Ben's Photo Blog

Photos from my various adventures

Posts Tagged ‘focus’

Balancing

Posted by Ben on February 28, 2012

I haven’t completely forgotten about the blog. It’s just taken a back seat for the past couple of days. I’ve been fairly loaded down with things from school: homework, readings, writing (and grading) a midterm for my precalculus class, and studying for my own exams.  I’ve also been pretty busy outside of school, dancing most nights of the week, either at lessons during the week or socially on the weekends. I’m still, as I always seem to be, struggling to find that perfect balance between work and play, school and hobbies, being serious and actually enjoying myself.

I count myself lucky that I’ve got several good friends here that always seem to be there to pick me up when I’m feeling a little down. I am feeling a little stir-crazy though. I think I’ve only left Eugene twice since getting back in January, once hiking at Kentucky falls the day after I got back, and then the trip to Odell Lake a few weekends ago. I’d love to get back out exploring the area, or even just driving through the mountains again, but I’ve either got too much to do over the weekend or the weather is being uncooperative (something I guess I should get used to this time of year here). Maybe it’s a good thing, and keeping me focused on getting things done, but sometimes I just feel full of restless energy telling me to get out and go somewhere.  At least there are only three and a half (admittedly difficult) weeks until spring break. Hopefully that week off will give me a chance to act on some of these restless impulses without too many pressures hanging over my head.  And, if not, then there’s always the summer I guess, though that seems like an eternity away.

Anyway, that’s enough of me rambling about my life for one post (I do feel a little better having written something a little more substantial than usual).  Here’s a picture from this past summer that fits with the theme of the rest of the post:

This was taken up in Acadia, at the end of the Wonderland trail where it opened up onto the beach. There were a number of rock piles like this one dotting the beach (which was a lot more rocky than I was used to seeing along the East coast). I remember trying to position myself so that the angle of the rocks matched that of the shore in the background, but this was the closest I was able to get. Anyway, I thought it was a neat shot. You can see the different colors that appear in the different rocks. I’m also glad I got a little bit of the (much) larger rock that this pile was sitting on in the foreground of the shot to give it a little additional depth.

-Ben

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View from Above

Posted by Ben on February 18, 2012

One photographic “trick” that’s always sort of fascinated me was Miniature Faking (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miniature_faking). Using either special lenses or postprocessing, you can simulate the effect of looking at a miniature version of the scene you are photographing.  Unfortunately, one of the things that is usually required to generate this effect is to be looking down on your scene from above, as if you were standing above a model of the scene.  I’ve found that very few of the things that I generally photograph lend themselves to this kind of angle.  There have been a few shots that I’ve taken that work pretty well though.  Below is an example of one of them. First is the “before” or original photo that I took. Second is the product of some selective blurring and increased saturation in photoshop, not too difficult of a process surprisingly

So, maybe not the best example of this effect, but I still think it came out alright.

-Ben

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Mountaintop Blossom

Posted by Ben on November 5, 2011

I haven’t had as much time for photography recently as I might like, so here’s another older shot.  This one comes from my adventures this past summer.  This photo was taken on the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park in Maine.

Kind of an interesting division in both color and focus in the photo between the plant itself taking up most of the left side of the shot and the blurry background to the right.  I also like the water droplets on the flower petals.  They are probably left over from the extremely dense fog that was covering the mountain that morning.

Things are still busy here.  Lots of work to do, but I’m still making time to do fun things when I can. Last night, especially, was a lot of fun.  I ended up going out to dinner in downtown Eugene before going out to salsa and had a great time.  Good food, good music, good dancing, and good company 🙂

-Ben

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A Splash of Color

Posted by Ben on October 20, 2011

Tomorrow’s a big day for me here.  I’m both taking and giving my first exam at U of O.  It seems backwards, but I feel more worried about the test I’m giving in my precalculus class than the one I’m taking in abstract algebra.  I’ve put a lot of work into it over the past few days, trying to write questions that are both fair and challenging, and having to balance covering all of the material with writing something that most students will be able to finish in about 50 minutes.  Anyway, I thought I’d take a break from worrying about those and put a few more pictures up.

These are both from a hike near Sahalie Falls a few weekends ago.  One of the strangest things about driving through the mountains here as opposed to those that I’m used to on the east coast is that a lot of the trees here don’t change colors, or if they do, it’s not as spectacular.  It’s not to say that there aren’t some that do, you just have to hunt a little harder for them.

I really liked the red color in contrast to the green of the surrounding trees and the white of the falls behind.  I also really liked the narrower depth of field in this shot.

Again, I really liked this one for the sharp color contrasts between the red, green, and blue.

Well, back to work now.  Hopefully I’ll have time to go adventuring again this weekend and get some new pictures 🙂

-Ben

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Focusing

Posted by Ben on October 18, 2011

 

I need a little break from doing math tonight, so here’s a pair of pictures I snapped this past weekend.

This is an effect that I enjoy playing with in my photos, and it’s pretty interesting to see these two shots together.  They’re not quite the same positioning and zoom, which would have made it better, but I took several shots between them and then had the idea to do the second.

Even after a good amount of thought, I’m not sure which one I like better.  I really like the way that the water turned out in the top shot, but I like the softer focus on the trees and leaves, and the rock in the middle of the bottom one.  I also really like the texture on the rock in the very foreground in the bottom shot.

Either way, I’m glad I pulled off into the little parking lot on the side of the highway, even though it was pretty sketchy looking.  I had to walk about a quarter mile alongside the highway (but behind a guardrail) to get to the trail leading down to the stream and falls, but I did have the place to myself, and no one was there to see me climbing out to the rocks in the middle of the stream to get these shots (which in hindsight may not have been the best idea).

No real deep thoughts to go with this one, back to work now…

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