Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Day 14: Yoshi Attacks!!


I took a picture a few days ago of Yoshi resting on her log, like a stump. It was such a busy day, I just ended up making that my pic of the day. I wish I could go back and put another picture.... but I know I can't. Today, I didn't get home from work until past 8pm, and didn't get a chance to get any sweet shots, so I knew I had to hunt down a pic inside the home. So I sat in front of Yoshi's 55 gallon tank and started shooting, and shooting, and shooting. I finally got this shot. I'm shooting iso 400, and still shooting a slow 1/15 of a second, while Yoshi moves back and forth and left and right and up and down....... I'm pretty happy with what I got though. I shot it at F 2.o, so the depth of field is a bit shallow and not very forgiving.......

Side point: I wonder why Yoshi moves both her arms up and over her front with her claws out like that? Is she attacking? Double-sideways high 5's? Whatever it is, I think turtles would look more vicious if they opened their mouth while in attack mode. But since they always have a dopey, closed mouth and half closed-eye look, it's hard to take them too seriously....

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

DAY 13: Where Am I?


Can you guess where I am? I took a picture of my reflection on a chromed knob end of a towel rack!! And yes, this is my second self-portrait from a washroom. Weird right? Anway, I like taking reflection shots against warped glass or mirrored metal surfaces because of the way it distorts reality, kinda like an impromptu fisheye lens (one just came up for my camera mount for $600 on Craigslist!! What a deal!!). I've taken cool reflection shots on this knob many times, but other pictures made my blog instead. This isn't the best shot I've taken up to now on this silly chromed knob, but I took it today, so here it is. I had to shoot at iso 400 because my hands were too shaky to hand hold 1/6 of a sec today. In fact, you can see my other hand bracing against the towel bar so as to steady the camera a bit more..... oh ya, and also, this is my 3rd self portrait..... so vain........

Monday, March 29, 2010

Day 12: Here Comes the Clouds


I've been wating for dramatic clouds since I've started this project. I ride to work, and I cross 2nd Narrows Bridge (okay, Ironworker's Memorial Bridge!!) on the East side in the morning, and the West side when I go home. Depending on the time of year, I get real dramatic sunrises and sunsets, and double bonus if I get dramatic clouds or fog. The dead of winter or the middle of summer has either too much sun or not enough when I travel to and from work, so I love spring and autumn the best for taking dramatic landscape shots. Since today was a grey and cloudy day, there was no point in shooting in colour. I think black and white truly brings out the different textures and layers, much better than colour. As well, by equalizing the shadows and highlights the best I can, I can get a very HDR-like picture. Punch up the contrast and then darken the image 2-3 stops, and you get this very sereal image, almost as if its a painting.....

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Day 11: Yoshi the Turtle


As my previous pic mentioned, my wife loves pets. This was a rescue turtle my wife adopted from my little sister. We renamed him Yoshi, although we're pretty sure it's a girl, as her nails are not long or sharp enough to be a male red eared slider turtle. I took a picture of him just as I was leaving the house. I knew today would be a really limited day to take pictures. I think I only really took two shots today, including this one. Not a great shot of Yoshi. Before I took it, she had her arms and legs and head stretched out, but as soon as I approached, she shrunk back into her shell like a turtle....... but this is my shot of the day.... too tired to run around the house and try and get a better shot. I've got work tomorrow, so I should have more opportunity to get something more interesting than a turtle in a tank.......

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day 10: 1975?


I love the 1970's, and I love the way pictures looked back then. Since I had a Japanese dad, he took plenty of pics back then, and so any picture that has that same 70's look evokes very strong emotions for me. I actually had a technically better picture to post, but I just want to jump into this picture. I want to put on my brown couduroy pants and my blue and yellow addidas runners and be part of this picture. I took this shot riding downtown on a Saturday afternoon. The weather was perfectly clouded over, and I took this shot on the way home, near Pender and Cambie. I'm sure if I waited long enough, I could of framed in a couple of European hippies coming out of the hostel upstairs. It would have totally looked like 1975.......

Day 9: The Times They Are a-Changin'


I know I said I don't have many pictures of myself, and that's true, of other people taking pictures of me. But I do take pictures of myself. I don't know why. I guess I like the aspect of me taking a picture of me posing back at me, does that make sense? I can direct myself to pose a certain way, and then instantly see if I've done a good job as a poser....now I know I'm not saying it right. Anyway, I liked this picture because it reminds me of a pose that Bob Dylan did on the cover of his album "The Times They Are a-Changin'" way back in 1964. Sort of like Blue Steel, but with more of a "Get Lost" or "I don't care" type attitude written all over his face. For Dylan, he wasn't posing. For me, total poser. I guess you can discern as well that I like black and white. I like the rawness of it. My brother always says you can convert it later to b&w, but it's not the same. Taking a picture evokes emotion, and shooting in b&w puts me in a certain mood that a colour viewfinder doesn't do for me..... it gives me more raw attitude and a simpler view to composition. Also, unlike most of the pictures thus far, very little post editing. Just basic contrast and a bit of sharpening. Other than that, pretty raw pictures... so here we are, me doing Bob Dylan Blue Steel in the bathroom.....

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 8: Matte Vinyl Vehicle Wrap


Today was a rainy morning and I thought it would be a struggle to get a good shot of anything. After a morning out in service and on my way home, at the hall parking lot I saw the perfect subject, a perfectly wet and glistening VW Passat. Vehicles actually shoot well in cloudy and wet weather. This particular vehicle was matte vinyl wrapped by my buddy, and you can tell he did a pretty good job, considering it's his first vehicle. A roll of the vinyl costs about $1000, so a job like this would cost in the 8K range.

I shot at medium telephoto (so step back 20 feet from the car and shoot, so as not to get that fisheye effect when you shoot too closely at wide angle) to isolate it from everything else around it. In post production, I converted to black and white to keep the green vegetation in the background from distracting the eye, vingette the edges to focus the eyes to the centre of the image,and finally colour isolate the rear of the car to draw the eyes to where I want the viewer to focus their attention. I know its a similar effect I did with yesterday's flower. I'll try not to repeat the same photographic tricks 2 days in a row.......

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 7: Not Flowers Again!!


When my wife saw that I have another flower picture up on my blog, she said the above title. I know it's not really my style, but my exercise only allows me to post a single picture that I shot that day, the best shot of that day. Because I spend most of the day at work, most of my pictures are taken either at work, or on my way back from work on bike. I ride over the 2nd Narrows Bridge and then through trails and then through a park. I pass by a lot of nature, including plenti-o-flowers. Until I change the rules of this exercise, I just have to work harder to get the shots I want. I'm also a slave to the weather as well as the seasons. As I get older (and wiser), it's good to challenge my creative juices.....let it flow.....

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Day 6: Hot Wheels Gone Wild


I rode past this car on the way home, and it just happened to be all by its lonesome in a big empty parking lot. Either everyone else was too scared to be parked beside a car that who knows who is driving, or the driver wanted the most attention, not wanting to be stuck between two big trucks, so he parked far away for the most exposure..... either way, the vehicle is a poster child for vehicle decals and how it can go so wrong.....

Either way, it makes a great photo. This picture has some pretty heavy handed post production work. Focus blur, colour isolation, shadows increased, and increased contrast. It was fun to shoot since it was so isolated from any other car, but I do wish I could have shot it in an alley against a more grey and boring background. This is the main reason why I used the post production techniques to isolate the vehicle from its surroundings.......I love how even the yellow parking lines act as sort of a border for the vehicle, and how it sort of fades away....

Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 5: Norco Bigfoot with Canondale Brake Levers


I've been on two wheels for most of my life. I had a paper route all through high school (a real route that meant 6 days a week, 5am in the morning!!), and I rode rain or shine, or snow, or even my graduation. Yes, I had to cut my all-nighter short so I could get home and do my paper route... I know, real cool... I also rode everyday during the summers, even after all my other buddies grew up and got cars.

As an adult (okay, I'm going on 38) I ride to work everyday, and I still feel like a kid. It's as if I never grew up. I still stare at cool cars as they pass by, and I daydream of owning them one day, even though I'm past the age one should have some of these 2 door, 2 seater sports cars.

But I think I'm happy being on two wheels, and self propelled. My daily ride, like most daily riders, is a bit ghetto, but it gets me from point A to B. It's my 1996 Norco Bigfoot, and yes, I'm the original owner. I've made modifications over the years, and everytime I put more money into it, I always think, I could have bought another bike by now. I've replaced my rims, brakes, bottom bracket, cranks, rear cluster, cables, seat post, seat...... basically, everything but the frame, forks, shifters and my handle bars......

I have a love-hate relationship with my daily ride. I sometimes wish it was cooler, like a tricked out hipster fixed gear bike with a flip-flop hub, or a super versitile cyclocross with mostly 105 components, or a slick Euro road bike. I hate it when an equally strong rider is beside me on the way home, but he slowly passes me up hill because he has a faster, lighter and better geared bike than me!! Argh!!! At the same time, everyday as I ride to and from work, I'm proud of my little humble 26" wheeled ex-mountainbike converted daily rider. It's chromo frame and forks has served me well. This front picture is an ode to my Norco Bigfoot with Cannondale v-brakes and Specialized seat........

The picture is heavily modified, with fisheye effect, cartooned, and increased contrast. Just goofing around to see how far away I can get from reality while still maintaining a recognizable form.......

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Day 4: Koko is not my friend!!

I don't hate animals, nor do I hate pets, but I don't like it when wildlife invades my private home space, invited or not. Unfortunately, my wife loves pets, so we 3 birds, a turtle, and a cat. Koko is 13 years old this year, and basically, she's a home cat. She spends most of her time indoors. I caught her hanging out under my wife's piano, so i grabbed my camera and took a low angle shot. In fact, you can see my reflection in the piano to Koko's left......

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day 3: Pretty Flowers


Okay, I'm not really into flower shots. When it comes to nature pics, I prefer trees, not flowers. But I happened to see this weird, cone shaped plant and flower, so I just had to try and take a good macro shot. The other pic had a bee in it, but maybe a bit too cliche for me......

Friday, March 19, 2010

Day 2: Eric Easy and the Brass Monkey




I take a lot of pictures of Eric, my coworker. He always poses insane for me, and he has these crazy Norwegian eyes. This is a very low key pic of him, but I still love the way he makes his eyes in every shot. I also like how the rolls of vinyl on the wall looks like its stabbing at the air behind him..... Brass Monkey? It's some guy's boat decal.... Beastie Boys anyone?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 1




I realized that I'm rarely in any of my pictures. Sometimes I have to submit pics of myself, and I have to really look hard to find a picture of just me!! Anyway, when I got home today, I was curious how I looked, or maybe I was more curious about how I appear to others. So I took a few shots, and picked the one I think I most resemble in real life..... if that makes sense? It's like hearing your voice, you never think you sound like yourself. I feel the same about pictures. Some look better in pics, others look worse.... I'm neither extreme, but more towards worse I think...... anyway, first pic is a pic of me..... so vain....