Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Posting Twenty-six
Great Photo Opportunities

An offer too good NOT to share with all of you. Highland Street Foundation has made it possible for us to visit many of our great museums FREE of CHARGE

Here is a little background on the foundation:
    The Highland Street Foundation was established in 1989 by David J. McGrath, jr., the founder and owner of TAD Resources International, Inc.  David died in May 1995 and TAD was subsequently sold to Adecco, the world's largest temporary help company, in October 1997.
    With the sale of the company, the Highland Street Foundation received the majority of its current endowment. In his lifetime, David and his wife JoAnn contributed to a great number of varied charitable causes through their personal philanthropy.
    Today, JoAnn and her five children, who make up the Highland Street Foundation board, continue the traditions that she started with David. Since its establishment in 1989 the McGrath Family and the Highland Street Foundation have donated more than $115 million to many worthy non-profit organizations, including $94 million to groups in Massachusetts alone.

And, here is the all-important link as to which venues are free and on which Fridays: http://highlandstreet.org

Thanks to Chris M for sending along this link!   

And, with the Fourth this weekend here is another link (thanks, Mariann) about shooting fireworks - take a look at this to get the best of the festivities: http://www.bostoncentral.com/events/massachusetts_fireworks/p21018.php.

I caught this fireworker at the Willowshire Faire last weekend. . .
on the Fridays of the summer.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Posting Twenty-five
Photo Ops Summer 2011

Since Posting One, I have been using my Blog space to give hints and tips on photography. Let’s change the focus somewhat and get you out there using your camera and some of the things we have been discussing.
Summertime is the perfect time to put your equipment through its paces so checkout what’s happening in our area and beyond. There’s a very good chance I may be nudging you for a better angle at some of these venues, so give me ample space.

***Since the image downloader for this Blog is not working at this time, you will be asked to turn on your imagination.***

June 25th and 26th – Norton – Willowshire Farm Renaissance Faire. King Richard’s Faire without the crowds and commercialism. Admission $12. I shot this a few years ago and it was really fun. Link to events and performers - http://www.winslowshire.com/

Picture a shot of two pirates dueling, here.

June 25th and 26th – RI National Guard Airshow in North Kingstown, RI – Never shot this but I have seen great captures from Stony Brook members!

You are on your own for this one! Maybe, the Blue Angels in formation?

July 9th  - Southwick Animal Farm – Always a fun activity. Been here a few times and always amazed by the antics of the Southwick residents!

I had a great shot of a camel doing kareoke - can you see him hitting those high notes?

July 14th – 6PM to 9PM Forest Hills Lantern Festival
    rain date July 21

Another event that I have not had the pleasure of shooting but I have seen images from several fellow members.

I'm seeing some origami boats with lighted candles floating on the pond, and you?
July 16th, 17, and 18th – NECCC Conference, UMASS Amherst
    premier event for anything and everything photography
This will be my fifth conference and I’m going in style - A/C in the North Dorms!

Images will not be forthcoming as I don't bring my camera but I'll share my notes with you.

July 25th at EARLY – Buttonwood Sunflower Farm, Griswald, CT and beyond
         Buttonwood Farm - http://www.sunflowersforwishes.com/
Ray Guillette, MNEC, makes this annual pilgrimage to CT along with a small step ladder. Can’t wait to set up my ladder as well!

Picturing Ray atop his three-foot ladder lining up an early morning shot of this field of sunflowers.

August 6th and 7th – Redcoats and Rebels at Old Sturbridge Village
    Rich and I attended last year and found it to be quite an event. Hundreds of re-enactors and a huge battle!

Now imagine thirty British re-enactors engaging fifteen French in an open field. Smoke and confusion everywhere!!!

August 13th – 5PM Balloon Festival, Hudson, MA
   with luck a balloon lift and glow (weather permitting) 

After Albuquerque, what else is there? I’ll be staying home as the weather conditions can force the promoters to cancel at the very last minute.

I did pull a couple of shots from Albuquerque that you should see at Hudson - the flame from the Glow-de-o and a multicolored hot-air balloon aloft.

August 20th and 21st – Race of the Century Collings Foundation in Stow, MA
Haven’t done this yet, but Jac and Marian thought it was a great happening. I have seen Collings Foundation’s aircraft at other events.

From an earlier activity at Collings I have this WWII German recon plane. It's a B&W, but you can think in color, if that suits you.

So did you see something worth getting up for? If not, here's a quote from the Great One, Wayne Gretszky:
You miss one hundred percent of the shots you never take.
So get out there and shoot and shoot. . . 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

 Posting Twenty-four
“Looking Within. . .”

How often have you heard this expression and wondered just what the person meant? Often it refers to do some soul-searching but in this blog episode, I’ll give you a more photographic reason or two to “Look Within. . .”

With our high-resolution digital cameras we are capturing images within our initial shot. We find great detail in these shots to the point where we can actually make another image or more from the original. I think many of us have experienced this serendipitous happening.

Let me go one step further and that would be to look within your collection of images to find some commonality. As you know I just returned from Bella Italia with over 2800 images – it’ll be a while before my final activity (the scrapbook) is a reality. At some point during the initial review of images, I found several mini-themes with enough support to produce smaller folders. In my case, there were many beautiful windows in the cities and towns I visited. Returning to the nearly three thousand shots I found several other possibilities – “The People” or “The Streets” or “The Churches” and I’m sure there are a couple of others in there as well.

Ever shot antique cars? Here there are several opportunities to create some “Looking Within. . .” folders. Check out the hubcaps – quite varied and ornate. How about the hood ornaments - equally unique and beautifully crafted? Another distinctive feature on older vehicles would be the taillights. As a kid growing up in the fifties, we could readily identify the make, model, and year of the passing car just by seeing that rear red light! I’m sure you could come up with a few more shots within the initial reason for shooting an event. I found these when I looked within my marathon shots.


So start “Looking Within. . .” and be pleasantly surprised at what you find!

Check out my inspiration for this Blog, “Finestra d’Italia”  on my website – www.JoeKennedyPhotography.com


Monday, June 6, 2011

 Posting Twenty-three
“Practice What I Preached!”

Well, I’m back from my sabbatical. Okay, I lied, it was more like a much-anticipated trip to Italy! I just thought sabbatical sounded so much more impressive and I could slip away without much fanfare.

Back to the topic on hand, “Practice What I Preached!” When I go on vacation I get so caught up in the moment that I neglect some of the basics of photography. The primary neglect is that patience filter - Blog #15. I found myself rushing to get the shot in front of me with little regard to what was happening around me or what may be happening. I got the shot and so I was ready to move on. Of course, this movement is exasperated when you are traveling with a non-photographer, my wife. I didn’t want to spend too much time with my settings, tripod, or finding the right angle. Instead, there were more grabs than well-planned images.

The second neglect was discussed in Blog #9 - “Pre-shoot Checklist.” I mentioned two opportunities to get your camera in the right mode – the night before and in the field. Again, the excitement of seeing the Leaning Tower, the well-sculpted statuary in the churches, or the landscapes of Tuscany had me more focused on the sights and not trying to capture them in the camera. One instance in particular nearly cost me an entire day’s worth of pictures.

The night before I decided to try some HDR shots so I set my camera for bracketing – five shots of exposure compensations of +2, +1, 0, -1, -2. The evening shoot went off without a hitch. Unfortunately, I did NOT return the settings for the next day’s activities. So, as a result I was getting images that were over-blown or under-exposed. I looked at my Highlights/Blinkies screen - Blog #5 and made the as needed. I must have fired off about fifteen shots before I realized my error. I pressed the shutter release button too long which caused a burst of three images. I was still in bracketing mode which explained the sudden burst and the images that were greatly over or under-exposed. The rest of that shoot and the subsequent days had me double or triple checking my settings!

I’ve added a couple of my early favorites. Fret not, I will not subject you to my folder of 2800+ images taken over the twenty-eight days that I was in Bella Italia.

                          "Ruins along the Appian Way"

                                  "Roman Columns"

                              "Vesuvius over Pompeii"

                       "My FIRST Italian Hot Chocolate"  
                      (Okay, I didn't take this one as I was truly enjoying the moment!)