ISO 500 4.28mm f/2.4 1/15sec
Lately I’ve been trying to retrain myself to shoot more with my iphone when I don’t have my Canon with me (which is actually a funny sentence to read if you didn’t know I was talking about photography haha). I’ve grown so accustom to my big bad dslr that I tend to forget that the iPhone packs a mean camera as well. My goal is to get to the point that Im shoot literally thousands of pictures a day. They say you have to have around 10,000 hours into something before you can truly master it. Well its going to be some time before I hit that, but getting in thousands of shots a day will get me there faster.
Theres something about finding amazement in so many things through out the day that… well amazes me. Like I’ve said in recent exposures, I love finding beauty and interest in things that people often take for granted and pass by every single day. I love connecting stories with a scene, even if the story seems so disconnected at first. As a creative I love letting my imagination run free throughout the day.
As the title of the photo suggests, when I looked at this wall I immediately seen the domino, the great chinese game that my loving Grandma would try to teach me time and time again. But of course being the hyperactive kid that I was, I would instead turn the dining room table into a striped maze of 2in x 1in white and black blocks that would wake anyone trying to get an afternoon nap in when they finally came crashing down, launching a good handful of them off the table. I was half tempted to give the wall a good shove to see if it would budge taking anything in its path out as it would flip down the stairs behind it. I wonder if the designer of this structure had similar childhood memories in mind when he created this wall?
ISO 400 131mm f/5 1/13sec
This has to be one of my favorite pictures I’ve taken to date, and most of that has to do with the nature of the subject in the photo. This of course is in downtown Grand Rapids, but would be nearly impossible to find unless you knew where to look. I was walking around taking pictures in the rougher more rundown part of town with not much traffic and only a few running buildings, the rest have been abandoned by businesses and adopted by the homeless. Its actually a rather beautiful area if you can appreciate the grunge that goes with it. As I was on my photo walk taking pictures of the broken windows and rusted railing I was walking past a courtyard opening that separated one half of this building to the other. On the other side of the courtyard there was a hill that peaked at the top of a garage that connected the two buildings. Of course me being curious I had to venture over to see what was over top this hill, I slowly approached the hill because again this is not exactly the best part of town to be trekking into unknown areas (which has been a reoccurring theme in my posts lately. I just like grungy pictures haha). I got to the top of this small hill and looked down upon two gorgeous grungy green doors, a garage bay door on the left building and a matching conventional door on the right building. I have no idea what a garage door was doing down here as there was no signs of any loading docks or paths for anything to get down to it, but either way it made for a very interesting discovery on my part. If that wasn’t good enough there was this weathered star bolted to the building to add the extra bit of interest.
The whole scene reminded me of the club houses my buddies and I used to put together back when we were kids. We would go hiking through some woods around our house until we found a spot we didn’t think anyone would ever find. We painted the trees and built tree forts over the creek that ran by, and we would always have a symbol for the fort, because whats a fort without a symbol to help it stand apart.
After getting my shots and spending a moment to take in the familiar feeling of the scene i bid this fort a farewell and ventured on to more experiences through the lens.
ISO 100 227mm f/11 2sec
A few days ago I purchased a 70-300mm macro lens off of craigslist for a great price, and since then have been looking for a chance to use it. I figured now would be a great time to throw some variety into the mix so today I set up a make shift photography studio in my office and shot my last glass of wine out of this bottle. I used a empty Huggies box from my nieces diaper box pile to hold up my taped together printer paper back drop, and used some left over gold reflective wrapping paper from Christmas as a light reflector off to the side to give it a warm glow from my flash bouncing off of it. After firing off a couple shots from across the room I pulled the image into photoshop and removed the lines from the paper backdrop. With a couple more tweeks this was the “final product”.
ISO 200 29mm f/6.3 1/200 sec
This beautifully decayed and run down Dodge pickup is right down the street from my house. I spotted it just a few days ago and have been excited to shoot it. I love the looks of grungy run down vehicles, something about seeing something that was once worth a good deal of money, now sitting as a lawn ornament hardly worth 300 bucks for scrap. It reminds us that true value is not in our possessions but in the other beauties of life.
The farm decal on the side of the truck brings to my imagination that at one point this truck probably did its fair share of work on the farm. I picture the timeline of the truck from its fresh beginning as a beautiful blue chromed out pickup on the lot, through the dings and scratches of farm life, to the retired wore out heap of scrap metal that most all vehicles someday become. But, even though he may be run down, he still stands tall and welcomes guests at the gate as they approach the farm.
ISO 400 220mm f/5.6 1/500sec
I love the beauty in simple. And this to me definitely has this beauty. About 6 or 7 feet to the left was a group of birds all standing by one another, at least 15 or so occupying all 3 lines. Yet these three are off on their own separated from the pack. Did they leave the pack or did the pack leave them? The bottom bird looks in the opposite direction even, as if to good to give attention to the rest. Or is it shame?
Like I said I love the simplicity of this shot, with a tad of interest with the bottom bird breaking up the rhythm a bit by looking off to the side.
ISO 800 109mm f/5.0 1/8sec
There’s starting to be a reoccurring theme in my photos right now, and that is in Street/Urban photography. I promise variety is in store for future shoots, but I can’t deny I do love the beauty of shots taken in town. We often walk by these frames in real life and tune them out as some sort of white noise. I love bringing these things back into focus and taking time to truly appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.
I love the Heraldic like crest in between these two archways, which adds a subtle sense of interest and elegance. It beautifully contrasts the common geometric shapes that surround it. The empty flag stand to the left sparks my creative wonder of, if this were a building of royalty and elegance, which flag would hang there. hmm..
ISO 500 4.5mm f/2.4 1/15sec
I ran across this walking tunnel on the outskirts of Downtown Grand Rapids by accident. I was actually looking for a good vantage point to get a clear shot of the city and surrounding traffic during the evening. I had driven up and down a half dozen streets leading to a hill along side the highway looking over downtown with no luck in finding a treeless open patch to set up. I was just about to call it a night when I decided to try one last dead end drive. I found this tunnel that runs under the highway and immediately jumped out to start taking some pics with my iphone. I didn’t feel like lugging my big dslr down to a tunnel unknown to me up to this point.
What I really loved about this quick shot is all the wonder I experienced while looking into this grungy walkway. I couldn’t help but to wonder what was on the other side, though not curious enough to venture through to find out (This is in a rougher part of town mind you, and they didn’t mark the street Dead End for no reason). I really think the iPhones imperfection in night time captures add’s an extra element to the rough grunge feel of the pic. The photo is as imperfect as my search for my original shot that evening, and for that it is perfect.
ISO 100 60mm f/4.0 1/125sec
This photo is accompanied by a funny story. These signs are on a car port at a condo community around from my house. Every time I drive past it always catches my eye, making me wonder what kind of biker hating people live in this little community. Well I found out when I stopped to take the picture. I pulled into the drive and parked the car to jump out real quick to take a few shots, when a older lady pulls up behind me and starts layin on the horn. So kindly I pulled forward out of her way and turned around to park right at the exit of the drive. I get out of the car with my camera, give the lady a generous smile and start taking pictures. I start to hear shouts “You cant park there!” “You have to leave”. I quickly started to understand the signs I was starring at through the lens. I look up and her she is storming over to me yelling at me “You cant park there” “You cant take pictures here” “What are you taking pictures of”. At this point I cant help but to laugh that this lady is letting this ruin her day. I told her I was taking picture of the sign because I like the way it looked. Her reply… “Yea its absolutely gorgeous… Im calling the cops”. I found my answer… Thats the kind of person who lives here.
I do love this image however. Up until today it evoked such mystery on who would be so strict as to not allow bikes right off a main road. Creatively I love the stark contrast between the new no biking sign and the tattered old private property sign. The brick makes the white in the sign and rain gutter below just pop. The bricks and rust trail on the bottom sign work as good leading lines to the dominating sign above.
ISO 400 79mm f/4.5 1/25 sec
I spent the evening walking around downtown Grand Rapids tonight, much to the risk of getting shot or stabbed in some cases. I often check my back and keep an eye out on those passing by, especially when Im walking around with a big camera dangling around my neck like a crazy Flava Flav accessory. I do love shooting downtown however. Theres so much to be seen and appreciated in every single walk. At the same time I hate it as well, because coming back with so many interesting pictures its difficult to decide on one that is worthy of the daily spot.
This shot was actually one of my first for the day. I had just parked my car in the convenient 2 dollar lot and across the street was this tavern pizzeria bar and sports lounge. I loved the deep colors of the wood and building behind with the highlights from the lamps giving a bit of extra interest. I didn’t want to shoot in a conventional level composition. Instead I thought a angled vertical shot would a bit more interest to the shot. What I love about this photo is the many different angles creating almost a matrix of lines allowing your eye to find its own interest point. I have a black and white version as well but being the color was the reason I shot it in the first place I couldn’t justify posting it.
ISO 100 116mm f/5.6 1/80sec
This was actually an idea that my girlfriend came up with last night that I really liked. I recently moved to Michigan from living on the beach in Virginia Beach area, and I have boxes of beach decorations that I had in my apartment out there including various shells and starfish. I thought the starfish out of context would be rather interesting concept, as if he were on vacation.
This was shot right in my driveway with the starfish on the snow covered rear window of my brothers car. It worked out perfectly that the setting sun was falling right in between my neighbors pine trees giving the warm attractive bokeh lighting effect in the background.
In the end it turned out to be a beautiful mending of my two worlds. One part Beach Boy, other part Michigander.
What an amazing word! At a glance this small word may appear to be an insignificant combination of the second and fifth letter in our english alphabet, but combined these letters bare a world of meaningfulness, an intense source of significance even. Believe it or not, but this word has kept me up at night. This word excites me and gives me strength moving forward. Imagine that… out of all the letter combinations running through my mind throughout the day, these two simple letters can at times hold more weight then any other word in my mind. Coupled with other words, these two letters can move mountains.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” ~Mahatma Gandhi
According to thefreedictionary.com the dominant definition of the word be is:
- To exist in actuality; have life or reality.
Put simply to be is to live! This is how writers like William Shakespeare are able to put such weight on this simple word, like in the famous line from his playHamlet:
“To be, or not to be” ~William Shakespeare’s Hamlet Act3 Scene1
So why am I putting so much emphasis on this one word you may ask. Well to know me, you must know that I choose the words that I focus on very carefully. I choose words and thoughts that will move me forward to my current goals and ultimately towards the best version of myself, and this word in my mind give me ownership over my abilities, actions and my direction. The constant use of this word means to set the solid foundation and expectations of what my life consists of, and to settle for anything less would be unacceptable. To be is to not just be alive; but to live life to its fullest, and to love the life we’ve been blessed with. To accept anything less than this best version of myself, is to fall short of Being me!
Live Life :: Love Life
ISO 100 34mm f/5.0
One of my favorite things about photography is High Dynamic Range imagery, often referred to as HDR. What this means is I take multiple exposures of the same photograph and combine them together to get much more vivid detail in the image.
Normally I would achieve this kind of image using a tripod, however I didn’t bring any gloves with me and was shooting for about 45 minutes in the freezing Michigan weather before this, so needless to say it was already difficult to move my fingers let alone unpack my tripod to get set up all over again. So instead I stayed inside the nice warm comfort of the car and just shot out the window bracing my camera against the front a-pillar to hold it steady. However in doing so I had to drop my aperture down in order to stay at ISO 100 and get a faster shutter speed, which f/5.0 isn’t ideal for this kind of shot. But being its more of a busy scene, some slight intentional lens blur isn’t exactly a bad thing. It gives it a bit of a softer feel which is popular among some HDR photographers.
This shot as I mentioned above was on my way home from another shooting of various landscapes in the area. Im a big sucker for industrial/farm equipment shots, so I had to pull off to the side of the road and fire off a few shots of this. Luckily I had left the previous location with the sun still dropping as it gave the sky such dimension, adding a very dramatic emotion to the silo’s.