When I read about this weekly photo challenge theme — happy — it was immediately obvious to me that my entry would need to feature my family. Regular visitors know that I don’t usually post pictures of family, but for this theme nothing else is really fits so well!
Sunset from Ridge Road, Canton, Michigan. Nikon D80, Nikkor 35mm, f/9, 1/125 sec, ISO 200, EV -1.0, Tiffen 0.6 graduated ND filter.
Hi Everyone, just a quick note to followers to let you know that the linked image in my previous post – West Michigan, Early Morning #1 – is now fixed. Sorry for the inconvenience!
The proper post is here: http://johnmullinax.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/west-michigan-early-morning-1/
Nikon D80, Nikkor 50mm, f/7.1, 28 seconds, ISO 200.
Nikon D80, Nikkor 50mm, f/13, 7.1 seconds, ISO 200, EV -0.7.
Nikon D80, Nikkor 50mm, f/11, 8 seconds, ISO 200.
I’m curious – which of these three photos do you prefer? Let’s call the top one (A), the middle shot (B), and the final photo (C). All three were taken this past Monday (19-Mar, the last day of our “non-winter”) just before sunrise on the Huron River at Gallup Park in Ann Arbor. There’s something about these shots that I’m drawn to, but also there’s something I’m not quite happy with either. Not sure if it’s the composition, or what.
Very much appreciate reading your thoughts on which you prefer, and why — I’m hoping it will help me sort out what can’t quite put my finger on. Thanks!
Wow – what a surprise to receive this award nomination for my little blog – seriously humbling! Thanks so much MDPhotographers!
The award nominations process asks that nominees include a few guidelines:
- In a post on your blog, nominate 7 fellow bloggers for The Versatile Blogger Award.
- In the same post, add the Versatile Blogger Award.
- Thank the blogger who nominated me and link back to them in this post(see above)
- Share 7 random things about myself.
- In the same post, include this set of rules.
- Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.
Here are 7 random things about me:
- I like hot, spicy food
- I started taking pictures in part because I couldn’t draw
- I periodically try to teach myself to draw
- I am persistent but not patient
- Kauai is the second most beautiful place I’ve ever been
- I’ve traveled to about 40 states in the United States and 17 countries (so far)
- I learned to scuba dive while working as an intern at Subic Bay in the Philippines
And, here are the 7 fellow bloggers I’m nominating for this award (in no particular order)!
“Revel in your imperfections, Be entertained by your problems and know that once you looked ahead,And wished you were where you are now,And once again you will look back and smile.”
- Author Unknown
Taken with my Windows Phone (Samsung Focus).
Access to the gas line. I’m not sure why this caught my eye. Something about the decaying metal, perhaps. Taken with Nikon D80, Nikkor 24-120mm at 50mm, f6.3, and 1/800 sec.
Which pic do you prefer: top (A) or bottom (B)? Please deposit your thoughts in the comments. :)
These shot were captured on a rainy, grey Saturday morning walk through my neighborhood last weekend. These are my two favorite shots from that day. Both shots from Nikon D80 and Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens. (A) was f/2.8 and 1/200. (B) was f/2.2 and 1/320. Tiffen 812 warming filter mounted for both shots. White balance on camera set to 7100K.
I made the “mistake” of taking my camera with me on my walk this morning at the Lower Rouge River Trail. Took a bunch of pics, but barely covered a mile. I’ll never hit my fitness goals if I keep that up! I haven’t been through all the shots yet, but so far I’m pretty excited about how they turned out! In the pic above, the sun broke through in a narrow strip at just the right moment. Amazing how the clouds blowing by overhead changed the mood of the scene from moment to moment. For example, compare the shot above to the one below. There were taken sequentially – maybe a minute apart (if that). While they are processed slightly differently, I think mostly the difference is the reflection in the floodwaters. Only 2-3 minutes after the first shot, I was getting blue sky. Fun to shoot landscapes when the scene is changing so quickly!
All three of the shots above came within a couple minutes of each other.
A couple more shots from this morning are below. The first shot one was my first of the morning of the morning – aside from a failed attempt to stop my truck on the access road coming into the park and get my camera out in time to shoot 5-6 deer crossing in front of me. The last shot in the post, is one of my final shots of the day, and happy to say what you see is straight out of the camera – no post-processing required. :)
- Fremont Oktoberfest: Chainsaw Pumpkin Carving Contest (fremontuniverse.com)
You may have heard that Windows Live Spaces users are being offered a chance to migrate their blogs to WordPress.com. As a long time user of Spaces, I think this is a good thing. Although there were some things I liked about Spaces, I think WordPress will be a much more flexible blog platform overall.
If you’ve followed my blog in the past, you know I’ve mostly stopped my personal blogging over the past year… messenger, twitter, and to some degree my professonal blog has provided the outlet I needed, I guess — but lately I’ve been thinking about relaunching a personal blog. Perhaps this is a perfect opportunity to get back on the blogging wagon. :)
The pics got me thinking about what part of the Netherlands Amsterdam is in, and how close it was to Denmark… where some colleagues I met 18 months ago are located (a small company called Content Technologies are located). This, in turn, reminded me of a week I spent in Gothenburg, Sweden, at a Volvo plant when I worked for Ford Motor Company (it was a dark and cold late November!). My day dreaming also took me back to my time in grad school at the University of Washington. The b-school there had an exchange program with another university in Bergen, Norway, and the what I heard from a student who spent a quarter there is that Bergen was a very nice place.
Finally, I wondered what it would be like to fly into Amsterdam, rent a car, and drive from Amsterdam to Bergen. I always wanted Arlene and the kids to see Gothenburg, so I’d probably take a route something like this: http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCC&cp=56.677698~9.005323&style=r&lvl=5&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&rtp=pos.52.3731196671724_4.89319480955601_Amsterdam%2C%20Netherlands__~pos.60.3906896710396_5.33272974193096_Bergen%2C%20Norway__&rtop=0~0~0&encType=1 .
Looks like 3 days worth of driving at a comfortable pace. Add in a 2 days to fly back and forth, and 5 days of site seeing for a 10 day trip. So here’s the question: where to spend those 5 days? Any suggestions?
Decided to try out Flickr. Started putting a few pics up under the username johncmullinax.
One of the things I like is the geocoding. That is, tagging pics with latitude and longitude. With that feature, I can build build a popfly mashup to put the pics on a map so you folks can see where they were taken. This one took about 5 minutes or so:
Let me know what you think!
Arlene and I took the kids for a much need break down in Florida Feb 19 – 25. I took a couple vacation days (Tuesday and Friday), and worked from a local coffee shop near St. Cloud, Florida, on Wednesday and Thursday. We spent Tues-Thurs nights at Myron and Steph’s house, and then moved on to a "Hilton Grand Vacation Club" resort on Friday night. We had paid a discounted rate of something like a $150 to stay at this resort, and in exchange, we agreed to spend our Saturday morning be sold to. The properties look nice, but we escaped without any more "vacation club" memberships. :-) Here’s a night-time pic of the place we stayed. It had a Tuscan theme, and was decent. We had a one-bedroom "villa", which was ok, although 2 bedrooms would’ve been nicer, as the kids wouldn’t have had to sleep on the pull out sofa. I will say that the food choices were not great on the property. They had a little poolside cafe, a deli, and a pizza hut "express" (aka, delivery only). There was not what I would call a real restaurant on the property, which would’ve been nice.
On Saturday, after our "official tour" we spent the rest of the day just hanging out at one of the hotel pools. It was near our room, and this particular pool had a zero-depth entrance, where the bottom of the pool slops away from one side — no steps or drop off. This was great for the kids. I think Julianna was in the water for 3-4 hours, and had a blast! Arlene and I took turns playing with her and Josh. While Julianna and Arlene played in the late afternoon, Josh got a long nap and I got a short one. It was on the cloudy and cool side for swimming, but it was 18 degrees when we left home, so we none of us were complaining. :-)
During the day on Friday we out to Kennedy Space Center. We had been out once before with Julianna, as well as Myron and Steph back in 2003 or so. Josh had not been out before. We all had a great time. Saw a cool IMAX movie narrarated by Tom Hanks (and I think I heard Morgan Freeman’s voice at the beginning). Also took the bus tour out to the observation gantry, as well as the mission launch control center (controls the flight until 7 seconds after launch). From the observation gantry we could see the launch pads. One of them had a shuttle (I think Endeavor) on it getting prepared for a launch. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see much of it as there was a lot of scaffolding between our vantage point and the shuttle. The launch control stop also had a Saturn V rocket display, luner rover, a view of the service and command modules, and more. Back at the main visitor center we walked through a cut-away of a shuttle. Very cool. We didn’t have time to see everything we would’ve liked — for example, we didn’t get to go to the Shuttle Launch Experience — one of the new things at KSC, but it was still a good time for everyone. I’ve put a few pics below from the Kennedy Space Center, and will put more in a photo album (off to the right).
The first one is actually 5 pics stitched together and cropped with Windows Live Photo Gallery.
Josh playing with a map of the stars.
Julianna hanging around.
Saturn V rocket, stage 1
Inside the lunar module
Arlene at the main visitor center
And then on Sunday we went to SeaWorld. Also, a lot of fun. Julianna’s favorite thing was the Shamu Express roller coaster, plus the funny walrus and sea lion show. Josh’s favorite thing was playing in the sand box. :-) Oh yeah, they also have some dolphins and whales there.
Again, more I’ll put more SeaWorld pics up in a photo album when I get a few moments.
All in all, a very good time!
It’s been a really nice weekend. Arlene got me a Lego NXT robot kit… always thought it would be fun to build a robot… and Julianna and I broke it out this weekend. I was happy to see that the NXT ships with a "quick start" option. Basically, all the pieces and directions for a basic three wheeled, three motor platform that can be further built out are put into a separate box. A great idea to reduce the complexity up front and make it easy to make something simple without having to sort through all the stuff in the box. It took a little more than the 30 minutes advertised, but Julianna built as much of it as I did and we both had a good time.
As for the programming, it was fun to dink around and figure out how to make the robot do stuff. We added a sound sensor, ultrasonic sensor, and a touch sensor. Then, we added a little software to make the robot do a few things like: go forward until it hits something, and then back up quickly; listen for noise and say "silent" or "loud"; and sense for objects within 10 inches and say "object" or "no object". Really, just kind of a basic training.
Today, before the Super Bowl, we went to local theatre that was putting a on production of Les Miserables. Typically, this theatre does kids plays and uses primarily kids in the cast, so we were surprised to see them trying something so ambitious. They did field a young cast full kids, but they definitely pulled it off. Not quite a big name professional production, but an awesome show. Amazing, really. Lots of fun. A bit long for the kids, though. Josh slept through nearly half the show, and Julianna tried to sleep through it.
Then, when we got home Josh, Arlene, Julianna, and I all had a blast in a snowball fight, and made a small snowman. Finally, we finished the evening off watching a pretty good Super Bowl. All in all, a nice weekend. :-)
One of the things we miss living out in Michigan is the Old Spaghetti Factory — just don’t have any near where we live. Not only have we had a chance to visit family in Portland this week, but we got to sample TWO Old Spaghetti Factories — the Hillsboro and downtown Portland ones. Ok — they’re pretty much all the same, but we still love them. :-)
In Hillsboro we went with my Mom a couple days ago, and tonight we met Uncle Dennis, Auntie Ellen, cousin Rich, and his friend James there. Lot’s of fun. Uncle Dennis took a few pics to prove it, and we put a few in a photo album on this site. Here’s one of the pics to whet your appetite. :-)
We just crossed the Columbia River on the way to Nana’s house as I type. Josh and Juju were very excited to go across the big bridge and see the great big river. In general, there excited about everything right now because we’re only a 20 minutes from Nana’s house so the anticipation and excitement is so strong it’s spilling over to everything to else.
We had a great time the last few days at Lola and Lolo’s house — we opened presents late last night, and then Santa came after everyone went to bed, so we had more presents to open this morning. Lot’s of fun for everyone. :-)
After the kids went to bed, Kenny and I had our traditional holiday Madden Football extravaganza. We’ve been doing it virtually every year since John Madden started making football games — sometime in the mid-90′s, as I recall. We must be getting old, as we only played until 2:00am.
For those keeping score, we had a couple of the best games we’ve ever played. In the first, I tied things up with a TD with only 19 seconds to play, went for 2 and made the conversion to pull ahead 50 to 49. I didn’t feel smug, but rather worried that I left too much time on the clock. It was just one of those games where anything could happen. Sure enough, Kenny ran the kickoff back for a TD to win the game 56-50. Wheh – still a great game!
I won a hard fought game in our second match, getting a bit of luck along the way as a computer-controlled player tackled Ken inside the 1 yard line at the end of the half denying him a TD — and dramatically changing the character of the game. In our final match, I eeked out a 37-35 victory and won the evening 2 games to 1. For the all time series, I’d estimate something like 600 wins for Ken, and about 50 for me, so we may be dead before the series evens up. :-)
It’s been snowing a good chunk of the drive from Tacoma, and I thought Oregon might have missed the snow given that it’s a few hours south of our starting point today. Not so — it’s snowing at this moment, and the ground is dusty with snow flakes yet to melt.
Well, we should see Nana in a few minutes, and we hope to get some pics up soon, too. Merry Christmas everyone!
My last post was a month ago — we were out at the University of Michigan botanical gardens… a beautiful day, sun shining. Very nice. Today, on the other hand, is a different story. The high temp will be in the 40′s (Fahrenheit), and it will be getting colder throughout the day. Tonight, the forecast is calling for the first snow of the year. For now, it’s just rainy and cold. But we may have a white Thanksgiving, which would be fun.