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Photo: Driving Raindrops

Driving Raindrops — raindrops on the windshield, on a foggy morning

Raindrops on the windshield of a car, on a foggy morning. I took this while Dad was driving; you can see the headlights of oncoming cars in the background. Photos like these are why I’m glad I always am fiddling with the camera; I could just ignore them, or relegate my photography to scheduled times, but I’d miss great opportunities (The Irrationality of Apportionment).

This one did well with editing. There were specks of dirt on the windshield, but they couldn’t stay. It was bluish out, but I switched to black and white. I added contrast. I removed droplets that were ugly or distracting, while being careful to not make the clone marks visible, even if they could only be revealed through editing with levels. I did this by using the levels tool to darken the image significantly, then going back and cleaning up the parts I saw that looked spotty. That was for the streaks that were on the windshield in the bright part of the sky.

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Canon Rebel XTi, EFS 18-55mm, 1/160, F5.6, 54mm, ISO200, 2007-09-28T07:52:34-04, 2007-09-28_11h52m34

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Raindrops 3: Chaos in the Rain

Raindrops 3 — a landscape of raindrops

A wide-angle shot of a chaotic storm. The water is rolling off the roof above, which you can see at the top of the frame. I liked the feel of the scene.

I desatured 100% and added contrast with the curves tool, being careful not let the whites clip by watching my histogram. I didn’t mind losing details in the shadows, though.

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Canon Rebel XTi, EFS 18-55mm, 1/2500, F4, 18mm, ISO800, 2007-09-19T14:18:53-04, 2007-09-19_18h18m53

Location: Thripp Residence, Ormond Beach, FL  32174-7227

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

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Photo: Raindrops 2

Raindrops 2 — sharp droplets, captured in motion in black and white

Raindrops coming off the roof of one of our sheds during a storm, with a background of trees and sky. This was one of the first shots I took with my Canon Rebel XTi last year; it’s so much more flexible than a point-and-shoot because you can freeze motion like this even in fairly low light. I like how the swirly drops turned out.

Same editing as Raindrops 1: added contrast and converting to black and white. No spot editing needed, which is always nice.

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Canon Rebel XTi, EFS 18-55mm, 1/4000, F4, 25mm, ISO800, 2007-08-10T15:32:14-04, 2007-08-10_19h32m14

Location: Thripp Residence, Ormond Beach, FL  32174-7227

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

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Photo: Waterlogged

Waterlogged — a hard disk platter and arm, dotted with raindrops

The hard drive that never was. Waterlogged is two years old, coming on the heels of Raindrops, but a classic nonetheless. This was the hard drive from my first computer, a budget desktop I got in 2000 (I was 9 then). In February of 2005 it failed, and I’d just left it sitting around till June of 2006 when I cracked the case open (harder than you’d think) and took this shot. The drive is a Seagate ST34311A. I was walking around the yard positioning it as a mirror, creating interesting compositions (Blend In is another), when it started raining. The hard drive got wet, and that inspired this photo. The platters make quite a mirror, making the reflections in the drops quite sharp. After drying, the mirror was covered with spots and dust I never could get off, unfortunately.

Don’t ever open your computer’s hard drive, unless it’s broke and you’ve backed up your data, or you have no hope of recovering it. The read/write head you see in the picture hovers on a cushion of air one-tenth the thickness of a hair, produced by the velocity of the spinning disk(s) (7200RPM is common now). Even a speck of dust on the platter can mess up the drive and destroy your data. Hard drives are really fragile, and generally a bad way to save information, but they’re still the best thing we have to store a lot of changing data, cheaply and quickly. Back up your pictures to CDs or DVDs too, as they’re more stable.

Many hard drives have multiple platters (two to five), but this has just one. I found out the disks aren’t thick (slightly thinner than a CD, though very rigid), and they’re double sided. Underneath is another head that moves in tandem with the top one, reading and writing data to the underside. I still have pieces of this drive scattered around the house somewhere.

My finger sneaked into the frame on the top-right, darn it. Had to clone it out in Photoshop. Same for the bright edge at the bottom-left, and the silver bolt at the top, because they were too distracting. I converted to black and white and added a good bit of contrast, making the image more appealing.

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Fujifilm FinePix A360, 1/139, F2.81, 5.8mm, ISO64, 2006-06-25T19:03:53-04, 2006-06-25_19h03m53

Location: Thripp Residence, Ormond Beach, FL  32174-7227

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: The Last Battle

The Last Battle — a twig vs. the incoming black clouds

The only remaining twig, fighting the last battle against the incoming storm clouds. All the other ones have been washed away, or struck by lightning or something. I ripped this plant life off a bush of some sort in our yard (it’s a jungle out there), because it has a nice shape and pattern of leaves. It fit the bright space in the sky well, so I held it up with one hand while snapping the shot with the other.

It was a bit bluish out; I found the image worked better in black and white. I added a lot of contrast to push the branch to black and the bright parts of the sky to near white, then darkened the dark clouds to add punch. It was late, so I under-exposed to gain a fast enough shutter speed, and because I knew I wouldn’t need shadow detail anyway. That’s why the original image is dark.

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Canon PowerShot A620, 1/100, F2.8, 7.3mm, ISO100, 2007-05-13T19:56:32-04, 2007-05-13_23h56m32

Location: Thripp Residence, Ormond Beach, FL  32174-7227

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Fatality

Fatality — a dead cockroach

Photo of an American Cockroach, which I found on the floor in our house (we see these pretty often). I hit it a few times with a fly swatter, but then thought to put it on the counter and take a picture of it, with some food and food-related items in the background, plus the fly swatter, to make it more disturbing. On a technicality, he was still alive when I took this photo (moving his legs around a bit), but I didn’t want to hit him anymore so as not to crush him. Luckily he stayed still through the exposure, though you can see in the photo he has one of his legs up. Afterwards he had to be killed, of course. You’d think this’d be distasteful, but it just isn’t for some reason. :sunglasses:

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Fujifilm FinePix A360, 1/5, F2.81, 5.8mm, ISO100, 2006-04-29T23:40:33-04, 2006-04-29_23h40m33

Location: Thripp Residence, Ormond Beach, FL  32174-7227

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Stock: Leafy Sky

Leafy Sky

Leaves on a tree, with my camera pointed toward the clouds. This one is unconventional as a stock image as it’s horribly over-exposed on the right, but I’m making an artistic statement and this may translate into your use. If not, just use the left half of the image.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

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Canon Rebel XTi, EFS 18-55mm, 1/200, F8, 18mm, ISO100, 2008-01-12T15:16:26-05, 20080112-201626rxt

Photo: Sunrays 3

Sunrays 3 — orange rays of sunshine pierce black clouds

Orange sunrays emerge from the black clouds. This is from the car like the second; we passed an open field where I had the chance to snap this. I like how the beams are shining down instead of up like you see normally, and the patterns of light and dark in the clouds and between the sunshine were quite a sight.

Added a lot of contrast here, and brightened the sunrays quite a bit, while darkening the spaces in between, to make them more compelling. I wanted the surrounding clouds and land to be black, but I was careful not to over-expose the bright clouds, so they still have detail. This is the kind of editing I enjoy; I’m glad there were no poles and trees to remove like in Pink and Purple Sunset 3. The ones in the bottom-right get to stay because I like them and they’re small.

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Canon Rebel XTi, EFS 18-55mm, 1/1000, F5.6, 55mm, ISO100, 2007-10-30T17:21:20-04, 2007-10-30_21h21m20

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Photo: Sunrays 2

Sunrays 2 — blue beams of sunshine pierce the clouds

An awesome blue sunset. I saw this while my Dad was driving, so I started snapping photos with a fast shutter speed out the window. By luck, I got the timing just right on this frame, including an interesting white fence and some nice palm trees.

I wanted the fence to stand out, as it matched the white rays well, so I dodged it in Photoshop. Then, I added color and contrast with the curves function, and brightened the sunrays. To color the text with the title and my name, I cropped a portion of the photo, stretched it to the size of the text, added a lot of contrast, and then set it as the fill pattern in PhotoFiltre Studio (I use it for text and borders, because it’s much more intuitive than Photoshop).

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Canon PowerShot A620, 1/640, F2.8, 7.3mm, ISO100, 2007-04-14T19:28:00-04, 2007-04-14_23h28m00

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

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Photo: Blue Marbles 6: Infinity

Blue Marbles 6: Infinity — armies of marbles converge at eternity

These marbles go to infinity, but not beyond it, because they have proper boundaries… sort of. The two rows of three marbles are diverging, though your mind has to work to decide if they are parallel or otherwise. This represents infinity because it makes you think, or so I hope. I did a lot of trials positioning the marbles; this proved to hold my interest the best. The day’s light was good, helping me to get the dramatic mix of black and blue.

I enhanced the contrast, and used Photoshop’s spot healing brush on the mess of specks that are permanently affixed to my subjects.

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Canon PowerShot A620, 1/15, F7.1, 7.3mm, ISO50, 2007-01-18T14:11:46-05, 2007-01-18_19h11m46

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

More of the Blue Marbles series.

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