Stairway To Eternity

I'm almost finished with my project 365 :-) I can't believe I'm on day 348 out of 366. While I'm happy to be almost finished, I'm also a little sad that it will be over. I've learned a lot about photography this year and the experience had definitely been worth it. Here's my image for today. I call it "Stairway to Eternity:

As I was walking out of the office, right at sunset, I was thinking about what I could do to capture an image for the day when I looked over at the stairway of the parking garage and saw that it was bathed in the final bit of daylight (which was slightly blue, a perfect match to the famed "blue hour"). The alternating stairs in the concrete tower looked pretty cool so I grabbed my trusty Canon Powershot S95 and clicked off a couple shots. When I loaded the images up on the computer I saw that the inside of the stairwell had a nice, contrasting color and texture to the outside. All in all I think it's an acceptable shot.

Only 18 more days....

Project 365 Day 336-Needs Work

After 5 years of riding by this slowly decaying/collapsing house, I finally made the drive out to it to photograph it: It is located in a rural/suburban area that is surrounded by subdivisions. There is a chicken coop behind the house that I didn't get to today, but maybe next time. I think what motivated me to get out and shoot this was the fact that I have the Rolleicord, which seemed like the perfect tool to document this piece of local history that is slowly fading away.

I took this about 30 minutes after sunrise this morning and developed the roll around lunchtime today. I used Ilford Delta 400 b&w film and developed it for 7 minutes in Ilford Ilfosol 3. By 5PM the negatives were dry and I was able to scan them in.

Three Columns And Stairs In Black And White

I'm really starting to enjoy seeking out scenes that might look better in black and white instead of color: Today, I was walking around outside our office during lunch and saw this composition of the building columns framing a stairway. I thought it would make a nice image for day 283 of my project 365:

I converted the image to to black and white using Silver Efex Pro, which I'm really starting to like.



A Taste Of The Bisti Badlands

I'm starting to work through all of the images that we took on our trip (man there are a lot) and I wanted to share a quick one from a very unique area that we visited, The Bisti Badlands. The Bisti is located about 40 miles South of Farmington, New Mexico so it's in the northwest corner of the state. I have wanted to visit the Bisti for a while. Pam, who grew up in Farmington, had never been there either so we made a point to set aside a morning to visit and hopefully get some good images. We got up at 4AM, staggered to the shower to wake up, had a strong cup of coffee and then started the 45 minute or so drive to the Bisti so we could get there for sunrise.  We got there just as the 1st rays of light were coming over the horizon. We got some good sunrise shots and then wandered into the badlands, not really knowing where to go (we'll get a map next time). Once the Sun came up a bit we were able to see some details of the landscape and began to head for all the neat looking rocks in the distance.

We found all kinds of things to photograph, many of which I plan on posting in the coming week or two but this image caught my eye as I was making my initial "run" through everything in Lightroom:

As you can see, this is one strange looking rock :-) They are officially called hoodoos but I think this one looked a little like an alien life-form frozen in stone. I had taken 3 bracketed shots of this so I combined them using the Enfuse for Lightroom plugin (which I reviewed a while back). I then took the image and ran it through Nik's Color Efex Pro to see what I could do to enhance the image a bit. I used the "detail extractor" to pull out the texture of the rock.

I've got a lot of images to go through and I'm looking forward to trying some of the filters in the Nik Software Lineup. I'd be interested in hearing from any of you who have used their products and have come up with some settings or "recipes" that seem to work well with landscape and nature photography.

Stay tuned for more images from the Bisti Badlands..........

Wolf Creek Pass Kenworth

I'm starting to work through all the images we took on our trip last week. While I spend a lot of time working on some of the images there are a few that we took that don't require much work at all. The following image is one of those and is my Project 365 image for September 5th: As we were driving to Farmington, New Mexico from Alamosa we drove over the famous, and sometimes dangerous, Wolf Creek Pass. We've gone over the pass in all kinds of weather over the last 25 years. Everything from rain, to sunshine, to a blinding blizzard. Thankfully, the weather this time was perfect! :-) Pam and I were taking our time and enjoying the view as we drove. When we got to the top of the pass we took a break to get out of the car and look around, like we always do.

This hard working, bug-splattered, Kenworth was taking a break after climbing up the West side of the pass(the steeper of the two sides), which summits at 10.857 feet. When I saw this truck I immediately thought of a song from C.W. McCall called "Wolf Creek Pass". I can safely say that C. W. McCall would be right at home with this Image!

Project 365 Day 217: Pig-N-Chik BBQ

Day 217 of my Project 365 found us craving some good barbeque. So we headed to Chamblee, GA and the Pig-N-Chik BBQrestaurant for lunch. I had the brisket and Pam had the Pork Ribs. Both were very good. They had a good selection of sides as well. I had the Collards and Broccoli while Pam had the slaw and Mac-n-Cheese. If you are in Atlanta and like BBQ, check out the Pig-N-Chik. There are multiple locations in the Atlanta area.


Project 365 Update Day 200

I can't believe I've made it this far, but yesterday was day 200 in my attempt to complete a project 365! Day 200-Too Obvious Version Two

To commemorate this monumental event I reprised the image I took for day 100:

Day 100-Too Obvious

Both images are of office suite numbers in my building.

Pretty creative, huh :-) Not really, but that's the best I could come up with on an otherwise busy work day.

Some people who attempt/complete a project 365 insist that every photograph be "artsy" in one way or another. They go to great lengths to make each daily image the best, most technically proficient photograph they can. Me, not so much.

What's The Point

Since I started this project 365 I've had several people (all photography enthusiasts) ask me "What's the point? Why would you want to take a photograph each day, especially if many of the photographs aren't particularly interesting?"

Well, everyone has different reasons for doing things and in my case, attempting and hopefully completing, a project 365 is a way for me to accomplish a couple of things:

  1. To get in the habit of taking a camera with me pretty much wherever I go.
  2. To improve my skill in "seeing" images through the camera viewfinder instead of with my eyes.
  3. To document my life.
  4. To have fun!!

On all of the above counts I think I am succeeding 100%. And based on that I plan on continuing the project 365 until the very end. I've learned a lot about photography in the 1st 200 days and I've even taken a few decent photographs along the way.

What about you? Have you started and/or finished a Project 365? What have you learned along the way? Share your experiences with other readers in the comments.

Happy Shooting!

Project 365 Update And Upcoming Posts

Well, I made it to the halfway point in my project 365. Yesterday was day 183 out of the 366 days in 2012. To celebrate this auspicious event :-) I poured myself an ice-cold beer and sat out on the deck in the 105 degree heat to ponder the gravity of the situation:

Day 183-Half Full or Half Empty

To be honest, when I started this on January 1st, I was a little concerned that I'd make it much past the first month. My main reason was because I am so busy during the week with work that I feared I would never be able to take enough "artistic" photos. To fix that, I decided to just concentrate on taking a photo a day no matter how "artsy fartsy" it was. The challenge I committed to was to actually use the camera each and every day knowing that most days my images would be fairly ordinary. So far, I'm on track. I've decided to do the best I can with the time I have. If it's a super-busy day and all I have time to do is take a quick snapshot, I'll try to make it of something unique to that particular day. If I have the time and am actually out "doing photography" I can try to find something really unique to shoot.

I'm looking forward to the second half of the year and all the opportunities it will bring. I've learned a lot about myself so far and I think I'll learn a lot more in the coming 6 months.

What I Have Coming Up

I'm still working on my review/evaluation of HDR software and hope to have an update post ready to go later this week. In addition to that I plan on finally doing a review of the Canon 15-85mm Lens that I got a few months ago as well as some of the software I've been using.

I hope all of you have enjoyed the blog so far. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for future posts and I'll do my best to accommodate them.

Happy Shooting!



Project 365 Update, Recent Photo Adventures And Another Contest

For those of you that might have noticed, I've been a little lax in posting here for the last couple of weeks. That's because we've been busy with work (a necessary, though mostly enjoyable, thing), a short vacation (always fun), and photography (more fun). I wanted to give you a quick update on things I'm working on (including a contest!), so read on!: A couple of weeks ago we took a long weekend trip down to Ponte Vedra Beach Florida where we met some friends, ate lots of seafood, watched some golf, tried (and failed miserably :-) ) to body-surf, and took lots of photos. I've posted a few images from the trip on my Flickr Photostream  but I have some more that I am working on that I plan on posting.

Just this past weekend, Pam and I took a trip East of Atlanta with one of the photography groups we belong to, the Decatur Digital Meetup group. We started off in the small town of Crawfordville, GA then worked our way back towards Atlanta stopping in Greensboro, Buckhead, Rutledge, and Social Circle, taking photos along the way. It was a fun day and we got some good images that I'm working through. I'll post some of those as well. Look for them later this week. In the meantime, here is one image I took while in Florida:

I woke up early on Friday to see if I could catch a good beach sunrise photograph. The sun was just coming up over the horizon as I got the camera setup on the beach. This image was taken about 1 minute after the "official" sunrise time.

Project 365 Update

I am still going strong with my project 365 for 2012. I haven't missed a day yet and I'm past day 140.

I think I will stop posting every image I take for the project and instead let all of you view the images on my Flickr account in the Project 365 Set, or on my photo gallery page that's linked to this site. If any of the images you see interest or inspire you enough to want to purchase them, you can order affordable priced prints from my photo gallery. Just click on the image you're interested in and go from there. If you see something on Flickr that interests me, let me know and I'll make sure you can purchase whatever you want.

Upcoming Posts

I'm hoping to get a couple of photography related reviews posted soon, including the Canon 15-85mm lens and Adobe Lightroom 4. I'm also beginning the process of looking at HDR software so look for something related to that in the next few weeks.

Another Contest

It's been a while but I think it's time to have another contest/giveaway :-) This time I think it will be related to building subscribers to the blog. I'm still noodling through the details but be assured that it will include some type of fantastic prize! Stay tuned for more information.

That's about it for now. Thanks for the support and I'd love to hear from any of you about anything photography related.