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Wednesday
Nov242010

Girls' Night Out

43.365 22mm f5.6 1/30 ISO 1600One of the occupational hazards of being my friend now is that you apparently have to be willing to endure the gaze of my lens if you happen to be sitting in a particularly comely pool of light.  That happened to Christin while she was choosing between the risotto and the roasted beets at Root Down last night.  I couldn't help it:  the menu acted as the perfect reflector and I really didn't have any choice but to pull out the camera.  It didn't help that I had yet to see anything nearly so inspiring as that yesterday.  Plus I had already consumed a particularly tasty margarita.

For the record she went with the beets.  And I must say that the lentil soup I ate was the best I've ever encountered.

Tuesday
Nov232010

Stalking the Moon

42.365 55mm f5.0 1/4 ISO 1600I had taken a perfectly nice picture of the beautiful bowl of pho I ordered for lunch yesterday (all while joking with my co-worker that I had to shoot it for my pho-tography project) that I had every intention of posting here.  And really, a cluster of bright green jalapeno slices topped with a squeeze of orange Sriracha sauce is extremely photogenic, as well having the virtue of cleaning out one's sinuses.

But then on my way home I noticed how the full moon was backlighting the Denver skyline and was kind of taken by how it looked.  I was in a bit of a mad dash to get home (as usual) and I thought night skyline, could I possibly make it special?  And anyway my tripod is at home.  But I remembered the encouragement I got from a reader here last week about how I shouldn't be afraid of cliches because they're cliches for a reason.  Usually because there's something beautiful about them.

So I found myself ducking into the college campus and trying to find a good vantage point.  I MacGuyvered a tripod with my iPhone and a cardboard box I've been meaning to bring in from the car for about a month.  And then I sat and waited.  And waited.  And waited like I was on some kind of safari for the moon to pop up over the building.  It was kind of nice to find a quiet little corner of downtown to have to myself for a few minutes and just to sit still and watch. 

As it turned out, I liked the picture better before the moon actually materialized.  But I'm glad I didn't know that earlier or I would certainly have run off to the next thing before enjoying the moment.

Monday
Nov222010

Cheating

41.365 135mm f5.0 1/200 ISO 800I always feel like nature shots don't really count if you're shooting animals in captivity.  I mean, I know there's still some skill involved in composing and exposing your image but it hardly seems sporting.  But then it's a cold winter day and you need to do something cool with your two-year-old so you go to the Butterfly Pavilion.  And once you're there it seems like it would just be rude not to shoot all these beautiful insects.

So no, it's not as cool as if I was stalking butterflies in a rain forest in Central America.  But in truth this environment does allow me to indulge my love of shallow depth of field.  And it invites me to work on precision focus and to shoot at faster shutter speeds than I would normally choose. 

Plus, watching your two-year-old chase butterflies is priceless.

Sunday
Nov212010

Monochrome Morning

40.365 18mm f5.6 1/100 ISO 400When I turned on the radio yesterday morning I heard there was a fog advisory for Denver and I immediately started thinking about all the cool places I could go with my camera.  If I didn't have a million other things to do, that is.  I had plans to host a baby shower brunch at my house mid-morning so instead of leaving on a photo safari I loaded my son in the car and headed to pick up a few last-minute things at the grocery store.

I couldn't possibly resist pulling over and firing off a couple shots of the misty lake in my neighborhood on the way.  I could have stayed there for an hour finding some deliciously moody composition, but with a two-year-old waiting in the back seat and a party to get to I gave myself the wide angle and permission to stop for 90 seconds. 

Saturday
Nov202010

Just for the Challenge of it

39.365 50mm f5.6 1/15 ISO 800So it's been about two weeks since Daylight Savings time ended, which means two weeks that I've been meaning to make friends with my flash.  Somehow I have managed to put off that challenge up 'til now though, finding ways to sneak outdoor shots into my already crowded daily schedule.  Yesterday though, I decided it was time to compose an indoor shot.

A few months ago a friend complimented me on some picture I had taken and I told her I want to be one of those photographers who could make a pretty picture of a used teabag or something.  Well what better time to try?

As it turns out I confirmed two things:  1) I'm still averse to my flash, but with a tripod, a long exposure, and a still life you don't really need one.  And 2) teabags just aren't very aesthetically pleasing.