April 2010

More Therapy with Pelicans

After enjoying my little outing during lunch on Friday, I decided to again take advantage of our current weather and take my lunch break down by the lake.

This time I was able to find a few pelicans were I could approach & enjoy them for a bit before they moved along. Though I got several shots with them perched, I liked this first shot as this bird started to take off. I would have liked it better if he was flying across or toward me, but I liked seeing the detail in his wing as well. I also would have framed this photo (probably) landscape mode, but I had just been taking some portrait orientation shots with his reflection when he started to take off. I figured it was better to get the shot of him flying as I had the camera set up rather than try and switch and possibly miss the shot.

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Outdoor Therapy

Earlier this week I headed out with a co-worker for a mini-photowalk to help with her school photo project. That outing reminded me how much I just enjoy being outside and wandering with camera in hand. I decided lunch today needed be another outing.

I headed down to the same place by Utah Lake as it is only few miles from my office. This time I brought along my longer lens in hopes of catching some birds that I had seen the other day. They were a bit skittish – primarily due to some boisterous and obviously truant teenagers also down by the lake – so I never had any close enough for a really tight shot.

Still, I count the day a big success as I thoroughly enjoyed just getting outside, enjoying nature and a few minutes away from the computer.


Yesterday I went out on a mini-photowalk with a co-worker that is taking a photography class at a local university. She has her final project due next week and was looking for some specific photos. The class requires she shoot in film, so to help make sure we were in the right range of exposure I had my camera set up exactly the same – ISO, 50mm lens, etc. – and would test out shots first to see what we thought. Cheating, maybe; but it was fun helping her find possible shots to meet the criteria.

One requirement was to stop motion, which obviously requires a faster shutter speed. Her old SLR could do a max of up to a 1000 shutter speed, so in the bright sun we had to close down the aperture quite a bit as well to work with the 400 ISO film she was shooting. I really didn’t want to get in front of the camera and do some goofy jumps, so instead since we were by the lake I thought of tossing some rocks to get a splash. This was the first shot I took to see how it would look.

Reminded me of a great recent Sheldon comic. Every so often we all need a little "Thoonk" therapy.

As I was very close to the ground for this perspective, I’m throwing it in as my last entry in the "Down Low" PhotoChallenge.org theme.

Salmon Chili Rub

Another photo for my wife’s “favorite recipes” she is collecting to put in her own recipe book. This is our favorite way to have salmon for sure. I have to admit, it is great project because she makes great food, I take photos and then get to enjoy the food!

We are going to have to try the variation suggested by my friend Bryan Jones just the other day.

On the Road…Again

Driving through Arizona this last week, I remembered I wanted to get a photo for the “down low” photo challenge. We had an early start to the day driving home, so at this early point in the day there really was almost no traffic coming through on Hwy 89 where we were at for a brief stop.

We had actually stopped because there was a beautiful scenic outlook over an immense, beautiful valley off to the left of this scene. This was one of those moments where I took my photos, was ready to go and then remembered the advice to “turn around” and see what photo I might be missing. I told the kids to not do what Dad was doing and ventured out onto the highway for a unique vantage point.

This area was in shadow so I hadn’t event considered photos in this direction. I took the same photo and adjusted it once for the sky and once for the foreground, then combined them as layers in Photoshop.

For those pixel peepers that may notice the “glow” above the rocks into the sky, that was not a result of processing, rather a combination of my polarizing filter and natural bright light reflecting off the rocks.


This weekend I drove my family back from a spring break week in Phoenix, AZ. We stopped in Page, AZ for breakfast (after an early start) where the landscape is beautiful, but dry and definitely in the middle of the desert. As I was filling up with gas I wandered a bit with camera in hand to see what I could capture in the few minutes I had.

I felt like this was one of those moments I was rewarded for remembering to look around and notice my surroundings, even during the most mundane of tasks.

Lookback Stare

Can you see how wary she is about me taking a photo? Like some people I come across whenever I have a camera pointed in their direction!

Taken in Phoenix, AZ on a short spring break trip.