Tuesday, September 29, 2009

365/365 - Jim - The End

( f/11 105mm 1/125 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
Well, this is the last photo of my 365 day project. I didn't miss even 1 day, so it was a big success. Over the year I took over 30,200 photos which averages to about 82 photos per day. Over the past few days I have been trying to figure out what my last photo would be. I finally came up with this idea and didn't see any similar ones on flickr, so I was assured that it was somewhat original. I used my 105mm macro lens to photograph the dice. Then used my 24-70mm lens to photograph myself attempting to fake lean. I merged the two with Photoshop and cropped it down a little bit.

I would like to thank everyone that followed my blog and left comments. Without that support, I might not have followed through. There were many times that I had a hard time coming up with an idea for a photo, but somehow did. Even if it was just before midnight. Some of those were actually some of my best work. I feel like I learned a lot over the year and a lot has happened. We added my little boy Nolan to my family who is 9 months old already. We also have an addition that is coming soon. Complete with a photography studio/office where I will continue to take photos and try to turn this hobby into something more.

What is next? Well, with the studio coming, I will be blogging about that and my possible start up photography business called GrayRox Studios. Maybe I will do some instructional videos on photography and show you how I do what I do. Maybe I will start a new project like this, but just not as intense. Like 52 photowalks or 12 photo expeditions. In the meantime, I will still post photos here. It just won't be as often.

Thanks again everyone! I hope you enjoyed viewing my photos as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Monday, September 28, 2009

364/365 - Jim - Autumn Bouquet

( f/11 50mm 1/125 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
We went out shopping tonight for a little while and Jameson and I decided to get mommy some flowers. Carol isn't into the regular flowers and has liked these Autumn type flowers in the past, so I was sure she would like these. I asked Jameson what he thought mommy would say. He said "Oh those are some nice flowers there Jameson and then I would say yes, they are." That made me laugh. He was very talkative today.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

363/365 - Ethan - Heinz Field Sunset

( HTC Google Ion )
Ethan showed me this photo he took with his phone from the Pitt game a while back. I told him to send it to me so I could post it here as a guest post, so he sent it right then. He got this phone from Google for free when he attended a conference. I'd say that's a pretty good deal.

363/365 - Jim - Drive in the Rain

( f/4 50mm 1/1250 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
I was heading down to Pittsburgh to watch the Steelers game and the rain was coming down really hard. The windshield is curved, so getting focus on all the raindrops was not possible if I wanted the background all blurred. The weather eventually cleared, but then the Steelers lost, so it was a pretty dreary day.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

362/365 - Jim - Jeans

( f/11 28mm 1/125 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
I have been wanting to take a photo like this for a while, but just never set up it up until now. Carol held him which was no easy task. He kept bouncing and staring at his feet, so it was difficult to get him looking at the camera. I would have liked to have the background totally white, but I would have needed a lot more space and probably another flash. That is something I can perfect once my studio is finished.

Friday, September 25, 2009

361/365 - Jim - Reflection

( f/11 40mm 1/125 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
I bribed Jameson with the show Caillou to get him to work with me on this photo. I had to make sure I could get a shot of him with his eyes open and closed without any other movement. That isn't an easy task with a 2 year old. I wanted to just make the eyes opposite, but I tried taking out the saturation on the one Jameson and liked that. It adds another element to make your head turn just a bit more to figure out what is going on in this photo.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

360/365 - Jim - Presto

( f/8 62mm 1/15 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
I had plans today for a photo that didn't work out, so I had to think of something else. I went downstairs and magically found my magic wand. So I wondered what I could do with it to portray magic. Then I thought about the little sparkles you see in the movies and knew I could use Christmas lights for bokeh to accomplish this. The hardest part of it was holding the wand in the right place and focusing while taking the picture. Because I had to be in front of the camera, I couldn't look through the viewfinder. It turned out just as I imagined, so I'm happy with it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

359/365 - Jim - Butler County Courthouse

( f/22 18mm HDR ISO 100 Nikon D300 )
This is the Butler County Courthouse in downtown Butler. It was a very gloomy and overcast day, which results in pretty blah photos. So what do you do? Bracket a bunch of photos and turn them into an HDR. It really takes a nothing shot and turns it into something. I think this looks like one of those old postcards that were shot in black and white and then colorized.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

358/365 - Jim - Fresh Banana Bread

( f/4 24mm 1/125 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
I know what you are thinking. Please please please give me the recipe to this delicious looking banana bread. To do that would give away the secrets that have been passed down for generations. The best way to eat the bread is with a tall glass of water with homemade ice. That is another family recipe that my dad perfected back in the early 70's with just water, a freezer, and a dream. Maybe someday I will make a Callender Family Cookbook and sell it on Amazon. Please don't flood my comments with pre-order requests.

Monday, September 21, 2009

357/365 - Jim - Mad Men

( f/5.6 24mm 1/125 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
I was having some trouble thinking of something to photograph today. It was raining outside, so that wasn't an option. I've done other TV shows, so I just did an Amazon search for TV shows. This is one of the very few that didn't have the characters on the front, so I grabbed my white shirt and a tie and did my best to stage it. I haven't ever watched a whole episode of Mad Men, but I think Courtney said it was good. Here is what I copied it from.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

356/365 - Jim - New Studio

( f/5 18mm 1/60 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
I was kind of lazy today and just watched football all day. This is the only photo I took, so it will have to do. At least there is a story behind it. This is going to be my new studio. The far wall is where I will have backdrops. I'm thinking the right wall is where I will put a few large cabinets to store all my photography gear. Directly to the right where you can's see is where I will put my office space. Since I work from home a few days a week, it will be nice to have an actual office again. When we had kids, I got booted to the downstairs living room where we have a fireplace. It's not horrible, but I'm anxious to have my new office!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

355/365 - Jim - Alameda Gazebo

( f/16 24mm 1/13 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
We went down to Alameda park today to let the kids play. I took this shot to later do an HDR with it, but ended up just blending exposures. It is similar to HDR, but not quite the same. Then I used Photoshop and duplicated the layer, and blurred it. On the sharper layer I chose a Lighten blend mode. This gives it an Orton effect look. I also used Picasa to add a soft focus so that only the gazebo is sharp.

Friday, September 18, 2009

354/365 - Jim - Ducks Take Flight

( f/2.8 200mm 1/400 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
We went to the Succop Conservancy today so I could take some photos that weren't in my basement. There is a pond there and these shy ducks didn't like when I got too close to them. The two males took off flying right beside each other and I quickly got a shot of them. There was a reflection of them, but it wasn't full so I cropped it out in Lightroom. Then added some vignette and the usual contrast, vibrance, etc. Using Picasa I added a soft focus effect in an attempt to give the front duck more pop. I also did a Photoshop frame effect on this photo where the ducks are flying into the picture. Check that out along with some other shots I took there by clicking here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

353/365 - Jim - Nintendo

( f/5.6 48mm 1/125 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
At work today I saw that Smochko had this wallpaper on his computer. I said to him that I could do something almost exactly like that, but would have to find my old Nintendo. Well, it was up in the attic. I got it and set the shot up as well as I could to match the original. It's close enough.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

352/365 - Jim - Pond Fountain

( f/22 32mm HDR ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
This pond is just down the road from my house and I have been wanting to take a picture of it for a long time. I've always liked house that sits there too. Over the last 6 years, they have added the rocks and some landscaping around the pond and then the fountain. I pulled Jameson in his wagon all the way there and the fountain wasn't turned on. I was a little disappointed to go all that way and not see the fountain. I'm not sure if the owners saw me taking photos or it was on a timer, but it suddenly turned on and I was able to take some fountain shots. I bracketed 7 shots and then merged 3 of them into an HDR. I set the HDR effect to it's lowest setting, but turned the strength and saturation all the way up. You can see the leaves are turning a little already. Kind of sad to see summer ending.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

351/365 - Jim - 9 Months Old

( f/4.5 50mm 1/125 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
Today Nolan is 9 months old. He has 2 brand new teeth and is super active. Probably within the month he will be walking. I tried something new today and brought a studio flash outside with a large softbox. The sun was already setting, so the background was pretty dark. I liked the results, so maybe I'll have to get a battery pack someday.

Monday, September 14, 2009

350/365 - Jim - Amuse-bouche

( f/4.5 50mm 1/125 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
I made a dinner for my mother for her birthday today. Her birthday was actually on the 6th, but I was in Canada, so I missed it. This is an amuse-bouche, which translates to "mouth amuser". It is a single, bite-sized hors d’œuvre. I marinated shrimp in olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme. Then boiled red potatoes until they were soft. Sliced them into two and scooped out the guts. Then filled them with a mixture of cream cheesem, sour cream, salt, pepper, and more thyme. I dried off the shrimp with a paper towel and put them on the potato. Voilà! It tasted pretty good too. I paired it with a filet mignon that I got from Bona Terra. If you haven't eaten there and are in the Pittsburgh area, I highly recommend you go.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

349/365 - Jim - Jameson

( f/4.5 50mm 1/320 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
Since I posted a guest photo from Carol (without her knowing) of Nolan, I figured I would post a similar shot of Jameson. I did however take some other interesting shots today that aren't of the kids, but again I wanted to match Carol's photo. I played around with this in Lightroom adjusting the exposure to make it brighter and then used the paintbrush to enhance his eyes two-fold. I used sharpness and clarity at full strength twice to make them really stand out. Just a side note for family, you might have noticed the cut beside his right eye. He built a tower of blocks and when he knocked them over, so did he fall down onto the base and hit his eye hard enough to cut it open. Luckily it wasn't a direct shot to his eye!

349/365 - Carol - Nolan

( f/5.6 50mm 1/500 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
We took a walk around the block today and put the kids in the Radio Flyer wagon. Halfway through the walk, we switched and I pulled the wagon. Carol carried my camera and I told her to take some pictures. I figured she would say no, but she actually took some photos. I set it up so all she had to do was hit the shutter. When I loaded the pictures on the computer, I was surprised to find this one. She framed this one nicely and I'm not sure she really meant to. See Carol, maybe you could get into photography...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

348/365 - Jim - Penn State Kids

( f/5.6 24mm 1/60 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
Aunt Courtney got these jerseys for Jameson and Nolan. It was hard to get Jameson to do this without hurting his little brother. He fell back on him right after this was taken and Nolan cried. I don't know if the Penn State game was on TV here today, but they beat Syracuse 28 to 7.

Friday, September 11, 2009

347/365 - Jim - Perfect Toothpaste

( f/11 70mm 1/125 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
I never used this much toothpaste before so I've never tried the squirt that you always see in ads. It wasn't as easy as you see on TV. I think I should have put the toothpaste in the refrigerator for a while because it seemed to just droop. Anyway, I attempted to do the perfect toothpaste look. I had a softbox directly over top and a white reflector below which gives it the nice highlight edges. The background was just a piece of white board that was far enough behind the light source that it is a dark gray.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

346/365 - Jim - Radio Flyer Tricycle

( f/5.6 36mm 1/320 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
I was supposed to be in Canada until Saturday, but we came back early. Jameson had his Steelers gear on ready for the game. I noticed the nice shadow behind him, so I told him to look at me and smile. He chose to be super difficult... So this was the best shot I could get of him. The Steelers finally won in overtime 13 - 10.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

345/365 - Jim - Water Like Glass

( f/10 24mm 1/400 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
We went out fishing in the morning and the water was like glass. The moon was still out and you could see it in the reflection on the water. It was pretty awesome to see the river this way. The Allegheny River is never this calm.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

344/365 - Jim - Optical Illusion

( f/22 50mm 1/25 sec ISO 640 Nikon D300 )
We decided to take a walk and knew about a trail down the road out of camp. On the way down the road, the camp owner drove by and stopped with a bear hunter that just got a bear the day before. The bear hunter told us about a bear charging his son and stopped right before him. His son tried to make himself look bigger and the bear eventually walked away. Well that story scared Smochko more than he was already and we only walked down the trail a little ways before turning back. Before we turned back I asked them if they wanted to take a cool photo. I had Smochko go down the trail a ways and Bmarz hold his hand out. Then changed to Aperture priority and selected f/22. This kept everything in focus. I don't know what is up the the look on Bmarz face :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

343/365 - Jim - Canadian Goose

( f/5.6 400mm 1/640 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
This goose was out on the lake and since I was in Canada, I assumed it was Canadian :) I used my 70-200mm lens with the 2x teleconverter zoomed all the way in to 400mm. We couldn't get very close to this thing or it would fly away. I cropped it into a bookmark because I thought it looked cool that way.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

342/365 - Jim - 26" Pike

( f/9 24mm 1/320 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
The second day in Canada we went to Spring Lake. I only cast a few times and caught a 15" bass. I thought it was going to be like shooting fish in a barrel, but then I didn't catch another fish for a long time. Finally I had one on. It pulled my drag real fast, so I knew it was a big one. It swam under the weeds and tangled itself up. I couldn't pull it into the boat, so we drove the boat around to it and scooped it up with the net. It had my heart beating fast! I measured it to be 26" long.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

341/365 - Jim - Montreal River

( f/18 18mm 1/160 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
This is a bay off of the Montreal River in Ontario. It was really scenic there and the water was really clear and glass-like at times. I took this as one photo and then cropped it 5 times. Then I merged them all together as a collage. I didn't catch any fish the first day there.

Friday, September 4, 2009

340/365 - Jim - Travel Lights

( f/16 112mm 3 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
I left for Canada this day and didn't have any time to take a proper photo. This was taken in the car on the ride up there. It was just the car lights in front of us and looked very boring, so I did a little Photoshop effect to make it less boring.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

339/365 - Jim - Smell the Flowers

( f/7.1 105mm 1/60 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
I will be leaving for Canada tomorrow for the whole week. So today I spent some playing time with Jameson out in the front yard. He likes to investigate the flowers and then "accidentally" rip them to shreds and say he broke it. I told him to smell the flowers when I got this shot. I made sure to include all the flowers in the background.

Now I need to prepare for Canada. I won't be posting any photos until I return. Hopefully I will bring back a bunch of nice photos and have a difficult time picking just one for each day. Have a nice holiday and enjoy your week!

339/365 - Tim - OBX Bird

( No EXIF Info Nikon D60 )
No, OBX does not stand for obnoxious. It stands for the Outer Banks in North Carolina. My uncle Tim was there on vacation and got this awesome shot. Here is his description of it:

When we were at the Outer Banks NC this year I got up early to shoot the sunrise over the water. I set the camera on a tripod and would snap a picture every minute as the sun rose. As this bird flew by I couldn't resist snapping a photo.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

338/365 - Jim - GrayRox v2.0

( f/18 105mm 1/125 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
I just had to do a white version too. You know, for my letterhead. So I'm getting ahead of myself... Not really, I just enjoy doing this kind of thing and have had this image in my head for a long time. I even thought I could get these made to look like this and hand them out as paperweight business cards rocks. Anyway, it's just a different version of the same thing. By the way, the rocks I used for these photographs are actually from a hot stone massage kit that never gets used... until now :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

337/365 - Jim - GrayRox Studios

( f/18 105mm 1/60 sec ISO 200 Nikon D300 )
Recently I have been asked about doing senior portraits by a couple different people. That got me thinking about putting a name to my "business". I quote it because it is just a dream now and I haven't had any paid sessions yet. The name GrayRox is something I came up with a long time ago and have kept it in my head just in case I ever wanted to have an actual business. So I have a name. Next I would like to build a quick website with prices and some examples of my photographs. Then in about a month I will have a dedicated office/studio to do some work. I'll just start small and see how it goes. At this point it is much more of a hobby than a business, and if it stays that way I'll be fine with that. Who knows though, maybe I'll recoup some of the money I spent on my toys which would make my wife happy :)