Friday, September 30, 2011

Buildings, 254/365

We could probably go back through my blog and count the number of times that I have walked around downtown Des Moines looking for a picture.  I'm pretty sure that I've been on every street within reasonable walking distance of my office multiple times already.  So, how do you find new scenery in the same places?  Perspective.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Canada Geese, 253/365

I remember the good old days when I used to have time to actually sit down and think about my blog posts and write about them.  Now, I'm just happy to get a picture posted.  But, I haven't missed a day yet.  Here are some geese along the Des Moines river.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Farmer's market, 252/365

Today was the second to the last Wednesday farmer's market of the season, so I made sure to go.  I actually had a headache today and didn't feel like talking to anyone.  But, I forced myself to go and get the Polaroid out for a couple shots.  I had a couple people say, "Cool camera!" in passing as I was walking around.  Here is a shot of someone working at a fruit and vegetable stand.  She didn't have much to say.  But, when I gave her the picture and left, she went to the back of the stand and showed her co-worker and they were smiling and talking.  So, if nothing else, it at least made someone smile.  Sometimes my Polaroid project is less about the actual photography, and more about giving something to people and trying to make their day a little bit better.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Harvest time, 251/365

The light was less than desirable, but this is probably my last chance to get a picture of this bean field.  

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cookies, 250/365

Noelle wanted to make cookies tonight, to take to her teachers.  She asked me to be her assistant.  They don't look too bad, considering her assistant doesn't really have any prior experience with baking cookies.  Of course, they're not "grandma" quality cookies...

Rachael had a cross country meet tonight, and set a new personal record of around 13:36, for a two mile run.  She was a bit tired when she got home.  But, she is still going with her photo a day project, and make sure to get a picture before going to bed, although she is going to wait and post it tomorrow.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Quad Cities Marathon, 249/365

This is the police escort at the start of the Quad Cities Marathon this morning.  As you can see from all the smoke in the background, the starting gun was a large cannon that they fired.

Approximately mile 12...

The finish line...

And Kim's foot after the run...

Belly flops, 248/365

Here is a bowl of Belly Flops (Jelly Belly rejects) at Ted and Marilu's.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Lucky penny, 247/365

TGIF!  But, it's going to be a crazy weekend.  I went to take a picture with the little digital camera, and it said "Battery empty".  What rotten luck.  But, when I got home, I realized that I got a wheat penny today, which is getting more unusual.  So, maybe it was a lucky day.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Library, 246/365

Well, sometimes the photography works for you, and sometimes it doesn't.  Unfortunately, that can be problematic when doing a daily photo project.  So, all I have to share today is this cell phone picture of the Central library in Des Moines, which I use regularly, as it is only a few blocks from my office.  And, of course, you all recognize the tall building in the background.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Farmers market, 245/365

I took the Polaroid to the farmers market today, as expected, it was a conversation starter.  I had a few people ask about the camera, film for it, etc.  True to my original idea, I gave all the photos away, but scanned in the backing paper to keep an image for myself.  This shot is of Monet, a design student from California, who expressed an interest in using Polaroids for her own project ideas.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Volleyball practice, grasshopper, 244/365

Noelle was getting some good serves in at volleyball practice tonight.  I told her that it looks like she is doing taekwondo or something.  Then, a grasshopper was posing nicely on our top step, so I photographed him.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Horse, 243/365

We went for a walk after supper tonight, around downtown and through the cemetery.  The horses were on the north side of their pasture, and one came over to visit us by the fence.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Aspiring photographers, 242/365

The kids love to use cameras.  So, I let Matt and Claire exercise the shutters on a Konica Autoreflex TC and Nikon EM a little bit today.  This would cost a fortune if there were film in the cameras.  When they start to want actual pictures, I'll have to get them going on digital.  But, for now, it's good for the cameras.  The worst thing you can do to an old camera is to let it sit around unused.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

First soccer game, 241/365

Matt and Claire had their first soccer game this morning, conveniently, right across the street from our house.  It was a pretty good game, the opponents scored right at the end, beating them 1-0.  They also got their jerseys before the game.  Claire is number 1 and Matt is lucky 7.

Friday, September 16, 2011

First Polaroid shot, 240/365

Well, my first Polaroid picture, with my 40+ year old camera, was not a complete failure.  Not quite anyway, I did learn a couple things from the experience.  The tab tore off inside the film pack, which almost cost me this picture, and next print.  I ended up having to open the back of the camera to feed the leader through the rollers.  So, yes, there was some light leak.  But, hey, it gives it that natural, old Polaroid look to it.  I will either bend or remove the springs in the back of the camera to prevent this problem from happening on the next pack of film.  I can deal with this by making the film pack fit in the camera better.  The exposure was also off a bit.  I expected some discrepancy there, and I'm sure the heavy overcast day didn't help.  But, I wanted to shoot it without any compensation anyway, just to give me a baseline for the first exposure.  I'll obviously have to fine-tune.  But, hey, it's just a first attempt.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Polaroid, 239/365

The Polaroid Land 360 camera I won on an auction showed up today.  So, my Polaroid project can really get started now.  I have a lot of information on the camera, issues, etc. on my Polaroid blog.  If you would like to read more about it, everything you've ever wanted to know about Polaroid is over here (or probably will be during this project):

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fruit, 238/365

It was a little cooler today, resulting in a smaller crowd at the farmers market.  Here is some fruit at one of the stands.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Volleyball practice, 237/365

Noelle's games may be on my class nights, but at least I see her play a little bit when I pick her up from practice.  Also, a radio.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cross country meet, 236/365

Rachael had a cross country meet today, so I could actually make it to one.  It was at Ballard, which is a huge meet, actually larger than a state meet.  It was a tough, hilly course.  But, Rachael finished 19th out of over 200 junior high girls.  I also had to stop in front of the Ames fire station when I went through town to get a shot of their 9/11 tribute.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Country Church, 235/365

We stopped along highway 17 on the way home from church to photograph this little church across the corn fields.

Also, I would like to introduce you to a new project that I am starting, which I will be blogging on my new, second blog...  Please stop by from time to time, and see how this one develops.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Daisy Dog, 234/365

Daisy has been limping around, holding up one of her front paws today.  I'm not sure what she did to it.  I've inspected her paw, but can't find any slivers or injuries.  And she didn't yelp like anything hurt while I was touching it.  So, I don't  have an explanation, but we're going to wait a bit and see if it goes away.  Here is a shot of her chewing on a bone in the back yard this afternoon.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Nike, 233/365

Part of the challenge of photography is finding ways to make the ordinary look interesting.  When I saw this old shoe laying beside the road, I had to take a picture of it.

This is actually not the most interesting thing that I saw today, but I didn't get a picture of the other.  Over lunch today, I saw a woman out jogging barefoot.  However, the odd part of that scene was that she had a rope around her waist, and was dragging a car tire behind her!  I assume it must have been some kind of resistance training or something.  But, seriously, she was pulling a tire around.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

McDonalds, 232/365

I'm not feeling well, so I don't have much to share today, except for a camera phone shot of a receipt.  Claire missed lunch in school, so after her dentist appointment, we stopped at McDonalds in Story City.  The cashier asked my name, to write it on the receipt while they prepared our food.  I'm not sure how he got this out of "Bill"...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pupusas, 231/365

This food is new to me, but a vendor at the Farmers Market in Des Moines today was selling pupusas.  It is a stuffed masa flatbread, typical of El Salvador.  They are said to be similar to a tortilla, except they are thicker and filled with cheese, beans, or meat.  I had already had lunch at my desk, but I may have to try these sometime.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Guitar, 230/365

I didn't have the opportunity to talk to him today, but I actually met Gordon a few months ago, and photographed him performing with his guitar in the skywalk.  Today, he got a cigarette lit before riding away on his bike.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Violin practice, 229/365

We had kind of a lazy Labor Day today.  Last night, we camped in the tent out in the back yard.  Well, most of us did anyway.  Noelle got cold during the night, so she went inside and slept in her own bed.  I can't wait to sleep in my own bed again tonight too.  I really slept awful last night.  I'm not sure why, I should have been well worn out from my record, double digit distance run yesterday.  Anyway, I made breakfast in the pie irons this morning.  It felt good to sit around a warm fire after lows in the 40s overnight.  We grilled hot dogs and ate out on the deck before walking up to the park for a while.  Here is Noelle practicing La Cinquantaine on her violin.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Hummingbird, 228/365

I'm not sure if it's the colder weather or what, but the birds have certainly been feasting on our bird feeders today.  Besides countless sparrows, we've seen a couple cardinals, a few goldfinches, and four hummingbirds.  Interestingly, as soon as the other birds see us at the window or near a noise, they fly.  But, the hummingbirds aren't so scared.

Also, Rachael is starting her own photo-a-day project.  Please visit her site at:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Claire and Claire, 227/365

It's late and I'm tired, so I'm going to keep it short today.  We went to Monticello for a visit with grandma and grandpa today.  Here is a shot of the two Claires.  I don't think anyone realized it, but, coincidentally, they were both wearing butterfly shirts today.  I guess Claires think alike.  :-)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Flowers and cars, 226/365

I don't have much to say today, other than TGIF.  Looking forward to a long, holiday weekend, I walked around and found these shots over lunch today.  I seem to like shooting flowers, with soft focus, in particular.  Please comment and let me know if you would like to see more, or if you are sick of my flowers.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sunflower, 225/365

I actually shot this sunflower yesterday, but didn't like the lighting, so it never got used.  This morning, as soon as the sun started hitting it, I went out to reshoot more to my liking.  I'll do something like this from time to time.  I'm just glad that I had the opportunity to go back and photograph it in a way that I liked.  I've had some missed opportunities in the past, because something just wasn't quite right in my mind.  The point is, when it comes to my photographs, I am very, very picky.  The lighting has to be good.  I used relatively narrow depth of field to blur the distractions in the background, yet keep the whole flower in acceptable focus.  I used a low, dramatic angle, which had the added benefit of putting the deep blue sky in the background to contrast the bright yellow flower.  It's all very intentional.  Now, do the stars always align for me like this?  Heck no.  But, that is the difference between a picture that I like and the ones that are more, meh.