Friday, December 31, 2010

D-364 Happy New Year's Eve

as we approach the end of this photographic year. . . .
we must decide which paths to take.

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.

We took a walk this evening in a town close to us, Crown Point, Indiana. It has a lot of historic building I had grand ideas of all of the slow shutter images I would take - but I forgot my tri-pod. What I did do was push my camera and myself to the max. Hand held I give you a dark alley, which reminds me of the likes of Sherlock Holmes.
dark alley 2
Similar to Nikhils post the other day, which path will you take? Will you stay on the one you know, the one where everything is lit and you know the well worn path or will you venture into the path that is new and you know nothing about. Me? I guess you'll have to wait until tomorrow, which officially ends my Project 365 for 2010. I guess we can find out together. What about you?
In a dark alley
(something happens in transferring from photoshop to flickr - not sure why they get darker).
came across this lovely lady looking out the window at an antique store
Hello darling!!!
On of my goals for this year is to tackle photoshop. I asked my lovely friend Alexis, who's a whiz, to teach me a few things that her and my daughter have learned. I sent her yesterdays image and asked her to make it look like an ad. Here is what she did.
Textures and such
You can find her tutorial here Challenge Accepted Step by step in layman's terms. Thank you so much Alexis, I love it.


Thursday, December 30, 2010

D-363 Shoot like the Masters?

#ds410 The rule of thirds is a time-honored composition guideline. Put it to use today in a photo.

Ever wonder how the masters did their amazing photography before DSLR's? How they memorized their F-stops, ISO's and Shutter speeds without the convenience of checking their screens? I do, I've tried taking images with this camera and it's just so frustrating not knowing if I've nailed the exposure and focus. I'm grateful for DSLR's but I also wonder if I've lost the opportunity to "see" without the instant gratification of "seeing" right away.

David got this camera in the early 1980's. He learned about photography in those early years. He developed a knack for looking in an area and just knowing what numbers were going to work with the exposure he needed. I've tried to play with this camera, but film photography is a lot different than what I'm used to right now.
another boring High Key shot in the "home made" studio.
Minolta - old schoolrs

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

D-362 The common object

No light today for outdoor shots, I was just bored. When that happens I take a common/ordinary object and try to find a different spin on it. I took these macro shots. What do you do when you are bored with your images?
Daily Shoot
#ds409 Make a photograph with as soft a light source as you can find or create.
Macro shot, used a soft box and the budget on a studio shared a few post back.

Move over . . . there's a new Queen in town.
Move over there's a new Queen . . .
the colors got a little funny after transferring them to flickr

and a bonus:
While putting my Christmas stuff away I thought this one deserved a second look.
She's pretty old, but holding on really good.
One last look

This is a great article for sources of Inspiration for photographers.
Sources of Inspiration

Images viewed: Professional Photographer

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

D-361 Just keep shooting

When the world says, "Give up,"
Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."
~Author Unknown

Yesterday's post were not exactly up to par so today, still working on something different, I have a winter path.

#ds408 Illustrate coldness in a photograph today

Winter trail

Monday, December 27, 2010

D-360 Just don't give up . . .

“Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.”

5 Day count down. What will I do? It's always hard committing to do something. My fear? That I will run out of steam by the time winter rolls around again. I am, however working out a plan and once I commit it to the cyber world, I'll have to stick it out.

I am so proud of all of my 365 project friends who have stuck this project out. It has not been an easy road, at least not for me. Today is one of those days where I could just say forget it, but no, I'm committed.

I thought today's challenge was food photography so that's what I did. Here's lunch
Curried beef chow fun. We took a little trip to China Town. Food photography is not my "thing." I'm not even sure how to make food look good, but I gave it a try.

Curried beef chow fun

Welcome to China Town

After Nikhil's suggestion I went back and tried this image in black and white. I still don't care for it but it was worth a try.
Thai Curried beef chowfun noodles bw
Yeah I still don't think food photography is my thing.

Article read: How to Use Your Camera Flash at Night

Images Viewed: Dainel J. Pesta

Sunday, December 26, 2010

D-359 Where to find inspiration

Here are a few tips to re-ignite your creativity, these tips always help me.
Take a vacation, LOL, o.k. if you can't do that then maybe you can . . .

-take a walk with camera in tow
- try something different, try shooting at a different angle,definitely try a new technique,something different to you.
- join a challenge
- take a picture then say to yourself, "how can I take it different" walk around your subject and try different angles.
- duplicate an image you love
- look at one of your images that didn't work and redo it.
- look at fashion magazines, travel magazines. Whatever genre you are interested in has magazines.
- take pictures of the details and the details only (get close and personal)
- take a picture of someone/something you love.
- try it in black and white
- take a photography class, if that not feasible try a photography book.
- let your friends inspire you . . .

I've been inspired to try some night time photography by Jo Garret at "Sometime between Dusk and Dawn " her whole 365photography project has been night photography
and Terry at "It's a GreytDay for a Photo" who has been cranking out beautiful night time images. I asked David if we could take a drive to the city, which is about a 30 minute drive for us and he was willing. So here is Chicago's (Illinois) famous skyline. Chicago is a beautiful city. I shot this from the planetarium across Lake Michigan. The sky had a strange color tint, like more snow is heading our way!
dailyshoot Daily Shoot
#ds406 What fuels your creative process? Illustrate it in a photo today.

Chicago, Illinois - Skyline on 12/26/10 15 degrees Fahrenheit, partly cloudy. Definitely a winter night at the Windy City.
Just amazing - the city never sleeps!

Chicago Skyline-1
These were edited in Topaz.

There are a few more from this outing if you are interested in my Flickr Account.

I was asked how I set up yesterdays image. The Christmas tree. I initially wanted to try taking a pictue of the whole tree, like Elli did here, A Scrivnerburg 365
but I did not like the cluttered look of our CD Case behind the tree, so I had to find a different angle. Since I had to use a tri-pod, and since my poor tripod is like 50 years old, it won't hold my heavy lenses so I picked the 50mm which is nice and small/light. Put my camera on a tripod and focused on a closeup of the tree. I allowed some of the lights from the background to flow in.
settings were ISO 200, F/11.0, shutter speed of 2.5 seconds.
I had lights on the mantel, about 10 feet from the tree.
I just had to move around until I found a spot I liked.

Well, 6 more days to go for me on this project. I hope you have enjoyed the journey as much as I have.

A great big thanks to Elli for featuring me on her blog and for her continued friendship for the past couple of years. Thank you my friend.

Reading Typepad Vs Wordpress
Jeff Korhan

Saturday, December 25, 2010

D-358 Let there be Peace

Hope you've all had a very MERRY CHRISTMAS
We spent some time with our family yesterday at my In-Laws house and as usual it was a great time, awesome food, and wonderful people.
Today we stayed home and all of the kids minus one :( and my parents came by.
Nice relaxing day.

The daily shoot Dec 25, 2010
#ds405 Illustrate your idea of peace and harmony--or maybe just peace and quiet--today with a photograph.

The presents are disbursed, the house is cleaned and everyone has gone his/her own way. Nothing more peaceful than sitting at home enjoying a quiet evening, with candles and the last night of the Christmas lights.

I really like that these bulbs reveal a lot of my room. From a bookcase to the T.V. which was on.


If you love photography and it's ability to capture "moments" you'll love this story
Vivian Maier

D-356 & D357 Merry Christmas Eve

I took this picture yesterday for the Daily Shoot Challenge:
The daily shoot
Make a photograph of something metal or metallic today with an emphasis on how light interacts with the surface.

These are my Christmas Stocking holders, they sit on the mantel and they are made of metal.
Stocking holders

I am such a mean mom. I made my family take a group picture. LOL
They actually co-operated because I told them to wear what they wanted. Color did not matter because I was converting to black and white anyway.
my 2010 Family Portrait
There they are. My beautiful immediate family. I think their personalities really show. I just let everyone stand/sit where they wanted. I would have preferred to move Isabella to someones lap and maybe change a pose or two, but everyone was happy and I didn't want to mess with that. I mean look at Isabella's face, she's actually smiling! Two shots and I was done,
but here are two out takes while I tested the lights
I think they are funny
outake #1
Isabella claimed her spot and did not want to move.
Family shoot out take

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

D-355 What will we do at the end of our projects?

I know I've brought this up before, but what are you planning on doing when your 365 day project is over? I have 10 DAYS LEFT!
After the 10th day I will take a very short break. Maybe a week or so. I'll catch up on some sleep and spend some time with my family.

I've had several suggestions that maybe I should write some tutorials on lighting. I'm no expert on lighting but I guess we can learn some more together. Any other suggestions?
When you come to my blog, what would you like to see? Learn? share? I am open for suggestions. I'll probably start writing some tutorials if there is an interest for that.

The daily shoot
#ds402 Make a photograph of a circular or round object today.

See the tree reflected in the bulb? Part of my home is also reflected in there.
I had several to chose from today
Glass bulb
The colored reflections are not lights, they are jingle bells that are reflecting light.

Christmas bulbs
bulbs, beads, lights and icicles all make for great bokeh.


Halo, the bearded dragon was content riding around on my son's head

Images Viewed: Sandra Nykerk

354 It's a Christmas Explosion

Christmas is zooming by . . .
Christmas is zooming by

Monday, December 20, 2010

D-353 Dark and Moody lighting

Today I read a blog entry titled "Dark & Moody" (are you begining to see a pattern here?) by Glyn Dewis
I attempted to do some moody self portaits but alas, David had to come help. I set up the light, the reflector and the pose David took the image.

Dark and moody lighting

I'm not thrilled with the results. Not thrilled with the image but I'm tired and it's late so there is day 353.
This one I took myself. Regular lighting with umbrella
Self portrait
Images viewed: Glyn Dewis

Sunday, December 19, 2010

D-352 Falls of Ohio (Kentucky) State Park

Yes it's called Falls of Ohio State Park and it's located in the Indiana/Kentucky borders. I don't know why, just is. LOL
We stopped there, even in the frigid cold, to see the falls.


We had a nice relaxing weekend with my daughters (yes 2 of them) and granddaughter. Now we are back in the comfort of our home.

Images viewed: Craig Wetherby

Saturday, December 18, 2010

D350 -351 Ice Magical lights

We took a quick trip to Kentucky to visit my daughter for the weekend. We also took Isabella down there to visit with her mom.
Yesterdays Project 365 Facebook was "weather" we took a late night walk and I was amazed that everything was covered in ice and with the little available light, it lit the ice up magically.
The branches look like they have lights and the grass looks like diamonds.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

D-349 Moody Lighting

“Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.”
Carl Gustav Jung


Prayer beads

It's been a long hard day and I had to try and find solace in my beads and candles, in the comfort of my home.

Todays daily shoot is: #ds396 Find a repeating pattern today and make a photograph of it.
Prayer Beads

I shot this with my macro lens 28-105 mm. It's an old metal one. Set the camera on a tripod, 1 second exposure, 4.5 F-stop, ISO 200. I had a candle on an amythest stone and the Christmas tree lit up in the background. This is the set up.
Set up for prayer beads picture

Wayne asked about my Macro lens before and wide open for this lens is 4.5F. It does not open to F3.0.
Levonne asked me why I put my logo on my pictures. There are several reasons, one of them being that I want people to know my work. Know that it belongs to me.
I also want my business name out there. The more people see my logo the more familiar they become with me. There is also the fact that logos make it just a littel bit harder to take someones photo, not impossible, just harder.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

More bokeh and Light

The daily shoot today is: The Daily shoot
#ds395 Yellow is great at grabbing attention. Make a photograph today where the primary subject is yellow in color


I'm still feeling under the weather but I was not happy with my first set of shots, or maybe it's because the subject is just blah . . .
So I pulled out the flash and shot through the umbrella - The bouquet of flowers I got last week is well past it's prime. Time to get rid of.

Under the weather

Time to let go

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

D-347 Bokeh magic

The daily shoot:
#ds394 Shoot wide open today. Make a creative photo that uses a shallow depth of field to good effect.

I'm feeling pretty sick so I wanted to post my photo of the day really quickly and go to bed. Not sure this is what I was going for but there it is. LOL

It's magical

Monday, December 13, 2010


The daily shoot #ds393 Make a photo of a pair of subjects today. People or inanimate objects are both fair game!
Couldn't decide which to share, so all three it is


Snow ornaments

and finally a picture of my miniature dachshunds, Reesee & Twix. They are 10 & 12 pounds full of personality!
They were not to happy about dressing up either, but I was holding their treat. LOL
Reesee & Twix Christmas Pic

I have a young friend (Khalila's best friend) who is going to college for Photography and Graphic Design. I spent a couple of hours with her last Saturday at the abandoned church. I've challenged her to better her photography and she's accepted.
If you get a chance drop by her blog Challenge Accepted and leave her a few words of encouragement. We should help, push, motivate and mentor our younger generation to do better than we have. I have not doubt Miss Alexis will go beyond anything I've even dreamed of doing photographically speaking. Good luck hon, and you know I'm only a phone call away.

Images Viewed: Scott Robert Gallery

Sunday, December 12, 2010

D-345 Snow storm and football game!

We went to a football game today. 17 degrees F and there was also a snow storm!
My home team was playing New England Patriots! They play awesome. They ruled the field. Final score was 36 to 7.

Me & David by the field

see, the Bears did show up
We only took our little point and shoot.
There are more on my flickr page.
That's all for now. I have to go warm up.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

D-344 More moody lighting

The daily shoot today: What can make a photograph feel moody to you? Illustrate your answer today.
I believe it's all about the lighting.

Another one lit only by a flashlight. This time I threw a white towel over the flash light.
Never Stray Far away
"..a thousand memories will play
and the sun will rise to greet another day,
somehow this emptiness won't stay,
somehow there's hope not far away"
song by Moya Brennan

Never stray far away
Just a couple extras:

Used a flash light to light this one plus available light with with poster board surrounding the shoes.
Shoes and pearls
Used a available light with with poster board surrounding the shoes.

Images viewed: John*Edgar Photographer

Friday, December 10, 2010

D-342 & 343 Moody light

I have to agree with Nikhil's comments yesterday on my "Good enough" post
he said: "The whole point of this project (at least to me) is to challenge yourself. If you are just doing what you always do well, you are not really improving, just staying where you are." That is where I've been the last couple of days. That being said, let me now say that I've been really thinking long and hard about lighting. Not natural light, but dramatic lighting, and after that, Off cameral flash. That has been and continues to be struggle.

So I've learned that hard lights hit the subject hard and then fall off the subject pretty fast then the area surrounding the subject goes into darkness. I experimented with a flash light again. Here's my example:

Moody lighting
and a different angle
Moody lighting
I've adjusted levels in Photoshop and desaturated the image to add to the mood.

P.S. The pictures are strickly for art and not an endorsement of any religeous belief.

I'm also gonna start playing with that harsh light on subjects as soon as I get willing models.

So today at lunch time I wanted to experiment and see If I can get the same effect controling the aperature and the shutter speed. Yes, in a bright white snowy cementery you can still get dark and moody scenes.

Veterans of foreign wars
When the dark wood fell before me
And all the paths were overgrown
When the priests of pride say there is no other way
I tilled the sorrows of stone

I did not believe because I could not see
Though you came to me in the night
When the dawn seemed forever lost
You showed me your love in the light of the stars

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me

Loreena McKennet - Dante's Prayer

Remember the sacrifice
again I just desaturated and bumped levels just a tad.


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