Photography

NOSE TO THE GRINDSTONE

Nose to the Grindstone

Lots of good stuff happening here.  Haven’t been posting because I’ve been busy. Excuses, excuses, excuses!!

Knee-deep, no make that vocal chord-deep in getting my Voiceover plans in play.    I’m just dedicating every second to that now.  My voiceover blog development is time-consuming… but once it’s done then I can enjoy the fruits of that particular labor.  I’ve also signed on with Voice123.com, and busy getting new demos created.  I’ve got a profile page there, but every resource out there, including Vince, my VO instructor, recommends having your own site.

Term Paper Galore

Finished up another writing class.  Got some practice in on writing travel guides and people profiles.  My Creative Nonfiction workshop is going great!!  As fate would have it, I had papers due for both classes at the same time, and I did my best to prevent that from happening.  It ended up where I couldn’t get my interview done until the same week my other paper was due, so…BOOM.  Flashback to college term paper marathon sessions, caffeine fueled courtesy Coke Zero.

My attempts to get pictures of the super moon a few weeks ago was a disaster!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Total disasters!   Took two cameras with me.  I drove around about a half hour before moonrise to find the best view of the east.  I never realized there were that many damn trees around here.  I did find a good spot, and when the moon came up it was as impressive as advertised.  HOWEVER, through the lenses…another story.  I found a second spot, and about a half hour after rising it was still pretty huge, but the camera view was totally different.  I know there were probably some techniques I could have used, if I knew them, but I had forgotten to look them up, and was lucky to remember the whole thing was going to happen that night.

I couldn’t and won’t let another week past without a post.  Hell, I worked just as hard to get this set up as I’m doing now on the other projects.  Keeping this plate spinning, and now  I’m getting the other two plates balanced!

Dancer with spinning plates - Kandy, Sri Lanka...

See, it can be done!!!  Just takes practice!

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Camera time

Picture of some trees

"Landscape" setting. Nikon Coolpix L120

My old  camera

Rest in pieces. If I knew then what I'm learning now...

Among the gazillion things I’m doing is becoming familiar with my new camera.  I bought a Nikon Coolpix L120, and it’s either the camera or me but one of us can’t seem to get it together.  When I broke out my old SLR  (and I do mean old, we’re talking film here)  it was clear that it had been put away too long.  My telephoto and wide-angle lens attachment rings are cracked, and one of the lenses are scratched and smudged beyond repair.   Battery compartment secured through the greatest invention of the 20th century: duct tape!  I definitely had not planned to use my iPhone as my main camera, and definitely not even thinking about the iPad.

So I did some research and shook the piggy bank to see what was a good fit both technically and financially.  I didn’t look carefully enough though, as I really wanted to avoid a camera with presets only.  Misread on the Nikon, and presets are what I now have. Now I don’t have the freedom to adjust speed and exposure as I’d like to, although I can play around with adjusting the exposure through use of the  “+/-” button.  The funny thing is,  I’ve looked at  several DLSR cameras (what I really want) and they also have presets.  I think it’s back to the drawing board for research on a good camera in the future.

In the meantime, not going to let this one go to waste, and maybe I need to take a second look at the old Canon digital I also have.  That one is  only 8 pixels, and once again, my blog research said go for higher pixels for better quality.  The Nikon is 14 pixels, but it’s not going to do me any good if I can’t overcome the problems I’m having with the new one.  I purchased it just before going back to my college campus for alumni weekend and used it for the first time there.  One word:  TERRIBLE.

I was on my way to the store one winter day when the trees along the road caught my eye.  They stretch about a half-mile, and being no expert on trees I’m not sure what they are.  Thin trunk, white, and completely leafless.  The image in my mind was a wall of tree trunks, and I always thought it would make a good picture.  So yesterday I tried to tackle it, making this  my photography project.  I’ve got the image in my mind, now I’ve got to get it out, and this will be fun.

I think I see how to get the "wall."

Looking at the pictures yesterday didn’t make me happy.  I shot about a dozen  using the “landscape” setting and the same using   the “auto” setting.  What I got was not what I wanted in either setting, basically because it wasn’t that image of a  “wall” that I saw.  That’s composition.   I think I’ see what I need to do next, so it’s back to work.  In the meantime I’m adding a pic from my Orlando trip this past Christmas, showing the interior of a space station.  Shot that one while in line for the “Mission: Mars”  ride at Epcot.  (one for the astronaut in me!)  I used the “portrait > museum” setting.

Dennis 2.0 Editorial Staff, My Home Office, and Adventures at Starbucks

I’ve read where no blog is successful without some type of support.    In my case I’m getting assistance  whether I want to or not.  I literally have to shut the door to keep them out.  Allow me to introduce my “staff”

Associate Editor:

AJ (Butch)   a.k.a. “Obstacles to writing success”       We’re still working on his 12 Step program… or he tried to read some of my writing.

2nd Associate Editor:

Junction (Peewee) a.k.a ” Another Obstacle to writing success”  She considers being called mischievous an insufficient recognition of her talent.

Renaissance Central – Mi Oficina – Mon bureau – Mein Büro – Il mio ufficio – 私のオフィス – Meu escritório – Мой офис:

I followed some advice and organized my office before I took this shot. If a cluttered desktop is a sign of a cluttered mind then what is an empty desktop huh. huh. huh,? Answer me!  And it’s NOT decor by Toys-R-Us!!!!!

So this is my environment.  I’m thinking it would be a good idea to maybe step out once in a while and try writing from another place.  I’ve always wondered whether I could function in a Starbucks.  God, I’m having a hard time seeing myself sitting there typing away while sipping cappuccino.  I’m going to have to develop a hell of a lot more discipline because I know I’ll be looking around too much!  One of the writing exercises I’m reading recommends doing that – using that environment to observe people.   Build a “collection” of images, it recommends.

I imagine I could try that…let’s see…

I watch an elderly lady enter the store.  Even though it’s a warm for a winter afternoon sixty degrees outside she’s still dressed as though she’s been out since early that morning, when the frost was extra thick.  I watch her for several minutes as she unloads the contents of her pocketbook on the table.  It’s odd, because even though her clothes appears to me to be nothing less than designer brand,  the bag clearly has seen better days.  What is her story?   What is the significance of the bag?

I continue to observe her for several more minutes.  The contents of her pocketbook are what appear to be wedding invitations.  Perhaps a party?  She begins to work on them, addressing and stuffing the envelopes.  At one point she looks up to see me looking at her, smiling warmly and nodding a hello.  I continue to look at her and occasionally I jot a note down.  She catches me looking at her several more times, and when she does I get a little embarrassed and continue writing.

This goes on for a while, and then she motions for the barista, a young lady who has not smiled since I’ve been here..  Now, let’s see what happens.  Motioning the girl to lean closer, the lady begins whispering something to her.  From the look on her face she doesn’t appear to be praising the taste of her latte.  I’m steadily looking and writing and – did I just see the girl slightly turn her head and eyes towards me?  Boy, this is good material here, got to recommend this exercise to others.

I’m about to make a note about the young lady’s appearance when I look up to see her approach my table, and if she hasn’t been smiling all this time it appears it’s not about to change..  Better note this real quick, this is good stuff happening here!

 Nah, I think I’ll just use the coffee shops for drinking coffee, but I will try to do things from different places.  While the exercise is geared primarily towards “collecting” for fiction, my first goal is non-fiction.  I do have a long-range plan for the fiction arena.