Saturday, January 28, 2012

Week 16: Old and New

Second week trying to do this project with a full-time job. Once again the photos suffered, but I found it a tad easier to work it in. Hopefully it continues to get easier. The biggest problem isn't finding time to take the photos, it's finding the motivation, but more importantly, finding the motivation to think creatively. It would work great if I could come up with ideas while at work and then just execute them when I get home.

This first photo is what sparked the idea for this week's theme. I just got a new Garmin running watch and have been playing around with all of the features. I didn't like the original them for this week, so I decided to come up with a new one, and thought it would be interesting to do photos that have some element of new and old in them. This one was obvious. I have this weird problem where I assign feelings and personality to inanimate objects, so seeing this photo, I felt bad for my old trusty running watch, relegated to spending the rest of its life in a drawer.

I kind of liked the concept of this photo, but the execution was pretty terrible, or the just wasn't a way to make the subject interesting. The other weekend I removed some crappy looking lights in our kitchen and replaced them all with recessed lighting. The only problem was that the paint and drywall under, under the light I removed, was cracked and painted a different color. Since the recessed light is smaller than that light, I have a pretty crappy looking part of ceiling that I need to fix at some point. I figured it worked well with the theme of old and new, but there's not much of anything interesting in old paint and a recessed light. So I decided to make things more interesting in post-processing. I turned the image into a negative and now I have a photo that I actually find kind of interesting. The blob on the right is a lens flare. You can kind of see the outline of the old light.
Old scotch and slightly less old scotch. Both good. 
This is not a good, or interesting photo, but it does fit my theme and it gave me an excuse to document some cabinet work. Amy and I really don't like the look of our kitchen cabinets, so I decided to do a test and paint the end cabinet white. I think it's going to turn out well. And yes, that's Dilly on the counter being naughty. 
Ham the Astrochimp. He signifies the newness of the space program, with the old of chimpanzees. Ham was the first chimpanzee sent to space. 
I'm not exactly sure what this has to do with old and new, but I liked it anyway. I could make up some story about how a plumb-bob is used in both new construction and old home remodels, but it's a bit of a stretch. 
This is easily my favorite image of the week. I'm not exactly sure why the best image is often at the end of the week. Maybe it's because I've exhausted the obvious photos, or that I've had the week to really let things set in, but it consistently happens. It also wasn't the first iteration I did, showing that it's often not enough to just take one photo and be done, you have to work and refine to get what you want.

I shot this with a 100mm macro attached to my camera and a 50mm lens in between my camera and the old PowerShot. I really love the composition of this and how the camera is in focus through the lens, but blurred outside of it.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Week 15: Cold

This theme was a little ironic at first because it got to 65 during the first day. Then the weather decided to cooperate. This is the first week's worth of photos I've done since working full time, and my photography has suffered because of it. It's much harder to find the motivation and have time for the creativity when you're working all the time. Oh well, I have to remember that the purpose of this isn't to produce fantastic photos every day.

I set an ice-cube on a plate and just waited until I got the shot I wanted. This one reflected the sunlight just right. 

 Nothing says cold like bundling up...and being a ninja. Phoned this one in a bit.

I was sitting in the house the other day wondering why it felt so cold. I looked at the thermostat and it was set for 58, what the hell. The ironic thing is that our furnace crapped out later in the week and the temperature got down to 50 degrees. Fun stuff. 

We get some nice ice crystals that form on one of our windows. 

What do you do when it's cold out, ride the trainer inside. I really like shots that have both motion and stillness. 

This was a fun one to do because I had no idea how it would look until I took the shot. I put a snoot on my flash and had Amy hold it to the left of her head. It illuminated exactly what I wanted. This is normally the type of shot I would have done by myself, but it's so much easier having someone else in front of the lens. 

Alright, I cheated this week. This shot isn't from this week, or even this year. I took it after a run Amy and I did last winter in Madison. All of the ice frozen to her hair and eyelashes was from her breath freezing. It wasn't actually that cold out when we ran, but there was some perfect combination of cold and humidity.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Week 14: Becket, MA

Once again I'm taking the week off from the theme and just posting the seven best pictures I took while we were in Becket.

This one was taken while Gabe and Elizabeth were doing a puzzle. I like the layering here. 

This is definitely a favorite of mine. I purposefully tried to get the steering wheel blurred in the foreground. This was a rare photo where it matched the image in my head.

This is a panoramic shot of a quarry we hiked to. Again, I have a hard time photographing things that are beautiful because they are vast. I think a panoramic shot helps, but it still doesn't do it justice. Maybe if I had a fish-eye lens. 

Another one of my favorites. An HDR shot of an old rusted out truck. As soon as I saw this thing I knew it had to be HDR.

I was impressed that I was able to convince Gabe to actually sit in this car. Such a good sport. 

This was shot on another hike we took. I just really like the framing in this shot. 

Finally a nice wide shot of the river in Cambridge. I saw the sun shining off of the water and knew I wanted to silhouette the bridge and the buildings in the background. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Week 13: Madison

I decided that since I was in Madison this week, I would disregard the suggested theme and just focus on Madison. It was fun to walk around campus (something I've done hundreds of times) and look at things with a different eye. Both of that of a photographer, as well as that of someone who has moved away and doesn't take home for granted. I ended up seeing things that I've never noticed before, even though I would walk by them every day.

I will always love the Madison skyline with the lake in the foreground. Some things are just ingrained.

I used to run across this bridge all the time, but never noticed the detail in the walls.

Nothing quite says Madison like the union terrace and the sailboats all lined up along the lake. I especially liked how these looked like mouths ready to eat. 

This coil of rope was sitting inside one of the stacked sailboats. It will probably sit like this, untouched, all winter. 

This is the lake-side of the union terrace. I tried my hand at doing a black-and-white HDR photo and I think it turned out pretty well. It brought out the contrast between the vines and the stone that wasn't easily captured with just a single exposure.

Another HDR shot, this time of a statue tucked into a corner of one of the buildings on library mall. There were four of these statues that I didn't notice the entire time I lived in Madison.

Manhole cover. What more can you say?