Photo Project: Wrap-up…

At the end of January 2015, I began this Photo Project. Now, I end with a few last photos and a bit of wisdom garnered from the experiment. Check out my first Photo Project post here. Or you can click on the Kitchen Window tab at the top of this page and scroll…all…the…way…to…the…bottom.

In my previous post, snow had arrived after higher than normal temperatures for Christmas Day. December’s snow almost disappeared by the second week in January.

Pardon the general fuzziness of these first photos…I’d been experimenting with new filters that I got for Christmas and must have left the camera on Manual Focus. Oops!

Then the snow came again…

and began to fade…again.

It snowed a few days later…but that was outside the scope of this project.

What I Learned…

My goal in all of this was to grow in my understanding of photography and to learn more about my camera in particular.  And I did…(while learning a few things about myself along the way). For example, I discovered:

I could choose my subject more carefully next time.

The scene outside my window is peaceful. But that translated into boring when I was hoping for a measure of entertainment! The birds and other wildlife didn’t show up much. And facing northeast at sunrise misses a lot of light and color happening just a few degrees to the right. Oh, well!

There are a lot of settings on my camera!

I’m fairly certain that the settings I ended the project with are not the ones I started out using a year ago. I’d make setting adjustments for other photographic endeavors and then forget to adjust back. Or I’d forget what the previous setting even was! This was definitely not what you’d call a controlled experiment. 🙂 I did learn a bit about the different “white balance” effects this way!

Remotely triggering the shutter is possible and easy.

The last time I “remotely” triggered a shutter, I was using a cable release. The shutter release button on my D3200 isn’t an open hole lined with threads to screw in a cable release. I didn’t know what to do. But I took the easy steps necessary to find a handy little remote device made for my camera and voila! (I should mention that when I first received the remote, I couldn’t get it to work. I complained to the seller and then poked around inside it, digging out a small piece of plastic that had slipped between the battery and the contacts, fixing the problem instantly.)

Change is not as gradual as I thought.

I expected to capture all the subtle changes of the seasons. What I found instead, were long weeks of sameness and then (Bam!) a frenzied week of change! The melting snow at the end of spring suggested a gradual change, but then I went on vacation for a week in May and came back to a fully greened landscape. The autumn colors seemed subtle at first, but then, within a week or two, they were blazing. And within a couple of rainy, windy days, all the leaves came down! The mild temperatures in the fall kept the grass fairly green…until it was all white with snow. In the past, I would’ve chalked up the sudden changes to my not really paying attention. Now, I know…all I have to do is blink!

A year is a long time…and a short time.

I found myself resenting the self-imposed mandate towards the end of the year. As a result, I got lazy. I’d “forget” to stop in the middle of getting breakfast or I’d decide that my sleep was more important and I’d stay in bed past 7:30am. But now, I can’t believe I did it for a whole year already! I won’t be starting another yearlong project anytime soon. I think shorter photographic experiments are in order this year. So, it’s a wrap!

And that about sums it up. Thanks for checking in. 🙂

 

 

 

Photo Project: First Snow…

Mild temperatures here in New England made November and December feel more like an early spring than a precursor to winter. On Christmas Day, it reached sixty degrees (Fahrenheit)! The wind blew the leaves around quite a bit, but no snow fell.

Can you see our lovely raking job in November between the first and second photos above? If you look closely at the second one, you’ll spy one of many leaf piles waiting to be bagged…or jumped into. ; ) The last photo shows how green the lawn remained, even at the end of November, due to the moderate temps.

Instead of snow, we had plenty of rain! The combination of wet weather and mild temps resulted in a few foggy mornings.

Then, finally, on December 29th, it snowed.

It wasn’t much snow. And you can see that it’s fading away – on the lawn anyway. Today, January 5th, New England weather caught up to the calendar and the temperature plummeted. It was 12 degrees when I took that final photo above.

Maybe it really is winter…we’ll see how much more snow there is to come. This project will wrap up at the end of January with a few last photographs and a list of what I’ve learned (or what I’d do differently next time:)).

To those of you in this Northern hemisphere…Have a Wonderful Winter!!! (And the rest of you, enjoy the sun!)

Photo Project: Summer Into Fall…

It’s been a while since my last installment of this Photo Project. Life got busy and the trees, well, they stayed green all summer!

The scene outside my window didn’t change much, but I think some of the settings on my camera may have been altered. (Oops!) I went on vacation, probably tweaked some settings and then couldn’t remember the original ones. As a result, the color differences in the August and September photos above may be technical and not physical. Oh, well! Live and learn.

In October, I dare say that the subtle foliage changes were a bit disappointing. The maple tree on the left side of this view usually explodes in a brilliant red every autumn. But I don’t think it ever fully recovered from that worm attack in the spring.

Its ragged leaves managed a rusty red, while the trees just to the right of my chosen view showed off their own magic!

But, back to the scene I chose to observe…

From mid-October until the last week of the month, the colors morphed. (Pardon my lens hood crowding the corners!)

Then, on October 29th, it happened: FALL!!!

As the calendar turned to November, the wind took more and more leaves down, stripping most of the trees bare.

The end of the year brings with it the promise of trees covered in snow and ice. I’ll keep shooting and wrap up this project in January 2016, bringing it full circle from the blizzard of January 27, 2015 seen in my first Photo Project entry.

In the meantime, I’ve got some leaves to rake…

 

Photo Project: Now That’s Green!

Another month of taking (almost) daily photos of the scene beyond my kitchen window has passed. To view the beginning of this project, click here or choose the “Kitchen Window” tab above.

The first of May looked exactly like the end of April. But by May 5th…can you see all the little green buds?!

And two days later, the green was multiplying. Compare May 7th and May 10th, below…

And THEN… I went on vacation for a week! You can read all about it in Biking, Birding, and Brews: A Vermont Vacation. Can you guess what I found when I returned home? A whole, heck of a lot of green…

And by the end of the month, it was so thick that the rising sun couldn’t peek through any more, causing a lot more shadows than I was expecting. Sadly, the maple tree on the left also started showing signs of the same worm-attack that practically defoliated my young apple trees while I was on vacation.

I don’t expect much of a change in the scene for a few months. Green is green. 🙂 But I’ll keep taking photos and post more of them sometime during the summer. In the meantime, enjoy the view!

Photo Project: Spring Greening…

As the temperatures in April crept above freezing, the view from my kitchen window began to take on the greenish hue of spring. Of course, first I got to watch the last remnants of snow shrivel into nothingness…

Then, the grass began its greening. The trees, on the other hand, almost looked like autumn, with their rusty reds and yellowy-greens…

On April 19th, I had just finished taking my daily series of photos and was about to close the window when I heard loud rustling in the woods. Four white-tailed deer entered stage-right (in other words, from the street on your left). I grabbed my camera (still attached vertically to my tri-pod!) to zoom in on them, but they eluded any good shot. If you blow up the April 19 scene, you’ll see a couple of them approaching…

By the end of April, the grass had regained its brilliance…

and the trees were budding!

Check out my previous posts in this photo project by clicking on the “Kitchen Window” tab above.

Photo Project: The Disappearing Act…

As winter turns to spring, the view from my kitchen window shows promise. The solid blanket of snow has turned to patches and the landscape has transformed from white to brownish-green. The following photos document the official end of winter…

I was away from home for that first weekend of spring. Then, the early spring rains and occasional above-freezing temperatures during the remainder of March jump-started a disappearing act. Note the receding snow line in the photos below…

What’s most exciting, but not visible in these shots, are the swelling buds on bushes and trees. But it’s happening! Really!

Photo Project: Spring Is In Sight…

Every morning, between 6:30 and 7:30 am, I’ve been photographing the same scene outside the window above my kitchen sink. I’ve dubbed the project Kitchen Window.

With the turning of the calendar page to March, the morning light has increased a bit each day and I actually took some of the following photos before 6 am. I know that was before my chosen time slot, but the light was waking me earlier each day. I also decided to switch my constant aperture from F16 to F22.

Then came Daylight Savings Time…the clocks sprang ahead an hour and so did the sunrise.

Evidently, ten minutes can make quite a difference in the amount of available light around sunrise. Should I shorten my chosen window of time? Maybe. Will I? We’ll see…

In the meantime, the snow is melting. The trees are thinking about budding and I look forward to capturing the transition into spring, one day at a time.