Photo 101: Day 14 – Swarm

Swarm…

A picture of my Facebook or Twitter page wouldn’t work, hardly any buzzing there…

It’s kind of hard to get pictures of people swarming where I live…

So, I guess it’s back to the archives to try to define what it means to swarm:

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A flock of birds – taken at the Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, Michigan

Our closest ancestors to the dinosaurs, birds have always been one of my number one subjects to photograph but, of course, they are so elusive to get pictures of unless confined to one space like here.

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The swarming fans – taken at the Hall of Fame complex at Kansas University

A single drop of red in a sea of blue – still trying to figure out the intentional or accidental symbolism.

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Swarming grads – taken at my college graduation
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Swarming to the wheel – taken at Cedar Point

Swarming to get on one of the original rides of the amusement park that premiered at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.

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A flock of gulls – taken at Cedar Point

Or are those pidgeons? The shadows look like the snappy beak of another larger bird that is eyeing the smaller birds as tasty prey. But they are actually the awnings of an amusement ride since I took this through the beach fence.

#photo101

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Photo 101: Day 13 – Moment

How could I forget about these series of pinwheel pictures I took yesterday? I tried once to capture the spinning motion of a pinwheel but didn’t take enough shots and just got the pinwheel at rest. Well, my experimentation with pinwheelogy paid off because I clearly captured blurring and movement, creating something I never expected.

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Photo 101: Day 12 – Architecture

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Perusing around my home, the freezing, bitter weather nipping at my face, I discovered lots of shapes and interesting lines around buildings and taking close up shots of them trained my eye to look at the geometry within. there really isn’t that much to see where I live, stuck in the swamp of a mobile home park where any attempts at decoration and innovation come off as tacky. Thoughts of walking out of it and starting a journey up the long road to see more interesting lines evaporated on this ruthless November day, the first signs of winter hitting Michigan hard.

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Along with these pictures, I also decided to put up a few of my archives that flash out as interesting geometrical designs.

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The “Shell Door” as I call it, was taken at a local McDonalds and is iconic because of it’s symmetry and commanding presence in the center.

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The stools, taken at a Steak N’ Shake, contain circles, squares, and rectangles and the red pops out against everything else.

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The Missouri Bridge, taken by me last year while on a trip down there, contains triangles and more forms of symmetry.

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And finally, the ceiling of the clock tower on the campus of Kansas University contains many beautifully arranged squares.

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Photo 101: Day 11 – Splash of Gold

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Like a lot of times on my photographic journey, I set this shot up by placing an object in the scene to create something different when nothing in nature would suffice. Against the white snow backdrop, the gold bag shines greatly and adds a pop of color to an otherwise mundane, boring photograph. As you can see, I experimented with taking my photograph from different distances, resulting in a what looks like an inverted pyramid.

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DP (This fits in with the prompt’s title: Golden Key)

Photo 101: Day 10 – Mystery

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Day ten of our adventurous photography course has arrived. Darkness and mystery consume our pictures today. We feel uncertainty as our eyes wander in a calming fashion around the somber mood set by the scene. Questions will be asked while answers will be playful and full of wisdom. My entry of mysterious levels was composed by a chance shot of light streaming in through the curtained window and being channeled into a light beam. It was so enthralling and when I placed my hand in the spotlight, I felt like it was full of the white light of some powerful human. And then, obviously, I thought, “Hey, what a cool picture to get,” and took my camera phone and snapped a shot of my “Hand of Glory.” I then had to darken out everything on either side of the main focus to make it truly shrouded in mystery.


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I bought this book sometime last year at a Barnes and Noble store but rarely look through it for tips and tricks of the finest photographers on our planet. I’m just glad to have it by my side whenever I need some great ideas to spice up my wacky world of picture taking (that has just started to get on a more civilized track). I would recommend it to anyone, whether you are an idiot photographer (as the title suggests) or a seasoned, proven preserver of light or darkness.

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Photo 101: Day 9 – Warmth

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I walked about a half mile in the brutal freezing cold to create this picture, stringing some leftover pumpkin lights over a jungle gym bar and photographing them from above. These pictures consisting of warm colors are sure to perk me up and induce cozy feelings by a fireplace within me. There wasn’t much sun today but I made up for it by creating some artificial light later on in Photoshop. The yellow of the playground tower and the orange of the pumpkin lights clearly define what warmth is. The translucent material of the pumpkin lights also create different colors that contrast with the yellows, oranges, and blacks.

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Photo 101: Lonely, Lonely Leaf

Today you can write about anything, in whatever genre or form, but your post must include a speeding car, a phone call, and a crisp, bright morning. (Wildcard: you can swap any of the above for a good joke.)


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Lonely, lonely leaf,

you were blown so far away,

from the meadow to across the street,

the car chasing you into the hands of ‘arm’s way.

you ended up on my sidewalk,

now just staring up at the sky,

the bright mornings roll on, and the darkness paints new dyes.

great days await, but you are just one who fell from the tree,

landing at the asphalt like so many souls before my knee.

to preserve your memory, I placed you in my view frame,

pressed the button, and gave you a name:

you are the lonely leaf,

so small, so simple, so fragile,

having no thoughts but the need to find ways to travel.

you were not easy to capture though,

the wind blowing and rolling you like a baker’s dough,

your paperthin body leading me on a chase,

trying to make sure my skills go to waste.

but just then my pocket buzzed,

and I pulled out the thing that was making such a fuss:

it was a call from one of those howlers,

telling me with great excitement

that I had just won a million dollars.

you are just a lonely, lonely leaf,

that will never be remembered,

and as I am writing this,

you are long gone,

becoming once more a part of the weather.

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DP #57– #photo101