Day 304—Ketchup

Of course today’s challenge is “spooky.” I have some wine glasses that I bought a few years ago for a party that fit the bill (except for the sparkly diamond in one finger) so I poured some ketchup in the glass, tipped it over and let it ooze down the inside of the glass. I had to take the photo early before there was too much light in the room; I used one OTT light and I added a “flash” of sorts with my tiny light that I turned on for a fraction of a second to give a little more light to the reflection.

Focal Length 35mm
ISO 100
f/16
1.6 seconds
W set to sunny (once again I forgot to change it)
SOOC

Day 303—Analog

Today’s Flickr daily challenge group topic is “tape.” I was mulling it over in my head as I drove home from the gym this morning trying to decide if I would use the challenge topic or something else, and there, on the side of the road, was a long curly string of VCR tape. I couldn’t pull over there to photograph the “dead” tape but that got me to thinking about all the old audio tapes I had laying around and the ridiculous problems one has with audio tapes after they’ve been played too many times and they wear thin and get caught in the tape player and you end up with a jumble of tape and the loss of some favorite music.

I long ago got rid of my audio tape decks but for some reason kept a tape recorder that we got when we got our first computer, a Texas Instruments TI99; we used the tapes to record Basic programs and feed them back into the memory of that miniscule, by today’s standards, 16k RAM. So I decided to recreate a common disaster. I thought I’d be funny and tape two ends back together with piece of duct tape for a double entendre but that didn’t really work out.

I did decide to change the photo to black and white. I thought the black and white treatment lent itself to the decades old technology.

Focal Length 35mm
ISO 100
f/10
1/3 sec
Black and White

Day 302—Conundrum

When is a square a triangle? Today’s daily challenge is “triangle.” When I ran across Ron’s speed square, I knew that had to be my photo. And there is the conundrum. It’s a square but it’s a triangle.

I set it on the oak tool box (that has never been used for tools) that sets on the shelf at the top of the stairs with incandescent lighting from overhead and behind. Then I added my OTT light to create more contrast and changed the white balance, set to sunny because of the OTT light, to warm the tones of the gold wall behind it. After I looked at the photo, I realized that there were all sorts of triangles in this photo, not just the “square” and an odd-shaped polygon or two.

Focal Length 35mm
ISO 100
f/9
.8 seconds
WB set to sunny with slight color adjustment
SOOC

Day 300—A Hole New Perspective

I struggled today and tried lots of different photos and lots of different Photoshop effects but found nothing that I deemed good enough for a photo of the day. So I turned to my reliable, of late, inspiration, the Flickr “Our Daily Challenge” group. Today’s challenge is “through a hole.”

I was busy all afternoon and by the time I got to the grocery store, I was tired and hungry. As the Courtesy Clerk at Nugget Market walked me to my car, he asked if I had more plans for the day. “Well,” I said, “I’m learning photography and I have a blog where I post a photo I take every day. Today I’m looking for a photo that exemplifies ‘through a hole.'” It was then that I looked at him and realized that his ears were “gauged,” the practice of enlarging the holes in one’s ears until they are gaping holes. I never knew that’s what the practice was called. I only remember seeing issues of National Geographic Magazine, with natives in various remote continents with their earlobes stretched grotesquely with huge disks. I wondered what this young man will do when the holes no longer have plugs in them and start to sag. Despite my misgivings about the future of his earlobes, which we discussed, by the way, he was a good sport and posed for me so I could take photos of the holes in his ears. He plans to continue enlarging them. I guess I shouldn’t worry about him. Afterall, when I got my ears pierced in 1966, all my family members were aghast except my grandmother, who, I found out when I first saw her after the “piercing,” had her ears pierced in the late 1800’s and had stopped wearing pierced earrings when the practice went out of fashion in the early 1900’s. So, I guess as they say, what goes around, comes around. Just not always the same way.

The photos I got were rather lackluster, though, and despite this young man’s help at trying to hold his ears so that I could get good photos, they were rather uninspired. My fellow photoblogger Melinda suggested I try changing it to black and white so I did. I used the blue filter to get this effect and I rather liked it. I also cropped the photo slightly.

Day 299—Tesla

Tesla is a golden eagle who is thought to be the only eagle to have survived electrocution in the US, and because of this, is named for Nikola Tesla, one of whose inventions was the alternating current that electrified the world. This evening I met Tesla who accompanied her handler, Andy McBride, a master falconer and PG&E lineman, to a meeting of the Placer County Fish and Game Commission. Andy is working to educate people about the perils that eagles and other raptors face when they land on power lines and are electrocuted. Tesla was injured 14 years ago, losing part of her foot as a result. She could not be released back to the wild after her rehabilitation so she is an educational ambassador for the California Foundation for Birds of Prey, an organization for which I volunteer.

I faced lighting challenges and although I had my tripod, it was not practical to use it. Earlier today I read an article about coping with poor indoor lighting situations and I took the advice in the article. I set the camera to Aperture priority, opened to maximum aperture, and then adjusted the ISO to achieve the best exposure. Even at high ISO settings, the shutter speeds remained very low so I was lucky to get a couple of pictures in adequate focus. I couldn’t decide which of the best “in focus” shots to use and because it’s late, I decided not to agonize, just post them both. Both are cropped. The first required some exposure adjustments in Aperture. Except for cropping, the second is SOOC.

Day 298—Real Estate Gone Bad

I didn’t think the Sacramento area’s incredibly poor housing market affected board games, but something must have gone terribly wrong in this Monopoly game! The board was torn into four pieces and all the money, deeds, hotels, and houses were strewn near my neighbor’s trash can. Since I always keep my eye peeled for something interesting to photograph, I thought this scene made an interesting statement on the current state of affairs.

Focal Length 82mm
ISO 100
f/8
1/60
WB- Cloudy
SOOC

Day 297—Green That Got Up And Went

Preoccupied with other things today, I didn’t get around to thinking about my photo until almost 3PM. I didn’t feel like going out so whatever I did had to come from around here. Once again, I checked the “Our Daily Challenge” for inspiration. “Going Green.” As I stared into space trying to think of something green that was interesting to photograph, I became aware of my companion in the room who was staring intently at me after being ignored most of the day. When I looked over at Bobo, her “greenness” struck me as an obvious choice for a photo. Then I looked at the vase of molted feathers I keep by her cage and decided that one beautiful tail feather would do the trick. This is not necessarily “going green” but “green that got up and went” . . . i.e., fell out.

I set the feather on a piece of non-reflective black velvet and used an OTT light for lighting with the camera directly over top of the feather so the depth of field would be the same over the entire feather. I changed the white balance to Sunny and the tone to a slight yellow cast to capture the exact color of the molted tail feather. Finally, I used the remote so that there would be no camera shake when I depressed the shutter release.

Focal Length 150mm
ISO 100
f/16
1 second
WB Sunny with B1G1 color adjustment
SOOC

Day 296—Purple Memories

Once again, my new Flickr group, the “Our Daily Challenge” group, has focused my attention in a direction I would not have otherwise gone for my photo of the day. Today’s challenge is “purple.” I didn’t think I had much purple in my house and thought the only thing I could do was photograph a swath of purple paint or crayon. While rummaging in my closet for crayons and paints, I ran across the souvenir program from one of two Beatles concerts I attended in the 60’s. It’s purple! I knew instantly that had to be my photo; I still have the ticket stub from the nose bleed seats at the Cow Palace in San Francisco so I used that to add some pop (and context) to the photo.

So here’s the Fab Four minus one (Ringo didn’t fit in my view finder today) from 1964. I didn’t scream. Really, I didn’t!.

Focal Length 82mm
ISO 100
f/16
1 Second
WB set to Sunny
SOOC

Day 295—Jam in a Jar

I am so happy to be a member of the Flickr Our Daily Challenge Group because it takes much of the agony out of deciding what will be my photo of the day. Some days I enjoy taking the day as it comes wondering what will inspire me. Other days, I’m too busy or tired to be thoughtful.

Today is a combination of busy and tired so first thing this morning I checked the ODC Group’s challenge: “Begins with J.” My mind started racing: joy (not feeling too joyful today); jogging (nope, today’s my day off from the gym and I don’t jog anyway, I walk); jay (my resident scrub jays aren’t in evidence and there are no jay walkers, either); lots of other “j” words crossed my mind but when I opened the refrigerator to get something for breakfast, there it was: my jar of homemade nectarine jam! I used my tripod and my OTT lights for lighting.

Focal Length 200mm
ISO 100
f/11
Shutter Speed 1/3 sec.
WB set to Fine Weather
SOOC