Sunday, May 31, 2009

Week 5 - Day 31, May 31, 2009, "Drum Circle"

There was a Drum Circle today at the Ithaca Festival in Stewart Park. It was very interesting to watch, but I quickly became part of the circle. The rhythm became my rhythm, and I found my self swaying to the beats. This eclectic group was a lot of fun, and I wanted to try and capture some of it through photography.

Lessons Learned:
  • Seeing something that I enjoy helps to put me in the mood to want to take great photographs.
  • I can commit to this journey, and have just completed my first month of photos. I feel like I'm in the steep learning curve of the process.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/2500, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 200, Focal Length 150 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 242mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, hand held.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Week 5 - Day 30, May 30, 2009, " Rockin' Johnny"

The Purple Valley was performing today on the Ithaca Commons as part of the Ithaca Festival Celebration. It was a fantastic day for the event.

I took a variety of photos today, and this is my favorite. (and the music was fantastic.) In this photo I like John's smile, and I like the blurred background with the lighting on the trees. It's great to be able to photograph this band in daylight, but in a shaded area.

Lessons Today:
  • I need to work more on my moon shots. It's been a while, and I have forgotten my settings.
  • Getting the right light requires a lot of time. I was chasing clouds and sunshine shooting through the clouds. I didn't have a lot of luck.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/250, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 100, Focal Length 85 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 138mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, hand held.
Whew, I just got this one posted in time.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Week 5 - Day 29 - May 29, 2009, "Fern"

I didn't have a macro photo last week, so I decided to add one this evening. This is a tip of a fern growing in our back yard.

Lessons Learned:
  • Keep checking the ISO setting. I thought I had this set at 100, but it's actually 400.
  • Don't always trust your camera meter for the best shot. I set this to a much faster shutter speed than the camera suggested. This seemed to work very well for this shot. It subdued the background to a darker color, and enhanced the fern.
Photo details, Exposure time 1/250, Aperture f/14.0, ISO 400, Sigma Lens 70-300mm with a 3X Filter, tripod.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Week 4 - Day 28 - May 28, 2009, "Blue Heron in River" Winner of Week 4 in Viewer Poll, Winner of the Month of May Viewer Poll

I was asked this evening to photograph the Ithaca Festival Mile. I enjoy doing photography of athletes. So, when I began the evening I figured my photo of the day would be of a runner, or somebody in the Ithaca Festival parade that followed the race. When we were walking back to our car after the parade, we walked across the bridge near the Ithaca High School, and this was what we saw. There were many photos of runners that I liked and of people in the parade, but this photo really captured my attention.

I really like this photo. When I first looked at it, I thought it resembled an impressionist painting of some sort. The light on the waves in the water, and the bushes and trees look like brush strokes until the photo is blown up to look at the details. It was darker, and I didn't have my tripod, so I used a higher ISO, and I think it worked well for a great effect.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Lesson Learned:
  • Be willing to try Higher ISO for a different effect.

Photo details: Exposure time 1/125, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 1600, Focal Length 70 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 114mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, hand held.

This photo was the winner of week 4 in the Viewer Poll.
This photo was the winner of the month of May Viewer Poll.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Week 4 - Day 27 - May 27, 2009, "Horse and Cart"

I only had a short amount of time to take photos today.

Our house is an interesting house in the evening. We never know how many people are around in the evening, and this evening there were 5 of us. So, I had to run to Cortland after work to purchase some food for supper.

As my daughter and I headed out the door to purchase the dinner supplies, I grabbed my camera. I told her we might find something interesting to shoot some photos. I also told her, that I would really like to take some photos of the Amish that live in our neighborhood. But, I know that many of the Amish do not allow people to take their photos do to religious beliefs. On the way home we found the following people riding their Horse and Cart down the road (not Amish, but....). They were moving very quickly. Shouting, I asked if I could take their photo as they passed. They said yes. I didn't have a lot of time for setup, and took a few photos. I like this one with the barn in the background. I wish I had more time to set up the shot, and take the photo.

Lessons Learned:
  • Sometimes I need to be quick on my toes to take photos.
  • There doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to take photos. I really hope to take more time photographing on my days off.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/500, Aperture f/5.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 70 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 113mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, hand held.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Week 4 - Day 26 - May 26, 2009, "Bright Umbrella"

Today we received some much needed rain. The brightly colored umbrellas come out to contrast the gray skies. I like this photo for a couple of reasons. Don has a great smile, and the colors of the umbrella are vibrant under the cloudy sky.

Lessons Learned:
  • I don't necessary have to shoot 200 photos a day to get a great photo. Today I only shot 15, and had a couple that I liked. (I think it helps that I'm starting to get a feel for some of the camera settings.)
Photo details: Exposure time 1/2000, Aperture f/2.5, ISO 200, Focal Length 50 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 81mm, Lens Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II, hand held.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Week 4 - Day 25 - May 25, 2009, "Memorial Day"

Different people respond to Memorial Day in different ways. Some use parades, others it's a day of picnics, for others it's a day of planting gardens, and for many a day to show their appreciation for this country and those who served this nation.

I have spent the last few days looking around for an interesting photo that represented the later group but wasn't the typical flag on Main Street. I enjoy this mailbox, and the way these neighbors wanted to show their appreciation.

Lesson Learned:
  • Look for the Photo that is on the road less traveled.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/400, Aperture f/1.8, ISO 100, Focal Length 50 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 81mm, Lens Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II, tripod.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Week 4 - Day 24 - May 24, 2009 "The Graduate"

Today was a big day for my daughter. She received her Master's Degree in Landscape Architecture from Cornell University. As you can imagine we are very proud of her, and her accomplishments.

Before her graduations ceremony we had some time on the Arts Quad, so we took some photos. I find this photo humorous for a couple of reasons. Kari seems to be standing in almost the same pose as Ezra Cornell. I don't believe that she was planning on doing that. The other thing that makes me smile is the lighting on Ezra Cornell's beard looks as if he is sticking out his tongue. It reminds me of something that you would see on Monty Python.

Lesson(s) Learned:
  • The Lessons I learned today was mostly about how to arrange multiple people for a portrait. We took some other photos of all the kids together. In the past these photo shoots tended to be unfruitful for taking great portraits, but we had many humor filled photos. This time there was still a lot of humor, but in the end we had some nice portraits.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/1000, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 100, Focal Length 70 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 113mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, hand held.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Week 4 - Day 23 - May 23, 2009, "Graduation Part 1"

There was a banquet today for my daughter's graduation from Cornell. She's receiving her Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture. We're very proud of her.

During the banquet it began to rain, and then the sun came out. We walked through some of the Cornell gardens after the rain storm. I took this photo as Kari and Judy began to walk through one of the paths. I really like this photo for it's composition, as well as representing Kari moving on to the next part of her life.

Lessons Learned:
  • I'm finding that I really like storms, especially fast moving storms. The provide a large varity of light, textures, and opportunities for great photos.
  • Being a photographer when I'm part of an event is difficult. I'm concentrating on the event, and not the opportunities to take a great photo. Photography takes a lot of concentration.
  • A friend of mine, Bruce, told me that he really likes taking photos from behind people. I have to agree that it can create some great photos. Thank you for the idea.
  • Taking photos of people that I know is more difficult than people I don't know. I think it's because they know me, I become a part of the photo. The subject begins an interaction with me as the photographer, so the photo tends to look as if it was staged instead of natural. That's why I like to try and take the photo when they are busy doing something else.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/30, Aperture f/9.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 40 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 65mm, Lens Canon EF17-40mm f/4L USM, hand held.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Week 4 - Day 22, May 22, 2009, "Train Trestle"

I've driven by these train trestles in Freeville for years, and really liked them. I thought that they would make great photographs. I had several shots that I really liked, and would like to continue to take more. One of them is now in a pasture, and many times there are cows and horses crossing it. I hope some day to take a photo when they are on the trestle.

I was reading in a book about changing the white balance on the photographs. Usually I set it to automatic. The author had suggested trying different settings. He said that using a white balance for a flash seems to work well for landscape photos. I have to agree. I took some with both a automatic setting, and some with the flash white balance. The colors were much warmer when I used the flash white balance. The good news about shooting in RAW format is that I can change the white balance at a latter time.

Lessons Learned:
  • Try different white balances
Photo details: Exposure time 1/160, Aperture f/7.1, ISO 800, Focal Length 32 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 55mm, Lens Canon EF17-40mm f/4L USM, tripod was used. (I thought the ISO was lower when I took the photo, I think it should have been 400)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Week 3 - Day 21 - May 21, 2009, "Mother and Child" Winner of Week 3 in Viewer Poll

When I first starting this project I figured all my photos would be mostly nature shots because I did not like to try and take people photos unless they were in a sporting event. I'm finding that I'm enjoying taking people photos, and have even begun to be more bold in asking to take photos of people. This morning when I was riding the TCAT I notice this women with her children. She had such a loving look at her children, I asked if I could take her photo. She said yes, and I'm really glad that she did.

I'll post the lessons and photo setting tomorrow. It's past my bed time right now.

  • Be ready with a camera. The opportunities come at all times.
  • Be a little bolder (and polite), and ask more people if I may take their photo.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/8, Aperture f/1.8, ISO 100, Focal Length 50 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 81mm, Lens Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II, hand held, and I spilled my coffee in my lap while I was taking the photo.

This photo was voted best photo in the third week viewer poll.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Week 3 - Day 20, May 20, 2009, "Hay Fields"

This is a great field, and I enjoying seeing the large hay bales.

I was attempting to use the bales as a pointer to the bale that sits on the horizon. I was disappointed in the results. I may need a larger lens to utilize that effect. I was also disappointed in the colors. I think that the sun was still to harsh, and that I needed to wait until it set a little further.

I also have several spots in the sky. I think that my camera has some dirt inside. Maybe it's time for a new camera. ;-)

Lessons Learned:
  • Wait until the sun has set more to attempt to capture richer colors
  • I wanted the lens to be focused on this first hay bale, but I did not want that hay bale in the center of the photo. To avoid having the auto focus refocus on a point further in the field, I pointed the camera and had it auto focus on the hay bale. Then I turned the focus to manual, so that the focal point would remain constant. This seemed to work well.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/40, Aperture f/25.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 70 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 113mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, tripod was used.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Week 3 - Day 19, May 19, 2009 "The Art Show"

Every year the very talented teachers and youth of the Groton Schools put together an Art Show to display their creations. I'm always amazed at all of the talent that is displayed in their art work.

Lessons Learned:

  • Creativity is for all ages
  • It's not difficult to find photo opportunities at art shows.
  • Look at what's in the foreground of a photograph when it is being taken. (I had another photo that I liked better, but there was an object in the foreground. If I had just moved that object that photo would have been today's photo.
Photo Details: Exposure time 1/125, Aperture f/1.8, ISO 400, Focal Length 50 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 81mm, Lens Canon 50mm f1.8 II, no tripod.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Week 3 - Day 18, May 18, 2009 Geese Part II

I was able to go back to the pond, and use a tripod. The geese were closer this time, and I was able to use a tripod. The geese seem to be sharper this time.

I still had several that were a little fuzzy with the tripod. The photos with an f/32 were much fuzzier than the photos with an f/11. But, some of the photos with a f/11 also were fuzzy. I wonder if this has an effect. I'll have to continue to play with this to see the results. Does any one else have any thoughts?

Lesson Learned:
  • I found myself finding photos everywhere today. I was looking at lighting, angles, shadows, flowing water. I didn't capture any ideal photos today, but I'm thinking about new ideas more often. Hopefully it will begin paying off as my technical skills increase.
  • Picasa has a new feature in the latest version. It's on the bottom right of the screen, and looks like a freshman's cap. When it is pressed, a opaque window with the camera information, and histogram appears. It's very handy.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/80, Aperture f/11.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 200 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 835mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, tripod was used.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Week 3 - Day 17, May 17, 2009 "Dodge Ball"

I was asked to take photographs at the after prom party, so this photograph was from very early this morning. One of the activities at the party was dodge ball. It's been a while since I have taken sports shots, and really did not have my camera set up for a stop action type of shot. I still like the effects of the blurred motion in this photo. Everything is blurred except the intense expression on his face as he's leaping and throwing the ball.

Lesson Learned:
  • Different camera settings can give interesting effects. Normally I would have shot this at a fast ISO, a small fstop, and a fast shutter speed. I had the fstop set higher than my normal settings. I also had the camera set to Aperture priority which caused a slower shutter speed, and the blur. So the lesson learned is to try different camera settings for similar shots. Doing so may create new and interesting photos.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/50, Aperture f/5.0, ISO 1600, Focal Length 70 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 145mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, no tripod was used.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Week 3 - Day 16, May 16, 2009, "Prom Night"

Prom season means Portraits

The biggest challenge I had today was two teenagers that did not want to have their photographs taken by their parents. I think the trick was to take a lot of photographs and hope one of them would turn out. This seemed to have worked, and I like this photo. The back wall was about 6 foot behind my son and his girl friend. We also moved the ferns off the floor to add a little green to the background. I used a small fstop to blur the background, and I just happen to catch a very nice smile on both of them.

Lessons Learned:
  • Take a lot of photos
  • Use a tripod for portraits
  • Flash did not work well for me. I think if I had more time, and some of the bounce methods it might have worked well, but my time was very limited.
  • I used an Aperture Priority and allowed the exposure time to select itself.
Photo Details: Exposure time 1/50, Aperture f/1.8, ISO 800, Focal Length 50 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 81mm, Lens Canon 50mm f1.8 II, used a tripod.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Week 3 - Day 15 - May 15, 2009 "Rabbits"

Wildlife photographer?

I guess it does not take much of a wildlife photographer to photograph rabbits. They don't seem to be very shy, and they won't attack you. It was still fun to try and get as close as possible, and snap a few shots before they run away.

Today I also received some excellent comments on the photo of the geese from berryb. Berryb is an incredible photographer and film maker. I'm very impressed with his work. I also received others via email from other people. I really enjoy receiving them. All the comments will help to make me a better photographer, and I really appreciate it. Thank you.

  • I think that for just about all nature shots where there aren't fast moving animals when I'm using a large telephoto lens, I really need the tripod. These photos seemed clearer than the photos I took of the geese the other day. I used a tripod with this photo, and I did not use a tripod when I was photographing the geese.
  • Humor Lesson, the camera that a photographer uses always seems to have the wrong lens. I started with a macro on this day to photograph some more insects, but the rabbits were in the lawn. I had to switch to my telephoto lens.
  • Include the focal length in the lens information at the end of each day's post.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/60, Aperture f/9.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 200 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 323mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, used a tripod.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Week 2 - Day 14, May 14, 2009 "Lilacs"

Lilacs are blooming all over the place this time of year. The 3x filter on my telephoto lens is a lot of fun to play with. I think that one of the things that attracts people to macro photos is that they can see things that are more difficult to see without the aid of the lens. I think I'll try and do one macro photo a week.

  • Photography can help relax me. I was tense from not having my car fixed the first time, having to make dinner, and having it rain. (I thought the rain would prevent me from getting outside to take photos.) Once I started photographing, the other problems were no longer in the forefront of my mind.
  • The wind can have a devastating, and interesting effect on the photographs. I was thinking about using one of the photos that was made very interesting by the wind. The flowers of the lilac formed arches because the wind blew the flower while the shutter was open.
Photo details, Exposure time 1/10, Aperture f/16.0, ISO 100, Sigma Lens 70-300mm with a 3X Filter.

This photo was tied for first in the second week viewer poll.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Week 2 - Day 13, May 13, 2009 "Old Apple Tree"

Artistic and Technical

Last night I was reading about how photography is a combination of technical skills and artistic vision. Most of my job is technical, so I find the technical side of photography interesting. I'm also attracted to the artistic side. I need to develop both of these skills, so I worked on both areas tonight.

This shot is from the artistic side. I tried many ways to make this old apple tree interesting. I don't quite like this shot yet, but it was the best of the bunch.

On the technical side, I played with the same shot over and over changing the aperture. I don't have any new insights other than the effect on the depth of field. I'll keep working on it.


  • My photography needs a lot of work in all areas. I can really see where my technical skills are increasing. I'm finding the settings much more quickly on my camera. The artistic side takes a lot more effort for me. I can look at a subject for a long time from a lot of angles, and I'm not finding any aha moments. Just various things to try.
Photo Details: Exposure Time 1/30, Aperture f/6.3 , ISO 100, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm.

This photo was tied for first in the second week viewer poll.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Week 2 - Day 12 - May 12, 2009 "Geese I"

The Geese are back on the Bancroft Pond. We look forward to seeing them every spring.

This photo was shot in the evening facing into the West. I have read and learned that midday Sunlight is just to intense for most photography. The morning sun would work better for these shots.


  • Shoot in the morning or evening.
  • A tripod might have helped with the clarity of this shot. The photo of the goslings are fuzzier than I would like. This seemed true of the trillium as well. I need to ask some camera professionals about this. If anybody has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/400, Aperture f/3.5, ISO 200, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Week 2 - Day 11, May 11, 2009 "Trillium II"

Déjà vu or is it?

After looking at the photo of the Trillium today, Bruce Monger mentioned that with a Telephoto lens distances can be compressed. So I decided to try the same subject from Saturday with a Telephoto lens. The photo does have a flatter effect, and it's easier to see more photos, but I also like the depth of the other photo.


  • Try different lenses on the same subject matter for different effects.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/4, Aperture f/32, ISO 200, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Week 2 - Day 10 - May 10, 2009 "Anna's Graduation"

Anna's Graduation.

Today Anna Mizer graduated from Marywood University in Scranton PA. We are all very proud of her. After the graduation we returned to her college and took a few photos. This is Anna and our son Kyle in the lawn in front of Anna's dorm. The flowering bushes and the little building made for a great place to take photos.

  • It took me a while to figure out which angle I wanted to take these photos. I wanted to include Anna's dorm because it represented a place that she a lot of her time in the past 4 years. I think that the set up can take as long as the photos.
  • I tried these photos both with a flash, and without a flash. I ended up using a photo without a flash. It may be a little darker, but there is also some neat lighting coming through the trees. The flash flattened the forground image.
Photo Details: Exposure Time 1/30, Aperture f/22 (to keep the depth in focus), ISO 400, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Week 2 - Day 9, May 9, 2009 "Trillium I"

This past week John Saylor posted a photo of a trillium plant that they found in their walk in the woods. It reminded me of some woods about 5 miles from my house that I had seen trillium plants flowering. I drove out there today, and they were in full bloom. I hope you enjoy.


  • I found it very difficult to capture the vastness of the thousands of flowers. I wanted to give the image of a flow like a river of flowers. Some of the photos that I took seemed to do this, but there were to many trees in the way to make it a good photo. I also think that when I used a an aperture of f/22 the flowers were not as crisp, as when I used and aperture of f/11. I'll have to keep an eye on this.
  • I think I should have tried some higher ISO shots.
  • Don't let the photo process let you forget your equipment. I set my backpack down with all my lens in it, and moved to another spot with the camera. I forgot the lens at first and had to go back and get them.
  • I need to think of other area around here that are interesting. There are so many of them.
  • It was very windy today, so I began to look at ways to capture the wind in photos. I did find a flag, and some tall grasses in some of the photos that seemed to do the trick. This idea could be useful for future shots.
Photo Details: Exposure Time 1/13, Aperture f/11, ISO 100, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Week 2 - Day 8 - May 8, 2009 "Collegetown Bagels"

(Please Click on image to see the full resolution)

When we create our website at work, the designer wanted banner photos for the top of the page. I really liked the format, and I think it works well for this scene. Collegetown Bagels is always a busy place in the spring. I think this would be a great spot to take a lot of photos during the day looking for just the right one.

  • Blogspot does a horrible job with the resolution of this type of photo on the main page.
  • A busy street scene has a lot of potential.
  • Cropping in new ways can have a dramatic effect on the photo.
  • I'm having a difficult time selecting only one photo per day. Sometimes it's a toss up between 3 or 4. There isn't always one in particular that stands out to me.
Photo Details: Exposure Time 1/250, Aperture f/11, ISO 400, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Week 1 - Day 7 - May 7, 2009 "Chopsticks"

It's been a week since I've started the blog, and I've had a lot of fun. I'm carrying my camera with me more often, which helps when I seem something interesting.

I have some good news and some bad news concerning yesterdays photo. First for the bad news. I returned to the same spot, and there were only a few petals left on the slate. The good news was that I photographed the few petals, and they were much more clear. I had to open the aperture, and I bracketed the shutter speed. The RAW format is also working much better than the JPEG format. The colors are preserved much better.

Today's photo is of a friend of mine Mike Hammer. We were having lunch together at a Japanese Restaurant. The food was great. I haven't had a lot of experience with portraits, so this is new for me. I like this photo for the simple colors, and the close view. I would have liked to open the aperture a little more for more clarity, but there wasn't enough light. I didn't want to use a flash.

  • Try and get the photo correct in the first shooting. The subject may not be there the next time you arrive.
  • Photos will surprise you. When I took this photo I didn't think that I would be using it for today's photo.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Week 1 - Day 6 - May 6, 2009 "Tree Petals on Slate"

Potential, but not quite there.

Today as I moved around taking photos I noticed these petals on top of a slate bench. I really like the effect, because it's hard to tell what the viewer is looking at. It could be snow falling, it could be petals on water. It could be light through trees.... I hope that the photo will eventually cause the viewer to pause and try to figure out their own interpretation of what the image represents.

  • This shot is over exposed, so the petals look out of focus. I'm going to return tomorrow to see if I can do a better job. I think I may do some bracketing of my camera settings to get a variety of exposures. I'm also going to take a different lens with me.
  • I took a variety of subjects for my photo today that I thought might be interesting. When I loaded the photos on the computer I was surprised to find that this subject ended up being the most interesting of all the shots.
  • When I first started this blog I thought that I would use a different subject each day. I now think I will learn much more by revisiting the same subject, and trying to improve my technique.
Stay tuned tomorrow to see if I can improve on this image. (If the subject is still there.)

Photo details: Exposure time 1/125, Aperture f/4.5, ISO 200, Lens Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II.

Further thoughts on yesterday's photo:

I think the blur was a bad idea on yesterday's photo. I was trying to use the trees and Ho Plaza to point to McGraw tower. The blurring of the trees and pedestrians makes a deliberate attempt to force the viewer to look at the tower that isn't blurred. I think that the photo should naturally do this without gimmicks.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Week 1 - Day 5 - May 5, 2009 "McGraw Tower I"

I could not work at Cornell, and not have a photo of McGraw Tower. I had to move a computer from Olin Library back to our building, so I took my camera with me.

I did use Picasa for the blurred effects with the people and the trees.


  • I should really carry a tripod with me at all times. I find myself wanting to use it more often to steady the lens, and be able to use a larger aperture.
  • Time, Time, Time. I have to spend more time taking the photos, and trying different things. Time is also important as to the time of day, and the lighting of the day. I was thinking if I get here first thing in the morning, I could probably take the photo without any people.
  • Themes. Lately I've been thinking about themes. I think I can see where some people become experts in taking certain types of photos. Each type contains it's own challenges, and it would be fun to explore all the ways that you could photograph the same subject. Maybe for one of the months I'll focus on a specific theme.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Week 1 - Day 4 - May 4, 2009 "Dog's Playing"

Our dog, Tank, has a lot of energy. Playing with other dogs gives him a lot of exercise. Today a friend was over digging up black berry bushes to transplant, and he brought his dog. The two of them had a great time chasing each other around.

  • Photography takes a lot of time to get it right. I only spent about 30 minutes photographing today, but it wasn't enough. Working all day, coming home and taking some photos, and then making dinner and studying for a book study tomorrow morning makes for a full day. Hopefully the more experience I gain, the more quickly I can set up the camera to the right settings for different situations.
  • Photography for me makes it easy to loose track of time. The 30 minutes seemed like just a few seconds. I wanted to spend more time.
  • Photographing dogs playing is a lot like sports photography but faster. I had to have a hair trigger to try and get a good photo.
  • Now that I have the RAW format, I need to reload the Canon software so that I can manipulate the images. Which will take more time.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/80 (should have been faster because of the speed of the dogs), Aperture f/3.5, ISO 200 (should have been faster), Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Week 1 - Day 3 - May 3, 2009 "Bee"

Since it is spring, and there are a lot of flowering plants, I thought it would be good to take some photos of the flowers. In the process of doing so, I began to notice the bees, and thought it would be more fun following them.

After about an hour of chasing bees around the lawn, and having to keep our dog, Tank, from biting them, I took this shot.

  • Bees are Camera Shy. Sure when you're walking around the yard they are all over the place. But get a camera set up with a 3x Macro Filter, and they all disappear.
  • I need to remember to following the lessons from my first post. I'm still not shooting RAW shots. I'm resetting the camera right now. (There, hopefully I'll keep it that way.)
Photo details, Exposure time 1/800, Aperture f/4.0, ISO 100, Sigma Lens 70-300mm with a 3X Filter.

This was the first week winner in the viewer poll.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Week 1 - Day 2 - May 2, 2009 "The Purple Valley"

This photo was taken at the SweetSpot Lounge in Ithaca. The name of the band is The Purple Valley. I really enjoy listening to them play.

The main thing that I like about this photo is the perspective. It gives you the feeling of being on stage with the band. For me, that's a hard thing to do when a band playing on stage, and I don't want to intrude on their playing.


  • I was more sucessful at using a flash. (Although I didn't use one in this photo.) I need to continue to work on this skill.
Photo details: Exposure Time 1/80, Apeture f/2.2, ISO 1600, Lens Canon EF 50mm Lens f/1.8 II

Friday, May 1, 2009

Week 1 - Day 1 - May 1, 2009 "Louise the Cat"

I'm about to try and experimental. My plan is to take photographs everyday for a year. I'll then post my favorite from that day to this blog.

I hope that you enjoy the process, and if you have any suggestions please add them to the comments.

I have some preconceived notions about what will happen in this process. One of which is, I think I won't like many of the photos. As an example in this first photo, I think that I had the depth of field a little to narrow. While the face of Louise is in focus, her body is not. I do like the fur coming off the right side of her body, as the light filters around them. I do like the background, but it may be a little to busy.

  • I created this photo as a JPEG. I think that I need to shoot RAW for this experiment.
  • The shutter speed was to fast, I needed more light with either a slower shutter speed, or a higher ISO.
  • Cats don't tend to stay in one place very long.

Photo details: Exposure Time 1/320 (should have been 1/250), Aperture f/2.8, ISO 100, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM