365 Photo Challenge for 2011 – August 31st

I had to work this evening after 5 and when I finished up I stopped to get gas in the work van and this was the scene that was in front of me.  After filling up, I put the 16mm lens on and set the tripod up.  I’m happy with the colors, but not necessarily, the composition.


365 Photo Challenge for 2011 – August 30th

I noticed this closed restaurant while driving and stopped to check it out.  When I walked up to it I noticed this little bit of tagging on the door frame and it caught my eye.  Who’s Robin?  Is it a girl?  Is it Batman’s sidekick?  If it is, which one?  Dick Grayson? Jason Todd? Tim Drake?

365 Photo Challenge for 2011 – August 29th

A couple months ago, my friend gave me a lens he found in a storage unit.  I could see it was a 200mm lens, but had no other info.  After looking online I found out that it was a M42 screw mount lens, but I still don’t know the manufacturer or any details.  I got an adapter on eBay and gave it a shot.  I just went outside the house and walked around a little since it was really hot.

365 Project for 2011 – week of 8/22

I’m trying something new here.  Recently, I’ve been posting about a week’s worth of photos at a time and I like the way I work when I do that.  I just open up a blank document and write out all the descriptions for that week’s photos, then I can upload them all at the same time.  I just feel like I’m more descriptive this way, but maybe I’m not.  This week I’m going to try and do things differently and put all of this last week’s photos in one post.  Let me know what you think about this different format.

This week’s theme is one I’ve done, but I’m revisiting my 50mm f/1.7 lens.  I tend to grab it and shoot it wide open and it’s not that sharp there, so I’ve recently been thinking of using it stopped down some more and trying to find out just how sharp it can be.  So this week I put that lens on and didn’t take it off.

Here in downtown Chandler, they recently built a new fancy City Hall building, it was actually the subject of my first photo in this project, and I decided to walk around it some in the daytime to get some shots.

Apparently, there is a musuem inside of it (it was closed when I went there) but the sign for the gallery really caught my eye.  I’d actually seen this sign the other day, which was part of the impetus for why I wanted to shoot in this area today.  When I first saw this sign, I knew I wanted to photograph it and this is actually how I pictured it in my mind.

Today I visited a friend who lives out far from the civilized world, he doesn’t even have a Target within a couple mile radius (whereas I have something like 10 in a 5-mile radius), but before stopping at his place I traveled the opposite directions towards some mountains.  I’m not sure which ones since they aren’t part of the Superstition Mountains, but they are kind of in that area.
Using the 50 I shot this pano which consisted of 11 shots, but I didn’t really like how it turned out so I cropped out some of the right side to about 6 shots worth.  I do like how it ended up.


By the time I left my friend’s house from yesterday it was past midnight and since he leaves so far away from anything worthwhile, you can actually see stars from his place.  So as we were talking I put the camera on my mini tripod and pointed it upwards.  I was in Aperture priority mode and it gave me a 25 second shutter speed.  I’m not sure if the blurring stars is from them moving through the sky in that time, or from me having to put a finger on the tripod to keep it still.  Other night shots I’ve done with clouds show them moving in less time than that so that could be what’s going on.  Next time I’ll try in manual mode with a shorter shutter to see it that helps.  Blur aside, it’s exactly what I was trying to shoot for, the bright light of the stars in a sea of black.


When I went to check the mail this afternoon I noticed these flowers blooming on my neighbor’s cactus and there were some bees buzzing around trying to pollinate.  I grabbed my camera and by the time I went back outside the bees were gone, but decided I’d shoot the flowers anyways since they were so colorful.  I really can’t wait until I get a macro lens so I can get some really close-up shots for these types of images.


Tonight I hopped on my bike with my camera and tripod and went out to find something interesting in the neighborhood.  I only got about two doors down the street before I ran into some friends and we ended up talking about video games and how Nintendo needs to make a Pokemon MMO for consoles.  The entire time we were talking this locust was buzzing around on the side of the house and since it was now a couple hours later I didn’t feel like riding anywhere and figured I’d try and get a shot of the bug before it left.  I was only able to get the one attempt before it flew away (I guess I got too close).  Nothing spectacular, but I think it turned out okay.


I was driving around visiting some retail establishments and I noticed a mountain I hadn’t paid attention to before.  Found out it was the Buttes, which I’ve been to, but since I was driving on a street I’m not normally on I saw it from a new angle.  I went to this mountain, which is next to Tempe Diablo Stadium (which is where the Angels play Spring Training baseball), and since the stadium parking lot was open and it was empty I went in to shoot that.  The 50mm being a short telephoto lens on my camera meant I had to step way back or shoot a panorama to get the entire front of the building in one.  I noticed these posts at the entrance which were topped by stone baseballs with the Angels logo carved in them.  I liked how this shot turned out with just the ball and the blue sky behind it.


I started this week shooting in downtown Chandler’s new City hall and thought I’d go back there tonight to come full circle with it.  One of the reasons I wanted to go at night was for a fountain that’s lit up at night and thought it would have good colors to shoot, but when I got there, the water was off.  I walked around and shot this photo of the city hall sign (which was one of my contenders from the first day of this week).  I really like the colors at night.  The back of the sign has red lights which is the red you’re seeing on the stone and there are these blue tiles above which you can see in parts of the stone and sign.

365 Photo Challenge for 2011 – August 19th


I wanted to get a photo of the waterfall in our pool, but without a neutral density filter to darken the image, I couldn’t get the silky water effect with a shallow depth of field, only by stopping the aperture down.  I had wanted to take a picture of this hose holder a couple days ago and thought it would work well for today’s photo with the sun setting behind it.