Saturday, September 11, 2010

9 Years Ago Today

Canon 30D
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
Shutter Speed 2.5 Seconds
Aperture f/16.0
ISO 640
Manual Mode
Speed light

A very good friend of mine is a firefighter. It's his job to run into burning buildings and pull people out. He goes to the scenes of accidents before anyone else and dives right in doing his part to help. He even makes it a point to help people in need when he's not on duty. He does it for a living and yet I truly believe he lives to do it.

Today I've thought a lot about my friend and all the firefighters I've known. I have 2 cousins that are firefighters in Indianapolis. A very good friend of mine recently became a firefighter in South Dakota. My own brother is an aspiring firefighter. And while I was thinking about these guys something occurred to me that changed my feelings entirely. Society often elevates to immortal hero status those around us that do good and make us feel better. We also like to demonize the wrong doers and make them somehow less than human. It just makes it easier to love our heroes and hate our enemies. But the truth is that in both cases, hero or villain, they are just human, like you and I. They feel pain, happiness, loss, love, irritation, and elation. They have families with problems and skeletons in the closet, husbands and wives, children and dogs named Skippy. And precisely because they are so human, firefighters deserve our respect and admiration. Even though they stand to lose their families, feel immense pain, see unspeakable atrocities, and generally get involved with all the major turmoil the rest of humanity throws at each other, they choose to be there. They choose to be true first responders and run into buildings that have danger screaming from every wall. When the world makes no sense and chaos reigns they are there to start putting things right once more.

Nine years ago today, men flew passenger planes into The World Trade Center, The Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. These were men, human to the bone, performing an unbelievable act of terror. I will forever remember that day and so many of the details surrounding my setting. Where I was when I first heard and how I sat huddle next to a radio for most of the day. We all can tell similar tales. And we were glued to it because this was raw humanity at both it's darkest and finest hour. Those that chose to kill that day are not who I'm thinking about tonight. I'm thinking of those men and women that knew they were going to die and still chose to run into those places of absolute and unrelenting horror in the hopes that they could save 1 life. They were human, they were very mortal, they were heroes, and they still walk among us. And though 9/11 left a mark on my soul, I'm filled with faith and love of my fellow man knowing there are people like that out there, and I'm blessed enough to call several my friends.

This picture does not encompass what I'm feeling. I had hoped to try something a bit more profound and impactful. In the end, the simple image of a fire engine at night with lights blazing seems to reassure me that if I'm ever in need, they will be there for me, whatever time of day and no matter how dangerous. The same people that ran into The World Trade Center will come for me in my time of need. And that is humanity shining like a beacon.

I'll wrap it up by saying my friend that I mentioned initially is suffering tonight. Friday evening his father passed away after a lengthy struggle with cancer. It was a long hard battle and the family is emotionally drained. Please say some prayers and leave some words for him. He reads us everyday and it would mean a lot to hear some words of encouragement. After all, though he's a firefighter and a hero, he is very human, just like you and I.


Friday, September 10, 2010

In the Wild - Friday Faces with Jay'me

Brandi Hijack-
Sorry Jay'me. We inturrpt the regularly scheduled post to bring you a reminder that we are still searching for our first guest photographer.
go HERE and tell us how the truck photo links back to this photo
and these 2 photos. Since, I was the photographer I can tell you the connections aren't difficult. Don't look to far into it.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled post already in progress.

So, I went out to my great backyard again. It's Faces Friday and I have old overgrown farm equipment in the fence line.... Easy breezy lemon squeezy! Well, I'm not so photogenic and the chipmunks were camera shy. The mosquitoes however were very happy for a last super !
I don't have a tripod right now. So being a "get her done" kind of gal, I wrapped my camera strap around a branch and played girl running in the woods.... This was the best of many bury blobs! I wish my eye was in better focus. The tree is a wonderful old oak tree that has it's untrimmed natural shape with branches swooping down and almost touching the ground.

Cannon Rebel
f 7.5
ISO 400

Just too tie in with our over grown theme, here's another shot from just beyond our backyard. This old plow is a relic and it's covered in these juicy ripe berries in their prime. It does set your brain a wondering; How many season have these berries come and gone on this antique? Wonderful patina and shiny bright red... I love it and I hope you do too !

ISO 400

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I had a hard time trying to figure out what to follow Brandi's post with. We have several old vehicles laying about here on the farm, but nothing was really striking my interest. Then I spotted this old truck with all this ivy growing out of it, through it and over it and decided to go with it. The connection to Brandi's post is the old vehicle and grille. I'm hoping you all enjoyed guessing what connection Brandi's picture was to Scott's and Jay'me's, because I sure did. And I'm pretty sure I know what the connection is..... If you haven't guessed yet, make sure you swing on over to Brandi's post and make a guess. You could be our guest photographer and how cool would that be???

Later All!

Nikon D90
Aperture Priority Mode
Aperture F/3.8
Shutter Speed 1/60 sec.
ISO 200
Lens 18-70mm at 29mm
Natural Lighting

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Brandi Style

Wordless Wednesday Rules -
The poster must only post 1 photo and settings. No additional verbiage (other than rules) is allowed.

Commenters (that's you) must comment and guess how the photo associates with the previous (Tuesday) photo. In this instance because of the mishaps yesterday this photo ties into all three photos posted yesterday.
The winning guess gets to be the guest photographer for Sunday.

Our first guest photographer! Squeal!!!

No previous photography experience required. In fact, wanna-be's like us, are encouraged. The only criteria, you must be able to take a photo (any camera will do), email said photo, allow 3C1D to publish said photo and follow the rules -->
1 guess only per person. All rules strictly enforced with a paddle.

So without further adieu.

Ready, Set, Guess

Wordless Wednesday

Nikon d40
1/60 sec
ISO 200
natural light with reflector
manual setting, manual focus

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Must Keep Driving...

Cannon Rebel
f 7.1
no flash
ISO 400

I'm trying hard not to drop the ball.
I love your last few shots that were beautifully set up and executed. This weekend was nonstop driving for me. I snapped off a few shots here and there and in the end trying to fit a piece that goes with the last posts wasn't easy.
This shot represents the exact opposite of yours. I was doing 75-ish on the interstate when I took this. I wanted to stop but only had a few hours to get to where I was going. The sky was very interesting and dynamic.
Okay Scott, Tomorrow is Wednesday and you're on, I think with something as big as the sky, You're are options limitless. "The sky's the limit"

Summer Coming to an End

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro
Shutter Speed 1/4000
Aperture f/3.2
ISO 400
Mode Aperture Priority
Natural Light

This photo comes from Woodstock Square, the site of the movie Groundhog Day. It's a fantastic square that just screams "quaint Midwest town" and most of the sites are of the big variety: the Woodstock Opera House, the gazebo, the brick roads, you get the idea. And when I went to photograph the square, I thought I would walk away with a photo of something large. But while I was strolling through the square enjoying the sunshine, I was struck by these flowers. I noticed two things immediately. First, the bees LOVED them and were zooming around with glee. Second, what appeared to be a rather large bloom was actually many small blooms bunched together giving the illusion of a larger bloom. My wheels started turning and I thought about why this might be. Could it by evolution in action? Are bees more attracted to big blooms? I certainly don't know. Maybe it's for defense and the bigger blooms are meant to look like something else. Whatever the case, I promptly popped a squat, screwed on my macro lens and tried desperately to capture a bee. And because you didn't get a picture yesterday (sometimes, the holiday's get the better of you) you get 2 today! WooHoo!!! I'm not cheating, I'm catching you all up!

Here's the bees - I call it "Summer Lovin'!"

Canon 30D
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro
Shutter Speed 1/2000
Aperture f/16.0
ISO 400
Mode Aperture Priority
Natural Light

You'll notice in both cases I had an ISO setting of 400 and a very fast shutter speed. The idea behind that decision is my attempt at freezing the flight of the bees. Turns out 1/2000 isn't fast enough as you can see the bees antennae blurred in the above picture. Plus, catching a bee mid flight is devilishly difficult. I might as well come clean - I haven't done it. But that's not for lack of trying. I managed to get this shot only by slowly moving closer and closer. That and the fact that they were literally "getting busy" allowed me to get really close.

The other detail to notice is the difference in aperture. With the flowers, I wanted to isolate a focal plain and bring to the fore a few blooms with one really the crux of the picture. With the bees I wanted to maximize my chance at getting the bees in focus from head to tail. So with the flowers, I shot rather wide at f/3.2 to get the tight depth of field. With the bees I stopped down to f/16.0 to achieve a much deeper depth of field. Those of you that have read multiple posts know we all like to play with depth of field and I promise this won't be the last time we mention it.

My connection to Sere's post is simply the colors. There are great colors in her picture of the carnival (Brandi's too for that matter) and I wanted to really concentrate on colors for this post. Plus, in the case of the carnival I attended this weekend there were fireworks. These flowers sort of reminded me of fireworks. So here you go, the fireworks of nature, both on the color front (the flowers) and the romantic front (so that's why they say "the birds and the bees!").

And I'm spent. What a weekend, what a beautiful flower, and what beautiful fireworks. May your day be blessed with the same. Till next time...


Happy, Happy Birthday

Hi all! Brandi here *waves excitedly*
It is 1:21am CST on September 7 2010. That makes it officially Sere's birthday!
Would everyone please join me in helping her celebrate yet another 29th birthday?

I need everyone, yes, that includes you, to drop a little note in the comments and shower Sere with some much deserved birthday love!
I cannot successfully convey what she means to me, believe me I've spent the last several minutes trying and re-trying to do just that.
Sere's soul is like nothing I've ever experienced. You all get to see a little piece of that soul every time she posts a picture.

Gather around kids, it's time to sing Happy Birthday!

"Happy Birthday to you....

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Carnival Lights

I've always loved carnival lights. The brightness and gaudiness just kind of begs to be photographed so when I saw Brandi's post I had to do something similar. I might be pushing the too close to the same picture rule here I don't know. I had wanted to try another idea, but it failed miserably and after photographing that wedding yesterday my creativity had done run out for today. So here we are.

Nikon D90
Lens 14-24mm
Aperture f-16
Shutter Speed 2.5 secs
ISO 200
Flash(Nikon Speedlight SB900) rear sync flash mode
I had to crop some because the lens I used is a wide angle lens

This weekend is the annual Nauvoo Illinois Grape Festival which is a pretty big festival around our small town and they had a carnival set up. My family and I went because it was wristband night, so all the rides you can take for one "low" (at $16 a pop, still crazy expensive to me) price. My son loved all the rides, but I quickly found out that I can't handle them like I used to. All that spinning was not fun for me! We took more interesting pictures, especially one where I was cramped into a child roller coaster ride that is definately not meant for tall people, I was kissing my knees. The things we will do for our children...

This was an interesting shot to set up because I was trying to show motion and all the different colored lights, but without a focal point it was hard to do and the picture itself was just missing something. Which is why I ended up using myself. I had to enlist the help of my husband to push the button to take the picture because I don't have a remote release and the timer was just not going to work. My husband took a quick peak to make sure all was good with me and then pushed the button. I absolutely LOVE the glass in my new Nikon 14-24mm lens. I mean when people are buying adaptors to be able to use this lens on Canon cameras you know you've got a good lens. Sorry Scott I just have to throw a shout out to Nikon for this particular lens. The colors are so vivid and the pictures are so crisp compared to other, less expensive lens. I can definately understand why photographers are willing to pay more for better lens, there's just no comparison. I mean look at the vivid blue sky in this picture! Beautiful!

Rear sync flash mode is different from using a regular flash. In rear sync flash, the shutter opens and takes in all available light for as long as it is open, in this case about 2.5 seconds and then at the very end of the shutter time the flash goes off. So instead of the flash going off at the beginning of your picture, it goes off at the end. I'm sure there is a better way to explain this, but for tonight I am half asleep so my brain isn't firing properly. This picture connects to Scott's Friday Faces shot and Brandi's self-portrait "flair" shot as well.

Jay'me can't wait to see where you will go with this!