Originally I was just going to do one of those stairwell shots that people take all the time, and shot from the bottom up. Then I realized it might be interesting to try the concept from the top down, and noticed that the resulting image looked kind of like a big ol’ paperclip. Like most stairwells this one was rather dimly lit, so I had to do quite a bit of tweaking afterwards (including upping the exposure by more than +2). I figured this might happen when I took the picture, which is why I used such a low ISO in order to limit the post-processing artifacts that can show up when tweaking pictures in the computer. It was also a bit difficult to get everything in the shot because I had to stand on my tiptoes and try to hold the camera steady, and even with all that the left-hand side still got cropped a bit. Overall I am very pleased with how this turned out though.
Another photo opportunity that popped up while I was out walking in our neighborhood with my son. This was outside a house that is for sale, and has been for quite some time. The framing of this sign was a bit tricky because I had to step around some inconveniently-placed bushes, and also keep an eye on my son who was playing behind me. One of the neat things about being constrained to a 50mm lens is that it forces me to find different vantage points from which to shoot, and I don’t think I would have ended up with quite this same perspective if I were using a zooming lens.
It’s sort of a ritual on the Oklahoma State University campus that anyone with a camera will inevitably take a picture of this architectural anchor (which, I am told, is modeled after a structure on the campus of the College of William and Mary, though that could be an urban myth). Getting this shot with my 50mm lens required me to stand way, way back and I had to wait until all the foot traffic had passed.
My wife and I were in the living room the other night when she pointed to this green insect crawling up the side of our barbecue grill cover. Neither of us could identify it–was it a spider? A stick insect? I grabbed my camera, went out to investigate, and saw that it was (or at least appeared to be) a very young grasshopper. As I snapped his picture he was probably looking back at me and wondering what this giant monster with a black clicking box was doing :)
Each year my family visits Lake Milford in Kansas, and we spend a few days playing on the beach, riding jet-skis, sitting around the campfire, and just catching up while all our kids play together. The view from a knoll overlooking the beach is quite nice, and my 50mm lens did a decent job of capturing the scene.
My wife and I came across this row of colored houses while out for a walk the other day, and I stopped by the next morning to take a picture. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped due to a couple of reasons. First, it was early in the morning and I don’t like the shadows being cast on the houses by each other. It kind of adds an interesting spatial element to the photo, but I think it’s a bit distracting. Also, the sky is way too cloudy which lends a somewhat dreary and dismal mood to the picture, which is not what I was going for at all. I did some retouching on this in Photoshop, but didn’t want to go as far as actually removing the cloudy sky and adding a nice blue one instead (and then the pond wouldn’t look right either). I plan on going back and re-taking this photo in the coming weeks, but I think it’s worth posting here on Weekly Fifty for what I learned from it, not because it’s a particularly noteworthy picture.
So we were at home doing some cleaning about a week and a half ago when my wife pointed out a rather long snake making its way across the street and into our front yard. She, much like Indiana Jones, is not a big fan of snakes, and asked me to go out and kindly remove the creature. A request which I was more than happy to fulfill, since it gave me the chance to hearken back to my medieval forebears of knights in shining armor who rode gallantly into the face of danger to protect their homeland. Only instead of gauntlets I donned a pair of work gloves, and in the place of a lance I instead wielded a push broom and my DSLR camera. Same difference though, right?
Anyway, I followed this snake around for about 10 minutes, coaxing him away from our house with the broom while snapping pictures with the camera. I didn’t know if it was a poisonous snake or not (found out later that this species, Elaphe obsoleta or “Rat Snake,” was not), and since I was using my 50mm lens I had to get uncomfortably close in order to get any good pictures. The stick in the foreground upon which this snake’s head is resting was actually thrown by me in order to encourage the slithering reptile to leave, but instead it was used as a photography prop–a decision which I can’t say was entirely disappointing.
Eventually the snake did head on town the block, but it was not really due to me and my broom. Rather, a mockingbird decided that a snake in the yard was unacceptable, and flew down to help me out. It put on quite a show, dancing and flaring its wings while also pecking at its tail, and apparently the snake decided he had better just move on. And so did I, back into the house to help my wife finish reading books to our son.