Monday, July 30, 2007

SPC -- Patterns #1

Since I'm posting this in July, I guess it should be done using July's theme, but the majority of the week will be in August, and there are only four elements and I've done one of each.

The theme for August at Self Portrait Challenge is 'Patterns.' It'll be interesting to see what people come up with for this theme. I didn't really have any great ideas spring to mind yet. We'll see how the month goes.

We found this shell when we were digging up a small garden in the Spring. It exhibits what I believe is a pattern called a Logarithmic Spiral. Hey -- two spiral SPC's in a row. Is that a pattern?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Artful Blogging

The premier issue of Artful Blogging releases on August 1st -- and I'm in it!

Back in April, I got a comment on one of my SPC submissions back from January's theme, 'New Years Resolutions.' It seemed that among other individual bloggers who would be featured in the new magazine, the Self Portrait Challenge site was also to be featured. After some e-mailing back and forth and a bit of concern about image file size (to which I alluded here), it was finally determined that my photo, Balance, would be used in the article.

I received my complimentary copy of the magazine a few days ago:

Front Cover
SPC Feature

Friday, July 27, 2007

Photo Friday - 'Loud'

Long-time regular readers may have seen this image before, but I'm bringing it back for the new Photo Friday theme, 'Loud.'

Howitzer Muzzle Blast

Sunday, July 22, 2007

SPC - Elements - Fire

As soon as I heard that we were doing the Classic Elements for the month of July over at SPC, I knew what I wanted to do for 'Fire.'

I was inspired to do this one by this photo that I found on Flickr.

[EDIT -- 07/30/2007]
For those who may still be interested, here's how I did this shot:

The main trick (as revealed by the 'inspiration/idea photo linked above) was using a power drill to spin the bent sparkler (my drill wasn't cordless, but I had plenty of cord length).

To turn it into a self portrait, I had to do some experimenting with my camera. I finally found that I could get the extremely long exposure that I needed for this shot with the 'bulb' exposure on manual mode and then I had the flash (Speedlight SB-400) fire just as the shutter was about to close (rear curtain synch).

With the camera on a tripod, I opened the shutter (using a wireless remote), lit the sparkler, walked backwards with the drill running slowly until the sparkler ran out, then walked back up to the camera to close the shutter and stood so that I would appear in the corner of the frame when the flash fired.

I had four long-burning sparklers. The photo I ended up using was the fourth try. The first two, I barely showed up as a ghostly form. The third, I tried to position myself in the corner of the frame, but the flash wasn't strong enough. The fourth, I boosted the power on the flash and got the final shot.

The version on Flickr is completely untouched, straight out of the camera (EXIF details are viewable), the one that appears here, I just nudged contrast up a bit and brightness down a bit.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

What Christy Said...

They say kids say the darndest things -- well, sometimes kids make adults say some pretty amusing things too.

Christy was staying right on top of Hannah at the dinner table the other night about Hannah talking with food in her mouth, but we both had to chuckle when she said to Hannah,

"I don't want to see you chewing with your mouth full."


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

SPC - Elements - Earth


This is a bit of a follow up on one of last month's submissions. We have finally gotten some tomatoes on our tomato plants. None ripe enough to eat yet, but I believe we'll get there, eventually.

Most of them are much bigger than the one you see pictured below. I really liked this little one, though and the shadow that it cast.

More SPC's here.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Photo Friday -- 'Barren'

Welcome to Tomorrow!

Supernumerary Rainbows

I had the fortune this evening (07/12) of seeing and photographing a rainbow with supernumerary bows.

According to the excellent Atmospheric Optics website, supernumeraries "are the closely spaced greenish purple arcs on the inner (blue) side of the primary bow."

Here is a picture straight out of the camera followed by an edited version boosting the color/contrast/brightness to enhance the effect:

Supernumerary Rainbow
Supernumerary Rainbow (edit)

...and another a bit closer (again, edited to enhance the supernumeraries)


Clicking these images will take you to each image on my Flickr photostream. Once on Flickr, if you would like to see any of them larger, just click "ALL SIZES" above the image and then click "ORIGINAL," depending on how big you wish to see them.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

SPC - Elements - Air


I figure since I already broke one of my own SPC rules last week (pressing the shutter release myself), I'd break another this week. This time, the rule I'm breaking is 'post only one image each week.' I liked how these looked in this mosaic though, so I went with it.

More SPC elements HERE.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

SPC - Elements - Water

July's theme over at SPC is 'Elements: Water - Air - Earth - Fire'

My intention is to do one of each and I'm starting with:


We had our annual Stockwell Family Independence Day celebration this past weekend and we had the opportunity to spend some time in my cousin's pool while there. I'm breaking one of my own rules here (let's call them "guidelines") by not pressing the shutter release myself on this one. My wife, Christy, captured this moment of me and my son in the pool together. I really liked how it turned out and I'm justifying bending the rule here because of relatively short notice on the new theme.

Our "July 4th" has been a staple of the Stockwell family for as long as I can remember. It has always been a day that we all look forward to during the summer. It is one of a couple of times during the year where the whole family gets together. Not just my sister's family and my parents and us, but all the aunts and uncles and cousins and their children. It's always great to have the opportunity to catch up with everyone and see how the children are growing. There are foods that you can count on being there and activities, too. You can usually bet that a game of frisbee will start up at some point and sometimes basketball, volleyball, badminton, or even croquet. We always let the young children (yeah, I used to be one of those) do whippersnappers, champagne poppers, sparklers, etc. Then some of the older boys or uncles are set in charge of lighting off some larger fireworks for everyone to enjoy at dusk.

More 'Elements' self-portraits HERE.