Update on Photo Project 365 From June 2012 :: P365.me

Project 365 June 2012 Update

Project 365 [Day 199] Waiting for the Rain in the Parking Lot

It’s the first part of July and I finally got around to updating my June Project 365 Photos (read about my Project 365 here). I am up to day 215, as of June 30th, which makes me 58.74% of the way through this project. Sometimes it feels like I’m taking the same photo every day, but I keep trying to find a unique image each day, and so far I have 215 unique images over my my Flickr gallery. My favorite shot (that was not published previously on my site) for the month of June is above, probably because it is a little more abstract. This huge storm came up while I was sitting in the Publix parking lot waiting for Deb to come out, and this shot was the result.

I still have mixed feelings about this project. It’s a pain in the neck, it takes time, it’s every single day with no break, and it’s a unbelievably accurate look at your life one photo at a time. Just like all photography, when I look at each individual image, I can remember great details about each day, just because I took one single photo. The mind is an amazing thing, and images create a very strong reminder in the brain, causing us to remember details we would otherwise have long forgotten. I know there is some psychological reasoning behind this, but once that image is taken, it takes certain details and moves them from our short-term RAM memory and places them in the long-term storage. That’s what I love about photography.

Just 151 more days and photos to take, and I can’t wait for November 29th when I can say it is finished. You can see a few previous blog posts on Project 365 here. To see the full gallery over on Flickr just go to http://P365.me.

Transit of Venus In Front of the Sun :: Photos

Transit of Venus Through the Telescope

Yesterday about 5pm, the Venus Transit across the Sun began. There were so many articles and photos posted from yesterday’s transit, but I think this from National Geographic summed it up the best.

Transits happen when a planet crosses between Earth and the sun. Only Mercury and Venus, which are closer to the sun than our planet, can undergo this unusual alignment.

With its relatively tight orbit, Mercury circles the sun fast enough that we see the innermost planet transit every 13 to 14 years. But transits of Venus are exceedingly rare, due to that world’s tilted orbit: After the 2012 Venus transit, we won’t see another until 2117.

From our vantage point, we were able to see the transit here and there as the cloud cover was typical for a hot afternoon in the south. Clouds came and went, some stayed around for a long time. The shot above is what the transit looked like as the clouds were crossing over the sun. My nephew Jacob has several other shots on his blog post here as well.

All in all it was a fascinating display of the planets, something that was clearly visible with nothing other than some solar eclipse glasses (the 3-D looking glasses). Glad we took time to see it, especially since it won’t be seen again in my lifetime, so the shot above, is literally, a once in a lifetime shot.

Transit of Venus Through the Telescope

Transit of Venus Through Solar Glasses

Transit of Venus Through the Telescope

Transit of Venus Through Solar Glasses

Update on Photo Project 365 From May 2012 :: P365.me

Project 365 for May 2012

May is over and June is here. Hard to believe. I’m still working on my Project 365 for 2012, and so far, I haven’t missed a single day since November 29th (the day I started because that’s when my year starts). I am constantly amazed by this project. I have wanted to complete it for 15+ years, and I know why I haven’t up to this point, it still remains far more difficult than I had ever anticipated when I started last November. Something I have found quite interesting is my iPhone is the overwhelming king of this project. I have used it for about 75% of the shots instead of my Nikon, which I hadn’t really expected when I started.

In the same way journaling provides an excellent look back at what was accomplished, or just what happened on a particular date, this project is giving me a snap shot of my day, week, month, and year. Sometimes I have very little to take a picture of, sometimes I don’t remember until I’ve been ready for bed, then it’s a test of creativity to take a photo in the dark, of something interesting. Anyway, it has been a great project so far, and above you will see the snapshot for May 2012. My favorite for the month are below. To see the full gallery over on Flickr just go to http://P365.me.

Please Welcome My Nephew to the World of Photo Blogging

Jacob Marchio Working on His Blog

I’m so excited to see my nephew, Jacob, starting his first blog, so everyone please jump over to his newly created blog at www.JacobMarchio.com and add it to your reader or leave him a nice comment on his first post. After saving up and getting his first Digital SLR camera, a Nikon D3100 (see the post here where we went to pick up his camera), he quickly realized that he wanted a place to post his photos other than his Flickr account page where it is sometimes hard to write in a whole lot of detail.

At this point I have helped a lot of people setup a new blog, but I am not sure I have ever had someone this excited about getting started. His blog will generally be posts about his photography and his interest in astronomy, and for his age, he is quite a talented photographer and astronomer. I am really looking forward to seeing how his blog develops over time, I hope you will check it out from time to time as well and give him some nice encouragement along the way.

NASCAR Atlanta Motor Speedway Photos :: Throwback Thursday

Self Portrait of My First Nikon D100 DSLR Camera

I thought I would really mix it up for my Throwback Thursday post for today. I have had many aspirations as a photographer over the span of 20+ years worth of shooting, and since I pretty much loved all aspects of photography (see Flickr), I have pretty much shot everything. I have shot from stars and planets to flowers, aviation, sports (a ton of Auburn football), people, worship, and, yes, even NASCAR.

These shots below were taken on my very first Nikon DSLR I ever purchased. I was so excited about getting this digital camera, the first affordable DSLR of its kind. After years of shooting film, I was ready to dive into digital photography. This set of images was one of the first things I ever shot with my digital Nikon, and it was the Saturday qualifying for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. These shots below were taken almost exactly 9 years ago, back when I still actually did have some hair as you can see from my self-portrait shortly after I bought my Nikon D100. It’s amazing how long ago that feels, like a lifetime ago, yet I can remember every detail of every single image I took that day.

Greyhound MCI-9 Bus Conversion We Called Home :: Throwback Thursday

MCI Bus Conversion Before Painting

The post for this Throwback Thursday is an “On This Day 10 Years Ago” post (from this point forward OTDTYA), which I now realize is actually getting into a time period that is presented on my blog. The very first posts on my blog were in March 2001, which we posted three articles about our bus conversion in the photos above. I still need to go back and post-date some blog posts for that time period to fill in the gaps, but the two shots above was what Deborah and I were doing on this day 10 years ago. After we picked up our used (former Greyhound) bus from Ocala, Florida, we drove it back to Alabama, stripped it down on the inside, and then “shelled” it with plywood (image on the right side at the top), starting a long long long process of converting it into a motorhome we would use and live in for about 5 years.

It was about 10 years ago when we got our first digital camera, an HP Digital Camera 2MP gem, we used until I bought my first DSLR, the Nikon D100 a few months later. These photos were the very first set of images that were taken in digital form. From this period prior, almost all our images are taken, and still stored, on film. One item on my list is to take 1,000,000 photos, and since I can’t count the film images until at some point I can get them all scanned in, this started a count of digital images that still goes on today. So far I’m up to about 350,000 images taken, and it all started about 10 years ago, just about this time of year.


Photowalk with My Nephew's First DSLR a Nikon D3100 Camera :: Friday Feet

Feet Reflection in the Pond

I think I was just about as excited as he was. Today my nephew and I made the trek over to my favorite store, Best Buy, and picked up his first Nikon DSLR Camera, a Nikon D3100 that he has been saving and working for (you have to love the lady in the background of the Best Buy shot, she was hilarious). My Friday Feet shot was a play on my previous Friday Feet post with my iPhone (Reflections on the Grey Days of Fall in the South :: Friday Feet), with a slightly different flare since my nephew came with me. This photo essay is basically his first few minutes with his new camera. After we did the grand unboxing we took it out on a Photowalk around the back of the property where there is always something new to shoot. My nephew is long on his way to becoming an incredible photographer, especially in the area of astrophotography, can’t wait to see what he can do with the D3100 since he has been using a Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS and taking some incredible shots with that point and shoot.

This time around we came across this orange blob gooey thing on a Cedar tree I had never seen before (see last photo). Turns out it’s called Cedar Apple Rust Fungus. Also known as Gymnosporangium juniper virginianae by genus name from the fungus Scirrhia acicola. Always something new, and apparently we want to keep the Cedar Apple Rust Fungus away from our apple trees in the back yard, good to know.

Jacob at Best Buy with His New Nikon D3100

Jacob with His New Nikon D3100

Nikon D3100 and Spring Thistle Weed

Spring Thistle Weed

Photowalk in the Woods

Water Lily in the Rain

Cedar Apple Rust Fungus

Aviation Photography Spotting at Las Vegas McCarran Airport :: Throwback Thursday

Las Vegas Departure of America West Cactus

Early this morning I was looking through some previous photo shoots from about 10 years ago, which today is my next edition of Throwback Thursday. In one respect, I can’t believe this was 10 years ago, it sounds so long ago when you say it like that, but when I look at the images, I can remember each day, each image, like I just drove over to the KLAS observation area yesterday.

Ten years ago, in my “off” time from work, I was all about aviation photography, and aviation spotting at whatever airport I could get to that week. I shot aviation photography for years until it just became too much of a hassle with local police and the FBI, who harassed me constantly about taking photos of planes in a post-911 world with big glass (most of the time the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 zoom). Most of my aviation images were posted over on airlines.net and more specifically mine are still at planephoto.net. These in particular were shot at the Las Vegas McCarran Airport observation deck. Back then, Deb and I lived in Las Vegas for a while, long enough to know Vegas as well any city I know, so I found every angle possible to shoot at KLAS, including when Air Force One showed up one afternoon.

One of the many things I loved about shooting in Las Vegas was the smog and dust from the desert of Nevada made for some incredible sunset photos, both aviation and the Las Vegas strip buildings. I probably took thousands of sunset and night images in Las Vegas but the one above was always one of my favorite, simplicity in flight.

Southwest Airlines in Las Vegas Departs Over Excalibur

Frontier Airlines Lands in Rain at Las Vegas Airport

Scott Fillmer Shooting in Las Vegas

Singapore Airlines in Las Vegas Strip

Most Beautiful Dogwood Blooms of any Recent Spring in Auburn

Dogwood Flower Bloom in Spring

OK, so this will probably be the last post of the Spring showing our Dogwood bloom or our Wisteria, but I just love the colors so today it’s my Photo of the Day and my P365 :2012 photo [Day 114]. I don’t know if it’s all the rain we got over the winter or that I’m just another year older, but this Spring has been the most beautiful I can remember in a long time. The Dogwood blooms around Auburn were, and still are spectacular this year. The one pictured above is from our yard and is just screaming of the beauty of creation.

This photo was taken handheld, and is seen basically straight out of my Nikon D7000 camera body, with a little added saturation processing from Adobe Lightroom. You can see the full exif data from over on my Flickr site. The background blur comes from the lens I was using, a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 G version (a very fast and inexpensive prime lens), shot almost wide open (i.e. f/1.4) so the depth of field was very shallow. The purple and green, two incredible contrasting colors for a white flower, come from our purple Wisteria blooms and the trees in the background. This wouldn’t necessarily be considered macro photography (see my previous examples here), but it was shot at the lens’ minimum focal distance.

Hope you have been able to get out and smell the roses this Spring, even if they are in the form of Wisteria and Dogwood blooms.