Photography, Cycling and the Internets

Posts tagged “monochrome

Roadside Barn

Roadside Barn

This little barn sits just outside of Davenport, Iowa.  The doors don’t appear to work anymore as they are off the tracks or off the hinges.  In looking for a good barn to photograph without burning lots of gas randomly driving around in my limited time with a car, I resorted to Google Street View.  I was able to find some good spots which also provided some spontaneous subjects along the way.

For this shot, I like the detail in the wood and clouds and how it all comes together.  This is nice in color as well, but the black & white brings out the contrast nicely.


Deep in Thought

Deep in Thought

This image pretty much sums up how I’ve been feeling the last couple weeks.  Completely wrapped up in what I’m doing and oblivious to the outside world.  I think I have caught up, for now, to all I need to get done and can resume posting here.

What we’re looking at is my four-year-old daughter (she would correct me, 4 1/2) painting a mug for Mother’s day.  This was a great moment where she paused to figure out what her next move was to trace the outline of what she wanted to paint.

Salsify, Revisited

Lets take a break from the California coast and once again revisit our (well maybe just my) favorite gigantic dandelion, the Salsify plant and its softball-sized seed ball.  Before this year, I had never heard or seen one before.  Now they are all over the place.  It must have something to do with the abnormally cold weather we’ve been subject to.

To get these images, attempted to pick the seed head off the plant to give it a proper backdrop.  Unlike a regular dandelion where this is a trivial task, salsify required me to resort to more aggressive tactics like such as employing a pair of scissors because breaking the fibrous stem by hand was difficult and risked disrupting the seeds.

Salsify Seeds on Head

Salsify Seeds


Salsify Seeds II

Salsify Seeds II

What do you do when you don’t have a macro lens and you want to get on the Dandelion Bandwagon (1, 2, 3)?  Get a bigger dandelion!   Again, we have Salsify seeds setup in my ‘studio’.  In the afternoon, the sun comes through a window in my house and has served as my back-lighting system for awhile.  I think it worked well here.  The one thing I don’t have and need is a black backdrop to make something like this stand out even better.

The details in the fibers are wonderful.  Click through to see them in good detail.

Trying Something New

Since tonight is another club competition, I thought it might be fun to show the entries first, and encourage judge-like critiquing.  After the competition, I’ll share the criticisms I got on the images.   I’m all for hearing the specifics, so don’t hold back.  Comment on one, or all of them if you like. 🙂

The categories this week are Color Pictorial, Monochrome Pictorial, Photojournalism, and Travel. We are allowed to submit one image per category.

Color Pictorial: A Blossoming Storm

Monochrome Pictorial: Goofball

Photojournalism: Preparing for the Boat Race - San Francisco, CA

Travel: Market Post Tower, San Jose CA

To set the mood, I previously entered A Blossoming Storm into competition (we’re allowed to enter one image a maximum of two times).  It didn’t place the first time and received the following criticism:  “A wonderful image, especially around the bottom third.  Great drama with the clouds and flowers.  The stuff in the top right, it doesn’t belong. The flowers aren’t facing the camera and it is distracting. “



I really like this image.  This is a single grab-shot that I got really lucky with.  Walking through downtown, I noticed a nice row of benches curling around in the park across the street.  Surprisingly, there were no people walking around at the time.  Just this one gentleman who was sitting on the center bench watching the world go by.  I liked the scene, which was about to vanish as the crosswalk signal was turning green, sending pedestrians scurrying.  The scene was about to vanish forever.  Thankfully, the camera was already in aperture priority mode so I didn’t have to fuss with it.  Rather, just lift, check the corners and shoot.  And just as soon as the shutter fired, I lost the scene.  No do-overs.

After taking it, I thought it would be nice but nothing special.  That changed when I brought it up at home,  in Lightroom.  As it turns out, he wasn’t the only one in the cross-hairs.  I was  as well!  His expression made this photo!

Day of the Living Goofball

Day of the Living Goofball

I love dark, gritty images, so lets go dark again and keep up the variety.  I’ll opt-out of telling the story behind this one to let your imagination kick in.

Another Good Round

Last night’s photo club was good.   I entered four images, one in each digital category (I have not yet submitted prints) and won first in each.  These, along with my last entries will be judged together along with the top photos from clubs in  the area at the next bimonthly 6C competition.  I am very curious how they fare at that event.  This is all very exciting. 🙂

Good Morning San Francisco - Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA

Good Morning San Francisco - Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA - Travel (Digital)

Wish Maker

Wish Maker - Monochrome (Digital)

The Terror of Happy Hollow - San Jose, CA

The Terror of Happy Hollow - San Jose, CA - Photojournalism (Digital)

Mystical Morning - Color Pictorial (Digital)

The Terror of Happy Hollow

The Terror of Happy Hollow

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo has a new kid-sized roller coaster.  As much as I tried to encourage my adventurous daughter (guess which one) to ride in the front so I could get a good photo, she declined.  She wanted the back since it goes faster.  The other, well she didn’t enjoy things quite so much.  I love this photo and just how different the everyone’s expressions are!

Lone Tree, Morgan Hill

Lone Tree, Morgan Hill

Today I’m taking things in a completely different direction.  It’s all about experimenting for me in this shot.  I’m going for a sense of old, a sense of dark, and a bit scary.  Almost like a zombie silhouette will appear  over the hill.  I really like the steep angle, the white fence and the low clouds in this shot.  I’m also a fan of trying to make some eerie images, even if I’m the only one that appreciates them. 🙂  (see my parking garage set.  Another experiment with the dark side)

I’m curious what works and what doesn’t on this shot.  Let me know.