Day 60 – Experiment

I was experimenting with movement today.   I kind of like this. I think I’ll keep playing with it.

Winter Grass and Pine Trees © Carissa Snedeker


Branches and Sky © Carissa Snedeker


And in case those don’t strike your fancy: Ducks!  Shot at 5pm, in low light. I’ll keep working on this too.


© Carissa Snedeker


© Carissa Snedeker

Day 59 – Snow Caps and Spring

The sun is out and it’s all quite gorgeous, so I took a quick look-see outside my office window.

Snow bonnets:

© Carissa Snedeker

It is far too early to be seeing green sprouts. Or is it?

© Carissa Snedeker

Day 58 – Dreary Day

It snowed all day.  The sky remained a white-gray  so the light didn’t make an optimal day for taking pictures.

The temps hovered in the mid-30s all day and as such it was just warm enough to prevent any accumulation. This view from my office window  remained unchanged from 8am until 5pm.

© Carissa Snedeker

Nonetheless, I ventured out to try to capture the snow on the bench outside the employee entrance. With no wind, and flakes that were delicate and tiny, the snow clung to every tree branch regardless of size, every blade of grass, and every ridge no matter how slight. It was quite lovely and in this shot I tried to catch how the snow accumulated on the ridges of the bench. Unfortunately, it just didn’t come out the way I’d hoped. Oh well, can’t win’em all.

© Carissa Snedeker

Day 57 – Fun with Still Life

As mentioned in my previous post, our next lighting assignment is to recreate an Old Master’s still life.  I picked Vincent Van Gogh’s “Still Life with Earthenware and Bottles.” Why, you ask? No fruit and no greenery (difficult to get at this time of year); not to mention that Van Gogh’s painting had items that bore some resemblance to items I actually had around the house.

The bottles were reasonably easy as we are a wine drinking household.  I had a bowl similar to the one on the right, a clay vase like the one in the background and a small dutch oven similar to the one in the center. And who doesn’t have a wooden spoon?  My only difficulty prop-wise was the two small white cups at the left, so I had to improvise. Challenges: my wine bottles are taller than those above, and my dutch oven is a bit smaller and a different color. No handles on my vase. (Yes, our names on it – as well as our wedding date – it was a gift from a friend when we got married).

My set up was a bit more squished than the one above as I shot it on two wooden t.v. trays.

Mostly I was looking to repeat the set up and the lighting. And the lighting was definitely a challenge. I shot many, many photos. Here’s the one that comes as close as I could get at this point.

I’m posting the photograph, followed by the photograph with a dry brush filter.

My version of "Still Life with Earthenware and Bottles" - Photo © Carissa Snedeker

My version of "Still Life with Earthenware and Bottles" - Photo with Dry Brush filter © Carissa Snedeker

Day 56 – Lighting Wine Bottles

Last Thursday’s lighting class was held in our instructor’s studio and we were to shoot bottles of wine; one shot using diffused and the other using reflected light. We were put in groups of about six, and in my group, I was the first to attempt the assignment. As these sorts of things are a process of seeing what works and what doesn’t, I wasn’t able to get too many shots off (two to be exact) before I had to step away and let another have a go at it.

My shot was just barely okay, and I didn’t get the lighting quite the way I wanted, nor was I able to highlight all the parts of the bottle that I wanted so I knew that I’d have to do the assignment on my own. That’s what I worked on today.  Here are the two that made the cut.

Chardonnay lit with diffused light © Carissa Snedeker

Pinot Noir lit by reflected light © Carissa Snedeker

Inspiration: Max S. Gerber

© Max S. Gerber Photography

I was introduced to Max Gerber at the Adult Congenital Heart Association conference last year.  ACHA is an organization specifically established to serve as advocates for those of us who were born with heart defects (and the variety of them is staggering), and to make sure that we all realize that surgery isn’t the end of our journey, but just a part of it. We  all need life-long care, but that doesn’t mean life-long disability. Far from it.   The ACHA conference was one of the most inspiring events I’ve ever attended.  Heart patients, their families, physicians, nurses, etc, all rubbing shoulders and united in common cause. For me, however, it was being surrounded by my CHD peeps that made the event memorable. Never in my life had I met another congenital heart patient and now here I was, surrounded by a ballroom full of them proudly showing off their scars and sharing their stories. I still get choked up thinking about it.

Max is a professional portrait photographer and author.  I love his work.

He is also a congenital heart patient.

Max was given an area at the ACHA conference where he would shoot, for free, anyone who wished to be photographed. Here are a few of them.  I recognize many of them and in particular, Gwen, with whom I shared a lively lunch, and Shirley, who was in the ASD (Atrial Septal Defect) breakout session I attended.  The photos Max took of me didn’t make his website, but I did receive them.

carissa, heart patient (asd, sick sinus syndrome, pacemaker) © Max S. Gerber

carissa, heart patient (asd, sick sinus syndrome, pacemaker) © Max S. Gerber

Be sure to check out his portfolio and projects. Close to my heart are his photographs of evolutionists, and I was particularly delighted to see Eugenie Scott in the mix. She is a very special hero of mine.

Day 55 – Cloudless Twilight

As I pulled into the driveway tonight I looked west to see this beautiful sky. I had to try and shoot it.  I tried to catch the moon with Venus and Jupiter, but to catch this sky required shutter speed too slow to prevent movement of those bodies showing up in the pictures. Still I couldn’t let it go. The blinkies are from our neighbor’s yard. I liked them, so I didn’t crop them out. Shot at 400 ISO, f/25, 30s

© Carissa Snedeker

I tried to get Venus and Jupiter in this shot, but I wasn’t successful. This was shot at 3200 ISO, so there is a LOT of noise in this one. Shot at 3200 ISO, f/9.0, 1/25s.

Day 54 – Beam

As I have lighting class tonight and then will be returning to work after class to put together binders for a very important client visit tomorrow, and have no idea what time I’ll drag my hind end home, today’s shot is going up now.  It is a portion of one of the massive beams that is part of our building’s architecture.

© Carissa Snedeker