shoot before.  I’ve kept the idea on the back burner for a day when I had a lot going on.  I have will be doing a “gallery” showing at a local coffee shop in September jointly with a friend who paints, so we hung out and discussed the the upcoming show and just caught up on life.

For today’s shoot, I set up my camera with my macro lens pointing straight at the water stream from my kitchen faucet.  I set the appetite wide open, and used my seedlight hand held and manually triggered.  My exposure was about 1/2 sec so I could synchronize the flash and shutter easily and not over expose the image.

2012_Aug_09_Faucet Drops_006

60 mm, 1/2 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Dripping Faucet)

2012_Aug_09_Faucet Drops_011

60 mm, 1/2 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (About to Fall)

2012_Aug_09_Faucet Drops_018

60 mm, 0.4 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (Outline of a Drip)

2012_Aug_09_Faucet Drops_028

60 mm, 1/2 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100, 60mm macro lens (String of Pearls)

Day 218 (5 Aug 2012) Lightning!

I finally did it!!  I captured a lightning bolt with my camera!

As I left a birthday party this evening, as storm was coming through, so I staked out a spot where I thought I could watch it come over the distant hills.  However, as I was watching the glows grow brighter, the rain hit.  So I packed up and headed home.  Then as I was approaching the area where the casino is located, I realized that a parking garage would provide a great view, and keep me dry and safe 🙂  My first exposure captured this image.  However, even thought I was using a remote to shoot sequential exposures automatically, it’s the only bolt I captured.  But I’m happy 🙂

2012_Aug_05_Lightning_001

18 mm, 25 sec, f/5.0, ISO 200 (Lightning Strike)

My settings may not be ideal; a lower ISO (100) might have preserved the darker sky, same with a smaller aperture (f/8, maybe?)  I’ve read many tutorials but didn’t remember exactly what I read; it was late and I was sweaty and tired.  Guess I’ll have to read up on it again 🙂

Day 217 (4 Aug 2012) Niantic River Sunset

Today was a hot and sticky day here in CT, and I spent most of it outside working.  The first part of the day I finished my clutch job on my Jetta (yay!), then worked in the yard, then cleaned up the garage a bit.  After getting cleaned up I had a last-minute idea to shoot the sunset from the Niantic River Bridge.  I knew that I woudl be cutting it close, but I figured, why not try anyway?

Well, I did miss the setting of the sun, but I usually prefer the colors just after the sun sets, so I was blessed with these images 🙂 The last image is the first one I took tonight, just before I got on the the highway to race the sun.

Watching

18 mm, 1/30 sec, f/9.0, ISO 100 (The Watcher)

Fishing

55 mm, 1/13 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200 (Sunset Fishing)2012_Aug_04_Niantic Sunset_017

18 mm, 1/30 sec, f/9.0, ISO 200 (Niantic River Bridge Sunset)

CT Sunset

55 mm, 1/640 sec, f/9.0, ISO 100 (Colchester Sunset)

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! 🙂

2012_Jul_27_Rain_044

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

2012_Jul_27_Rain_049

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:

2012_Jul_20_Corn Field_019

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

2012_Jul_20_Corn Field_014

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

2012_Jul_20_Corn Field_001

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

2012_Jul_20_Corn Field_028

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