365.365 and… Done!

Yep. That’s 365 in a row.

But that’s not what I’m done with… (I’ll keep this up through the end of 2012, at least.)

The new apartment is all put together and ready to be lived in! (Except for the desk, which is, as always, a bit of a mess, what with various receipts that need to be filed and the last five or so things that need to find their space in the new place.)

Hooray!

On to the shooting of this… I started out dirty and unshaven. I took a bunch of pictures from the same vantage point (the front door),^ and with me in various spots, but nothing worked. The two shots that were any good at all came near the end of the first 60 tries, after the battery on the remote release went kaput and I had to switch to self-timer mode and start running back and forth.

I got fed up, went and had a shower, pulled out the SB-700 and umbrella and started trying again, but try as I might, I couldn’t get the glare off both my glasses and the glossy photos on the right of the frame.

So, for a lark, I collapsed the umbrella halfway, and voila!

(I took four more after this, but they all had something going against them: hair was too unkempt; stuff was growing out of my back or my double chin was in full effect. This would’ve been better with me sitting on the sofa, but there’s no minimizing the double chin while reclining on a sofa, not that I’ve found anyway, so I went for the ‘king surveying his kingdom’ pose, which really doesn’t work for my personality much… or maybe it does…  Anyway.)

I was quite pleased with the half-collapsed umbrella, and plan to employ it more going forward.

So. My back is very sore, my brain is a bit fuzzy and I’m in a general state of near-exhaustion from lack of nourishment, but now I can relax and enjoy the rest of 2012, cause the last big project is DONE!

Woo!

D7000. Nikkor 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 G @12mm. ISO800 (leftover from yesterday: dumbass), 1/60th, f/3.8 (wide open at 12mm). SB700, SU-4’d, with its CTO panel in place, at 1/4 power, fired into a silver, half-collapsed umbrella at camera left, and triggered by the pop-up at 1/128th. Minimal post processing to get the colors corrected and bring out the shadows and highlights a bit in Aperture, all in all maybe a minute of post.

^In case you’re interested, the restroom is in that little hallway behind and to the right of me; that’s the bedroom behind. To the right of the green chair, there’s an opening into the dining area/office, and on to the kitchen with a little patio out back.

365.351 missed it by that much

Best laid plans… I was wrapping up the last bit of work today when I got a simple question from the boss.

While I was typing up a simple reply to the simple question, I received a request for some metrics from my team.

I sent of the simple reply to the simple question and opened the metric spreadsheet to add my data.

Sadly, the metric spreadsheet was out of date by at least two weeks, and it too, me about 40 minutes to sort everything out and send back my numbers.

I looked at the clock. It indicated that I had reached and breached the 9.5 hour mark for the day.

So I didn’t finish the little bit that I had left; I shut everything down and left, as I had plans to go shoot the (soon-to-be) new apartment.

I went and shot the (soon-to-be) new apartment. I took measurements of all the rooms, the doors and windows and portals to other spaces, and noted the locations of power and phone and cable lines. I talked to a couple of (soon-to-be) new neighbors. I drove home.

Oh my, were the texting-while-driving drivers out in force today!

I spotted this while stopped at a stop light that I wouldn’t have had to stop at had the jerk three cars ahead not been busy with something other than driving his/her car. I grabbed the camera and shot two quick shots before the light changed and I could finally come home (where Aperture decided that its Library was corrupted and in need of repair, again: two days in a row! GoGo!).

Had I been maybe five feet closer to the intersection, this would’ve been lined up perfectly dead center, but had the jerk not been too busy to drive, I would’ve missed it all together and I’d be fumbling around trying to find something to shoot instead of writing this too-long rant, so GoGo, I guess.

Also, had there been a goofy dog-walker or some men in suits/hats or a couple necking or some kids running by or a leggy blonde strutting somewhere or some other non-exploitative human subject in the frame, this would be a mediocre street shot instead of… whatever this is.

Again: I’m tired. (<– also two days in a row…)

D7000. Nikkor 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G at 18mm. ISO100, 1/400th, f/10, in Program mode (where my special, double secret real estate shooting user settings are based). About 2 minutes of slider play in Aperture.

365.300 for RC Concepcion

Several weeks ago, RC Concepcion compared looking at people’s 365 projects to “watching a fat man do jumping jacks.”
I took some offense to this, and (despite claims to the contrary) I believe it was meant to offend and discourage amateurs like myself. I’m sure this is all in my imagination: why would RC alienate his audience like this? But at the very least, it showed an utter contempt for anyone taking part in a 365 project.
That said, should I be out riding that bicycle instead of shooting? Probably. Should I at least have on those running shoes and be out for a walk? Definitely. Should I smash that guitar over my gear, and then sell all my gear? Not if I want to get the best price, but perhaps.
The thing is, I enjoy making pictures, I enjoy sharing them, I enjoy having a reason to be creative every day, whether I want to or not, and this 365 project has done a great deal for me.
I’ve looked at, studied, practiced, and gotten better at making pictures that I want to look at; I’ve learned the ins and outs of the D7000 (the parts I use anyway), and I’ve used a broken lens to make pictures that people seem to actually enjoy; I’ve experimented, discovered, attempted, failed, and succeeded; and I’ve (mostly) enjoyed it.
And more than that, I’ve met some wonderful people thanks to this project, including the fabulous curators here at the 365 project, who have given me more encouragement and support than I even hoped for.
And even more than that, I’ve discovered things about myself; I’ve pushed up against my limits; fallen down and gotten back up; faced some of my fears; seen possibilities in myself, and found new things to focus on.
The 365 project has, so far, been (mostly) a joy, so why would I care what some professional photographer thinks about my project? RC has never seen any of my work, and I sincerely doubt he’ll read any of this or see this picture.
And I can understand how a professional photographer might get a bit tired of looking at bad amateur pictures over and over again: I definitely empathize with my painting professor, who must be exhausted by the continuous crop of 1st semester painters by now.
But Mike the painting professor does’t walk into class and talk complete smack about the paintings on display, no matter how bad they are.
So I understand the sentiment, but it’s the delivery that bothers me. Yes, I’m thin-skinned. And, yes, I should grow up (and get myself fitter, if this picture is any indication).
There are much friendlier ways to express disgust and disdain. It may not be completely honest, but you don’t risk alienating ever more of your audience.
And one other thing: RC, when was the last time you shot, purely for pleasure, for 300 consecutive days?
Ok. That’s enough.
I’m not entirely pleased with this picture, but it has a few things going for it, not the least of which: I can cross of one of the things on my shooting list. 😀
D7000. Nikkor 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 @10mm. ISO100, 1/15th, f/16. Three flashes: the key, an SB700, SU-4’d, with its diffusion panel in place, and at full power, near camera right; the fill, a Vivitar auto 200, mounted on the camera with a Cactus v5 trigger sandwiched in between; the rim, a Toshiba 312 behind the fatty. About 15 minutes of slider play in Aperture, mostly in an attempt to convince myself to actually post this, instead of wimping out and making some pretty macro.
Also, I wrote a much better version of this post, and then hit some strange combination of buttons and lost the whole post. The first version took about 20 minutes; this version took over 2 hours.

365.107 Interesting Blooms

I shot a bit of Real Estate today, and these flowers were blooming nicely on the front walk, so I grabbed a shot.

Lucky I did, since I didn’t make the time to shoot any more today. Shame on me.

I’m not too impressed with this shot, but I do like the buds and former blooms in the middle bottom and lower left. And it’s nice to compare the bokeh from the 10-24 with my usual performers… usual adjectives like ‘creamy’ or ‘luscious’ don’t seem to apply here.

This had more post-processing than normal, with a double round of burning in the sky and background, and some localized definition, but I didn’t take it out of Aperture (this version, anyway… I did play around a bit in various Topaz Labs plugins, but didn’t get anything I liked).

Also, this was cropped significantly, so the distortion from the wide end (shot at 10mm) is not readily apparent, though the car in the middle left is my Golf, parked maybe 15 meters away…

D7000. Nikkor 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G. ISO100, 1/50th, f/3.5 (everything chosen by the camera, as this was shot in my super-secret special Real Estate user profile, though this was made from the RAW file, as the supersecretspecialrealestate profile was a bit garish to my eye…)

365.47 Point of Impact, part 2: Dizzy

Well, this was a fun one…

D7000, Nikkor 10-24mm f/3.5 – 4.5 at 10mm (15mm equivalent), ISO100, 1/60th, f/6.3; SB-700 with its Florescent filter thing, at 1/4 power, camera left, triggered with Cactus v5 trigger.

I don’t do much with the 10-24 unless I’m shooting real estate, and this photo shows it! Wow. I need more practice with this lens, and with shooting in general.

It didn’t help that I put in a 9.5 hour day after not sleeping well thanks to the light snow fall and loud drainpipe outside my window last night. Yuck.

But tomorrow is another day, and another step towards getting better at making photographs! Woo!

365.34 Fully Automatic, Fully Adjusted

This began as three jpegs, shot in full auto -2–0–+2 bracketed, merged to HDR in Photoshop CS5.5 and shipped out with some custom slider settings, sent to Aperture, edited with Topaz Labs Adjust 3 and B/W Effects 5, and presented here for your enjoyment.

Apologies, but I had some prior obligations and thus didn’t really have time to shoot the 365 properly today… but I did shoot it, and it did make it to the interwebs, so GoGo.

And no exposure data for this one, as the D7000 and Photoshop and Topaz Labs did all the work. I just pointed the camera and pressed some buttons.