Day 212—Ala Carte

It was late in the day; I had taken no photos yet. Leaving the grocery store, I pushed my shopping cart into the long snake of other carts, and, stretched in front of me I saw my photo of the day!

Focal Length 50mm
ISO 200
f/5
1/60
SOOC

Day 211—Basket

The Ghanese market basket I bought in Redding last year at the Farmers’ Market holds my photography books. I emptied it for this morning’s photo. I think the most interesting thing about this basket is its leather-covered handle so that is the focus of this photograph.

I used the lowest ISO so I needed a slow shutter speed and, of course, the tripod. And, if you look closely, the light coming through the weave of the body of the basket, blurred by the large aperture, produced some tiny bokeh, a nice bonus.

Focal Length 80mm
ISO 100
f/5
1/2 second
SOOC

Day 210—Strum

I’ve been thinking about guitars lately because I’m reading “Life” by Keith Richards. Amazingly, it isn’t all about sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Keith recounts (in a sort of stream of consciousness way) his early musical influences (primarily blues—The Stones started as a blues band). He explains how he discovered five-string open G guitar tuning (huh?) and how that discovery transformed the sounds his guitar made and the sounds the Stones are best known for: no 6th string on his guitar and keeping his guitar tuned to Open G. Then, this morning, the paper ran an article about a Santa Cruz company that makes artisanal guitars using vintage wood and I was intrigued by a photograph that accompanied the article, a closeup that shows the strings as they are threaded onto the guitar. Since I have two acoustical guitars, and I’ve been thinking so much about guitars, why not photograph them?

I was mostly interested in the angle and lighting of the newspaper photograph but I was unable to duplicate it. This is one of the photos I did like. I set the white balance to incandescent and fine tuned it until the photos matched the guitar color perfectly.

Focal Length 52
ISO 100
f/16
5 seconds
SOOC

Day 209—They Call It Mellow Yellow

The Thursday Farmers’ Market provides me with lots of colorful photo opportunities. Today’s market was no exception. I was torn between my photos of purple onions and these gorgeous yellow tomatoes. Some of each came home with me but I chose the tomatoes for my photo of the day. I used the Sunny 16 rule again today and today it produced a perfect exposure. Last time I tried the Sunny 16 rule at the Farmers’ Market, the red tomatoes were overexposed. I don’t understand why. Maybe it has something to do with the spectrum.

Focal Length 105mm
ISO 100
f/16
1/100
SOOC

Day 208—Reemergence

My friend Henry came over yesterday and cleaned the weeds and debris out of my side yard. It was his idea. When he was looking after my house during a recent trip, he noticed the jungle of weeds and overgrown plants, piles of broken and unused flowerpots, and the general messiness of the area that was detracting from the rest of my marginally attractive yard. By the time I arrived home from the gym, he had transformed the area and by the time he left at noon, several ferns I planted 20 years ago and had actually forgotten, had reemerged. They seem to be thriving.

I had to tweak this photo a bit. I had planned to use the tripod and a long exposure but my regular gardener arrived and I retreated into my house after taking only a few hand held shots. By the time he left, the light had changed and the photos with longer exposures and higher apertures were not as good as the few I took earlier.

Focal Length 130mm
ISO 100
f/5.6
1/100
Curves and Levels

Day 207—Lamppost

The Sierra Vista Bridge that crosses the railroad tracks in downtown Roseville has always intrigued me so I walked across it today. I think the lampposts are interesting and they look to be original to the bridge which was built in 1929. The lone pigeon standing sentinel atop the arch makes an interesting addition. I used the Sunny f/16 rule which seems to have provided the correct exposure. Still, I had to straighten the photograph a bit; I need to pay more attention to lines when I photograph something.

Focal Length 82mm
ISO 100
f/16
1/100
Straightened

Day 206—Thai Basil Reflections

All my basil is flowering and I was admonished the other day to pinch it back. But I like the flowers. This is Thai basil and I think the purple flower stalks are interesting. After looking at this photo, I was taken by the illusion that the front stalk is being reflected.

Focal Length 200mm
ISO 100
f/9
1/125
SOOC

Day 205—Anything But. . .

. . .cleaning house! My house needs a thorough cleaning because I have neglected it so I got the vacuum out to clean the floors and small area carpets. I’ll do just about anything to avoid cleaning house and today was no exception. After I lugged the vacuum into the living room and began to vacuum the carpet, I thought the light patterns from the carpet sweeper might make an interesting photo. Since I’d rather take pictures than clean house, out came the tripod and camera and I fiddled with exposure to get the effect I was seeking. Based on the light patterns, it looks like I missed a few spots. Not complete coverage here. I really took only about 15 minutes away from my house cleaning (honest!) to do this, but now it’s time for lunch!

Focal Length 105mm
ISO 100
f/36
13 seconds
SOOC

Day 204—Overexposed

A hummingbird has taken to bathing in my fountain early every morning. When I saw him this morning I thought he’d be gone by the time I got outside so I even took the time to attach my 300mm lens before stepping out. I was confident because I knew I had checked all my settings so when I went out I knew I could just focus and shoot. I saw him fly from the fountain to the photinea as I stepped out but as I peered into the branches I couldn’t find him. Then I looked down and he was again bathing in the fountain about two feet away from where I stood. What an opportunity…not! I had reset the ISO to 200 but in the shaded area where the fountain is, at that time of day I needed higher so I bumped it up to 500 just in time to see him fly into the branches again. Only this time he was in the light but I kept shooting as he preened. Of course they were all way overexposed, but oddly for me, in decent focus.

So I played with improving the photo: I fiddled with exposure, cropping, contrast, curves and luminance. This tweaking revealed blurred wings and tail as he shook off the water. I liked the results so I decided it’s my photo for today.

Focal Length 300mm
ISO 500
f/7.1
1/60

Day 203—Psychedelic

I was feeling pretty mellow (yellow) this afternoon after having a massage and celebrating a friend’s birthday with two margaritas. Luckily for me, the second margarita was served at the start of happy hour so not only was it half price, it had only half as much tequila and twice as much ice so it was pretty watery and had little effect on my driving. As I drove home, I decided to meander through Penryn and Loomis in search of an interesting photograph and found myself on Sierra College Boulevard. I followed another road off Sierra College and came to a concrete train trestle which reduced the roadway to one lane so I pulled over and took a few photos of it. I heard a roaring and felt vibration as a freight train rumbled slowly into view and over the bridge. The colorfully graffitied cars were an interesting contrast to the green and gold of the landscape. At first I thought the photo was a bit too underexposed, but I decided I liked the vibrant blue of the sky and the psychedelic look of the graffiti so I didn’t adjust anything.

FocalLength 27mm
ISO 200
f/16
1/200
SOOC