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Photo a Day Challenge: Day 27

Photo a Day Challenge: Day 27 - Fridge on Ilford Delta 100 filmFridge - Irvine, CA
Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 10:49pm
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It's funny what a deadline will make you do. Here is a photo of my fridge. Why? Because it was 10:45 at night and I'd yet to take a photo of the day for my photo a day challenge. My lady and I had just returned from a long day out on account of it being my girlfriend's birthday. The day was nearly done, the light was long gone, we were ready to turn in, and I couldn't yet check that box next to "take a photo" on my daily "to-do" list.

Strangely enough, I wasn't stressed about this. Normally I start to stress a little bit when cutting it this close on a deadline, even if the deadline is self-imposed. I knew there was little left to photograph in my apartment, especially at this hour, and time was running out. But I guess by day 27 of this challenge I was starting to realize that there are photos to be found anywhere at any time, you just need to get a little creative.

I looked around my dark kitchen for something to shoot. Then it hit me: the inside of the fridge has a nice bright light source. Why not use that to make my exposure? So I opened the fridge and set my camera on the counter across from it. Thanks to my trusty granite countertop, a tripod wouldn't be necessary. The natural clutter on the shelves added plenty of interest to the shot and required no rearranging. I metered the scene at 1/60 of a second at f/2.8. It's nothing I'd frame on my wall, but I got my photo and I realized we were low on milk. Win-win.

Read the backstory on this Photo A Day Challenge here. See previous days here.

Photo a Day Challenge: Day 26

Photo a Day Challenge: Day 26 - Tess on Ilford Delta 100 filmTess - Irvine, CA
Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 5:29pm
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This is Tess. She's my girlfriend's jack russell terrier. Tess is...quirky. Alright fine I'll say it, she's weird. Just plain weird. But her weirdness is really entertaining. And if a dog doesn't entertain you, then what's the point?

Tess's favorite place in our home (other than my lap) is under our bed. Even when I'm home, she chooses to stay under the bed. I don't know why. She's not under there because she's scared or anything like that. I also know that she enjoys my company. But I guess she's just a lone wolf, as it were. One of the few things that'll make her come out from under the bed without any coaxing is if she hears a wrapper crinkling in the kitchen.

On this day 26 of my photo a day challenge, I had just returned home from work and decided to knock out my daily photo before heading out for the night. As I grabbed my gear from my closet, I saw Tess waiting patiently under the bed for my girlfriend to come home from work. I knew this would be my photo.

With dim lighting, my exposure came out to 1/8 of a second at f/2.8. The 1/8 shutter speed would be far too slow to handhold, so I let my camera rest on the ground. But even with camera shake out of the equation, I'd need Tess to not flinch or move at all during the slow shutter. So patiently I waited for her to freeze as she concentrated on the doorway off to the right. She was listening for my girlfriend's footsteps coming towards the front door. She knew they'd be there soon enough. I focused quickly, locked up the mirror, then triggered the shutter with a cable release. Before I could fire off a second safety shot, she lunged out from under the bed at the sound of the front door opening. Good thing this frame came out sharp...

Read the backstory on this Photo A Day Challenge here. See previous days here.

Photo a Day Challenge: Day 25

Photo a Day Challenge: Day 25 - Building E on Ilford Delta 100 filmBuilding E - Irvine, CA
Friday, September 6, 2013 at 7:02pm
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I'll be honest. Day 25 of my photo a day challenge was a little bit of a dud. I got a late start, I let the light get away from me, I went out without a plan. The result: a photo that falls somewhere between "meh" and "booooooring" for me. But if there's one thing I've learned from taking pictures it's that the photos that are mediocre to me may actually speak to some people. You never know what people will like. I've taken shots I thought were so mediocre that I almost threw them away, but then they turned out to be some of my viewers' favorite shots. And other times I absolutely love one of my photos, but no one else seems to care one bit about them.

I guess there's something to the old saying "beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

For this photo, I found myself at Beckman High School in Irvine. It's actually part of the Tustin Unified School District so, naturally, it's in...Irvine. I've never been able to make sense of that. But I digress.

A little bit rushed and flustered at the quickly fading light, I sloppily threw together this composition which shows the shadows of nearby trees and a light pole cast on to the side of "Building E." I mostly just liked the symmetry of the building here. These two corners of the structure created a nice little dual peak at the top and some cool perpendicular planes. No deep communication here, I just liked the simplicity of the repeating lines, shapes, and shadows.

I used a shutter speed of 1/60 at an aperture of f/5. A polarizer and a red #23a filter helped me darken the sky.

Read the backstory on this Photo A Day Challenge here. See previous days here.