Saturday, January 31, 2009

Phil?? Did I Win?

The photography group that I belong to thought it would be fun (ugh) to compete in a "Where In The World Am I" contest. Someone posts a partial scene. If I know where it is, I photograph the same place, proving that I know where "in the world Phil was". Did I win?? I'm a big fan of cemeteries where there are many photographic opportunities. I didn't mind revisiting this one, one of my favorite 'haunts'.

The Answer Is...

You folks are correct. I went back to the blue bottle, placed it on the overhead projector-standing the bottle up. What you are seeing is the image that was projected on the white screen. Thanks for guessing! The 'halo' was a result from the light and reflection from the bottle. I never would have guessed the bottle would, without any manipulation, produce this image on the screen. I think it is really cool what light does with color!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Earth From Outer Space?

If interested, take a crack at what this object could be. I won't give you a clue and besides I'm heading out to dinner. Leave me your guess if you like. Have a great evening!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Good Morning??

Today, I gave an assignment to my fellow photographers to capture an object at eye level. It was to be an object or image that is seen daily by the photographer. Each and every morning I awake to this door knob. It is literally inches from my eyes as my bed is barely able to fit in my bedroom. I have often thought of photographing this image because it is such a part of my daily routine. I arrived home this evening after the sun had set and so I used a filter to give the door a little more interest; otherwise, you would have seen an ugly door knob blown out by a bright flash. Not my most interesting image but probably not my worst image either.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Laundry Day!

Shhhh... there are people beyond those washers. I had to shoot low to high to avoid being seen by the people who had arrived to put their laundry in the machines. Afterwords they left, allowing me twenty minutes to shoot the other pictures below.

The shot below reminds me of the bathroom photos I took a few weeks ago. The angle, the repetitive nature of the object. Again, I remembered to shoot from corner to corner, hoping that a diagonal picture would be more interesting.

Below you see a reflection shot that really shows what the laundry mat looks like. I like this shot for that reason.

At the laundry mat? Yes, this place has games! Here I tried to win a hat. I only spent 1.50, fifty cents a try. I'm very competitive so I thought walking away was good therapy for me! Besides, the "people" may have returned at any moment and I wanted to photograph some more.

How could I not take a picture of laundry spinning in the dryer. Here my light blue sheets and white dress shirts tumble together and offer the swirling colors as seen below. I purposely didn't crop out the second dryer because I felt that I wanted to keep the look of a laundry mat. Remembering to make the crop look purposeful, I hope it doesn't cause distraction.

And so...on this snow-day I trekked to wash my clothes. And, on this one day, I didn't mind doing my laundry.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Not Feeling 'Blue' About This Shoot!

This was fun. I took a Saratoga Water Bottle that a faculty member had left in the teacher's room and I began photographing it with natural light. Suddenly I remembered the interesting light that I found with my cd/rainbow shots by using my classroom's overhead projector. I placed the bottle on the glass surface and turned on the bright light. was cool! The light from underneath illuminated the bottle, enhancing its blue color.

The shot above was the view that I saw by nearly sitting on the floor and shooting up at the neck of the bottle. That bottle cap simply came alive! The light from below, reflected off a piece of glass place just out of view of the bottle cap. I really thought this shot was wild. Below, I shot from above and lessened the amount of light on the bottle to get a 'dimmer', moodier shot.

Below, I placed the bottle, sideways, on the glass plate of the overheard projector. Instantly the white light mixed with the blue bottle to cast all sorts of different shades of other colors, including the gold that you see. I had fun with this, I hope it shows!

And finally, I shot down again on the bottle, as I did a few pictures above. This time I allowed more light from above to give the photo a brighter look.

Monday, January 26, 2009

They Say Art Reflects Mood

Who knew this morning, as I eagerly began my day, that my photo would come to define my day's happenings. Ugh. I took these pictures this morning utilizing a posing light and a drinking glass (plastic actually) that I borrowed from my niece. Yes, it is creepy. I initially took the image because it was a challenge. You see the plastic cup has the skull and crossbones (from a pirate movie). The skulls match on both sides of the cup so that by shining a light through one side, it appears to glow on the other. I had to shoot down, into the cup as well which was challenging.

I was able to then change the color of light's reflection in a similar way that I photographed the cd-rainbows posted a few weeks ago. Below is what the cup actually looks like with no back light and no manipulation of the posing light to achieve the color red.

My day was long and rough but I discovered a few things. 1. Don't get up at 4:30am trying to shoot a plastic cup. 2. Even though this was a pirate cup, I think I attracted bad vibes. 3. Even through difficult times, kindness will come from people around you. My photography continues to evolve and strangely enough, so do I. Thank you Joy.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Want To Dance?

When I hike, ride a bike trail, climb a fire tower or sit on the ocean's beach there is a music that is generated. Nature is the orchestra, providing music to which one can add lyrics. The words come from individual experiences and creativity and so there have been trillions of songs written by those who listen to the melodies. As I drove around this morning, yes in my Jeep and yes with coffee, I came across this group of trees. Instantly I saw them dancing. If you look closely some have dancing partners while others sway in the wind singularly. You want to dance?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hot Coffee and a Jeep, My Favorite Combination

This morning I set out in search of breakfast and never stopped! I drove north through Broadalbin, into Saratoga County. Following the Great Sacandaga, I found myself singing, day dreaming, squinting in the sun and watching the scenery metamorphosis from ice to water, from rocky boulders to desolated, almost desert like areas. These two pictures are the images that I stopped to photograph. The image above was constructed in my head as Natalie Merchant sang on the radio. I pictured 'isolation', yet triumph of the will. I was very pleased to find a lone man, on the ice. As far as the eye could see, he was alone, standing against the bitter cold and the whipping winds of this morning. I imagine he would want it no other way. Below, I initially drove past this scene as it was set in, through a patch of dense trees. I first was drawn to the blue water. After a short but snow-deep hike I too, like the man above, stood alone. And I too, wouldn't have wanted it any other way today.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Americans Are So Blessed!

As I have stated before in this blog, I have epilepsy. I take medicine every day to eliminate the possibility of seizure activity. I've only had a minor seizure problem when I was moronic and decided to stop my medicine because I hadn't had a seizure in a while. Of course, that is what my medicine does, it stops seizures. duh. Regardless, I am faithful about taking these simple, nearly cost-free pills and my life is as normal as any ones. I sometimes pause to recognize how fortunate I am to live in a country with modern medicine and to have a job with good health care. What do people in Africa do who have my seizure disorder? What do diabetics do, living in a third-world nation? One could argue that Americans are on too many pills; however, for those who need medicines in order to live happily and safely, what a blessing it is to have good doctors and good medicine.

I thought these shots were those that I would find in ad. I was going to create one, but today I am too tired. Maybe I will in the future. Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Nothing Purrrrrfect about these!

Sorry Phil, I did what I could. I'm with Jayme on this one- no available person to join me, and when I tried with this beast, she hissed! Was a good idea but didn't pan out for me. This is my most disappointing post to date! Below, I took another moon picture. I got closer this time and eliminated the background. I changed the color of the moon with the background and arrived at this bleak look. How did I get so close this time? My secret.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I'm Mooning You

If you really want to see an impressive moon shot, check out Joel's blog-the man with the camera in my followers list. His moon shots are amazing...mine, not so much. I did, however, get inspired by his pictures. This morning, as I left my house, I noticed the moon, low in the sky, perfectly placed under a large tree branch. Don't I get credit for being out in the cold and for even noticing the moon at 6am? I'll do better next time!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lindsey Sporting Teenage Fashion!

My niece Lindsey was a willing subject for my post today as we both stayed after school. Above, I increased the contrast in order to give the photo an edgy look, matching the subject, the rings and the nails. Lindsey and I both commented how her hands looked a little pale and so the contrast also eliminates an unflattering look as the artsy-look masks flaws. Below is an image that I first "saw" with my eyes. As I was speaking with Lindsey about her after-school meeting I noticed that the ear piece did not come out. This is very typical of young people who do not mean to offend, rather, wearing Ipod earpieces are a way of life! Thank you Lindsey for allowing me to be a small part of that way of life today.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Another Winter Wonderland

It seems that snow pictures could grace my blog for the length of this year long photo-challenge because the snow keeps falling! Why shouldn't it though? As I drove through the area I was struck that this winter is the old-fashioned winter that I remember having as a kid. Today I saw kids sledding. I saw trucks of all sizes with plows attached. I saw a few snow mobiles making their way through farmers' fields.
At Stewarts there were men and women alike, dressed in snow bibs, buying coffee and a snack before heading back outside to do more plowing. Kids with winter hats, a dog being walked while sporting snow-socks on its paws, fields of snow beginning to bury the smallest of pine trees and steam coming out of roadside water/sewer drains all caught my eye today. It has been a fantastic winter!

These pictures, some in color and some in black and white, are no where near as beautiful as my eyes witnessed; however, I couldn't pass up the freshly fallen snow. The scene below may look familiar to some of those that follow my blog. I love this spot and so I photographed it again.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dedicated To All The Romantics Out There!

At 300 metres (320.75m including antenna), and 7000 tons, it was the world's tallest building until 1930. Other statistics include:
2.5 million rivets.
300 steel workers, and 2 years (1887-1889) to construct it.
Sway of at most 12 cm in high winds.
Height varies up to 15 cm depending on temperature.
15,000 iron pieces (excluding rivets).
40 tons of paint.
1652 steps to the top.
I didn't realize that in 1909 the tower was nearly torn down. What saved it according to my research? The fact that it was used as a valuable antenna! Can you imagine the Eiffel Tower not being a part of Paris' skyline? All of the romantic stories and memories would be erased..not before I get there! I want to be a part of the legacy of this majestic structure some day.

Above, and below I simply moved my perspective of the base a few inches either way. This iconic piece of architecture does not need to be shown in its entirety to be recognized. The base is also often photographed and the different perspectives changes the least to me. I prefer the perspective above, showing all four legs of the base.
Below, I used different lighting and reflection to capture the same model but with a very different result. Which do you prefer?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Dream Big

I saw this necklace on the clearance rack for 1.00 and bought it weeks ago thinking that I could photograph it in my light box. With a bright sun this morning, I did just that. The above image is my favorite image that I took, unaltered. I tried to catch the shine mostly on the top of the letters to add some interest to them.

The image above I really liked. I used a chrome filter. I think it was a good choice since I was using metal lettering. The image below reminded me of the promotional posters for Dream Girls, the movie. Have a great day everyone! and Dream Big!

Friday, January 16, 2009

A New Look At A Familiar Object

I'm typing more than ever lately so it didn't take much thought on my part to want to photograph this keyboard. I wanted to photograph it in a way that would create semi-abstract images which I think I did above and below. It was a joy to take these as my co-workers, again, just watched and went back to the work on their desks.

This last photo is the most realistic of the bunch. Look how you can clearly see the keys below, but above, had I cropped it differently, I bet you wouldn't know that those "light spots" were the tops of the keys, reflecting in the sunlight.
I am looking forward to this weekend when I can capture some more interesting objects, animals, or environmental shots. Are we at day 300 yet? This contest is going to kill me!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

For Joy- An Inspiration

Above is a Pink Floyd Album cover. For some reason I had this cover in my head last evening. I don't listen to Pink Floyd and I had not seen the cover in years; however, I suddenly remembered how it looked and knew that I wanted to capture those colors! I headed off to work today and achieved the same concept as best as I could. Using my classroom's overhead projector, with lights in my classroom off, I held the cd with my fingertip and kept tilting the cd until I got what I thought was the rainbow of colors that I wanted.

I knew, by looking at the playback, that I captured a single beam of light. I was thrilled! I thought I had done the best I could do. With a slightly, and I mean very slight, different angle of the cd, I saw more possibilities. It was a challenge to get the cd in focus and keep the angle but I think I did it. Now I can move on! Thank you to those who have been looking at these images and for not getting too frustrated that I keep trying the same thing over and over, day after day.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Solar System

I wanted to revisit my experience from yesterday when I attempted to capture color from a cd. I had an idea of adding water droplets which would, separately, catch color. Today's experiment was tricky. Trial and error. Last evening's dvd presentation reminded photographers to "look again". "Look more deeply" The dvd also prompted artists to not settle with a good photograph but to strive for more. I did that this morning. Initially I did capture a few images that I liked; however, it wasn't exactly what I wanted. These two images are closer to what I had in mind.
I imagined the rings of Saturn. I imagined the solar system. In that space color would gather in certain places and blackness would be found everywhere else. That image in my mind allowed me to keep shooting until the 'image came to me'. Hope you enjoy. P.S. I do teach really! My school images are always before and after school....well mostly :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Catch The Color

As I pulled out a cd from my desk I caught the colors that were reflecting off of the surface. I immediately gathered my camera and my disk and headed for my friend Shelly's room which has window access. Shelly no longer asks, she just looks and then goes on with her routine.

I find it interesting that with a just a few degrees movement the colors on the cd go from cool blue shown above to a 'hotter' red color below.

This evening the photo group got together and watched an amazing video titled Extraordinary Visions by Dewit Jones. I highly recommend the video for everyone. The message is valuable for photographers but more importantly there are messages about life. Part of that message is to see beauty wherever you look. I'm grateful that my images today caught my eye.