The June assignment was Signs. There was a lot of variety in the entries, from big neon signs to street signs to handmade signs.
Tour bus going past Radio City Music Hall. I like reflections and this was a unique way to capture the sign.
Domino Sugars is a prominent landmark in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. I also like long exposures at night, and this is one of my favorite places to take them.
The Coast Guard may park wherever it wants. This is the last surviving ship from Pearl Harbor.
The assignment for May was Action. About the only thing that the entries had in common was movement.
An enthusiastic model at the Google+ Washington, DC photo walk.
Batala Washington performed at this year’s Kinetic Sculpture Race in Baltimore. I used a slow shutter speed to show the band’s energy.
Winsom Memory is a 22 year old broodmare who clearly enjoys her retirement. I used 1/30 sec and panned to show motion while keeping her face in focus.
Macro was the assignment for April. Like most people, my entries were of flowers. However, my pictures were omitted because of a glitch. The Easter Lily was featured as the Digital Story photo of the day on Facebook, but it was left off of the monthly assignment page at TDS.
I like this Easter Lily at Longwood Gardens because of the ring of pollen.
Since the DOF is so shallow, I like to concentrate on the abstract nature of macro photos. This is a crocus in my yard.
Flowers in a bouquet. They’re only about 1/4″ across. The red flower is a carnation.
In March the assignment was Eyes. As you might expect, the majority of the entries were of people’s faces. However, there were some novel entries as well, such as the winning shot of a stereoscopic camera. I decided to go with the obvious choices myself, plus a close-up of my reflection in Dixie’s eye.
This is a close crop of a picture of Sophie that I took her first day with us.
I’ve been told that I should show more of this picture so people can see that Gavin is watching a parade. Actually, he’s standing beside his sister and her horse who are wearing similar head boppers. His eyes are saying, “Please tell me that I’m not related to these crazy people.”
Dixie doesn’t mind posing when I want to try out new things. I took this photo with my new macro lens.
The February assignment was about composition, namely the Rule of Thirds. As I learned way back during my architecture days, things look better if they are off-center. The Rule of Thirds refines that and works like this. Draw two horizontal lines and two vertical lines on a picture so it is evenly divided like a tic tac toe grid. The intersections are four focal points where you should place the primary objects in the photo. Most image editing software will superimpose the grid for you when you crop an image, and some cameras will display the grid on the LCD or in the viewfinder. (My Nikon D7000 grid is 4×4 instead of 3×3 so I have to adjust a little.) In each of my entries I placed the primary object at one focal point and a secondary object at the diagonally opposite focal point.
The eagle at the bottom left point is very dramatic with his feathers spread and his talons ready to go fishing. His partner is scanning the river for his own lunch. I’ve also cropped the photo to show just the eagle in flight, and I like this version better.
I composed this shot with carnations near two of the focal points. The out-of-focus flower serves as a counter-point to the flower in the foreground.
The sharp and vibrant rose bud at one focal point is balanced by the hint of rose blossoms in the background.
The January assignment was Mobile Phone to tie in with a promotion by one of the TDS sponsors. I rarely use the camera in my cell phone, so I took a few pictures for the contest. My phone is an HTC Incredible and it has an 8 MP camera.
Moon At Sunset
I took some pictures of the moon through the trees with my Nikon D7000, then I took more with my cell phone.
Sunset at the Farm
This was a genuine shot. I was at the farm and the sky was so red and colorful that I had to take a picture of it. I also have pictures of a cat sleeping on my car, but they were not good enough to submit.
Community Center Entrance
I was waiting at the entrance of my community center to let people in. I spent the time taking pictures of the entrance area. I like this picture the best because it is sharp and clear.
A couple of months later I was in Washington, DC during the Cherry Blossom Festival and all I had with me that day was my cell phone.
I won the Family assignment for December! While the majority of the entries were “normal” family photos, a few of us stretched the definition of family.
I returned to Greenmount Cemetery for this month’s assignment, and I converted the image to B&W again. I took photos of family plots as I’d planned, where several stones had the same last name, but I had never seen anything like this before. The gravestones at one end of each plot had the member of the family, while the ones shown in the foreground had the names and dates.
Father and Son
When I took this picture this past summer, I knew that some day I would submit it. I like how the father is teaching his son how to fish, and I also like the composition with the rod stretching to the right.
Mary with her mother and daughter at the barn Christmas party. They are clearly having fun and it’s a nice family portrait.