Painting is just another way of keeping a diary ~Pablo Picasso

Friday, April 30, 2010

April 30

So this a spot in the woods near our house that I've tried photographing many times. The trail leads over the bridge in the background and the cool thing about this spot is that the creek runs right under that huge cedar tree which is about 100 years old. We were playing around with a long exposure and Eric made a ghostly appearance in the photo.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

April 29

I'm really happy with this shot. It's the wide angle landscape I was wanting yesterday. I like how the lilly pads spread out in the photo. Also I remembered to use my polarizer, so the water is a nice deep blue. I like the cloud reflection too. I think it's a little overexposed in the upper left. Btw, this is the beaver pond at McLane Creek. I posted a photo from here on April 16th. If you zoom in, you can see the beaver lodge in the upper right hand corner.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April 28

This was taken around 5pm today with the sun behind me, and behind the clouds for the moment. It was one of those days where it's raining one minute and then a bright sunbreak the next...rainbow weather. This is Budd Inlet about half way up the west side of Olympia. There are a lot of old pilings and piers left from logging factory days, and also lots of revitalization where these areas are getting turned into parks. This is pretty high tide at this point, and it's such a pretty spot late in the day when the tide is high. I thought I would take a wide angle shot but I was having trouble keeping the overlook railing out of the shot. I'm surprised it was only 31mm. I like the dark lighting because it gives the pier a nice silhouette look. I love the texture of the water in the lower part of the picture.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April 27

So I've been trying to figure out how Jim Brandenburg created the cover photo for his book Chased by the Light. This is my attempt to recreate the effect. This was taken in around 9 this morning in the woods near our house. It's a dark woods for photography at any time of day but especially this early. I've been practicing with my smallest aperture, and I used that for a long exposure then zoomed out right at the end, which is something we learned in my class last week. I think this is how he did it because his photo looks like dark woods and low light too. My attempt looks really amateurish in comparison, but it's a start.

Monday, April 26, 2010

April 26

More practice with nighttime photography. This is a reflecting fountain across from the Capitol, shot at twilight. The best shots of the fountain were between 5-10 second shutter speeds. This one was 10 seconds. I tried one at 30 seconds and you can't even see the water because the shutter was open so long.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

April 25

These colorful boats are called dragon boats. This was taken before the start of the dragon boat races this morning. I love the colors and the calm reflection. I cropped this photo some, so I wish I'd zoomed in more when I took it. Also I had my ISO at 200 because I was taking photos of a loon in the water nearby and I forgot to change the setting back to 100 for this still shot.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

April 24

This photo was taken at the Procession of Species today in Olympia. It's an Earth Day celebration like only Oly could do. I wish I took a photo that really captured how enormous and spectacular this parade was, but no single photo came close. I like this one because it's one of the few photos that I took straight on and not looking up the street. I like the crowd in the background and the wide angle view of the whole shark. This was later in the parade and I don't like the shadows cast on the photo. We're not sure on the history of that building in the background but believe it's the original Capitol.

Friday, April 23, 2010

April 23

This is the Luminary Procession that's part of spring Art Walk here in Olympia. This week we're working on night photography so the evening parade was good practice. I tried to find a well-lighted area because my settings were really stretched to the limit for night photography with all the movement that was going on. This was probably my best shot because it's one of the larger luminaries and sort of in focus. Anyway, it has a nice glow.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April 22

This is just a fun photo. It was mostly being at the right place at the right time. This camelot macaw named Maya was getting her bath in a drinking fountain at an outdoor mall near UW. She was a real crowd-pleaser and a poser for the camera too. After her bath she did her special poses for me, but I liked the bath photo best. I love the water dripping off her head. I love the goofy look on her face. I love that her wing feathers are a little blurred because she's splashing around. I wish I could have shot this from a slightly different angle so that plant wouldn't be in the background.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April 21

I think this might be my last time posting a black and white for a while. Until I get better at it. I just stayed around the house today, so this was taken in the woods behind our house walking Clover. I experimented with aperture to see how crisply I could focus the whole mushroom. I liked this angle best because it shows the top, the gills, and the bark-like stem. This was taken at f/32 which is the smallest aperture I can get on my camera. I thought it worked ok. I thought the focus wasn't that strong at the back of the mushroom, but it's really good on the stem and also the front edge of the gills, which I couldn't get at lower settings like f/16.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 20

I was hoping to wait for sun this weekend to take a black and white photo of this old gas station that is scheduled for demolition because of a road-widening project. The hand-painted sign on the side of the carport reads "1910 built for cars 2010 torn down for cars". However the side of the building got torn off today, and I'm worried that the poor little station won't last until the weekend so I tried for a good photo of it today. I think this one is alright, and the dark section on the right where the inside of the station is exposed helps to balance it. I just wish it was brighter out so there would be more contrast (brighter white areas and more shadows).

Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19

It's funny to me that this is the photo I decided on because it really wasn't anything I was working on, but just a quick photo to try to identify what this is. It grows in a marshy area. Any ideas, Dad?

Anyway, the color is just so nice on it. I can't believe it's so muted in the background at f/8, but I guess it's because I had my telephoto lens on. I had to get pretty far away before the camera would even focus on the flower...I was probably 4-5 feet from the flower.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

April 18

Today we went hiking at Lake Cushman at the Staircase entrance to the Olympic National Park. This was a little waterfall leading down from Mt. Rose to Lake Cushman. I used a slow shutter speed to make the water blurry.

This is my least favorite photo I've posted so far. I'm not sure why. I think I just didn't have a sense of how to compose the shot and where to put the waterfall, plus I don't really like the branches and dead leaves in the left corner. I liked that the water was moving in so many different directions throughout the photo, so that's why I chose it.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

April 17

This was taken at the farmer's market in Olympia. It's quite a bit different from the Oakland Co. farmer's market where the farmers back their trucks up to the stalls at 6am. This market doesn't open until 10am, but once it does it's really bustling. It's much more hip and organic and colorful. I was looking to get a photo that showed the feel of the market and gave a sense of the business. So I made a really slow shutter speed (one second in this case) to show movement. I used the shutter release timer set to 10 seconds to keep the camera steady and also so people wouldn't be waiting for me to take the shot when really I was wanting them to move through the shot. This meant that the photo would actually be taken 10 seconds in the future, and a lot can change in that time so it gave the whole thing a really random feel. This elderly lady stepped right into the center of my frame and slowly peered into her bag of apples just at the right moment. I love the blur of movement on the right, because it really exaggerates the deliberateness of her apple check.

Friday, April 16, 2010

April 16

I took this photo because I liked the reflection pattern in the water and the fact that there were some ducks in the photo as well. I thought they were lesser scaup, but their markings are slightly different. It turns out they're ring-necked ducks. (The female is camouflaged in the tree stump reflection). This photo was taken at the beaver pond at McLane Creek. The huge tree stump in the water is left over from logging done here over a century ago.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April 15

I'm pretty happy with this shot because it tells a nice story. I've known of a Canada Goose nest at Nisqually Wildlife Refuge for a few weeks now, but it's too far away to photograph with my lens (55-200mm). Today I found two new nests that were much closer but more hidden. This one was only about 20 feet from me.
That's the female on the nest. And the male is standing nearby. She hardly ever leaves the nest. I wonder how she even gets enough to eat. The male is usually just swimming around close and eating all the time. Sometimes he'll scare off other geese, which causes quite a stir. These geese are at least three years old because they're nesting. Also they mate for life. And often they will nest in the very same spot each year. As long as the nest doesn't get raided, the eggs should hatch by the beginning of May!
I was glad to get a little catch light in the female goose's eye. They were both checking me out, but she was just at a better angle. And I love how well you can see the nest. I don't like that branch in the way, but this was the best angle I could find because they were in the trees. I wish I had a lens with a 2.8 f-shot then I could have blurred that branch right out of the shot!

By the way, you can click on the photo to see an enlarged version. Also if you click on it again it will zoom in closer. Just click "back" to return to the blog page.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 14

Welcome to my blog. The idea behind this blog is that I'll post one photo a day for the year, ending next April 14th. This came from a photography book by Jim Brandenburg, a National Geographic wildlife photographer. He's done a couple of books where he posts one photo from each day. I thought it was a good idea, and would maybe give some self-imposed structure to my photography practice. And force me to have a good editing eye. As an added bonus, you should get a pretty good idea of what it looks like around here.

So I started with a self portrait, in honor of the day. This was taken in downtown Olympia, in the window of an old bank that's now a jewelry shop. I liked the mirror reflection on the inside. I liked that you can't see my face. And I liked that you can see that I shoot with Nikon.