Saturday, June 30, 2012

Day 300 - Scathing Cultural Commentary

Yet again, I spent quite a bit of time trying to come up with a photo idea and totally failing. Eventually, I googled "photo a day challenge" and found some daily prompts. Today's happened to be "something in your wallet," so I looked in there and did this close-up shot of part of my credit card. It's meant to be ironic—the card says "freedom," but so many Americans are slaves to their own consumerism and debt. That sounds plausible, right?

In other news, only 66 more days to go!!!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Day 299 - The Elusive Unidentifiable Flowers down the Street

Today I went back to the flowers I tried to get shots of a few days ago and tried again. This go-round didn't turn out much better, but whatever. Points for trying!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day 298 - Geometric Close-up

Yet another day of actually trying different photo ideas and having them all fail (why couldn't I get the cats to look at themselves in the mirror???). Anyway, I ended up just taking a close-up shot of a ceramic container with a Moorish design cut into it that I got in Spain a few years ago. That's all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day 297 - Travelin' in Style

Today I was fiddling around with the cat carriers and Elim jumped right in (he loves his carrier for some reason). I am reminded again of how ridiculously photogenic this cat is.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day 296 - Frustration

Tonight I actually tried to put some time, thought, and effort into my photo, but after about an hour of trying things that didn't work, I was getting really frustrated. I ended up taking this photo of my hand (in a "frustrated pose") against a mirror. It's a bit blurry (I only had one hand to use to hold the large lens with the finicky close-up filter and push the shutter button), but I like the mood of it. I think the choice to do it in black and white heightens that.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 295 - Electric Burner

I did a lot of cooking tonight, so I decided to take a close-up shot of part of one of the burners on my stove. Yes, it's a weird choice of subject, but I kind of like the concentric circles.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day 294 - The "Santa Barbara" Flower

Today I managed to achieve the perfect balance of productivity and napping. Anyway, there are these flowers all over Goleta and Santa Barbara (actual name unknown) and, although I don't really like them, I feel I should take a photo of them before I leave because they very much remind me of this place. Luckily, there are some in my backyard. Unluckily, the close-up filters continue to thwart me. But, even if it's not the clearest, I like the light and composition of this shot.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Day 293 - Bitch, This MY Trash!

Today was the longest day ever and went like this: woke up at 5:15 (didn't go to bed last night until about 12:30), showered, out the door by 6:15, walked to work, bus for ALA conference in Anaheim left at 7:00, got there at about 9:15, stayed until 4:00, bus arrived back in Goleta at 7:00, back home by 7:30. And the shoes I was wearing made massive blisters on both my ankles, so I was in pain from about 1:00 on. I did, however, see George R. R. Martin, get some free stuff, and do a few important work-related things.

Luckily, I'd stuck my point-and-shoot camera in my purse, so when I came across a dozen or so seagulls squabbling over some McDonalds trash on my way home, I was able to get some shots. True, they aren't the best, but, given the state I was in, I was ecstatic to have my photo taken care of by the time I got home. The first shot is of one bird trying to scare away another off-camera. And I'd like to believe the second one is of a seagull having a conversation with itself.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Day 292 - Lianne and Brendon

These are my friends Lianne and Brendon. They're awesome. They're also moving to New Zealand in a few days. Hanging out with them tonight for one final hurrah, I realized that I didn't have any photos of them. Hence this shot. Unfortunately, my camera sucks at taking photos indoors in even moderately low lighting. (Seriously, where does Panasonic think most photos are taken?)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 291 - Romero Canyon Hike

Since I have to go to a work conference on Saturday, I got to take today off as a comp day and decided to go for a hike up Romero Canyon. Unlike most people, who simply go up and down the fire road, we went up the canyon trail (which is 90% rocks, I swear to God) and then down the fire road. The hike supposedly offers some amazing views of Montecito and the ocean, but it was super foggy, so that was a no go. Still, a very fun 10-mile hike.

First shot is of a random, pretty part of the hike (which was nicely forested—at least by Santa Barbara standards). Second photo is of a cool spiderweb we found (unfortunately, I only had my 14–45mm lens and couldn't get very close because it was surrounded by poison oak). Last shot is just to show how freaking misty it was.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day 290 - Spiral

Tonight, during my usual scouring of the house for a photo idea, I came up with something pretty interesting. I have a blender cup that comes with a metal spiral ball that mixes the ingredients, so I stood that up and took some shots looking down. Thanks to the aperture and close-up filter I was using, the further-away spirals ended up with what I think is a pretty cool blur and shadow effect .

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day 289 - Purple Potato (Or, Beating a Dead Horse)

Tonight's dinner involved some sliced purple potatoes and I thought "Hey, why not do what I did with the kiwi and the orange and lay it over a lamp?" Well, the kiwi had turned out awesome and the orange quite a bit less so, and this potato turned out even more meh than the orange. So I'm pretty sure I'll be retiring this little trick.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Day 288 - Hair Clip

Tonight I decided to take a picture of my tortoiseshell claw-style hair clip. This turned out to be more difficult than I expected—I ended up sitting in my chair (with a purring Elim on my lap), holding the camera with the heaviest lens and a closeup filter in one hand and holding the claw clip up and open with the other. My computer desktop ended up making a very nice background, though. This could have come out a bit clearer, but given everything involved, I'm pretty happy with it. It reminds me of some sort of weird creature.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Day 287 - Flowers, All the Time Flowers

Spent the day with my parents in a joint Father's Day/belated birthday celebration. After gorging myself at Red Lobster, I took a look around their yard and found this really pretty flower. The shots didn't come out quite as nice as I'd hoped, but I'm still pretty happy with them (especially considering that the wind was whipping the flower around a lot).

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Day 286 - Time Furnace

After spending some time this morning with Nell and Brian and some of Nell's family, I went with my parents up to Lompoc to see our friend Keith's band Time Furnace play. They're really good—infinitely better than this shitty photo of Keith. In my defense, though, the lighting was bad and he was moving around a lot.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Day 285 - Chillin Like a Villain

It's funny—Jennifer, who hasn't looked at my blog in awhile, gave me shit last weekend for always posting cat photos and I told her that I hadn't posted any in quite awhile. And now this is the third one in less than a week. Anyway, had a lot of stuff to do tonight, so I decided to take the soft option and get a quick shot of Elim hanging out in my room. The blueness of his eyes usually doesn't come out well in incandescent lighting, but this time it showed up pretty nicely.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day 284 - Giraffe Flower

I have no idea what kind of flower this is, but the spots remind me of a giraffe, so I'm going to say it's a giraffe flower. There's a small number of them growing near where Borders used to be, so this afternoon on my walk home I snapped a few quick photos. Yesterday I'd (re)discovered the Color Mode function on my camera, so I fiddled around with it some more today. This is the "Pure" setting. Unfortunately, since I was using a close-up filter, it was impossible to get the entire flower in focus.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Day 283 - Sterns Wharf

After work and the gym, I had Brian ferry me downtown so I could pick up a C'est Cheese shirt (yes, yes, very important business) and, since we were down in the area, we decided to repeat the lights-reflecting-on-the-ocean shot we did at the Goleta Pier a few weeks ago at Sterns Wharf. Unfortunately, those damn spots have reappeared in my photos, so I had to touch this one up a bit (and probably should have spent more time and done a better job of it).

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Day 282 - Photoshop to the Rescue!

Today my power was out from 6:30 am until 11:30 pm. Luckily, I remembered to take my photo while it was still light out. These pretty flowers are on the walkway up to my house. Unfortunately, my camera had a hard time "seeing" them correctly—probably because of how white they are and the lightness of the background—and all my shots looked pretty meh. But once I auto-leveled them in Photoshop, they came out looking quite nice. Thanks Photoshop!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Day 281 - Pink Little Ears

Of all her adorable parts, I think I like Perdita's ears the most. They're pink, overrun with fur, and for some reason remind me of a piglet's ears. So tonight I decided to take a photo of them. As per the usual, I waited until it was quite late to take this photo, so the lighting was not so good, which meant I had to opt for a "soft" focus.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Day 280 - Arroyo Burro Hike

Today Brian and I went on a 10ish-mile hike up part of the Arroyo Burro trail. We were hoping to get some good shots, but unfortunately it was super hazy and the views were only so-so. But, since I like my daily photo to correspond to my activities whenever I'm doing something even halfway interesting, I made sure to take a quick photo on the way back.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Day 279 - Prada

A full day of prepping for and then throwing Heather's baby shower. Luckily, I got a few shots of one of Jenna's cats, Prada, before all the chaos started. She is freaking adorable and looks like she was drawn by Disney. These weren't objectively the best photos (and the lighting was tricky because she was sitting in a bright window), but I think they show off her cuteness the most.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Day 278 - Ballooooon!

Today after work I headed up to Lompoc with Jennifer to help prep for Heather's baby shower. On the docket was blowing up about 50 balloons with helium. We had fun animal-print balloons to go with the shower's jungle theme. This is a closeup of the tiger one. A little lame, I admit, but I like the effect made by the stripes on the opposite side of the balloon.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Day 277 - These Boots are Made for Walkin'

Is this a photo of boot tread? Yes. Is it as awesome as I'd thought it would be? No. Do I care? Not really. Have I been drinking? Maybe....

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Day 276 - Goleta Pier

Tonight, after a yummy dinner and the season finale of Game of Thrones, Brian and I went out to Goleta Pier to take our photo. Initially we'd hoped to get a shot of the moon over the water, but the moon was nowhere to be seen. So instead we decided to simply photograph the lights of the pier reflecting in the water. It was a bit too dark by the time I got the tripod, and the photo is grainier than I'd expected, but it's still a fun shot.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Day 275 - Scorpion

Before heading out to HBC to celebrate Lianne's actual birthday, I took this shot of one of my plastic-encased scorpions. My camera and close-up filters had a really difficult time focusing on the scorpion, so this picture isn't nearly as clear as it should be. But I still really like this shot (which I copied from Brian, who took the same photo a few months ago).
I am officially 75% done with my challenge!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Day 274 - Hidden Flower

This evening was another busy one—Indian food with friends and then karaoke (which Brendon creatively combined into "curryoke"). Luckily, I had my photo pre-planned. A few days ago Brian used his Flower Sense to notice a neat flower growing near the ground on a bush in my front yard.

In other news, I've discovered the joys of the Shadows and Highlights tool (specifically the shadow part) in Photoshop. I'm trying not to overuse it, but I really like the effect it creates.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Day 273 - Jeff Hampton, Badass

Day 3 of my Birthday Weekend Extravaganza! I met up with my parents and cousin at Palace Grill for lunch and then went to see Snow White and the Huntsman (which was unfortunately mediocre). At sunset Brian and I went out to the bluffs to see what we could find to photograph, and luckily we found Jeff practicing his capoeira moves. I didn't realize it at the time, and you can't really tell now because I cleaned up the photos in Photoshop, but there were huge smudge marks on my lens that showed up quite noticeably in all these pictures. So I had Brian thoroughly clean all my lenses and filters afterward.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Day 272 - On the Farm

Day 2 of my Birthday Weekend Extravaganza! Today I got a massage at Santa Barbara Bodyworks and then headed up to the Gaviota area to do some berry picking (always wanted to do this). We picked strawberries and I also bought some pre-picked blackberries. The ad promised farm animals and they did not disappoint. There were goats, cows, and miniature donkeys. We also drove up the road a little way to Nojoqui Falls Park and walked to the waterfall. Then later that night we went over to Kickapow for a potluck to celebrate Lianne's birthday on Tuesday. I concocted an awesome pizza with homemade dough and sauce, capers, prosciutto, and garlic.

I apparently was not feeling very choosy about my farm photos. The first one is of Brian in this random, amusing bathtub near the barn. And, in case you completely suck at identifying farm animals, the second is of one of the goats poking its nose through the fence, third is a bull, and fourth is the farm dog playing with some random little girl who was there with her mom to pick berries.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Day 271 - Happy Birthday to Me!

Today I turned 29 and began my Birthday Weekend Extravaganza. Had one of my favorite sandwiches (speck and gorgonzola panini from Bucatini) and my absolute favoritest dessert (a hazelnut ├ęclair from Renauld's) for lunch. Did my final Couch to 5k run (and rocked it), and then had a huge group dinner at Zaytoon with friends. As we were starting to disperse after dinner, I realized I hadn't taken my photo, so I got these fun shots of Brian photobombing my shot of Jeff and Carey and Nicole blowing hookah smoke. Oh, and then we went back with Lianne, Brendon, Jeff, and Carey to watch Jurassic Park, which was awesome (except I slept through the best third of it).