Photo #30: Parallel Paths

I waited until about an hour before sunset to leave the house again. I’d finally spotted an old barn that looked promising, so I headed back to that spot. Unfortunately, it was now in the shadows, preventing me from getting a good shot.

But I continued driving down the road, because I knew just a little further was another of my favorite subjects, railroad tracks. I’ve been hoping to catch a train throughout this project, but as of yet, haven’t been successful. However, like roads, the railroad tracks themselves also greatly appeal to me as a subject.

I found a spot where the road ran parallel to the tracks. The setting sun was illuminating both. I liked the lighting and the juxtaposition. I shot several frames, manually adjusting the shutter speed to get the light right.

I think this one turned out the best.

Photo #30: Parallel Paths

Photo #30: Parallel Paths

Tech Details:
Equipment: Sony NEX-5R, 18-55mm standard lens.
Image: 1/4000 sec exposure, f/5.6, ISO-3200.

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Photo #26: Evening Kayak

The weather improved today, so I decided to spend some time at the lake before attempting my photo for the day. The lake is one of my favorite places for photography, it has plenty of opportunities for large, open landscape shots, wildlife to turn the telephoto on, trees, both dead and alive, flowers and frequently people. While I was waiting for the sun to set, I wandered around the lake, photographing whatever caught my eye. I was fortunate to capture several very successful shots.

My planned photo for the evening was to get the runway lights at the airport. I headed over there just after sunset. Unfortunately, I had left my tripod at the house. To get the frame I wanted, I needed the telephoto lens, but the telephoto is best with the tripod, and for anything but short exposures, pretty much requires it. To capture the photo I wanted, a longer exposure was necessary. As a result, I got a few decent photos, but most had just a touch of blur.

So I decided I will try that one again later, this with the tripod. Instead, I selected one of my photos of the lake. I haven’t featured any photographs of people yet, so I give you this kayaker, enjoying an evening of fishing on the water.

Photo #26: Evening Kayak

Photo #26: Evening Kayak

Tech Details:
Equipment: Sony NEX-5R, 55-210mm telephoto lens.
Image: 1/100 sec exposure, f/5.6, ISO-100.

Photo #17: Calm Waters

It was a nice evening, so I grabbed the camera and went up to the local park. The park presents lots of opportunities for photograph. At the center is a larger lake, line with trees and benches. Ducks can be found on the shore and swimming in the lake. This time of year, there are trees in bloom. Swingsets, slide and old merry-go-rounds are strategically placed around the lake, with larger playground and some tennis courts on the north-east side of the park. It’s wooded to the south, and there are open fields and a few old barns to the north.

The park is not without it’s challenges. It’s a popular destination when the weather’s nice. There are cars parked at intervals around the lake, and people fishing, picnicking, and walking. Powerlines stretch over the lake, there are “No Swimming” signs, outbuildings and the occasional piece of litter on the shore. Editing undesired elements can be tricky.

I walked around the south and west shores of the lake, ending up at the fence and the fields to the north. I photographed several different subject, playing with various photo styles, the effects on my camera, and used all three of my lens.

I had a hard time selecting with photo to share tonight. It was a close running between three different photos. Landscapes are my favorite subjects, and although I’m not in love with the landscape around here, it can still produce good pictures. I realized I haven’t shared a true landscape photo yet, so I decided to select my photo of the lake for today’s picture.

I took this photos at the water’s edge. The shore was lined with stone in this particular area, and I used that to frame the lake and draw the eye into the center of the picture. I think it turned out pretty well, even if there are cars around the lakeshore.

 

 

Photo #17: Calm Waters

Photo #17: Calm Waters

Tech Details:
Equipment: Sony NEX-5R, 18-55mm standard lens.
Image: 1/80 sec exposure, f/8, ISO-100.

Photo #16: Evening On Main Street

The light was nice this evening, so I drove downtown. It’s the classic American mains street, a brick road lined with old, colorful buildings. My hope was to capture some people walking around. I wanted to manipulate the shutter speed, making the people on the street blur just enough to show they were there but disguise their features.

It didn’t work exactly as planned. Despite the fact that it was a nice evening, there was almost no one out and about. It figures, usually I’m either waiting for people go get out of the way so I can take a picture, or finding ways to creatively edit them out of the image before I press the shutter. Tonight, when I wanted people to walk through my lens, there were none around! So I had to settle for blurring the cars on the road, which were driving by at fairly regular intervals.

The street is still pretty, so I tried a few shots, all from the tripod. I captured a few different angles of the street and the buildings, using both the wide-angle and the standard lens. Finally, I took some pictures of the sinking sun through the trees. A few people did eventually show up, and I quickly realized my shutter was set for too long, and rather than blurring the pedestrians, it was making them disappear. By the end, I had the camera in full manual, having to adjust the aperture so I could decrease the shutter speed.

In the end, I did get some pictures with blurred people, several with blurred cars, and some nice shots of the street itself, but nothing that achieved quite what I wanted, and no one image really jumped out at me. (Some pesky dust specs made me rule out a few otherwise decent photos.) This is definitely one to try another day. I’d like to play with this a little more, when I can find more people out and about. I left when the sun got too low.

Ultimately, I selected this sunset photo as the best image of the day:

Photo #16: Evening on Main Street

Photo #16: Evening on Main Street

Tech Details:
Equipment: Sony NEX-5R, 18-55mm standard lens, tripod.
Image: 1/2 sec exposure, f/25, ISO-100.

Photo #10: Cornstalks

Cornfields. They’re everywhere in the midwest. My drive to work is only about eight miles long, and cornfields line the roads for most of the way.

The fields have yet to be replanted, and they’re full of dried brown stalks, none more than a foot high. These have been catching my eye lately, and I wanted to photograph them.

I waited until it was within an hour of sunset, and drove to some nearby fields, which had both the surroundings I wanted and were oriented best for the light of the setting sun.

I walked over to the field. The shadows were long, forcing me to angle the shot correctly, lest my shadow appeared. I wanted to get the cornstalks from a lower angle, showing both the size of the field and the brittle stalks. I tried a few different angles, starting at the end fo the field and working my way slightly inward.

I immediately noticed that there were red cornhusks scattered throughout the field. I realized that these would make a pretty cool picture by themselves, so I took a quick break to capture a few macro photos of the husks. Since the photo of the field itself was my goal, I’m not going to share the macro. (Maybe I’ll share some of my extra photos after I’ve finished with my 30.)

After a few minutes. I moved to another field. I shot the first field from the west, with the sun directly behind me. The second field I photographed from the south. It was closer to sunset, making the light a little softer. Finally, I tried a few to the west, including the setting sun as well.

I had a really hard time picking my photograph for today. I had several that turned out well, although none were quite what I initially envisioned. I probably went back and forth a dozen times about which photo to include. In the end, I finally decided on one of the photos from the second field. I like the softer light, and the composition is more visually appealing. Here it is:

Photo #9: Cornstalks

Photo #9: Cornstalks

Tech Details:
Equipment: Sony NEX-5R, 18-55mm standard lens.
Image: 1/160 sec exposure, f/4.5, ISO-100.