Monday, February 28, 2011


Day 59/365: The Mask

This is cropped image of one of my favorite ice sculptures from the World Ice Art Championship. It was sculpted by Steve and Heather Brice. Steve and Heather are responsible for the sculpting of the Aurora Ice Hotel I visited yesterday.


Day 58/365: Aurora Borealis

Tonight, I witnessed a spectacular display in the skies of Alaska. The Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights were well worth the wait and cold it took to get this shot. This photo was taken when it was -27 degrees outside!!! -27!!! It was so cold that anything wet and exposed to the air instantly froze. I'm warm now but I'll be back out there tomorrow braving this cold weather for more Alaskan shots!

Here's the wiki for more info on Auroras

I saw the Northern Lights featured on the Travel Channel or Discovery Channel years ago and when I arrived in Alaska, I didn't think I was in the right area to see them until all of the locals said, "Fairbanks is one of the best places to see the lights!" I was so thrilled that I was actually in the right place at the right time and I didn't even plan it. I had not done any research on the lights before coming up here.

Another treasure I saw on either Travel or Discovery Channel was the Aurora Ice Hotel and guess what, I got to see that too! I didn't realize that was in Alaska either! I went on a tour of the hotel and museum and then we all were allowed to roam freely through it. It was absolutely amazing! I enjoyed an Apple Martini at the ice bar in an ice glass. So cool! I'll upload more pictures from my trip later but it's late and I really need to get some rest.

P.S. Sorry that the photo has some noise but like I said, it was -27 degrees! lol

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Day 57/365: Golden Heart Park

Today was a better day than yesterday. From what I understand, yesterday's weather was a complete anomaly. Many people have told me that they've lived here for years and they had never seen yesterday's weather at most 20 years.

This picture was taken while it was -2 degrees outside! I had to take off one of my gloves to set the controls on the camera and my hand was freezing! This air sucks all of the moisture out of my hands so I'm going to have to wear two sets of pair I'll keep on while I'm shooting. Hope you all are warm wherever you are. :)

Friday, February 25, 2011


Day 56/365: Barely and Finally!

I finally made it to Alaska, barely and finally! Yesterday was not a good day at all and this photo is not even close to being my best work. I had to grab this photo of the Alaska Airlines magazine after traveling for 23 hours! I was either in an airport or on a plane and on top of it all of that I got very sick ON the plane! Such a drag!!! It wasn't motion sickness but I don't know what it was.

We tried to go in for a landing at the Fairbanks Airport but the wind was blowing in at 25 mph and the turbulence was awful. The pilot tried to land the plane but the plane was rocking and shaking so much that it was impossible and he didn't have enough fuel to try again so we had to fly 45 minutes to Anchorage. We get to Anchorage and we have to sit there for about an hour. Then some people start to deboard the plane which takes longer because paperwork is associated with them leaving the plane. Finally we get back in the air and go back to Fairbanks with another pilot for another very rocky landing but when the plane finally, touched down, everyone clapped except for me because I was just trying to stay conscious. You could be eating right now so I'll spare you the details of my actual sickness. I'm feeling a bit better now so let me do what I came here to do. You'll see what that is through my pictures over the next few days.

So now, I'm going to try to suck it up, the sickness that is, and enjoy my vacation....hopefully.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Day 55/365: Needing a Rainbow

Today was not my most creative or fun photography day. I had an idea in my head but it just didn't come out the way I wanted it to and I didn't get a chance to view any photos from my Flickr friends. That's why I'm needing a rainbow to make me smile.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Day 54/365: Stripey Straw

Adding the droplets to the straw was a harder than adding the drops to other items I've worked with. I don't have a whole lot to say today. I'd just like to cuddle up with my computer, comments on some awesome photos from my Flickr friends, and go to bed early tonight.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Day 53/365: On the End of a Feather

I got my Kenko extension tubes today!!! So so happy!!! Can't you tell from the six exclamation points? This is my first shot using them and I am really loving macro photography. My goal is to have variety in my 365 so I am going to have to really try hard to keep that variety and not take a macro shot every single day.

This water droplet hangs on the end of a feather...a feather I've had for quite some time that I found on the street. Of course, I have had no use for it until tonight and I think I've put it to good use.

Macro shots really hurt my neck and my right eye. I'm thinking of buying a neck brace and an eye patch. LOL If I do, (I've done crazier things), I'll take a picture and post it. lol Hey, if it gets me through these shots with no pain, I'm all for it.

Strobist Info:
SB-600, 85mm bare, camera left (~30 degrees)

Monday, February 21, 2011


Day 52/365: Clamshells

I wanted to take a photo for the daily theme for the Macro Mondays group that my Flickr buddy CJ is a member of. The theme was "spices and seasonings" but I really couldn't take a picture that I wasn't feeling so I took a picture of my clamshells because I really wanted to do a strobist shot.

My clamshells are a little scratched.  I wish I had preserved them better but I still like them just as much as the day I found them.

Strobist Info:
SB-600, 35mm, 1/4 power, thru shoot thru umbrella camera left

Edit Info:
- Levels Adjustment and background darkening in PS

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Day 51/365: Lead Me

This is another experiment using the Shade 8 welding glass. In my research, it told me not to use the glass pointed directly at the sun. Of course, I had to break the rules to see what would happen. This exposure is 4 minutes long.

Here's my post from the very first time I used the Shade 8 welding glass. I am generally happy with the results but I do notice the lens flare that it creates. In my case, the lens flare is a purplish color that I've tried to subdue in post. You can still see it but generally, I'm somewhat pleased with the result.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Day 50/365: Baby's Breath

I know this is my third water droplet shot in the last few days but I've just been having so much fun with it, I had to do another one.

Baby's breath is always used as the filler flower but I decided to it's time to make it the center of attention.

Edit Info:
- Spot Removal, Brightness/Contrast, & Levels in PS

It's been 50 days into my 365 project and I must say that I'm having a lot of fun! Each day's picture is just as much a surprise to me as it is to all of you who are following my project. Thank you to everyone who is following my project. I really appreciate your support!

Friday, February 18, 2011


Day 49/365: Purple Flower

I decided to put my two favorite colors together again. I am really enjoying macro photography. So much so that I took this photo at 2:25 am! Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Day 48/365: Macy's Star

This is my first macro waterdrop refraction photo. Gosh, that's a mouthful to say! I've had this Macy's bag since last September. Don't ask me why I've been holding on to it so long because I have no idea but it sure did come in handy tonight. This shot was light with my two daylight balanced lamps positioned on the right and the left.

I'd like to thank my Flickr friend Paul aka Licht~~~~ for being the inspiration for this shot.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Day 47/365: Under the Moonlight

Today was definitely a Hump Day Wednesday. All day I was wishing that this day would quickly come to an end until I went to take this shot. The roaring of the ocean and the calming light of the moonlight was just what I needed.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Day 46/365: Over the CD Rainbow

One day I saw a magnificent rainbow in the sky after a heavy downpour but I didn't have the right lens to capture it so I decided I'd create my own rainbow. A few months ago when I rented a macro lens, I wanted to do this shot but I couldn't get it to quite come together before I had to return the lens. I finally got my own macro lens, the Nikkor 60mm, and our rainy weather forecast brought the idea back to my attention.

Strobist Info:
- SB-600 at 24mm, full power thru shoot thru umbrella camera right
- Two daylight balanced bulbs positioned to the left and right of CD

Edit Info:
Spot Removal & Sharpening in PS

Monday, February 14, 2011


Day 45/365: Happy Valentine's Day

Have a very happy Valentine's Day everyone! Valentine's Day is not just a day for lovers but a day for anyone who has love in their heart! Celebrate love and enjoy your day!

SOOC (with the exception of the text)

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Day 44/365: The Snack Shack

I spent an hour of the night at Haskell's Beach doing 3 - 5 minute long exposures. This one was the best from tonight so I used this one for my Project 365. I am glad that I was able to capture some clouds and star trails. It was a beautiful night under the 3/4 full moon.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Day 43/365: Bird Island

These four structures consist of a large column with three triangular platforms, each pointing in a different direction and at a slightly different height, neat the top of the columns. It is a welcome sight for the birds looking for a safe place to rest or build a nest.

Info from the Santa Barbara Audubon Society

Edit Info:
- Taken with my 0.6 ND Filter
- Spot Removal, Crop, Vibrance & Saturation Adjustment in PS

Friday, February 11, 2011


Day 42/365: Royal Sunset

I am really enjoying sunsets! I named this photo Royal Sunset because of the purplish hue and purple is a color of royalty. I captured this photo using my 0.6 ND filter.

I think it looks great in Flickr's Lightbox. See it on black by visiting my Flickr and pressing 'L' on your keyboard.

Edit Info:
Brightness/Contrast Adjustment Layer in PS

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Day 41/365: High Tide

Edit Info:
- Tint and temperature adjusted in Camera RAW
- Brightness/Contrast, Saturation, Spot Removal, Crop & Sharpening in PS

Today, I went to the beach to capture a daytime long exposure at a spot I saw a few weeks ago. I didn't have the tools to capture it then and when I went back today, the high tide covered the entire area. So I captured this area instead. This shot was taken with a shade 8 welding glass filter lens as a neutral density filter.

If you don't want to spend the money to buy a neutral density filter just yet or if you just want to experiment, welding glass is a very cheap way to go.  This idea is not new.  It's been floating around the internet for sometime now.  That's how I found it!

To the right is a photo of the shade 8 welding glass I purchased from a welding supply shop in town. Don't even bother looking in the hardware stores or home improvement stores because they had no idea what I was talking about. They can be found in welding supplies shops or ebay. They range from shades 5 (lightest) to 14 (darkest). I also had to refer to them as a "glass filter lens" because when I asked about welding glass, I got the common, "Huh?"  They range from between $3 - $5 depending on where you get them from.

As you can see, the welding glass is very dark so you won't be able to compose your shot through the viewfinder with the welding glass on.  I used the welding glass on my wide angle lens.  I turned the wide angle lens hood backwards and positioned it over the lens then I secured the welding glass to the hood using two rubber of each side of the glass and hooked around the petals on the lens hood.  When the camera was positioned at a sloping angle, I used a third rubber band across the top of the welding glass and pulled it back to stretch around the body of the camera.  I got the setup from felt_tip_felon on Flickr.

Depending on the brand of the glass, you'll end up with a purple or green tint on the actual photo so you'll have to adjust the tint and temperature settings in Camera RAW (or other RAW editing tool) to get the correct settings.  You can tell what tint it will be by holding your welding glass up to the sun.  Whatever color the sun is through your welding glass is what color tint will be on your photo.  After that was done, I cropped the photo, applied sharpening to the rocks only, and adjusted the brightness/contrast and saturation.  Viola!  Daytime long exposure made simple and cheap!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Day 40/365: The Eternal Flame

Even on the days when doubt casts its shadow, my will, my passion, and my strength burns day and night. 325 more days to go.

Strobist Info:
SB-600, thru shoot thru umbrella, 35mm, full power

Edit Info:
Two exposures merged with the same EXIF data and strobist info

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Day 39/365: Fire and Ice

Some like it hot. Some like it cold.

Strobist Info
SB-600, 85mm, 1/16 power, snooted 30 degrees left of the camera

Today, I wanted to get out and have some fun with my neutral density filter but I was so busy that I didn't have the time so I turned it into a Strobist night. My inspiration for this photo was from the way I was feeling tonight. I was thinking about a shot for hours, wore my brain out, put my elbows on my desk, dropped my head between my hands and just started massaging my temples. Then I said to myself in frustration, "I'm just like fire and ice. One minute I'm hot and the next minute I'm cold."

I always take hours brainstorming ideas for a photo for my Project 365 and I can never think of anything I like. Once I get so upset with myself that I just stop thinking at all, the idea pops into my head and then it only takes a few minutes to setup for the shot and then a few minutes to photograph the idea. I'm so glad that so far creativity and inspiration have arrived before 11:59 pm. :)

Monday, February 7, 2011


Day 38/365: Light in the Night

Tonight, I just felt like getting outside at night next to the ocean where I could get that cool breeze that you can only feel from the ocean and at night, you pretty much have the beach all to yourself.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Day 37/365: An Evening with Mussels

I watched a beautiful sunset today as I took this picture. This photo was taken at a beach along the US-101 in Santa Barbara County. It is a composite of two exposed for the sky and one exposed for the rocks and the water, both using a neutral density filter. I wanted to use my neutral density filter to capture the full shot in one exposure in camera but the neutral density filter I have didn't cut the light from the sun by enough f-stops for me to achieve that. Therefore, I had to take two exposures and combine them in Photoshop. Other edits in Photoshop include an Exposure Adjustment Layer, Brightness and Contrast Layer, sharpening, crop, and dust removal.

More specifically, here are my RAW image files and I've included the EXIF info for each picture.  The reason I've included it here is because I copied both RAW image files into a new document in Photoshop and Photoshop stores the information that the document is created and not the EXIF information for the shots.  Therefore, Flickr will not see the EXIF information on this image either.  Also, I was going to go back and re-upload the photo but the EXIF data would have only been representative of one of the exposures.  So here's the full EXIF info, edit info, and any other info your heart desires.  :)

This shot was exposed for the sky.  As you can see, I really need to clean my sensor which is definitely on my list of things to do and since I haven't done that yet, that's the reason that I need to do spot removal in Photoshop.  Exif Info for this photo: 0.8 s at f/22, ISO 200.  Date taken: Feb 6, 2011 5:31:58
This shot was the long exposure for the rocks and the water.  In both shots, the dark edges on the top and bottom are caused by my Lee filter holder.  At the 11mm focal length, the lens was able to see the edges of the filter holder and that's the reason for the crop I did in Photoshop.  Exif Info: 2.5 s at f/22, ISO 200.  Date taken: 5:33:08

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Day 36/365: Pine Cone

Today, I experimented with [psuedo] high key lighting. I don't have as many strobes as it takes to setup for high key lighting so I had to make do with the strobes and two lights that I have.  After I uploaded this photo, I noticed the

Strobist Info
- SB-600, 85mm, full power thru shoot thru umbrella directly in front of the pine cone
- Pine cone is positioned on a piece of white foamcore board and a white foamcore board is directly behind the pine cone
- Two daylight balanced bulbs (no diffuser) at positioned to light the background foam core board

Edit Info:
Sharpening and B&W conversion

Friday, February 4, 2011


Day 35/365: Take Me Away

Today, I bought a 0.6 graduated neutral density filter from Samy's Camera in Santa Barbara. The employees down there are so friendly and helpful that I have yet to regret a recommendation they've given me. I usually go in with an idea of what I want to buy and then they help me by talking through it with me to make sure it's what I really want.

Just after sunset, I took my new filter out for a spin and I have to admit, I'm going through a bit of a learning curve but this what the image I captured.

Every time I look at this picture, I think of peace, love, and serenity. Do you?

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Day 34/365: Stranger in My Shot

Today, I took in a beautiful sunset. I was taking test shots to find the right exposure for the sunset and was hoping to catch the silhouette of a boat in the water and this guy walked through the frame several times. At first it kind of annoyed me but then I realized that I could make him part of my shot. So I picked up my camera on the tripod and composed the image around him. Thank you stranger in my shot.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Day 33/365: This is a...

Today, I was yearning for creativity and inspiration and I couldn't quite grasp either so I took this photo and decided to make it interesting by having you all guess what it is.

Photos of January 2011

January 2011 Project 365

Congratulations to everyone who has completed their first month! One month down! Eleven more to go!

I must admit that there have been some good days and some bad days but it is a learning experience and I'm learning so much.  I am eager to see my progress and the progress of my friends and Flickr contacts who are also participating in a 365.

This month has definitely been an experience and I am glad to have been able to share it with all of you.

1. Day 1/365: Toast Life [Explored], 2. Day 2/365: Getting my feet wet., 3. Day 3/365: I flip my hair back and forth!, 4. Day 4/365: Let There Be Light [Explored], 5. Day 5/365: 'Oath of God' [Explored], 6. Day 6/365: Lightly Whisk [Explored], 7. Day 7/365: No Tears, 8. Day 8/365: Railroad Sunset, 9. Day 9/365: New York City, 10. Day 10/365: Sleep Standing Up, 11. Day 11/365: Burn [Explored], 12. Day 12/365: 5000 Kelvin, 13. Day 13/365: Tangerine Blossom, 14. Day 14/365: Under the Sahara Dome, 15. Day 15/365: Walking into the MGM Grand, 16. Day 16/365: Las Vegas Sunset, 17. Day 17/365: Eye in the Sky from Paris [Explored], 18. Day 18/365: Sirens of Treasure Island, 19. Day 19/365: Drink Vegas Style, 20. Day 20/365: Upon My Return, 21. Day 21/365: Meet Noodles, 22. Day 22/365: Sign of Blue Skies, 23. Day 23/365: Fish Out of Water, 24. Day 24/365: Sometimes I Miss You So Much, 25. Day 25/365: Bombshell, 26. Day 26/365: Skill Level: Black Belt, 27. Day 27/365: Dolphin Statue at Stearn's Wharf, 28. Day 28/365: Sunset at Morro Rock, 29. Day 29/365: A View Over a Plate of Scampi, 30. Day 30/365: First Refraction, 31. Day 31/365: Broken Glass Remains

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Day 32/365: The Empty Rice Bowl

Tonight for dinner, I wanted food from my favorite Chinese restaurant but when I called to place my order, the lady told me it would take 40 minutes so I had to pass because I was starving. Then after I ate from McDonald's (smh) I still couldn't stop thinking about the Salt and Pepper Fish I really wanted! Ah! haha

When I started shooting for today's photo, a skunk let loose outside and the smell seeped into my place and I couldn't keep myself from gagging. Then, I lost my appetite anyway.

The goal for today's photo was to work on composition and lighting.

Strobist Info:
SB-600 at 35mm 1/4 power, +0.7 thru shoot thru umbrella

Edit Info:
PS Spot Removal and Exposure Level layer