Thursday, December 30, 2010

Week 52 - Framed Capitol

Week 52 - Framed Capitol
Originally uploaded by OhCaptain1
Yep. I totally sucked at a 52 week challenge but I figured since I posted the first week, I should post the last. Not sure if I'm going to give myself a challenge in 2011 or not. We'll see. If I start anything, it would be this Sunday. Thursday are a tough day for a deadline.

I took this photo on Tuesday at the Minnesota Historical Museum. What a beautiful place. I was here a few years ago for a Rocky Mountain School of Photography weekend. This time, we were back with the kids. My wife really wanted to see the Chocolate Exhibit. It was fascinating.

Happy new year!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Week 33 - On Top of the World

A few weeks off. Summers been brutal around here. High's in the 90's and humidity that can melt paint. Everything feels wet.

Last weekend, I took some time away from home to spend with good friends and poker bloggers in downtown Minneapolis. I brought my camera with, cuz, well, that's what I do. We went to a Twins game and spent a great deal of time making sure we tried every beer available.

Not sure why, but this was favorite shot. Catching Drizz hamming it up with some of the guys lounging in the background, all of us, enjoying the rooftop. A wonderful summer night.

On top of the world

This is the first runner-up in the 52 week challenge. While contemplating the just how good Surly beer was, we played beanbag toss on the roof. I just love this view. Minneapolis is such a beautiful city.

Not sure how, but this and the photo of Drizz were both hand held at low light. Pretty sharp, I think I got lucky.

The hand light, the black roof, and the bright lights of the big city just make for an interesting view. A tripod and a trigger release might be handy. Anyone have a favorite compact travel tripod?

This last one I did with my bendy tripod. It's pretty little and it was hard to use on the roof. I really do need to get a trigger release. I try the timer approach but it takes forever to get shots set up. This is more of a close-up of the downtown. What a great view.

You can check out the rest of this set at my Flickr site. Night shots, day shots, but when ever it was, it really was a fun weekend. Enjoy what's left of summer!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Week 30 - Plummer House

I suck. I got these pictures already to go Thursday night and fell asleep getting this post up. Herein lies the rewrite of the ramblings of a sleeping man that were here before and just never quite got published. Pushing that button labeled "Publish Post" is incredibly difficult when you are snoring.

So, I missed a few weeks. It's been damn hot here and my camera has been neatly tucked away in my office. The camera on my phone has also been surprisingly quiet. Might have something to do with just being busy. Summer. Who knew.

This first picture was taken at the Plummer House here in Rochester Minnesota. I've shot here before. If you go through my archives, you should find quite a few. The Plummer House is now owned by the city and is open to anyone who wants to wonder around a shoot. Why even  the day these were taken, a girl was getting her senior pictures done.

I loved the lines in this hallway. I've tried shooting it before and just never really liked the results. A harsher midday sun seemed to give me a better shadows from the pillars. I squatted just a little as well trying to give just the right perspective. And don't...what do you think?

These next two were the runners up.
This second one, is just a fun shot of the other side of the hallway pictured above. The lighting here is strange and hard for me to balance. It's clear, bright summer's day, but there's also plenty of trees making shade.

These grounds are well kept. I think coming out here during the magic hours would make for some awesome colors.

We happened to venture here because my good friend Kat and her husband were visiting from Toronto. Rochester is a strange place. It's not a huge town and it's not particularly old, but it has some fun history to explore, with the Mayo Clinic being founded here and everything. Dr. Plummer built this magnificent place many years ago. He was one of the first doctors hired whose last name was not Mayo.

The last photo is of a tower on the grounds. It's attached above ground to the main house, and I'm not sure there's a tunnel to it, I suppose I could check into that. I've always kinda struggled shooting this up close. It's kinda big. I think this angle was kinda cool. You are somewhat controlled by the area around as to what you can do. There are several large trees near it and a rather steep drop off. Gravity can kill. Remember that.

Whew. Week 30. In the bag. Time to see if I'll get anything shot before Thursday this week. You never know. Check back and if you want to see the rest of my public stuff and more from the 52 Week Challenge, Go check out my Flickr site.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Week 27

Week 27
Originally uploaded by OhCaptain1
Not much to say about this shot. I shot it with my iPhone 4. I really like the camera on here. It's still challenge me to learn how to get the most out of it. I don't think I got this exposure right, the sky seems so washed out, but I think I would have lost the tree had it not been. Thus could be the nature of a camera the size of my pupil.

Click through the picture and explore my flickr site. It's easy for me to upload from my phone, so hopefully more shots will be appearing there on a regular basis.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Week 25 - Barn Bluff

Week 25 - Barn Bluff
Originally uploaded by OhCaptain1
I missed a few weeks. It happens.

This past Fathers Day, I talked the family into joining me on a hike of Barn Bluff in Red Wing, MN. I hadn't done this hike since high school. The single best view of the Red Wing river valley there is.

If you click through to Flickr, you'll see the most of the series. This was my favorite. I'm still going through all the shots. I took close to 300 in 2 hours. Many of the are family shots.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Week 21 - Illusion

Week 21, 4 weeks in a row! W00T! W00T! You've probably seen something like this before. I know I have, but part of doing something like this challenge is just posting what you have. I took about 400 pictures in the last week. Some at a wedding reception, some more at the Science Museum of Minnesota and even more at my nieces birthday party. Most of the involve people that I really should ask permission before posting their picture on the Internet. Sigh.

I don't need permission to post this one. This was taken at the Perception presentation at the Minnesota Science Museum. It's the classic, do you see a face or a vase demonstration. I was pretty excited it turned out as well as it did. The lighting in that room is changing constantly and I had never seen it before to know how the timing went.

If I get permission from my sister-in-law, I'd like to post some pictures of my niece eating her birthday cake from 2nd birthday incredibly cute and a bit funny. As of right now, she's not called me back. Bummer.

So, do you see a face or a vase?


Just got permission to post my second favorite picture of the week! This little lady was working pretty hard on the birthday cake and ice cream. I just love her expression!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Week 20 - Bloom and Balloons

Been a pretty busy week again, last weekend, we had a garage sale. I'm so glad those only happen bi-annually.

Here was my choice for my picture of the week for the 52 week challenge. Not one of my favorite pics but I like the composition and the depth of field. It's really got me thinking about getting a better macro lens. I've really been craving better glass lately. Must be the midlife crisis.

Runner up is this guy. It's a shot of a balloon landing behind the houses across the street. Neat trick if you can pull it off. The did, thankfully. We've had tons of near misses lately with the balloons. Our neighborhood is often in their flight path but lately, their landings have been pretty much in the subdivision. Well done boys :)

This next one is of a similar shrub/bush/flowering thing from our front yard. This one is a lot more filled out in the bloom category. I just couldn't find a composition I liked. Again, this had me longing for different glass. Excuses, I know.

And finally, a shrub. Keeping with the attempts at macro and not really finding what I was looking for. At least, it was green :-/

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Week 19 - Target Field Panorama

Week 19 - Target Field Panorama
Here it is, week 19. Sorry I missed last week. I had a pretty good feeling nothing was gonna happen last week. My wife was at a conference in San Antonio, Texas, so I played the part of a single father of two daughters for 5 of the 7 days in the week. I had the camera out for some family fun but by Thursday, I was wiped.

This weekend, on Mother's Day, my wife really wanted to go see the Minnesota Twins play at Target Field for the first time. I gotta tell ya, this park is amazing! For my picture of the week, you should also notice that I'm venturing out of the "as shot" mode and into something different. This is actual a panorama I created in Photoshop Elements out of 8 separate stills. I'd never really done this before so I'm pretty sure there is room for improvement.

Target field proved to be really challenging to shoot during a day game. I should have figured this since midday sun suck big time. I really can't wait to shoot this field closer to evening and even at night. During the day, the colors just seemed so muted from the blasting of the midday sun.

If you click the top picture, it should take you to the Flickr set from the day. If not, try this link. If you don't see much, that means I need to let you in. There are pictures of my wife and kids. My oldest is getting touchy about me posting pictures all over the Internet of her. She going to be in middle school in the fall. Girls...

IMG_2552This is my runner up for the week. I'm not sure this small size is really showing much of why I like this photo. If you click it, hopefully you can see what I like. The little boy is clearly enjoying the game standing on mom's lap. It's great to see the Twins fans starting this young.

It's the mood and the story I like so much. I think I got that.

We had a blast at the game. I took a ton of reference shots and plan on taking notes to the game with me the next time I go. I'm pretty sure that shooting later in the afternoon, evening and at night will produce more shots I just love. Even though it was in the 50's for temps, midday sun is just a tough thing to shoot. If you have any ideas for me, let me know. In most of these shots I was shooting with a circular polarizer. Although, to this day, I have no idea how to get anything more out of a circular polarizer I can't get out of a standard polarizer. Another one of life's mysteries.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Week 17 - The Brothers Mayo

The spring blooms on the Mayo Clinic campus have been at or near peak for a couple of weeks. Until you see it for yourself, it's hard to describe.

This past week, my wife told me I need to go downtown and photograph the beautiful flowers in front of the Gonda building. The sun was shining bright, the flowers were in full bloom, it was a sight to see. Thankfully, it was windy too. I tried shooting the flowers but the kept moving. Statues. Statues don't move in the wind.

This first picture is my submission for the 52 week challenge. The two gentlemen you see are the brothers William and Charles Mayo, M.D. They are the founders of the Mayo Clinic.Two very inspiring men.

My first runner up was this shot. I just loved the reflections in the windows above them. The deep blue of the sky. It would be nice though if I could get this shot without someone driving through.

This is just a closer shot. In terms of composition, this is one of my least favorites.

I was enjoying the challenge of getting the background. This was the angle I was trying before the top one. I just wasn't able to get the words placed just right without including way too much road.

The Mayo Clinic was created in cooperation between the Sisters of St. Francis and the Mayo brothers. This statue is in the park with the brothers Mayo. I had fun composing this one although several of the people I asked to help me narrow down the shots thought that the sister looked like was posing in an unpleasant manner. Actually, this was probably close to my second favorite shot. The interplay of the lines was really fun.

Lastly, some flowers. They were the reason I was in this park. My biggest problem with shooting them was it was just to dang windy. Every time I was close to composing my shot, the wind would blow something unexpected into the view. My buddy Mark thought this should be the one. To me, the pink flower was just too distracting.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out my other photos from this years 52 week challenge at my Flickr site!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Week 16 - Around the grounds of St. Marys

How about a big round of applause?

Go Me!

I guess, in the grand scheme of the universe, there are probably much greater accomplishments, but I'll take what I can get. I have no idea how Jim Brandenburg did Chased By The Light: A 90-Day Journey. (You really should look into Jim Brandenburg, very inspiring)

This is the shot I choose for week 16. Today was the only day I had a camera in my hand that didn't have iPhone on the back. I suppose I could use that one of these weeks as a challenge, but really, I'm holding out for the next iPhone to get into that.

I found this view walking into work this morning. It's actually very close to Week 1's "Caution Icy" sign. As you can probably guess, I really liked the lines. I thought the dancing light, shadows and steam made for an interesting composition.

Not sure about this shot. I've been fascinated by this retaining wall near the chapel. I love the lines, but I just can't figure out to make it more interesting. Ideas?

This is the Chapel at St. Mary's. This old building has so many interesting shots that need exploring. I've shot here before.
This power plant needs more time. Here's another angle. It's attached to the building on top of this post. So many lines. So little time. Getting here during dawn and dusk might just be worth it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Week 15 - Cheers! & Underwater World

It's week 15 of 2010. I really had high hopes for this week. I was heading to the Mall of America with the family for a wedding reception. Plenty of opportunities for shooting photos.

Well, I made a huge rookie mistake. Ugh. So frustrating.

My last outing, I had put the circular polarizer on the 17-85 lens I use as my walking around lens. You guessed it, I forgot all about and struggled with exposures all night. Most of the night, I just convinced myself that it the rooms were deceptively dark. No biggie, I'd just compensate.

Well, these are the shots that weren't completely noisy or so full of motion blur as to be unpalatable.

This photo was my runner-up. I really liked the lighting, I just really wish I hadn't shot it on ISO HI. Damn circular polarizer.

The tunnels under the take are just cool.

Sharks rock.

The beauty of walking inside the fish tank. You really need to see it to experience it.

As usual, if you want to see more pictures, check out my flickr site!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Week 14 - Hi!

I took a lot of photos of the kids in the last week, again. My 10 year old is getting really skiddish about having her pictures on the Internet, in fact, she continually asks me not to share them.

In some ways, this photo was her idea. All the kids were climbing this tree in my parents yard. Man, I remember when this tree was just a little twig. Crap. That means I'm getting old.

I plan on bringing my camera to work with me for the next few weeks at least a couple of days a week. The campus of the hospital I work at is just breath taking this time of year. It's spring and the blooms are plentiful!

Happy Easter! Happy Spring!

By the way, before I forget to remind you, I've been playing around a little bit with Flickr. Some cool stuff there. You can find me there at - be sure to say hi and look around!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Week 13 - Buffalo

Wow, week 13 already? Seems like I just missed a week :)

We've been hitting life pretty hard in this house. Not anything bad, we've just been busy like beavers getting ready for summer, and smelling the roses along the way. Unfortunately, most of my photos have been less about photography and more about scrapbooking. I'm sure things will turn around soon.

This picture was from last weekend. I took the kids out to Oxbow park to watch them make maple syrup. That was so fascinating I totally zoned out on taking photos when I should have. That program was just fascinating.

Of all the pics I took, this one seemed to be the least over exposed. I have no idea how I did it, but I totally over exposed most of the shots of the animals and the kids. D'oh!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Week 11 - Bon Appetit!

Yeah! 2 weeks in a row!

This top picture was my choice for our 52 week challenge. This past Sunday, my wife hosted a baby shower at our house. The spread was fantastic. You'd think men had organized this by the shear volume of food people brought.

My wife his this really cool set of Ratatouille spreaders. Picking the background was pretty easy. FOOD!

Even better this weekend, I got a new computer! um, but old habits die hard. Both shots for this week are as shot. The lighting was what I found lying around,'s the stuff coming through the windows.

The party was a lot of fun, or so they tell me. I spent most of the time playing on the new computer. I'm hoping to get some time in trying out this digital editing thing.

The second picture, or as some would say, the runner-up/bridesmaid, was the cupcake spread. How cute is this? The whole spread was much bigger then this, but you can't beat a cute baby, can you?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Week 10 - In Goal

This weeks addition to the 52 week challenge came from OhCountess and I taking in a Minnesota Wild game at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. We had just awesome seats but I found the angle to the ice, while great for just watching the game, existed in some kind of strange, weird, sucky vortex where I just couldn't find the shot.

Oh well. It's still early in the year...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Week 8 - Catching a smile on a rough day

It's been quite a week. Not much time to just concentrate on my photography or especially this 52 week challenge.

Today I grabbed my wife's point & shoot and tried it at work. I had some idea of things to try and even shot a few of them, but I got this one on a whim. Isn't that where we get some of our best?

I caught his smile coming through on a really rough day at work. We were on our way to the pool at the Healthy Living Center to get in our afternoon workout.

Here's my runner-up for the week. I put the camera into macro mode and shot my little brain and stress dude. For the background, I moved my collection of pop tops into view. No idea why. I'm really just glad I did something this week. This is way tougher then I thought it would be!

The Cross

I was working on some other blog posting stuff tonight for a couple of my other blogs when I came across this photo.

I shot it at my wife's childhood church, happens to also be the church we were married in, but on this day, we were there for a baptism. Hi Greg! Hi Kris!

There was something about this whole frame that caught my eye. I was supposed to be shooting the family, but with all the flashes from the other cameras, my eye caught this lovely collection of lines, perspective and depth.

This is as shot. I took it into Photoshop thinking I might want to fix the color and lighting but as it turns out, I really just liked it as is. Heck, I didn't even crop it.

Tomorrow is Friday, I'm bringing the point and shoot to work and I'll hopefully find a shot for the 52 week challenge. We could only hope.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Week 7 - Plummer House

Crap. I was really hoping to keep this from becoming the 26 week challenge but alas, I missed week 6. This past Saturday, I really didn't want to miss another week so with the wife off at work, I bundled the kids up and we went to one of my favorite local spots: Plummer House.

This is the same spot where I took the wedding party pictures at the bottom of this search. This place is just amazing in the warmer months but I'd never been here in the winter.

This top picture, is my submission for the 52 week challenge. I felt this was my best composition. I love the line, the color and the textures.

This second photo is was my second choice. I have a really hard time picking between some of my photos. It's like choosing between my kids. How do you do it?

And choosing between my kids...well here they are. I couldn't resist just shooting some with the kids in the frame. They like to ham it up once and while although my oldest daughter is getting sick of being on the Internet. Shh...don't tell her :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Week 5 - Lunar Apogee

The hardest part of these photo challenges is just doing them. If it was only a matter of shooting and posting everyweek, I would - forget it, I'd probably miss a few of those too.

Having now missed 2 weeks worth of a 52 week challenge, I submit to you week 5. I'm beginning to think that my biggest problem with doing these is worrying whether or not I'm posting my best possible picture.

This is a shot from the lunar apogee night a few nights ago. I had never tried shooting the moon before. Getting the exposure just right is tough thing to do. I doubt I get it right this time but what I did chose to do was include the cloudy sky for texture.

Anyone got a point and shoot they just love? In my research into these challenges, they always recommend just carrying a camera with you. I have a 1st Gen iPhone, I've used it but without autofocus it's a bit lacking. I'm thinking about getting a little camera just have with me at all times.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Week 3 of the 52 week challenge - Brrr...

Yep, I missed last week. I procrastinated. I hemmed, I hawed and on the last night, I basically just fell asleep. This will hopefully be the last week I miss.

This week is probably not my best work. There were so many opportunities to get great shots of hoarfrost. It was everywhere and VERY thick. Good thing my iPhone camera white balance is putrid and I just couldn't bring myself to carry my good camera to work. Mostly just excuses. I suck.

Here's the snowman from our front yard complete with a 5 o'clock shadow of frost.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ya! The Neon Graveyard continues

With the letters of long since retired signs laying everywhere, it was fun to find them sitting in a way to say a message. Some of them were obviously planned, others were well, ya!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Week 1 of the 52 week challenge - Caution Icy

And it begins. This is week 1 of our 52 week challenge. I have until midnight Thursday every week to submit the photo the group on Flickr. I'm not sure the other guys want me to share a link to that.

This shot actually took a trip through Photoshop. I know I rarely do it, but my back was against the wall. We see this view every day when I walk to work from this abysmal parking location. In PS, I made everything black and white except the face of the sign. Nothing really fancy but I prefer my winter shots black and white. It was also take with my wife's point and shoot. It's just too much to drag my kit to work with me. Maybe with an idea in mind it wouldn't be too bad, but when I'm clueless about what might shot might be...nah.

I'm not sure what I think of this shot. It's similar to one I did with my iPhone a few weeks back, only sharper and better perspective. I just don't know, what do you think? Major suckage? Last minute miracle? Let's discuss this....the forum is open!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Words and lines

All over the neon graveyard are words and images. There's so many possibilities for finding letters, phrases and meaningful words. Dollars just seems so fitting for Las Vegas.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Yellow Bulbs

There were so many cool textures and patterns at this place. most of which were too good to pass up. I found these bulbs just as you see them. I was afraid of losing my group. We were warned that if we fall too far behind, we'd be asked to leave. I didn't want that to happen so I only got to shoot this once. I would have loved to explore more angles and different focal lengths. Maybe next time.