Photo Challenge

Thoonk!

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.

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.

Valentine’s Day Waffles

February 2010 Challenge Theme: I ATE THIS
Day 14 – Valentine’s Day Waffles
www.photochallenge.org

For as long as we have been married, my wife has made waffles topped with strawberries and whipped cream for Valentine’s Day. Our kids often want waffles anyway, but on Valentine’s these toppings are sure to be included. Truly wonderfully yummy way to start a special day!

On the Lake

2010 Challenge Theme: WEEK 7 SUBMISSION
Weeks 5-8 (January 24 – February 20): Natural Landscape
www.photochallenge.org

Last week’s entry never came to fruition, but this week I made a couple of attempts to get out and capture the sunset after work. It’s finally getting to be long enough days that sunset happens after work 🙂

I headed down to the lake again since it is 10 minutes from work. Rather than stick on the shoreline I decided to venture out and test the ice. Locals know that Utah Lake isn’t all that deep, so I was happy to find it frozen solid.

Out about 100 yards was a perfect spot to try and capture something untouched by man. Getting out like this reminds me how great it is to spend a few minutes offloading the day, freeing the mind and trying to make a good image.

What I’ve Eaten

So far this month my good intentions of daily food photos for the Photo Challenge have fallen a bit short. It’s tough to break out of the daily routine and think about trying to take a quality photo of the food you’ve eaten. What is even more difficult is trying to think of a different way to capture images each time. That said, I’ve taken a few photos so far I thought I would share.

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Texas Chile

PhotoChallenge.org announced their first monthly challenge of 2010 for February, called “It Ate This.

Though I have no background in food photography, I have been trying my hand at it a bit lately with some of my wife’s recipes. You see, my wife and I have a wonderful relationships – she’s a great cook and I love to eat. One of the many great things about our marriage 😉

My wife regularly shares her recipes with family & friends, but recently decided to start compiling her “best of” recipes for a self-published book to share with those same family & friends. After she captured her first recipe photo with our handy point-n-shoot in the regular kitchen lighting, I let her know if we are going to do this, we better do it right. Thus, my attempts at taking some book-worthy photos was born.

Currently the recipes are being posted to our family blog, but I thought I’d share a few of the photos on Flickr as I go. You can see the collection so far on SmugMug here as well.

This one is a bit early for the challenge, but since the rules are a bit flexible I figured I’d get started early. Call it a pre-submission if you will. I will be blogging a bit about this as well while I participate in the February challenge a bit.

Snooze

2010 Challenge Theme: WEEK 4 SUBMISSION
Weeks 1-4 (January 1 – January 23): RESOLUTION
www.photochallenge.org

Along with most every resolution I can think of, we all try to get more out of each day. I know I often try to get up earlier, whether for an early morning workout or to squeeze in some extra time for work or hobbies.

No matter how strong my will seems to be, the flesh is often weak. Before the brain fully engages, the hand often has a mind of its own, naturally finding its way to the snooze button.

New challenge theme starts tomorrow. I’m excited to see what it is so I can start thinking of what to shoot next!

Photo Challenge 2010 Week 2

So I’m a little late to getting started, but I decided to get back into sync with the www.photochallenge.org themes this year. They have taken on a much more approachable format this year, with a weekly photo on a every 4 week new theme. You can read more about it here.

I like the way participating in challenges gives me motivation and inspiration to just get out and try to do something creative with my camera.

This first theme is "resolution" which of course for me includes the need to lose some of this blubber I’ve put on in the last year.

On my first attempt at the theme, my wife was of course my gracious subject. We did this composite image of her floating over the scale, as if weightless. She provided the title of "Wishful Thinking."