Friday, December 17, 2010

Freezing Friday Faces

Rut, what rut? Where is this rut that Scott speaks of? Oh, is it that giant hole the size of a 76 Buick sitting in the middle of my life!

Scott can speak for me. I've been in a rut. It's not from lack of interest on my part. It's from life (happy holidays here's a bucket of strees), cold (hello 10 degree highs for days) and it's dark for 20 hours a day. I've been brainstorming some inside ideas so watch out world.

I got a chance to step outside my suburban box and go down to the big city today. Chicago it's my kind of town. All the people, the hustle and bustle. It's something magical. As I strolled around I had the opportunity to meet Sandra. She stood about half way down the block, not at a corner like many of her comrades. Sandra's smile and warm holiday greetings for all the passersby caught my attention instantly.

So who is this woman standing in the middle of a city block, wishing people well?
She's none other than a Salvation Army bell ringer.

Nikon d40 kit lens
ISO 200
shutter speed 1/30 (what was wrong with me?)
aperture f/3.5

I knew I wanted to keep the bin red and tone down the background. Opening the picture in Photoshop Elements, I duplicated the photo. Took one photo and over exaggerated the reds, giving the collection bin great vibrant color. Then I took the other picture and almost completely desaturated it. Leaving just enough color to not wash it out (I hope). Using the lasso tool, I removed the collection bin in the over saturated photo and pasted it over the collection bin in the desaturated photo. Going back closely, I erased any bleed over and made it an almost seamless single photo.
The edit took about 10 minutes. Once you work with this kind of thing, it gets pretty easy.

There is probably no sound I associate more closely with Christmas than the ringing of the Salvation Army bells. I realize it's Friday Faces and I should highlight Sandra's beautiful face and not the red donation bin but I wanted my emphasis to be on the giving. The giving (of time, of money, of resources, of gifts) is what this holiday is all about. Go forth and give. Give of your heart, give of your soul and you'll be rewarded. I promise.


PS - it's not too late to enter in the Wordless Wednesday for this week. Jay'me took a great shot, one that speaks directly to my heart. Click here and comment. It doesn't have to be nice. It doesn't have to be a guess. It just has to be something. Heck tell us what color your shirt is today and you'll be entered to win. Go now!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Little Something Different

I think it's safe to say we here at 3C1D have fallen into a rut of sorts. It's not a bad thing really - happens to everyone. When the holiday season descends at the speed of light upon all our heads with a dash of sub zero temperatures, some things get neglected. I won't speak for the chicks, but my creative juices have just been frozen a bit lately.

So tonight, on my way home from work (at 8:30pm), I found myself without a picture and short on ideas - not good at all. I can usually dig something up from my most recent shoots but frankly, there haven't been many recent shoots. It was while I was driving that I spotted the Norge Ski Jump in Cary, visible from my office. I had never been over there and yet it was shining like a beacon in the softly falling snow. AND (get this) the car thermometer read 23 degrees! Holy crap it's a heat wave! I've got my sign. It's time to do what this guy tried to do (see - ski jumper at about 13 seconds):

Don't even try to tell me you don't remember the agony of defeat! Besides, I really wanted to prove I could post a video too. That's done. Let's move on.

When I finally arrived at the jump (there were several forks in the road and I happen to guess right), there were about 10 kids sledding on a side hill. I thought about shooting them (with camera only mind you) but decided I would try to capture how freaking huge the jump is. I'm not certain, but I think I was looking at the worlds first extreme sport. Unfortunately there were no jumpers but I did have fun hiking around the base and seeing what I could do. Actually, I think I want another crack at it now that I've played a bit. Anyway, here's the shot I've decided to post.

Canon 30D
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
Shutter 1/25
Aperture f/4.0
Exposure Compensation -1 1/3 stop

You'll notice I underexposed this shot. I'd like to say there was a good reason but here's the truth. I had my camera set-up for bracketing and to aid with that my shutter was set to rapid fire. I had forgotten this little detail and began snapping single shots. What happens is that the camera exposes "correctly" the first shot, then follows with a shot that's underexposed and a shot that's overexposed. This is great for HDR and tough metering situations. But when you forget you've set it up this way, it can really screw you up. Additionally, I really prefer shooting in RAW. Wednesday however, I had cause to shoot in JPEG and I forgot to change that back too! Oh the horror!!!!

Alas, I've made due. And I think I'll get over that this isn't a perfect shot - not by a long shot. What I really love is the framing. And I will revisit this locale on some future date and do it right. For now, you get this definitely less than perfect view and one helluva hill.

Also, I posted 2 others here on our Flickr photo stream in case you want to see more. Thanks as always for stopping by. And remember, as the great Yogi Berra once said, "If you come to a fork in the road, take it!"


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday with Jay'me

Cannon EOS Rebel XT
no flash
ISO 400

The poster (that's me) will post a photo and it's settings. No other verbiage is allowed. The commenter's (that's you) will guess in the comments section below what ties Tuesdays photo to Wednesdays photo. It can be a setting. It can be a play on words. It can be a theme. It can be anything. In almost every photo there are numerous ties thus creating no right or wrong answer. Just simply make a comment below and you'll be entered into our drawing to be our next guest photographer.

No previous photography experience required. In fact, wannabe's like us, are encouraged. The only criteria; you must be able to take a photo (any camera will do), email said photo and allow 3C1D to publish the photo and follow the rules...

Only one(1) guess per person.
Ready, Set, Go.....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mele Kalikimaka...

.... means Merry Christmas in Hawaiian, which is where I would LOVE to be about right now. Who wouldn't right? I was just listening to Christmas songs today and this one came on (you can't have Christmas songs without Bing Crosby singing some of them) which made me think about one of my Christmas pictures that I had taken a few days ago. So I am connecting to Brandi's picture by a song; along with the fact that Mr. Hippo looked like he was in some water and my picture has water in it.

I couldn't figure out how to align this center so, sorry.

Nikon D2X
Lens 18mm to 200mm at 105mm
Aperture F/8
Shutter Speed 1 sec.
ISO 400
No Flash, I did add a soft filter to this because I like the look of it and filters are fun, otherwise not much else was done to this picture.

If you look really closely you can see that this ornament says "Aloha Hawaii" on it. I have a tradition of picking up an ornament from every place that I vacation at. So our tree is full of Colton's handiwork and ornaments from the different places around the country we have been. It's a lot of fun to put the ornaments up and talk about and remember that particular vacation and something that we had done. Colton also really enjoys helping me to pick out the ornaments so it's a good way to get him to come shopping with me as well.


Monday, December 13, 2010

I wanna

Hippopotamus for Christmas! In case you're scratching your head and saying "Has Brandi lost her mind again?" here's a video link so you can "be in the know".

This is one of my favorite holiday songs. My three year old sings it fervently from the backseat every time it comes on.
So what does that have to do with this blog? Well, all these holiday photos and guess what I ran into while taking photos of a big Christmas tree in a mall plaza. That's right a hippopotamus.

Nikon D40 kit lens
ISO 400
shutter speed 1/200sec
aperture f/3.5

Nothing crazy or fancy about this photo. Just a good straight shot with zero post processing.

Now for some needed 3C1D business...
Scott misspoke (typed whatever) Myndi was not the winner from the most recent WW. This one here. The winner is about to announced. But first, to go with the new rules a little about my photo from that day and what I was going for in my tie in to this photo of Scott's.

The commenters that said that Bass Pro Shops was a place of worship were thinking the same way as I. In my house, the Bass Pro has served as the Sunday communion on more than one occasion.
Another straight shot, nothing fancy and minimal post processing. This cold weather is really taking it's toll on staged, posed, long photo shoots. One of the tricks I did use was a UV filter on my lens. An absolute must for cold, winter, snowy weather photos. I also made sure I turned properly to get a little back lighting from the sun. Shooting directly into the sun will wash out the sky. I couldn't wash out that beautiful blue sky.

Now to the winner. has spoken. Commenter 4 is the lucky winner.
Jen P said...
I am going to guess this is a tribute to your husband Scott--who loves to fish and are those the doors to the Church you got married at in the picture from the day before? going out on a limb there but why not?

Congratulations Jen P. You're the lucky winner. Email us at to make the arrangements.

Finally. Sorry we promised you another great photo from Myndi yesterday. Unfortunately life got the best of her and she wasn't able to send us a photo. Give us a shout when life settles down Myndi. We would love to have you back anytime.

Phew. I'm exhausted. That's all for now kiddos.

Later Dudes,