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.

iPhone 7

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

iPhone 7

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.

iPhone 7

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.

iPhone 7

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.

iPhone 7

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.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Best of the 365 Blog - August 2017

As usual, August was largely taken up by back-to-school activities. I got some use out of some new equipment in addition to relying on my phone for a lot of the daily pictures.

Nikon D810, 8mm, 1/60, ISO 200, cropped

I took the Rokinon 8mm lens out to the ballpark and got some interesting shots with it. Here the natural curves of the architecture play well with the bending of the lens.

Nikon D810, 170mm (28-200), 1/160, f/6.3, ISO 200

I spent weeks fussing over finding the best ways to photograph the eclipse on August 21. I carefully planned shots of the totality in order to avoid destroying my equipment or my eyes. And I was really hoping for some shots of the crescent shadows cast between the leaves of nearby trees. Then the clouds rolled in and pretty much ruined everything.

Nikon D810, 200mm (28-200), 1/500, f/11, ISO 200, cropped and adjusted

As usual, the first week of class found my photo class out in the college’s flower garden. Most of everyone’s photos were the usual stuff, but I did manage to capture some apples on a nearby tree. This shot has been saturated to make the fruit look nice and red rather than the pale color it actually was.

Nikon D810, 38mm (35-80), 5 sec., f./22, ISO 200, cropped

After years of patiently adding fruit and vegetable stickers to the collection, we finally managed to cover an entire cabinet door.

iPhone 7, 1/170

Waiting around outside a restaurant in Westport, I happened to notice these colorful pepper plants.

iPhone 7, 1/2200

 This basketball hoop has provided me with a bit of a story. It’s in good repair here, but later in the semester I found it blown over, dented, and temporarily removed.

iPhone 7, 1/800

For two weeks in a row I happened to be picking up groceries at the same time as the crew from the local fire station was picking up theirs. The first week I photographed the front of the truck, and the second time around I captured this fun bit of lens flare.

Nikon D7000, 80mm (35-80), 3 sec, f/22, ISO 100

This is one of the first shots I took with a tabletop studio setup I got during Prime Day madness. I hope to use it to start documenting some of the small objects in our lives.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

What a difference ten millimeters make

Last Thursday I took a camera and a trio of lenses out to the ballpark. With some time on my hands before the game started, I trekked up to the highest nosebleed seats to get some wide views of the field and stands. The results provided an interesting range of focal lengths.

Let’s start with 28mm:

Nikon D810, 28mm (28-200), 1/250, f/8, ISO 200

This is the wide side of a 28-200mm that I do a lot of work with. As a shot of the field itself, it’s reasonably good. But let’s see what we get if we go a little wider.

Nikon D810, 18mm (18-35), 1/400, f/10, ISO 200

That’s 18mm (minus a bit of cropping I did to get rid of the roof). If I was taking a traditional landscape approach, this photo would probably be my choice.

But let’s go another 10mm down:

Nikon D810, 8mm, 1/200, f/7.1, ISO 200

Now that’s a fisheye view, so much so that the image gets vignetted. Still, that’s a 180 degree view.

I had even more fun with the 8mm lens that evening, as seen in this blog post.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Best of the 365 Blog – July 2017

July was all about experimenting. I got a new (well, refurbished) Nikon D810, so welcome to the world of full frame photography. And I went a little crazy buying accessories on Amazon Prime Day.

The month got underway with the usual fireworks shots (alas the new gear hadn’t arrived yet).

Nikon D3000, 10.5mm, 0.3 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

This isn’t the absolute first shot I took with the new camera, but it was the first one good enough to blog. I’ve also moved my photo management from the Apple app to Lightroom, so I’m getting used to that as well.

Nikon D810, 300mm (75-300), 1/400, f/6.3, ISO 800

We’ve been moving some stuff around in the house, including these five alligators in a cheese box.

Nikon D3000, 24mm (18-55), 1/80, f/4.5, ISO 200

One of the new gizmos is a ring light, which makes macro photography a lot easier. This is a plastic spider from the top of a cupcake, currently perching on the top of my postcard rack.

Nikon D7000, 80mm (35-80), 1/60, F/5.6, ISO 200

Shortly after I got the new camera, I added a Nikkor 18-35mm to the collection. The lens is well suited to landscape photography, but I thought I’d take it out to the ballpark and play around with it for awhile.

Nikon D810, 35mm (18-35), 1/320, f/7.1, ISO 200

I also added a full frame fisheye lens. This is my office at home, finally cleaned and organized.

Nikon D810, 8mm, 1/60, f/4, ISO 1600

We put in a small St. Francis shrine on the deck. Okay, it’s a concrete lawn ornament and a bird bath. But it fits well with the bird feeders.

Nikon D3000, 32mm (18-55), 1/125, f/5.6, ISO 140

And finally this odd specimen. This is a front view of a metal fish, part of my writing desk decor. I shot a series of macro photos and then focus stacked them (which oddly I had to do in Photoshop as Lightroom won’t do it).

Nikon D810, 80mm (35-80), 1/125, f/5.6, ISO 500, focus stacked