365 project – a photo a day

I have always watched with interest people starting and some finishing a photo a day challenge. I decided I’d do it once I got my new phone with web capabilities and I finally got it one week ago. It’s been eight days and I haven’t forgotten to take a photo per day yet.

Below are days 1-7. You can follow my progress on Flickr. So far all the photos I’ve taken have been with the iPhone using the Hipstamatic app. My only beef with the Hipstamatic app is that what you see isn’t what you get with the framing of the picture so it can be a bit hit and miss.

Writing - Day 1/365

I’d just installed the app while JJ was writing a story. He’s right into writing at the moment. He even wrote something the other day and let me correct his spelling and re-wrote it. His spelling needs some work.

Walking the dog - Day 2/365

This was taken on our morning walk and it’s at our local oval usually used for sport, but you’re still allowed to let your dog off the lead here so long as organised sport isn’t being played and so long as you pick up its poo and keep it under control. My dog is deaf now so if she wanders off and I call her she can’t hear me. I have to get in front of her face and wave my arms to get her attention these days.

On way to seminar #workwed Day 3/365

This was taken on my way to a seminar on North Terrace in Adelaide. I’ve taken a similar photo using my DSLR.

Daily walk - Day 4/365

I obviously didn’t take this one. This is on our morning walk yet again.

Work Xmas dinner. Day 5/365

We had our work christmas dinner the other night so I took a few using the Hipstamatic app (this is one) and some without. The iPhone 4 camera works pretty well – I like it.

Selling the camper trailer. Day 6/365

This is The Surfer near his camper trailer that he sold the other day. We showed the people who ended up buying it how to put up the tent part. I’ve only done that twice now and really can’t remember that well what to do so I pretended I knew what I was doing while trying to make it look really easy. The people who bought it seemed really nice so I hope they enjoy it. The Surfer has bought a camper van to use instead of this which is why he sold it.

Waiting for fish and chips. Day 7/365

I ended up choosing this one for day 7 because JJ looks so so happy here. He’d been quite annoying this day after a really good day on Saturday… He was probably really happy because he was going to have his favourite fish and chips for dinner. We’d just been to pick up my sister from the airport.

And that’s my first week of daily photos. I’ll do an outtakes version  I reckon because there’s some other good photos that I didn’t choose for the daily photo. I couldn’t say what my criteria are really, but it’s partly a document of my day-to-day life I guess.

Have you done a photo a day project or point to people you know of who have?

Afternoon at the beach

West beach

Just to get out of the house yesterday we went to the beach. This served three purposes in addition to getting out of the house:

  1. Exercise the kid
  2. Exercise the dog
  3. Take some photos

Jules at beach

Apart from calling my dog Monty (as is her name) I also call her Lady Monty. Note the crossed paws at the front. She is wet but not because she swam with us but because she’d go into the water to follow us then the slightest wave would break and she would be off to go and roll in the sand.

Monty resting at beach

While I’ve got some time to take photos and then blog about them my 2010 affirmation of taking more photos is absolutely fine. The proof in the pudding will be when I go back to work and the daily routine starts up again.

Why RAW is good sometimes

I bought a new camera a few months ago and it’s the first camera I’ve had that shoots in RAW format. I usually use the JPG files but occasionally I need to modify the RAW file – usually because of over exposed photos.

Because my photography is a hobby and I don’t do that much with the photos except for putting them on the web and occasionally printing them out I don’t keep all the RAW photos I take. The reason for this is that they take up a heck of a lot of disk space and I’m not equipped for that so JPGs suit me just fine.

Even when I do edit the RAW photo I keep the resulting JPG file, not the RAW file.

I wanted to share a couple of examples of how I salvaged a couple of photos from the RAW file.

The first photo here is the original and the one underneath is the result after editing it. I flipped it and I also tidied up that brown smudge on my wrist using some Photoshop wizadry. Goodness knows where the smudge came from – I’m sure it was JJ’s fault.


I wanted to keep the photo below of JJ and took it while praying he wouldn’t come off because sliding on the gravel would have been quite painful.


Riding down a hill

I probably over compensated a bit with the colours and saturation here but it certainly works a lot better than the washed out version above.

The only software I have to edit RAW files is what comes with Photoshop CS3 but that seems to do me okay. Lightroom would be the ideal I understand but I can’t justify it at present.

Just in case you don’t know what the heck RAW is, here’s RAW phto file format explained.

This video from Blurbomat shows how to adjust RAW photos using Lightroom.

What do you shoot in?

Shaky hands

I’m getting THIS close to buying myself a DSLR camera. I’m still loving using my sister’s Canon 350D and am 99% certain I’ll get the Canon 450D. I went and tried one out today and got a price for it. I’m sleeping on it! Update: I slept on it last night and I bought it – the Canon 450D twin lens kit, camera bag, extended warranty, another SD card. Am charging the battery as I type.

Anyway, yesterday morning, the birds were making lots of noise in a tree I’ve got out the back so I dashed inside, put the zoom lens on my sister’s camera and went outside to take photos.

Honey eater

Even though it’s blurry I love this photo. The zoom lens I was using doesn’t have an inbuilt image stabiliser and when (not if) when I get my camera I’ll be getting a lens with an image stabiliser function. Now I know when looking at camera websites what IS means

Six by six

I’ve been tagged to do a 6 x 6 meme by Shai Coggins. You need to:

1. Find your 6th photo folder (hard drive or online)
2. Find the 6th photo in that folder.
3. Share the photo on your blog and give the details of the photo.
4. Tag 5 folks to do the same.

So using Flickr I went six sets back from the beginning and counted six photos in from the beginning of that set. This was it.

It’s JJ at Christmas 2005 when he was four and he got a little piano with a microphone. For some reason I don’t mind noisy toys like this to a point. The point being that they’re used away from me after the noise becomes too grating.

The hands gotta move too!

So, the meme said to find your 6th photo folder and I didn’t know whether it was from the earliest or latest. Therefore I did both and it came up with yet another photo of JJ. What a coincidence, but then my Flickr account consists of a lot of photos of my boy. As I said to a colleague who was looking through my photos the other day it’s a document of his life, just like this blog.

Here he is at the beginning of this year after we’d been to the Martime Museum at Port Adelaide on the top of the nearby lighthouse.

Top of the lighthouse

Now I’m supposed to pass this onto five more people to do with what they will. So, Tiff, Trish, Jeanie, Kikolani and Cellobella, over to you.

Photos – old and new

My grandfather used to be a professional photographer. Unfortunately he was considerably older than his wife, my Nana and died when I was only about three. I would have liked to learn some things from him.

I was digging through his collection recently and came across some photos which I thought I’d share with you.

This is some of the beautiful South Australian coastline.

Some old sheds

Two girls sitting on the beach. Not sure who they are.

Do you know what? I’m no good at fibbing. I have to tell the truth. My grandfather did not take the above photos. I did, and used a Photoshop action to age them. I didn’t lie about him being a professional photographer though.

I got the actions from Smashing Magazine -The ultimate collection of useful Photoshop actions and the action I used was the Hand colored vintage photo by Jenny.

Below are the original photos.

Guess the animal

And these two girls are my sister and myself.

I can’t wait to try out some of the other actions,  but I love the vintage one I’ve used here. It’s so thorough.

Whereupon I discover manual focus

During our Perth holiday my camera went with us and I took a few snaps – as you may have realised. One day we visited King’s Park and I took some photos of flowers. I love getting in close and taking photos of flowers but have always had trouble focusing on exactly what I want.

In a moment of inspiration I moved the focus setting from auto to manual and it made the world of difference.

I think this Kangaroo Paw shows some of my results perfectly and I’m really pleased with the way it turned out.

Kangaroo Paw

I used to use manual focus a bit back when I used a film SLR but I’d gotten so lazy with auto focus that I completely forgotten that my camera does have a manual focus setting. I’ll now be using manual focus a lot more. I can’t believe it took this long for some common sense to sink in.

Of course, sometimes there’s no time to line up the shot so auto focus is perfect, but for still life, manual focus is the go. If you can bear it, there’s some more photos below that I managed to take inbetween rain showers.