So Much To Do, So Little Time…

Oops.  Looks like I haven’t been here in a while, and I certainly haven’t been following up with my 52 week challenge like I’m supposed to be doing.  Don’t worry though! I haven’t forgotten about you, or the projects!  I’ve just been slightly losing my mind with how insanely busy I’ve been!

Yes, I’ve started school!  Going in to my 4th week and things are starting to get interesting!  I’m not quite sure how I’m going to make it through this semester — perhaps taking six classes during my first semester at a new school was a little ambitious.  Oh well, I’m in it now!  It’s crazy to think that so much time has passed already.  4th week.  It doesn’t sound like much, but when you think of it, I’m 1/4 of the way done already, and it feels like it’s all just begun.  I suppose the structure of classes only being once a week (although 6 hours each, yikes), makes it seem like I’ve barely been to some of my classes.

Also, I’ve started both of my jobs.  Seriously folks, the insanity of this schedule, and driving, and everything is really starting to kick in!  I can’t complain though.  I’ve missed being this busy, and it’s a little crazy to think of what I was doing the last time I was this busy.  People at school, particularly at the job I have there, keep asking questions about what I used to do, and where I came from.  In thinking of that so much lately, I’m so thankful that I’m never going back to that again.  Do you hear me?  Never!  I know, it sounds crazy to me, too, but I love it.

So even though things have been crazy, I’ve still been out shooting.  Nothing for the current “natural elements” theme (or the next week’s theme, which I haven’t even begun yet!), but I’m shooting none the less.  Hopefully I’ll be back on track after this weekend; I do have some school projects to shoot for, but I also have ideas brewing for the two themes I should have finished already!  While I get ready for a busy day of fun, photography, and homework tomorrow, I’ll leave you with a couple of images, courtesy of my digital photography class first day shenanigans.

Apparently, my professor has some type of competitive thing going on with one of his associates.  They’re each trying to one-up each other during their first class exercise.  I’m very happy about this, because I really enjoyed this little outing.  When reading the school site the night before in preparation for the class, I’ll have to admit, I was not that excited when I read something along the lines of “we’re going outside for an exercise — it’s supposed to be hot — come prepared”.  Hmm, what the heck are we going to do, and how lame is this exercise going to be?  Not lame at all, as a matter of fact.  My teacher, with the help of his TA, proceeded to throw brightly colored juice in the air for some fun abstract shots.  When that grew tired, he then put on some plastic bio-hazard type suite so his assistant could throw juice and soda on him, as well as so he could experiment with the whole mentos in a soda bottle thing.  Fun times.  Then, as another lighting scenario exercise, we went inside and took pictures of a miniature space set up that he created.  Things are looking up being at this school.  I mean really, where else can you do stuff like this?  Enjoy!

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Night and Day

I don’t know what I did to get all turned around, but it looks like I’ve fallen behind by a couple of weeks for this challenge.  No worries, I have been busy taking photographs, so I have plenty of stuff to show you!

Have I mentioned how crazy things have been lately?  Yes, I know I have.  I’ve moved, and am currently living out of boxes for the most part.  I’m reluctant to unpack, so I’m going to do my best to maintain this box lifestyle while searching for yet another place to move to.  With all the drama that is included in moving, I’m happy to have been able to escape to my happy place this past weekend, the beach!

It was just a mini vacation with some family, but it was a much welcomed get away.  I couldn’t imagine a better time to zone out on the beach than this past weekend.  Not did I get all the fun of hanging out with family and being able to see all of the 4th of July festivities, but I got a much needed mental check out.

While there, I definitely had my photo assignments in mind, and remembered to take some shots for last week’s “diptych/triptych” theme.  Since I’m always looking for things to take pictures of on the water, I used this weekend to my advantage and have completed a beach themed diptych.

It’s a relatively simple concept of day and night, but I think it’s a good representation of where I am right now.  A lot of the time I’m stuck in this perpetual darkness, not being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to say.  Yet, each day is a new beginning, and I’ve been trying to treat it as such, and make some positive moves.  This weekend was a definite help — I mean, how could you see this and not be happy?  Beautiful.  At the same time, I look at these pictures and think of how drastically different the same exact place can look at a different point in time (I also look at these and think of how drastic the quality is….forgot my tripod for the night shots — sorry!).  Often times when thinking about the things which have transpired in my personal, professional, and educational life over the last few years, I find I’m always looking back at how things used to be; how things have changed both for the good and the bad.  It’s amazing what time will do.  I wouldn’t say that I have any regrets about how things have happened, but when in the darkness, you often look back and think of all the beautiful details of the past.  Likewise, when you’ve overcome a great difficulty, you can look back and see how you’ve escaped that darkness.  It’s so strange to be in a place where I feel like I’m doing both; looking back in victory and defeat.  So enjoy one of my favorite places with me, regardless of what time of day it is.

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night…

Ok, so it was kind of dark, and not stormy, though another winter storm is apparently coming through tonight (very unenthusiastic “yay”).  Though I was hoping that the weather would cooperate, which it did in the way I was hoping, I didn’t think the cold would have such a bad effect on my camera.  I trudged out in the cold and ice-covered snow blanket which is my parent’s back yard, and after only snapping a few pictures, my camera stopped working!  Terrible.  Luckily, it was just the bitter cold, and nothing permanent.  Literally the moment I went inside, it was working just fine.  So like me, I suppose my camera prefers the spring/summer months, and wants nothing to do with this never-ending winter that we’re having.

So, even though the picture of the moon has nothing to do with this week’s challenge, long exposures, it’s what I started with for the night.  Not the greatest of pictures, but I’m happy with it being my first successful, and detailed, picture of the moon.  You can even see the craters — how exciting 🙂  In reading countless articles on how to successfully capture stars and star trails, I was surprised to come across an article describing how to successfully capture an image of the moon; you need a fast shutter speed.  It’s contrary to what I would have always thought, since naturally, when shooting at night, I would always be inclined to have a very slow shutter speed, but the logic was there.  Taking a picture of the moon is like taking a picture of the sun — it lights up the night sky, so in order to get any type of detail in  your image, you have to account for the enormous amount of light it’s reflecting, even if it is dark outside and it doesn’t appear that way.

So once I got that pic, I moved on to the true task at hand.  I was determined to get some star pictures, regardless of what my camera had in store for me.  Even though they aren’t the Milky Way in all it’s glory, there are stars in these pictures!  With the amount of light pollution in the neighborhood, it’s nearly impossible to get a quality image with the details of our solar system.  When you figure in that my camera needs a sweater or something to function for more than five minutes in this winter weather, it looks like things are really impossible….until it warms up outside.  Until then, I’m happy with finally capturing some stars in my images, even if it did take a little more post production work than I typically like to do.  Summer time, I’ve just added one more reason to the list of why I can’t wait to see you again.

Out of Focus

Finally!  I feel like I have this weeks challenge in the bag!  Out of focus is the theme for the photos, which could include anything from the entire image being out of focus, using a very shallow depth of field to have portions of the image blurred, or using bokeh.  Bokeh?  What is this magical photo word that I’ve seen all over the place and never bothered to look into?  Well, it simply means the blur in an image, either the entire photo or a portion.  When researching it, it seems that it is more specifically defined as the blurred effect of light entering the lens.  You can read up more about it here in an article from Nikon, which gives some good examples of both the play on light and different portions of objects as the image focal point.  Here are a couple of images that I’ve taken in the past that fit the criteria of “out of focus”, though I do plan to take more images this week!

As for the business challenge, the task this week is to start a blog….::looks around::…yes!  Done!  I have to admit, I did cheat a little by looking ahead at what the business tasks were going to be, but I’m glad I did.  This way I’ve had a way to document everything that I’ve been working on so far, and I wouldn’t feel the need to play catch up in posting the first three week’s work this week.  I suppose I can spend this week not only shooting photos, but catching up on the business tasks that I didn’t do from week 2 & 3.  I will reach out to photographers, and for last week, I will reach out to vendors!  I have a couple in mind already, so wish me luck!