Saturday, December 31, 2011

Day 118 - Candid Shot and Self-Portrait

Jennifer, Heather, and I spent most of the day making delicious lumpia and pumpkin pie ice cream. The New Year's Eve party was low key (at least compared to past years), but very fun. Before I got too snockered on vodka-and-redbulls, I actually managed to take a candid shot—my first ever! Jenna and Shannon were going nuts blowing noisemakers at each other. I'm also including a picture of myself that I took—not because it's particularly good (it's not—the lighting was awful and the top of my fun headband is cut off), but because I actually caught myself looking happy, which is rare. So it's kind of like a candid self-portrait.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Day 117 - Koi

Went wine tasting in Paso Robles today, so I was not in the best condition to take photos. This shot of a koi at Bianchi Winery (I think it was Bianchi anyway... ) was the best photo I managed.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day 116 - Sexy Bitch! (But Actually He's a Boy)

Took the train up to Lompoc with Jennifer to start our long New Year's weekend of debauchery. I really wanted to take a fun shot of the train coming in to the Goleta station, but I was too busy trying to schlep the five billion bags I had with me to get a good one. I did manage to get this cute shot of Bachelor, one of Heather's dogs. He's the cutest dog ever but definitely not the brightest...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Day 115 - Made My Saving Throw!

For those who didn't already know... yes, I played D&D in my younger days. And yes, it was exactly like the Dr. Demento skit. Anyway, I still have a lot of variously sided dice laying around, so tonight I decided to photograph a few of them. This shot could have come out clearer, but I was pretty busy and didn't have a lot of time to spend (plus I'm sick, so my tolerance for everything is low). I do like the brightness of the colors though.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day 114 - Candid Cats

Yeah, I was home all day doing overtime and I could have found something awesome to photograph, but instead I snapped this cute candid shot of Perdita licking her paw with Elim snuggled up against her in the background. (I actually like to pretend that she's laughing and covering her mouth with her paw.) I think I'm just going to embrace the cat/pet pictures. That can be my thing. Pets are cute and fun to photograph, but still present certain challenges. Brian can have his stinky flowers—I will have my stinky cats.

Oh, also forgot to mention that I got filter sets for both my lenses for Christmas! Will be playing around with the polarized and neutral density ones in the new year. Should be fun!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day 113 - Poofah!

In an effort not to take cat or flower pictures (but forgetting to take my picture while the sun was still out), I decided to do an extreme closeup of an ordinary object. While chatting online with Paul I had the idea to do one of my new shower... thingie. I call it a poof, he calls it a loofah (even though that makes him wrong ^__^), so I'm calling it a poofah. I actually really like this shot. Oh, and I tried to do Brian's trick of misting it with a spray bottle to get some artsy droplets, but it didn't work. I blame the spray bottle.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Day 112 - Christmas! - Candy Canes and Ham

In the morning while waiting to open presents, I became obsessed with taking a photo of some candy canes standing up in a glass. It proved much harder than expected. And of course I had to take a picture of the delicious honey-glazed spiral-cut ham. Mmmm ham...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Day 111 - Christmas Eve - Ornaments and Kitty

Went up to my parents' house this afternoon and of course took a ton of Christmas-related photos. I liked both the matte and shiny ornaments, so included shots of both. I also took a few candid shots of Jinx under the tree among the presents (he wasn't in the best spot, but oh well).

Friday, December 23, 2011

Day 110 - My Favoritest Shot Glass

Today I decided to take a picture of my favorite shot glass. I got it while in Barcelona and it's patterned after the awesome architectural work of Antoni Gaudí, who designed a lot of the famous buildings in the city. The colors are super bright and the glass has a lot of ripples in it to make it easier to hold (Gaudí was a big proponent of form following function).

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Day 109 - Real Flowers This TIme

I wanted to knock my photo out quickly, so on the way to work this morning I snapped some shots of these red flowers near what used to be Borders. I really like the richness of the color, but the petals of the flower are kind of all over the place. I think I'm done with flowers for awhile.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day 108 - Fake Flowers

Tonight, before Nell and Brian came over for Thai/pots de creme/movie/gifts, I tried playing around with two mirrors and infinite regression, but the shots just weren't coming out. It was close to midnight before they left, so I had to scramble to find something to take a halfway decent picture of. These are some copper roses I have that I really like. (In retrospect, I realize I should have taken a candid shot of Brian passed out face-down on the carpet. Next time!)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day 107 - Photographic Evidence That My Cats Actually Do Love Each Other

I've taken a lot of photos of my cats, but always separately, so today I decided to take one of them snuggling together. This was actually quite a challenge, since a) they like to curl up together in dimly lit places (i.e., most of my apartment) and b) the camera has a hard time balancing out Elim's darkness and Perdita's whiteness. It looks like some of Elim's fur color is reflected on Perdita's side, but it's still a really cute photo.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Day 106 - Crazy Persimmon

Today I noticed that when you cut a persimmon horizontally instead of vertically, it makes these really cool sand dollar–looking cross-sections. When I tried to take a really closeup shot of this, though, my camera went a little apeshit bananas with the richness of the colors. But I think it looks really cool, so I decided not to mess with it.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Day 105 - Awesome Ceramic Piece

Brian does ceramics and when I jokingly said I wanted him to make me one, he actually did! (Apologies, again, to all the people over the years who I've promised stories/crafts to and never delivered on.) It's super pretty, but surprisingly hard to get a good picture of. I only really like the first picture (especially the lighting), but I wanted to include one from each side, since the coloration is different.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Day 104 - Pretty Flower

Lazed around for most of the day, curing my hangover with lots and lots of bacon. Nell had noticed a flower in the backyard of the house earlier in the day, so Brian and I went to take pictures of it.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Day 103 - Firepit (Or, Why I Should Take My Pictures before Drinking)

Went down to Encino with Nell and Brian and some mutual friends for a house party (at a really, really nice house, incidentally). I assumed I would wait until the party was in full swing and then take awesome candid shots of people, but of course I ended up getting distracted and buzzed, so that didn't happen. The best I managed was this really bad shot of the fire in the firepit outside. But hey, at least I remembered to take a picture! And I learned my lesson: just because something sounds like a good photo opportunity doesn't mean I'll actually make use of that opportunity.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Day 102 - Cat and Mouse

Today was a super-busy day both at work and in the evening, so I didn't have much time to take a photo. This one of Elim snuggling with the stuffed yellow mouse he's had since he was a kitten turned out pretty cute, though (even though you really can't tell it's a mouse).

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Day 101 - Death to the Gingerbread Man!

Thanks to the Second Annual Cookie Exchange by Proxy with my coworker, I have been waging a (remarkably quick) war of attrition on a small army of gingerbread men. For some reason, I've really wanted to take a picture of a decapitated one, so tonight I did. It really didn't produce an interesting picture, but whatevs—now that I've got that outo f my system, I can think of better things to photograph.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day 100 - Tea Time

For my weekly photo with Brian, I suggested we try taking pictures of the rippling surface of a cup of tea. That proved far more difficult than expected (seriously camera, how much f-ing light do you think you need?), and eventually we switched to dripping tea into the cup with a straw. This shot isn't great, but I like how funky the drop effect came out.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Day 99 - Wacky Car Faces

Went down to the climbing gym in Ventura with Brian and Nell's colleague Bryant and, like a moron, I forgot to take a picture until 11pm as we were driving home. Luckily both guys were nice enough to make some funny faces at the camera. There is absolutely nothing awesome about these photos from a technical standpoint, but they crack me up (especially Bryant, who looks like a screaming fetus...).

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Day 98 - Light on Leaf

I know I said I'd try for a really good photo today, but... I lied. I took a walk around the neighborhood looking for stuff to photograph, but nothing really caught my eye. The best I could come up with was this shot of the evening sun on a leaf (somewhat reminiscent of a picture I used for day 63). I do like the colors in this shot, though.

I think I'm hitting a bit of a slump in terms of creativity and motivation—need to figure out some way to get out of it.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Day 97 - Total Lunar Eclipse Fail and the Oil Rig Revisted

Woke up at 5:15 this morning to go take pictures of the total lunar eclipse on Farren Road with Brian. It looked pretty awesome, but unfortunately you can't tell that from my pictures. Try as I might, I just could not get them to come out well. This one of the partial eclipse turned out the best and it's still crappy. And then the clouds came and obscured everything. Since we could also see the oil rig from where we were, we took a few photos of that, too (I also took one way back on day 42).

I feel like I've had a rash of bad-to-just-mediocre picture-taking recently. Tomorrow I will try to step up my game.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Day 96 - Weave Pattern

Today I decided I wanted to try something a little different and take a more abstract and super close-up shot. After trying out a lot of different knickknacks, I settled on a small sweetgrass basket I bought while in Charleston last year. Not much to say about this one, but I kind of like it.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Day 95 - Spiderman, Spiderman...

Went climbing with Brian for the second time and decided to take pictures of him climbing for the blog (apparently bringing cameras in is a no-no, but the climbing gym worker bee let me do it—no one can resist the power of my pouty face!). The lighting was bad and the colors ended up being really washed out, so I decided to desaturate them completely. I also apparently suck at taking action shots (the pictures are all focused on his back), but my excuse is that I was more preoccupied with thinking about having to do the same thing (albeit much less gracefully) in a few minutes.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day 94 - Mammykins, or Holy Shit I need Better Lighting

It was my dad's birthday today, so my parents came down and we went out to dinner at Palace Grill (mmmm). I realized I hadn't included a picture of my mom on my blog yet, so I tried to snap a few at home after dinner. Unfortunately, I was reminded again of how horrible the lighting in my house is and that, combined with not really paying attention, made all my pictures blurry (although I didn't realize it until after the fact). This one of her playing with a kettlebell turned out the best and it's still really, really bad. I wish the one of my dad giving her bunny ears had come out better because it was super cute.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 93 - Kiwi

Brian had (stole) this great idea to photograph thinly sliced kiwi laid out on paper and lit from below by a lamp. It came out kind of looking like cells under a microscope! Still having some trouble with the closeup filters (I think I may need to switch to manual focus).

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 92 - Suddenly Kitty

Today I played hooky from work because I'm so close to my accrual limit for sick leave. With all that time, I fully intended to take a daylight picture, but that never happened. But this one of Elim inside the linen closet peeking around the corner is pretty freaking adorable.

Oh yeah, and I am now officially a quarter of the way through this challenge!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day 91 - Clover

Brian and I had made all these awesome photo-taking plans, but he was sick and I was hungover, so we just went into my backyard and took pictures of clover. I'm still having trouble getting the sharpness of the focus right with the closeup filters for my lens, but I'm getting there.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Day 90 - Magic Mountain

Spent the day with Nell and Nicole at Magic Mountain. We got in 13 rides in 7.5 hours—not too shabby. This is the view just before the 255-food drop on Goliath (my favorite ride). The photo really doesn't do it justice. Not pictured: The ride we came up with—Regret-a-Ball: Sphere of Sorrow (TM). Tagline: For those who value uncertainty.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Day 89 - Heron

This afternoon at work I went out to take a walk, noticed an awesome cloud formation and ran back inside to get my camera, but by the time I got back out the clouds had dispersed. I was feeling pretty annoyed, but as I walked along the outskirts of the filed by my building, I totally saw a heron! I couldn't get very close to it, so the picture isn't great, but it was a nice surprise.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day 88 - Let the Christmas Season Begin!

Haters gonna hate, but I don't care—I still like Christmas, and in my mind the season starts December 1. This is the tree they set up in Camino Real Marketplace. This didn't come out quite as well as I'd hoped because a) I didn't use a tripod, and b) I'd just gone rock climbing for the first time with Brian, and my arms were all shaky, making fine motor movements difficult.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 87 - Fountain + Light + Wind = Awesome!

On the way home from work, I decided to take some shots of the fountain in Camino Real Marketplace. It's lit up at night and that, in conjunction with the ridiculous wind we're having, made for a pretty fun shot.

Amusing side story: While I was taking the pictures, this little kid ran up to me and said something that I couldn't quite hear because I had my headphones in. I assumed he wanted to know what I was doing, so I took my headphones out and said hi and asked what he'd said. He gave me The Most Terrified Look Ever, which I thought was a little uncalled for, but whatever. But then his mom called out to him and he ran toward her and she said, "Oh, poor [kid's name]! You thought that was mommy! We are dressed the same!" And I looked and we pretty much were dressed the same and of a similar height/build. Kid didn't realize I wasn't his mother until I turned around and started trying to talk to him.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 86 - Lagoooooon!

Brian and I went to UCSB tonight to practice night photography, but that proved surprisingly tough because both the architecture and lighting are pretty meh. We eventually ended up at the lagoon and decided to take shots of the buildings reflected in the water. As an added bonus, a bird decided to make himself part of the photo. (Which was in itself problematic, since the exposure was like 15 seconds. Imagine a bird sitting perfectly still for 15 seconds. What's that? You can't? That's because they don't!) Unfortunately, in fiddling with Photoshop to make the shot a little better, I think I overdid it a little. But I wrote over the original image, so I'm stuck with it now.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 85 - Pretty Sunrise

Today I woke up at 5am for some reason, so I decided to do some of the housework I neglected to do over the weekend. I noticed the sunrise while retrieving some towels from the dryer, so I quickly dashed into the house to get my camera. Only then did I discover that I’d left my “real” camera in Brian’s camera bag, so I had to use my point-and-shoot. It’s a bit grainy, but I freaking love the colors (which I didn’t change or oversaturate at all—it really looked that awesome). I also freaking love having my picture for the day taken care of before I even take a shower.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 84 - Beach Walk

Brian and I rode the tandem out to the bluffs and then walked along the beach for a bit. In a rare deviation from the norm, I happened to notice something that Brian hadn’t: the awesome reflection in the wet sand. Unfortunately, I am apparently functionally retarded, because for the life of me I couldn’t hold the camera correctly to compensate for the slant of the beach. But Brian says it’s artistic. So there.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 83 - Paragliding

I spent the day with Brian and Nell while they did a paragliding class. A nice symbiotic relationship: I got my photo for the day and a good shoulder tan and they got pictures of them being awesome. They were both really good. I took hundreds of photos, and I doubt these are the absolute best, but in the interest of not falling behind on the blog (*cough*Brian!*cough*), I just selected two decent ones to post.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 82 - Suncatcher

Before heading out into the Black Friday madness, I roamed around my parents’ backyard taking photos. They have some pretty flowers and some interesting moss growing between flagstones, but their suncatcher turned out to produce the best photos. The copper glows yellow when the sun hits it, which looks awesome when contrasted with the very deep blue of the sky. Contrary to how it may look, I didn’t oversaturate the colors at all.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 81 - Turkey, Turkey... Cat!

(Get it? Like duck, duck… goose!) Went up to spend Thanksgiving with my parents, so of course I had to take before and after shots of the turkey. I really like all the steam in the first picture. I also finally got a chance to take a picture of Jinx—in this case, slung behind my dad’s neck (a favorite for both of them I think). Not pictured: the ridiculous food coma I fell into after eating so much delicious food. Seriously, who dozes from 7:30pm to 12:30am and then goes to bed and sleeps until 6am? Sheesh.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 80 - Lamp

Today was another busy day. Although technically I could have left work early, I took a long lunch with Nell, Brian, and Nell’s coworker, so I didn’t leave work until almost the normal time. Then it was home to cook the beets and pots de crème for Thanksgiving, and then over to Nell and Brian’s. I took a lot of random shots (mostly Nell working on my bag and Brian fiddling with a film camera), but I like this one of their lamp the best. The light and shadow are fun.