Day 261 – Keys to Music

I see nice contrast between the black and white keys with distinct lines and angles formed by the spaces between the keys; to me, it’s an opportunity for a nice black and white photo. To a musician, these keys are the tools to open the door to an infinite number of melodies that make wonderful music. I love to listen to music, but I am not able to make the keys produce a sound that is pleasing to the ear. I am limited in my use of the keys; a photo in black and white.

Day 260 – Hand

The hand. We often take them for granted. We shake hands as we meet people, wave hello to our friends, and use them to make all types of “hand made” goods. When you’re hand is sore, you begin to realize just how much we all need our hands.

Day 259 – Night Scape

We went to Chicago to visit Justin at Concordia University this weekend. One of my favorite activities was the Architectural Cruise aboard the Sea Dog. What a great way to see Chicago at night. I wasn’t sure how my photos would turn out with so little light available and no tripod. I shot this one at ISO 3200 with a shutter speed of 1/50th second at f5. This is the Wrigley building. If you ever travel to Chicago, take a Sea Dog boat cruise out of Navy Pier.

Day 257 – CDT Test Cases – Upper and Lower Partial

Many of you know my wife, Vicki is a partner in the Schmitt Dental Lab. Vicki’s grandfather started the business back in 1928 and when he passed on, her father took over. In 2010 Vicki and Mary Ann purchased the business from Ed, Vicki’s father. In August Vicki went down to Lexington, Kentucky to take the practical exam to become a Certified Denture Technologist in Removable Partial Dentures. The test required a lot of preparation, as she had to fabricate an upper and lower partial. I am not able to list all of the steps it takes to build these partials you see in the photos, but I will say the key ingredient during the prep time was that bottle of Advil in the middle picture. Recently Vicki received her test scores, she had to anxiously wait 4.5 nerve wracking weeks for the results. I am so proud to say that she scored 100%. Way to go Vicki!

Day 255 – What’s for Dinner?

I know many of you fellow men are like me… at least I think you may be. You get hungry and amble out to the kitchen, open the refrigerator door and just stare for a while, trying to figure out what to have for dinner. If you are like me, you don’t see anything that looks good, even though the refrigerator is full of choices, so you close the door and walk away. After awhile, hunger gets the best of you, and you head back out to search the refrigerator once again, as if maybe, somehow, some new food made it’s way into the refrigerator… and you stand there with the door open, like I do, gazing and hoping for something to jump out at you. Usually my wife will snap me out of my trance and make a suggestion, and then it’s like, “yea, why didn’t I think of that?” I think the problem arises when there are too many choices. Back when I was a single guy, I never had that problem. I would open the refrigerator and grab a beer and some leftover pizza. There weren’t a lot of choices to make, just pizza, beer, or out dated milk. Now that I’m supposed to eat healthier, I have more choices, and it takes longer to prepare the food, and… I just wish I could have pizza and a beer again. Life has become so complicated. 🙂
I shot this picture of my fully stocked refrigerator using my iPhone 4S and then processed it in Dynamic light on the Urban Art setting.

Day 252 – Frankenmuth Auto Fest

We decided to head down to the Frankenmuth Auto Fest this evening. The plan was to drive into town, park the Jeep and get an ice cream cone. We found a bench on the side of the road and sat down to watch the parade of classic cars drive by. This night the cars just cruise back and forth down Main Street, and it brought back memories for me of nights long ago, cruising up and down Woodward Avenue. It’s funny to me, some of the cars I thought weren’t so cool back then, look awesome now. Some of the owners choose to restore their car to original condition, just as it came off the line; others customize their car and turn it into a souped up hot rod with custom paint, lots of chrome, and an awesome engine. I am not an expert on engines, and all the different parts, but I do enjoy looking at the cars. The car pictured above really drew me in, the beautiful red paint shining, the chrome accents, and the custom engine cut out, were what pulled me closer for a more detailed look. I am not sure what kind of car this is, the seats said Willys. Definitely a cool ride.

Day 250 – Portrait of Vera our Shorkie

Vera is our Shorkie (half Shih Tzu and half Yorkshire Terrier). Now, when friends first meet Vera, their first thought is, that she is an ugly dog. After they get to know Vera and witness her personality, they say, she is adorable and they don’t feel that she is an ugly dog. It’s hard to get a good picture of Vera, because she is do dark, the details are lost, unless you have the proper lighting. I used my studio Elinchrom BX250RI strobes for this shot. The lights really show the detail that are normally lost in our snap shot pictures we take. Now if I could just get her to smile and relax more.

Day 249 – Petunia Zoom Blur

Another zoom blur shot, this time of the petunias by the side of our house. I like the kaleidoscope look the effect gives, and you can still see the grass and the gate in the background. This is a hand held shot with a 1 second exposure at f22. I shot in raw then processed in Lightroom and underexposed it, then bumped up the clarity, vibrance, and contrast to bring back some of the detail lost by having the long exposure. I’m going to try using a tripod next time.

Day 248 – Zoom Blur Effect

I read an article on “How to Take Photos with the Zoom Blur Effect“.  The photo above is my attempt at using this effect.  It’s relatively simple, you use a zoom lens and a long shutter speed, I used 1 second.  Then you press the shutter and zoom either in or out while the shutter is open, working hard to hold the camera steady as you zoom.  I am anxious to try this technique on some other subjects.  This one is just a shot of our breakfast nook area.  There are some nice examples in Darren Rowses’ article.  This is just one more technique to help us be more creative while we are out taking photos.

Day 242 – Bug on a Weed

I found this bug in the weeds this evening. I’m not really sure what kind of insect this is, it appeared to be drinking nectar from the blossoms of the weed. I shot this with my 18-200mm Nikon lens, it isn’t a macro, so I had to crop it really tight in Lightroom. If you can identify this insect, please leave a comment.

Day 241 – Nephew Paul

I recently read an article in Photoshop User Magazine (sign up for a free issue) that showed a technique for pushing the sharpness and details of your images. I decided to give it a try with a photo I took of my nephew, Paul, while he was pitching horse shoes. The result is a very sharp, detailed photo that really brings out the intensity and concentration Paul had in the heat of competition. Pitching horse shoes is a lot of fun, and has become a tradition at the Lewis Family Picnic. Who knows, maybe one day we will see it as an Olympic sport. 🙂

Day 239 – Happy 1st Day of College

Today was the first day of college for Amanda and Justin, even though they attend different colleges, they both had their first day today. The first day of school was always an exciting time in our house while the kids were growing up. We always made sure to take a picture of them dressed in their new school clothes, adorned with their back packs, and anxiously waiting for the bus. This year we were not able to take a picture, with Justin attending Concordia University Chicago, and Amanda attending Saginaw Valley State University and living on her own, Vicki and I were not able to see them off. So, Happy 1st Day of College to Amanda and Justin, and all the other college students!

Day 238 – Dads, Daughters and Dating

One of the hardest adjustments for me as a father, has been to remain civil and not overprotective when my daughter Amanda began dating. Dads, you know what I mean. This is my little girl, even though she is a young lady, I still feel like I need to protect her. Early on when Amanda was 5 or 6 we agreed that she would not date until she turned 25. She broke her end of the deal. When you get right down to it, we dads just want to make sure that our daughters are treated with respect and kindness. We may come off as being over protective bears, but it’s just our way of making sure that our daughters are being treated properly. As a father we want to make sure that the young man that comes a callin’ is a gentleman who will give you a firm handshake and look you in the eye when he talks to you. This is my daughter Amanda pictured above with her boyfriend Eric. Eric is a gentleman and seems to genuinely care for Amanda, and he treats her like a lady. My daughter is happy and that’s the main thing right fellow dads?