Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Best of the 365 Blog – November 2016

November was quite a month. The election and its aftermath distracted from routines such as the 365 project. But I still managed to keep up.

On the first day of the month I hauled out a macro lens and took some pictures of ladybugs. Oddly they aren’t as cute when you get this close to them.

Nikon D7000, 80mm (35-80), 1/400, f/5.6, ISO 400, cropped and rotated

Last month I blogged a photo of one of the college’s new “Learning Commons” signs. Thus I figured I should include an image of the sign in place.

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On Election Day I paused for a moment after voting to photograph the polling place. I thought it might turn out to be a historic occasion. Unfortunately I was right.

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Time to recycle! I liked the combination of the bottle chaos in the foreground and the fall foliage framed by the window on the other side of the bin.

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On the 13th I got a shot at a lunar event. The moon was unusually close to the earth. I didn’t have much luck with surface details, but at least the leaves created an interesting effect.

Nikon D7000, 300mm (75-300), 10 sec., f/25, ISO 100

This is one of my favorite photos of the year. I love the color patterns on the leaf, a small bit of beauty of the sort we all too often walk right past on the sidewalk without ever noticing it.

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Or sometimes it’s something interesting that you notice because you’re stuck in a drive-thru with nothing better to do than take random photos.

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Of course the leaves look pretty when they’re still on the tree, too.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Best of the 365 Blog – October 2016

October proved to be a reasonably good month for photography. It started with the year’s last trip to the ballpark.

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One Saturday morning it rained hard enough to get the excess bubbling up from the drains.

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Every year I promise myself that I’m going to get a good set of darkroom work photos. And every year I neglect it until it’s too late. At least this year I got a few photos in the darkroom, including this odd angle.

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At mid-month we took a weekend trip to southern Missouri. The lobby in the hotel had a cooler full of water and fruit.

Nikon D7000, 82mm (28-200), 1/40, f/5, ISO 1600

The next day we went prowling around the back roads, splashing in creeks and the like.

Nikon D7000, 200mm (28-200), 1/2000, f/5.6, ISO 2500

After an eternity of promising to get a burn permit and get rid of some yard waste, this year we finally did it.

Nikon D3000, 55mm (18-55), 1/160, f/6.3, ISO 100

The combination of film and photo students inevitably leads to mishaps, such as this strip that was exposed to light before being properly loaded in a developing tank.

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And of course, Happy Halloween!

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Best of the 365 Blog – September 2016

If you go back and check the dates on these photos, you’ll note that they’re all from the second half of the month. It’s so much easier to stay photographically active when work makes me get out of the house with a camera in hand.

This first shot is from the once-a-semester trek to the college’s flower garden:

Nikon D3000, 40mm (18-55), 1/320, f/9, ISO 100

On my way into work, I happened to spot a heron hanging out in one of the drainage ditches. On the one hand, it would have been nice to have had a longer lens with me. On the other hand, at least I had an SLR.

Nikon D7000, 200mm (28-200), 1/500, f/5.6, ISO 800

I neglected to bring the usual model in for the Intro to Photography class session on studio lighting. Fortunately we were in the 3D art room, so I managed to grab a simple subject off of a shelf. The gold filter in this shot is a nice addition.

Nikon D7000, 200 (28-200), 1/80, f/6.3, ISO 2500

There’s something about the extra bright lights of gas stations that makes for interesting photos.

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The waning days of the baseball season were upon us (especially with the Royals having no postseason prospects). This is the view from behind our seats.

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Here’s a lucky catch. This sign was awaiting installation on the newly-christened Learning Commons at the college. Catching it on the ground made for an unlikely-to-repeat-itself moment.

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Sometimes one needs to stop and take a picture even when running late for class. The jumbled shadows of the table and chairs was too good not to photograph.

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This huge spider built a huge web in our back yard.

Nikon D7000, 200mm (28-200), 1/125, f/32, ISO 2500

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Best of the 365 Blog – August 2016

iPad Pro

Jenny leads off the set of best photos from the 365 blog in August, objecting to having a nap disturbed.

Nikon D7000, 80mm (35-80), 1/160, f/5.6, ISO 800

While cleaning out the basement, I found this relic of computing days past.

Nikon D7000, 80mm (35-80), 1/250, f/5.6, ISO 500

The damage done to the radiator of my car by a raccoon struck at 60 mph or so.

Nikon D7000, 80mm (35-80), 1/125, f/32, ISO 200, off-camera flash

After years of loyal service, one of out favorite glasses developed a crack. Here I pay it proper photographic tribute.

Nikon D3000, 18mm (18-55), 1/200, f/6.3, ISO 100

Some of the trees on campus were planted in memory of college personnel no longer with us. Of this pair of memorial evergreens, one has joined its honorees in the afterlife.

Nikon D3000, 35mm (18-55), 1/30, f/5, ISO 560

The second day of class in Intro to Photography. We were going to go to the college's flower garden to practice, but weather didn't permit. Thus we took photos around the art room.

Nikon D3000, 18mm (18-55), 1/160, f/6.3, ISO 100

Merely two days after I photographed the dead tree, it was gone. In its place remained only a hole in the ground, some safety cones and a drag mark.

Take photos when you can. Opportunity often passes before you know it.

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The neighbor's vintage bug doing plant-hauling duty.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Best of the 365 Blog – July 2016

Nikon D7000, 290mm (150-500), 1/50, f/6, ISO 1600

The 365 project continues apace. Photos from July 4 got their own blog entry, but before and after show up here. Above two of the neighbor kids set off firecrackers.

Nikon D3000, 48mm (18-55), 1/30, f/5.3, ISO 200

And here's what a Saturn Missile Battery looks like the day after.

Nikon D3000, 18mm (18-55), 1/30, f/3.5, ISO 720

 I made some improvements to my old drawing table to allow me to use it with my iPad.

Nikon D7000, 300mm (75-300), 1/100, f/14, ISO 400

Flies gorge themselves on some food gone uneaten by the outdoor cats.

Nikon D7000, 10.5mm, 1/100, f/5, ISO 200

A misty morning in the neighborhood.

Nikon D7000, 200mm (28-200), 1/40, f/5.6, ISO 1600

Jenny having a lazy day.

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Crowds headed upstairs at the ballpark prior to a Royals game.

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And more fond farewells, this time to Hastings, one of the few remaining brick and mortar video rental businesses.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Best of the 365 Blog – June 2016

Nikon D7000, 10.5mm, 5 sec., f/6.3, ISO 200

For some time now I've been trying to start a 365 blog, in which I post at least one picture every day. Until last month I met only with sporadic success. However, one of my goals for this summer is to get into the habit of keeping up with this project. So far so good.

Many of the photos aren't exactly immortal classics. But every once in awhile something good – or at least interesting – comes of it. For example, the photo above is a shot of 18th street in Kansas City Kansas. I'd been meaning to take this photo for awhile now.

Nikon D7000, 80mm (35-80), 1/25, f/5.6, ISO 1600

Here's a photo of a lime slice floating in a grape slush from Sonic. I admit to doing some color filter work to bring out the purple a bit better. Straight out of the camera it was an unpleasant brown color.

Nikon D7000, 56mm (28-200), 20 sec., f/25, ISO 200

I was mostly just playing around when I took this one. It's a longer exposure taken out the front windshield of a car driving down the street at night.

Nikon D7000, 18mm (18-55), 15 sec., f/22, ISO 200

Another KCK street night shot.

Nikon D7000, 28mm (28-200), 1/125, f/5, ISO 6400

One of the fossils on display downstairs in KU's Natural History Museum.

Nikon D7000, 18mm (18-55), 1/250, f/8, ISO 100

Time to buy fireworks!

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Throughout this month I was also working on a 30-day challenge. The theme for this image was "warning."

Nikon D7000, 24mm (18-55), 1/60, f/4, ISO 450

And at the end of the month we bid a sad farewell to Little Freshie sno cones.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Fireworks 2016

Nikon D7000, 28mm (28-200), 1/60, f/4.5, ISO 6400

Once again our Independence Day celebration was full of fireworks and photography. For the most part I stuck with standard techniques: long exposures for light painting and short exposures for sparky blasts.

However, I tried one trick:

Nikon D3000, 48mm (18-55), 5 sec., f/11, ISO 200, front curtain flash

This shot combines a long exposure with an off-camera flash. The flash fired as the shutter opened, when our friend Brandon was still lighting the fireworks. He was illuminated strongly only during the brief fraction of a second when the flash went off. As he swiftly got out of the way, he doesn't appear in the long exposure part of the shot along with the stationary tub or the light trails from the sparks.

Of course we had our usual fun finding creative ways to blow things up.

Nikon D7000, 200mm (28-200), 1/1250, f/5.6, ISO 200

That's a Pringles can meeting a fiery end.
Nikon D3000, 48mm (18-55), 5 sec., f/11, ISO 200

 And that's a tennis ball stuffed with ground-up sparklers.

Nikon D3000, 18mm (18-55), 5 sec., f/4.5, ISO 200

And though smoke bombs are typically better during daylight, lighting a bunch of them at once produced a nice effect.