Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day Nine–One of My Favorite Photos

I love photographing animals. So in pursuing this I visit a lot of zoos. I really like the newer zoos where the animal are in a more natural habitat. A perfect example of this is Tampa, Florida’s Lowery Park Zoo. When I was a kid I remember the old style zoo that was full of Tiger Yawnanimals in concrete pits with no foliage or shelters. Then in my late teens they renovated and went to an open air bars free zoo. Now the animals look happier and most important to me and the other photogs, the opportunities for unencumbered shots opened up. So one day with my do everything 28-200mm zoom lens, trusty Pentax K-1000 loaded with T-Max 100 film in hand, I was at the tiger enclosure. The tiger couple were enjoying an afternoon nap together when the male awoke and yawned. And I happened to be there at the right moment. The truth is I had been there ready for something to happen for over a half hour. I knew that if I waited for them to wake up, there was a chance of them running around, licking one another, or something interesting. The wait paid off, at least in my opinion. This picture represents everything I love in a photo. Good depth of field, extreme detail, and capturing a moment that tells the story without words. One of my personal bests.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Last Week-Road Trips Snaps

Last week I had a trip to Baltimore in the rain and fog. Then a few trips to Somerville, Hackettstown, and then down to Turnersville. Here are a few of the photos I got a long the way.


This was a single tree standing in an empty field just before the traffic circle on Route 70 and Route 206 and the only thing clearly visible in the fog. Its starkness called me to photograph it. Everything about this photo is bad, but at the same time I’ll be taking more like it as something about it makes me want to get it right.


This is the corner of 571 and 27 in Princeton. I think the nearest building is the college library. The sky was so striking, the tree so bare, and the curved stone so textured.


This was just a few blocks from my house in Brick. I was at the start of a long day waiting at the traffic light that is leaves my neighborhood. This is a small area were the soccer moms wait to pick their kids from the school bus. While sitting there waiting for the red to go green these wild turkeys came strolling by. The were big and fat from the Fall feasting they have been doing. The males looked to be 25 to 30 pounders.


when in doubt get in close. Find the angle. Get the light to shine.


Autumn makes a splash of bright colors and if you set it against blue water. I can be wonderful. I’m still working on it.


Yellows of Fall.


I have a thing for lighthouses and other tall landmarks.

20101113-0005 This is a proud shot for me. I was shot handheld with a 300mm zoom in the late afternoon. Never hold back from the taking the shot. You might just get lucky.


Large iron is always good to shot. curves and hard edges photograph with contrast and shadows.

This is but the first of my photos. Hopefully as time goes on both you and I can watch my pics get better. That’s really a large part of this project. Forcing me to get better or fail in public.

Stay tuned, there’s more to come.

Day One–Where I get Inspiration from

We all get inspiration for our photography from different places. I have several books on photography that I have collected over the years that have been the base of mine. My prime technical book is Kodak’s Complete Book of Photography. I also have books on photography from the early 1900’s where the black and whites photos are pasted into the pages, and newer ones that are rich in color like David Muench’s book of photos Nature’s America . While I have never been to the Southwest (Southern California is the exception) I long to visit the Badlands of Nebraska. I have relatives in the Southeastern part of the State, and have seen them a handful of times over the years, I have never had the time to make the trip to the Northwestern part while there. I vow to visit the family again AND also make this trip. I have been working on a tight to no budget for a while, so I find inspiration where I can. A local festival like a seafood fest, cranberry harvest, State Park, Landmarks, and what seems to be my fall back, Things that visit my backyard. So with that in mine here are three sources that I have been getting inspiration from lately that I feel will reach out to everyone at any level of photography.

1. What I see out my car’s windows as I seem to be in the car a majority of my life as of late. I am snapping, no other way to describe that point the camera in the general direction and try to grab the shot, of the landscape going by. If there is time I might even stop and get out of the car for a photo. This is more to share the sights I see each day there actual “good” photography, but maybe I will get lucky along the way.

2. Actively pushing myself to photograph friends and family. This is really hard fro me. While I was a teenager, I always was the guy with the camera taking candid shots while out. Then my focus moved to nature and somewhere along the line, people got dropped out of what I called photos. I have been using my nephew to help me draw myself back into shots with people. Though I have been asked not to post his pictures on the internet by his parents, so you will not be seeing those images here, I hope to have photos of others to document my efforts presented instead.

3. Podcasts. I listen currently to 2 podcasts. Formerly they where under one umbrella known as TWIP or This Week In Photography, it broke into two different shows called This Week in Photo and PhotoFocus. This Week In Photo features several professional photographers like Alex Lindsay, Frederick Van Johnson, Steve Simon, Ron Brinkmann, and others. Scott Bourne was also on TWIP, and still appears from time to time, but has left to do his own podcast. Scott is the host of Photofocus, a podcast that is about photography but in a different way then TWIP. His often guess on this show is Nicole S Young, and she is the reason I am working so hard on photographing people.

4. The Best Camera is the One That's With You™. This is the motto and Trademark of Chase Jarvis. And it has moved me to carry a camera with me all the time. DSLR, compact camera, or Cellphone. Getting the shot is the biggest part. A good shot full of pixels is always nice, but if you don’t take it because you didn’t have a “good” camera then the shot is lost forever. Take the chance and push the trigger.

Scott Bourne made me see that while I was growing up in Florida and spending my time chasing Red-tailed Hawks, Ospreys, and Bobcats,  I missed the beauty of of all the other birdlife that I wrote off as just too common. His photos of seabirds are inspiring and make me see that while I will always love big cats, the sandpipers deserve just as much attention. So now I try to view everything as a photograph when a camera is in my hand. A leaf deserves as much attention as a bear, a lighthouse as much as a person.  I just need to capture it in an interesting way that holds a moment in time and can express “a picture says a thousand words”.

BTW: I was a very active writer in my younger years and that is yet another reason for changing this blog. So HOPEFULLY my writing skills will be cleaned up and sharpened as part of this project. Thanks for reading far enough to see this Winking smile

Saturday, November 20, 2010

New Look and A New Goal

It’s time to take back control of my blog! It’s time to focus on the things that are important to my mental health and this is one that I have enjoyed. I am changing the focus to photography and points of interests that I travel to while moving through my life. So from here on I will be posting photos of the sights I see, places I’ve been and things that just flat out inspire me to take photos that every now and then, grab that moment in time and defines it, shows the emotion of it, or just shows the moment as it happened. So if you have suggestions, ideas or thoughts for me, please email me at m-zero-L-three-h-zero-L-three at Gmail dot com.