A Year Through My Lens Day 13

June 13, Challenge #13 Mirror

Well this challenge didn’t work out quite like I had hoped and now that I’ve taken my shots for this challenge I’ve come up with ideas that I most likely would have been very excited for. I guess I have a future project to work on now! I didn’t want to just go home and take photos in my mirrors so I wandered around an antique shop on my way home looking for cool mirrors and reflections.

The first shot I found didn’t really turn out but I thought I would share it regardless of it’s quality. There was a mirror on a shelf in an enclosed cabinet. From the angle I was shooting at a lamp behind me could be seen in the mirror but what really caught my attention were the other reflections occurring in this mirror. The reflected light on the left side of the mirror was from the light in the top of the cabinet. Directly under that light some lines from a beaded necklace can be seen….. kind of…. the necklace was on the shelf above the mirror. Because of the level of light being projected inside the cabinet it caused a mirroring on the inside of the glass creating layers of reflections that had me baffled in my attempts to capture the image. This was as close as I could get, I just wish the necklace was a little more in focus.


I walked around a little and found a mirror on a shelf that just happened to have a bottle stopper next to it…… yes, that’s what it is…… I placed the stopped on the mirror just for the reflection of it since it had a cool shape. I didn’t plan on the distorted image in the stopped to add such an interesting addition. The stopper itself shows the image of the bar code on the book behind it. It’s reflection shows part of the name on the bookend, I didn’t plan on this and was excited when I had a chance to view the image on my monitor.


After I left the shop I went to meet the family for dinner. On the way home I found a decent sized puddle and convinced my son to strike a pose so I could capture my last image.


I took a few other images that I liked as well.




This was another fun challenge but I’m glad it’s over and can’t wait for tomorrow since today’s challenge is complete!

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A Year Through My Lens Day 12

June 12, Challenge #12 Motion

I had a bit of a struggle trying to determine what route to take for this challenge, I mean, I usually try to have my subject perfectly still! This required me to perform a little bit of research so I could come up with a plan. After looking over a few shots and ways to tackle this challenge I grabbed my gear and was off! I had a couple of ideas that just didn’t work out due to the slow speed of traffic but this was fun and I was happy with what I captured.

I went to one of my favorite spots (Five Points) in the Riverside area of Jacksonville and wandered until I found spots that I thought would work perfectly. What do you think?


The trike may look like it’s at peace when actually the pinwheel on the back is spinning away. I had to take this at a slower shutter speed to capture the movement of the pinwheel. It can be seen better from the back.



Next I wanted to capture some traffic whizzing by so I posted up by the 5 points marker that some people just don’t seem to be able to follow.


I loved how this shot turned out but I really wanted to attempt a panning shot so I was off to a different location that I hoped would have some faster moving traffic. After a few tries I was able to capture a truck that had just turned the corner.


I lost focus a little but for my first try at a panning shot I was very happy with what I had captured.

While I was out I found a couple of other interesting shots that I just couldn’t pass up.


I found a pair of seats from the old Suns Stadium in downtown Jax and love how they are set out on the sidewalk!


While headed to a meeting the reflection of the stop light as I started to cross the road caught my eye so I had to catch it in return.

This was a fun challenge especially since I had the chance to learn something new so I can gladly say the challenge is complete!

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A Year Through My Lens Day 11

June 11, Challenge #11 Shoot Through

Today I was able to arrange a model shoot so I again shifted the schedule, at first to Rain as it was supposed to rain it just didn’t happen where we were so I moved in Shoot Through. As long as I’m not just killing challenges it’s okay, I’ll come back to them at a later date. Besides, the driving force behind this challenge is to get me out and shooting on a regular basis because photography, for me, is a major release. It’s like a therapy and I’ve been skipping sessions for too long!

I had an absolutely awesome shoot with a model that brought a great attitude and energy that made it easy to capture a cool photo. Only a few of the photos will go here, many more will go in my Flickr photo stream.




Had to throw in one shot that wasn’t challenge related! lol

I am super excited to shoot with her again but for now she has a fund raiser that I’ll be assisting with so the next shoot will have to wait until July.

I guess there isn’t anything left to say other than today’s challenge is complete!

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A Year Through My Lens Day 10

June 10, Challenge #10 Sound

Today didn’t quite work out as planned. It started with a challenge of Sand but after some things popped up that required my attention after work I had to make an adjustment in order to get a challenge completed. After a bit of thought I not only moved a challenge in but it was a topic that wasn’t previously on my list. Sound, capturing sound in an image! I removed the grill from a home stereo speaker, poured on some sugar and cranked up some tunes. Not all of the images were focused in properly, this was due in part to the movement and it’s kind of difficult to focus in on sugar in a dimly lit room. It was lots of fun to work on this project and although I am typing this up a day late, this was shot last night!











I’m considering trying this again with some different powders and materials for different effects but for now, Challenge Complete!

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A Year Through My Lens Day 9

June 9, Challenge #9 Bokeh

Going into today’s challenge to be honest, I wasn’t very excited because I felt like I had actually already captured some shots with some pretty good bokeh. I started some searches to look for inspiration and found it, better yet, I found a reminder of something I had read before but never tried. The inspiration that fueled my imagination for the day is the ability to shape those beautiful discs of light that sometimes fill the background of a shot. I had read about this technique before, years ago, but never tried to create this effect. The time to attempt this had finally arrived!

At first I wasn’t very impressed with the results as I was attempting it while capturing light through the leaves of a tree in the back yard, while it was a little breezy, yeah, challenging! The wheels in my head started squealing as the rust broke away and a couple of ideas popped up, it was time to setup the scene for my shot.

First I needed a main subject for the shot so I retrieved my watch and a lens converter a friend had given me. Then I  collected a mirror, tripod, light stand and a light string.


I realize after my editing that I probably should have cleaned the mirror. I also guess I may have grabbed a few much needed items that were not previously mentioned. lol

I grabbed some scissors, poster board and started making the much needed attachments that would shape those beautiful light discs in the background. I made four variations to see what I could create and still have ideas rolling around for future versions.


I started out with a few test shots to be sure I would be happy with my scene. I arranged the converter for me to shoot through with the watch behind it.



After a few test shots I went to town making a few other filters.


I decided I preferred the shots without the converter as a shoot through and started shooting the watch alone.





I was extremely satisfied with the results of this challenge, sure it could have been done with better results but this was done my way and is most definitely complete!

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A Year Through My Lens Day 8

June 8, Challenge #8 Stranger (2)

We often wander the streets with other people and almost never even make eye contact with our fellow humans. Today’s challenge requires me to not only ask to take a stranger’s portrait but to also get to know a little about them….. to no longer be a stranger.

I would usually pick someone wandering the streets like I am. However, today I handled it a little differently as I was generally curious about what my subject for the day was doing.

Meet Jared,


Jared has a little business called Peace In a Nutshell making milks and butters from nuts. I’ve tried nut cheeses and milks and have happily enjoyed each but haven’t found mixes like what he is creating. He offered a sampling of his Orange Tumeric cashew milk that come in single serve bottles, this was perfect as I happened to have a growing thirst! He also let me try a sample of his cashew butter that tasted phenomenal! When I asked Jared how long he had been making nut products he said “About 7 to 8 months”…….. I was shocked as the flavors he is producing had me thinking he must have been working on this for a couple of years at least. My drink was soo good that I had polished it off within about 10 minutes! The next time I make it to the market I’m going to have to pickup a jar of his butter!

It was nice to meet you Jared, I wish you and your business great growth which I’m sure will come as more people try your products!

Challenge #8 Complete!

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A Year Through My Lens Day 7

June 7, Challenge #7 Infrastructure

So, today’s challenge started out as architecture and I had a plan of wandering downtown Jacksonville for a bit after work to get some shots around and in a few of the churches which have some gorgeous architecture. I had to alter the schedule a little as I had some issues that required my attention after work that prevented me from being able to follow my plan. This gave me the opportunity to realize I didn’t have an infrastructure challenge so I moved it into today’s slot!

After taking care of a few things when I was through with work I made my way to the Napoleon Bonaparte Broward Bridge/Dames Point Bridge that is a few minutes away from my house to see what I could get. The sun was already getting pretty low so I knew I didn’t have much time. I arrived to find the nearby dock had been damaged so I couldn’t get any shots from the angle I planned on so I scrambled to get the shot I wanted. After about 10 minutes of  moving around I finished up with 2 photos that I I liked.

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My original plan would have resulted in 6-12 photos so this isn’t quite what I wanted to achieve but with these 2 photos I can that the week 7 challenge is complete!

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