One new photograph, almost every day of the year

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2017—Reflections and Shadows

As the sun dipped toward the horizon on our last full day on Oregon’s rugged coast, the the light created gorgeous  reflections and magical shadows.  What a show to end our visit.

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2017—Very Ugly Hats

My friends Pat and Berit came for dinner Saturday.  I decided to serve Cappellacci alla Zucca, a butternut squash pasta dish that literally means “ugly hats with squash” in Italian.   I bit off a bit more than I could chew, though.   I hadn’t made the dish for a few years and it’s been a couple of years since I have made fresh pasta so I followed the instructions from a pasta class I once took.  I should have followed the instructions for making the pasta in the Il Fornaio Pasta Book with the Cappellacci alla Zucca recipe I was following.  I missed the step that tells how thick to roll the dough.  Because it’s going to be filled and shaped into the “ugly hats” it should be about 1/8 inch thick.  I rolled the dough way too thin.  This photograph shows the last pass through my KitchenAid pasta attachment.  It’s probably only 1/16 of an inch thick.   The dough was too thin to fill and form the hat shape.  My ugly hats turned out to be very ugly, misshapen, and leaky hats.  I was so disappointed in their appearance that I didn’t even bother to take a photograph of the end result.  Pat and Berit were good sports and didn’t mind being served very ugly hats.   And, at least the dish tasted good.  The pasta dough is made from butternut squash puree instead of eggs and the ugly hats are filled with butternut squash, walnuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and nutmeg and served over a savory tomato sauce and topped with browned butter with sage.

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2017—Breakthrough

I had a breakthrough of sorts on my second day in Oregon, after my first relatively unsuccessful attempts at burring the clouds and water using multiple exposure the day before.  When I first tried multiple exposure, I failed to adjust exposure to get slow shutter speeds which, when all images were combined, would blur the water and clouds.  The water in my shots was only partially blurred  and the skies yielded tack sharp birds flying through in multiples of ten, which just happened to be the number of shots I took that the camera combined into one.  My breakthrough occurred when I used my new Breakthrough 6 stop neutral density filter the  next day.

There are a few steps I had to follow for the successful use of the Breakthrough 6-stop ND filter.  First, before attaching the filter, I had to determine the proper exposure.  I first set the ISO to the lowest setting on the Nikon D5, which is, in effect, ISO 50, and the aperture on my 24-70mm lens to f/22 and noted the resulting shutter speed.  Then, after I attached the filter, and changed the exposure mode from Aperture Priority to  Manual, I entered the shutter speed into the handy ND Timer app for my iPhone.  The app calculated the new shutter speed required to get the proper exposure with the filter attached.  Anything over 30 seconds requires that the shutter speed be set to Bulb or Time and the ND Timer App will time the exposure.  After I reviewed several exposures, I discovered that I preferred a darker exposure so I increased the shutter speed to a faster 25 seconds.  This is the image that resulted.

The clouds are streaked with considerable movement in the 25 second exposure.  The occasional rain drop landed on the filter while the camera was exposing the shot.  They show up like small dark dots on the image so I had to remove quite a few of them in Adobe Camera Raw.

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2017—Slow News Day

The old riddle when we were kids, “What’s black and white and re(a)d all over?” came to mind yesterday when I turned the page in my Friday morning edition of the Sacramento Bee and found nothing.   Just white pages.  The black could not be re(a)d as there was none.  Thursday must have been a slow news day.

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2017—Beaujolais Nouveau Day

On a whim Thursday evening while shopping at Whole Foods, I bought a bottle of  2017 Beaujolais Nouveau.   Seeing it brought back fond memories of my trip to France three years ago with my friend Charleen when we traveled by river boat and train tasting wines throughout France. The release of the year’s Beaujolais Nouveau is a big deal in France and as I recall, we missed it by a couple of days there, although we did some tasting of it.   I don’t think a day or two could possibly make a difference with this very young, very delicious wine.   But, it turned out that Thursday, November 16, 2017, was Beaujolais Nouveau Day this year.  What serendipity!  I had no idea when I bought the wine and neither did I realize that Beaujolais Nouveau is shipped to the US so that we can participate in Beaujolais Nouveau Day with the French.  By the way, it paired well with my dinner of leftover grilled chicken tenders and cauliflower rice.

beaujoilais nouveau.jpgalut to Beaujolais Nouveau!

 

2017—On The Beach

The Oregon coast features dramatic surf and dramatic skies and the rocky spires known as Sea Stacks that jut above the water add even more drama to Oregon seascapes.  Moving just a couple of feet toward the surf or away from the surf or just a bit to the right or the left and zooming in or out with the lens can make a huge difference in the emotional impact of a photograph.  I took these photographs just a couple of minutes apart with my 14-24 mm wide angle lens. By including more of the foreground in the first shot and with a slightly longer focal length, the scene seems to invite the viewer in.  By contrast, the second shot, with a similar sky and reflection but without as many rocks in the foreground and using a slightly shorter focal length, has a distant, isolated, lonely feel despite the vibrant colors of the sky and the reflections.   I like  both of these photographs but they evoke very different emotions in me.

On The Beach

 

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2017—Angry Skies

We had angry seas and angry skies in Oregon.   The bluffs off Coquille Point were briefly lit through a break in the storm clouds so they reflected onto the sand.

Angry skies

 

2017—Angry Sea

The waves at Shore Acres State Park in Oregon are massive.  We were there before they crested but they were still very impressive.  The waves there are so massive and dangerous that the park closes at 5PM so that on-lookers won’t be swept away at the height of the waves’ fury.  I chose black and white for this photograph to emphasize the angry nature of the waves.

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2017—Smiling At Sunset

Yesterday I posted a photograph taken at Oregon’s Sunset Bay with a Fisheye lens, placing the horizon dead center of the view finder to create an undistorted view.  In contrast to the photograph in yesterday’s post, using the same camera and lens, I got maximum fisheye effect by focusing on the water in front of me so the horizon is very rounded and the wave approaching my feet is also curved instead of straight.  The foamy upward curve of the wave makes it appear to be smiling for the lens.

 

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2017—Sunrise At Sunset

Sunset Bay north of Bandon, Oregon is serene and beautiful with tree-topped sea cliffs.  We were there just after sunrise in time to capture some of the golden reflections of the rising sun behind us on the clouds, the water, and the sand.  I used my Nikon D500 and my 10.5mm Fisheye lens to photograph this scene.  I learned that if you center the horizon line in the viewfinder,  the characteristic exaggerated  curvature of the fisheye is mitigated and there no longer is such a dramatic distortion.  Sometimes the fisheye distortion works well in a photograph but in this case, I think the more normal wide-angle view is more appealing.  My biggest challenge with this shot was keeping the other photographers out of my photograph.  The 10.5mm is such a wide angle lens that unless I stepped forward if anyone was beside me, that person would appear in the edge of the photograph.

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