Thursday, November 27, 2008
God feeds the birds and He clothes the flowers. It's good enough for them. It's good enough for me.
Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2008 James Jordan.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9
Click on this post's headline for image EXIF data. Photograph © 2008 James Jordan.
Monday, November 24, 2008
What does that have to do about being thankful? Since losing my job in early September, I’ve rediscovered some creative muscle that had gone unused in my old job. Skills that had sat dormant and decaying have been called upon one more time. Those have come in handy to land some freelance writing and photography gigs to help keep my financial ship afloat. I believe the self-help gurus would call that “being stretched.”
So I am thankful that the day the money runs out keeps getting pushed farther into next year. I’m thankful the Lord has provided some projects that can lay the foundations for new ventures in the future. I’m thankful that the parts of me that have rusted are now burnished bright again.
Click this post's headline for image EXIF data. Photograph © 2008 James Jordan.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I'm meeting up with Roger this morning to find some abandoned automotive relics for purposes of photography. Should be fun.
Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2008 James Jordan.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Fast forward a few decades, add a dash of understanding of how to get those tones in a darkroom (thank you, Ansel Adams for publishing how you made some of your pictures), couple that with digital technology and voila! The look - only without the smell and the messy trays of chemicals.
Photo: Poplar leaf on the dried mud of a riverbank. Color desaturated in Photoshop, highlights and shadows boosted 25%, film grain filter added. Vignetting applied. Click on post's headline for image EXIF data. Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2008 James Jordan.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Each one faced dire enough circumstances that casting off employees became a necessity. Each one blamed everything except itself for its problems. None made any wholesale changes to the way it operated after casting off talent. Each one put a focus on little things when big things needed to be examined first (one company passed an edict that all paperclips had to be removed from paperwork that was being filed, then returned to the front office to be reused. I’m sure that held off bankruptcy for about … two minutes).
I admit I wasted a lot of time yesterday revisiting the sins of companies past. I then decided to apply the same standards to myself. Am I at fault for what happened to me? To be honest, yes, I could have done some things differently. I’m making some wholesale changes to the way I operate and it’s already paying off. I’ll go into some of those later this week. I’m taking time to focus on big picture items, though some may say I still have some improvements to make – things like family relationships, my own work skills, getting out of the comfort zone, etc.
Not that it’s necessarily a big thing, but ever since I started my photo hobby ten years ago, I’ve been about color. Intense, saturated, rich, deep color. With nearly two thousand photos published online, I don’t remember more than one or maybe two that I posted that are black and white. Here’s a challenge – try to find them in my archives here. If nothing else, it will boost my page view count (mwah hahahah).
Anyway, for this week at least, I’m going to look at the world in black and white. I have a backlog of photos to process and I’m going to play with the color desaturation button a lot more than I have previously. We’ll see if anything interesting happens.
Click on this post’s headline for image EXIF data. Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2008 James Jordan.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Click on this post's headline to see image EXIF data. Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2008 James Jordan.
Ilona picked up some of my thoughts yesterday on "Thinking Different" and wove them into an insightful take on what it means to be a truth-teller in a world that would rather not hear it.
First time quoted by one of my heroes.
Scene #1: Don't know about you, but those TV screens on top of the self-serve gas pumps really annoy me. So it made my heart a little bit happy to pump some gas this week while having Windows' blue screen of doom advertise itself to me. Two ubiquitous icons pwned simultaneously.
Scene #2: Proof that marketers shouldn't be allowed in the kitchen. I had no problem adding the water, but it was a bear getting the microwave stirred in.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
And it's a scene that I (almost literally) stumbled upon by accident. I was photographing at a local gravel quarry turned wildlife sanctuary on a foggy morning. I followed a path into a wooded area hoping to find something interesting to photograph there. About halfway through, I decided there was not much to see and rather than continue into the next clearing, turned around and headed back from where I came. This scene greeted me as I neared the clearing. I took two exposures, one for the foreground and one for the trees and sun, then blended them together in Photoshop.
About the stumbling part - just past the opening is a steep embankment. While negotiating the slope after having taken my shots, I lost my footing and tumbled down about 12 feet of gravel and rocks, losing hold of my camera in the process. I wound up relatively unscathed (I narrowly missed sliding over some broken glass left by some previous party), but the camera took a severe beating, receiving some dents and losing both the lens cap and part of the lens' outside covering, revealing the metal brace inside that held the front lens element in place. It was like looking at the skeleton of the lens through a gaping wound. Amazingly, there were no scratches on the glass itself and the film door (you remember cameras that take film don't you?) stayed closed - I've had the door pop open on a far lesser jolt to the camera, losing a roll of photos in the process.
The lens remained functional, and even served later that year to photograph my second and third most-viewed photos before being semi-retired along with the film camera when I made the switch to digital.
Be sure to take a peek at the Sitemeter counter at the bottom of the right hand sidebar. If you're visitor number 100K, let me know with a comment, would you? I have a gift for you. If visitor 100K does not come forward, I'll go up the list until I identify someone.
Photo: No EXIF data available - it was shot on film and I don't remember any of the settings for this shot. Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2007 James Jordan.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The light box was used as the base of support for the stack of stones as well as the main light source for the picture. The stones are free standing - no glue or wires, just physics. Once I got the stones to stay in place, I quickly set up a camera on a tripod and took a couple of shots of the stack itself just in case it collapsed before I could get some hands in the picture. Once I got those safely on the memory card, I set the camera's self timer and reached over and around the camera to get my hands in the picture. Voila.
This photo just seems ideal for a "Depressories" poster:
Monday, November 10, 2008
The bird stares off into the future, facing the approach of winter, the darkness closing in.
Friday, November 07, 2008
The end result seems to have none of the fun that I intended. The viewer becomes a witness to a lone man in thought as a train moves on. Is he pondering his decision to not board? Did he narrowly miss the train? What is the significance of the backpack he is wearing?
Am I thinking too much?
Taking stock: About a week ago, I filled out an application to become a photo supplier to iStock Photos, one of the leading stock photography sites on the Web. I completed an involved process that includes sitting through an online briefing that runs through the technical and legal issues of supplying stock photos. Before photographers get to the dotted line, they must pass a quiz which includes evaluating a number of sample photos and declaring them acceptable or not and if not, identifying their shortcomings. The final step is to upload three photos of your own for consideration, then wait to hear back from someone as to whether or not your application has been accepted.
The wait is over and I am a new member of the iStock team. All three of my sample photos were evaluated as being of sufficient commercial and technical quality to justify their inclusion in the iStock collection. I can now upload up to 15 photos a week to the site for consideration and hopefully, some sales.
Which three photos did I submit? This one, this one and this one.
Click on this post's headline for image EXIF data. Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2008 James Jordan.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Actually, this is a shot of the moonrise over the silo of a barn near Batavia, Illinois. Not anywhere near as technically brilliant as Adams' work nor as stunning a backdrop. That's the Midwest for you.
Bad photo tip of the day: I subscribe to a number of Google Alerts to help me keep up with the world of photography. As such, I get links to a number of Web sites that offer photo tips, many of which either don't know what they're talking about, or don't know how to say what they're thinking. So here's today's bad tip from Web Photo Storage, which offers nine more obvious or ambiguous suggestions:
Employ lighting suitably and merge them appropriately.
I'm heading right out to work on that one. Oh, and according to tip number three, if you don't have the sky, a treeline and a fence in your picture, forgedaboudit.
Click on this post's title for image EXIF data. Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2008 James Jordan.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Getting close to 100 grand: My little visitor counter is approaching 100,000 unique visitors to Points of Light. I'm planning something nice for visitor number 100K. So, if you happen to come here and notice the counter at exactly 100,000 - leave a comment to let me know. By the way, the counter is at the bottom of the right hand sidebar.
Photo: Taken in Matthiessen State Park, Oglesby, Illinois. Click on this post's headline for image EXIF data. Photograph © 2008 James Jordan.
Monday, November 03, 2008
A long exposure will give you a photo of motion. In this case, the clouds and stars crisscross each other in the night sky. More subtly, the moonlight creeps along the surface of the lighthouse, shadows slowly shifting as the moon completes its arc across the sky.
Be sure to click on the picture to see it at full size.
Click on this post's headline to see image EXIF data. Photograph © 2008 James Jordan.