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

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

September 28

I'm calling this one Postcard from My Front Door.  I'm pretty sure it's a pigeon feather, because we have pigeons roosting in our roof (a communal living arrangement not to my liking, but apparently they're nesting and can't be moved yet).  It lodged itself in the grass near the door and got photographed.  The usual settings of late, f/5.6 at 200mm, but I like it because it's neither flower nor farmland.  Feather!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

September 26

Ok, technically I am still "on vacation" but I did like this photo.  Maybe because it's not my usual photo.  It's got a nice idyllic look, I think.   And the color and composition are ok too.  If I'm just looking at the shapes and not looking too closely at the scene then the farmhouse reminds me a little of Mt. Rainier.  What's amazing is this is just a few miles from my house.  In only one mile I can leave town and am deep into farmland, and it's like another world right around the corner.  So the fact that I posted this photo on my first vacation day shows my weakness for this blog.  It's a lot of fun (when it's fun).

September 25

I'm going to take a vacation from the blog for a while.  It's become sort of a stress point for me lately, and I'm not really enjoying it.  I'm not wild about the photos I'm taking, and so I think a break might do me some good.  Maybe a week or two...we'll see.  In the meantime, I might post if I feel inspired, but it's sort of a relief not to have the daily photo weighing me down.

This is the Death Star again.  I was thinking I should take the kids there with our old lightsabres and see if the sunlight wouldn't make the reflection glow a little.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

September 23

A fun photo for today.  This box showed up at our house this morning, so Luna had to try it out.  She really hates being photographed, but I caught her off guard.  I called to her as she was getting comfy, and she looked up for just a second.  I didn't know that she was going to give me a one-eyed look like that, but I think it looks really cool.  I really bumped up the ISO because the indoor lighting wasn't that bright, and still it's a pretty slow shutter speed.
f/5, 1/13, ISO800

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

September 21

There's a casual old car show in our grocery parking lot on the third Tuesday of every month, sort of an unlikely date if you ask me.  This is the first third Tuesday that I've remembered about it since we moved here. This black 1950 Ford Custom Deluxe Coupe was my favorite; it was so polished!  I feel like I've hardly photographed it here though; mainly I used its great polish as a canvas for the red 1967 Ford Mustang reflection that ends up being the focus of the photo.  Varying my angle just a little made a huge difference in the shape of the reflection.  I had trouble getting more of the 1950 Coupe in the photo without warping the Mustang, so it was hard to know what to include and what to leave out.
f/4, 1/40, 55mm

Monday, September 20, 2010

September 20

I've got a book to finish today, so I'm posting early and sitting down with a cup of coffee...
I tried using my polarizer to get rid of the glare on the mugs, but it didn't make a difference.  So I'm not sure how to fix that.  Otherwise I like the steam, which was the point of the photo.  I did use my tripod for the first time in a week, and I can tell.  I'm keeping my 55-200 lens on until I get done with school portraits, which will hopefully be by the end of this week.  That means some form of close-up on the blog until then.  I just can't risk any dust on my sensor until I'm done with the portraits!
f/4.2, 1/50, 62mm, polarizer

Sunday, September 19, 2010

September 19

Today we went to this huge corn maze in Dixon.  It took us 1 1/2 hours to work our way through it, and we were moving at a pretty fast pace!  I was imagining lots of photo time, but as it turned out I didn't have much time to stop and photograph or I'd be abandoned in the maze pretty quickly!  I could either follow the maze map or follow the others while looking for photos.  I took this photo just as we were entering the maze, and it's pretty rare that I go with the first photo I take.  I think I ended up liking it because it shows the height of the corn best (and there are clouds in the sky which is still exciting to me here).  All photos taken here were hurried ones, and this one is no exception.  At 1/800 of a second I certainly could have gone with a higher f-stop.  I really don't like how out of focus the corn stalks in the foreground are.
f/4, 1/800, 55mm

September 18

I forgot to post yesterday's photo, so here it is.  This hawk was perched in a field treeline yesterday morning surveying his morning breakfast options.  I was hoping to catch him taking off but he wasn't very obliging.  So this is what I got.  It's only zoomed to 150mm, I guess because I was trying to compose with the tree branches.  I can zoom to 200mm, but sure wish I had a 300 or 400mm lens whenever I see a bird like this!  f/5.3, 1/125, 150mm, polarizer

Friday, September 17, 2010

September 17

I got my camera back tonight so it seemed like a good time to include sky in the photo just to admire my clean sensor.  These birds congregate here every evening at sunset.  I didn't realize until tonight how much jockeying for positions goes on with them though!  The top wire is preferred.
f/5.6, 1/320, ISO250

Thursday, September 16, 2010

September 16

I dropped my camera off for repairs today in Sacramento.  I couldn't help but stop along the way to photograph, this time using the macro filter, which also disguises my sensor spots.  I wanted to photograph rice growing, but I couldn't get close enough with the macro filter without stepping into the water. I need to be about 2-6 inches away from the subject matter depending on how much I'm zoomed in.  So I tried just standing right at the edge of the field, leaning as far over as I could with the camera up close to the rice stalks, and randomly shooting, but (surprise surprise) no spectacular results came from that. Next time I need some waders!  This isn't rice, it's just some sort of wild grass/grain that was growing right along the edge of the rice field, so I could easily stand close and see through the view finder to focus.  Rice field closeup someday soon...
f/5.6, 1/500, 55mm, +10macro filter

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

September 15

So these seeds grow on the same tree that I photographed when I first arrived here (July 16th)...the tree with the pink puff balls.  This is what they turned into after pollination!  I wanted to do a f/5.6 blurry background photo today because it turns out that I do have some dust spots on my sensor that I can't get off, and at my lowest aperture they don't really show up.    Tomorrow morning I'm dropping my camera off at a repair shop to have the sensor cleaned, so hopefully I can get a decent photo before that.  I'll get my camera back Friday afternoon, making the next two days iffy for photography.
f/5.6, 1/100, 110mm

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

September 14

I was thinking this old fence leaning over would make a nice photo, so I tried a variety of different angles and apertures with it.  I think about half the photos turned out pretty nice, and I just had the hardest time picking between them.  Looking at this photo almost crosses my eyes now because I ended up with so many similar shots that it just got confusing.  I went with this one because I liked the depth of fence it shows.  I don't like where I've placed the two closer posts though.  The one thing I would have liked to try was photographing here later in the day (this was about 9am), but there was no time for that today.
f/25, 1/10, 110mm

Monday, September 13, 2010

September 13

I only photographed these little sunflower weeds today so there wasn't much option in what I would post.  The flowers are about three inches in diameter, and they grow along the side of the road around here.  These were growing at the Yolo Bypass.  I was pretty set on the idea of photographing backlit. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

September 12

I decided to try to photograph at the dog park today, and it proved to be much trickier than I'd expected!  I wanted a side-view motion shot (legs in the air) but I was usually zoomed in too close or out too far.  And Clover was usually running straight at me or straight away from me.  This one ended up being my favorite, largely for lighting.  Again the focus isn't that sharp.  One thing I did right this time was to work in shutter mode, so that's an improvement!
f/8, 1/200, 200mm

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11

Well this is another f/5.6 200mm photo, but at least this time I get some effect from it.  I do like the points where the fence falls out of focus.  Too bad the horse isn't focused better though.  That's just me being lazy, I guess.  No tripod.  And 1/13 is way too slow for no tripod.  I didn't expect the horse to come up to the fence like that, and I wasn't prepared.  I like the puckered mouth on the horse, plus all the fence colors.
f/5.6, 1/13, 200mm

Thursday, September 9, 2010

September 9

I guess this is a pretty good photo for today as a metaphor.  This is me looking back at the day and wondering where it went!  And also wondering why the sunset is so easy to photograph as a reflection!  This was just one of those throw-away photos that I ended up liking.  In this case, by elimination, because I spent some time photographing a plant at the arboretum, but all the shots were slightly fuzzy when viewed on the computer.  And then the day was gone...
f/5.6, 1/30, ,55mm, WBcloudy, vivid

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

September 8

I was trying to take a photo of a eucalyptus grove this afternoon, but it just wasn't turning out.  In the meantime, a dozen squirrels had gather around this man,"The Squirrel Whisperer," who was sitting in the grove and feeding them and they are very tame.  I ended up liking this super close-up.  They actually get much closer to the camera than this, but it's impossible to focus on them.  Focusing was my issue again anyway...I have this tendency to focus and then try to frame the shot, and when I'm photographing animals like this I need to just point and shoot a lot more.  I like the eye on this squirrel, and also the crumbs on his chin.

f/5.6, 1/25, 200mm

Monday, September 6, 2010

September 6

So this isn't really the photo I wanted tonight.  I set out with my camera to a different location and when I got there I realized I didn't have my SD card in my camera.  A sure sign I'm tired; but then I already knew that!  This is a scene I've thought about photographing though, and it's a photo that needs to be taken just after sunset, so that's what I did tonight.  I'm bothered by the spots on the photo in the sky...I hope those will wash off my lens and are not on my sensor again!  f/22, 3sec., 18mm, vivid

Sunday, September 5, 2010

September 5

We had a picnic today at Golden Gate Park so I really wanted a photo from here today.  This bridge is so beautiful from any angle. I was wanting to get a photo of it that wasn't the usual angle, and this one ended up being my favorite of all I tried.  Actually, I saw the bridge earlier in the week when the upper towers were shrouded in fog and sun was filtering through under the bridge.  And I wanted that photo so badly but we couldn't stop then.  So of course today it was harsh sunlight and I'm a little disappointed.  On the other hand, warm and sunny is best for a picnic so it was fun day.
f/10, 1/30, 26mm

Saturday, September 4, 2010

September 4

This photo is simultaniously amazing and gross.  This fly had the good fortune to rest on the kitchen table flowers while I was eating breakfast this morning.  The lighting was perfect, so rather than reaching for the flyswatter, I got my camera instead.   I've seen macro photos of bugs where you can see all the eye lenses, but this was the best my filter could get.  I am happy that I caught it with its tongue out though. And I have to admit, the little buggie eyes got to me; I don't think I'll be able to pick up the flyswatter today.  Especially after it was such an accommodating model!  Tomorrow, however, is a new day...
f/5.6, 1/4000, ISO800, vivid, +10macro filter

Friday, September 3, 2010

September 3

We had this neat opportunity tonight to watch the bats fly out from beneath the Yolo Bypass I-80 Bridge.  There are an estimated 150,000 bats that fly out each night, and they only emerge from this one spot, flying right over this tree.  Evidentally this makes for a safer exit.  I have a bunch of pictures of this, but I decided to post this one with the bike in it.  The bike is actually strapped to the top of a car heading east on I-80, but it's perfectly lined up with the bridge wall.  I was working in aperture, as is my bad habit, so all my photos are f/5.6.  In this particular photo my camera read much lower light, so it's only 1/80 and the bats are a little blurry.  (Luckily traffic on I-80 was crawling along because of the holiday weekend so the bike isn't too blurry!)  I really debated about posting this one because I didn't want to detract from the bats, but I just couldn't help myself.  I still think the bats look really cool, and the bike adds to the photo.
f/5.6, 1/80, 55mm, vivid

Thursday, September 2, 2010

September 2

This has been a pretty hectic week here, and not a great week for photography.  I did take my camera out this morning on my walk with Clover.  I'm crediting her with finding this photo because she was sniffing around this shrub and I spotted the scene...water droplets on spider web glowing in the sunshine.  It's my 200mm lens so I have to be about 4 ft. away to get it to focus.  I never really got it sharply focused to my satisfaction.  Now I'm wondering if my 18-55 lens would have been better.  Just dreaming about buying a higher quality lens today.
f/5.6, 1/200, 200mm