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One photo a day challenge: Day 108.

There are so many facets to this one photo a day process I am undertaking. Part one: It allows me to simply take more photos more regularly.

Hopefully the fact that I am taking more photos more regularly helps me to grow and learn as a photographer. Is it happening? I don’t know. Maybe.

But, one obvious effect that taking photos every day is having for me is this. I am able to revisit things more regularly. I can see things as a process.

It is easy to see things as static in our environment. WE think of where we live and places we visit as always being the same. But when I am photographing these spaces regularly it is easier to notice the differences. I can literally see the changes. I have a visual record.

There is another side to this as well. We live our lives and hours, days, weeks, even months seem to pass in a blink of an eye. One minute its winter. Then its spring. All of a sudden how is it already summer. And then before you know it the leaves are dropping from the trees.

But with this process of taking one photo every day I can watch as things slowly grow and change. Sometimes I am actually looking at the flowers and thinking that I can’t believe they haven’t bloomed yet instead of completely missing the bloom.

I hope this process has helped me appreciate the small changes and evolutions in our lives. And I hope I am able to recognize that while large components of our lives seem to be repetitive and sometimes dreary there are so many things around us that change little by little day by day. Nothing is ever truly the same.

Take time. Appreciate what you had. Be thankful for what you have. Look forward to what is to come.

Water for growth.

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One photo a day challenge: Day 107.

Today I was down at our local park, Eldridge Park, hoping to see some migratory birds. Each year I see some migratory birds stop over here on their way farther north. This year, however, I did not see many of the ones I was hoping to.

One fun thing that can happen is even if you don’t see what you were hoping for, you can still see something unexpected. Today I saw Terns at the park. I am not sure I have ever seen them there. They did a couple circuits of the lake and then flew off.

The Terns hung out just long enough for me to get some photos. The sky was completely cloudy and overcast so the photos won’t be anything to write home about, but still I nice record to have.

Osprey

Then just as I was heading to my car I look back over at the lake and there is an Osprey circling over the lake. I decided to make may way back to the lake and see if I can capture my first Osprey photos of the year.

As I mentioned before the sky was completely overcast so I wasn’t expecting anything magical to happen photographically. I decided to be really picky and only take a much more selected series of photos at angles I really liked.

Then I got lucky. The Osprey dove into the water and caught a fish. The Osprey was on the opposite side of the lake from me but still always cool to see.

I tracked the Osprey as he took off and tried to capture some images of the escapee with a meal. My camera setting were not going to be ideal for this. I was going to have a relatively low shutter speed. Hard to capture the Osprey without it being blurry.

I was going to do my best and hope for a little luck. The Osprey stay across the lake from me. Maybe that worked to my advantage.

My shutter speed turned out to be 1/125 of a second for this photo. It is not a great photo but I am very happy with it. I was able to pan with the Osprey well enough to keep the osprey sharp. And I captured the wing beat and the wings a blurred with motion. I really like that. It would be nicer if the Osprey had come closer, but you take what you can get.

Osprey with fish. Wings in motion.

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One photo a day challenge: Day 106.

I am not great with plants. I am especially bad at keeping potted plants alive. The likelihood of a plant surviving decreases exponentially if it is an indoor house plant.

I love plants. And I really enjoy house plants. But it often turns into a cycle of buying new plants for the house after each previous plant dies a quick death.

Orchids always say they are easy to care for. That is why I buy them. For the ease of care. But somehow I still manage to get it wrong.

This time I think this is the best I have ever done with an orchid. I don’t think I have ever had an orchid live long enough to grow a new flower that wasn’t already on it when I bought it.

My current orchid has grown one new flower that is just opening up to bloom and it has another flower growing on another stem.

Fresh blooming orchid flower.

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One photo a day challenge: Day 105.

I thought I knew exactly what I was going to do for my photographs today. Our white husky, Mojo, had spent a lot of the day outside in the rain. I wanted to photograph his damp, muddy, and stinky self and talk about how much he loves the rain. But, Colton had other ideas.

I called Mojo down to the bedroom so I could photograph him laying on the bed. He is always a pretty easy going subject. But when I called him top the bedroom Colton ran down and jumped right up on the bed. Then Mojo no longer wanted to get on the bed.

It was odd that Colton ran down and got on the bed all on his own. Colton usually does not get up on the bed very much.

For some reason he decided now was a good time to be on the bed. He sat in just about the same spot the whole time I took pictures.

All he did was move around some to get comfortable. Or he would look around to try and see something that had gotten his attention.

Colton decided to be a pretty good photography subject today.

Even if your idea for your photography doesn’t go as planned just roll with it and make some great photographs.

Colton on the bed.

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One photo a day challenge: Day 104.

I have been trying to work in photography of subjects I don’t often work with. This cemetery is right near where I run frequently. Today on my way to go for a run I stopped and photographed the cemetery a little bit first.

I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do at first. I was just looking for something that interested me.

The trees were starting develop leaves and flowers. I was looking to see if there was a way to use that in a composition.

Then I saw this large tree. The tree was massive and sprawling. It took up a lot of space. It had presence.

I was not sure how to photograph it but I knew that I wanted to photograph it.

I worked my way towards the tree. Stopping and taking photos as I found compositions that I liked.

Eventually I found this view with the moody cloudy sky in the background and the huge sprawling tree branches silhouetted in the foreground.

Cemetery Views.

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One photo a day challenge: Day 103.

I get up early every morning so that I will have time to accomplish two things before I have to go to work. Most days I want to get a workout in. And every day I also want to get into my home office and work on photography projects.

However, spending the morning in the home office can have a cost. If I am in the office I am not taking photographs. This doesn’t matter so much during the times of year when the sun isn’t even up yet. But as the seasons change and the sun rises earlier and earlier in the morning the potential downsides increase.

Early morning can present some beautiful moments to create photographs. Today I was at my desk working on uploading images when my wife woke up and said that the light outside was beautiful.

Our bedroom has windows that face east. She was waking up to a beautiful sunrise. A sunrise that I would have completely missed if she had not alerted me to it.

I was not facing any windows. I was facing a couple of computer monitors. Getting to work on a different aspect of photography. That is the biggest challenge in photography. Everything you do has trade offs.

As I talked about in my photography class today, using one camera setting over another has trade offs. Working on one aspect of photography means that there is something else that you are not working on.

I taught a photography class after work today and if it hadn’t been for this sunrise I am not sure what I would have photographed to share with you today. Because I was teaching a class, I was not taking photos. The trade off.

Sunrise. Upstate, New York.

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One photo a day challenge: Day 102.

The gloominess and rain continued throughout the day today. With the weather less than ideal for what I typically consider my ideal photography I wasn’t sure what I would photograph.

However, as a photographer one thing you eventually learn is weather is your friend. Weather is always your friend. You just might not see it in the moment.

It might often seem like weather is your enemy. Weather might spoil your plans. The weather might make it difficult to create the type of photography you are planning for the day.

But despite all that, weather is still your friend. Weather is your friend because different types of weather impart different conditions. And all conditions are good for some type of photography.

The current weather might not be good for the photography you hoped to be creating today, but if you adjust your plans to align with the weather you will be best friends.

The dull light from the overcast skies and the rain helped me create this photograph. The rain obviously left the water droplets on the flower. The dim light helped bring out more detail in the flower because there wasn’t any harsh glare from direct light.

The bright light can create too much contrast between the bright yellow flower and the dark green grass. It can be difficult to capture all the detail.

The storm. The clouds. The rain. They are my friend today.

Raindrops on Daffodil.

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One photo a day challenge: Day 101.

I spent the winter trying to keep some of the flowers I planted in pots last spring and summer alive. It is unclear how many have survived. But there are some that are clearly showing signs of life.

Some plants are beginning to grow new stems and leaves.

Two plants that are of the same variety seem to be doing particularly well.

This Gerbera Daisy specifically is growing well and even has multiple flower heads growing. Hopefully they will continue to grow and bloom soon.

This particular plant I have successfully overwintered in my house for at least a couple of seasons.

I wonder how long I can keep the same plant alive that is not meant to survive the winter in our climate here in upstate, New York?

Gerbera Daisy.

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One photo a day challenge: Day 100.

I spent this morning at one of our local parks hoping to photograph migratory birds that tend to show up around this time of year each year.

Unfortunately, the migratory birds did not make an appearance today. Hopefully I will see them soon.

So, no migratory bird photos or observations. But a day outside enjoying some fresh air, nature, and watching some birds is still a good way to spend some time.

Since there were none of the specific birds I was hoping to photograph I tried to be more selective with what photos I took. I wanted to try to take photos that were a little different. And I think I took fewer photos that I have on a photo outing maybe ever.

But what that allowed me to do was just look around and observe and be patient. Then I saw something that caught my eye and just seemed a little different.

A typical photo of a duck features a duck on the water or maybe sitting on the shore. But I saw this mallard standing like he was posing for me in front of this half dead tree and I thought there’s something you don’t see every day. I liked the idea of a mallard standing in front of a tree so that the whole background was a tree trunk.

I don’t know if this is the best photo I could have made, but I do think it is a little bit different and a little bit interesting. What do you think?

Mallard.

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One photo a day challenge: Day 99.

Today I was able to visit a place I really enjoy. And the funny part is I have been here plenty and its always a good time. But somehow I am not sure I have ever come here specifically for photography.

Spencer Crest

Today I spent time on the trails at Spencer Crest Nature Center. I just meandered around and absorbed the nature.

My initial thought was to check out the pond and see if there were any unusual water fowl to photograph. No luck there. It was too overcast and not bright enough in the woods for good opportunities to photograph birds in the woods.

However, what a cloudy overcast sky is good for is photographing woodland landscapes. Especially when it is mid day. The cloud cover disperses the light and creates much softer light instead of harsh shadows.

I have really been drawn to photographing tree trunks lately. I love the patterns and textures. It is especially interesting when the tree is combined with other forms of nature. The possibilities for photography are endless.

I really like the look with a shallow depth of field. Today I used my Nikon 50mm at f1.8. Crisp and sharp on the subject and completely out of focus on the background.

Gear

An added bonus for today was time getting used to my new gear set up from Peak Design. Today I made use of the Everyday Backpack, the Clutch, and the Capture Clip today.

I actually enjoyed using the Clutch much more than I thought I would to carry my Nikon D300S with battery grip using the 50mm lens. It was perfect for meandering through the woods but still having the camera ready for photos whenever I wanted. Then I could just clip in to Capture for more rugged hiking conditions.

I am looking forward to getting back to Spencer Crest later this year.

Spencer Crest Nature Center

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