Friday, September 30, 2011

Day 26 - Wizard Mouse

Yeah, I don't know. I've been scrambling around today trying to get done the bazillion things I need to do before our trip, and I almost forgot to take a picture. So I just searched for something fun to take a picture of. It's a statue of a mouse in a wizard outfit. It counts!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Day 25 - Sleepy Perdita Face

Was feeling under the weather today so I went for the soft option and took a picture of Perdita sleeping. It's not very creative, but whatever—I'm about to take two weeks' worth of vacation photos. Plus she's adorable.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Day 24 - Boats

The plan tonight was to use up my soon-to-expire Travelzoo voucher at Blush with Nick, Nell, and Brian and then Brian and I would take pictures down at the wharf as practice for my upcoming moonlight visit to Iguazu Falls. The first part of that plan worked out just fine; the second part, not so much. Not only was it completely overcast, but apparently the new moon was last night, so even if it had been clear it wouldn't have mattered. Epic fail. There was, however, plenty of light down at the harbor, and this shot of some boats came out pretty well.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Day 23 - How Much is that Kitty in the Window?

I think Elim developed separation anxiety after our trip to Arizona. This is what we come home to most days. The shot didn't come out that well—lighting was bad and our windows are apparently dirtier than I thought—so I made this my first black and white shot. I think the monochrome effect makes him look even sadder (if that's possible).

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 22 - Creep-ass Mask of Creepiness

Nick had a really good idea for a photo tonight, but the hateful cats would not cooperate. I'm a bit sick, so I just grabbed the first interesting thing I found around the house and took some pictures. My friend Ashly got me this mask years ago, and it still creeps me out to no end.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Day 21 - Colbert

Nick's mom is raising a puppy named Colbert for the seeing eye dog program. He's only 9 months old but he already weighs something like 60 pounds! My pictures didn't turn out quite as good as I'd hoped because I realized after the fact that my ISO had accidentally been set to a ridiculous 1600. But he's still a very cute pup!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Day 20 - On the Road

Tonight Nick and I drove down to San Diego to visit his family and I decided to give myself a challenge. It may not sound that hard, but trying to take a clear shot of the speedometer while the car is going 80mph is really, really difficult. I really like the blur at the top of the picture and the sense of movement it conveys.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Day 19 - Fire!

Tonight Nick and I went over to Brian and Nell's house for dinner. Before they made us delicious bananas foster for dessert, we practiced taking pictures of the burning alcohol. That proved pretty freaking difficult because the light had to be really low in order to see the flame well. This is my best shot, and it's still not that good. I do like how the little screw things that bolt the handle on to the pan look like glowing eyes, though.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day 18 - Flowers (Again)

Photo guru Brian's obsession with taking pictures of flowers might be rubbing off on me. I went out walking today with several clumps of flowers in mind, but they were all shriveled up. Luckily I found these guys.

In other news, I have confirmed that my tiny tripod cannot support the weight of my camera when I have the 45–200mm lens attached. I'm probably too lazy to lug a real tripod around though. But then how will I get my awesome night shots?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day 17 - Fun in the Sink

I was completely drawing a blank as far as what to take a picture of today, so I thought I'd see if I could take some neat closeup shots of running water. They didn't look particularly interesting, but luckily Elim came along to see what I was doing and I got a few cute shots of him investigating. Thanks little buddy! Also a big thank you to Mother Earth for letting me squander gallons of water and to our landlord for paying for it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day 16 - Bondage Bear to the Rescue

Today I spent a large chunk of the evening trying to take a picture of my stupid music box. None of them turned out. It was getting late and I was getting desperate, so I decided to take a picture of the bondage-sporting teddy bear a friend got me from Spain. Even this one didn't turn out that well, but we can pretend the crappy lighting is "mood lighting." And c'mon, it's a bear in bondage! That has to count for something.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Day 15 - This is How I Deal with Mondays

This was actually a suggestion from my mom. The lighting was really bad, so I went the "artistic" route and turned the brightness and contrast up all the way. I like the sultry sort of effect it created.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Day 14 - Flowers

Today was a sunny day, and although these may not be the most technically accurate photos, I'm pleased with the vividness of the colors in the first shot and the way the white petals have that "rumpled sheets" look in the second. No post-processing.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Day 13 - Oh, Hey There Little Person!

Nick and I went up to Lompoc this morning to visit some friends, so while I was there I snapped a few pictures of their daughter. I generally don't like taking pictures of people (probably stemming from my deep dislike of having my own picture taken), but it was fun trying to get both some candid and posed shots.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 12 - Perdita at Last!

I would have felt like a horrible cat parent if I'd waited another day to take a picture of Perdita. She wasn't feeling particularly cooperative, so she had her pouty face on. But I think she's cute no matter what.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day 11 - RAVE!

Today I wanted to do something a little different.

All the conference rooms at my work are named after the various Channel Islands... except one: the mysterious "Rave Room." There's nothing in there—a few desks, some chairs, a computer that time forgot, and a whiteboard with a starfish sticker on it. It's never used for anything, and no one knows why it's called the Rave Room, what it was called before, who changed the name, when, or why. But it's a source of great amusement for a lot of people.

Taking the picture proved to be a small challenge, as the presence of the writing would make it painfully obvious if I didn't have the camera exactly in focus. To make it marginally more aesthetically interesting, I stepped up the contrast and saturation a bit. I actually like the effect—if I pretend the mini blinds are actually aluminum siding, it almost reminds me of a sign for some seedy club in a dingy, dimly lit alley somewhere. But maybe that's just me.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Day 10 - Peacock Feather

By the time I went to take today's picture, it was pretty dark and I was completely at a loss for what to shoot. Luckily I found a peacock feather in a vase, which I stuck on top of my printer (because for some reason that's where the best light was). No post-processing done on this one.

Oh, and now the pictures will be posted at a slightly larger size. Photo Guru Brian demands it. (I'm not sure how he gets his to post at the extra-large size though.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Day 9 - First (Crappy) Attempt at Macro

I didn't have much time today to take pictures, so I simply snapped a few shots of a flower on my way back from Best Buy (where I acquired a case that actually holds all my stuff). None of the shots came out that well, and the flower itself looked a little demoralized to begin with. Learning to hold the lens steady will take some work.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 8 - Orange Kitty!

Anyone who's been to our house knows that we take care of a cat named Shauna who actually has an owner but likes to hang out at our house to be fed and petted. Awhile ago I started calling her Orange Kitty because Shauna is a stupid name and... well, she's orange. Over time I've shortened this simply to "Orange" and then "Or√°nje" (because it's fun to spice things up with a French accent). Anyway, she was hanging out on our driveway when I got home from work, so I decided to snap a few quick shots.

Then I came inside and discovered my 45–200mm lens had arrived! It looks pretty cool. It's also freaking huge, which means that the camera case I bought on Saturday is now too small, so I'll need to try to return it and get a new one.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Day 7 - Candid Shots (Kinda Sorta)

Today I went with my photo guru Brian to the Devereux Slough. He suggested I try taking "candid" portraits, so I told him to "sit on a bench and do something interesting" (I know, oh so candid). I also took a few shots of the slough. Most of my pictures didn't turn out well today, unfortunately. Also, from now on I'll just be posting the post-processed picture unless I'm intentionally trying to create a non-realistic effect, in which case I'll post both the before and after. The problem is that after fiddling with contrast, brightness, and saturation for awhile it's hard for me to tell what looks realistic and what doesn't. So if you see shots that look like some pretentious art school shit and I don't specifically mention that I was trying for that, please call me out.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Day 6 - More Siamese If You Please (Or If You Don't Please)

Didn't feel like going out today, so I turned, once again, to the kitties. Since I've already used pictures of Elim twice, I felt like it was Perdita's turn. Unfortunately, she wasn't being very cooperative or doing anything particularly cute/interesting. Once Elim realized that she was getting all the attention, he promptly decided to steal the show by peaking out adorably from the hole in their cat tree. First picture is the original; second has been post-processed (major brightness increase, slight saturation increase). I'm pleased with the effect created in the second picture—it looks like he's sticking his head out into the afternoon sun (it was actually very cloudy today).

I feel bad that I still haven't posted a picture of Perdita, but her moment in the spotlight will come. In other news, I bought a 45–200mm lens, which should be here on Tuesday. Woot!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Day 5 - Sushi!

I was feeling totally uninspired today (probably a bad sign so soon in), but luckily Nick's mom and stepdad were in town and wanted to take us out to sushi. I'm still not 100% comfortable being "that person" at the table taking a ton of photos, so I only snapped about 10, this being (marginally) the best. The lighting situation was difficult and, again, I'm not using a lens designed for closeup shots. As with yesterday, the top shot is the original and the second has been post-processed (increased contrast, saturation, and brightness and rotated and cropped slightly). I'm discovering that I really like the look of high-contrast, high-saturation images.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Day 4 - Fun with Photoshop

Today I decided to play around a little with post-processing. The first picture is the original; in the second, I significantly increased both the saturation and the contrast to give it an "artsy" feel. I really like the results—the blue of Elim's eyes really stands out in the doctored picture.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day 3 - Sunset

Tonight I went with my awesome photo guru Brian to take pictures of the sunset at the beach near my house. Things I learned:

1. How to actually use my manual focus (although shooting in low light still made focusing very difficult)
2. Shooting directly at the sun is bad for my camera lens (in retrospect this is kind of a "durr" thing)
3. When I'm taking a picture of the horizon and I think I'm holding the camera level and straight, I am emphatically not.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Day 2 - A Rose By Any Other Name...

Right now I only have one lens for my camera—a wide-angle 14mm one. It's not really designed for macro shots, but I don't really give a damn. (I'm hoping to buy the proper lens soon.) On the way to and from work each day I pass a rose bush, so I tried to take a closeup shot of one of the flowers. When I tried in the morning, all my shots were coming out way overexposed and I didn't have much time to fiddle. When I tried again in the afternoon, most of the shots were a bit underexposed. But I kind of like the effect of the dark background—I just wish the white of the rose "popped" a bit more. (Although, to be fair, the roses actually did look a bit dull.)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Day 1 - Kitty!

As predicted, the kitties were my first victims... I mean subjects. These two pictures weren't the clearest, but they're my favorites. I'm using my new micro four-thirds interchangeable lens camera, so I tried to turn this into a learning experience. Spent time experimenting with shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, observing how changing them changed the exposure. Also spent some time today learning about lenses. I discovered that the one that came with my camera is not ideal for what I'd like to shoot most, so I'll need to buy at least one additional one. Also discovered that the lenses are EXPENSIVE, so I'll be looking on CraigsList and eBay.