Monday, August 30, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 56 (Framily Flower)

Day 56 (August 29th, 2010)
Title: Framily Flower

Today was a crazy (but darn fun) day!  Lot of folks over, lots of cooking, lots of cleaning, and just a whole lot of "lots".  Our friend Amy was nice enough to bring over some lovely flowers today and I thought I just had to shoot them! (I mean the flowers, not Amy.  That'd be mean.  "Thanks! [BLAM!]")  I wish I could have gotten some pictures of all the cooking that happened, but I couldn't for two reasons:

1) I had a lot of prep-stuff to do before folks arrived.  Supposedly having Magic cards littered about the entire kitchen/living room isn't considered "Decor".  Who knew?!

2) Theresa would have killed me.  "You are stopping to take pictures?!  I think not! [Stabby, Stab, Stabby] "  

So, perhaps next time when some of us (re: everyone else but me) isn't so stressed out I'll get some fun cooking photos.  I'm also going to do me weekly hindsight tomorrow, because its late and I am falling asleep while typing them (thank God for spell checkers!).

I hope everyone had a great weekend, you saw friends and family (aka: Framily), and basically took it easy.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 55 (Good Food)

Day 55 (August 28th, 2010)
Title: Good Food

Ok, this is my last "messing around with lasers" shot (at least, for a little while).  Now, none of these were really planned out (all I knew was that I wanted to try and take long-exposure shots while playing with a laser) but I had a lot of fun making them.  I'm certainly going to experiment more with this technique and try and get it to look a bit "cleaner" in execution.

The subject matter for this particular shot is the best pizza place in all of the East Bay (perhaps central valley), Pizzaiolo.  Its a great little place on the boarder of Berkeley and Oakland (I think its technically in Oakland, but just barely).  They have a single page menu, that changes daily, with 3-4 apps, 2-3 first course items, 2-3 main course, and 5-6 pizza options.  They also have a daily desert menu that's crazy (as well as Blue Bottle Coffee).  I highly recommend it if you are wanting some thin crust pizza that's got a lot of character.  Pricing is about $20-30 per person (without boozage), but worth it!  Right, done with my marketing now! 


Friday, August 27, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 54 (Red Handed)

Day 54 (August 27th, 2010)
Title: Red Handed

The old cliche goes: "Caught red handed!"... Since I haven't been caught yet (not that I'm saying I did anything!), I thought it might be kind of fun to show off that red hand! 

This is another "painting with light" trick that I started last night.  I just held my hand in-front of the lens, pressed the shutter and then "drew" on my hand/fingers with the laser.  I did a couple of them, but I think this one came out the best.  It reminds me of the song "Red Right Hand" by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.  A bit morose and dark, but its got a nice beat!  (If you would like to hear it, its at youtube:


Bonus Picture!

I took the shot from yesterday, played around with it a bit in good ol' Photoshop and made this (my new Twitter background!)  I kinda like it!  Reminds me of viruses or something nifty!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 53 (Light Noodles)

Day 53 (August 26th, 2010)
Title: Light Noodles

I found my laser pointer!  I was sitting around playing with my newly rediscovered toy and I thought that it might be fun to try and "paint" a photo with it.  It was quite fun trying, but you really can't tell if you got anything until after reviewing the photos on the computer.

To get this (and some others that I'm working on for tomorrow - I had fun with this!) I placed the camera on the tripod, set the lens to a very wide aperture (f/22) and used my 50mm fixed lens.  I chose the 50mm lens because it provided me the right sized "frame" to work with on the ceiling.  I tried using a shallower aperture (f/2.8) but it let too much of the reflected light off the ceiling and you could actually see the paint which too away from the overall look and feel of the shot. 

Tomorrow I'll be doing some more "light drawings".

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 52 (Bug)

Day 52 (August 25th, 2010)
Title: Bug

This picture requires a bit of a back-story.  I am lucky enough to live in the San Francisco Bay Area where we don't really believe in weather.  Our "winter" weather averages around 50-60 degrees, sometimes we allow a little light rain and, if we are really brave, we might actually put a jacket on.  For our "summer", it's 70-80 degrees, foggy till 11am (so not to wake us up too early with all that sunlight) and slightly breezy.  On "hot" days it will get to 88 or 89 and basically work stops and everyone in the entire state goes to the beach.  This is why our housing is $1.2 million per square foot. 

Now, this last week we have had some, as I like to call it, "Texas Ass Weather".  Temperatures over 100, no wind, humid, and basically sucktastic.   Now, for a San Franciscan, 100 degrees is basically like WALKING ON THE SUN!  Its hot.  H.  O.  T.  Not toasty, or warm, or scorching, but H!O!T!

So, on this insanely hot day I had decided to have some sort of temporary brain embolism and go walking to find a picture.  I got my camera ready, had my hat (thinking that would help and not burst into flames instantly), and a small bottle of water.  I walked out of air-conditioned building right onto the corona of the sun.  Did I mention it was hot?  As I bolted back in (as my shoes were melting) I decided: "Perhaps I'll take a picture inside today!" 

I was looking around the house thinking of what to shoot and I saw some ladybugs on the balcony.  One was crawling up the glass door and I decided "Hey, that's all kinds of nature!  Perfect!"  So, opened the door to walk out and take a few close-ups of the little bug and that's when I remembered that the balcony was chock full of "outsideness".  Really hot outsideness.  So, that plan was scrapped and I decided the BEST picture would be from below the bug as it walked up the glass door... from the inside. 

Long story for a silly shot.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 51 (Trillion Dollar)

Day 51 (August 24th, 2010)
Title: Trillion Dollar

Normally I'm not one to get into politics (or religion - I have my options on both and I'm happy with them and I don't really feel the need to attack others with my thoughts on these matters), but today I read something that generally stunned me.  We, the American People, owe about $13.258 trillion dollars.  Trillion - that's with a 'T'.  As in, "a million, millions".  That is such an unfathomable number, that its hard to even compare it to something real.  I personally have seen a million of a thing (I saw an exhibit with one million cents. It was a whole lot of pennies!).  But a trillion is just silly.  And 13 trillion is beyond silly.  I mean, who in there right mind would let us owe them 13 trillion of ANYTHING, let alone dollars! 

I found a few things to put into perspective of what a trillion (let alone 13) could be:

a) the adult human body is made up of approximate 50 trillion cells.  Hair cells, skin cells, brain cells, all of them = 50 trillion. 
b) The Milky Way Galaxy (where Earth hangs out), contains about 100-400 billion stars.  It would take 2.5-10 GALAXYS to equal a trillion stars.  (Over 33 GALAXYS worth of stars to equal 13 trillion!)


I thought; what would George Washington think if he was told 230ish years later the country he help found would own $13 trillion dollars?  He'd probably ask for a cup of tea and a smoke...

Ps: totally random "art" advice - googly-eyes make everything better! 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 50 (DNA kinda) and Weekly Hindsight

Day 50 (August 23rd, 2010)
Title: DNA Kinda

This is the last in my weekly "science" based photos and I know its not technically DNA, but there are three key factors that I took it:

1) The coin is really cool (its a 2003 British 2 Pound coin celebrating the discovery of DNA)
2) Its a whole lot cheaper than getting a mass spectrometer or other scientific thingy that can "see" DNA
3) Its my wife's favorite coin. 

Weekly Hindsight

This week was quite an experience!  When I first thought of doing a science week, I really didn't think it would be so difficult to pull off!  This is one of those times that I jumped into a project without really thinking out the details of how it was going to be accomplished. 

One of the biggest problems that I started out with, was what scientific concepts do I use?  I first asked many of my friends who are scientist what would be a good, simple, principle to show.  This was an epically bad idea.  Not the part about asking my friends, that was fine.  The problem was asking scientist about science!  As much as I appreciated some of their input (molecular bonds, genetic recoding and radioactivity), many of their suggestions were not really photograph-friendly and/or not "simple".  So, I took what ideas I could from them and tried to make them as simple as possible. 

Many of the photos came out quite a bit different than I had originally conceived of them, but in a good way.  I particularly liked the Evaporation (water drop) and Solubility (food coloring in water) photos, because without any context they are very surreal photos that really make you wonder. 

One little bit of advice I'm going to give this week: When you are taking shots in difficult lighting, I highly recommend using the RAW (+JPG) setting on your camera.  The JPG compression settings can really lose a lot of the detail/feel of the shot when the lighting is less than perfect.  With RAW, the camera just "dumps" all the data that it captured when the photo was taken and you can do whatever compression (via software like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom) you decide later.  Just remember, RAW takes up a lot more space than JPG and requires you to do a little bit more work before you are ready to share your work.  Keep in mind, even though RAW takes a little more room and time to get your perfect photo, its still a heck of a lot faster than developing your own prints in a darkroom. Having to mix all the chemicals, developing your film, making the print in the enlarger,then running the print through the chemicals, and then 40 min later realizing you are slightly out of focus on that print and you'll have to start again.  So, a little RAW tweaking isn't so bad. 

I have some more "weekly" ideas coming up, but I think I'll try and just shoot some random stuff this week to maybe spark some imagination.  It was also fun this week because as of Sunday, I've had 1500 visitors to the blog.  Either I've got one person who is stalking me, or I've actually gotten some folks reading this who aren't imaginary!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 49 (Crystallization)

Day 49 (August 22th, 2010)
Title: Crystallization

First of all, I am not amused with Comcast having a total "blackout" outage for the last 30 hours or so.  No cable, no phone, and most importantly, no Internet!  So, I've had this shot ready to go for a day and a half, so without further ado, its Crystallization! (My "Weekly Hindsight" post and photo will be tomorrow)

I actually started planning for this shot last Tuesday, due to the fact on how long it takes to make sugar crystals.  Making the crystals isn't too difficult, you need about 1 cup hot water and 3-4 cups of sugar.  Mix both until you have a solution that is super-saturated with sugar and pour into a shallow dish.  As it evaporates, sugar crystals will form.  Keep breaking the top "shell" that forms so the water vapors can escape and you will get a nice colony of crystals on the bottom of the dish.  I would recommend using a food coloring agent when mixing the hot water and sugar because otherwise you get white/opaque crystals that are hard to photograph (I had to shoot in RAW format to be able to correct some lighting issues). Salt crystals (which can be made the same way) have similar issues. 

Now, you can do a lot of things with sugar crystal when you are done with them, including: Making rock candy (wait till they completely dry), when they are still forming you can add a flavor to get something like "coffee sugar", or just grind it back up into sugar for your cereal! 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 46 (Combustion)

Day 46 (August 18th, 2010)
Title: Combustion

Continuing with my Science Theme for this week, today I thought I'd tackle combustion!  Now, as much fun as it would be to blow things up, I saw three small flaws with that plan: 1) Don't want to damage the camera, 2) Getting C-4 explosives is a bit harder than one would think, and 3) I don't think our insurance covers 'self-inflicted explosion'. 

My thought was to catch a match just as it reaches critical ignite temperature and take a shot.  Wow, does that sound simple when I type it, but in actual practice it was waaaaaay more annoying.  Lets just say, that a match ignites very quickly.  I think I went through 2 boxes of matches and two, 4GB memory cards and after I was done, I have about 10-15 shots that are worth keeping.  I was also trying to get as close as possible to the flame without damaging my lens, so until I can make a fireproof glass barrier, I think this is about as close as I'm willing to risk.  I hope you enjoy it.

Photo 365 - Day 45 (Solubility)

Day 45 (August 17th, 2010)
Title: Solubility

Today's picture was a LOT trickier than I thought it would be to take.  The basic concept was; photograph a "solution", such as 'salt + water = saltwater'.  Tried a lot of salt.  Lets just say it was tricky to shoot.  I thought, hey, food coloring into water is also an example of a solution (water is the solvent and the dye is the solute).  This also turned out to be quite a difficult undertaking.  First of all, the dye quickly dilutes completely in the water making it impossible to "shoot" the solubility of the two items.  Second, placing one small drop of dye (or two, or even three!) in a glass of water and trying to shoot it with a macro lens is not fun!  Macro doesn't really work well with a large depth-of-field needed to really get the "waves" and "ebbs" of the dye moving through the water.  Using a normal (prime) lens wouldn't let me really get close enough to accurately show what I pictured in my mind.  After (literally) about 800 shots, I got this one.  It wasn't what I originally had in mind, but after looking at it for a while, I've decided that I quite like it.  So, I can now scratch "solubility" off my science list!  At least, until I can think of a better way to shoot it. :-)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 44 (Vibration)

Day 44 (August 16th, 2010)
Title: Vibration

This week, I'm trying to show some "scientific principles" in my photos.  I'm not sure how well they will come out, but I'm pleased with this first one.  The first one is "Vibration" - mechanical oscillations about an equilibrium point.  (Thank you Wikipedia for that lovely definition). 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 43 (Grey Bird) and Weekly Hindsight

Day 43 (August 15th, 2010)
Title: Grey Bird

While walking, I saw this little fellow sitting on a post, just looking at me.  I'm sure he was thinking; "Uhm, yeah, so, you got any spare crickets?"  Sadly, I was out of crickets, but he didn't mind.  We just watched each other for a bit, he let me snap a few pictures and then off he flew.

I'm sitting here, trying to think of how this story/picture is a metaphor (sometimes you just need to stop and rest on the post's of life and look at others or something along those lines) or has some deeper meaning (Art is fleeting and constantly changing), but honestly; sometimes a cute little bird, is just a cute little bird.

Weekly Hindsight

Photographically, this was a strange week for me.  I did have quite a few neat ideas of some project that I am going to be working on in the coming weeks (including fire!  Woo!) as well as some other art-related ideas - including scrapbooking stuff.  But, my actually productivity was really low.  I guess there are "do-things" weeks and "think-things" weeks.  This was a "think-things" week for me, but I'm hoping that it will turn into some productive (and interesting) photos next week and in the coming weeks. 

I guess that's my one bit of advice to folks this week, is write down ideas as you have them, even if they aren't perfect.  One of the things that really started me off on my idea-a-thon this week was finding an old little notebook that I had written a few ideas down.  These ideas were from months ago (before I even started the 365 project).  Most of the idea were just little one-line thoughts ("Fire and ice?  How to picture the idea of 'hot' and 'cold'?") and some of them were more complex.  Heck, one of them I even drew something, which at the time was probably important, but now I can't figure out what it is!  So, the next time you are at the dollar store or Target, pick up a package of 6-10 little notepads and some pens and just put one in every major area you spend time (car, living room, desk, work, kitchen, bathroom, etc).  You never know when a random thought or great muse will occur!  And if you draw some strange looking blueprint, make sure to label it!

Have a good week!


Photo 365 - Day 42 (Wave Crash)

Day 42 (August 14th, 2010)
Title: Wave Crash

This is my third in a small group of wave shots.  I liked this shot, because it shows all the stages of the wave in action.  Starting from the left, you have the apex, then is starts to crest (little whitecaps are forming), the "spill" as is begins flowing down, and finally the "crash" (or impact) as the wave hits and the "foam" sprays out. 

Ps: Sorry for the delay in getting this picture up.  Was up waaaaay to late playing games and was in a game-induced coma till like 11am.  Today's photo will still be coming!... at least, as soon as I take it, it will be!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 41 (Smile and Wave)

Day 41 (August 13th, 2010)
Title: Smile and Wave

This is my second in a small group of wave shots.  When I saw this photo, I couldn't help thinking it looks like the ocean is smiling... And needs dentures. 

Photo 365 - Day 40 (Wave Form)

Day 40 (August 12th, 2010)
Title: Wave Form

This is my first in a small group of wave shots.  My brother, who is sadly stuck on the East Coast, doesn't have real waves, so he requested a few pictures of what West Coast waves look like.  These are certainly not "huge" waves as one gets during high tide or during some of the swells, but they certainly are photogenic! 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 39 (Half Moon Bay)

Day 39 (August 11th, 2010)
Title: Half Moon Bay

My first attempt at a landscape with a uber-small aperture (f/45).  There are a few problem with it, but nothing that I would consider a "deal-breaker" (aka: delete and pretend I never took it).  First, I wish I had a tripod when I took it, I shot it hand-held using a 70-300mm lens.  It might have made is a bit less blurry with a tripod so I could have stepped down the shutter speed (1/60).  Second, (in conjunction with the first), I should have upped the ISO to something like 200-400 to reduce the blur (it was at 100 to lower the graininess).  Still, lessons for next time!  Tripod, Tripod, Tripod! 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 38 (Chicken Metal)

Day 38 (August 10th, 2010)
Title: Chicken Metal

This (with the Iron Flamingo) are the two best scrap metal sculptures I've seen in a very long time.  We very nearly got this chicken, before we realized: a) it was huge and wouldn't fit in the car, b) we have no where that would do this wonderful piece justice in our house.  Perhaps he could have sat on the kitchen table...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 37 (Iron Flamingo)

Day 37 (August 9th, 2010)
Title: Iron Flamingo

Saw this at a antique arts store, and along with tomorrow's picture (Ooo, foreboding!) this could be one of the greatest sculptures ever!  We are talking the Bernini of Scrap Metal.  Lets just be honest, who WOULDN'T want a 4' iron flamingo! 

In fact, here is a bonus picture of Pinky! 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Weekly Hindsight and Photo 365 - Day 36 (Explore)

Day 36 (August 8th, 2010)
Title: Scrapbooker's Dazzle

This weekend we went to the Scrapbook Expo, and saw the dark and scary side of crafting!  We saw people with bandoliers of grommits and semi-automatic Crop-A-Diles.  Mace cans that said: "Now in Glitter Cherub Pink so you can not only stop an attacker, you can make them look good!"  Groups of women who said: "Hey, watch where you are walking, else we'll cut ya!... Die Cut ya that is!  I've sharpened these scalloped circles and they'll cut your head right off!  And then we'll use it as an embellishment!"  Compton gangs have nothing on scrappers.  

The picture is of a "tag" (looks like a giant price tag, ala Price Is Right), that is distressed and colored.  Afterward, an acrylic picture is glued on and it's spritzed with a gold-sparkle spray.  I honestly don't even know what most of what I just typed means, but it is what they do!  I think the photo looks a bit like a tattoo myself.  It is a close-up of a hot-air balloon that says: Explore.  Course, if it was a tat, it would more likely say Explode, but nifty either way.  

Weekly Hindsight

This week was a bit crazy for me.  A lot of "life" things were going on that really threw a wrench into many of art projects.  But, I guess that's how it is sometimes, so its best just to "roll with the punches".    I didn't really get to complete any projects that I was planning to do.  I will say, having to deal with huge corporate bureaucracies is a long and arduous task. 

I did get a chance to play a few games this week (mostly as a decompress from talking to "special" people all day) and that was fun.  For this weeks art related projects/tasks, basically its the same as last weeks.  While at the Scrapbook Expo, I did come up with a few scrap related projects that I am going to work on this week (I doubt I'll finish them but I think just starting them can be the hardest part!) 

I did want to make one small "editorial" as well, regarding scrapbooking.  I was wondering what is the overall goal in creating a scrapbook?  Normally, I would have said "scrapbooking is the act of creating customized photo albums to help a) enhance the photo, b) describe the theme of the photo(s), or c) tell a story related to photo(s).  To me, it always seemed as if the photo played a key part in the overall scrapbook experience.  Some people use more or less embellishments, some use basic techniques, while others use more advanced methods, but when you boiled it all down it was still about the photo.  This weekend, I saw a LOT of scrapbooks that were JUST embellishments.  Beads, gemstones, ink patterns, sea shells, fabric, etc.  But not one photo in the book.  I thought, perhaps they were "blank" books for photos to be inserted later, but I was told "No! The scrapbook IS the subject matter!"  I guess this is just another form of scrapbooking that I didn't know existed, but to me, is seems to be missing the point of sharing memories and stories.  Course, that might just BE the point. 

Art movements scare me. 

Till next week,



Here are a few additional photos from the Expo that didn't quite make it to "Daily" status.  Enjoy!

There seems to be a letter missing...

Sparkly and socially aware!

Colored pens while on pain killers.  Wee!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 35 (Scrapbooker's Dazzle)

Day 35 (August 7th, 2010)
Title: Scrapbooker's Dazzle

Went to the Scrapbook Expo this weekend, and as with many of the other Expos/Conventions/Shows that I have attended, everyone there was completely crazy.  Scrap crazy, but crazy none-the-less.  I'd say the only other type of conventions that I've gone do that has an equal level of "hobby insanity" are coin shows.  If you've never been to one, well... Count yourself lucky!  (And don't get me wrong, I'm a crazy nut about coins, so I am going to be one of those people you see at said coin shows arguing the impact that changing the copper-zinc ratio in cents back in 1982 was one of the starting points of the recession and the downfall of capitalism as we know it.  I told you I was crazy).  The Scrapbook Expo was exactly the same, but with different subject matter.  I heard brief snippets of conversations that included the following (sadly, these are all true):

"Which glue is the best for sticking old animal hair onto a new ceramic pet?"
"I only have my ex-husbands credit card, is it ok if I use it?"
"I can't believe they only had the 'Basic' and 'Intermediate' blue inks!" (I checked the wall that they were talking about, that ONLY had inks on it.  I counted over 30 blue inks before I decided I didn't want my brain to get trapped in a scrap-hole (like a black-hole) and I walked away). 
"Do you think these scissors can cut through bone?"

After that last one, I decided that my first experience of Scrapbook Expo was done. 

Oh, I did win a $10.00 gift certificate for a booth.  A booth who's cheapest item was $37.00.  Doh.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 34 (Eyes of August)

Day 34 (August 6th, 2010)
Title: Eyes of August

Yesterday, I was trying to take a picture of some sewing needles close-up, but it was around 1am when I was trying to shoot them.  In my half-asleep haze, I kept trying and trying to get a good shot.  No matter what I did I couldn't get it to look right.  Tried different lighting, angles, everything... What I should have tried was actually using a macro lens.  Sigh.  Today is the "redux" of yesterdays attempt at getting a macro shot of needles!  Take two! 

Photo 365 - Day 33 (8 Needles)

Day 33 (August 5th, 2010)
Title: 8 Needles

My first "sewing" related photo.  I saw all these needles lined up like little soldiers, ready to attack fabric!  Leave no button unstiched! 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 32 (Valve 21)

Day 32 (August 4th, 2010)
Title: Valve 21

Today was one of those days I just couldn't think of anything to photograph, so I just grabbed my camera and went looking for "nothing".  I found this old valve and I thought it looked very photogenic.  I'm not sure what it was for, but I hope nothing critical, because its not moving without a whole lot of help! 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 31 (You've Been Served!)

Day 31 (August 3rd, 2010)
Title: You've Been Served

I was watching these two gentlemen play tennis today, I have to say, they might be the worst players in history (myself not included, but then again, I don't know how to play).  The man serving (see pic) would act very professional about it.  Bounce the ball, get his racket into "power-slam" position, throw the ball up, point at the ball (as if to say: "Hey!  Ball!  I see you!  You are right there!"), and then as the ball was just at its perfect "hit-me" point, one of two things would happen:

A) he would miss the ball, and swing the racket so fast that I thought he might break the sound barrier, or:
B) he would hit the ball so hard, that is flew at Mach 2 at the other guys head, who would just duck and the ball would bounce off the back fence. 

I'm thinking the triple-latte before playing might have been a bad idea. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Weekly Hindsight and Photo 365 - Day 30 (Parcheesi)

Day 30 (August 2nd, 2010)
Title: Parcheesi

Continuing with my Games subject-matter, our friends Amy and Luis brought over a classic game this weekend: Parcheesi!  Not only that, but it was an antique version that really had a LOT of character.  You can see more of the Parcheesi shots at my Flickr site. 

Day 30!  I have made it a month!  When I started this project, I really thought that I might last 1-2 weeks and then it would slowly fade away.  I am pleasantly surprised to say it has done the opposite!  I am enjoying the project even more now than when I started!  There are certainly days that are tougher than others and sometimes I'll be sitting at the computer, looking at the clock blinking at me: 11:45pm and thinking, "I've got 15... plenty of time to shoot something.  Then edit it.  Then upload it.  Ahhh!!"  But, its on those days that I really try and stretch myself and not give up.  Even if I'm a tad late getting up the photo, I just do it!  I'm very proud that this week, I really tried to shoot different subject matter than my normal super-macro stuff... True, I kind of went to the extreme other end of the spectrum with super-telephoto shots, but at least I'm trying! 

For anyone who is thinking about starting a Photo 365 project (or any Photo X project), here is some insight that I've picked up from my first 30 days:

1: Shoot every day!
2: Try mixing staged scenes with un-staged (re: "snapshots") to really stretch your skills/comfort level.
3: You don't need a big space to do staged photos.  Sometimes any flat surface will do!  In one setup I did, I just used a piece of white canvas draped over a lawn chair to make a pedestal.
4: Take pictures of everything!  Take pictures of things that you think are "common" (ex: making dinner, doing dishes, making coffee), but try and take the picture from different angles, use different lighting, try and get weird effects, anything!  Just shoot!
5: Shoot every day!  (Yeah, I know I this is a repeat, but its important!)

I'm looking forward to the next 30 days, and I hope that my work continues to improve! 

My artsy tasks this week were mostly all completed, but with varied results.

1) For my weekly photoshop projects, I did complete all three, but my collage really needs work.  I think I'm starting to get the hang of layers - and yes, they are the most bestest thing ever!  I did do another selective color picture this week (Aces), and I really liked how it turned out!  I highly recommend trying it; it can turn a bland picture into something that "pops". 

For this week, I'm doing another multi-layer project and going to try my hand at a HDR (High Dynamic Range) photo. 

2) For the video I'm working on, I finally got the script/idea solidified and its progressing nicely.  I'm going to do some voice-over and sound effects work this week as well as some green-screen shots (first time - woo!)  I hope to post the video here (and just about everywhere else!) when I get it done and I would love feedback and comments!

3) For the website... I tried to do some updates/editing, but the webserver (AT&T... sigh) was being grumpy and would not let me upload my changes, so that's my project for THIS week: Find out why AT&T is so special. 

4) Bonus Task: We purchased a sewing machine this weekend, for some other art projects, but I was playing with it and I had quite a bit of fun (lets just say, I can make a very near straight-ish line!).  I have a few small projects in mind, that while silly, I think will be fun.  I'll post my finished work here once I am done (and don't be surprised to see a macro-shot of a sewing machine sometime this week!)

Lastly, I want to thank those of you who have commented to me (either via email or in-person) on the work that I've been doing.  I do really appreciate all the comments and input that you have provided.

335 more to go! 


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 29 (Kite Day 2)

Day 29 (August 1st, 2010)
Title: Kite Festival, Day 2

Today was the second day of the Berkeley Kite Festival and at first I was thinking, "I got pictures of the kites yesterday, so I don't need anymore today... "  But then I saw this GIANT squid kite, that was at least 3-4 times larger than the kites from yesterday.  They were still flying some of the "smaller" ones from yesterday.  They are on the left side for comparison.  This squid was massive!  It was also great to see so many people out there flying kites (if you look closely, you can see hundreds of people flying hordes of kites!)  I think next year, I might actually go down to the Berkeley Marina to get close-ups of the kites, rather than the "long-range" shots.  Also, if you look in the background you can see both the new and old Bay Bridge. 

Photo 365 - Day 28 (Kite Festival)

Day 28 (July 31st, 2010)
Title: Kite Festival

Today was the Berkeley Kite Festival, and I thought all of the kites flying around looked really cool.  At first, all I saw were the large kites (although from our window they look small).  I used the zoom lens, took some shots, and later when I zoomed in on them, I realized that the "small" kites were actually HUGE and that the people were flying hundreds more kites that I couldn't even see with the naked eye!  (Look at all the "specks", those are kites!)