June 29, 2009

clandestine \klan-DES-tin\,

Characterized by, done in, or executed with secrecy or concealment, esp. for purposes of subversion or deception.

OK. Sorry it's so late for the word of the day, but I think this works out well.

I was excited when roommate Bryan got himself a new iphone 3Gs last week - not only because it's awesome, but also because I could use it for the lighting situation in this photo.

The phone has an application called "Flashlight" that just lights up the phone. That type of lighting technique has been used all over, including some films - it can be set on the dashboard of the car near the speedometer to shine on the driver.

The idea came from this post on Strobist. The whole situation is just a really cool way of thinking of light in a way that you might not otherwise come across. It's not just that the app is cool, but it's also the fact that you can use ambient light to compose your photo.

Sorry again for the late post - as always, send your clandestine photos to me in an email!

June 26, 2009

encomium \en-KOH-mee-uhm\,

An often formal expression of warm or high praise.

Overall, this was a pretty easy word of the day to photograph, as I was already planning to hang out at the Morning Times this morning. But giving my roommate a $4 tip was a bit much, so I will probably steal the money back from his room when he's not paying attention.

I tried to also get a bit of that latte art in the frame, but it was too much to ask for in that situation.

On another note, shooting with Ronny's camera the other day has really got me on a kick for a new one. It's tough, though, as my mantra is usually along the lines of, "The cheaper, the better." I'm still trying to justify the whole thing, so I'll let you all know what I come up with.

And while I mull that whole situation over, get out and take some encomium photos and send them to me in an email!

June 25, 2009

sough \SAU; SUHF\,

intransitive verb:
1. To make a soft, low sighing or rustling sound, as the wind.

It took a lot longer than I had expected to find a dandelion for today's word of the day. But I picked one up a couple blocks from the house and brought it down to Jamie's work before lunch, and she helped me get a good shot.

I didn't necessarily get the focal point in the photo that I had intended, but, as we were downtown and not surrounded by spare dandelions, we only really had one chance to get it close. I hope you get the idea.

For those of you who may have missed yesterday's post (because it was so late that the time stamp on it showed that it was posted today), be sure to check out the audio slideshow on Hardwire, a Real Life Super Hero from Greensboro. I went on patrol with him yesterday for a News 14 story.

And as always, if you've got a photo for sough, send it along to me in an email!

daedal \DEE-duhl\,

1. Complex or ingenious in form or function; intricate.
2. Skillful; artistic; ingenious.

I'm not sure if today's photo really fits with the word of the day, but I spent all day trailing Hardwire, a Real Life Super Hero from Greensboro. The end product was an audio slideshow on news14.com that I think turned out pretty well.

It was a fairly extensive project, but following Hardwire around while he handed out water and snack bars to the homeless was actually a lot of fun. If you get a chance, check out the final product.

Also, Ronny let me borrow his 40D for a change, and that was really awesome. It takes pretty fantastic photos, but due to a lack of funds, I'll be sticking with my 10D.

And in the meantime, if you've got any real photos for daedal, send them to me in an email!

Update: Thanks again to Jessi for sending this photo!

"This is the daedal inside of Saint Chapelle in Paris. Everything in this church was intricately wrought, and it was beautiful!"

June 23, 2009

pule \PYOOL\,

intransitive verb:
To whimper; to whine.

Jeff posed as a dunce for me in today's word of the day. I appreciate the effort all my models have put into making this blog work out -- otherwise there would be way more self portraits in this project.

As has become custom, I immediately thought of a baby or puppy for the word. But I have to tell myself every time that happens to expand my horizons a little bit. It's tough not to be too literal, but also to keep things simple enough.

Lighting-wise, this was just a flash shot through the homemade softbox camera left. I also could have used one camera right and behind to get rid of Jeff's shadow had I been less lazy. But I also like the way one light and the sunlight through the window gives a natural vignette. (Careful, though. Those can get a little trite.)

If you've got any photos for pule, send them along to me in an email!

June 22, 2009

copse \KOPS\,

A thicket or grove of small trees.

Today's word of the day brought me out to find the very nicest 90-year-old Christmas tree farmer I've ever met.

Frank's farm is about five or 10 miles outside of Raleigh. He was really nice when I drove up onto his tree farm to find a group of small trees. He drove his golf cart up and down the rows to find trees that weren't growing straight up and tie them to posts.

The Back Achers Christmas Tree Farm, on which the first tree was planted in 1979, is one where you can go to pick out your tree, cut it down and bring it home. Customers can also reserve their tree in October, Frank said.

If you're hunting for a place to get a Christmas tree, or even a photo of one, that's the place to go. In the meantime, send your copse photos to me in an email!

Update: Thanks again to Jessi for sending this awesome photo of the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. Very cool, and very pretty.

June 19, 2009

nimiety \nih-MY-uh-tee\,

The state of being too much; excess.

Man, what a long, long week it's been. Sorry I've been so terrible about the word of the day over the past couple days. But now that things are calming down for a while, I think we'll be right back on track.

And what better way to start off again than with hundreds of glazed Krispy Kreme donuts?

For today's word, I walked just a few blocks down the road to the Krispy Kreme where they're made. This is also the half-way point for the ever-growing Krispy Kreme Challenge, where participants run two miles from the N.C. State Bell Tower to the Krispy Kreme, eat a dozen donuts, and then run the two miles back. It's sickening, and really quite hilarious.

Check out our coverage of this year's Krispy Kreme, it's actually pretty cool (especially because Tyler and I did the photos and Bryan and I did the music).

What I really wanted was to get right up close to the production so you could see them getting glazed (which for some people is disgusting and for others is delicious). But as they wouldn't let me back there, I had to shoot through the glass. Maybe I'll just sprint past them next time.

Well, now that it's the end of the week, I hope you've all got some time to shoot nimiety photos. Send them all to me in an email. And if you get a chance, stop by Kung Fu Tattoo's Third Friday art hanging tonight to see some of my stuff!

Update: Ronny sent two photos along, and I took this one because it is both well composed and also hilarious, given the context. Thanks, Ronny!

June 18, 2009

This is embarrassing

But I've got some good news.

True: I messed up yesterday and today and couldn't allot myself enough time to get the photos of the day done. (Though, if you'll take a look at yesterday's word, you'll notice some readers' dedication dwarfs my own.)

However, it was for good reason that I skipped my word today. I spent all morning prepping for Kung Fu Tattoo's Third Friday art hanging, which is featuring some of my work, as well as the work of artist Ethan Wenberg. All the art is up, and it's ready for tomorrow's showing from 7-10 p.m. in Durham.

If you get a chance, and you're not too angry about my lack of posts today and yesterday, stop by and check it out.

But seriously, tomorrow is photo time, and we'll be back to normal for a while. Thanks for reading!

June 17, 2009

gravid \GRAV-id\,

Being with child; heavy with young or eggs; pregnant.

Dearest Readers:

I must apologize for not posting a photo for today's word. Surely you've all remembered to come to my blog in search of your daily dose, but as I'm 13.5 hours into my 14 hour work day, I've got little hope for getting to the photo today. I really did think I might get to today's word, but it seems that I was a little overconfident (as per usual), and I've failed to bring you your word.

Hopefully those of you who did come to the site - only to be turned away empty handed - will return another day to see that I really haven't forsaken you. I hope to make up for today's lapse with overly ambitious photos in the future.

Until tomorrow,

Update: Clearly your dedication to this project is greater than mine, and for that I'm also sorry. Despite my blatant neglect for today's word, Jessi sent this photo along for your viewing enjoyment. Thanks, Jessi!

June 16, 2009

salutary \SAL-yuh-ter-ee\,

1. Producing or contributing to a beneficial effect; beneficial; advantageous.
2. Wholesome; healthful; promoting health.

I'm glad I was finally able to use a rainy day for the word of the day today. It's really gross outside, but the rain definitely has a salutary effect on the garden Jeff just planted outside.

You've got to be careful shooting outside in the rain, though. I stole a play out of a friend's book when I cut a hole in a plastic bag and put the lens through it. Waterproof? Not so much. But it does keep it dry in the rain, and if not, well I'll use any excuse to get myself a new camera.

Today's word really leaves it open for a lot of creativity, so get out there and shoot some salutary photos and send them to me in an email!

June 15, 2009

effulgence \i-FUL-juhn(t)s\,

The state of being bright and radiant; splendor; brilliance.

Today's word of the day is a pretty happy one. As the sun wasn't really out, these people's smiles were good bright and radiant subjects. But look out for a few friends' cameos here as most strangers aren't open to some creepy photographer shooting their mouths.

The most common concern was that people thought they'd have something in their teeth. Most people didn't, though, and a little photoshop would have helped that anyhow.

That woman at the bottom decided she wouldn't show me her teeth, but that's probably alright. She had stopped to ask me for directions, and I'm sure she felt obligated to say yes when I pressed her for a photo.

For those of you who live where it's not necessarily cloudy and ominous, send in your photos of effulgence in an email and I'll post them up with mine!

Update: Thanks to Meredith for sending this photo of the awe-inspiring St. Peter's Cathedral in the Vatican City.

June 12, 2009

megrim \MEE-grim\,

1. A migraine.
2. A fancy; a whim.
3. In the plural: lowness of spirits -- often with 'the'.

While I don't think today's word of the day quasi-commercial for Tylenol is really the best or most creative, I have to say that I was just inspired to do a little lighting fun after catching this photographer's 365-day photo project and his interview on Strobist.

The best part about this guy - besides the fact that he worked for Yahoo and Google before going to Twitter - is that he gets to shoot most of his stuff at night, giving him distinct control over all the light in his photographs. I like that.

As always, I won't be posting this weekend, but check out this guy's work, and once you're inspired, send me your megrim photos in an email!

June 11, 2009

redivivus \red-uh-VY-vuhs; -VEE-\,

Living again; brought back to life; revived; restored.

Today's word of the day was a pretty quick one, and it was similar in setup to another photo that I really enjoyed.

The way this works is that there is a black backdrop about four feet behind the subject so that no light falls on it, which gives it such a deep black. I also had a black cloth underneath the battery, covered by a piece of glass from our coffee table. It's a pretty easy way to get that reflection, which seems to be a sort of trend ever since Apple started advertising ipods that way.

The light shines on the battery and is (hopefully) only picked up there. Then, after taking the photo, I bumped up the contrast a good bit to make sure that the blacks are black enough. Sometimes light falls on the cloth underneath the subject, but that's easily fixed with a little post-processing.

The cool thing about photos like this is that if you were standing with me in the room, you would never see this image. The room's windows are open, there's light all around - but when you set your camera and lighting up right, something entirely new can come out of it.

That's it for today's word. If you've got any redivivus photos (and also, that word sounds like a spell from Harry Potter), send them to me in an email and I'll put them up!

June 10, 2009

disport \dis-PORT\,

intransitive verb:
1. To amuse oneself in light or lively manner; to frolic.

My cousin Mary and her fiance Aaron helped out with today's word of the day. They stopped over for a visit, and it's a sort of right of passage to star in the day's photo while you're here.

I do need to call out the Dictionary.com people for this one though: don't you remember doing a disport-like word just a little while ago? I do.

But this was a perfect one for Mary and Aaron, who, I'm sure, frolic on a fairly regular basis even when they're not the subject of an important photo blog. Thanks, guys!

It's a lovely day out, so if you happen to be frolicking or amusing yourself in a lively manner, send me your disport photos in an email!

June 9, 2009

paragon \PAIR-uh-gon; -guhn\,

A model of excellence or perfection; as, "a paragon of beauty; a paragon of eloquence."

I drove down to N.C. State's Alumni Center this morning for today's word of the day. I had heard that the place was really beautiful, despite being at the end of a very long maze and in the middle of nowhere on Centennial Campus.

It really was nice, but it's too bad it was the site for discussion yesterday in all the controversy surrounding my alma mater. For those of you who haven't been following, here's the quick rundown: former Gov. Mike Easley got his wife, Mary, a job there heading a speaker series for $80k. Then she got a raise to $170k.

The N&O broke the story about all the sketchy dealings with the former governor (who is now being investigated by a grand jury), and so far four NCSU officials have resigned over the hiring.

Mary Easley said she wouldn't resign, but the Board of Trustees went ahead and fired her yesterday. So we'll see what happens.

Anyhow, if you've got any photos to add to paragon, send them along to me in an email, and I'll be happy to post them with mine!

June 8, 2009

tergiversation \tuhr-jiv-uhr-SAY-shuhn\,

1. The act of practicing evasion or of being deliberately ambiguous.

I woke up this morning to find Erik sleeping on the couch, and, in exchange for a ride home, he agreed to star in my word of the day photo.

This was a pretty tough word of the day. I'm not sure how the Dictionary.com people expected me to capture evasion or ambiguity. I though about just linking to the hilarious site Picture is Unrelated. But I think Erik really captured the scope and importance of this word of the day.

If you've got any tergiversation photos, send them to me in an email!

June 5, 2009

Pictures: 5¢

So I usually wouldn't do this, but I got a little steamed up over an article on PDN, so I decided to "blog" about it. How trendy. And potentially annoying.

Instead of putting the entire thing in this post, I linked it here so it wouldn't get in the way of the photos of the day. Enjoy!

abstemious \ab-STEE-mee-uhs\,

1. Sparing in eating and drinking; temperate; abstinent.
2. Sparingly used or consumed; used with temperance or moderation.
3. Marked by or spent in abstinence.

This was a very happenstance word of the day photo. I was headed down to Clayton to pick up a trampoline from a Cragislist post (more on that pending photo project later), and I came across this former strip club parking lot.

The building had been gone for a long time, it seems, but there was a truck in the parking lot when I went by the first time. The trucker seemed disappointed.

After a few minutes taking photos, someone from a neighboring lot came by to see what I was doing. He seemed confused when I explained I was only in the empty lot to take a picture of abstinence. But he just shrugged and let me go on my way.

I won't be posting again this weekend, as always, but if you've got any photos for abstemious, or anything else from throughout the week, send them along to me in an email!

June 4, 2009

pother \POTH-er\,

1. A commotion; a disturbance.
2. A state of nervous activity; a fuss.
3. A cloud of smoke or dust that chokes or smothers.

It was a really tough choice picking the photo for today's word of the day. Josh and I had so much fun playing with all the smoke options, including dry ice (which was really, really awesome). But ultimately, we had to go with this one.

The dry ice thing was a little crazy, as I had never played with it before. Apparently anyone can just go buy five pounds of dry ice for $8, which I will definitely be using for future photos. This is the photo I ultimately turned down for the day, though it was pretty cool, in my opinion.

For the photo I decided to use, I had Josh blow a soap bubble in his hand, then filled it up through a straw with smoke from a cigarette that I was totally not in the mood for. We just went out back and took a photo in the sunlight, and I think it turned out pretty awesome.

For those of you with other pother photos, send them to me in an email!

Update: Another big thanks to Jessi for sending this photo of "a pother in front of the Moulin Rouge!"

June 3, 2009

espy \ih-SPY\,

transitive verb:
To catch sight of; to perceive with the eyes; to discover, as a distant object partly concealed, or not obvious to notice; to see at a glance; to discern unexpectedly; to spy; as, to espy land; to espy a man in a crowd.

I crouched in a bush for today's word of the day. Sure, I probably looked a little silly, but the more strange you look taking a photo, the more likely you are to come out with something unique. Not to mention, it's also way more fun.

This is the same spot that I took another word of the day photo. It's just next to an off ramp, and there's a small grass patch with a couple of bushes you can fall into to take photos.

I think I would have liked to take a photo of a crowd of people with a person singled out with focus, but sadly, we don't really have enough people in Raleigh to find an entire crowd walking down the street. However, I could have crept in the bushes downtown and espied from there, but I may have gotten arrested.

Don't forget to send your espy photos to me in an email!

Update: Jessi sent this cool photo of some cats sneaking around. Thanks, Jessi!

"So, [this] photo was taken in Paris at the Pere Lachaise Cemetery. There were black cats all over the cemetery, most of them hiding from people. This one was by the sneakiest and the best at hiding."

June 2, 2009

hortatory \HOR-tuh-tor-ee\,

Marked by strong urging; serving to encourage or incite; as, "a hortatory speech."

This is a pretty simple little word of the day photo, but it gave me a chance to use a lens that I rarely do: it's a 200mm Canon FL f/3.5.

For those of you who don't completely get that kind of stuff, that's a decades-old lens. It's long, but not very fast (and thus not very good when it's not the middle of a sunny day). But the long focal length gives a good, small depth of field, so it's still usable.

That lens came in a whole box of stuff I bought on Craigslist, which included a few other old lenses, bodies, and toys, for $50. I would say, all together, it was probably worth about $300 with everything sold separately (with ebay prices), so it was definitely a good deal.

The lens uses the same adapter I wrote about in my very first post, actually.

Anyhow, that's your lesson for the day. I hope you'll all go out and get some hortatory photos. Send them to me in an email!

June 1, 2009

cosset \KOSS-it\,

transitive verb:
1. To treat as a pet; to treat with excessive indulgence; to pamper.

A new day, a new word. This is actually a cool little car wash that I took a photo of for today's word of the day. For my Polaroid-taking friends, this seems like an awesome little place for that.

I actually really like some of the retro-photo stuff (like the rediscovery of Polaroid awesomeness) that's happening lately. People are looking at the uber-photoshopped art of late and reaching back to older aesthetics. I think the real reason I like that so much is that shooting with older cameras actually gives you a better feel for how photographs are made.

In an interesting post from the Online Photographer, they suggest shooting with only a Leica for an entire year, all black and white, to get a real base for how photographs are created. (This as opposed to shooting your digital SLR on full automatic, which may make it hard to see what's really happening with your camera.)

Take a quick look at that post and the ones that follow, if you're looking to learn how to shoot better. Though you may not decide to take a full year shooting only with a Leica, you'll probably find a variation on that project that you might enjoy.

And for those of you who've got a cosset photo for me to today, send it along in an email!