I just thought I’d share some thoughts and images from the last seven to ten days, some of which may have been posted or shared elsewhere, others that might not have been.

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This was my first ever attempt at astrophotography – a 30s exposure with the fisheye on the D7100. I liked the sky better in color, and the stars “popped” more, but with that ultra-wide-angle I couldn’t keep the trees out of the frame and liked the trees better in black and white. And if you’re curious what the beam of white light is – it is the spotlight “star” from the living nativity scene that was near my house at the beginning of the month.

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My brother and I have been enjoying the cooler weather outside recently, and I have been pretty bored photography-wise. I haven’t had the opportunities to shoot to many sporting events, and I decided I was going to try to shoot my brother. I held my camera in one hand, then pitched the football to my brother, and tried to swing the camera up, focus, and snap off a few frames. This was probably one of my favorites.

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I very much like ancient live oaks – they’re ALL OVER Tallahassee. Here, I liked the bench in the foreground, but I later realized that part of the strong composition here is lines. This is something that I’ve told people a lot – sometimes I don’t actually THINK about the composition that makes a photo look good, I just “see” it in my mind. But here, the vertical lines of the pines in the background contrasts the strong horizontal-ish lines of the park bench in the foreground, and the sprawling limbs of the live oak complete the contrasting lines.

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Detail shot of the live oak, looking up.

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I wrote about this a little elsewhere, but although this might be a little cliche, symmetric shot – but as soon as I saw the leaf poking out of the tree, I knew I had to take this photo. Again, it just popped into my mind.

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This is another shot from these wanderings that I really like – wide open aperture, deep shadows, and a slight imbalance of the tree looming over the stump.

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Later in the week I got to watch a sniper test fire some new .50 caliber ammo, and was pleased with this shot – with the ejecting shell casing STILL in the chamber but the bolt opening.

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I also got to throw a smoke grenade…

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Random photo of my dog…she has a hard life…

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And then one of only like TWO photos I was happy with from wanderings in our decorated city park last week. The lighting was atrocious – not photo-friendly, but beautiful to wander around in on foot.

We had the annual Christmas meet where we split into Red and Green teams this past weekend, and I snapped some pics…I put them up on Facebook, but these are some of my favorites.

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I really liked this tight crop – he’s such a little doofus, and she’s a wonderful mother.

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Cool coach and her “fav” swimmers.

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Adorable. The kid is usually so hyper, but he was just chilling with this coach, all day…

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She didn’t want her picture and tried to hide against her mother, but I liked the effect.

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Cool socks.

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I really liked this shot. He was just chilling, and I snapped the candid shot just after he whipped his head around and made eye contact with me. I was going to crop the picture into a horizontal shot, but for some reason the negative space at the top resonated with me and I kept it as a vertical.

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She didn’t like this because it was “really close…” But again, I really liked it.

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This really isn’t an amazing image, but I’ve been playing around cropping from a 3:2 aspect ratio (what modern cameras pop out naturally) into a 16:9 aspect ratio (what most modern video is). Pardon the cliche, but it does seem to give some images a more CINEMATIC effect.

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This was my FAVORITE photo from the meet. It made me so happy, and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. He is not normally a super excited kid, but he had just dropped a LOAD of time from his best time, but he was so happy, and was talking with his parents (left and right) of the frame, and I peaked over his mother’s shoulder, and snapped off this candid frame of him grinning.

Final image from the meet:

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I will miss her! Good bye Jenny! I’ll miss seeing you around the pool deck.

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This past weekend I was asked to photograph a piano recital for the instructor who used to teach me, and who still teaches my brother – this is the instructor playing a two-piano duet.

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Here is another 16:9 crop…I’ve been on that cinematic trip this week…But this is my brother, and the reflection in his glasses caught me eye, and I focused on trying to get similar reflections in glasses the rest of the evening.

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Got to shoot FSU Basketball for the first time ever on Monday – what a fast paced sport. The above two shots are from the FSU album that I shared on Facebook, but the following images are special, not-yet-published images. Enjoy.

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I really, really, REALLY, liked the composition and action in this image. But…IT’S FREAKING BACK FOCUSED AND NUMBER FOUR ISN’T TACK SHARP! Bloody hell.

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Apparently this guy (above^) wears the largest shoes in college basketball. Something like size 21+…

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And then lastly…I know others have done this to death, but I LOVE my iPhone for photography. No. It is not technically superior to a DSLR, or even modern point and shoots. But it offers a level of convenience that is unsurpassed by pretty much any other photography device. It is silent, offers editing capabilities, and the opportunity to share and back up instantly. It offers a super wide angle lens with a HUGE amount of depth of field, but a wide-ish aperture so it has SOME low light abilities. Obviously not the same as a DSLR though…But primarily it lets me focus on composition and finding a scene that I like, and capturing the moment. So enjoy some recent iPhone shots, both captured and edited on the phone.

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The following four are all while I was standing in essentially the same place. It’s amazing when you just stand somewhere what you can see.

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I feel like this post was somewhat incoherent…sometimes that happens when I write and watch youtube at the same time. But, as always, I hope that IF you actually read it, you got something out of if it, and if you’re a tl;dr person, then I hope you at least enjoyed some of the exclusive images.

Enjoy, and Regards,
Colin

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