Over the next few days I will be looking back at some of my favorite photos of the year. To start things off I wanted to do some of the photos that did not make it into any of the other categories. I had a hard time coming up with a name for this one due to the fact that it was such a wide range of topics. I guess still life kind of fits here. No matter what it is called here are my 13 favorite shots without people from this past year.

13.) The first photo here was taken at the Purdue Memorial Union just before Christmas. They have a gingerbread house competition between all of the dining halls. What comes of the competition is really something to see. This gingerbread house showing a scene from the movie ‘Elf’ was one of my favorites.

12.) The ‘Elf on the Shelf’ has become a great tradition in our house. Every year Nobow shows up after Thanksgiving, and leaves with Santa on Christmas Eve. He always surprises us with his hiding spot every day. Sometimes he even gets into our food. Here he is seen eating some icing from our gingerbread cookies.

11.) At the Purdue Memorial Union they have busts of all of the former presidents of the university. This Christmas one extra bust was added. I like the way that they fused the tradition of the Union with Christmas here.

10.) This statue of Laurel and Hardy was given to my father this past Christmas. There is something about this picture that I really like. It is for pictures like this that the title of the post is not my best of this past year, but my favorite.

9.) This photo has appeared twice now in a week. This is an out of focus picture that is something that I love. The bokeh of the Christmas Tree lights really does look great. This is the time of year to make some great portraits in the house. With this as a background how can you go wrong?

8.) Here is another image from AT&T Park. I really loved going to the park, but I took just a few minutes to explore the outside of it before going in. I knew that I wanted to see the Willie McCovey statue located on the other side of the cove that bears his name. There are some nice photo opportunities here, but I liked this one with the Bay Bridge in the background the best.

7.) While traveling along I come across some pretty interesting signs. For some reason this sign in Tipton, Indiana really stuck out to me. This is a place where you can fill your car and your stomach. The way that they have worded it though kind of makes you think that the food will not sit well with you. I had to pull off the road to make a couple of pictures here.

6.) Last February I was in Milwaukee for a couple of days. One of those days saw us at the Children’s Museum. Just outside of the museum is this great statue of kids saying the pledge of allegiance to the flag. In a world that doesn’t see the need to do that anymore this was a very cool gesture.

5.) One of the symbols of my hometown of LaPorte is this indian. This statue has always been near the courthouse in some capacity. I think that its current location just feet from the courthouse is a good one. Oe cold day last March I made this photo of the statue.

4.) This was my first real attempt at light painting. I was sitting in a dark room in the basement with only an old flashlight in my hand. I would then ‘paint’ the light onto my subject while the shutter was open on my camera. It was fun seeing the many ways that I could change the look with just a few strokes of my flashlight. This was a very fun experiment that gave me a desktop background for a few days.

3.) One of the highlights of this past year was going to AT&T Park to see the Giants play the Rockies. I have wanted to see this park for some time, and it was everything that I thought it would be. Seeing the Willie Mays statue in front of the park is a must. It is a great statue that can be photographed from many angles. This is a great memory from a much needed trip.

2.) This photo was taken during a horror expo in Columbus, Ohio. We were in town to get married when we saw that a few things were going on in the convention center. One was a horror convention. I really don’t like this kind of stuff, but I thought that it would make for a good picture or two. After having a fake zombie try and scare the pants off of me I came across these dummies. For some reason I have liked this layered shot of them since I took it.

1.) With the crazy processing that I applied to this photo I think that the Arnold statue takes number one this year. I really like how everything came together here. I knew that I wanted a different look, and I managed to do it. Of course the top two pictures come from a short weekend in Columbus. Maybe I need more time there to see what else the city has to offer.



Photo of the Day

I took this photo a few weekends ago while driving to Tipton, Indiana. The sun was setting behind me when I went by this little roadside diner. You really don’t see too many more of these any more. The greasy spoon is not what it once was. When I saw the name of the restaurant though I made the quick left into the parking lot. This is just a piece of America that is getting lost. Many heart doctors would say that is a good thing, but I like the imagination here.

Technical Data

This was all about getting the scene to come out like I saw it in person. I was shooting for HDR, but for some reason I did not like how that turned out. I took one of the overexposed images, and I brought it back to where I remember the scene being. I also cropped in a bit to get rid of the annoying sign that creeps in to the left.

west side tipton-19

Photo of the Day

Yesterday as I mentioned earlier I was in Tipton to shoot the basketball game there. The gym was very well lit which was great because I did not have to max out my ISO. I still need to figure something out because the noise was still bad no matter what I tried. I decided to just shoot at a higher ISO to capture the action. I think this shot was my favorite of the day because I did not have to crop it at all. I liked the fact that zoomed out to 70mm I actually captured the whole athlete in the shot. I also like the fact that the only two players in the shot are #4.

Technical Data

Here is where the noise comes into play. I edited the RAW file using the light sports preset, and then tweaked a couple of things to taste. From there I had to try and get rid of some of the noise. I used the software inside of Lightroom for that. It did a good job, but in the future I might have to try something else. Shooting in these little gyms can be tough. I get my Pocket Wizard setup on Monday, and I might have to try that out this weekend to see if a little off camera flash will help me out.

Shots of the Game

I have uploaded some of my favorite shots from the game to my Picasa album here if you would like to see some more from the game. I had a good time shooting, and I think that may show. I have a long way to go shooting basketball, but even from the start of the game I improved by checking out my work on the LCD screen.

compton hardware store

Photo of the Day

Yesterday I spent some time in Tipton, IN getting some shots around town. I was there to shoot a basketball game that night, but why not get some pictures beforehand? I found some interesting things around town to shoot, but it was on my way back to my car when I saw this. For some reason the old signs in these towns intrigues me. I love how weathered they look. They really let you know that you are in a small town. Here I got a two for one with the added bonus of the Christmas decoration that was still up. This is not the best shot that I took all day, but it is the one that I liked the best.

Technical Data

Not much to report here. When I imported all my files for the day into Lightroom I forgot my previous settings that had everything coming in use the light sports preset. I had to undo that for this shot, and then start from scratch with the sliders. As I said before with a  simple shot like this not much to see here.