Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category
After the National Zoo, we went to the National Mall, to see the monuments. It was nearing dusk, what photographers refer to as the “Magic Hour.” We definitely could see it on the brand new Martin Luther King Memorial.
Across the Potomac, we could see the Jefferson Memorial.
We then walked to the main area, where we got to see the Washington Monument, and its reflecting pool.
As a bookend to the Martin Luther King Memorial, we went to the Lincoln Memorial, where King gave his most famous speech.
The last time I was there, I was alone at a training class for work. There was a group of Norwegian soldiers at the monument, whose group I somehow fell into their group. I asked if we were being invaded–just so I would have a head’s up. They assured me they were just tourists like me.
My daughter was inspired by my photography. She borrowed my GorillaPod to take her own pictures.
I think she did pretty good.
We walked by the Korean War monument on our way back to the car. It was spooky as we walked by.
The next day, we got to see a soccer game in front of the Capital Building.
It was a fun time walking around the Mall.
I didn’t intend to work from home today.
The prediction for last night was that we’d have snow overnight, which woudl make for a “messy commute.” Two or three times a week, I try to get in a workout at our gym before work. This means getting up at 5:20, to get to the gym, do my thing, the back home to drop off my car and catch my bus around 7:30. Though I got my equipment ready for that last night, I suspected that the roads would be a bit of a mess, and it just wasn’t worth the risk and hassle. It was no surprise when my alarm went off that I reset it for another hour of sleep.
I went about setting up for a normal day, but putting on my boots rather than typical work shoes. While not necessarily the letter of the dress code, there is usually flexibility on snowy days, especially mine (which look pretty dressy). I set out to the bus stop, enjoying my feet sinking in two or three inches of powder. While I wouldnt want to start an arctic expedition in how I was attired, I was warm enough to wait ten minutes or so for the bus.
My bus stop is at the corner of US 50, just before it starts a great curve by Lunken airport. Westbound traffic, towards downtown, was creeping along. Eastbound, several cars had pulled to the side of the road. In addition to curving northward, the highway also climbs a pretty decent hill. The road was slick enough that rear-wheel drive wasn’t going to cut it. It made my decision to sleep in a bit see wise.
Fifteen minutes passed–I figured the slow traffic had the bus hung up.
At thirty minutes, I could feel my fingers and toes start to feel the effects of the cold. I stopped trying to pull out my phone to figure out what was going–it hadn’t told me much. My body shivered.
By the forty-five minute mark, I realized I probably stayed out longer than was truly safe. I hiked back up my hill, got inside, and ran water on my fingers until they felt normal. My wife wasn’t expecting me, and texted me. I went up and explained I’d be working from home today. I’m fortunate my job allows me that flexibility.
It turns out that US50, otherwise known as Columbia Parkway, was severely backed up, and cars were sliding everywhere. I saw mid-morning that it was closed to traffic.
I’ve been using the Cincinnati Metro for over thirteen years. On a few occasions, I got in when no one else did. This was the first time I was not able to get in to the office due to weather.
Like last year, Flickr has a group where you post your best photo of the year. They just announced it. I like to submit a picture to this group, as it’s a good time to look back at all the photos I’ve taken over the course of the year (as well as show off a bit).
“Miss Lop-Ears,” as my friends at ISEC call her, is a favorite cat at the Cincinnati zoo.
I often get good shots of my daughter. I dig the bokah I got in this one.
In April, we got the cats a new toy.
Renji and Nubo played tag.
Gladys was an orphaned gorilla brought to the Cincinnati Zoo from Texas. She spent some time with humans performing “gorillafication” until she was big enough for surrogate gorilla moms to take over.
We took a Duck ride, and got great views of the Roebling bridge.
The butterfly show had some amazing colors.
On June 14, we were visited by Solar Impulse a solar powered airplane. This was also one of my first shots with an external flash, used as fill flash. I like how I captured both the plane and the setting sun.
Spontaneous shots often produce cool results. I was packing up my camera at the Neil Armstrong Air and Space museum, after taking a family shot. My daughter stretched out in the grass, and wrote in her journal. I couldn’t have asked for a better composition.
We got an opportunity to see the RCMP Musical Ride perform. I call this the “recruiting poster” shot.
My daughter got into the spirit of Canada Day.
At the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, I walked up, and saw my daughter putting on a flight helmet in a kids area over the goggles. I told her to take it all off. It was clear she was about to protest that she was allowed. Then, she realized I was going to help her do it right: helmet first, then goggles. This may be the top contendor for best shot: good composition, good color, and I like the bokah.
Saint Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal was impressive.
As is Notre Dame Cathedreal in Old Montreal.
A cheetah at the Toronto Zoo plays peek-a-boo.
The white lions at the Toronto Zoo were spectacular.
I’m not a giant panda fan, but I’m pleased with this shot.
When there is a good opportunity (and I remember my Gorilla-Pod), I like to try to get a good family shot. This one, at the Cincinnati Zoo’s new Africa exhibit, is probably my best of 2013.
Beso prefers to sleep on his back.
Summer means festivals…and roasted corn.
We went to the Columbus Zoo to see Amur tiger cubs. However, they were a bit shy.
Saber the clouded leopard taking a nap. Gotta love the cloudies.
Elephants throw dust on their backs to protect themselves from the sun.
Savanna was just a wee cub last year. This year, she showed us she can fly!
I was amazed this bee was patient enough for me to futz with my macro lens. You can even see pollen on her legs.
I’m a fan of Gizmo the owl.
John the Lion looks so regal!
So love our heart-shaped snow leopards, Renji and Nubo.
A pallas cat kitten considers jumping.
Luna is getting the hang of the halloween cat tradition…
…however, Eddy looked more intimidating with the pumpkins.
Nubo the snow leopard is my favorite zoo animal.
Red pandas are among my favorite non-cat animals.
Santos the ocelittle came to join us in November, and among the cutest things I’ve seen in 2013.
As I said, it’s fun to look back at a year of adventures and memories. Even in terms of the quality of photography, I can tell I’m making improvements–there are three or four in this that really stand out to me. What do you think?
Almost all of the photos on this blog are hosted on Flickr. You can click on them, and get taken to the photo page there. A couple more clicks, and you can find the original size of the image, as opposed to whatever it happens to be scaled to here. As noted, I use Aperture for post-processing of my images, and a tool called FlickrExport to upload them to Flickr. This allows me to upload them directly from Aperture, get them into sets and groups, etc.
Today, I wanted to put a photo of Nubo as my wallpaper on my work laptop (“WorkTop,” as it is pseudo-affectionately called). I went to the page in Flickr, then to show all sizes, so I could get one that would most likely fill the screen. The biggest one was 640×480–way smaller than I expected from a 16 megapixel DSLR. I poked around a bit, and all the last several rounds of photos were like that.
It dawned on my what happened. Sometime between World Rhino Day and our trip to Rowe Woods, I think I was troubleshooting something. I set the upload size on FlickrExport to 640×480, and never set it back. In other words, I had a PEBKACK issue–Problem Exists Between Keyboard and Chair.
I reset the setting, and did a test upload–that was it. It is going to be too much work to re-upload correct sizes to Flickr, then update the blog, so it will stay this way. If there any photos you want better than 640×480 resolution, let me know. I still may go back and upload full-size versions, as I just like having the right one up there.
One thing is for certain: I will double check that from now on!
I got into photography as an all-digital guy. I’ve never had the space for a wet darkroom, and patience, at least when I was younger, was not my strong suit. When good DSLRs became more affordable, it seemed more do-able to me. I got a Nikon, along with my own “digital” darkroom.
Coincidentally, my late father had a Nikon. He mentioned wanting to get into photography from time to time, but probably had the same limitation. Unfortunately, he never got the opportunity to try out a DSLR to really explore the hobby. He did had a Nikon N80, which he did shoot family events with.
My mom came across it, and asked if I was interested in it. I thought it might be fun to go retro, and try some film shooting. All my lenses were compatible, so the only real expense is the film. Inside, there was a roll of film, half-shot. I finished it out, in part to test the camera.
Film has a different look from digital, though part of it may be because of the film’s age. There are actually filters for Lightroom to emulate various types of film. The roll was Kodak Gold 200, which I don’t believe is made any more.
As always, my cats were
eager ambivalent models.
As it turns out one hour film developing is no longer common–two to three days seems to be the norm, though I was told black and white would require more like two weeks. I found one place that still offered it to turn around this initial roll, and they said they would be discontinuing this service early next year.
My workflow was similar to my digital process. I had the film developed to a CD, and imported the images to Aperture. There, I made my final adjustments. Still, the distinctive look of film remained.
The roll of film was over eight years old–to some extent, I was surprised it came out at all. Some of the prints showed damage. I was able to fix some of it in Aperture, but artifacts remain. You can see signs in the doorframe, as well as just above Eddy’s eyes.
While I doubt I will shoot a lot of film–there is a bit of cost and hassle associated with it relative to digital–I think it will be fun to experiment with it from time to time.
As I mentioned, half of the roll was used by my father, and it was interesting to see what appeared. And, it would seem my dad and I got to shoot a roll of film together.
When we first looked at our house, we saw “thorny things” that were first on our list of things to remove. However, when we moved in, it turned out they were roses just starting to bloom. They are absolutely hearty–in spite of freezing weather, trimming, wind storms, and other abuse, they still come back.
This is the first year I’ve had a lens that can do macro, so I had some fun taking pictures of them.
We have pink and dark red roses, though some of the latter come out more like fuchsia.
This week we’re supposed to get some rain, so I wanted to get some pictures to ensure they still had their petals.
On I-71 north in Northern Kentucky, there is a curve on a downhill. As the road straightens, there is a great view of the Cincinnati skyline. I’ve been trying to figure out how to get to the adjacent hill. On a Sunday afternoon, my wife helped me find it.
It really is spring.
Been a while since I did a Happy Bokeh Wednesday shot…perhaps I’ll try for more often.
We were at an event yesterday, and I was taking pictures. My daughter asked if she could take my picture. I switched my camera to full-auto, put the strap around her neck, and let her take a few shots.
She actually did quite well!