Saturday, October 30, 2010

115/365 Photo shoot: Sally and Temper

Mom has made some great friends through her horseback-riding group -- the majority of them women -- and Sally is one of them. Sally has been riding for many years (I think it's at least eight if not more than 10), and her hard work is apparent when you see her with her horse, Temper.

Temper is a gelding whose disciplined behavior is incredibly impressive. I'm amazed every time I watch Sally and him together. Even when chaos is breaking out around him, he knows to listen to Sally's cues and return his attention to her. When you watch them together, you can't help but think, "I want my horse to behave like that."

Sally dabbles in photography herself. From experience, I know that often means you end up with few photos of yourself since you're always the one manning the camera. Sally asked if I would photograph her and Temper, and I jumped at the chance!

We met -- nearly at the last minute -- on a beautiful afternoon that provided the perfect fall setting: the turning leaves were at about peak color, some had fallen but most were still hanging on, and the late-afternoon sunlight bathed everything in gold.
I found this spot and captured as many photos as I could, taking advantage of the perfect setup. Temper was a little distracted by his buddies in the pasture nearby and the crunching leaves underfoot, but as always, he knew to listen to Sally and trust her not to lead him astray.

Sally and Temper were fantastic customers. I think we all had a good time!

Camera: Canon 40D, 1/125s, f/3.5 at ISO 400 and 1/125s, f/4 at ISO 160 at about 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

114/365 A perfect red-pepper specimen

Even with the drought we've experienced this summer, my red pepper plant is producing more now than it has all year. Granted, that means I've picked two peppers in recent weeks in comparison to one a month ago, but I'd say that counts as doubled production!

This one was so pretty, I almost didn't want to eat it. But I did. And it was very tasty.

Now if only some more brothers and sisters of this pepper would hurry up and ripen, because I know we're going to be getting more frosty nights soon, and the plant isn't going to last much longer!

Camera: Canon 40D with 60mm macro lens and 430EX Speedlite, 1/60s, f/2.8 at ISO 800

Sunday, October 24, 2010

113/365 Beautiful Butler University

Ah, beautiful, picturesque (at any time of year) Butler University. My dear alma mater.

Butler is known for being a beautiful urban campus, and it definitely shines in the fall. This particular pond area is a favorite for many because it offers a peaceful escape from the limestone buildings. Also, the steps leading up to the bell tower in the background make a great cardio workout location! (Reenactment of a certain scene from Rocky is optional. But recommended.)

I was on campus recently to drop off a photograph of mine for an art show (more details on that to follow!), and I couldn't resist taking the long, scenic route through campus before heading back to work. I knew I could easily find a worthy photo of the day!

Camera: Canon 40D, 1/250s, f/8 at ISO 100 at about 12:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

112/365 Time for an upgrade

After more than sixteen years, Mom and Dad's deck has finally thrown in the towel.

The boards were weather-worn and sun-beaten, nails were breaking, boards were warping, and walking on it barefoot required delicate precision unless you really wanted to acquire a mass of splinters (though I did it anyway). Time for a fresh start!

The wood in this photo is the set of new boards that were being laid in place and lined up. After having grown so used to seeing the old deck, with its faded-gray coloring, this looks incredibly foreign! But in a good way.

Camera: Canon 40D, 1/125s, f/4 at ISO 100 at about 6:15 p.m.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

111/365 Feeding the local wildlife

Isn't the rule generally that you're not supposed to feed wild animals? Well, Dad and Chase have been feeding this wild animal for quite a while. Grasshoppers, crickets, etc. She seems to like it.

And of course, they like seeing her wrap and devour the unsuspecting critters.

They haven't suffered any negative backlash as a result of their interference, so I guess they're safe. This time.

We've always (affectionately?) referred to these spiders at home as Golden Ladies, though I believe they're generally known as a much more boring "common garden spider." Apparently they're harmless to humans, but I'll keep my fingers and toes out of reach just in case. I'll leave the feedings to the boys.

Camera: Canon 40D, 1/125s, f/4.5 at ISO 1000 in shade at about 6:00 p.m.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

110/365 Parking lot: Cook for the Cure

Each year, my company hosts a charity event in October that benefits Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The event is called Cook for the Cure, features a cooking contest amongst my coworkers, and we invite clients, partners, friends and family to come join us.

The theme this year was Tailgate for the Cure. Rather than do an individual cooking contest like usual, the "chefs" this year were divided into teams of four, and each team put on its own tailgate. We also moved the event outside -- a gamble in Indiana in October! But, thankfully, we've had beautiful, warm weather lately and it worked out perfectly. The teams fixed ribs, sliders, grilled pizza, potato salad, guacamole... you name it.

The event was a big success, raising more than $10,000 for the cause. It seemed like everyone loved being outside, so I hope the weather is as kind to us next year if we do it again!

Camera: Canon 40D with 24mm wide-angle lens, 1/250s, f/4 at ISO 100 at about 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

109/365 Parking lot: changing leaves

I love the beauty of a tree that has fully changed into its fall colors, but I always get a kick out of finding one that is halfway between the two seasons. This one, at the back of our parking lot at work (a part of theme week!), was half green and half orange. I could have nearly drawn a defined line between the two shades, it was so clear.

No doubt about it, fall has arrived!

Camera: Canon 40D, 1/500s, f/4 at ISO 100 at about 12:15 p.m.

Monday, October 11, 2010

108/365 Parking lot: lessons in parking

Last year, the management at work mercifully removed the concrete bumpers that stood at the top of each parking space. Those darn things seemed to be a hair too tall, because multiple cars found their own bumpers scraped when the driver pulled up too far into the space.

We still have to be mindful to not pull up too far, but now it's to protect the edge of the asphalt from crumbling, rather than our vehicles.

I'd much rather have this lesson to learn!

Camera: Canon 40D, 1/250s, f/5.6 at ISO 100 at about 12:00 p.m.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

107/365 Parking lot: fallen leaf

It's 'Scenes from the Parking Lot' theme week, and today's subject absolutely stopped me in my tracks.

Okay, perhaps that's a little dramatic, but I'm completely serious. I was at work, headed out the door on my way to run an errand at lunch, and this perfect orange leaf completely captivated me! My coworkers probably thought I was being a little odd, but I squatted down in the parking lot for a good five minutes photographing this leaf from every possible angle.

The orange leaf, by itself, lying on the black asphalt was just beautiful. I love the contrasts in both color and texture between the two.

If you had any doubt that fall had arrived, this erases it!

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD1000 at about 12:15 p.m.

106/365 Scenes from the parking lot

How about we make this a theme week? It's been a while, and I was struck with inspiration this week! The theme is "scenes from the parking lot." (It sounds a bit like a theme from This American Life, doesn't it?) All photos will be ones I capture in or from a parking lot. 

First up: this one's dark (done at night without a tripod handy), but here's the idea: My high school has undergone some much-needed renovations over the past 18-24 months, and it looks like everything is complete. I believe the lights in this photo are actually glowing from inside the new gym, but I haven't been inside, so I'm not 100% sure!

I drive by the school every time I go to my parents' house, so it's been fun to watch the progress and imagine what things look like on the inside. One addition to the school that I'll get to check out next month is an auditorium. Until this year, the school has been presenting concerts, plays, and other programs from the cafetorium -- a stage at one end of the cafeteria.

It's worked okay for the past 30 years, but it's about time these kids got a real auditorium! I'll be helping with the annual Junior Miss program again next month (actually emceeing the show), so I'll get to check out the auditorium firsthand and see the view from the stage itself.

No pressure, huh?

Camera: Canon 40D, 1/8 second, f/3.5 at ISO 500 at about 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

105/365 A sliver of sky overhead

Kudos to the person who invented the sunroof. I don't open mine nearly as much as I should (learned from experience how easy it is to forget and leave it open!), but it's one thing I look for whenever it's time to choose and buy a new car.

I wonder who does get credit for the idea of installing a window in the roof of a car?

Opening the sunroof -- having a window open overhead while I'm driving -- feels like a treat, and a luxury. Do you feel the same way? I've never been interested in having a convertible, but having that sliver of sky overhead feels great.

We've had perfect open-sunroof conditions recently: clear skies, sunny, but not stiflingly hot. Time to enjoy the fall air!

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD1000 at about 5:45 p.m.

Monday, October 4, 2010

104/365 A difference of five minutes

I just can't resist. Yes, I've been posting a rather heavy selection of sunsets recently, but I can't help myself -- we've had some beauties!

The wonder of this one was in the changing aspects of it over time. It was beautiful to begin with, as in the photo above: The glow behind the trees was deep and intense over the bean field.

But then, about five minutes later, it morphed into this:
Isn't amazing how much difference five minutes can make? Gorgeous!

Camera: Canon 40D, 1/125s, f/4 at ISO 100 and 250 at about 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

103/365 Moonset

Fall has definitely arrived! It hit all of a sudden, and last week we had several cool, clear mornings during which a thin layer of fog settled over the lowest areas of the fields.

On my drive to work one morning, I glanced 180 degrees away from the sunrise and saw this beautiful moonset happening at the same time. I loved the scene: foggy, harvested field; soft, early morning light; and a low, full moon with a thin veil of clouds passing in front of it.

It was as though I'd driven into a scene from a movie. Perhaps a Halloween-themed movie, but thankfully a scene toward the beginning of the film, when the stage is just being set, everyone is happy and before the headless horseman starts wreaking havoc on the town.

Let's pray I don't drive into THAT scene any time soon!

On second thought, the headless horseman will be visiting Conner Prairie in the near future...

Camera: Canon 40D, 1/60s, f/4.5 at ISO 640 at about 7:30 a.m.