It Forgets You
I've been sitting on a bunch of pictures from the trip home I took over Christmas, mostly because I couldn't decide which to post. Ultimately, I came to the realization that they work better as a set than they do individually, and thus this post.
I would have sworn that it was over 90 this weekend, but I guess that old age has turned me into a wimp. Still, despite the heat and the mosquito bites (mosquitos love me; I wish they loved me less), I had a pretty fantastic 4th of July weekend. I ate a lot of food, drank some beer, had some big laughs, and--by way of initiating a friend's new girlfriend into our group--told the Clown Joke for 44 minutes. Not much more I could ask for, really.
Nikon D40, Nikkor 35mm f/1.8DX
f/5.6, 1/100, ISO 200
I've been kind of swamped with business-related stuff lately, which has left me with little time for personal photography stuff. We did an overnight camping trip to Lake Morena this past weekend with some friends, which gave me the chance to relax and shoot for myself.
I suppose this is kind of a mundane shot, but the more I look at it, the more I like it.
Nikon D40, Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 DX
f/8, 1/160, ISO 200
Ocean Beach Sunset
Each of the past two weekends I've taken a couple of hours to myself to wander around and take pictures. One of the nice things about this activity--other than the photographs, of course--is that I'm getting to know the city a lot better. Most of the places I've gone for pictures I've driven through before, but to really get a feel for an area, there's nothing quite like being out there on your own two feet.
Technical info: Shot with a Nikon D40 and Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G DX lens, in aperture-priority exposure mode (matrix metering). Aperture f/8, shutter 1/400 sec (+0 EV), ISO 200. Post-processing in Aperture 3: straightened and cropped; several curves and layers adjustments brushed in over the sea, sky, and foreground; cloned out a dust spot.
Thoughts for improvement: I like the effect that the sun flare gives on the left side, but it makes the photo feel a little unbalanced, since the left and right sides don't match. Possibly I should have taken a lower angle and panned left more, though the sun was already low enough that I probably couldn't have gotten gone much further left without shooting directly into the light. Also, if I'd waited twenty minutes or so, the sky might have been a little more colorful.
This weekend, Juliette and I took Jason on his very first camping trip. Along with our friends James and Melanie (who brought their daughter along for her first camping trip, as well) we headed over to Lake Morena, in east San Diego county, for a little overnight excursion. We went on some walks, had a nice campfire, and Jason got to rub dirt all over his face. (At one point he looked like a little chimneysweep.)
It turns out that going on a camping trip with a two-year-old doesn't provide a lot of opportunities for taking pictures--most of my time was spent making sure Jason wasn't eating rocks or throwing dirt at his friend. I did finally get a chance just after sunrise on Sunday morning, while Juliette took Jason to give him his breakfast. As you can see, the lake is quite picturesque at that time of the morning.
Technical info: Shot with a Nikon D40 and Nikkor 18-55mm DX lens, in manual exposure mode. Focal length 18mm, aperture f/11, shutter speed 1/30 sec, ISO 200. Post-processing in Aperture 3: Straightened horizon, cropped to 4x5, daylight WB preset, slight s-curve for contrast, brought the black point way up to darken the bottom of the frame, burned over the sky and the bright parts of the hills, dodged over the shadowy parts of the hills and reflection.
Thoughts for improvement: You know, I was really happy with this photo when I finished with it last night, but the more I look at it, the less happy I'm becoming. I think that this would look better in a narrower crop, probably 2x3 instead of 4x5. That would give more of a feeling of length and also cut out some of the hills on the right side, which now look unbalanced to me. Also, I shouldn't have brought up the black point quite so much. I do like the feeling of darkness at the bottom to balance the brightly-lit hills, but there's too much of it. The bottom third of the frame is entirely without detail, and it feels like wasted space. Actually, both problems could be solved with a shorter, more narrow crop, but with the camera I use, I don't have the resolution to spare.