Friday, December 25, 2015

And We're Back from New York City



We experienced an amazing, fun-filled, and busy weekend in Manhattan meeting Megan's long lost cousins from the island of Lifou.  We didn't have much time to spare, but we did find time to make it to the American Museum of Natural History, Times Square, and Rockefeller Plaza.

Happy Christmas!

-Tom

Thursday, December 10, 2015

In the Winter....



....my photographic attention turns to our backyard bur oak.  I can stretch the camera outside our upstairs bathroom window for some amazing perspectives.  This stiched panorama did the job of portraying just how massive and gnarled the limbs really are.

-Tom

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Took Many Pictures, but Produced Very Few Photographs

We live right next to a big,  gnary, 100+ year-old bur oak. 

Have you ever come back from a photo shoot thinking you took a bunch of great pictures? Maybe you didn't put everything you had into each picture, but you took so many, there had to be a few good ones in there?

That's the story of my weekend.  Lots of pictures, very few photographs.  I struggled to find something to share with you this evening.  Simply put, quantity does not equal quality.

-Tom

Thursday, December 3, 2015

What I've Gained from the North Side Fix



When the massive "North Side Fix" project began here in Columbus, I was not excited.  I have a reverse commute, and the fixes to the massive interchange just north of our house would actually increase my commute time.  But the silver lining?  At this time of year, I'm sitting in traffic with a stunning view of the sunset.  Just a little change has resulted in an entirely different point of view for my camera.

-Tom

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

New York Rooftop Sunset



There's something romantic about being on the rooftop.  Looking down below all that's going on, knowing you've found a little corner of the world to just sit and watch the sunset.  This concludes my lookback at some of my favorite images from previous travels to NYC.  Now, it's time to decide which gear I'll be taking and what types of photographs I'd like to bring back this time.

-Tom

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Rooftop Running in NYC



There's nothing quite like watching a sunset from a rooptop in Manhattan.  During our 2010 visit, Weston had a blast running around on the roof.  By this time, he had recovered from the terror that was the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.  He needed to get out some energy.  Yes, we were some 30 or so floors up, and there was a nice fence, but it still made unnerved me.  Alas, he survived.

Tomorrow I'll bring an end to the New York Series. During our upcoming trip I'm not going to have a ton of time to photographing explore the city, but hopefully I'll get a few new images that I like. We'll be staying in the Upper West Side.  Do you have a favorite NYC location that shouldn't be missed for photography?

-Tom

Monday, November 30, 2015

From Above



If you find yourself in New York City, try to make it onto a roof.  Usually, you'll be alone, and you just get an absolutely wonderful perspective from above.  During this 2010 trip, Megan and I flew to LaGuardia via Port Columbus.  This time, our silver mini-van will be battling traffic.

-Tom

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Rooftop Respite



In Manhattan, every little bit of space is used.  How nice would it be to have your own little rooftop patio?  Yes, sometimes I feel boxed in by my quarter acre lot in Worthington, but really, I have nothing to complain about.

-Tom


Friday, November 27, 2015

A Look Back to the 2010 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade


In 2010, Megan, Weston, myself and an in utero Brody travelled to Manhattan for the Macy's Thanksgiving parade.  We thought Weston would love it.  Instead, he was scared to death of the giant balloons as they floated by.  We were so far from the street that we couldn't see anything but the balloons.  And Weston couldn't see that said balloons were controlled by people.  I think he thought they were giant monsters.  Poor little dude!





Back in 2010, photography was still done using the small point and shoot cameras that had become ubiquitous by that time.  But as you can see below, cell phones were starting to creep in.  Who  they would have thought that they would completely replace dedicated cameras just five years later?



By the end of the day, boy was our little one-and-a-half-year-old tuckered out!

-Tom

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

One More Black and White from NYC



The apartments along the Hudson River on the upper west side are impressive.  This area of the city was away from the hustle and bustle.  We could go down to Riverside Park to get away from the feeling we were visiting some gigantic how "many humans can we put in a box" experiment. None the less, I'd still like to live a year in the city to see if I could survive.  Sinatra sang a song about that, right?

This is the last black and white image I'll share from NYC.  Up next, we'll get a little color.

-Tom

Monday, November 23, 2015

Before Selfies Were Cool



I'm taking a look at photographs I've taken in Manhattan leading up to our December trip to the most crowded island in the country.  Here we are in Megan's grandparents apartment back in 2006.  This was the little place we could go to get away from the activity.

-Tom

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Medusa Tree



On our walk through Central Park in January 2007, I distinctly remember Megan looking at this tree and saying something like "now I could draw that!"  I called her on it, yet I still haven't seen anything.  I tried to replicate the success of this photograph back in 2010, but my black and white version is way better.  The contrast between the natural, seemingly random craziness of the tree branches contrasting with the rigid angles of the baseball backstop makes this photograph for me.


Three years later, same subject, different angle, not nearly as effective.

-Tom

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Union Theological Seminary


Yes, these photos from our January 2007 to NYC are drab, dreary, and colorless.  Our next visit come December will be a much brighter, happier affair.

-Tom

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Glen Span Arch - Central Park



This photo taken under the Glen Span Arch is perhaps my favorite image from Manhattan.  It was built in 1865.  To this day, this image moves me perhaps more than any other image that I have captured.

-Tom

Friday, November 13, 2015

Photographing Manhattan



I first visited Manhattan during my high school senior trip in the late 90's.  I can remember two things- I was elated I wasn't mugged, and I walked for what seemed like hours going around and around the city.  Fast forward ten years to when I met Megan.  Her grandparents lived in Manhattan. Upper west side, around 110 and Broadway.  Just a block or so south of Tom's Restaurant of Seinfeld fame.

Manhattan is such a different living experience.  I've always thought I'd like to try it, just to see if I wouldn't go crazy.  There are ways that people cope, by finding refuge in the cracks or corners. There's no unused space on that island.  Every spot of land is marked out and taken.  There's very little wild there, even though there are seemingly wild places. 

Megan and I had just been married a few months when unfortunate circumstances brought us again to the city.  During this trip was when I was really diving into photography.  My images that I'll show to start this series are rightfully dark, but still remain in my memory as some of the most powerful photographs I have taken.  We were staying in dormitories at the Riverside Church seminary.  Our room looked out into a beautiful sheltered courtyard where the daffodils were blooming in the cold, misty rain of mid January. Yes, January.

We'll bringing the whole family to Manhattan just before Christmas to meet Megan's far lost relatives from the island Lifou, part of New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean.  A long lost cousin left New York long ago, sometime in the mid 19th century, and settled on the other side of the world making a name for himself on a tiny tropical coral island.  His descendants haven't been back since.  That will change come December, when we'll meet them in the city.  I hope the boys remember this reunion forever, as they're going to have quite the story to tell when they get older.  Who knows- maybe they will travel to Lifou?

-Tom




Thursday, November 12, 2015

In 1999 I Went to Australia



And it was amazingly awesome.  If I didn't have these photos, it would swear it was only dream.  But no, it wasn't!  I pushed my little Samsung point and shoot hard back then and came home with 600+ images.  That was A LOT back in the film days.  Before this trip, I didn't take many photos.  After, I couldn't stop.  Enjoy the best from those three months or so nearly 17 years ago.  My goal?  Take the family back in 2019, 20 years after my first visit.

-Tom

Friday, October 30, 2015

Quick Snap - Fall Color


We're almost towards the end of the fall color season.  Some years, our giant bur oak holds onto its leaves through mid-November, and we might just be having one of those years.  The neighboring honeylocust cultivar is already bare.

-Tom


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Window Art



Crayola has upped their game since when I was a kid.  Both boys LOVE these window crayons.  I couldn't help but photograph the light streaming through Brody's latest creation.  Be on the lookout for interesting light filtering through your windows.  The play of shadows resulting from the lower angle of sunlight entering our homes as winter approaches gives our living spaces a whole new look.

-Tom

Friday, October 16, 2015

As the Light Creeps Over the Horizon



If you're following me on Instagram, you've seen me take photos of this sweetgum since before it had leaves.  We're now just getting to the point where it's going to be a spectacular photographic subject. When I arrive at the office, the sun is just casting its rays on the top of the tree, setting it on fire.

-Tom

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Blue Hour, Red Toyota



An addition to my Columbus Town project, which has me shooting the urban streetscapes that have become part of my life over the past 12 years of living and working in Columbus. 

-Tom

Monday, October 12, 2015

A Boy and his Pumpkin Part II



So Brody, our youngest son, is a ball to photograph because he's the boy with a thousand expressions. We'll even do little mini photo shoots where I just say "brody, do expressions", and he'll start flashing happy, sad, crazy monster boy, and so on.  But the photo above shows one of his authentic looks. We went to Legend Hills Orchard this Saturday near Utica, where he chose one of the largest pumpkins available.  I think he's almost in disbelief just how big and how cool this pumpkin really is.  And he's wondering to proudly to himself, almost in disbelieft, that he was able to con his parents to buy him a $12 pumpkin.

Last year I took another photo of Brody with a much smaller pumpkin.  A much more mellow (read exhausted), contemplative Brody with a much smaller pumpkin from last September.  What a difference a year makes!



-Tom

I shot the top photo with the wonderful and now much cheaper-than-when-I-bought-it Canon EOS 7D Mark II and the very useful, extremely lightweight Canon EF-S 55-250mm F4-5.6 IS STM Lens   Thinking about buying a new camera or lens?  Using these links to make your Amazon purchase helps support my continuing photographic journey.  Thank you!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

My New Favorite Camera

Dublin Granville Road, at the eastern edge of Worthington, Ohio.

A few weeks ago, I purchased a new tough camera to replace my dead Nikon.  I love having a tough camera for family trips to the beach and pool.  I occasionally used my previous Nikon, but I really didn't like it.  At least I didn't use it much.  Which new camera did I purchase?  I took the advice of Cameralabs.com reviewer Ken McMahon and purchased the Olympus TG-860.  I love this camera!

Why?  Three reasons.  The first is its crazy wide 21mm equivalent lens.  I can include a whole lot of scene with this camera, more than any point and shoot I've ever owned. Two?  The camera has a flip up screen which is perfect for family selfies and capturing photos at strange angles.  And three?  What could finally make this camera perfect for me?  The microscope mode- this thing does some crazy closeups!

I highly recommend this camera if you're looking for a fun point and shoot that you can take anywhere. I bought the orange and black version that you see here.  Love this camera!


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

On the Street Where You Live




Did you try to shoot the lunar eclipse?  Or at least see it?  No luck for me- but the clouds that obscured the moon did make for interesting photography.

-Tom

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Beach Football



On our last evening at the beach, a large family had come in for a wedding, and were gathered for a few hours just playing, catching up, and having fun.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Brody Runs



There's nothing like those first steps into the Atlantic Ocean after you haven't felt it for a year.  We've been gone from there for a few weeks, but Brody has already planned to spend the whole summer there next year.  Yeah, that isn't practical little guy, but it sure is a great idea.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Dresser in Evening Light



Do you remember back in the film days when you were itching to get a roll developed, but still had a few frames left?  What did you photograph to get to the end of the roll?  I remember my mom always taking pictures of our house with the last few frames.  The more money we put into our house, the more I want to photograph ours!  Ha...the joys of home ownership.

Anyways, back to this photograph.  I'm fascinated by our quartersawn oak furniture, and I just couldn't help photographing it on a July evening.

-Tom

Friday, August 28, 2015

View From Above

Film Image- July 2015.  Kodak T-MAX 100, Mamiya 645e camera body, Sekor 45 mm F2.8 C S lens

The summer of 2015 has been the year of film for me.  I purchased a medium format Mamiya which produces a 6x4.5 cm negative with 120 roll film.  What do I like the most about film?  With each emulsion, I feel like I'm shooting a totally different camera.  Just think if we could swap sensors in our digital cameras!  So far, my favorite film stock has been Kodak Portra 160 for outside and 400 for inside, but I've also been exploring black and white photography.  I use Dodd Camera to process my film, and scan it with the Epson V600. 

Why all this film use?  Well, it is really fantastic, but I have the folks at the Film Photography Project to blame.  If you haven't listened to their podcast, now is the time to start if you have any interest whatsoever in getting your old film cameras up and running again.

-Tom


Monday, August 24, 2015

New Driveway - Timelaspe with the Canon 7D Mark II




Timelapse.  It's something that I always want to do, but never really see anything compelling enough to actually take the time to do it.  That was until this morning, when we had our new concrete driveway installed.  This was an all day project.  We love our new driveway!  And I love the built in interval timer of the 7d mark II.  I shot medium JPEGs every two seconds, cropped and color corrected in Lightroom CC, and created the 24 fps HD video using Rich Harrington's workflow he presents at photofocus.com

I stayed home from work, Megan had meetings throughout the day, and the boys went to school. This was a perfect way to show them exactly what happened today. And the driveway looks fantastic.

-Tom

Saturday, August 15, 2015

New Project- Columbus Town

Evening Convection - August 10, 2015.  8:09 p.m.

It's time for a project.  A photo project.  Do you ever just get that itch to create something?  Well I have it, and it's time for a scratch.  I'm going to be exploring the shapes of the city as I carry out my day to day life. There is so much material around me every day, and it's time to start taking that material and make something with it.

-Tom