Florida State Parks

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this important message:



This is very, very sad.  Obviously, we know that money in Florida is tight, but closing half of the state parks is not the best answer.  Remember the post with photos from San Felasco?  That park is on the list.  If you are willing to pay a little more per visit or spend time volunteering, let people know.  Let's get to work writing letters to our legislature. 


Day 24: Nighttime | 30 Day Challenge

I almost didn't make this one, folks... I am so tired right now.

For this photo I laid down in the middle of the street and shot at ISO 3200.  I came back in and stacked five frames in photoshop to try to reduce some of the noise.  It didn't reduce the noise as much as I'd expected... I guess that's part of the learning process.... it was my first time stacking. 

I've noticed that I've had lots of really warm-toned images happening recently... some of that will probably change soon as we'll be heading to the mountains in Georgia for the weekend and hope to encounter some snow and bright blue skies.  I likely won't be posting until Tuesday since I won't be back until late Monday night.

50mm 1.4, f/2.0, 1/5sec, ISO 3200, no flash

Days 22 & 23: Letterpress Prep and Printing | 30 Day Challenge

I ordered a new plate from Boxcar with some Valentine's day designs and it was due to arrive today (Wednesday).  I spent Tuesday evening getting all the paper ready so that once the plate arrived, all I had to do was divide it up and get to work.  I am proud to announce that the entire floor of the front room/studio area is covered in freshly-printed items.  I'll be adding these and a handful more of new items to my Etsy shop over the next couple days, so feel free to stop by and take a peek.

So, the photos:

Day 22: Paper
28-135 3.5-6.5 @47mm, f/4.0, 1/6sec, ISO 1600, no flash (crazy processing in Lightroom)

Day 23: Printing Frenzy
28-135 3.5-6.5 @60mm, f/4.5, 1/100sec, ISO 400, flash@1/8 bounced off ceiling

A sample of some of the items:


Day 21: Fence

There was actually a little bit of daylight as I was walking home from work yesterday.  I managed to snap this before it got too dark...

28-135 3.5-5.6 @135, f/5.6, 1/10 sec, ISO 800, no flash


Days 17, 18, 19, and 20 | 30 Day Challenge

Well, starting Thursday evening, I had some internet connection issues and then I was out of town for the weekend and just got back home.  I figured that since there was so much to post, I would just put them all into one.  

I have to admit that I am happy to be on the home stretch at this point.  I have enjoyed the challenge so far and feel like I've started to learn something about my shooting style, but it does add a little stress to my day to come home after a full day of work and then come up with an idea for a photo... especially when it's been a slightly less than stellar day and I am not really in the mood.  I do think that it is important to push through those moments and do what you set out to do.  Sometimes those moments force me to get creative and the result something I wouldn't have otherwise done, so they have their merits.  This challenge does force me to keep my eyes open and to focus on details that are easy to overlook.  

Day 17: The necklace.  Beth made this for me!
50mm 1.4, f/2.0, 1/30sec, ISO 800, no flash

Day 18: Decent Pizza.  Not the best shot ever, but if you go to a pizza place with hand-tossed dough, then you just have to get this shot... even if you do have to use a really show shutter speed and it comes out kinda crappy. :)
28-135 3.5-5.6 @28mm, f/3.5, 1/30sec, ISO 3200, no flash

Day 19: Leaves.  Now that it's nearly February, we're starting to see a handful of colorful leaves here and there.  Florida is so weird.
28-135 3.5-5.6 @135mm f/5.6, 1/1000sec, ISO 400, no flash

Day 20: Geometry.
28-135 3.5-5.6@ 135mm, f/5.6, 1/20sec, ISO 400, no flash


Day 16: I heart my kitchen aid | 30 Day Challenge

Yeah, it makes me happy.  

I participate in the DGrin photography challenges from time to time and the current theme is 'chocolate', so it goes without saying that I have to participate in this one!  I also have to make a cake with my shiny new kitchen aid in order to do so.  Life is rough, I know.

50mm 1.4, f/2.8, 1/40sec, ISO 400, no flash

Day 15: Mist | 30 Day Challenge

Welcome to the midpoint of my 30 day photo challenge.  I wish I could have produced a more stellar image to commemorate the event, but I ended up having a bad evening last night and just snapped this quickly.

It is starting to warm up and it was quite humid last night.  The lights shining on this field filtered through all the mist in the air and gave the area a mysterious feel.

Here's to a more successful day 16!

50mm 1.4, f/2.0, 1/20sec, ISO 400


Day 14: Ti Amo! | 30 Day Challenge

I should really do this again sometime in the summer... I feel like every shot that doesn't happen on a weekend happens at night.  I guess it's good for me to practice at night, but it would be nice to have a little more daylight to work with.

Tonight I was downtown and took a photo looking down the alley to Ti Amo.  Those of you who know Gainesville and Ti Amo know that it is a wonderful place to eat and has a lovely wrought iron gate that they close every night at the entrance to this little alley.  

I shot through the gate to get this one.  I did soften it just a touch to enhance the mood of it, but the colors were not manipulated.

50mm 1.4, f/1.4, 1/25 sec, ISO 3200, no flash

Day 13: San Felasco | 30 Day Challenge

Sunday we went for a long walk at San Felasco.  The weather was perfect.  We made a few discoveries including an old cement and metal structure that looked like some kind of shallow cistern system, bitter orange trees, places that deer had been rubbing on the trees and peeled the bark off of, giant old live oaks, and we even found a horseshoe.  Animals were everywhere, which was quite nice.  We saw probably four or five armadillos that were totally oblivious to us, a woodpecker, we heard a turkey, and saw about 30 deer.  A lovely Sunday, if I may say so.

As with the quarry, I'll just post several images and count the first one as my requirement for the challenge.  I know this shot is fairly abstract and isn't really a picture of anything specific, but there is something about it I really like.  Maybe the negative space, lines, and the depth implied by the shallow depth of field (i.e., focus on one narrow plane so everything else is out of focus... the further away from that plane you get the more out of focus other objects become).  The color to this on is only very slightly modified.  I brought down the saturation a bit, but the original shot did have this warm, soft hue to it.  

I have started to use manual focus when working in an area of intricate detail at varying levels... imagine branches on a small tree or a situation like this that is just full of twigs, vines, and spanish moss.  I usually immediately find something interesting to focus on using the auto focus, but then I turn that off and slowly turn the manual focus ring to pick out something interesting at every plane that I might otherwise have missed.  It's really a good exercise for anyone working at a very narrow depth of field, I think.  You see things you hadn't expected.

50mm 1.4, f/1.8, 1/80, ISO 200, no flash

Don't these look like they are straight out of a Dr. Seuss book?

Day Twelve: Newspaper | 30 Day Challenge

Saturday we hung out at a coffee shop for part of the afternoon, so I took a quick shot of our paper.

50mm 1.4, f/1.4, 1/30sec, ISO 800, no flash



Day Ten: Sky | 30 Day Challenge

This was the view out of our office window tonight.  Can't complain.

50mm 1.4, f/4.5, 1/20sec, ISO 200, no flash


Day Nine: Pancakes for Dinner | 30 Day Challenge

So I got home from work tonight a little after 7 tonight.  I'm tired, I've got stuff on my mind, the guinea pigs are in full freak-out-for-no-reason-other-than-because-pig-one-is-squeaking-so-pig-two-is-squeaking-so-pig-one-is-squeaking-even-louder-it's-a-vicious-cycle mode, and I have been blowing my nose and hacking up a lung every day since 2010.  You have no idea how lucky you are that I haven't given you a picture of a pile of used tissues to look at.  

Anyway, I was not looking forward to cooking tonight and so I said "Screw it.  I'm having pancakes."  Fortunately for me, pancakes are incredibly easy to make, I had one egg in the fridge (thank goodness!), and they are one of my all-time most favorite ever foods.  I have a t-shirt to prove it.  It's purple.  So here they are.  You have no idea how hard it was waiting to eat them until AFTER they'd had their picture taken.  I am enjoying them now with some real maple syrup and I have to say that they are pretty stellar.  I used some coconut water, a ton of vanilla, and some kefir in the recipe... mmmm...

28-135mm 3.5-5.6 @53mm, f/4.5, 1/250sec, ISO 200, on camera flash w/diffuser

Day Eight: Safari | 30 Day Challenge

Last night I spent some quality time with two of my best friends.  In a month or so, Meredith will be leaving to spend a year and a half in Tanzania doing dissertation research.  Beth and I are going to travel over there to see her in late summer/early fall.  We're all quite excited about this adventure.  At dinner last night, Meredith put together a suggested itinerary for us.  It has a safari on it.  How can you beat that?  SAFARI!

28-135mm 3.5-5.6 @70mm, f/5.6, 1/25sec, ISO 1600, no flash


Day Seven (barely!): Pencils | 30 Day Challenge

Yikes!  Just barely made it!  I was sketching out some new letterpress designs and then next thing I knew it was 11:48pm.  So, with my twelve remaining minutes of day seven, I managed to take a photo of my drawing pencils and rescue my 30 day challenge from the brink of failure one week after starting it. :)

So, given that I had 12 only minutes I couldn't aim for anything too spectacular... but I kinda like the way this came out.  The ISO was super high, which gave it the grainy look you see in this photo.  I think it works here, though.  So yay!  Here's to saving the day ;)

28-235mm 3.5-5.6 @100mm, f/5.6, 1/13sec, ISO1600, no flash


Day Six: The Quarry | 30 Day Challenge

Today we were out for a Sunday drive in my lovely little car and found an old limestone quarry near Haille.  We had to get out and explore, of course.  We probably spent an hour down there walking around, throwing stones into the clear aqua water to try to guess how deep it was, watching fish, looking at fossils that fell out of the limestone, and enjoying the quiet.

Since it was so different from what you normally see here in oh-so-flat central Florida, I took quite a few shots.  We'll call the first one 'The One' for the challenge... even though it's a diptych... the rest are just bonus. :)  I was experimenting with trying to get a film feel to some of these images, so I embraced the sun flare and yellow-green tones in a handful of the photos.  The color of the water made a lovely background for some detail shots as well.  I would love to do a photoshoot here sometime...

28-135mm 3.5-5.6 @50, f/5.6, 1/400sec, ISO 400, no flash, polarization filter


Day Five: GRU | 30 Day Challenge

Today we went for a walk down Depot Ave.  It's been under construction for several months so we thought we'd take a stroll by to see how it looks.  There's been a lot of work on the road and there is a giant hole on the south side of the road where some construction will be happening in the near future.  The north side of the road runs next to GRU.  As the sun was setting, I took this shot.  I enjoy the simple curves and the gold of the sun reflecting off the building against the blue sky.

28-235 3.5-56 @135 f/8 1/200sec ISO 400 no flash


Day Four: Beer Glasses. | 30 Day Challenge

We went to Stubbie's and Stein's last night after work for some beer.  I had a Gavit Pils for those who are interested.  I used to be able to get Zlaty Bazant on tap there, but that's been off the rotating menu for a while.  So sad...  For the record, this is not my empty glass.  Those of you that know me well know that I am really bad at drinking a whole glass of beer.  So here's to Dan, my resident beer-finisher.  

50mm 1.4, f/1.4, 1/4sec, ISO 1600, no flash


Day Three! The Z. | 30 Day Challenge

So I really love my new car, don't get me wrong.  The 6-speed turbo diesel Golf has been an excellent vehicle thus fur.  When I walked out to the parking lot today and saw my co-worker's Nissan Z sitting under a streetlight, however... well, I'll confess that I was a little bit jealous. ;)

50mm 1.4 f/2.8 1/30sec ISO 1600 no flash


Day Two. Mmmm.... Pasta.... | 30 Day Challenge

You'll probably end up seeing a good number of food shots throughout my little challenge here as I am a little bit of a foodie, so consider yourself warned.  Tonight it begins with a homemade whole wheat pasta dough.  I tossed this pasta with a red wine and tomato sauce with capers, young vidalia onion  greens, oil-cured olives, garlic, oregano and a pinch of sugar.  Very tasty, I have to admit.  I'm trying to restrain myself from going back for seconds as I write this! :)

Also, I think I'll start including the exif info for those who are interested.  I shoot with a Canon 40D.

50mm 1.4 @ f/2.8 1/50sec ISO 1600 no flash


Ah, a new year, a new moment of inspiration...

Sure, I'll jump on the bandwagon and start something new.  I was poking around on Etsy (where I have a lovely little letterpress shop) and somehow ended up on the homepage of a video blog series that will be documenting the progress of a bunch of girls as they put themselves through a 30-day challenge that they chose for themselves.  Of course, watching them I got all inspired and finally decided to do one of those things that many photographers do these days... a photo-a-day challenge.  Now, I'm not going to go crazy here and say that I'm going to take one photo every day at 7:09pm on the dot for the next year.  That's a little too much for me, though a really interesting project for those who are up for it.  However, I am willing to take and post one fresh photo every day through the second of February.  If I like it, maybe I'll keep going.  If I hate it, I'll be done soon enough.
Now, the problem is that on weekends or when I'm away, I'm pretty good at disconnecting and staying off the grid.  That means I might not actually post every day, but I will take a fresh photo every day and post it when I get back into the groove of modern civilization.  Sound reasonable?
Awesome.  It begins now.

I thought I'd start with a self-portrait.  I'm a big fan of the honest portrait - show me the imperfections in the skin, the asymmetry in the face, the flyaway pieces of hair... this type of portrait should document a face.  I had been meaning to sit down and do another attempt at a self-portrait for a few weeks now anyway, so I felt it was the an appropriate beginning to a new challenge in a new year.  Day one.

50mm 1.4 @ f/1.4 1/250sec ISO 100 flash at 1/32 on camera with sunpak diffuser

Boxcar Press

Over the holidays I was back home in Rochester, NY.  I was so close to Boxcar Press in Syracuse that I couldn't resist taking the time to visit.  Turns out that the whole family wanted to go, so there were five of us on the tour.  Let me tell you, those folks are wonderful!  I contacted Cathy and she got me set up with a time and date.  When we came by, it was pajama day.  That right there could've made the tour for me.  Cathy generously spent a good hour and a half with us and took us through every section of the building and showed us the individual steps in their process from making a design into a plate to operating a Heidelberg windmill.  My dad even got to pull a test impression on a freshly made plate.  It was a really great experience.

Here are some shots (SOC) from our visit: