Day 315 (10 Nov 2012) Sleeping Giant

I went with a few friends, including Shannon from SeeingSpotsPhoto, to do what was originally supposed to be a Fall Foliage hike, but it appears the early predictions were wrong on when the season ended, or Hurricane Sandy messed it all up, as all the trees were bare 😦

The best part of the day was talking photography with Shannon; she’s helped me by answering questions and introducing me to people and probably the closest thing I have to a photo mentor.  One thing I suggest, strongly, is that you find someone better than you who can, and will, help you with your photography!

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Day 313 (8 Nov 2012) Footprints

I wanted to post the poem, “Footprints in the Sand” poem, but when I did a quick google search for it, I discovered that it appears to be still under copyright, with no blanket permissions (unlike the creative commons license I use for my work).  So, please follow the link above to read the poem.  I did send a request to use it, but I didn’t plan ahead for that 😦

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Footprints in the snow

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Town Green in White
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Traversing the Snow

Day 312 (7 November) Winter Has Arrived!

not officially, but the season’s first snow is falling.  Last week was a hurricane, this week snow via a Nor’easter.  This is New England!

There wasn’t much accumulation before dark, and with the wind blowing, I snuck outside during my work day to shoot a couple images of the grass peaking through the snow.  I should have taken more time to frame them up and check focus and DoF, but there is always tomorrow!  Plus, I should have more light and not have to fight the wind 🙂

I like the idea of the first image, I just need to work on the execution.  The second image is of the ball-shaped flakes as they started to accumulate on my deck.

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Day 72.5 (12.5 March 2012) The photos I wanted to post yesterday

I figured out my problem (my hard drive was full!  go figure!), so here are two photos I wanted to share last night:

Chain Link Fence

Chain Link Fence

Red Door

Red Door

Day 72 (12 March 2012) Church

Tonight as I was driving home I passed this Episcopal church and saw its stained glass window in my rear view mirror.  I had to stop and do some shooting 🙂

For some reason Lightroom couldn’t read the files on my memory cards to upload them.  I had to use the Canon software to convert them from RAW to JPG, so I didn’t have an oppertunity to do any correction/editing.  So, if they don’t look  as good as they could, I’ll fix them once I get LR to work.  I’m not too thrilled with any of them, thought I think I can fix some of them.  I wasn’t paying attention to the lights and didn’t notice different lighting types/colors.  I’ll post an update after I fix them.

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Day 71 (11 March 2012) Boston, MA

Ok, so I know it’s past midnight, but I did take these shots on the 11th 🙂  I JUST got home from spending all day in MA, with a few hours in Boston w/ my gr.  We ran across these two guys drumming on buckets (similar to what I’ve seen in NYC subways) and they were pretty good, so we watched for a while (yes, I did throw in some money).  Later, we were relaxing on a bench and looked up and saw these lights which were neat to look at.

Anyway, it’s late and I have to be up soon, so I’ll leave you with these photos (the rest will be up on Flickr this week, inc. some light painting):

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Boston Drummers

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Light Post

Day 70 (10 March 2012) Mooween Park

Today I decided to have a low-key day, slept in real late, took a short hike, and had a good evening w/ a bunch of guys at church watching the movie Courageous.

These photos were taken at Mooween Park on Cedar Lake in Lebanon, CT. The park used to be a campground up untill the 60s, so there were lots of ‘ruins’ from it which were interesting to explore.

Old Car

Old Abandoned Car Rusting Away

Rocks

Rocks Piled, marking the trail

Abandoned Tree Fort

Abandoned Tree Fort

Day 69 (9 March 2012) Let Your Light Shine Through

Today I took a quick break from work to shoot since I won’t have time tonight after work.  My intent was to shoot some lichen on a rock in my yard, but I wasn’t impressed with how they turned out.  I also shot some leaves silhouetted against the sun.  This shot, cropped and slightly de-saturated, is pretty neat, as you can see all the veins that fed this leaf when it was still living.

Leaf Silhoutte

1/500, f/5.6, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens w/ 4x close-up filter (Silhoutte)

Day 68 (8 March 2012) Wood

Today on my way home from work I stopped by a little creek that runs next to the highway.  I took several shots, but only a few came out, the first one of a large root bundle that had been worn by the frequent floods.  The second was of the bark of a tree that had great texture.

I’ll have to stop by later in the spring when it greens up and I have more light.

Driftwood

55 mm, 1/20 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400, 18-55mm kit lens (Driftwood)

Bark

55 mm, 1/15 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400, 18-55mm kit lens (Bark)

Day 65 (5 March 2012) Moon in Tree

I know this shot’s been done almost to the point of cliché, but I still think it’s cool to see the moon during the day, esp. when there is something interesting to frame it with.  Being my typical busy Monday, I shot this right before I ran back out the door.  I didn’t want to stay up any later by finding a cool spot to freeze while shooting for 45 min tonight.

I did do some minor editing (increasing the exposure a little while decreasing it on the moon) so you could see the features of the moon.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll try a HDR shot so I don’t have to play with brushes (I know it’s not a great job I did here, but I’m still trying practicing a steady hand w/ the mouse).  Anyway, I at least love the color that the sky was, and maybe I should have shot w/o the moon in it.

Moon Tree

87 mm, 1/30 sec, f/11, ISO 100, Sigma 50-200mm lens (Moon Tree)

Day 63 (3 March 2012) Chair Lift

I spent today on the slopes at Wattchuset Ski Resort snowboarding! After dealing with rain for a couple hours, the weather started cooperating an it dried out, and cooled off. This caused some really thick fog near the summit. Not having my DSLR with me, I shot this with my iPhone. It was challenging bombing down the mountain with such limited visibility, but it just added to the challenge!

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Day 62 (2 March 2012) The Edge and The Pond

Tonight I bring you two different shots.  The first one is a test of my new close-up filter kit.  I shot the blade of my Letherman (which I carry everywhere except the airport).  I can’t wait to have some more time to experiment with these lenses.  I’ve been wanting to break into macro photography for a while, but haven’t had the cash to get a good macro lens.  The $12 I spent on this kit will allow me to keep putting money aside for a quality lens.

That was going to be my only shot for today, but on my way home from a friend’s house, I took the shortest way (according to Garmin), and ended up passing the pond in the second shot.  I probably wouldn’t have noticed it, as I was paying more attention to the pot holes on the dirt road that my GPS directed me along, but there were several deer in a field bordering the road, so I slowed down then noticed the pond.  Sometimes deer near a road are a good thing 🙂

The Edge

55 mm, 1/20 sec, f/11, ISO 1600, 18-55mm kit lens w/ 10x close up filter (The Edge)

The Pond

18 mm, 30 sec, f/11, ISO 800, 18-55mm kit lens (The Pond)

Day 61 (1 March 2012) Rain Drop

First of all, I’m just glad to say that the post number and day of the month are in alignment again!  No more math, lol!

But on to why you are here.  Today, other than work, I really needed to finish my paper (which was due yesterday, but thanks to the snow, class was canceled!), so I didn’t really do much with my camera.  But while sitting at my table after lunch plugging away at work, I looked out on my deck and saw several large water drops suspended on a piece of patio furniture.  Not having a macro lens, or any macro equipment, I took my lens off, turned it backwards, and attempted to shoot a particular large drop with both lens and camera hand-held (I have a close-up filter kit on order!).  While this photo isn’t anything that would win an award, I thought the black, curved ‘line’ on the drop was interesting.  And since it’s late, it’s what I’m posing 🙂  I decided to rotate the photo 180 to give it a more abstract feel.

For those of you who have shot great water drop shots, what suggestions do you have for attempting this once my filters arrive?

Water Drop

1/25 sec, ISO 1600, kit lens inverted and hand held (water drop)

Day 60 (29 Feb 2012) Leap Day

Happy Leap Day!  I hope you did some leaping, jumping, and hopping today!  I know I did 🙂

Leap Day

18 mm, 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1600, 18-55mm kit lens (Happy Leap Day!)

Leap Day

33 mm, 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1600, 18-55mm kit lens (Leaping Lizards!)

Now you know what I look like 🙂

Day 58 (27 Feb 2012) The Tree

Tonight I wanted to shoot a small, historic cemetery I’ve seen near the Thames River in Ledyard, CT, silhouetting the grave stones against the river.  But what I didn’t notice untill tonight was the amount of brush/vines ruining the view I wanted.  But while I was exposing one of those shots, I looked up and saw the view below and knew that was my shot for today 🙂

Cemetary Tree

18 mm, 5 min, f/8.0, ISO 400, 18-55mm kit lens (Cemetery Tree)

Day 56 (25 Feb 2012) Basketball and Bridges

Spoiler alert!  There are no pictures of basketball in this post.  I put that in the title because I did shoot about 360 photos at my friend’s kid’s basketball game.  He actually asked to hire me as the photographer for the game and produce sports cards!!!    Of all the ways my improvements have been validated, this is probably the one that caused me to smile the most 🙂  I’m not saying that I’m a pro, or that my photos are pro quality, but just being hired for a photo shoot was affirming! I can’t say that I was able to capture a great photo of every kid, but I did get some good ones, and useable ones for each, at least.  I would like to blame the slow auto focus of my 50mm/1.8 and it’s softness wide open, but I think’s it’s more my ability to use the gear.  But this was my first sporting event, so I think I learned a lot, which is the most important part of the day.

After the game I headed over to the Comstock Bridge in Colchester, CT. It is a covered bridge that spans the Salmon River.  For quite a while it has been undergoing a complete rebuild, and I recently heard that it was done, so I wanted to see how it looked.  The craftsmen did a great job!  Many of the structural timbers were re-used, but all the hardware was new, along w/ a new floor, roof, and sides.  Some additional supports were added, but they are not that noticeable.  Since the sides/roof are new, it doesn’t look like an old bridge, so I can’t wait for them to weather some.

Comstock Bridge

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

Looking Out

18 mm, 1/30 sec, f/9.0, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (looking out)

Looking Up

18 mm, 1/5 sec, f/7.1, ISO 400, 18-55mm kit lens (Looking Up)

Day 55 (24 Feb 2012) Snow Day Special

Today it was actually like a New England winter day!  I awoke to about 3″ of fresh snow for the first time in almost 2 months!  I have been missing weather like this 😉

I love the peaceful quite that the snow seems to bring, and the way it completely changes the landscape from the dead brown to a winter wonderland!

I didn’t take many photos today, but instead set up my camera to do a time-lapse watching the snow all day.  The temps were above freezing so I wanted to watch it melt off the trees 🙂  It’s not super exciting, but time-lapse is still very new and experimental to me.  let me know how I can improve!! I apologize if the image quality seems low; I forgot to turn my camera from a medium-sized jpg (that I was using for the vid files) to full-sized RAW.

 

Tree In A Drop

50 mm, 1/640 sec, f/1.8, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8 ii (Tree In A Drop)

Tree Top

50 mm, 1/640 sec, f/1.8, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8 ii (Tree Top)

Day 54 (23 Feb 2012) Norwich at Night

For a while I’ve wanted to find a high location and shoot down-town Norwich, CT at night.  Downtown is situated near the Thames River at a relatively low elevation compared to the surrounding area, so I thought I might find some high ground with a clear view.  As I’ve driven through it the past few times I’ve tried to pay more attention to what is around me as far as possible shooting locations.  This will need some actual dedicated planning and scouting, as all I’ve seen in my limited routes is a parking garage.  So tonight I tried it.  Since it’s winter and not the weekend, the area wasn’t exactly bustling with crowds, so from my vantage point it wasn’t real exciting.  But since it was after 9pm I parked and took a few shots.

Norwich, CT

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

Red Fire Hydrant

18 mm, 20 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens ()

Empty

18 mm, 15 sec, f/11.0, ISO 100, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens (Empty)

Day 53 (22 Feb 2012) Stress Reduction

I’m allowed to work from home twice a week (Wednesday and Friday), but sometimes there is enough BS* at my company that it can irritate me enough to start replying to emails with sarcastic responses.  (sorry for the rant, but it leads to. . .)

But I’ve found that when I’m at home, I can take my lunch break, grab my camera, and walk out into my yard and leave it all behind for a few minutes.  Focusing on seeing the beauty in front of me, and attempting to capture it is great for helping reduce the level of annoyance I have.  When I come back inside my attitude is better, I’m more calm, relaxed, and remember that this is just a job, and it’s not important enough to allow myself to be stressed by 🙂

*BS = dumB Stuff

Wood Pile

50 m, 1/640 sec, f/2.2, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8 (Wood Pile)

Fastener

50 mm, 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8 ii (Fastener)

Fir Tree

50 mm, 1/500 sec, f/2.0, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8 ii (Fir Tree)

"W"

50 mm, 1/250 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8 ii (W)

Day 52 (21 Feb 2012) Smok’n

*Disclaimer: this is not an endorsement for or against the tobacco industry or the use of their products*

As one drives through the Windsor, CT area either on I-91 or Rt 20, one can see the long, narrow, faded red tobacco sheds along side their field.  Tobacco has been grown in CT since the 1800s and there is still about 2000 acres farmed today.  The leaves grown here are primarily used in the wrapper, or outer layers of cigars.  CT’s tobacco is considered a premium variety, so the farming of this controversial crop continues.

I’ve always loved old barns and run-down/weathered buildings, and today I decided to shoot for a few minutes from near the road (I didn’t want to trespass too bad).  I decided to use my ‘nifty fifty’ or Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens to force me to think in new ways while shooting.

Tobacco Sheds

50 mm, 1/500 sec, f/2.2, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8 ii (Tobacco Sheds)

Keep Out

50 mm, 1/200 sec, f/2.2, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8 ii (Keep Out)

Hinge

50 mm, 1/250 sec, f/1.8, ISO 100, EF 50mm f/1.8 ii (Hinge)