Friday, October 31, 2008

032/365 - Jim - First Chocolate

( f/5 70mm 1/60 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
Theme is Halloween of course. This shot is just a quick point and shoot. My son Jameson dressed as Bob the Builder and went trick or treating for the first time. He only went to four houses, and did ok considering. This is also the first time he has had chocolate and you can see by his reaction that he liked it.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

031/365 - Jim - Pocket Sevens

( f/11 70mm 1/250 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
Theme is seven. I staged this on my pool table so I would have the authentic felt look. I wish I had clay chips, but oh well... I used my 70-200mm lens with the Canon 500D close-up lens on the end of it. This let me shoot very close and get a better depth of field at a lower f stop. Two of the flop cards are sevens too, but you can't tell.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

030/365 - Jim - Railroad

( f/22 24mm HDR ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
Theme is vanishing point. One of the most common vanishing points I can think of is train tracks. I knew I wanted to go down to my closest tracks and get a picture. What I didn't know was that it would be snowing. Boy was it cold! The sun wasn't very good and every shot I got looked very drab. I ended up laying the camera down and bracketing my shot. Then turned it into this HDR. It worked better than I thought.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

029/365 - Jim - Jameson-o-lantern

( f/8 40mm 1/320 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
I changed the theme to pumpkin today because I had plans to carve my pumpkin. Last year I carved Dwight from "The Office." By request of family, I carved my son this year. Well, not my son, but the pumpkin to look like my son. To do this I took a photo and turned it B&W. Then played with the levels until they looked ok. After that I applied a posterize effect with only 3 colors. This resulted in an image close to what you see. I had to do some cleaning up and fixing impossible cuts and filling some areas so it was more structurally sound. Then I print and transfer it onto the pumpkin. After a lot of cutting and shaving, the result is worth it. To see the photo I used, click here.

Monday, October 27, 2008

028/365 - Jim - Nikon 24-70mm Lens

( f/14 82mm 1/250 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
Theme is reflection. I used a piece of Lexan plastic under the lens with a black backdrop under that. There was a flash on both sides with softboxes and one behind pointed at a large matte board. I wish I had put the side flashes more to the front so the center was more visible. Anyway, this is the 24-70mm lens that I use for many of these shots. I got it shortly after I started this blog and has become my main lens for portraits.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

027/365 - Jim - Cat's Eye

( f/8 200mm 1/500 sec ISO 200 NIKON D300 )
Maybe I'm making up for yesterday's theme. I went out in my yard today to take photos of whatever. This cat was cleaning itself by the woods and I snuck up on it. When it finally realized I was there, it turned and looked at me, then ran into the woods. I desaturated everything but the eyes and nose. To me it gives it a bit of Halloween spookiness.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

026/365 - Jim - Dorothy

( f/11 34mm 1/320 sec ISO 200 NIKON D300 )
Theme is eyes. I already took a photo of my son's eyes for the blue theme. I wanted to try a couple different things, but didn't have time. Paige came today for a photo shoot in her Halloween costume. She is Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. So since I took this picture today and she has eyes, this is today's photo.

Friday, October 24, 2008

025/365 - Jim - Language

( f/14 48mm 1/250 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )

Theme is sign. I thought I would just go outside and take a photo of a road sign, but it got dark too quickly. So I had to think of something else. My wife knows the alphabet in sign language and uses it to tell me who she is talking to on the phone. Only problem is, I can't read sign language.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

024/365 - Jim - Wheelbarrow

( f/14 29mm 1/125 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )

Theme is red. This is my son's wheelbarrow that his Nana got him. He likes to pick up leaves and push it around. I used a Savage Translum background rolled onto my pool table. I had a flash behind it to lighten the background a bit and flashes on the sides with softboxes on them.

024/365 - Matt - V for Vendetta

( f/3.8 23mm 1/60 sec ISO 200 Nikon D40 )

V for Vendetta! This is one of my favorite movies. Very inspiring. The theme was red and I thought this would be a cool idea. I desaturated all of the other colors besides red so that is why it is in black and white with the red still showing. If you haven't seen the movie, YOU MUST!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

023/365 - Jim - My Home

( f/11 10.5mm HDR ISO 200 Nikon D300 )

Theme is home. Matt mentioned wanting to do an HDR image of his house. I figured I would do the same. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and is a technique that gives an image a better range of light and dark areas. That means it can lighten the dark areas and darken the light areas. To do this photo I put my camera on a 7 frame bracketing setting and the exposure to 1. This takes the first picture at regular exposure, then changes it making the shutter speed change. For this image the shutter was between 1/30 and 2 seconds. Then a program merges all those 7 images together and allows you to change the strength of dynamic range. It has become really big in photography lately. Anyway, this is my home taken with my fisheye lens from under the tree. Looks like I need to get the rake out.

023/365 - Matt - HDR home

( f/4.5 18mm 1/80 sec ISO 200 Nikon D40 )

This is my home with an HDR effect on it. It looks cool in my opinion and I need to do more HDR photos. The white paint underneath the shutters is from our old white shutters we had and the paint ran off of them. We are all too lazy to fix it so oh well!!! Also, I don't know all of the information about this picture because I deleted the original and the photo won't list the f/ or the seconds. SORRY!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

022/365 - Matt - Keyboard vs. Keyboard

( f/16 55mm 1/60 sec ISO 200 Nikon D40 )

Keyboards!!! I thought this picture came out cool!!!! Two things that I love.... computers and music.

022/365 - Jim - Qwerty

( f/2.8 70mm 1/13 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )

Theme is keyboard. Here is a regular old dirty keyboard. See if you notice anything different about it. I used my 70-200mm lens with the Canon 500D close-up lens on the front.

Monday, October 20, 2008

021/365 - Matt - Spooky Tree

( f/9.0 55mm 1/320 sec ISO 200 Nikon D40 )

This is a tree I took on Saturday at Frick Park. I took some shots of some scary halloween things around my house but nothing came out cool. I added an effect to this tree to make it look even more dead than it is. I think it's spooky.

021/365 - Jim - Ghostly Tree

( f/8 38mm 30 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )

Theme is scary. I have looked at this tree out in my front yard for a while and thought it looked a little spooky at times. When I went out to take this photo, something was moving around because I could hear leaves rustling. Not knowing what it was, I hurried up and took a picture. This face appeared around the tree. OK, not really. I put a mask on and ran over with the 5 second timer on and positioned myself. My camera was set to a slow flash which means it flashes and then uses the ambient light for the rest of the exposure. In this case it was 30 seconds. After the flash went off, I walked by and behind the camera until this image appeared. It was literally 2 shots to get this. The first was just a test. Mwahh ha haaa...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

020/365 - Jim - Light Without Power

( f/8 200mm 1/250 sec ISO 100 Nikon D300 )

For this shot, I attached the light bulb on a tripod and put a snooted flash directly behind the it. Then another flash below and to the left with a grid on it and one more flash to the right with a softbox. I turned the power up on the snooted flash until it was blown out enough to cover up the reflections from the other two flashes. It's not all that impressive, but it is something I have been wanting to try. I should have tried a green gel for a "Go Green" theme.

020/365 - Matt - In Loving Memory

( f/5.6 55mm 1/60 sec ISO 200 Nikon D40 )

I took a walk in the cemetery across the street from my house today. I noticed that the door for the funeral home was open so I walked inside and saw this laying on a table. I had to take this picture. It came out very nice.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

019/365 - Jim - Camo Tree

( f/9 70mm 1/320 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )

Theme is leaves. Matt and I attended a Flickr Photowalk at Nine Mile Run in Pittsburgh. The trail was really nice and there were a lot of fall colors. I didn't get all that creative with my shots, but this tree was pretty interesting. There are a few leaves on it hanging onto summer.

019/365 - Matt - Frick Park Leaves

( f/5.3 150mm 1/60 sec ISO 200 Nikon D40 )

Jim and I went to Frick Park Saturday and took a BUNCH of pictures of leaves. This is the only one that caught my attention. It was a great day.

Friday, October 17, 2008

018/365 - Jim - 8 ball in the side pocket

( f/16 78mm 1/320 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )

Theme is numbers. My sister helped me compose this shot. I used three studio flashes with two of them having softboxes. I had to get them positioned so the light reflections were not right on the numbers. We tried really hard to get all the numbers perfectly aligned, but looking at it closely I want to move a few balls. I guess it can't always be perfect...

018/365 - Matt - Clock Tower

( f/4.8 120mm 1/25 sec ISO 200 Nikon D40 )

NUMB3RS! This is the clock at Shaler Area Intermediate School. Came out pretty nice.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

017/365 - Jim - Negative Space Hand

( f/2.8 24mm 1/4 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )

Theme is hand. I started out just taking a picture of my hand. To add a little drama I put my hand in water until it wrinkled. It wasn't as interesting as I thought it might be so I kept thinking. I saw my son's Step 2 Easel sitting there and tried this out to see what it would look like. It turned out to be interesting enough to post.

017/365 - Matt - for my teacher

( f/4.2 26mm 1/60 sec ISO 200 Nikon D40 )

These are my mom's hands. She is holding a gift a student gave her a few years ago. My mom works for Student Services at CCAC and helps students that are having a hard time in school. She's a sweetheart.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

016/365 - Jim - Splash

( f/8 170mm 1/320 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )

Theme is motion. I originally wanted to take a long exposure shot of the sky to see star trails, but it was too cloudy tonight. So I decided to show motion in the form of a splash. I dropped a grape into the glass and tried my best to pull the trigger on the remote at the exact moment it hit the water. Then I rotated the picture a little bit to make it look better.

016/365 - Matt - Drip Drip

( f/5.6 55mm 1/125 sec ISO 200 Nikon D40 )

Motion! It took me a long time to get a decent motion picture. I also don't have a tripod yet so I could not do a lot of my ideas. That's definitely on my wish list!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

015/365 - Matt - KITTY!

( f/5.6 200mm 1/60 sec ISO 200 Nikon D40 )

Heres is my cat again! She's 13 years old and I really like this picture of her! I am probably going to frame it and give it to my mom. They are best friends. I love black and white photos and was excited about this theme.

015/365 - Jim - Piano

( f/8 42mm 1.6 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )

Theme is black & white. I just went very simple today and shot my piano. I thought I might be able to just post the color version being that the keys are black & white. That wasn't the case because of the ambient light in the room and my white balance setting being off. So I converted the image to black & white and added a vignette.

Monday, October 13, 2008

014/365 - Jim - Self Portrait

( f/8 44mm 1/320 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )

Ok, this is actually two photos that were merged together. Here is how I did it. I hung this mirror from fishing line in front of the red wall that I used for the guitar picture. Then I focused on the center and took a shot at f/8 of myself in the mirror. This made sure my face was in focus. Then I moved the focal point to the frame and shot that at f/4.5 to ensure the red wall was not in focus. I merged the photos in Paint Shop Pro and removed the fishing line with the clone tool. It was way harder than I thought it would be, but I wanted to be creative...

So, today the theme is self portrait. It was also intended to give you a little background information about Matt and myself. My name is Jim Callender, I am 32 years old and married with 1 son. Not for long though, because my wife is due in December with our 2nd son.

I got into photography a long time ago when I purchased my first digital camera, which was the Minolta Dimage 7i. A couple years ago I then upgraded to a DSLR camera with the Nikon D40x. After a year of using that camera, I was totally addicted. I sold it and pre-ordered the Nikon D300. My addiction didn't stop there and I kept adding to my lens collection and studio flashes, etc...

For the most part I have mostly taken pictures of my son and posted them on his blog. This blog was created to jump start my photography and creativity skills. So far after only 14 days, I think it is working. It is also a learning experience and not a competition between Matt and I, even though some commenters have chosen winners :)

I work with Matt and one day he asked me what camera he should purchase. I totally confused him with my theories about camera addiction and if he really gets into it, then he should purchase a better camera so he doesn't want an upgrade in 6 months :) But he settled on a nice camera and is learning very quickly.

Thanks to everyone who is following and commenting. Only 351 more days to go.

014/365 - Matt - self portrait

( f/3.5 18mm 1/80 sec ISO 200 Nikon D40 )

welp... I don't have a tripod and my mom and dad were not home... so I improvised. Here's a little something about myself...

My name is Matt Smochko. I am 21 years old and just got into photography. I love it. I seem to love things that are a challenge and I hope to one day be a very good photographer. I am recently engaged and my fiance also has a love for photography. I wanted to do this blog so I can post my pictures and have people criticize them. I want everyone to be brutally honest...(well... don't be too harsh, i'm sensitive).

I also enjoy playing guitar, playing the drums, fishing, watching movies, tattoos :), and spending time with my fiance.

I also have a mole where my right side burn is and do not know how to properly post on this blog( according to Jim:) ). Thank you.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

013/365 - Jim - Crabapple Tree

( f/8 48mm 1/250 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )

Today we went to Moraine State Park for a walk. Along the trail we saw this crabapple tree, so I took a few shots of it. It was hard to decide which picture to post without a theme. Maybe I'll post the other options on my blog.

013/365 - Matt - flower

( f/5.6 200mm 1/125 sec ISO 500 Nikon D40 )

I love flowers... and I'm not embarrassed to say it!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

012/365 - Jim - Lion

( f/4.5 70mm 1/80 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )

Theme is wildlife. We went to Living Treasures today so Jameson could pet some animals. There were lots of goats roaming around that you can pet and feed. Mostly all of the animals were behind cages, which made it hard to get a clean image. This was taken through scratched up double panel glass. I had a circular polarizer which cut some of the glare, but it was still pretty low contrast. I increased contrast and applied an effect in Lightroom.

012/365 - Matt - Fish

( f/5.6 175mm 1/100 sec ISO 800 Nikon D40 )

Wildlife!!! I'm such a nice guy... I allowed Jim to change the theme because he was going to look at wildlife. Well... this is one of the many goldfish in my pond. It was feeding time and I took about 50 pictures. I have a lot of difficulty getting a nice, focused picture of my fish. I need to research this more...

Friday, October 10, 2008

011/365 - Jim - Blue Eyes

( f/11 155mm 1/60 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )

Theme is blue. This is my son, Jameson. His blue eyes were requested for this entry, so I had to take this photo. They aren't as blue as they were when he was younger, so I desaturated all color except blue and then increased the vibrance in Lightroom. To get Jameson to sit still, we let him watch Thomas & Friends.

011/365 - Matt - Marbles

( f/5.6 200mm 1/125 sec ISO 200 Nikon D40 )

Oh man... I'm so behind. I was extremely busy this weekend and I finally got some time this morning to take some photos. That Giant Eagle help center will be the death of me. Anyways... This is really the only cool picture I had of something blue. I found some blue marbles and tossed them in a blue vase.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

010/365 - Matt - keyboard

( f/5.0 38mm 1/3 sec ISO 200 Nikon D40 )

This was a tough theme. I looked all around my house for something creative but couldn't find anything. This is my laptop keyboard. I thought it would look cool lit up and I used a trick Jim showed me. I think it came out pretty cool...what do you think?

010/365 - Jim - Circuitry

( f/11 50mm 1/160 sec ISO 100 Nikon D300 )

Theme is electronic. I had trouble thinking of ideas for this theme. I wished I had just made it electric instead. A circuit board was the only idea I had, so I tore open an old computer and took out a CD-ROM drive. After opening it I found this board. I have no clue what all this does...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

009/365 - Jim - Definition of Love

( f/2.8 50mm 1/200 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )

Theme is love. If you have ever looked at wedding photography, you have probably seen a picture similar to this. Usually a bible is used, but I didn't want to be exactly the same so I used the dictionary. I just wish the definition would have been right beside the ring. If you look carefully, you can see the inscription in my ring that says Love Carol.

009/365 - Matt - Engagement Ring

( f/5.6 55mm 1/125 sec ISO 200 Nikon D40 )

This is the ring I got my girlfriend (oops fiance). I wish that the surface it was on would have been cleaner but it looked clean when I took it! Oh well, you live and you learn.... Anyways, I'm excited about being engaged and look forward to the future.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

008/365 - Jim - Family Tree

( f/2.8 55mm 1/60 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )

Theme is tree. I wasn't all that creative today, so this is all I came up with. Carol and Jameson went out in the backyard with me for this shot. Jameson wanted to get the letters off the tree the whole time, so he kept grabbing me and saying "get it." It made it a little hard to focus...

008/365 - Matt - HDR Tree

( f/5.6 55mm 1/200 sec ISO 800 Nikon D40 )

This is one section of a tree in my backyard. It is about 6 or 7 stories high and has been there since I was born. I wanted to get a complete shot of the tree, but I was not satisfied with the pictures. So, I decided to take a picture and generate an HDR image with Photomatix. It came out pretty cool. Let me know what you think...

Monday, October 6, 2008

007/365 - Jim - Drop of Time

( f/22 200mm 1/40 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )

Theme is time. I got the Canon 500D close up lens in the mail today. I wanted to use it immediately and had this idea to get a water drop. Not knowing how hard it would be to set up and get right, I went to it. Turned out to take quite a long time and didn't give me the exact results I was after, but I learned in the process.

007/365 - Matt - Time Piece

( f/5.6 28mm 1/125 sec ISO 200 Nikon D40 )

This is my engagement gift that my girlfriend...i mean fiance(i will never get used to that) bought me. I LOVE it! I have been wanting a watch for a long time now and she really surprised me with this. I wish the bottom of the picture where the watchband is wasn't as blurry as it is, but I will learn from my mistakes.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

006/365 - Jim - Pumpkin Patch

( f/11 32mm 1/500 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )

Every Sunday there will not be a theme. I went to Cheeseman's Farm today and took a hay ride to a pumpkin patch where my son picked out a pumpkin. It was a fun day for him. He was able to see a tractor, go into a tepee, and pet goats, a calf, and a bunny.

006/365 - Matt - Crazy Kitty

( f/5.0 40mm 1/60 sec ISO 800 Nikon D40 )

This is my cat...Kitty. We got her 13 years ago and could not think of a name for her so I started calling her Kitty. My mom tried other names like Boots, and Socks, but I just called her Kitty and it stuck. She is a wild beast that attacks ropes.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

005/265 - Matt - Mt. Dew Bottles

( f/5.6 55mm 1/60 sec ISO 800 Nikon D40 )

The theme today was color... so I wanted to take a picture of something very colorful. Last year Mountain Dew came out with 4 limited edition bottles and I bought them. Well, apparently a lot of people bought the bottles and Mountain Dew keeps releasing more. I have a total of 18 bottles and this is my favorite one. It has a lot of colors and crazy images going on throughout the bottle.

005/365 - Jim - Decisions

( f/8 62mm 1/200 sec ISO 100 Nikon D300 )

Theme is color. I painted my son Jameson's room yesterday and wanted to have a picture of the roller applying the paint, but that was yesterday and this is today. So instead I grabbed the paint sample booklet. It took a while for us to decide what color to paint the room, which is why I titled this entry Decisions. My mother and I applied a second coat this morning and it is complete. Oh and we decided on a pewter green tint color...

Friday, October 3, 2008

004/365 - Matt - Flower

( f/5.6 55mm 1/125 sec ISO 200 Nikon D40 )

Ok Ok... I was going to lie and tell you that I took this picture today, but the truth is... I had no time. My boss has to go to South Carolina next week to demo our fuel equipment and he needed my help figuring things out, so I had to stay at work late. I rushed home and grabbed my fishing gear and went fishing.... totally forgetting about taking a picture of a flower. So, I found this flower. I took this a few weeks after I got my camera. I really like it and Jim.... I hope your not mad I didn't take it today!!! oops!

004/365 - Jim - 1 cup of Flower

( f/3.5 50mm 1/50 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )

Theme is flowers. I took some pictures during lunch today. I went outside for some usual flower shots and then plucked one and came inside. I knew I didn't want a typical flower picture so I started experimenting with water and various containers. I only took one picture in the tea cup and it ended up being the one I liked most. I desaturated the entire picture in Lightroom and then increased just the red and magenta saturation a little bit. No studio flashes were used for this one, just the light from the kitchen window.