Friday, July 19, 2013

Week 44: Going Places

I recently took a trip down to Florida to visit my uncle. A delay of my flight out of Madison meant I missed my next flight in Cincinnati. Meaning a five hour layover instead of 45 minutes. I love taking photos in airports, so I made the most of the situation.

This really struck me. The reflection of one man, standing alone, staring in the distance...

I always love moving walkways for photos. Although I must look pretty silly riding back and forth with my camera on the ground.

I had this whole terminal to myself. I tried a ton of different shots before I got this one. The blurred stools in the foreground had a really interesting pattern, but it wasn't really working having the focus on those. I also tried cutting them out of the photo, but I really like the addition of them.

I've always thought outlets looked like faces, but until I took a photo of one, I didn't realize the pain in the face.

Black and white HDR. I really love it, and might try and do more of this style. For some reason this looks very WWII to me.

One of the few times I feel like I've used leading lines well.

Not in the airport, but I still liked it. It's surprisingly hard to get good photos of a sailboat, while on the sailboat. I bet using a fisheye lens could be cool.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Week 43: Petra's First Month

Not many updates to the blog lately, but having a baby and moving will tend to have that sort of impact. I figured it was only appropriate that my first post back should be of Petra's first month. So here you go.

This one was taken by our doula Emily. A bit of a cheat since I didn't take it, but I really like it.

This one was also taken by Emily, just after Petra was born. 

 As Mollie would say, this is her model face. Just look at those vapid eyes ;-)

Ahhhh, the joys of a sleeping baby. 

Almost smiling. 

This is her favorite hat, I know because she told me. Also, I'm pretty sure this face means it's her favorite hat. 

Again, so close to a smile. Maybe it will happen soon. She's definitely tracking my face a lot more and her mouth is turned up in an almost smile far more often these days. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Week 42: Reunion

It's been a while since I've posted. Turns out that having to move your life in three weeks will tend to put a damper on photo taking and writing. Well, I'm now a tiny bit more settled into life, until it changes drastically again in one month, so time for some more photos.

I decided the theme for the week was going to be reunion. Seems appropriate being back in my hometown and this particular evening was a reunion of sorts, being with folks that I used to play music with.

These photos were an interesting challenge. The lighting was pretty terrible for photo taking and the room was very small. I wanted to get more close-up shots, but my 100mm lens was a bit too close, and my 17-50mm lens wouldn't get me close enough. So I was constantly switching lenses depending on what I wanted. It was also pretty much impossible for me to move around and get different angles, so everything was pretty much taken from the same place. I ended up shooting most things at ISO 1600 or even 3200. Really not much light. On with the show...

I love this shot. It's technically not very good, but the combination of the looks on Keith and Paul's faces are pretty incredible.

Pretty much the last time I played music with people we had notebooks and printouts of lyrics and chords. How things have changed...laptops, iphones, ipads...a very different experience. I like the dichotomy in this shot, a little bit of the analog with the digital.

I found out that I like taking photos of hands, and I know why. I'm still quite shy taking photos of people, even people I know, so hands are much easier. 

I think this is my favorite. Something about the framing and clarity and the bit of light coming from the laptop. 

Oh look, more hands...

Wait, you didn't get enough hands, well, here's some more...

Again, not a technically great shot, but I was happy to get a shot of people singing and playing. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Week 41: Snow

Amy and I went back to Madison for the holidays and they were lucky enough to get a ton of snow just before we arrived. I was extremely excited to get some snow photos. Snow can be challenging to photograph. It tends to mess with auto metering in the camera and it can be hard to expose properly with people in the photo. No matter, I was up for the challenge.

Gabe and Nathaniel and I went out for some snow disc golfing. It was gorgeous. 15 inches of snow makes golfing difficult, but makes for pretty photos. There's something about this shot that I love. I like the contrast of Gabe's jacket with the snow and the depth in the background.

This shot is a lesson in subject. I took a lot of other photos of snow covered trees, but having the golf pin in the corner as my subject made this shot stand out against all of the others. 

Amazingly this isn't an HDR shot. The sun was setting and created some really nice colors. 

While I was back in town my mom and I went for a horseback ride in the snow. Horses love to roll in the dirt after a ride and apparently the same holds true when there's snow on the ground.

I love the rays of sun coming into the shot as well as the little ice crystals on the horse's eyelashes. Couldn't be happier with this shot. 

The snow was pretty unreal. It looked so fake. Very flaky and crystallized. Tried to capture some of that with this shot. 

Easily my favorite shot from the trip. The clouds combined with the sunset created some pretty unreal lines in the sky. The HDR brought out the contrast in the clouds a little more, but the scene was pretty breathtaking in person.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Week 40: Kansas City, Take 2

Amy and I went to Kansas City for the weekend as a little mini-vacation. We went to the City Market, a couple of museums, some good restaurants, and a blues bar. Every little trip is an opportunity for me to try and get some good photos. This weekend I tried to step out of my comfort zone some more and take more photos of people. It's still really hard for me. I'm still very tentative and shy and try to take photos without people noticing. However, every time I do it it does get easier. Here's hoping that trend continues.

These bridge towers are so random, but so interesting. I tried to take a photo in the evening, but there were some lights outside of our hotel that were washing out the window and turning everything pink. I was not happy. This was taken on a very foggy morning.

Just some birds at the market devouring some corn. 

I wish I had been a bit more brave for this photo. The guys working the grill were really energetic and friendly and I think I could have gotten a much better photo if I was willing to get a little closer and not be worried about them seeing me. 

I really like the depth in this photo. 

I love shooting transactions between people. There's a definite connection in this moment between the buyer and the seller. I love the way he's smiling and looking into the eyes of the person buying the spices. 

This woman was also incredibly friendly. I tried to get a lot more photos of her, but I was still feeling pretty shy at this point. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Week 39: Geminid Shower

Since I've lived in Kansas I've experienced two meteor showers. Each one I've tried to photograph by going out super late at night, when the meteors are at their peak, and each time I've utterly failed to get a photograph of one. The first meteor shower I barely saw any meteors and the second I didn't see a single one.

Last night was my third meteor shower, and I had high hopes for this one. Not only was it a new moon, but there were actually two meteor showers happening at once. Leading up to last night I had seen random shooting stars, so I figured my chances were good.

I left the house around 12:30 and drove half an hour to a place I knew would be relatively dark and had some interesting things to use as subjects. If there's one thing I've learned about star photography lately is that you need a subject other than the stars. It was a little terrifying being way out in the country, away from most civilization, in the middle of the night, while hearing coyotes in the not-so-distant distance.

My first ever official photo of a meteor!!! Not a lot of subject in this photo, but I was just so thrilled to capture a meteor in the shot. It was nice and bright. It was so exciting.

This one is a little darker than I would have liked. I would have liked the truck lit up a tad more, but the light painting that I tried didn't really work out. 

I like this one quite a bit. Not only did a get a meteor in the shot, but I also got the trail of an airplane. The horizon was kind of cloudy this night, so lights from the city were brighter than I would have wanted. Earlier in the evening I was trying to fight it, but at this point I started to embrace the extra light and use it to create silhouettes of the cars I was photographing. 

Even though it doesn't contain a meteor, this might be my favorite photo. I really like the silhouette of the truck and the way the city lights look like the setting sun.

Probably my favorite photo that includes a meteor. Not only is there a nice silhouette of the truck, but you can kind of see some detail of the front. 

No meteor, but I did get another airplane. 

All in all a very successful night. I was seeing between one and two meteors a minute, but it was still tricky to capture them in a photo. It was a bit cold, but considering it was the middle of December it was quite pleasant.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Week 38: Portraits

I've never really done portrait work before. I've taken random photos of friends and family, but nothing really official that was an entire photo shoot. This is unfortunate because I really do love taking photos of people. It's challenging for me because I'm fairly shy, but I always love the results.

Well, that all changed in the past week, things have kind of exploded. It all started when the director of our office asked me if I wanted to take senior pictures for her son. She knew I hadn't really done any portraits in the past, but he didn't want to make a big deal out of it and didn't want to go into a studio. I very nervously said sure and then proceeded to freak out a bit. I had no idea where to start, or what locations to use, or how to pose someone. I was scheduled to take his photos the week after thanksgiving.

While I was home in Madison for thanksgiving my aunt wanted me to take my cousin's senior pictures. It was a last minute thing and I figured it would give me some good practice. It boosted my confidence a lot and made me much more relaxed for my actual paying gig.

These are three of my favorite shots with my cousin. We took a lot of shots outside, but it was very cold and cloudy. We moved inside and there wasn't a ton of light, so I plopped her right next to the windows and doors and got some really nice shots with some really nice light.

These are my three favorite shots with Andre. It was certainly a different experience taking photos of a guy. It's easier to pose a girl and they seem to do things more naturally, but I think we got some really good shots. These don't necessarily look like senior picture shots, but I think that's why I like them.

These last two are of a co-worker of mine. She was looking for a new photo to give to her mom for christmas. These photos show the importance of lighting and going out when the lighting is good. I was worried because it had been cloudy all day, but the sun came out just when we needed it to.

Not a shot she's going to give her mom, but I love the background and the little bit of sun in the hair.