Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Day 266; 'Tis the Season?

Most people aren't thinking of Christmas just yet. But I'm working on a 4-H project where I'm going to build collapsible Christmas trees, and had the prototype set up by my desk. The shiny tinsel was the perfect subject for today's photo, even if it's no where near Christmas time yet. I turned down the lights and used my on camera flash to get the most dramatic an festive lighting pattern.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Day 265; Barking Up the Wrong Tree

I'm no tree expert, so I can't tell what type of tree this was. All I know is that I have always loved photos of bark and will continue taking them. This has been a pretty slow season, with cloudy days and not much good lighting outside. Hopefully it will clear up and I'll be able to capture some of the fall colors developing outside.
Also, I realize the post titles have been pretty cliché recently. Sorry about that.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Day 264; The Path Less Traveled

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Those are the final lines in Robert Frost's famous poem "The Road Not Taken," one of my favorite poems to date. This particular path was in the woods at the State 4-H Camp where I was at the State Council Retreat last weekend. This is actually one of the more popular paths, as it leads to the swinging bridge, my favorite part of the grounds. The sun coming through the leaves left an interesting lighting pattern which looked calm, warm, and earthy.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Day 263; Sunrise at Camp

This weekend was our State 4-H Council retreat at the Iowa State 4-H Center Campgrounds. I didn't have much time to take photos as I was busy working with the other Council members. I did get out on Sunday morning before sunrise to take a few shots in the surrounding woods. I discovered this area my last time at the camp, and I decided to revisit it. The morning light was quite lovely, but I enhanced it a little to make the colors pop more.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Day 262; Cat's Eyes

The good news is we have cats again! We got two kittens last Sunday and the whole family is enjoying having some house pets for a change. The bad news is the cats don't like being photographed. At all. They refuse to sit still and hide when they see the camera coming. I finally got this shot which came out of the camera blurry, boring, and downright bad. With some editing I wanted to make a very unconventional, artsy shot. I cropped to a more interesting angle, applied black and white effects, then did an HDR effect which made the photo look somewhat like a sketch. I'm going to keep working on it, and hopefully I'll get some really good cat photos taken in the future.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Day 261; Into the Void

I'm switching back to color today with this shot into a bright pink cup with convex spots on the sides. I loved the color of the cup and the interest the dots provided. I had tried taking pictures of the shadow and of the sides of the cup, but it turned out that I liked this angle directly above the cup the most. I was shining a small light through one side to get a more dramatic lighting pattern than the standard overhead light provided. I used slight vignetting to draw the eye into the center of the cup and away from the edges.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Day 260; The Brace

If you're reading this you may or may not already know about my brace. I have degenerative disc disease in my lower back which has completely changed my life since I developed it in 2011. I got a back brace pretty soon and had to wear it 24/7 for a very long time. This year I've been working on regaining my strength and am no longer dependent on the brace. I brought it out again today to take some macros of the many details which it is made up of. This photo is of one of the many velcro portions. The brace itself is black, so I used a black and white effect to minimise the yellow colors from my light source.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Day 259; Charm of the Camera

Today's photo is of a tiny camera shaped charm which my sister got me for Christmas last year. I usually wear it on a silver necklace, but today I set it on a plaid hat to use as a backdrop. I liked the shiny silver threads in the hat which caught the light from my flash. A simple black and white highlighted the textures in the charm and hat.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Day 258; Looking Lens

My brother Elijah agreed to pose for me today. Granted, it took a little bribery. Either way, I got some really neat portraits but this was my favorite. I liked how the eyes were really the focus of the image and how he used his hands to frame his face, adding interest. I thought a black and white effect was best for the simplicity of the photo as it drew more attention to the various details of his face.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Day 257; Palm Flowers

Today's photo is pretty simple. I put some little white flowers in my hand and snapped some macros. I liked the lines and detail of the hand as the background and the interest and pop of color from the flowers. I didn't really edit it much, only adding a thin black border to set off the softer sides.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Day 256; Tiny Teeth

In case you haven't figured it out yet, there aren't really teeth in this photo. This is a macro of a plant, though I actually have no idea what kind of plant this was. I only know that it was small and dead. You didn't really notice the tiny burrs when looking at the plant, but when you zoomed in for a macro they looked really fierce. I wanted to draw attention to the detail in the image, so I opted for a black and white edit.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Day 255; Three Seasons of Leaves

Today there are three photos, or rather, three versions of the same photo. The first is the original out of camera shot. I liked the lighting and details, but felt it needed a little something more. Second is a black and white edit which I really liked because it drew attention to the veins in the leaf and the lighting patterns. It also gave a classic look to the image. This second edit is probably my favorite. The third image is mostly just for fun. I took the black and white image and applied a galaxy texture from picmonkey.com to the whole photo except for the one leaf in the foreground. This gave a very unique look to the photo which I really liked.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Day 254; Looking Through the Fence

"There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something." ~J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit 

I've looked at a lot of things in my life, and will continue to look at many more. But me looking at something is always different than someone next to me looking at the same thing because we're going to perceive it differently. Today's photo is of a bridge I have seen thousands of times, but this time taken through a chain link fence. I messed around with some different angles and depths of field, but liked how this turned out with the bridge in focus and the fence blurred. When editing I wanted a very dramatic look, so I applied black and white and softened all the areas except inside of one of the links in the fence.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Day 253; Macro Clover

You are probably wondering where I've been. It's been almost two months since I've posted, but I do have pretty good reasons. In July was my county fair, then I had a couple weeks to get all my projects for the Iowa State Fair, then I had one day off before my first day of school. I've been in school for a week or so now. I wanted to get a feel for how busy I was going to be before I got back to the blog. I'm pretty sure I should have time to post again now. But enough about me and my excuses. Today's photo was not the brilliant comeback photo I had wanted. Since my last photo was of a red clover, I thought it would be nice to come back with a different take on the same kind of flower.