Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 In Pictures

This past year I did a lot more travelling both here and abroad.  According to PSE, I look 2700+ photos in 2012, 1688 of those were in landscape orientation and 1026 in portrait. Below is a distillation of 50 or so of the 75 photos that I felt were photographically interesting.

When reviewing photos to select for this post, it struck me that many of the photos I take feel like a serendipitous coming together of composition, light and color rather than a conscientious act of creating a photograph. And perhaps that is exactly what my photography is. Carpe Diem!

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Night Blooming WTF?

The place where I work has this unusual flowering plant, where a few solitary flower stems grow at the edge of the plant leaves and the buds themselves develop over about week’s time. Then, all at once and for one night only, they blossom, magnificently so.

Night Bloomer

I have no idea what this flower is. The central part of the flower is probably about 20 centimeters across. Just amazing to see. If you have an idea what this flower is, please share!

Photographically speaking, I was seriously concerned about overexposing this shot (and the 25 others I took), but I knew there was no way I could photograph these flowers in total darkness, especially handheld. I lowered the intensity of the internal flash to -2, the lowest setting, and set the ISO to 100ASA. After downloading them to my computer it turned out, thankfully, that the shots were underexposed and needed some PSE Level help to pull them up from the dark.  With only a single night to shoot, I was glad.

EXIF:
Camera: Olympus SP560UZ
Exposure: 0.033 sec (1/30)
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 4.7 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: On, Fired
License: This image licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 Unported License.
cc -Some rights

Update: Thanks to the wonders of Related Links, I found this site, and now know that this is a Night Blooming Cereus (OK-2 out of 3 isn’t too bad. :) )

More photos? Of course!

Night
Night

Blooming
Blooming

Cereus
Cereus

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Close the door behind you

The last full moon of 2008.

Full Moon - Dec 2008

Full Moon-Dec 2008

This image licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 Unported License.
cc -Some rights

This is one of those rare photos where I had the time to play with the settings on the new camera to see what results they’d produce and discovered the real limitations of all the bells and whistles. Even with the 18x optical zoom, not one single Mode or Special Setting allowed me to capture the details of the moon as clearly as going to complete manual setting. The EXIF is below.

And why, you ask, are you seeing this image twice? To illustrate again the importance of resizing your image to the maximum width for your theme before uploading and inserting in your WordPress.COM post, if you care about image clarity. The top image was resized in PSE5 to 720 x 540 pixels and then uploaded. The bottom image was uploaded at full size (1632px × 1224px) and the 720 x 540 pixel image you are seeing in this post was resized by WordPress. Notice the difference?

EXIF:
Camera: Olympus SP560UZ
Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/160)
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 84.2 mm
ISO Speed: 50
Exposure Bias: 0/10 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

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How to Photograph the Lunar Eclipse

New York Institute of Photography – Special Report: How to Photograph the Lunar Eclipse

Coming your way…TONIGHT!

Here’s my best effort from March last year, seriously worked over in PS. It was astonishing to see how much camera shake was evident even though I used a tripod.

Total Lunar Eclipse-4 March 2007 at 01:09
Licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 License

EXIF:
Camera: Olympus C4100Z,C4000Z
Exposure: 4 sec (4)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 19.1 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Exposure Bias: 0/167772160 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire