Photo Friday: Macabre Corridor

I am two classes in to my first photography class. After years of taking pictures through trial-and-error, I decided it was finally time to really learn the settings.

My camera has an awful lot of buttons that I’m afraid to touch lest I break something. Deciding there is no time like the present, I signed up for a summer course at my local community college.

This week was our first lab. We did a photo shoot on the campus. Mind you, we haven’t actually learned any of the settings yet. We shot in manual mode, changing apertures and shutter speeds to our hearts content (keeping the ISO at 400 per the teacher’s instructions).

So how did it go? Well, my first shot came out completely black. The good news is it can only go up from there.

When it was my turn to work with the teacher I selected a fountain as my subject. It had a trash can in the background off to the side. My teacher suggested a couple of angles. I went for straight on in a way that let me keep the trash can just out of view. Her response was, “you’re difficult, aren’t you?”

Not sure if she was kidding or not I laughed it off. After a couple of shots she said, “you like taking weird shots, right?”

Um… I like to think of them as creative, inspired, original at worst. But weird works too, I guess. I said yes and asked if that was a bad thing. She said, “there’s one in every class.”

With that established she led me over to one end of a long outdoor corridor. Never one to be mistaken for graceful, I ran into her when she stopped and stepped on her foot. Thank goodness this is a non-credit course.

Anyhow, this Friday’s photo is one of the corridor shots. The evening time and overcast weather lent to an overall macabre feeling which I rather like. Call me weird (obviously it won’t be a first), but the tragic lighting works for me.

Happy Friday from a one-of-a-kind, weird, ungraceful budding photographer!

Dark outdoor corridor

Dark outdoor corridor

Camera settings: ISO 400, f3.5, shutter 30.


Photo Friday: Cherry Blossoms on a Cloudy Day

Spring is arriving. It’s like a painter has taken a brush to the world, bringing it to life with smatterings of color.

My husband and I took Tuesday off and puttered around Princeton. We went to the Princeton University Art Museum, roamed around Palmer Square, lunched at a quaint Italian cafe. It was grand.

While wandering, we came across a tree blooming with cherry blossoms. At least that’s what I think they are, but I’m not exactly a botanist. Anyhow, even on a cloudy, windy day like it was, the speckling of pink made me smile.


Cherry blossoms on a cloudy day in Princeton

Cherry blossoms on a cloudy day in Princeton

I Never Thought I Would Find a Table Saw Interesting

There are many things that have come to be common place during my relatively short life which I never would have dreamed possible: laptop computers, cell phones, iPods (or more generically, mp3 players), and the Internet to name a few.

Carrying music with you, without carting around a zippered case of cassettes (yes, I said cassettes)? Calling home from an overnight trip without calling collect? What an upgrade from my teen years.

Imagine this: a table saw that recognizes the difference between a piece of wood and a human finger. As my grandma sometimes said, “who would have thunk it?”

Why is this so interesting to me? I have two reasons:

  1. When my husband was a teen, he had a mishap with a table saw in which he cut off all of his fingers on his left hand and part of his thumb. Thanks to great doctors he is more or less in tact these days. I mean, nine fingers are better than five, right?
  2. Consider the machination required to first recognize that something is amiss, then to stop a rapidly rotating saw blade and drop it out of the way before it does any harm. That is an impressive feat.

You can see this marvel in action in the video below. It was featured on a TV show called Time Warp on the Discovery channel. In case you haven’t heard of it, Time Warp is a fairly new show in which various activities are video taped with special high-definition slow motion cameras making for very clear slow motion imagery.

This saw may not be common place yet, but it is an incredible piece of machinery if you ask me. I, for one, never would have thunk it.