Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Best of the 365 Blog - December 2017

To officially finish out 2017, here’s the best of the 365 blog from December.

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Too far away to get much goose detail with the phone, but I liked the random scattering juxtaposed with the architectural geometry.

Nikon D7000, Lensbaby single glass with shaped aperture, 1/2 sec, ISO 100

 For the final, “fun” session of my photo class, we played around with shaped bokeh by hanging a string of Christmas lights on the wall behind a ceramic figure.

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Tile on the floor at City Fish and More.

Nikon D810, 55mm (28-105), HDR

Christmas lights on the house across the street. This is an HDR combo of three photos.

Nikon D810, 8mm, 1/60, f/4, ISO 200

I shot this fisheye view of our bathroom renovation in progress by lying down on the floor.

Nikon D810, 105mm (28-105), 1/100, f/14, ISO 800

The first real snowfall of the winter. One of the outside cats left some prints on the walk.

Nikon D810, 90mm (28-105), 1/60, f/4.5, ISO 8000
Our contractor’s shop vac looks like it has a smiley face.

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And to finish out the year, some tiny snowflakes on the car window.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Best of the 365 blog - November 2017

In November my photo class moves beyond the basics, so the photos we take for exercises get a little more interesting.

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Here’s a sad story to start the day: a lost mitten.

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Drove 1000 miles there and back in a failed quest for this shot, and now here it is right outside my office.

Nikon D810, 300mm (75-300), 1/320, F/5.6, ISO 640

The Jack o Lantern Retirement Home.

Nikon D810, 105mm (28-105), 10 sec, f/25, ISO 400

One of the photo class’ choice for skill building week was light painting.

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I’m a fan of puddle reflection photos, so I was glad to catch a chance to take one of my own.

Nikon D810, 35mm (18-35), 1/1250, f/4.5, ISO 100

On a landscape photo quest with my students, I noticed this discarded bag in a dry creek. This is actually one of a pair of photos that demonstrate the effect of depth of field.

Nikon D810, 105mm (28-105), 1/125, f/5, ISO 800, cropped

Jenny is so cute, even when she pretty obviously doesn’t want to have her picture taken.


For a last minute desperation shot taken with an iPad, this actually isn’t that bad.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Landscape with Trash

Nikon D810, 35mm (18-35), 1/125, f/16, ISO 100

While out doing some landscape photography (limited, because we were stuck on campus) with my students, I noticed an opportunity for a depth of field teaching moment.

In the shot above, the narrow aperture gives me a wide field. I can keep the whole scene in focus at once. Aside from the vertical orientation, this is a standard landscape shot.

In the shot below, I’ve opened up the aperture. That narrows the focus down to the discarded bag in the foreground. Now it stands out, because the blurry background is easier to ignore.

They also have a slightly different emotional feel, though that’s likely to be subjective and harder to define.

Nikon D810, 35mm (18-35), 1/1250, f/4.5, ISO 100
Full disclosure: I used Photoshop to align the two pictures, so they’ve both been adjusted slightly.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Best of the 365 Blog - October 2017

With the semester underway, I actually got a moment or two to do some planned photography.

Nikon D810, 92mm (28-105), 1/160, f/6.3, ISO 250

This bar of soap is actually a new bar and the thin remains of an old bar mashed together. I liked the way the lines did and didn’t match up.

Nikon D810, 52mm (28-105), 1/100, f/8, ISO 800

This was from a series of tattoo photos taken with a single, off-camera light source.

Nikon D810, 105mm (28-105), 1/100, f/8, ISO 800

The feral kittens who were born earlier this year are getting out on their own now.

Nikon D810, 48mm )28-105), 1/160, f/4, ISO 2500

We actually managed to take a weekend off and go somewhere! Here we have the Clintons from Josephine Tussaud’s Wax Museum in Hot Springs, Arkansas. 

Nikon D810, 56mm (28-105), 1/125, f/5.6, ISO 400

On the way home, we took the long way so we could stop at Fouke, Arkansas, the home of the Fouke Monster (made famous by The Legend of Boggy Creek). The Monster Mart provided several good photo ops.

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I assume at one point this arm had a body attached. It’s almost scarier the way it is. I also liked the wishbone-like geometry produced by the reflection.

Nikon D810, 70mm (28-105), 1/200, f/13

I went out in search of fall colors and ended up with buzzards in the bargain.

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The college’s buildings and grounds folks have been doing some work in the area around my walk from the parking lot to my office. Someone left this interesting transplanted footprint.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Monster Mart

Nikon D810, 28mm (28-105), 1/400, f/10, ISO 400

Normally I don’t like to blog stuff too long after the photos were taken. But I couldn’t let the Arkansas trip go without photos from Fouke.

I’ve been a big fan of the Fouke Monster ever since I saw The Legend of Boggy Creek when I was a kid. Though it was a bit of a distance out of our way, we had to check out the Monster Mart.

Once again I found myself glad I had a camera that was good with tricky lighting.

Nikon D810, 56mm (28-105), 1/125, f/5.6, ISO 400

Nikon D810, 48mm (28-105), 1/50, f/4.0, ISO 1600

Nikon D810, 50mm (28-105), 1/60, f/4.0, ISO 1600

Nikon D810, 32mm (28-105), 1/100, f/3.5, ISO 3200

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Josephine Tussaud’s Wax Museum

Nikon D810, 28mm (28-105), 1/100, f/3.5, ISO 1600

Last weekend my wife and I took a brief getaway trip to Arkansas. One afternoon to get out of her hair for a little while I drove in to Hot Springs and visited Josephine Tussaud’s Wax Museum. The experience supplied no end of photo ops. I was particularly thankful for the D810’s ability to cope with bad lighting.

Give or take a shot or two, this set is the same as the gallery I posted to Facebook with the question, “If all the wax figures in the museum came to life, which one would be most likely to eat your children?”

Nikon D810, 28mm (28-105), 1/200, f/3.5, ISO 1600

 Steve McQueen. Because who would want to be greeted at the museum entrance by Billy Bob Thornton on a motorcycle?

Nikon D810, 28mm (28-105), 0.5 sec, f/3.5, ISO 2500

Most of the stuff from the House of Horrors section was too gross for a family blog like this. I included this shot in part because I liked the light and in part because I wanted folks to have an easy out on the kid-eating question.

Nikon D810, 28mm (28-105), 1/40, f/3.5, ISO 2500

The real Kennedys, with Teddy sitting off to the side. I liked the ghostly reflection of Hillary Clinton in the window.

Nikon D810, 66mm (28-105), 1/320, f/4.2, ISO 2500

A better view of the popular vote winner of the 2016 election.

Nikon D810, 105mm (28-105), 1/60, f/4.5, ISO 2500

“You had a bad day / The camera don’t lie.” Whoever made this one appears to have no fondness for Queen Elizabeth II.

Nikon D810, 52mm (28-105), 1/160, f/4.2, ISO 2500

I’m pretty sure there’s a federal regulation requiring every wax museum in the country to have at least one Elvis.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Best of the 365 Blog - September 2017

September was a busy month, so most of the daily photos weren’t exactly carefully planned. Still, that’s part of the point behind a 365 project. It makes sure you see the world around you rather than just looking at it. And it keeps you in the habit of taking pictures (even if they are all taken with a phone).


 We’ve been having some work done in the house, which has introduced no end of new things to photograph.


I’ve even gotten an interesting picture or two out of the planning process.


Of course sometimes one finds one’s self at a gas station late at light when struck by the thought that no picture has yet been taken that day.


This is another entry in my upcoming gallery show, “Things I photographed while waiting for my grocery pick-up (way seriously bored).” At least this one is kinda interesting.


Flowers in a small patch between the Learning Commons and my office.


A standpipe near the Learning Commons.


On this occasion I got a photo before I even made it out of the parking lot. I considered cranking up the vibrance and/or saturation, but then I changed my mind.


An interesting pipe pattern under the upper deck at Kauffman Stadium.