Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Rockin' DoF

I went on an adventure this past Sunday and ended up stopping at this little cherry farm with a store that also has an awesome garden labyrinth. I'd driven by the place before and always wondered what it was, then I saw an aerial photo, discovered how awesome it was and finally checked it out.

But I took some photos of a few different plants and flowers.


I am super happy with this picture. First off, I didn't have to do any editing to it. I tried a few different things, but I always just reset it back the original and was really pleased with it. Also I finally got depth of field right. I usually have my dof too small and have parts of the subject out of focus that I'd rather actually have in focus, but for once I didn't use the minimum aperture and got a nice picture.

Here's the aerial picture of that labyrinth:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Slightly Inspired.

Posting Sunday and some general perusing of other photographer pages that I follow inspired me to look back to some of the photos I've stashed over the summer. Even with multiple folders full of pictures I only found two that I felt like editing. I've been feeling real sub-par with my photoshop skills lately. I tend to set my standards for myself too high, and when I (not so) surprisingly don't reach them I get angry at myself, which has led to a rather low desire to do any post processing.

But here are two photos from a fishing trip my family took to Crystal Lake. The first one I tried various techniques but the fish just didn't want to color properly, so then I tried black and white and was rather pleased with the results. The second image I took while the boat was in motion, trying to get a blur effect from the waves. Overall the picture itself and the editing I feel are rather meh, but that picture wasn't exactly cooperating with me either.

[All hail the might perch...]

I also need a new blog layout so I can increase the size of my pictures. These wee little pictures just aren't cutting it.
Who knew trying to keep up this photography blog could be so frustrating.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Still Alive


I'm still alive. I still own a camera. I still use it.

No excuses for the lack of posts. Life is just life and apparently I'm not very good at regularly taking, editing and posting pictures.

But this was a nice picture of Lake Michigan from my camping trip this past weekend. Took it with my 55-200mm lens which now has a polarizing filter.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Been busy studying for my actuarial Exam P on July 19th. It's kind of a big deal, landing a job can very well depend on if I pass this test or not, so needless to say my photography has taken a backseat to studying.

But I did take a small study break today to snap some shots. I didn't venture far because A. it was too hot to be outside for long B. I didn't want to spend the time going anywhere other than my own yard. We have a few flowers in bloom around the yard so I just took some pictures of them. Been trying to work on my depth of field because I don't always have it large enough to get my entire subject in focus. Practiced that a bit with the flowers.
Only uploading one image. I could easily see myself wasting my whole day playing around in photoshop so I stopped myself after one. (click it for a larger image, so you can actually see that cricket/bug/whatever)


Monday, June 4, 2012


Went to a beautiful wedding Sunday.
Snapped a few shots with my new lens.
Not too many shots though, I didn't want to spend the whole wedding with a camera glued to my face. I'm not a paid photographer...yet... I think I'd be too scared to photograph weddings anyway, it's such a special day and I'd hate to mess it up.
But it was a great day. Big congratulations to the newly weds.

[Two shots of the bride and her father walking down the isle. Slightly different editing styles, I think I prefer the second one.]

[Some manly men blowing bubbles.]
DSC_0029 bubbles 

[Wedding decoration that I placed on my lens to let it know how I really feel]

Thursday, May 31, 2012


200mm glory

My new lens! Woo!
Well, it's actually a used lens, but it's new to me and it looks brand new anyway.
It's a 55-200mm lens... perfect for spying on people. I mean perfect for zooming and stuff...
I've been waiting a long time for this, what a great day.

Poor stormtrooper bobblehead in the background looks very sad.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Great Bobber Hunt.

Due to an unfortunate series events, all caused by work, I was unable to take my usual May fishing and camping trip with my dad. In lieu of our weekend extravaganza we just went fishing Sunday evening.
Sadly the fishing was not all that great. I usually catch the most fish, but this trip resulted in about 5 catches for me and only a total of six bluegills worth saving.

Warning: Fish story and fish jargon incoming. I promise there are pictures in this post somewhere.

Although the fishing left something to desired it was an eventful evening none the less.
First my dad lost two lures, either through the line being bitten off, or the line coming untied. Both of which are rare events.
And then we started fishing with strike indicators. (Note: strike indicators is the technical term for bobbers, because we're fancy in this business)
On one apparently over zealous cast I lost my bobber, hook and weight. We keep those items tied on with a different type of line than what is kept in the reel, for technical fishing reasons I don't totally know, but with a solid flick of my wrist I managed to toss it right off. So we then had to troll out after it so that I could grab it out of the water.
And then it was my dad's turn. Except this time his line separated when he went to set the hook and so his bobber was floating out there with a fish attached to the other end. So we quickly tried to go after the bobber, but the first few times we got close the fish got scared of the boat and swam down and I was unable to grab the bobber. Then my dad was trying to snag it with another pole and hook. Finally we got close enough and I snatched the bobber, but when I pulled it up the fish pulled down and the line slid out the bobber and he got away...
Then I had yet another event of having my bobber line coming off...which resulted in more bobber hunting.
So after 3 bobber/line mishaps we stopped using two different types of line. But of course by some other fluke we had one more bobber incident where the bobber just came off, we have no idea how...
Probably the most ridiculous fishing I've ever experienced, but it was fun. Probably more fun for the pontoon boat who was close enough to watch us.

Picture time:
Biggie McFish 
[The mighty bluegill... He squirmed a lot and made it really awkward to hold him, my fishing pole and pose for a picture. 
Note: fishing, the only time I wear a hat, because according to my dad it's required.]
[The man who taught me everything I know about fishing]
[Mom and pop swan. The one on the left has 4 babies on it's back]
[Double Loon]
My sunset colors got a bit overdone but I'm still working on my photoshop skills... and after about half an hour of fiddling I gave up for the day.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Doggy Day

I get to spend part of my weekend watching this adorable face:


My neighbor is gone for the weekend and I get to take care of his two dogs while he is away. This wonderful long haired dachshund is named Pepper. She has a sister from another mister, a hunting dog named Mossy; she is some type of Spaniel but I'm not sure exactly what kind. 
So far watching Pepper has been the most fun. Mossy isn't a big people dog, she gets out of her cage and is off running and sniffing at an alarming rate. Pepper is the best because she tries to keep up with Mossy and it's amusing to watch. I had no idea a dog with such tiny legs could ever run so fast. She also enjoyed sitting with me, getting belly rubs and trying to lick my face constantly.
I hope my neighbor doesn't mind if I just come walk her occasionally for the fun of it because she's irresistible.

[Pepper looking around for Mossy who's off somewhere in the woods. Hunting wabbits probably.]

While the dogs played I took some time to snap a few other shots.
flower DSC_0014

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Desk Days

I've had a pretty boring past two weeks. Majority of my free time has been spent sitting at my desk, watching Battlestar Galactica, which is awesome.
But other than watching too much netflix all I've been doing is working and studying for my actuarial exam, it's a pretty uneventful existence.
I haven't had much motivation for taking pictures. Forced myself to go outside and take a few today, but after a few snaps I promptly deleted them all and came back inside.
Then I was sitting at my desk bored, as usual, and snapped a few things while just sitting there.
Nothing special, but kind of a view of what I stare at every day.

[Applejack and Stormtrooper, they keep me company.
Sadly you can't see my Luke Skywalker Lego pen...]
[Large collection of "pill" magnets lined up on my desk]
[View from the window next to my desk. I tried to focus on the screen. Something unique I guess.]

Good news on the camera front, I'm saving up to get a new camera lens. And by new camera lens I mean I'm buying a used lens because I'm cheap/poor. Now that I'm done racking up college debt I figured I could set a little bit of money aside each week and save up for a new piece of gear. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Snapped some more pictures of stuff in my backyard.
Seeing as the weather decided to take a jump from cold and rainy to hot, humid and sunny the bugs were out in force and I didn't stay outside long.

I've also decided that I'm addicted to adding grain to my photos.
Makes me feel like I'm working with film again...




[b&w version is meh, but I included it anyway]

Comments. Please.
My blog is beginning to feel like a lonely place.
Especially since my posting frequency has increased greatly.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Now that Lee's birthday has come and gone I can finally share some pictures of a coffee mug I painted for him.

I painted it with images from the game Duck Hunt.

duck2 dog&duck duck dog2

Makes me wish I liked coffee...

Monday, April 23, 2012


My picture for the week is something I have been wanting to do for a while. I wanted to see how closely I can replicate an image I took with a 35mm camera and developed myself but this time using a digital camera and photoshop.
I've always loved black and white photos and I just feel like there is just something special about them when done with film.

I picked an image I had taken during my b&w 35mm film class of a birdhouse in my backyard. I figured it would be the easiest to try since it was a fairly simple composition.
Needless to say I still agree that there is something special about film photography. The one I took today isn't bad, but I just like the original film one more.

birdhouse 001


I'm pleased with how the new image converted to black and white, but that is about all that I'm pleased with. Some of the differences in the images are beyond my control though. For one the trees in the background had more leaves in the original image, the new one has too much white space without all the foliage. Also, although I don't remember exactly, but I do believe the Nikon 35mm camera I used had a lens with a smaller f-stop which created the much more blurred background. It was also probably a larger lens; 55-200mm most likely.
I will say I did a better job of focusing the birdhouse this time, it's much more detailed. But with a larger f-stop more of the background is in focus and I don't like that.

Film. You win this round.
Granted I'm pretty biased towards b&w film...

What do you think?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Rainy Day

Normally I go out and take pictures on bright, sunny days, but I decided to give the rainy day a try. When I came home from class it was lightly misting so I figured my camera could survive with minimal harm.

I only uploaded two images, but I am trying to work on quality, not quantity.

This is some grassy plant behind the house. I love the water droplets resting on the blade.
Even though the image consists mostly of blacks and greens I think it's very striking.

boots grainy
This image made me feel kind of silly. I'm not normally one to photograph myself and since it's of just my shoes it makes me feel kind of hipster-ish.
But these are my favorite boots. And boots are for rain... even though these boots offer no protection from water.

Monday, April 16, 2012



This is an image from an afternoon I spent photographing ducks for a local photography contest for wild birds. It was my favorite picture from the day. Although I have changed my mind and no longer plan to enter the contest. Birds are a very difficult subject and require more time and equipment than I have.
Not to mention I have more important things to worry about like my last two weeks of college. Ever.
But photographing ducks was a lot of fun, although slightly scary. There were many, many ducks and they really aren't afraid to get close.  

I am trying to start taking photographs of at least one thing a week to keep myself active. This week I picked a pink, blossoming tree in my parent's front yard. I figured a shallow depth of field shot with the sun in the background would be interesting. I also spent some time working in photoshop trying to learn my way around a variety of adjustments.
I'm pleased with the results.
[Edited image. All pink and lovely. Click to view it larger and in more glory on flickr.]
[Original for comparison.]

Perhaps you noticed I had no idea for a clever title. Exam season tends to drain one's creativity. And life.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Revisiting Boston

Finally the post about my trip to Boston.
[Warning: long post incoming]

Left the Thursday of my spring break. My parents dropped me off at the airport after a quick stop for some cake for my mom's birthday. It was my first time flying by myself. I was pretty excited. Flying doesn't scare me, although I was paranoid about losing my luggage because that would be just awful.
I got a window seat on my connection flight to O'Hare. Took some pictures from the plane window.
angry skies
[Beginning of take-off]
[Cool shadow from the wing]
goodbye grand rapids
[Interesting pyramid shaped building in Grand Rapids]
[Hello Chicago]
Had a long layover in Chicago. Spent my two hours eating all the snacks I brought along.
Arrived in Boston around 9. Andy met me at the airport and then we went back to his apartment. Got some pizza; watched a movie.

Friday I got to sleep in while Andy went to class. Then I went downtown to meet him for lunch. Apparently the transportation system lied about the bus I was supposed to take and was forced to take a taxi. That was an interesting experience, I really had no idea what to do. I just opened the door, told the dude where I wanted to go; I thought it was going to be alright. Halfway through my ride the taxi driver asked me if he should turn left or right. What? Aren't they supposed to know where they are going. But, by my obviously great natural internal compass, I made it to the dental school.
And then: Chinese food! Last time I went to Boston we went to this chinese restaurant and I fell in love with the fried rice. Been craving it forever. Got soup, fried rice, pork dumplings, beef and broccoli for about 6 bucks. Best 6 bucks ever spent. I also got to meet/see again some of Andy's friends from dental school.
Then Andy and I wandered Newbury Street with all the shops. Went to a Pinkberry for the first time. Little frozen yogurt shop. Andy recommended that I try the original flavor which I did against my instinct and was quickly reminded of how much I dislike yogurt. Got some chocolate frozen yogurt then, it was great.
pinkberry chocolate
[Chocolate, sliced almonds, granola. Delicious.]
[Andy took my camera]
I then proceeded to take a really long nap. Apparently airmattresses are the only thing I don't sleep well on and so a nap was in order. Andy and I then went grocery shopping and made ourselves dinner and relaxed for the rest of the night.

Saturday was a day of more wandering around Boston based on certain eating locations. If you can't tell my vacation was very centered around eating, and it was great. We went to Beacon Hill, the historic area, for breakfast. Andy wouldn't stop raving about the french toast at a certain restaurant. It was pretty excellent.
Then we wandered around Beacon Hill so I could take some pictures.
lamp post retro2
[Old lamp post, still lit by gas]
boot scraper
[Andy was telling me about how lots of the older houses had boot scrappers.  Here was one in action]
[A cobblestone street, pretty cool but way more uneven than I expected.]
[Super fancy doorway]
Andy also showed me around the Tufts Dental campus. Got to see the floor he will soon be doing clincals on, along with many of his crazy dental tools. We then went and saw John Carter; an excellent choice.
Went to dinner at a nice italian restaurant and then onward to a bakery. More food, of course.

Sunday was the white coat ceremony. Pretty snazzy event, complete with a nice lunch afterwards.
[Future dentist parade]
future dentists
[Andy and Miranda modeling their new coats]
["the boys"]
bunny ears
[Mom told us to get a nice picture together, and this happened]
crocodile dentist
[Got Andy a "helpful" congratulations gift: Crocodile Dentist]
[Dessert.... iDessert]
At the end of the night we met up with some of Andy's friends at a bowling alley. No lanes were available so we played pool and skeeball.
[Like a pro]
[Awww yeah, skeeball]

Overall I had a great time in Boston. It was nice to see my brother for the weekend. I also enjoyed living the city life for a few days. Got Starbucks once, took a taxi and frequently almost got hit by cars crossing the street, felt like a real city person.

If you want to view all of my pictures I uploaded from the weekend go here.

Bonus pictures:
[That fancy doorway again]
lamp scary
[Another old lamp post.]