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Old Jun 18, 2012, 12:03 AM   #1
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Default Week 15 of 52

This week was altogether far better than last week. And Iíve reached 100 days Ė that seems like a big number. Maybe a year isnít such an impossibly long time after all.

Monday I was still feeling a bit at odds with things and for some reason, remembered the abandoned rose bush. Iíve posted threads about it before but havenít quite managed to get the picture to say what I wanted it to. I think I did a better job this time.

For those that arenít familiar with my imprisoned rose, the story is simple. Years ago there was a gas station that had a well-loved, well-cared for rose bush. The station eventually closed, torn down and the lot left vacant. Whoever did the demolition left the rose bush, putting a chain link fence up to keep people from trashing the lot and imprisoning the rose bush behind it. The bush has thrived, a prisoner in an urban wasteland.

The second chapter of the rose is that the building next to the vacant lot, formerly a Blockbuster Video store, was recently torn down and the two lots combined as one big empty lot. Once again, the demolition crew left the no longer small rose bush, which continues to thrive in the empty lot. The roses are quite beautiful, and Iíve always wanted to take a picture that not only shows the lovely flowers, but captures at least a feeling of it being a prisoner. I liked how this one came out.

One of the roses taken through the fence:

Our department had an office retirement party on Tuesday. Now most people with a camera would spend their time at the party taking pictures of their co-workers and the retirees. A good photographer would use a portrait lens and take awesome pictures. So what did I do? I used a wide angle and tried to capture the table with the loot (gifts) for the retirees. Perhaps a new low Ė sigh!

Wednesday found me deciding that I really needed to get out of the directionless doldrums I have been in photographically. I read an article that suggested water as being a good theme to shoot, so at lunchtime I headed for one of the fountains near my office. My water pictures were dreadful, but I snapped a shot of a girl and her dog. When I looked at it on the monitor, her blowing hair (it was windy) really grabbed me. The dog was lying on the grass a bit away from her and in front of a really ugly grate. I tried cropping out the dog but didnít like it. I recently upgraded CS4 to CS6 and decided to try the content-aware move tool. Hereís what I ended up with:

And here is what I started out with (the only thing done to it was to resize it):

The move tool struggled with the brick, and I had to come up with some way of gracefully handling the leash situation (copied the bend in the leash on a separate layer then rotated it to make it look like the leash was curling behind the dog), but it did better than I would have trying to use the clone tool. I was delighted with the shot, even if I was 0-for-1 for water pictures.

Thursday found me back at the same fountain I had photographed the day before, but with a better idea of what I wanted and how to correct the mistakes I made the day before. I actually took a water picture that I liked:

But I didnít post it. I had also visited another fountain and while shooting pictures of it, I noticed that the stone around the fountain wasnít cement block, but rather marble, like the exterior walls of the surrounding hospital. So I ended up posting this picture, while telling the story I heard of how a hospital in Southern California came to be clad in Italian marble.

That meant that I was 0-for-2 when it came to posting water pictures.

The article that suggested water as a topic also said to find what you like to photograph and really work on that. Iíve always done that in the past, but had wanted to use this year and the 365 project to try new things and expand my photo experience/capabilities. Thatís still one of my goals, but Iím going to intersperse those things with photos that are more my ďthing.Ē It seems like my ďthingĒ this year has been very graphic oriented, lots of lines and patterns. So this picture, just something fun, fits right in (taken with the DA 10-17 fish-eye).

Friday was a bit of a frantic day for me time-wise, so I didnít take a picture. I ended up posting the water close-up picture above for that day (thatís 2 days Iíve missed out of 100, or only 2%).

Saturday found me trying my hand at what I had originally planned on doing Friday. I took a poof (loofa or whatever you want to call it), getting it wet and taking pictures of the water drops caught in the mesh. Only the water refused to stay in the mesh, and the drops that were there were really tiny. I might try to re-shoot this using a reversed lens to get additional magnification. I wasnít excited enough by this project to re-shoot (watched the US Open instead).

Iím still undecided which of the two shots is better (they arenít great or all that different), I posted a different one to my project. If you are interested, it is this one: http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/p487897818/e194cd636 .

Sunday we visited a near-by lake, Pyramid Lake. Itís actually a reservoir that is part of the California Aqueduct system, but they allow boating and some swimming on it. Thereís some nice facilities and they charge a fee to enter any area thatís close enough for photography. Iíve never actually been there before, it seemed somewhat silly to pay the fee just to take pictures, but we did today. It was very nice, next time we visit I want to bring charcoal and a bbq and have a picnic, and make it really worthwhile.

One of my favorite pictures from the day has nothing to do with water though. It ended up being my second favorite picture, so I avoided being 1-for-4 when it came to the theme I was supposed to be shooting.

Hereís the picture I actually posted (also posted to the bi-weekly challenge, but I just thought it was so funny, Iíll post it here rather than posting a link to the thread).

There was a red-flag warning in the area, so the various fire agencies had stepped up patrols.

It was a good week for photography, and Sunday was a fun day, a new location to explore. Not everything worked the way it was supposed to, but I learned quite a bit from my mistakes. And I was really happy to learn something new about photoshop, and get some experience with CS6's new features.
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 4:47 PM   #2
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Fantastic mix again Harriet.

The rose looks like one I grew from a cutting I got from my father a long time ago, that I left at the old house, not happy about that.


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Old Jun 19, 2012, 9:06 PM   #3
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Great set.
http://www.flickr.com/people/danedawg/ ...K-3x2,Tamron 90mm,Sigma 10-20mm,Tamron 17-50mm,Tamron 28-75mm,Sigma 70-200mm,Sigma 500mm/4.5 ,Da* 300mm,Metz 50af1, Metz 52af1,YN 560iix2..
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 10:57 PM   #4
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Thanks! I had a good time taking these pictures and was reasonably pleased with most of them (I admit the office party picture deserves no comment, it's pretty grim). The helicopter could have been taken at a little slower shutter speed, but I have trouble not getting camera shake when hand-holding the DA*300 lens, so I was keeping the shutter speed fast enough to not get camera shake. The last 3 pictures were all taken with it (lizard, boating dog and helicopter).

The water drop and the two roses were taken with the Viv 105 macro, the marble blocks with the FA31, the water splash and the girl with dog with the DA*200.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 6:36 PM   #5
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Another diverse and interesting series. Amazing PP work on the girl & puppy! Fascinating story of the rose (and well-photographed too). Great capture of the helicopter. And what a unique view of the pink scrubber...
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 10:09 PM   #6
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Thanks, mole! I need to work some more on the pink scrubber picture - I can see potential there (maybe I'm the only one who can?) but I haven't gotten it right yet.
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Old Jun 24, 2012, 9:15 AM   #7
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Once again very creative choices of subject matter and more well done photos. My favorite is the yellow flower.

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