Sunday, January 31, 2010

31/365 - Study #4

Detail of a keyboard with the letters D and C emphasized.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

Here's the fourth and final installment of my "everyday object study". Anyone want to guess why I chose to focus on this part?

Also -- it's the end of the first month of my 365 project! It's been interesting, for sure, and difficult at times. But, this "study series" has really helped give me more ideas for how to take a decent photo every single day. You can also read some of my thoughts on breaking patterns at Digital Photography School.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

30/365 - Study #3

A blue ringed power button.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

The third installment in my study of an everyday object. This one should give it away to many of you -- enjoy!

Friday, January 29, 2010

29/365 - Study #2

A curved abstract composition against a black background.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

Today, I'm continuing my quest to thoroughly photograph a single, everyday object around me: a second photo of the same object as yesterday (Study #1). This one is much more concrete (and texturiffic!), but can you guess?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

28/365 - Study #1

A curved abstract composition against a black background.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

I've noticed a pattern: I'm tending to take photos of everyday objects around me. This is partly because I spend so much time in my house or at school, so there isn't much time to go elsewhere (during the week, at least). So, in the spirit of embracing that pattern, I've decided to "study" a common object for the next several days. This is Study #1 -- a close-up of part of the object. Feel free to guess -- more photos of the same object will be coming in the next few days!

(Note: yes, the bits of dust are there -- they're not image artifacts.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

27/365 - S is for Symmetry

A curved abstract composition against a black background.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

Another photo from my "everyday abstracts" series. This is something from around my house -- just an unusual view. What is it?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

26/365 - Bread

A small homemade piece of bread.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

Rosemary-Cheddar bread, homemade, just minutes before I took this photo. Maybe I'm not exactly an expert food photographer, but at least it tasted great!

Monday, January 25, 2010

25/365 - Standing in the Snowstorm

Me, standing in a dark, snowy street.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

Today's photo is dark, grungy, snowy, and wet -- just like the world outside. We had a nice mid-winter thaw, but now it's time to face up to the fact that we live in a massive snow belt. It's shovellin' time!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

24/365 - Quincy Boiler and Shaft

A ruined stone boiler building in front of a more modern steel shaft house.
You can order a print of this photo if you like it!

Following on my theme from yesterday, here's a black-and-white view from a totally different mine site: the Quincy Mine. In the foreground are the ruins of the old #2/#4 double boiler house -- once filled with huge steam boilers, providing steam power to the mine. Behind it is the #2 shafthouse, a modern steel structure from a different era of the mine's development.

The Quincy Mine is a very different mine from the Central Mine, featured yesterday. Although both started in the 1840s, the Central was a "fissure" mine -- mining primarily huge, pure chunks of copper. The Quincy, on the other hand, was an "amygdaloid" mine -- mining rock with tiny bits of copper infused through it. As it turns out, Quincy's model was better, and all of the truly successful mines in the Copper Country were amygdaloid mines. Quincy paid dividends for more than 50 years straight, earning it the name "Old Reliable". But, just like the Central and all other Copper Country mines, the Quincy is now nothing more than a collection of shafts and ruins.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

23/365 - Central House

A snowman built in front of a small church.
You can order a print of this photo from David Clark Photography.

The Central Mine was, in its day, a spectacular copper mine. It was the second mine in the entire Copper Country to turn a profit, and not just any profit -- it paid a dividend in its first year! It survived from 1854 until 1898, when it finally closed -- exhausted.

Nowadays, the town of Central is almost totally abandoned. There are a few seasonal residents, and even fewer permanent residents (about 2, to be more exact). This is one of the few houses which is (seasonally) occupied.

Mr. Snowman goes to church

A snowman built in front of a small church.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

This snowman is the lone parishioner of the very historic Central Mine Methodist church.

Central is an old mining location up in Keweenaw County. There are a few permanent (or seasonal) residents, but otherwise most of the town is abandoned. Some of the buildings are restored and cared for by a historical society. This church -- one of the original buildings in town -- is the site of the yearly Central Reunion, in which the descendants of former citizens return for a church service, pasty dinner, and general good times.

Friday, January 22, 2010

22/365 - The Lineup

A wide variety of snow-removal equipment.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

For those who aren't from such a snowy place, here's a peek into my world -- the world of daily snow removal!

This photo shows my arsenal. From left to right:

  • A standard shovel (for scraping the driveway, small amounts of snow)
  • Snow blower (currently out of commission)
  • Another standard shovel
  • Road salt (for melting ice and preventing build-up)
  • Small shovel for ice
  • The mighty Yooper Scooper (a huge scoop used for moving large amounts of snow all at once)
  • Pickaxe and standard axe for ice removal
  • Cheap extendable shovel, and
  • Garden shovel

With 6+ months of winter, it pays to be prepared!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

21/365 - Lines

Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

Today's photo is another mystery for you to figure out. This photo is an abstract composition of an everyday item which you may never have looked at closely. I haven't edited it, except to remove a little color (there wasn't much to begin with). What be it?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

20/365 - Oregano

Green oregano leaves with shadows on them.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

I have a small window box of herbs growing in my office -- a few things like basil, chives, sage, and of course oregano. This oregano is thriving, enjoying the rare winter sunlight.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

19/365 - Probability

Red and yellow coins with a single green die sitting on them.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

Coins and a 10-sided die: these are tools I use while teaching a unit on probability in my math class. They all looked so colorful, just sitting there!

Monday, January 18, 2010

18/365 - Barn Window

Pines on a field of snow, overlooking a blue Lake Superior.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

Today's photo comes to you from lovely Mass City, Michigan. Mass City was founded to support the nearby mines -- Adventure Mine, mainly -- which extracted copper from the nearby Adventure Mountain. Naturally, there isn't much reason for the city to exist any more, except maybe inertia. There are many old, untended buildings, rotting on street corners. This surprisingly interesting window is from the door of a barn, on a back street.

17/365 - Sarah at the Lake

Pines on a field of snow, overlooking a blue Lake Superior.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

I "missed" a day -- not because I didn't take photos, but because the lovely Sarah and I were taking a brief vacation together. Here's proof -- a photo from our snowshoe hike around Fallison Lake, in the Northern Highlands - American Legion State Park of Northern Wisconsin. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and we enjoyed the late afternoon hike thoroughly. Now, back to school again...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

16/365 - Mount Baldy

Pines on a field of snow, overlooking a blue Lake Superior.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

Saturdays are great fun for me -- either I'm down in Wisconsin visiting the lovely Sarah, or else I'm out exploring the Keweenaw! Today was one of those exploring days. I took a snowshoe trip out to Mt. Baldy (formally called Lookout Mountain), up near Eagle Harbor in the Keweenaw. Mt. Baldy is a Nature Conservancy preserve, and a beautiful one. It's also 3 miles (one way, uphill!) to the bald top of the big hill.

This photo is from the very top, where only a few hardy trees and lots of low ground cover grows. On the left is beautiful Lake Superior, which hasn't frozen yet.

After this, I turned around and hiked another hour and a half back out again!

Friday, January 15, 2010

15/365 - Stars Over Houghton

Star trails over the city of Houghton.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

Tonight's photo is being posted late because I've been out all night taking it! This is one in my continuing attempts at startrail photos -- this one is overlooking my current place of residence (Houghton), and my place of employment (Michigan Tech). Two previous attempts were near here, at the Quincy Mine.

This one is a bit different -- somehow, I happened to compose so that there were no bright stars visible on the left, and only a few on the right. I think that the horizontal line is a plane. Let me know what you think!

Technical details: this photo is a composite image (made with Startrails), "stacked" from 136 separate images. Each image was a 30 second exposure at f/7.1, ISO 200. I then edited the image in Gimp, to bring up the contrast in the sky (the brightness of the city drowned out the stars, so they needed a little boost!).

Final thought: the hills of Houghton don't look nearly as steep from this perspective -- but boy do they suck when it snows!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

14/365 - Exit

Lines in several directions, in black and white.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

Who knew that the exit signs in my building were so bold? Red, white, blue, and you're on your way out!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

13/365 - Rozsa Siding

Lines in several directions, in black and white.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

Here's an abstract view of yesterday's subject: The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts in Houghton, Michigan. The lines on this building are wonderful with my favorite ultrawide lens.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

12/365 - Corner

A black and white photo of the pointed corner of a building, with many windows, and a dramatic sky reflected in the windows.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts opened the same semester that I first began as an undergrad at Michigan Tech. I worked here for several years, as a volunteer usher, and later as a concessionaire and eventually house manager.

The building is very modern in design, as you can probably tell from this photo -- many windows, pointed and jagged contours, everything shiny. The sky and reflections caught my eye, and I ended up spending a good bit of time trying to line myself up just right.

Monday, January 11, 2010

11/365 - Red and White

An abstract composition of red and white, divided by a pointy curve.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

Today's photo is an abstract composition coming to you from -- my wall! Red, white, and a curvy, pointy dividing line. What do you think it is?

Today's 365 thought: this is, if nothing else, getting me to try new things. The last several days have been photos that I might never even have thought of taking last year!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

10/365 - Birch Tea

A tea mug containing birch twigs.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

Here's a very different kind of photo (for me, at least). This is my tea mug -- I make tea almost every morning. Normally I have some sort of loose-leaf tea from the local tea room, but today I made something different: birch tea. Birch tea has a pleasant minty sweet flavor. It also has a bit of salisylic acid, which is the main ingredient in aspirin.

This tea was made from yellow birch (sweet birch also works). I steeped a few twigs in hot water -- not boiling, because that destroys the flavor. As always: be careful! This was made from yellow birch (and others should work), but be sure you know what you're eating, before you eat it.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

9/365 - Encouragement

A macro of a mathematical equation on a page.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

Only a short post today -- this photo comes from the Sisu Ski Fest, where I was a volunteer at an aid station today. One of the duties of an aid station is to encourage the skiers -- usually with bells and yells. One fellow wore this bell around his neck, so that everywhere he went, he was constantly encouraging everyone!

Friday, January 8, 2010

8/365 - Details

A macro of a mathematical equation on a page.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

Today's photo follows in the theme of "What am I?", a photo of books in my office. This photo is also taken from my desk -- in this case, a paper I've been reading.

Yes, I do this all day, every day. Taking photos is a very nice break from all of the math! Mega bonus points to anyone who can identify the specific topic I'm studying in this paper. For a "hint" (which probably won't help!), this particular equation is showing the equivalence of the trace inner product to the symplectic inner product, in certain circumstances.

I won't be posting for a day or two due to traveling to the Sisu Ski Fest in Ironwood, but I'll be taking photos the whole time.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

7/365 - Hot Cocoa

The letters HC and words Hot Cocoa in bright yellow, on a black building
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

Broomball is a bit of a popular pastime at my favorite university. This year, there are three rinks all set up in close proximity. There's also this building -- the IRHC (Inter-Residence Hall Council) Hot Cocoa stand! Yes, these letters really are that crooked.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

6/365 - In its native habitat

A DSLR camera half buried in snow.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

This week's Digital Photography School 365 assignment for this week is to show my camera equipment. So -- here it is -- my beautiful Nikon D40x, in its native habitat. That's my favorite Nikon 10-24mm lens on the front. (The photo was taken with my crappy fixed-focus camera-phone, which accounts for the awful image quality.)

Yes, it really is half-buried in a snowbank. After this photo, I shook it off, took it inside (not bothering to wait to acclimatize it!), and snapped a few photos. It worked like a charm.

For those of you who try to treat your cameras with kid gloves, never taking them into even slightly poor weather or nasty situations: I do things like this on a pretty much daily basis. My camera is slung around my back for every hiking, snowshoeing, and camping trip I make. I've face-planted it into the snow without a lens cap, gone in and out of warm houses into 0 degree weather, used it in heavy rain, taken it down rocky hillsides and been hit with stinging tree branches. This low-end camera has survived them all and works like a champ.

Don't let your fear of hurting your equipment get in the way of taking great photos!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

5/365 - Snowshoe Overlook

My feet, in snowshoes, overlooking a winter landscape.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

As I was out snowshoeing today, I thought I'd show the world a bit more of where I am, and what I do (besides photography, of course!). So, I took this twist on the stereotypical "photo of my feet" self-portrait.

I took this shot while relaxing at the top of the Robbins Mine's rock pile, overlooking the beautiful Keweenaw Peninsula. The Robbins Mine was a copper mine in the late 19th century, eventually owned by the extensive (but always unprofitable) Phoenix mining company. Today, the mine consists of just a few ruins, and a large rock pile (which provided this lovely view). The Robbins is private property -- it's owned by a friend, so I had permission -- so please don't trespass!

Monday, January 4, 2010

4/365 - What am I?

Colorful math books, lined up on a shelf.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

This photo follows from the theme of yesterday's photo. Yesterday, I answered the question "where am I?" Today I answer (at least in part) "What am I?" Today's photo comes to you from the bookshelf in my office. Anyone want to guess what my job is?

Also, photo-a-day thought-of-the-day: I'm finding that I'm saving some of the better shots I take each day for later (non-365) posting, because I don't have enough time to really give them the treatment that I should. Anyone else having this problem?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

3/365 - Steps of Snow

Heavily snow-covered steps leading up to a snowy house, at night.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

Today's photo is the scene which I saw when I arrived home Houghton today. My trip home was not exactly on the fun side of things -- nearly 10 hours of snow, wind, blowing snow, lake effect snow... anything you can imagine that involves snow! Then, when I arrived home, we found that the people we'd hired to plow the driveway over my vacation had not done their job.

Today's 365 thought: although I took a number of photos along the way, I couldn't do much when the weather forced me to keep driving (at 35 mph) with extreme caution. This is definitely tough! While not the best photo technically, I hope that this does evoke a certain feeling of despair in you, as it did in me. Happy new year! ;)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2/365 - Orange Moon

An orange moon rising, wavy, over farm buildings.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

My second photo comes after a full day of traveling and seeing old friends. As Sarah and I pulled in to the driveway this evening, this orange moon was rising from the horizon, with farm buildings in the foreground. It was just as wavy and orange as it looks in this photo (probably from atmospheric distortion). This is a composite, since it's all but impossible to take a clear photo of both the moon, and the (dim) countryside together.

In the meta-365 realm, I did take my camera with me today -- but I left it in my car, after we went with our friends to see some sights. That's kind of contrary to the whole idea -- bringing my camera with me everywhere. Lessons learned...

Friday, January 1, 2010

1/365 - Welcome to Dave's 365!

Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

Hello all, and welcome to 2010! Welcome also to the result of my New Year's Resolution: to take (and post) a photo every day for this year. That's right, I'm doing a 365!

Each day, I'm hoping to post a photo with a brief description. I'll also be posting in the Digital Photography School 365 Flickr Group regularly.

Today's photo is of my parents' cat, Rosey. She's a stray who they took in -- although she's skittish, she's also beautiful. In winter, she's a regular furball! This photo -- my first, taken while on vacation -- is of Rosey enjoying some morning sunlight.

See you soon!