Quick poll question here: Am I the only person who has spent a good portion of their days working taking pictures of their pets while working from home?
Tuesday was take your new camera to work with you. Well, it was in my world anyway.
Getting to play with my Canon EOS R6 and a few lenses in a professional kitchen like Pig Candy BBQ was fun.
I was happy with how some of those shots turned out post-edit too.
I am still figuring out the parameters and flow for posting photographs taken with my new Canon EOS R6 camera.
My goal, as stated in my last blog post, is to post a photograph a week. Right now, I’m leaning towards that in the literal sense by selecting one shot here versus vomiting every pic into a gallery each week that I slap online.
I want this project to be intentional, which means I am also considering a theme and setting to play with each week. I hope to have that clearly stated in a post soon.
I also hope to select a consistent time and day to make these photo posts.
I figure some of what I want to do will evolve organically. Constructive suggestions are welcome in the comments.
Now on with the show.
This week, I’m breaking a future rule by sharing three photos. Two are essentially the same images of food. The second is a sunset.
I played with color and contrast for all three in Lightroom.
I wish I had thought more about the presentation when I took these photographs of the eggplant and green bean salad I made for lunch Tuesday, but I was hungry when I shot it.
My house’s back mudroom is actually a gorgeous place to stage a midday shoot due to the white walls and natural light that floods the space.
I’m sharing both shots here because I couldn’t decide whether I liked the closer-up or wider-angled photo more.
This photograph was after sunset, about 6:20 p.m. Tuesday at Ault Park in Cincinnati, Ohio.
It will be a while before I come back here to take photographs of a starry sky.
I’m not late to the game with this post.
I just waited nearly two months into 2021 before announcing the goals I made for myself in the new year.
My reasoning behind the delay is simple: I wanted to give myself some time to form habits to make sure those goals stick (or at least give me a better chance of success).
So with that, here are three goals I hope to maintain/achieve in 2021
As I mentioned in a previous post, I finally broke down and bought a brand new Canon EOS R6 mirrorless digital camera.
The camera was not cheap. New lenses are even more expensive. But during the pandemic, my itch to get creative continues to grow.
I bought the camera in the first week of February. My goal going forward is to post one photo a week to the blog and write about it.
I unintentionally started doing this last week (again, see previous post).
I will have a second photograph posted later in the week.
I previously stated this goal on the Goodreads app: Read one book a month throughout 2021.
This goal is completely achievable. I just need to continue to set aside the time put down my iPhone and do it.
So far, I read Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton in January after seeing the George Clooney adaptation of the book on Netflix.
I already read The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton for February. My mother-in-law gave the book to my wife as a birthday gift during a visit the first week of the month. I casually picked it up to skim the first few pages and found I could not put it down.
I would like to read a few books by Octavia E. Butler and find a sci-fi/fantasy series that I can truly get lost in in the coming months. (Recommendations welcome)
I’m also debating on writing reviews of each book moving forward as I finish them. If I feel really ambitious, I might even post reflections on the two books I have already read.
I gained a LOT of weight since the pandemic began. The weight gain was the result of apathy towards exercise, overeating and over-imbibing fueled by massive amounts of anxiety.
After tipping the scale higher than ever before, I decided to sign up for the weight loss program Noom on Dec. 23. So far, and depending on the day, I’ve lost between 15-to-17 pounds through counting calories and a return to running.
My fitness goal for the year is two-fold.
First, I want to work my way down to a healthy weight. If all the charts, graphs and trends on Noom play out, I should hit that target weight sometime in June.
The weight loss plays into my bigger, secondary fitness goal — to set a new PR in either a 5K, 10K, or –gulp– half marathon, hopefully by year’s end.
I will occasionally will provide updates on my fitness journey too.
So, there you have it. My 2021 goals.
Do they sound doable? Any tips, tricks or recommendations? Feel free to share them, and your own goals, in the comments below.
I bought a Canon Rebel DSLR many years ago with the intent of becoming a photographer. I spent six months posting a photo a day to this blog.
I won’t say every photo was great. Some were over-edited. Others had soft focal points. But over time, I did improve to the point a few photos caught the eye of advertising agencies and individual collectors.
I contracted the rights for one of them, a self-portrait, to an international charitable organization for its website. A doctor purchased a series of four photographs of a barge cutting through the fog rising off the Ohio River at sunrise.
You could say that I was as pleased as punch with myself. Around the same time, I changed jobs, found a new passion in running and generally got distracted by other developments in my life.
I still take many photographs, all on my iPhone, but nothing with the same zeal I did when I first purchased that Rebel.
And here we are today, a year into the COVID-19 pandemic.
I’ve documented the lives of my wife, dog and cat almost daily since working from home beginning March 16, 2020.
And while my iPhone 12 takes excellent pictures, I recently started looking for more challenging creative outlets.
So, with my wife’s blessing, I purchased a new Canon EOS R6 mirrorless camera and lens. The camera isn’t cheap and I’m such a novice using it right now.
But I swear I’m going to use it, hopefully daily and with the mindset that perhaps I can turn photography into a real side hustle.
I just need to figure out what creative goals and projects I plan to pursue. When I do, I’ll be sharing that journey here.
And for the record, the image below is the first picture I took with the new Canon. It is on an icy road in Eden Park, Cincinnati, Ohio.
View of the first snow in my and my fiancee’s new home.
It’s straight down the line for both of us, remember?Femme fatale Phyllis Dietrichson, Double Indemnity
Anyone who has ever worked overnight or early weekend morning shifts knows the sometimes eerie, sometimes peaceful solitude of inhabiting a world asleep.
Cincinnati appeared more eerie than serene as I headed to the station one early Saturday morning in March 2014.
Heavy fog rose off of the Ohio River, swallowing the John A. Roebling bridge and low lying downtown streets.
I remember thinking of a scene from “Double Indemnity,” one of my favorite black-and-white films of the 1940’s, as I rolled up to the bridge.
The classic film noir features square-jawed actor, Fred MacMurray as life insurance agent Waltner Neff and silver screen sex symbol Barbara Stanwyck as the sultry Phyllis Dietrichson.
In the movie, Dietrichson uses her womanly wiles to convince Neff to off her husband and cash in on the life insurance policy Neff sold the poor sap in the first place.
Film noir being film noir, Neff and Dietrichson’s plot doesn’t go off quite as planned. There’s a double cross and a dogged insurance fraud investigator that leads to this final scene . . .
Lucky for me, I neither met a dangerous woman nor got hit by oncoming traffic when I stopped on the bridge to take the picture inspired by Double Indemnity.
(I did go on a few bad dates in 2014 through about mid-2017.)
Oh, a storm is threat’ning
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away– The Rolling Stones
I took these pictures on February 9, 2012, in Clermont County, Ohio.
I was heading home, about an hour drive west, after spending the afternoon with a child I mentored through a volunteer program I was involved with at the time.
I remember being nervous as I parked my car along the narrow shoulder of the two-lane state road. Cars would regularly blow past me, crossing the double yellow line going 80 to 100 miles per hour while driving, much less sitting still on this low traffic stretch of rural state highway.
Hours earlier, I had noted the decaying farmhouse and barn that sat on what appeared to be abandoned property on my way to my mentoring commitment.
What really caught my eye though was the moss covered rock perched on the weathered fence post nearby. Someone intentionally put it there.
My Canon EOS Digital Rebel camera was tucked behind the driver seat of my gold 2004 Pontiac Grand Am, so, I knew I needed to stop and explore the property on my return trip.
It is hard to believe seven years have gone by since I took these pictures. My mentorship ended a few months later in 2012.
I have not returned to that part of Clermont County since.
“The future came and went in the mildly discouraging way that futures do.”
― Neil Gaiman, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
Taken Jan. 12, 2012 with Canon Rebel XR
My fiancée giggled when I showed her the portrait and shared the story behind it with her.
To be fair, I giggled too.
The story begins with a Christmas gift.
My parents gave me a Canon Rebel DSLR camera a few years ago.
The camera came with two lenses, a bag, tripod and instruction manual.
In order to learn how better use the camera, I decided to take and post a photograph a day to a now defunct blog starting New Year’s Day 2012.
I made it to about mid-April with my New Year’s Resolution.
In February 2014, something unexpected happened involving the above self-portrait that I had posted in that time period.
Andy, the creative director for a design and marketing firm in Grand Rapids, Michigan, contacted me through my old blog’s email address.
Andy stated his firm potentially wanted to use the portrait as part of a client’s website design. He also wrote that he was willing to pay me for the photo, whether his agency used it or not.
I was skeptical, but after doing some homework that included asking Andy about the client’s website, getting a copy of the agency’s usage contract and then conferring with a national design and marketing firm in Cincinnati, I agreed.
The photo was to be used on the landing page of the site for a U.S.-based, non-profit Christian organization assisting people in Third World countries.
Andy also sent me a PDF mockup of how my portrait might appear on his client’s website.
After setting the terms of usage and price for the photo, the agency mailed me a check.
In the end, the photo was never used, but I still got paid.