Day 91—Half A Cube

Today’s theme is “cube” and because I learned my lesson after the WalMart fiasco on Day 76, when I walked into Marshall’s and saw the huge cube suspended from the ceiling with the word “cube” I asked permission to photograph it. I was referred to a supervisor who referred me to the manager who said, “no.” So, after hours of shopping with my sister-in-law, I returned home late in the afternoon, tired and ready for a glass of wine, not ready to find a photo of the day. Fortunately, I had half a cube of butter on the butter dish in my refrigerator and I realized that half a cube of butter is actually pretty close in shape to a geometric cube.

Focal Length 300mm
ISO 100
f/5.6
1/5
Levels

Day 90—Incredible Hulk

“Stereotype” is the subject of today’s Flickr challenge. And, once again, my gym provided the inspiration. The Roseville Sports Center caters to normal people with average bodies and I have never seen anyone there who remotely resembles a stereotypical gym rat. So, this morning, after my session with my trainer, when I noticed this muscle-head magazine, I decided my shot was the magazine. The cover features a guy who reminds me of Lou Ferrigno, TV’s original Incredible Hulk, except that he’s not green. This is as close to a stereotype that I’m likely to find anywhere near my gym. And, I imagine that 75 pounds would be a wimpy weight for the guy depicted on the magazine’s cover but that’s the top weight available in my gym.

Focal Length 38mm
ISO 400
f/4.5
1/60
SOOC

Day 89—In Search Of Ovals—A Day For Pot Pourri

Today’s challenge topic is “oval.” While I waited for my car to be serviced at Walt’s this morning, I took a walk down Auburn Blvd. in search of anything oval and while I encountered some interesting things, I saw very few actual ovals. I’m experimenting with different points of view because I’ve been watching some Scott Kelby Training videos and have learned some new approaches to composition. Also, I’m trying out my newest lens, a 28-300mm FX lens that I bought for my new Nikon D800, which I have yet to possess, despite its release one week ago. I am number 6 on the list at Action Camera, only two Nikon D800’s have come in so far, and so I wait. But I’m loving my new lens; good glass as they say in photog lingo! Here are a few of my favorite shots from today.

This is one of the first shots I took. It caught my eye because while the hub cap isn’t oval in fact, it appears oval when viewed from at an angle. I’m reflected in the center of the hub.

Focal Length 28mm
ISO 200
f/18
1/200
SOOC

A little further down the street I saw this “day care” center and I couldn’t resist capturing the sign. One can only imagine what sounds the husband/karaoke singers might emit.

Focal Length 190mm
ISO 200
f/16
1/100
Cropped/Levels

As I passed the Sylvan Community Cemetery, I almost died (pun intended) when I turned and saw the red warning sign.

Focal Length 85mm
ISO 200
f/13
1/80
WB changed to Cloudy

I just liked the look of this twig looming from the darkness, although it was merely the angle of the camera and the background trees that resulted in the darkness. The sun was not out but the high overcast reflected off the top of the twig.

Focal Length 300mm
ISO 200
f/5.6
1/1000
Cropped, Levels

The dandelions on a school field caught my eye because I occasionally post photos to my “Taraxacum official” Flickr Group (which group has 3700 members) so I knelt down to get a good closeup and a honeybee was flitting from flower to flower. The bee was settled onto the flowers in all but this shot and I was amazed that it’s in focus.

Focal Length 300mm
ISO 200
f/5.6
1/640
Cropped

And finally, a closeup shot of a chain link fence that has a sort of oval-ish appearance when viewed at this angle.

Focal Length 300mm
ISO 200
f/5.6
1/400
Levels

Day 88—What’s In Your Medicine Cabinet?

Today’s challenge? What’s in my medicine cabinet? I think of a medicine cabinet as a very personal, off limits, part of one’s life. This challenge topic brings to mind a Dear Abby column from years and years ago about a snoopy dinner guest who was finally cured of snooping in the host’s medicine cabinet by some strategically placed marbles that cascaded and bounced everywhere when the offending guest opened the host’s medicine cabinet for the last time. I took this photo of my guest bathroom’s medicine cabinet and I chose the point of view with the door just slightly ajar to reveal only a small part of what’s in the medicine cabinet. But, I will reveal that, as a lifelong migraine sufferer, I am never far from a bottle of pain relief medication.

Focal Length 35mm
ISO 200
f/1.8
1/13
Levels and vignette

Day 87—Just Can’t Wait To Get

Today’s theme is “On the Road” and as one member of the ODC Flickr group commented, “AAhhhhh….its given me an earworm….all I can think of is Willie Nelson!!” and that “earworm” has infected me as well. I took a detour home from the gym, singing Willie Nelson all the way, and revisited a place I photographed on Day 67 when John Denver was my “ear worm.” It was just starting to rain and I had trouble with achieving correct exposure and I didn’t hold my camera level, so all of today’s photos today have levels adjustments and are straightened and cropped. Plus, I added an HDR effect to the first two and opted for the black and white HDR version as the most interesting.

On The Road Again:

Day 67 Revisited:

Roadside View:

Day 86—Spanish Lace and Sepia

Yesterday’s challenge was shadows but there were no shadows yesterday, just high overcast and clouds. Today, there are still lots of clouds but there is an occasional shaft of sun, and when I returned home from picking Bobo up from the vet where she spent the weekend while I visited Santa Rosa, I noticed this interesting shadow of my wrought iron table on the patio. It reminds me of a fan made of Spanish lace.

Today’s challenge is anything ‘mono.’ When I was outside trying to find the elusive sun’s fleeting shadows, I focused on the dead basil stems in a pot and realized that with the brown fence behind them, the entire composition was monochromatic, almost sepia tone, and it intrigued me.

Focal Length 70mm
ISO 200
f/11
1/160
SOOC

Focal Length 160mm
ISO 200
f/5.6
1/250
SOOC

Day 85—Calla Lily With Water Drops

Before I left Santa Rosa this afternoon, Honora and I went on a walk in the neighborhood. I found this raindrop covered calla lily a block from Honora’s house and I really liked the drops on it. And, I got a chance to use the new 28-300mm lens I bought to go with my new Nikon D800 which did not arrive as promised last week. Action Camera received 2 D800 cameras and I am Number 6 on the list, so I am waiting.

Focal Length 300mm
ISO 200
f/14
1/125
Levels Adjustment

Day 84—Lock and Key

It is after 3:30 PM and Honora and I are still in our pajamas after spending all day planning our 2012 “Thelma and Louise” adventure, a road trip down California’s Pacific Coast Highway in September. I needed a break and realized I hadn’t taken any photos yet today, so I checked my Flickr daily challenge group and discovered that today’s theme is “things that go together.” Honora immediately thought of “lock and key” and I went with her suggestion.

I tried various views and lighting scenarios but we both favored this shot in which I bounced the Speed Light off the wall behind me. The only adjustment I made to this shot was a slight crop.

Focal Length 200mm
ISO 320
f/6.3
1/200
Flash
Crop

Day 83— Ninety Five And Counting

Today we celebrated my Mom’s 95th birthday with champagne and lunch at my brother John’s house in Santa Rosa. Both my brothers, their wives, my friend Honora, John and Pam’s friend Kevin, who shares a birthday with Mom, Luisa, Mom’s caregiver, and Mom enjoyed several bottles of champagne, a wonderful fish stew and a tiramisu birthday cake.

Here’s Mom, enjoying her glass of bubbly and her happy birthday toast.

Day 82—Bowers Of Flowers

“Where bowers of flowers bloom in the spring. . . .” Well, it finally is spring in California although you can’t tell it by the weather. Today, when this “sun-kissed” miss, sun-kissed in quotes because there isn’t any sun today, drove by a gorgeous display of California poppies, our state flower, I couldn’t resist pulling over and taking photos. The result? An awful lot of orange, but I wanted the effect of a mass of flowers which is what I always think of when I hear that song, not flowers in a bower.

N.B. While I started this blog with the intention of improving my camera skills, it has served to educate me on other matters as I often decide to double-check my facts on things before I post random information. Today, I learned that “California Here I Come,” by Buddy DeSylva and Joseph Meyer, who wrote it for a musical starring Al Jolson in 1921, is NOT California’s official state song; rather a song called “I Love You, California,” is the official state song, confirmed by our legislature in 1988. Say what??? It is a song which I, a native Californian, have never heard and perhaps more embarrassing, I worked for the State of California in the year that the Legislature adopted it. I don’t believe that enactment made front page news. I’ll cast my vote with the majority who, like myself, consider “Califoria Here I Come,” as California’s state song.

Here are my bowers of flowers.

Focal Length 200mm
ISO 640
f/16
1/500
Levels Adjustments

Focal Length 200mm
ISO 640
f/16
1/200
SOOC

Focal Length 200mm
ISO 640
f/16
1/200
SOOC

Focal Length 200mm
ISO 640
f/11
1/320
Cropped