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Old Apr 11, 2012, 11:52 PM   #1
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Default Week 5 of 52

I left my camera home on Monday, April 2nd since I had the second back procedure. When I got home I tried something that I had seen on the 365 site Ė put a clear glass in front of a graphic displayed on your computer monitor. I thought it was a cool idea, so I shot one and posted it for the bi-weekly challenge. If you look through the thread, youíll discover the problem I had with posting the picture here Ė it looks great with a black background, but not with a light one. http://forums.steves-digicams.com/biweekly-shoot-out/197629-glass.html

I stayed home Tuesday and split my time standing, sitting and in the lounge chair with either ice or heat on my back. While I was up, I decided to try something new for me Ė photograph drops of water. That was an experience Ė I vaguely remember directions someone had where you used a plastic bottle of water and put a hole in it. That didnít drip until I poked an air hole and then I got a stream, not drops. I next tried to make my kitchen faucet drip Ė another no-go. It either was off or a small but steady stream. I finally ended up using a turkey baster and that worked pretty well. I used a flash off-camera (to the side), and that brought up issues of flash refresh rate and whether it would fire or not (my batteries were low). I took over 200 pictures, many of them of still water, or a bit of ripple because the drops were out of frame. I would take some photos, upload them to the computer monitor, decide to make some changes (which didnít always work) and shoot again. In the end my patience gave out before I could consistently get good shots. Here are a couple I thought were neat (I put 6 in the zenfolio album).

I thought another one looked like a chair or some sort of creature or something. I was going to link to it here, but Iíve got too many other pictures in this post. Youíll find it at: http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/p487897818/e25d60b13 .

Wednesday found me at work with my iPad. Since my goal doesnít say anything about taking a top quality picture, I decided that I would try out the iPadís camera. One of the 3rd generation iPadís upgrades is supposed to be a better camera. In some ways I was impressed, but then I was expecting very little. Itís not likely to replace my dSLR though Ė in fact, this is probably going to be the last time I use it.

I was surprised at just how wide the lens is. I did a series sort-of comparing the iPad to the K5/FA31 combination, you can find the first of the series at: http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/p487897818/e368d55c9 and go forward 4 shots. I posted some 100% crops.

Most of the past month Iíve taken all sorts of different things, with only one flower (the one above). So Thursday found me visiting the botanical garden. This was my favorite picture from lunch.

Since so many of my pictures recently have had strong graphical elements, I didnít post it to the project. Itís been such a lousy wildflower season so far, I couldn't resist posting this California poppy Ė figured it might be the only poppy picture I was going to get this year.

Iíve been finding some unexpected uses for my iPad. I downloaded CS6 beta and immediately felt lost. I had skipped CS5 and felt intimidated by the new interface. Within a night or two I had figured out how to do what I normally do in CS4 and was beginning to wonder why I would want to upgrade. My home internet connection is very slow by todayís standards, too slow for streaming videos. But I have access to very high speed internet at work. The iPad fits in my purse, so I spent my spare time while around the office Friday watching videos at Lynda.com. That left me thinking about flash (not my favorite thing!) for Friday's photo.

Since I now have a relatively small LED flashlight, I thought I might be able to get something interesting with trailing curtain flash. I tried to ďdrawĒ around a lens but Iím horrible at drawing and my flash is twist on, no push switch. I ended up coming up with the idea of stuffing a pink tee shirt into a glass with the turned on flashlight in the middle of it. I then turned the flashlight off (had to remove it a bit), removed the tee shirt and waited for the flash to go off. No drawing around anything. I thought this one came out really well, a fun picture. I should have called it "Double, Double Toil and Trouble."

Saturday morning I was off before sunrise, hoping there would be a good sunrise at a nearby lake. The sunrise was a bust, I turned around and took this. I wasnít using a tripod and my ISO had to be too high for really top quality, but I love it, in spite of its faults.

My next stop was the Antelope Valley, known for poppy displays. There were some clumps of flowers along the road, but it wasnít spectacular. I got down and took some macros, but I was really too early in the morning, poppies close up at night. Getting bored with individual flowers, I pulled out the FA 31 and took this picture (posted to the project).

I still wasnít satisfied with my search for wildflowers, so Sunday I drove the Wrangler over to Lieber Mountain, an Angeles National Forest dirt road. Part of the route goes over the Old Ridge Route, the original road that was built over the mountains. At the time it was built it was considered an engineering feat Ė a shelf road traversing rugged mountains. Originally dirt, it was later paved with concrete and much of it still exists. Later on they widened and straightened the road, putting bitumen or something like that over the concrete. The interesting thing is that the concrete is in better shape than the overlay. Itís amazing to see just how curvy the original road was as it followed the mountainside, compared to the later changes. Notice the S curve of the concrete in this picture.

Another view from further up, showing why they called it the Ridge Route.

Lieber Mountain Road is open, but has been eroded in places. I was glad to have 4x4 in a couple of spots.

I found all sorts of wildflowers here and had a great time taking tons of pictures. I couldnít decide whether I should post the picture of the Ridge Route above (which actually is a stitched panorama of 4 vertical frames taken with the FA77) or one of the poppy pictures. I compromised by posting a picture that showed a bit of both, you can find it here: http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/p487897818/e1a5e04dd - the one after that was taken with the DA 10-17 at a different location and shows wildflowers all up a hillside, I really liked it also.

A closer look at a normal mix of wildflowers:

Some other macro/close-up are here (this and the next 3 pictures) http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/p487897818/e130288c1 .

It was a wonderful week, I tried several new things, found my wildflowers, contemplated California history, did a bit of easy off-roading and took tons of pictures. Canít ask for more than that!
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 4:27 AM   #2
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I look forward to your weeks worth of shots, Thank you.

The 'Gate Ahead' shot is my favourite, I always love a path to who knows where.


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Old Apr 12, 2012, 9:46 PM   #3
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It's interesting to see how you are shooting at least a shot a day. Wishing you well on your back. Been there, still done that.
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Old Apr 13, 2012, 12:46 AM   #4
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Thanks, Rodney. I love getting off the beaten path, so a bit of light off-roading is always welcome.

Paul - The back is much better, hope it stays that way for as long as it did last time. My goal is to take one picture a day. And since I get bored easily, I'm trying to vary things to keep it all fun for the entire year.

I don't want to monopolize this board/post too much and bore everyone so figured that I would do a week's summary of what I've been doing. I probably will still bore many, but it's been good for me to try to put things in perspective, and to explain some of the things I've learned (like this week I've been playing with CS6 beta's features and have learned LOTS!). More about that when I do my summary next week.
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Old Apr 13, 2012, 10:27 AM   #5
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Another week, another great batch of photos. I get exhausted just reading about the effort you put in!!!

My particular favourites are the water drips (just awesome!), the moon (just beautiful) and the tee-shirt (just no idea how you did it, despite the description )

Can't believe that anyone could get bored with such diverse subjects. Keep it up - only another 47 weeks to go

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Old Apr 13, 2012, 1:31 PM   #6
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Great pictures.

I've often thought about trying to freeze water droplets in a picture....but was unsure how to do it. Think I'll follow your instructions and give it a shot. BTW those water photos are excellent.

I also like the light and the glass pictures...again well executed.

My wife is thinking of getting an Apple computer...like the one you have been discussing.

Interesting to read your views on this machine.

That countryside is beautiful...so different from the mostly flat prairie up here.

Week 5 went well, photographically speaking.

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Old Apr 13, 2012, 10:30 PM   #7
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I love the variety of this posting. You have a little bit of everything! As one who usually takes scenic landscapes, I really admire photographers who can step out of their comfort zone and try new things. I really like all the images in this posting, but I'm especially taken with the water droplets, which remind me of the pioneering work done by Harold "Doc" Edgerton.
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Old Apr 14, 2012, 1:51 AM   #8
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I have a MacBook Pro as my main computer. I love it, and find its really easy to work on. The iPad isn't exactly a computer, and won't replace mine. However, it's really useful for a number of things. Like many things made by Apple, there's a coolness factor thats intangible about it. I've been finding some unexpected uses for it. My home Internet connection is slow so there's no point in streaming movies. ITunes allows you to download rental movies, so I can download them on the iPad when I'm somewhere I have access to fast Internet and then I can wirelessly stream them from my iPad to my TV. That opens up all sorts of things.

Keith, I'll most likely do some more trailing curtain flash later on and I'll try to explain it better then.
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Old Apr 14, 2012, 5:22 PM   #9
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The pink T shirt shot is neat the stove top circles add to the image. The drops and botanical garden shots are cool as well, nice job


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Old Apr 17, 2012, 6:25 PM   #10
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Very cool
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