With this blog I have begun a journey to improve my photography skills. My goal is to take photos everyday, and post my favorite photo from that day on this blog. So far, I have learned a lot, and try to share my experiences. Many of you have made comments on the blog, via email, or when you see me in person. I really appreciate all of them. I learn a lot from each of you.
I hope that you will join me in my journey, and help me along the way. I have so much to learn.
The Greater Groton Area Photo Club's theme for this month is "Nature". Because of the snow storm it's difficult to walk into the woods without snow shoes. I walked along the road today instead. I noticed one bush captured the snow, and the snow looked like blossoms on the plant.
With a white background it's difficult to photograph snow flakes. I'll have to try toledonative's technique.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/320 sec, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 100, Focal Length 200 mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, handheld.
We're in the middle of a snow storm, and it's very beautiful as the snow sticks to the trees and everything else. It was snowing fairly hard when I took this photo. The snow flakes are evident in the pool of water, and the haze in the distance.
This photo was taken inside the atrium of Snee Hall at Cornell University. The building hosts a portion of the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. It's a great department where I have worked for the past 30 years.
On the wall of the atrium a caste of a Plesiosuar is hung. One of it's flippers is missing. I wonder if it lost it in a fight, or was just missing from the bones before the caste was made.
Yesterday's bomb of a photo led to some interesting comments. Some of the things that people had mentioned I had tried, but others I had not. But, the discussion did lead to some new ideas. Perhaps some of the best lessons can be learned when we struggle the most.
I tried to rotate this photo 90 degrees. At that point the Plesiousaur looked like it was resting on the floor, and was a less interesting photo. I just found this interesting.
Picasa has an interesting feature to help with the white balance. It's called the neutral color selector. I selected what I felt should be white, and it adjusted the rest of the image to a more accurate White Balance.
Photo details: Exposure time 40 sec, Aperture f/4.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 22 mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, handheld.
After having great new subjects to photograph yesterday, today I was limited to my house once again. Because I see my house everyday, I don't notice a lot of things. But, because of yesterday's subject I did think about the beam that we have exposed in our upstairs renovation. This beam was cut by hand, and at one time supported the roof of the house. The roof line has been changed. This notch is where the rafters once rested. We liked the looks of the rough cut log, so we left it exposed after we found it in our wall. I cannot imagine the amount of work that it took to build a post and beam house by hand.
Sometimes subjects from one place will lead the inspirations in other places.
Photo details: Exposure time 2 sec, Aperture f/5.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 20 mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, tripod.
A friend of mine have a beautify Farm that was built in the mid 1800's. She is in the process of implementing biodynamic agricultural practices that will utilize the land in a healthful and sustainable way. It's going to be a really neat place when it's up and running.
She is in the early stages of the development and wanted to have some photos taken before she begins. She has started some work on the buildings to protect them, and still has much to do. She asked if I would come out and take some photos. Shortly after I arrived I found myself in a photographers heaven. I spent almost three hours exploring and taking photos, and I only scratched the surface. What a neat opportunity this was.
I took this photo at around 12:30 PM. This wall in the barn faces south, and it was a sunny day. The light was just brilliant that was coming through the wall.
After about 3 hours of photography, my creative energy stopped flowing. Perhaps it's because I've been sick, and am still recovering. I could tell it was time to stop.
The owner asked if I would be ok to photograph on my own. Earlier, I asked my wife if she wanted to go. She said that it's boring to watch me take photos, and that it takes a long time. So, I told the owner that it's better when I'm on my own. If someone who isn't into photography is there, I tend to rush the process. I enjoy taking my time, setting the camera to various settings, looking for interesting angles, and many other aspects of photography. The owners two children followed me for a while, and we talked about what I was doing. They seemed interested in the process much longer than I would have thought, but they wondered off after a while. I guess the lesson is to take time, but not hold other people hostage to my passion.
Photo details: Exposure time 1.3 sec, Aperture f/8.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 17 mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, tripod.
We live in an old farm house, and we have lady bugs. It seems that they have entered many homes in our areas. It's interesting to read the response of different people on the web concerning them. Personally, I kind of like them. They have great colors.
In this photo the lady bug is on top of out claw tub. A tree is begin reflected on the side of the tub, and the window is being reflected on the lady bug. Hmm perhaps I should enter this in the Weekend Reflections meme.
For those of you keeping track. Yesterday was a return trip to the specialist. Another sick day for me. I'm on the mend, and hope that it holds this time.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/5 sec, Aperture f/4.0, ISO 200, Focal Length 32 mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, tripod.
This time of year daylight is still very short, but we are beginning to have a little bit on the bus ride to work, and it's still daylight after we arrive home. As I walk from the building that I work to the bus I walk past the Law School at Cornell, and many times I notice new things. Today I noticed the interesting architectural elements under the windows in the Court Yard. This one captured my attention.
I also like the effect that the reflected lighting had on the windows. The brighter colors seem to be a nice contrast.
I cannot believe how many times I have walked past this place, and never noticed this. It makes me wonder how many other things that I miss day to day. I need to be more aware, and open my eyes even more. Have any of you had similar experiences?
I'm enjoying having 2 cameras. It's handy to have two cameras with different lenses. I think it will help prevent dirt from getting into the camera.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/100 sec, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 100, Focal Length 98 mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, handheld.
My son enjoys snowboarding. For several seasons he was part of the ski club at the local school. Every Wednesday after school they would head to the local ski slope for a night of snowboarding.
In more recent years he was unable to join the ski club because of his choice to play on the high school basketball team. But, he still misses the snowboarding. He has this week off from school, and has built a ramp in the corn field across the road.
I saw this as another opportunity to take some photos.
I can see why the athletes that compete in the Olympics wear a large variety of bright colors. Black on snow is a large contrast that makes it difficult to choose a good exposure setting. (Although I do like the snow coming up around his leg near the snow board.)
Photo details: Exposure time 1/1600 sec, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 100, Focal Length 70 mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, handheld.
After a trip to the Emergency Room, and a trip to a specialist I think I'm finally on the mend. My bloody nose has finally stopped. In the winter using wood heat, our houses become very dry, and the sinuses also dry out. That combined with a bad cold I ended up having several bloody noses over about a one week period. I'm in my second day without a bloody nose. I'm calling in sick on my photography for these two days. (I didn't think a photo of a bloody nose, or bloody tissues would be very appealing.)
I experimented with photographing birds through a window while we were at the in-laws for dinner. The experiment was to use a high ISO so that I could keep the shutter speeds as fast as possible. (Thank you for that tip RuneE). It was a dark cloudy day. I took this photo just after the sparrow jumped off the branch.
It seems like photographing small birds in flight is a hit or miss with a lot more misses.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/1000 sec, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 3200, Focal Length 200 mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, handheld.
We have an Amaryllis in our bathroom, and I noticed that the curtain on the window was pushed back. It looked as if the Amaryllis had pushed back the curtain to catch some rays. I thought it would make a good photo.
I took a few initial photos, and realized that I was capturing too many items, and the photo was becoming complex. I cropped it, but then realized it was easy to go back and take some more photos. So, I went back and took some more photos similar to my crop.
Photo details: Exposure time .6 sec, Aperture f/6.3, ISO 100, Focal Length 26 mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, tripod.
When I look through the photos from a basketball game, I usually delete the photos with the officials. Not because they are good photos, but because they've been getting in position to make the call, and are between the camera and the players, and are out of focus. Tonight I dedicate this photo to all your officials. It's a thankless job, but the game couldn't be played without you.
In case you are wondering, the varisty game was incredible. The final score was 58-55 with our rivals winning. The game was very well played by both teams, and very well officiated.
One of my friends that photographs football games told me that this would be a good night to photograph the crown. It was a big game between rivals. Every seat in the gym was full, and people were standing on the sides. The crowd was very much into the game. I did get some great shots of the crowd. Thank you Jerry for giving me some new ideas. I probably wouldn't have photographed the crowd if you hadn't mentioned it.
The tungsten White Balance setting seems to do a great job in the Groton gym.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/320 sec, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 3200, Focal Length 78 mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, handheld.
This is another image in the Law School Court yard at Cornell. I think this is an image that looks better larger. I like how the shadows and light played on the tree. On the left with a dark background the tree has the sun reflecting off the branches, while on the other side of the tree shadows darken the branches. I also like the dark shadows on the bright wall behind the tree.
It's been a while since we have had sun, so maybe that's why it stood out to me.
I'm beginning to get away from trying to capture whole objects. I think sometimes it's more important to capture just an interesting portion of an object. (Although this photo doesn't represent the lesson as well.)
Photo details: Exposure time 1/1600 sec, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 400, Focal Length 98 mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, handheld.
I like the contrast of the white snow sticks to the dark branches of the trees. It was a great day of snow. Just a few inches, but it was beautiful. I also like the contrast of the bicycle and winter. (For those of you who don't live in a snowy area, bicycles aren't typically used in the winter.)
Changes in weather seem to help my creativity. I think it's because I'm seeing something new again.
I missed a few opportunities. There was a student smoking in one of the arches. She looked very cold. I should have asked if I could take some photos of her. I think they would have been very good if I she ignored the camera, and continued to look cold. The other opportunity was several people walking in the snow this morning had a lot of snow on their coats. I think they would have looked very cool as well. Perhaps tomorrow.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/25 sec, Aperture f/7.0, ISO 200, Focal Length 36 mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, hand held, converted to black and white in Picasa.
This was another sports night. It's interesting how each gym presents it's own challenges. In this gym, it was difficult to get far enough away from the court. Many of the photos are very close, and it's harder to frame the whole person in the photo.
I like the facial expressions in this photo.
High school basketball games can become very emotionally charged.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/320 sec, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 3200, Focal Length 90 mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, handheld.
The colors in the sky were spectacular during the sunset this evening. I arrived home just as the Sun was setting. I ran into the house grabbed my battery for my camera, and ran outside to photograph the last few moments of the Sun. I didn't have time to get an unobstructed view of the sunset, because it was happening so fast. This was the results.
This is a cropped version of what I took, but I really like it. To me it looks like some sort of abstract painting. I like the patterns of the branches as the flow over the canvas.
Don't be afraid to photograph things that you think may be interesting, but may not work.(Especially with digital cameras.) This came out much better than I expected.
Don't leave your camera battery in the charger. I carried my camera to work today, and when I attempted to take some photos the camera didn't work. (In this case I think I lucked out, because I don't know if I would have taken this photo.)
Photo details: Exposure time 1/250 sec, Aperture f/8.0, ISO 3200(mistake), Focal Length 190 mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, handheld.
Many of you may know that I'm a runner. I've been running for about 15 years. It started as a New Year's resolution. I have a desk job. I was getting out of shape and needed to do something. I ran for a few years by myself, but started running with others. Before I knew it I was running races.
Wow, what an incredible sport running is. Almost everyplace that you go there are some types of races available to run. There are a couple of things that I have noticed at most races.
The first is the incredible support runners give each other. There is competition, but at the end of most races competitors turn shake each others hands, and thank the opponent for pushing them to do their best. The other end of the spectrum is people who are either starting, or just are near the end of the race. People on the sidelines yell support for every runner.
The next thing I noticed is described in this photo. Racing is very inter-generational. Young people compete right next to us old timers, and build common bonds. Many of the people that I train with are National Class runners, but they are much older than I am. In speed workouts, I cannot keep up with them.
Today I took about 3000 photographs at the Fingerlakes Runners Club monthly track meet. Over 140 people competed from ages 3-80, and they had a ball. It was a pleasure photographing them.
The AF button on my camera came in very handy. During the starts I wanted to use a One Shot Auto Focus, but during the race I wanted to use a Servo Auto Focus. The AF button went directly to that section of the menu, so I could easily switch during a race.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/400 sec, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 3200, Focal Length 180 mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, handheld.
I've been looking at this old barn along the road for several months. Today I finally took a photo. This photo is facing west, so I've been waiting for the perfect sky beyond the barn. I still didn't have the perfect sky, but could hold back my shutter no more.
It's good to look for the perfect shot, but in the mean time take photos anyway.
I think the dead weeds of winter add well to sepia photos.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/20 sec, Aperture f/5.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 40 mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, hand held, converted to sepia in Picasa.
I bet that you would never guess that I went to another basketball game tonight. It is getting near the end of the season, so bear with me for a few more weeks.
This was my son's first foul shot of the evening. The basket was good. I like how the ball just seems suspended in air on this photo.
Tomorrow I set up my second exhibit. My photos are going to be in a local bank for the month of February. So, if you're in Groton, NY in February, please be sure to stop by the First National Bank of Groton.
This evening I sat on the floor for a while during the game. I like how the photos look from that perspective. I think I'll do that more often.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/250 sec, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 3200, Focal Length 200 mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, handheld.
This Carousel was first made by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1909. Today it is part of the Carousel Mall in Syracuse NY. The horses are incredible, and all hand carved.
I only had a short amount of time to photograph. Judy and I had purchased tickets to see the live broadcast of the A Prairie Home Companion. The show was a lot of fun, and the High Definition Filming was incredible.
I wasn't paying enough attention to my settings. I should have used a higher ISO so that I could have gotten a higher shutter speed. I have to learn the lesson again and again. (Especially for indoor photography)
Photo details: Exposure time 1/25 sec, Aperture f/1.8, ISO 100, Focal Length 50 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 82mm, Lens Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II, handheld.
As I walked by a window I noticed an interesting effect on the rail in front of the building. The snow that was sitting on the top of the rail was beginning to melt. The snow was warm enough to stick to the railing, and slide to the bottom. I thought it was an interesting effect, so I took a photo.
Tonight is the 4th monthly meeting for the Greater Groton Photo Club. We each had a challenge to photograph snow this past month, and bring in 5 of our favorite photos. I can't wait to see what people bring. It should be a lot of fun.
Great subjects to photograph are around every corner, or maybe even every rail.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/60 sec, Aperture f/9.1, ISO 100, Focal Length 40 mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, hand held, converted to black and white in Picasa.
I received a Web Cam for Christmas. This Web Cam in unique in that the manufacturers put a lot of emphasis on the sound. The microphone looks about 10 times larger than the lens. (The lens was out of focus, so I cropped it.)
I was playing with my 50 mm lens with a fstop of 1.8. I wanted to have a very shallow depth of field. The problem was that I couldn't get very close to the subject with the 50 mm lens. When I tired, the lens would not focus. When I pulled back the depth of field increased, and items that I wanted out of focus were now in focus. But, I found that if I moved them in front of the area in focus, they became out of focus much more quickly. In the future I think this will come in handy.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/15 sec, Aperture f/4.0, ISO 400, Focal Length 40 mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, hand held.