Life is CrAZy! If it wasn’t for the two photo challenges I am following, I wonder if I would have very many photos shared on a more regular basis. Let’s hear it for photo challenges!!
As I thought about shooting a photo for M, I thought about a few options. Mustard on a hotdog was one option, but I didn’t have any hotdog buns to get a better setup. So I thought music could be a good use of M, and what better instrument to use than our upright piano.
Canon 60D | 50mm lens | 1/20 | f/3.5 | ISO 800
One of my favorite things in life is sitting in the living room listening to my wife play the piano. Whether she is playing ragtime or religious, I find it relaxing and I fall in love with my wife all over again.
Back to the photograph – Initially I tried using my Canon Speedlite 430 EXII flash, but it was too bright and washed out the lines between the piano keys. So I turned off the flash and took a few more shots. After I set up the shot the way I wanted it, I switched over to RAW and grabbed another shot.
I opened the RAW file in Photoshop and adjusted the white balance from As Shot to Auto, then opened the image. I converted it to grayscale, increased the contrast to 50 and lowered the brightness to -30 to get the final result.
To wrap up… in the words of Julie Andrews, “These are a few of my favorite things.”
My son’s pinewood derby is tonight, and this morning, before heading off to work, I added the finishing touch.
Canon 60D | 50mm lens | 1/40 | f/3.5 | ISO 800
I didn’t want to reveal my son’s car to any of the other competitors before the race begins (that’s part of the fun), so I used a narrow depth of field to blur the car out, which is sitting on the scale, weighing exactly 5 ounces. I’ll have some fun taking photos tonight at the race, and who knows… maybe it will warrant another blog post of pinewood derby cars.
Other racers… Bring. It. On.
Last night I was watching a March Madness game (Florida v. Louisville) and tried snapping a few photos of my TV, looking through my 3D glasses. But it didn’t look like I was hoping it would. So this morning, as I continued looking for a way to meet this week’s challenge head on, I thought of this.
Canon 60D | 50 mm lens | 1/8 | f/5.0 | ISO 100
My son was eating lunch and doing some artwork when I started trying to get this shot just right. Luckily I was able to get it before he finished, though I did have to move him to the other end of the table so the large windows behind him didn’t keep washing the photo out.
There was another challenge, though, from switching sides – the large windows were glaring off the lens in the photo. I had my other son hold a black piece of fabric (which has become one of my newest and bestest tools for photography) just behind the camera. And Viola! No glare. Crisp image through the lens, and a large aperture in my 50 mm lens allowed my son to be slightly out of focus in the background, driving the eye to what is in focus – the image (though upside down) in the lens.
Yet another great reason I enjoy these weekly photo challenge – it pushes me to try new things and see what creative photo I can capture through a variety of means.
My son is so proud of his Lego Battleship, the USS Utah. He built it last summer and has been trying to protect it ever since from siblings, friends and neighbors. He’s also been adding little enhancements, and of course, more guns, to his ship ever since.
Yesterday he took it to school to present at his talent show, and apparently it was the talk of all his class. Even the art teacher of the school stopped in to see his battleship. The talent show almost didn’t happen, because two weeks ago, his younger brother dismantled the upper part of it, and there was quite the explosion at the house when Andrew got home from school and saw the devastation. He was able to rebuild it.
I have been thinking about photographing different parts of his battleship to share on the blog, and last night I put the rubber to the road and took some photos. I used black cloth that I had grabbed from my church building library’s free-for-all. The black drapes worked very well, and now I think I need to go get some other cloth colors for future photos.
Here is what I put together from some of my other photos of the USS Utah.
Manual Settings: Canon 60D | 1/200 | f/16 | ISO 100 | Canon Speedlite 430EX II
You can check out more photos from the USS Utah on my Carltonaut Facebook page.
I guess my son loved the photos, because I showed them to him this morning before he headed off to school, and moments later he decided to destroy it so he could rebuild it anew. It is now in pieces all over the living room. I guess in a few more months, I’ll have to photograph his next battleship. Any suggestions on the name of his next battleship?
The other day, I had the privilege (and yes, I would call it that) of observing and live-tweeting multiple colonoscopies in the Endoscopy Clinic at Intermountain Alta View Hospital in Sandy, Utah using the hashtag #ColonHealth. I took photos and video of the event, highlighting the importance of colorectal screenings to prevent colon cancer. After all, March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month.
I can’t directly share the photos I took, due to HIPAA laws, but for Unusual, I thought this photo I took and shared on Twitter would qualify – It’s the removal of a 5mm polyp from inside the colon of a patient. Since not many people get to see this, I think it qualifies as unusual. While the photo quality isn’t the best, the unusual factor is there.
Here’s a link to some of the videos I shot at the event, too.
Rectifying Colonoscopy Myths
Importance of Colon Cancer Screenings
Cleaning the Colonoscope
Hope you enjoy the “crappy” videos (Sorry, I had to throw that in somewhere).
Do I get triple points for this week’s photo challenge post? Here’s the final outcome, and then the story behind how I got to the final product.
Canon 60D | 50mm lens | 1/8 | f/1.8 | ISO 100 | Speedlite 430EXII flash
My first interest was to see how the bokeh lighting effect changed the further it got from the focused point of the framed photo. After attaching a circle sheet of paper with a shamrock stamped out of it to the end of my 50mm lens, I grabbed my fabric green screen and laid it out on the floor with a strand of white Christmas strung across it. But the strand of Christmas lights were too close together and ended up being a whole cluster of four-leaf clovers.
I decided to use the lights as more of a background and draped one end of the green fabric up onto our ottoman with the lights in front of it. But… what to photograph!
Sure enough, my boy’s Legos were strewn across the floor, and when I stepped on one of them on my way out of the room, I was inspired. I found a green Lego guy, placed it on the gray base and set up the shot.
I quickly found I needed to light the subject, or it was too dark. I used my Canon Speedlite 430EXII and angled it at 60 degrees. It took me a few more shots to make sure my green guy was in complete focus, but when all was said and done, that was my final shot.
Happy “Belated” St. Patrick’s Day
I originally wanted to try some neat camera effects with my son (or daughter) kicking a soccer ball. The word Kick was going to represent K for this week’s CTE photo challenge. But time got the better of me, and I settled on photographing a knife.
Canon 60D | 50mm lens | 1/100 | f/1.8 | ISO 400
I didn’t want to do just I knife. I feel like I am using my 50mm lens on too many photos since starting my blog. I was planning to cut some tomatoes for hamburgers tonight and thought I would pause long enough to take a photo of a sliced tomato and the biggest knife we had.
I tried making the focal point the tip of the knife, but I didn’t like the look it yielded. I tried focusing on the tomato at various angles, but again… not the look I was going for. I ended up liking the photo shared in this post because the tomato and center of the knife are in focus, with everything else blurred.
And by the way, the hamburgers were great!
Last night I had the privilege of cooking dinner for my family. The entree? Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. While the noodles were boiling, I placed a wooden spoon across the pot, because I’d seen something a while back that said this simple act would keep the pot from boiling over during cooking. (Done it a few times and it really works)
My next thought was, “That would be an interesting blog post and photograph.” So I grabbed by camera and took a few shots of the cooking noodles.
Canon 60D| 50mm lens | 1/80 | f/1.8 | ISO 400
I must confess that while I was taking my photos, the noodles were overcooking and we ended up eating slightly soggy macaroni and cheese. Add a few apple slices as a side dish, and a punch for the drink and no one was worse for wear!
I became a counselor for the Space Exploration merit badge about two weeks ago. Last week, we talked about Newton’s Laws and made these Estes Model Rockets. Tonight, we launched them at a local park. The weather couldn’t have been better – no wind. no rain. no problem.
I grabbed a few shots of the rockets launching. I missed the rockets about half the time, either getting it motionless on the pad, or out of the frame. But here is one I caught just after ignition.
Canon 60D | 50mm lens | 1/8000 | f2.2 | ISO 2000
I went with a fast shutter speed to capture it motionless in flight, because the first photo I shot had a slower speed (1/100) and came out like this:
Canon 60D | 18-135mm lens | 1/100 | f6.3 | ISO 100
You can check out some of the other outtakes on my Facebook page, as well as a photo of the rocket that didn’t deploy and slammed into the ground with such force, its nose cone required some digging to recover. Scary part was, my son was standing 10 feet from the impact zone when it happened.
I lived in downtown Marseille for three months back in 1999. It’s a very old city, founded in 600 BC. I know this because there is a stone etched with that date on the inner-most part of Vieux Port (Old Port), just before heading up the Cannebiere and further in to this massive city.
Still not familiar with Marseille? Have you read The Count of Monte Cristo? The opening scene is Dantes’ boat, the Pharaon, returning to Vieux Port in the shadow of Notre Dame de la Garde, after rounding Chateau D’If, which sits less than 2 miles from the port’s entrance.
I spent a lot of time walking near the port, talking with folks from all walks of life and cultures. So when my wife and I went back to Marseille so I could show her the sights a few years later, I had to show Vieux Port to her. Here is one of the many sights we saw during a late-afternoon stroll along the east side of the port.
I don’t have any details on the camera settings, but still thought it would be a fun travel photo to share. I would love to get back to France as a tourist and take the time to savor not only southern France once again, but do so with my family.