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: 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!

Celebrating a Record…

Well, it’s official: it’s been a record-breaking year for snowfall amounts in New England! Yipee.

Last winter, I shared my thoughts on The Art of Snow Shoveling. This year, after one particularly deep snowfall, I was out shoveling (duh!) when I thought how little my previous advice applied while standing in two or more feet of snow! And I thought, “It’s hard to be methodical when the snow is three feet deep!” The following poem was born. I thought I’d share it on this record-breaking occasion…

Help! I’m Caught in a Snow Drift!

It’s hard to be methodicalapple tree 858
when the snow is three feet deep;
I’ve been shoveling in circles
and can’t seem to find my feet!

I swear they were there at the end of my legs
only a minute ago,
but now I can’t see nor feel them —
I’m numb from hip to toe.

I wonder, will someone notice
the pathway that I shoveled?
I tried to call for help just now,
but the sound was somewhat muffled.

The wind is blowing sideways
and my scarf has frozen flat.
Perhaps they’ll spy the pom-pom
on my smartly knitted hat.

I could use a sip of cocoa
or a nip of something stronger,
for I may be a “hearty New Englander,”
but I can’t take this much longer!

Wait, I see light; maybe someone’s coming
to rescue me somehow.
They’re coming closer, hallelujah!
Oh, crap, it’s only a plow!

cvb 2015

Photo Project 2015: Update

A few photos from the first weeks of my photo project: Kitchen Window:

I’m having fun playing with shutter speeds to see what gives the best effect for the light available on each day. And it seems to be snowing every other day, which makes things interesting!

OK – So, I slept in on the 20th! But the sky was such a clear blue that I had to take a shot…

Next time I check in, Daylight Savings Time may have begun. What to do about that? Hmm…

Photo Project: Final Decision…?

Hi there!

So, on February 5th, I took several photos of the view from my kitchen sink window. Since January 26th I’ve been playing with photographing that scene daily — defining and refining the parameters of the project I’ve dubbed “Kitchen Window”. (See Museum-worthy Inspiration to see what inspired me to try this.) So far, I’d decided to use my digital camera set on F16, recording images as JPEG Fine, with a focal length of about 21mm. The shutter speed has been and will continue to be varied. I just hadn’t nailed down the exact time each day when I would take the photo(s).

Anyway, on Feb. 5th, I took a couple of pictures just before 6:50 am:

What a pretty pre-dawn, impending-snowstorm blue!

Twenty minutes later, I took another with the exact same aperture and shutter speed as the one above right:

10 seconds @ F16

10 seconds @ F16

Twenty minutes later and there was a lot more light! So, I adjusted the shutter speed. This one was also taken at about 7:10 am:

1/2 second @ F16

1/2 second @ F16

I thought I was done for the day, but then the snow came! I had to take another just after 9am:

1/20 second @ F16

1/20 second @ F16

So, the time of morning has quite an impact on the results! The question is what do I want my results to reflect? Robert Weingarten, in his project, 6:30AM, wanted to show the changing light and colors that eluded the naked eye but could be captured on film. That’s why he wanted to be so precise with his timing. I’d like to capture those, too, but I’d also like to observe the changing of the seasons and the beauty of the early morning light.

I’m usually up by 6:30 am, but I didn’t want to commit to that time every day, so I’ve decided to choose a window of time (apropos?) instead. I’ll try to take a few photos of the scene every day (that I’m home) between 6:30 and 7:30 am. (Would you believe that it’s started to be one of the first things I think of when I wake up in the morning?) We’ll see what happens with the light when daylight savings time starts. But for now, I think that’ll work. And I’ll try to keep it up for the rest of 2015. Of course I won’t post every single photo, but I hope to pick at least one or two a week to share. Stayed tuned…and thanks for checking in…

BTW, I’m curious – has anyone else got a photo project going this year? I’d love to hear about it!