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Old Aug 4, 2012, 4:38 PM   #1
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Default Week 21 of 52

Sunday I decided that I wanted to continue playing with long shutter speeds and IR. So there I was Monday, with my K100 in the camera bag, a couple of lenses I can use with the R72 filter and the tripod. About a block away from the office, I realize that while I had carefully made sure that the K100 had the tripod mounting plate mounted on it, moved the lenses and camera into the small camera bag and made sure I grabbed the tripod, I forgot to put the R72 filter and step-up rings in the small bag. Sighing, I turned around and watched lynda.comís CS6 videos instead of taking pictures. When I got home I went around the subdivision looking for some birds. Found some hollyhocks growing in a vacant lot a short block away instead. Saved by the flower. (K5, DA*300)



I like the back-lighting of this one.



This third one has wonderful lighting, but there are too many other pictures to show them all. If you take a look at this one, Iíd appreciate which one you like best (though they are all quite different). http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/p487897818/e25e6b9a6

I had a doctorís appointment Tuesday afternoon, so put the camera with one lens in my camera bag. Got to where I wanted to take the picture and discovered that the memory card was still in the card reader at home. No problem, I carry a card in my purse to use to take files to and from my office. Pop it in the camera, format it and start shooting.

This is a ďnow and thenĒ picture Ė the one on the right was taken 1 May when I had another appointment and it shows the building as they were demolishing the interior of a multistory building. The picture on the left is the same (more or less) place on 24 July Ė all thatís left is a very large pile of rubble. If I have another reason for visiting this site in a year, Iíll take a picture of the garden that will be planted. (K5, 1 May picture with FA 77 Ltd, 24 July picture with the FA 31)



I finally got managed to get everything I needed for IR photography to the office on Wednesday. What I really wanted to see is how I could use the slow shutter speed with water, so I headed to a fountain. It wasnít a success at all, as you can see here in this combination shot (not posted to my project): http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/p487897818/e25adae11

I ended up posting this next one. One of the things that Iíve noticed is that blocking blue light causes things in the distance to be sharper than they otherwise would be. I also liked the ghostly figures (and now that Iím looking at it, it gives me an idea for another ghostly type picture). The filter and the reflected IR light makes this picture look really odd, too. (K100, SMC 24 f2.8)



Iíve been having major problems with time-management with this project. On Thursday I took a couple of photos for someone at work of a plastic duct boot, very boring (and I forgot to bring them home, still not sure if I have the files any more). I just didnít have time to take any more, so that day is blank. I should fill it up with one of the hollyhock pictures from Monday.

Friday I was determined to take more IR photos, to get a handle on the R72 and slow shutter speed bit. Decided to visit a different fountain. At lunch I checked the camera before heading out Ė no memory card AGAIN! And this time the back-up card hadnít quite made it back into my purse, so I had no card at all. Oh well, when I got home I went looking for flowers. The light wasnít on the hollyhocks when I first walked by, but found this sunflower further on. (K5, Viv S1 105 macro)



On the way back the light was better on one of the hollyhock stalks: (K5, Viv S1 105 macro)



Since my IR photography for Friday was a bust, I headed into the local mountains with my gear. This is the picture I actually like the best, but since I hadnít posted the earlier comparison shot, this isnít the one I posted. (K100, MC 24mm f2.8)



One thing to look out for when using the R72 filter is lens/light flare. (K100, DA 35 macro)



Hereís the picture I ended up posting, a comparison. It always amazes me how much detail the far mountains will have compared to the color version. (K100, SMC 24 f.28)



But by the end of the day the weekís little brain-fades and frustrations had finally got to me and I resolved to put the K100 and R72 filter away for a long while.

I pulled out the tripod and the turkey baster for a second try at drops on Sunday. Tried with water but either my timing was way off or the focus was off or the flash didn't fire because I tried before it had recycled. I had much better luck the first time I tried it. There was an article that talked about how waterís viscosity made it so difficult and how milk was easier. No milk in the fridge, but there was some cream. I had much better luck with it, timing was easier to control, and I finally got the focus right. But the pictures were still soft, which I couldnít figure out since the Vivitar Series One 105 macro is a really sharp lens, one of my sharpest. But here are the ones I liked best:

Hole in the water:



Button mushroom:



The one I actually posted:



I was still puzzling over my failure to get a sharp photo the next morning, when it came to me Ė the SR was still turned on though the camera was securely fastened to a sturdy tripod (check the exif, it shows ď100Ē which would be there only if the SR were on Ė I was shooting an ďAĒ lens). Iím sure thatís why my pictures were soft and Iíve become a believer that it really does make a difference to turn it off when you use a tripod.

By the end of this week I was feeling stressed out altogether (most of it having nothing to do with photography, but the frustrating week on that front didn't help). I was seriously thinking of giving up, I just donít have enough hours in a day to do everything well, and I donít like my photography suffering so. But at 4 am Monday I grabbed the camera bag and headed out at lunch.


I'm more or less caught up now - this is the write-up for this past week, and this week won't end until tomorrow.

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Old Aug 6, 2012, 8:58 AM   #2
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From flowers to IR to droplets. What an interesting week you had. Wishing you well on your quest.
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Old Aug 7, 2012, 12:03 AM   #3
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Thank you, Paul, for finding kind words to say for what is a rather abysmal series. Until you mentioned it, I hadn't realized just how limited this week was - hollyhocks (always easy) and struggling with mistakes and essentially failures. I was frustrated because I didn't think anything beyond the hollyhocks worth two cents and hadn't realized just how limited/limiting that week really was. The week that I just completed didn't seem to me to be much better.

It didn't sound like that big a deal, taking one picture every day. But it really is, and I just don't have the time to do justice to it. Between working 8 hours a day, having a 3 hour (plus on occasion) commute and then putting dinner on the table and regular chores, plus all the time that it takes to either set up something new photographically or think of something to take that might be interesting, edit everything (experiment or not) and then put it all together, plus try to keep up with everyone else - there's not enough hours in the day to do it all, at least not to do it right, and still get enough sleep.

I'll write up this past week in a couple of days, to see if I can get a better perspective on it. I really hate to quit the project, as it's been a good push to get me off my duff, it was getting too easy to just not go out looking for pictures ("tomorrow I'll go"). Oh well, we'll see how it goes over the next couple of days before I decide whether week 22 will be my last one or not (no final decision tonight).
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Old Aug 7, 2012, 10:01 AM   #4
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Hi Harriet,
Another cool series of varied topic's, I really enjoy your weekly offerings for that reason.
It sounds like you're getting a bit browned off with the pressure to produce every week, if it's too much, times too short,pull the pin, no hard feelings.
I'll miss 'em tho.
:-)

Simon
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Old Aug 7, 2012, 6:33 PM   #5
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Another very interesting and diverse week! Backlit hollyhock probably my favorite, but many fine photos in this set - especially interesting IR work, and that last milk drop is amazing.

If this is already week 23, then there are only 29 more to go!
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Old Aug 7, 2012, 6:44 PM   #6
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Love the flower shots. Awesome
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Old Aug 7, 2012, 11:30 PM   #7
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Thanks for the comments, I'm still hanging in there (more or less).

Mole - I had posted the first hollyhock picture to the project, the one with the bee. However, I think I actually prefer the back-lit one as being something different.

Simon, the funny thing is that last night/this morning I had come to grips with the idea of quitting. So what did I do at lunch? Walk around near my office building with the camera, looking for photo subjects (and I found one that piqued my interest).

I really do want to take some more drop pictures one of these days, I felt that I was on the right track using cream. Just need to remember to turn off the SR before shooting anything. I'm just going to play it as it comes and not make a decision to pull the plug today.
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 3:42 AM   #8
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Yah Hoo, looking forward to the next instalment.
:-)

Simon
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 11:00 PM   #9
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These are wonderful! I love the hollyhocks, but the droplets are my favorites. I know a retired engineer who worked for Harold "Doc" Edgerton for many years. He has some wonderful stories about some of the goings-on in the lab as they pioneered ultra high-speed photography and paved the way for photos like yours.
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Old Aug 9, 2012, 12:38 AM   #10
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Actually, this isn't exactly ultra high-speed, I took it using X-mode for a shutter speed of 1/180. It's the off-camera flash that helps (located on the side) to stop the motion.
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