Archive for December, 2010

December and Final Notes

Posted in Notes with tags , on December 31, 2010 by AZSalsman

2010Yippee!  Whoohoo! Alas! Whatever word describes the final triumph.  365 days of photo taking.  One entire year of my life devoted to the craft of photography. One full year, 365 steps in this journey, has come to an end before a new dawn begins.

If you had asked me at the beginning if I would make it through the year, I would have given a tentative yes – good intentions and all. But there was something inside me that said that it is doable regardless of the daunting task and that I HAD to succeed. So, I set out on the trek to see where it would lead.

I recently read on someone else’s blog that they identified the difference between a “picture taker” and a “photographer”.  I agree – as I see it.  A picture taker captures the fact that you were there.  A photographer captures the story that goes with it.  The former is of little interest to me.  The later is where I find my joy.

I have yet to do a thorough evaluation of the photos taken during this process but as I do a random check, I see that things have changed and grown.

A few days ago, through a photography website to which I subscribe, I  found out how many people have or are undertaking this challenge.  Many are nearing the end or have ended. Others are just starting.  But all regardless of the level of their craft, have different goals. Most are faithful to it. Others get overwhelmed with trying to include it in their daily habits.  But invariably, everyone learns something – whether it is about photography or about their lives in retrospect.

Through the year, one of the hardest things, I feel, about photography is truly understanding and executing is the capturing of light.  Photography, after all,  is all about light.  More than the technical aspects of getting the right exposure settings, it has to do with the intensity, the right kind,  and reflective qualities from the subject that creates the story.  This is the hard part of the craft.

I did learn that there is a photo everywhere and every time. You just need to look.  You need to be aware. You need to be willing to see the world around you in completely different ways. Then you discover something new, something grand, something unique.

So for me, right now, this task is complete.  The goal was defined as “to take and post one picture each and every day for one year”. That year has ended. To do less, would have been to sell the challenge short always wondering if you should have tried harder. To do more than that initial definition, would have been to saturate and muddy the purity of it all. Thus, it ends.  Where to go from here, I don’t know for it doesn’t end – it just begins anew.

To those that have followed along to various degrees through the year, I thank you.  Do not fear for I am sure you can find some way to occupy the few moments you spent checking that day’s entry.  I encourage you to pick up a challenge and grow. To others, thank you too.  This would not have meant a thing if there was no one to share the imagery. To God, I say thanks for the rich beauty created for our benefit, our enjoyment, and our existance.



WHAT I HAVE LEARNED (well, a partial list, anyway):

  • Life is a series of pictures. Put together, they become a movie.
  • The is a difference between being a “Picture Taker” and a “Photographer”
  • Photography is about capturing light
  • Set the ISO then your Aperture then your Shutter Speed
  • For handheld pictures, the shutter speed should be the same or faster than the focal distance
  • If all the technical stuff of taking photographs is beginning to overwhelm and frustrate you, revert to the automatic settings of the camera so you can regain the enjoyment of your camera…it should always be fun.
  • There is a picture to be taken everywhere.
  • A white index card taped to the back of your external flash is an excellent diffuser to soften the flash while directing the light forward to your subject.
  • There is always something new to learn.
  • My bucket list for photographs to take:
    • Forced Perspective
    • Self-Protrait
    • Painting with Light

December 31, 2010 – The End The Beginning

Posted in Snapshot365 with tags , , , , , on December 31, 2010 by AZSalsman

December 31, 2010
This is it. The last day of my snapshot365 project. Day 365! I could have chosen many other options for my final day but I chose THIS one for a very specific reason. If you don’t know why that is, check out the photo that began it all: January 1, 2010. I have come full circle with a journey in between that took me 1/2-way around the world.

And so it ends….well, almost. I am working, right now, on some final thoughts from this years photo excursion that I will post either late tonight or first thing in the morning. I invite you to come back to share in what I feel I have learned.

But this is also the beginning – only I don’t know where this one will end. Thanks for sticking this out with me.

Sony DSLR-A100 | f5.6 | 1/250 | ISO100

December 30, 2010 – Angles

Posted in Snapshot365 with tags , , , on December 30, 2010 by AZSalsman

December 30, 2010I was intrigued by all the angles as I looked skyward at the mall today.

Sony DSLR-A100 | f5.6 | 1/400 | ISO100

December 29, 2010 – One Final Drawing

Posted in Snapshot365 with tags , , , on December 29, 2010 by AZSalsman

December 29, 2010With only two more days following today in my 365 photo journey, I thought I would submit one final artistic drawing.  I did not get a chance to try a photo style I remembered I wanted to try due to a cold and rainy day.  Perhaps tomorrow.  So, I sought hard and wide for an artist diligent in his creative endeavors…catch him in the act as it were.

Sony DSLR-A100 | f5.6 | 1/125 | ISO100

December 28, 2010 – the Hanging Nativity

Posted in Snapshot365 with tags , , , , on December 28, 2010 by AZSalsman

December 28, 2010My newest wood turning project is finally completed.

Sony DSLR-A100 | f6.3 | 0.4 | ISO100

December 27, 2010 – A Moment with jesus

Posted in Snapshot365 with tags , , , , on December 27, 2010 by AZSalsman

December 27, 2010

December 26, 2010 – Smokin’ Ribs

Posted in Snapshot365 with tags , , , on December 26, 2010 by AZSalsman

December 26, 2010I tried doing some more “Smoke Photography”. I wanted to play around with some lighting but most of what I tried had little to no effect on the outcome. The flash out powers everything else. I tried holding a red poster board opposite the flash with the hopes that there would be reflected red light. That did not really have any effect. I think that the “magic” is the light shining THROUGH the smoke and not reflecting back. I tried putting a red snoot around the flash (as opposed to the black one I was using which guides the light to where I want it and avoid stray light onto the black background or or into the camera) and it had a LITTLE effect that you can see slightly in the image. I even tried bouncing the flash light directly onto the poster board hoping I could light the smoke with the reflected light only but that was not bright enough.

Anyway, of all the pictures I ended up taking, I chose this one because I was fascinated that the smoke created an almost solid form that reminded me of ribs. You can make it to be whatever you wish, but for me, it suggested the form of a torso or the form of a knight’s armor.

Whatever you chose, no two are ever alike…nor will they be.


After posting this entry, I had another look at this and began to see a vague image of Santa. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm…….

December 25, 2010 – Merry Christmas

Posted in Snapshot365 with tags , , , on December 25, 2010 by AZSalsman

December 25, 2010

Sony DSLR-A100 | f5.6 | 1/80 | ISO100

December 24, 2010 – Merry Christmas Eve…er….Happy Birthday

Posted in Snapshot365 with tags , , , , , , on December 24, 2010 by AZSalsman

December 24, 2010I bet that you thought that this day’s picture would have to do with Christmas.  It is, in fact, the eve of the birth of Jesus.  However, in keeping with festivities of the season, today is the celebration of the birth of my wife, Carol.  Lunch outside at The Farm at South Mountain on a gorgeous “winter” afternoon under blue skies and the barren pecan trees made a lovely little gala.  Happy birthday, Carol!

Please note that there are plenty of fine carols to be sung this time of year but none so great as my Christmas Carol (hee hee)

December 23, 2010 – Spotted By the Paparazzi

Posted in Snapshot365 with tags , , , on December 23, 2010 by AZSalsman

December 23, 2010

I was late in the evening on a cool December winter.  It was quiet in the air while the stars shone bright and the residents snug in their beds.  I was ready to pack it in for the day and snuggle up with my wife under the warm comforter that has made it a habit of protecting us from the frigid air when suddenly I saw him, the jolly old man all dressed in red. Suddenly, I grabbed my camera, aimed the lens and was just about the snap the shot when I sensed I was discover by the friendliness we only associate with Santa Claus.  I took the picture anyway.

Certainly that while this was an unofficial assignment, I will, in the interest of the magic of Christmas, keep this sighting of Santa’s Christmas Eve test run a secret and trust you will too.