Foto Friday CXXXIII

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This picture makes me smile as much today as it did when I took it. As I was wandering around the Uni Parks I spotted a young family making the most of the weather and fall colors. Basically the Dad was taking pictures of the little girl running around, and the Mom was throwing leaves everywhere to try and make it an amazing photo. I don’t know if any of their photos came out, but the little girl could care less about the leaves. She was just running around having a fun time. I didn’t feel comfortable taking more than this picture, which is why the subjects are out of focus. I still like the way it turned out.

1/250s f/5.6 185mm ISO 400. Contrast adjusted. Au revoir until next week.

Foto Friday CXXXII

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I took this picture about ten minutes after the one I posted last week. While chasing the sun around the park, I happened to spot a student feverishly writing into a notebook and thought I’d try and snap a picture. I got lucky with the timing, he left this bench as I was adjusting the settings on my camera after the first shot.

1/250s f/5.6 200mm ISO 1600. Contrast adjusted and vignette added. Au revoir until next week.

Foto Friday CXXXI

8191_3 copy I took advantage of a sunny Saturday this past weekend and went for a nice long walk in the University Parks. Although the peak colors had passed and the rain brought many leaves down, there was still plenty to enjoy looking at. Autumn is probably my favorite season, I like the crisp air and bright colors. I also really like trees. This tree is located along the east side of the park, and I’m standing almost in the River Cherwell. The sun was in just the right position in the sky to really light up the bright yellow canopy, and I love the contrast with the bark and shadows below. This tree is much larger than it appears and it was tough to capture without getting wet. Hopefully you can’t tell, but this is a composite of three images.

1/30s f/5.6 18mm ISO 125. 3 images merged and contrast adjusted. Au revoir until next week.

Foto Friday CXXX

NicholasBrideauMoon_2This is a special edition of Foto Friday because instead of picking a picture form a pile, I went out this week with a purpose – I was trying to capture the blood moon. I set my alarm to 02:45 and headed on my bike to the center of town. It was fun riding through the Broad street area, giving a gentle nod to other photography enthusiasts along the way, all while trying to find the best angle. My goal was to capture some of the old architecture and the red moon in the same image, but it was actually more difficult than I thought it would be. The moon moved across the sky very quickly, and for some reason I had a really hard time getting it to be in focus. My lens was all the way out and on infinity focus, but it took me over an hour to get a shot in which the moon wasn’t blurry. The image above is actually a composite of two of the last pictures I took, you can even see the eclipse ending and the moon returning to a bright white color. Although I was frustrated with the way most of my images turned out, I really enjoyed the fresh morning air and just watching the lunar event. I posted two failures on my instagram feed, and my picture was featured on a tech blog that I read.

10s f/8.0 200mm ISO 400. 2 images blended and contrast adjusted. Au revoir until next week.

Foto Friday CXXII

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I can’t believe that it has been more than a month since my last FotoFriday post.  I also can’t believe that a month has gone by so quickly.  I have many important deadlines approaching and have been too busy to take pictures I guess.  Aaaaaaanywho, one morning this week I was up extra early and actually made breakfast (if coffee, toast and raspberries count as breakfast) and decided to take 5 min for some photography.  This picture nicely captures the morning light coming through the dining room for a fresh start to the day.

1/60s f/3.5 60mm ISO 3200. Vignette added.  Au revoir until next week.

Foto Friday CXXI

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This week’s edition of FF actually includes a picture that I took this week for the first time in a while.  To the delight of many, earlier this week Oxford was greeted by a dusting of snow.  This is good for me because it continues my streak of seeing snow ever year (which was in serious jeopardy living in the UK and not going on a ski holiday).  The snow didn’t stick for more than a few hours overnight, but it was pretty to watch it fall, and I was up early enough in the morning to see it again.  This poor little flower must have been confused though – although I’m a little confused why a flower was in bloom in the first week of February anyway.

1/150s f/2.6 4.6mm ISO 100. Cropped, blur added.  Au revoir until next week.

Foto Friday CXVII

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I bet you get cold just looking at this one.  For the first time this winter, the temperature has stayed below freezing here in Oxford for more than a day.  I dragged myself out of my warm bed in hopes of some snow on the ground, but only found frost.  Even though it was cold, I still managed to take pictures for about 35 minutes.  It turns out that frost/snow is very difficult to photograph because is really reflects light, and I had trouble capturing the shots I envisioned with my macro lens.  Maybe that just means I’m out of practice with my camera.

1/160s f/5.6 60mm ISO 100. Cropped.  Au revoir until next week.

Foto Friday CXIV

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This week’s edition of Foto Friday features a subject that I like: derelict buildings. Or, what is left of them anyway.  I had read reports of an abandoned concrete factory just North Oxford and have been wanting to visit for a couple of years now.  We used one of the sunny and unseasonably warm Sundays recently to go for a motorcycle ride and try and explore this site.  The main entrance was closed so we decided to try and find an alternative way in.  After a short walk along the Cherwell we followed the train tracks all the way to the back of the site.  To my disappointment, most of the large abandoned buildings (like the rock crushing plant) were no longer standing.  All we found were foundations with rebar stubble and piles of metal like the one pictured above.  Still a fun trip though.

1/80s f/6.3 50mm ISO 100. Contrast adjusted.  Au revoir until next week.

Foto Friday CIV

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I like how this picture happened.  Two days ago, near the time that I was thinking of heading home from work it started to rain.  I’m not too worried about rain here, because after all, England is famous for it.  Just as I was about to slap on my waterproofs I noticed that the rain had stopped, and the clouds were making way for some sunshine.  After unlocking my bike I followed my usual route home and stopped at a crosswalk.  It was here that I noticed a great reflection of one of Oxford’s many old buildings, and made the decision to change direction and head toward Radcliffe Camera instead of home.  I was hoping to find a puddle large enough and at the right angle to get the famous building plus it’s reflection in one photo.  No luck on that part, but I did take this one and some others around town.  I even had a couple of people stop to approve of my idea and take similar pictures.

1/30s f/2.6 4.6mm ISO 100, on my phone. Contrast adjusted and cropped.  Au revoir until next week.

Run Jericho 10K

I haven’t posted a non-Foto Friday entry in a while, so I thought that I would try and get the ball rolling.

One of the girls that I work with suggested that everyone get together to run a local 10K race to help raise money for a school, and I thought it would be fun.  The plan was to get together 2-3 times per week at the end of the day and run together to train for the race.  In reality, this happened about three times.  I started running about a month in advance, but only once or twice per week, and only ran the actual distance of 10K once.  I knew that I could do it though.

If you are familiar with Oxford, the race started in Jericho, then to Port Meadow and out to Wolvercote, then across the meadow to the canal, and back to Jericho again.  It was a pretty run with plenty of uneven ground, long grass, cows!, gates for cows, and one-person paths.  And it was 75 and sunny – a rare event here in the UK.  Below is a picture of me about halfway through the race.

14501546593_1a9955ec9d_oI saw the camera man and smiled for about 100 meters, but unfortunately he snapped me either looking down or blinking.  I’ve also been told that in this picture I look old (the hair) and camp (the jersey) but I think I look pretty fit.  I wore this jersey in support of the USMNT match against Portugal later that evening, and even had a few people come talk to me after the race saying that they chased me and my jersey for a while.

I finished about ten minutes slower than I thought I would and can offer plenty of excuses.  For example, I’m not used to it being warm and haven’t trained in heat.  Perhaps it was the unfamiliar terrain, or natural bottlenecks that caused me to walk waiting for other runners.  It doesn’t really matter, I finished in less than an hour and had a great time running around.