Nov 122012

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The past few days, feeling a lack of focus, I decided to revisit exercises in the basic elements of form: color, texture, pattern, light.  This was discovered in an alley on a “texture day”.

The acid test is whether you, the viewer, can actually “feel” the texture through your eyes? Or does the image instead reference an idea of what the subject is supposed to feel like? (It might be easier to evaluate at the largest size.) I’d be curious to hear, either way.

Nikon D300; 1/90 sec @ f11, ISO 1600 (handheld);
70-300 mm f/4.5–5.6 @ 70mm (1050mm EFL); focus distance 1.88m

Feb 122012

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Today I landed on a site called The Quiet Place. Go ahead, take a peek. The link will open in a new window/tab; I’ll wait… 🙂

In that Quiet Place, gazing out my window and trying to do absolutely nothing, I thought “Don’t even look for a photo.”

Then this appeared.

Nikon D300; f8 @ 1/125 sec, ISO 320 (handheld);
18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 200mm (300mm EFL); focus distance 14.96m

Feb 112012

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After spending a couple of hours photographing beautiful flowers in the Lincoln Park Conservatory, what really caught my eye was this scene just as I was leaving…

Nikon D300; f8 @ 1/60 sec, ISO 2200 (handheld);
18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm 27m EFL); focus distance .79m

Jan 142012

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Photographed near high noon, this capture reminds me there are delightful possibilities in hard light between the hours of dawn and dusk!

Nikon D300; f9.5 @ 1/75 sec, ISO 200 (handheld);
18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 46mm (69mm EFL); focus distance 1.68m

Aug 232011

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This was discovered on one of my morning walks through the alleys in our neighborhood—which are a great place to look for textures. The spot of sunlight was a bonus!

Nikon D300; f9.5 @ 1/180 sec, ISO 280 (handheld);
18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 56mm (84mm EFL); focus distance 2.24m

Jun 072011


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Walls and viaducts supporting elevated trains are ubiquitous in Chicago. In my walks, I’m fascinated by their colors, textures and the tenacity of plant life which attaches itself on or in close proximity.

There’s an oddly organic quality to these hard, concrete structures…

Panasonic DMC-FZ40; f5.6 @ 1/40 sec, ISO 100 (handheld);
Focal length: 5.1mm (28mm EFL)

May 282011

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With the forecast calling for partly cloudy skies, I decided to visit the Chicago Botanic Garden. Wouldn’t you know,  it turned severely clear instead! So I focused on the assignment “light” from The Practice of Contemplative Photography.

This was photographed in the Sensory Garden, which “celebrates fragrances, sounds, colors, textures, and movement.” Taking pictures was a great excuse to spend a lot of time in those surroundings.

Nikon D300; f8 @ 1/500 sec, ISO 200 (handheld);
18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 200mm (300mm EFL); focus distance 2.66m

Apr 302011

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Photographed on a rainy day with an umbrella in one hand and camera in the other, stabilization is great on the little Lumix!

However, with a wide-open aperture and relatively high ISO, details aren’t as sharp as I’d like. I went back to the same location this morning with the Nikon under overcast skies, but color was nothing like that first day. I’ll have to try again when it’s drizzling, using a rain sleeve to protect the camera—hopefully before the tree leafs out much more.

Panasonic DMC-FZ40; f3.4 @ 1/15 sec, ISO 400 (handheld);
Focal length: 17.5mm (97mm EFL)