So the other day I came across one of those 30 day photo challenge things, and I don’t mean one of those facebook-esque ones. Normally I would have shrugged it off and not thought twice about it, but seeing as I’m not doing anything else so far this summer, why not. So here’s to hoping I actually keep with this and follow through the next month.
Day 1 – Self-Portrait
Self-portrait on a bluff overlooking the Piney River on Ft Leonard Wood, MO. I had underestimated how hot it was, so the hike left me slightly perspiring. Plus I got to enjoy the orchestra of cicadas chirping away in all the trees.
Day 2 – What You Wore Today
One day at breakfast a friend sat down at the dining hall table with me and frankly, he smelled amazing. I asked what body wash or deodorant he wore, and he replied that it was his cologne. I had never worn cologne before, but that morning I knew that the only type I wanted to ever wear was whatever he had on. Today I wore, in addition to mundane clothes, my Acqua Di Gio.
Day 3 – Clouds
So today was a clear day with no real clouds, but granted my intention was to avoid taking pictures of regular clouds anyway.
Everybody cut footloose! Dust clouds billow underfoot while Curtis danced around the entrance to Miller cave on Ft Leonard Wood. Curtis studied modern dance in school, and has previously auditioned for the popular show “So You Think You Can Dance.” He might not have made it on the show then, but “maybe next year!”
Today turned out to be a two photo day. Both are an interpretation on the cloud theme, and I couldn’t really pick just one.
Clouds of fog roll over the creek at Stone Mill Spring on Ft Leonard Wood. Families came out to celebrate the end of the work week by fishing for the freshly stocked trout in the spring.
Day 4 – Something Green
Roasted asparagus spears completed a delicious dinner of mesquite marinated steak and baked potato. Compliments to the chef, my dad!
Day 5 – From a High Angle
Struggled a little with a concept, vision, idea, whatever for todays picture. And the final product, I don’t know if it’s quite a high enough angle. It’s more like a medium-high angle–maybe.
Little Legolas snuck a peak at the final chapter of the J.R.R. Tolkien Lord of the Rings trilogy. Admit it, everyone has skipped ahead and read the last chapter of a book at some time in their life. Though it is horrible to ruin the plot spoilers in any story, I will go ahead and admit that I did it with a couple high school assigned readings.
Day 6 – From a Low Angle
The Northern Fence Lizard is a forest dwelling species native to southern and eastern missouri. They’re also common around country homes, rock gardens, and firewood piles. Sadly these suckers aren’t quite big enough to keep this swarm of cicadas in check.
Day 7 – Fruit
A cluster of young black berries is just starting to bud. They’ll plump up and continue to ripen over the coming weeks before becoming the berries I remember eating right off the bush growing up.
Day 8 – A Bad Habit
In my boredom I find myself snacking. Excessively. For the time being, mostly on cheese sticks and granola bars, but as those stores dwindle I’ll inevitable turn to more hardcore, unhealthy foods.
Day 9 – Someone You Love
What do kitties dream of? The worlds largest ball of yarn, all you can eat buffets of fish, big piles of warm blankets to burrow in, who knows. All I know is that my beautiful kitty Lily is one of the loves of my life!
Day 10 – Childhood Memory
Two command wolves from the Helic Republic conduct recon operations in the forest of planet Zi. These two models are part of my extensive Zoid model collection–based on the anime show Zoids which I watched when I was younger.
Day 11 – Something Blue
A Great Blue Heron stalks fish along the bank of the Roubidoux Creek in Waynesville, Mo. This blue heron originally flew off when I first stumbled upon him, but it slowly stalked back down the creek along the distant shore line.
Day 12 – Sunset
Unless you’re in some cool or exotic location, sunsets are just sunsets. Nothing too special. However, learning the technique to layer drinks and recreating a sunset in a glass almost makes me want to take a bartender course to learn to make cool drinks.
Day 13 – Yourself With 13 Things
Can you ever have too many ties? Can you ever have too many paisley ties? I say you can never have enough of either! The past couple years I’ve sequestered a descent stockpile of my favorite accessory, neck ties. I’ve given some thought into branching out into bow ties some time, seeing as bow ties are cool.
Day 14 – Eyes
This little Three-Toed Box Turtle peeks out above the grass with his amber-brown eyes. Just a couple days ago I had to stop the lawn mower for a minute to let this little guy scoot out of the way of me mowing the grass.
Day 15 – Silhouette
Who doesn’t like dinosaurs? Who doesn’t like robots? Who wouldn’t want a robot dinosaur that could shoot a giant ray gun from its mouth? Day 10 had me dig my old zoid models out of a storage box, and as nerdy and embarrassing as it is I really enjoy photographing them.
Day 16 – Long Exposure
The Pulaski County Fair came to town just in time for me to get a nice long exposure of a carnival ride. And even though I love amusement parks and thrill rides, I think I’ll pass up the rickety carnival rides and wait till I can make it to a real amusement park.
Day 17 – Technology
The process of developing film and printing photos which used to take hours in a darkroom, under red photo paper safe lights, has been reduced to a mere hobby by the digitalization of photography. The old developing process can now be done in minutes through wires and photo programs on a computer. These developments have made photography more accessible to general people, but it is my (probably biased) opinion that buying and owning a camera does not make you a photographer.
Day 18 – Shoes
Yesterday I did a nice float trip on the Piney River on Fort Leonard Wood. I wore my ever so comfortable vibrams (toe shoes in street lingo), at least till I got out in the river when I was able to strap them to the side of my surprisingly comfortable river tube. Who knew that a head rest and mesh bottom would make a world of difference compared to a black innertube–oh, and since the tube isn’t black it doesn’t melt your skin off anytime you move and touch a new spot of the tube.
Day 19 – Something Orange
Oh hey look, an orange flower. I don’t really have much to say about this one. I’m going to leave it up to you to admire and interpret the picture how you will.
Day 20 – Bokeh (from wikipedia – the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light)
The Tales of Beedle the Bard, written by JK Rowling, is a collection of five magical fairy tales covering everything from magic fountains to the age old debate of following your head or your heart. If I ever have children maybe I will be able to indoctrinate them with a nerdy love of Harry Potter from a young age by reading them these stories.
Day 21 – Faceless Self-Portrait
The view from the entrance of Miller Cave is quite amazing–looking out over a valley along the Piney River. Though I’ve only been back into the cave spelunking once, it has become one of my favorite places to visit and take pics.
Day 22 – Hands
Elephants have always been one of my favorite animals, and although I’m not particularly known for story telling, shadow puppetry is an ancient form that was popular in many cultures. Maybe if I keep practicing someday I can do the entire cast of The Lion King.
Day 23 – Sunflare
A crystal hanging from my rear view mirror swings back and forth as I drive around and it flickers little rainbows around the cab of my truck on nice sunny days. The crystal acts as a prism–refracting and dispersing the light through all the different facets.
Day 24 – Animal
I already have a couple pics of random animals up, and sure I already have some pics of my nerd-tastic zoid models, but I can’t help further display my nerdiness and photograph the models. So, here we have the iron kong, who with his shoulder mounted energy canon and missile pod, would give king kong the fight of his life.
Day 25 – Something Pink
The motorcycle world is inherently a masculine domain, but female riders might come up with their own ways of maintaining a feminine identity while still being a part of that world. For instance, after being referred to as “sir” one morning, my mother now has all pink riding gear. From helmet to vest to leather boots, now there’s no mistake from any distance if she’s a “sir” or a “mam.”
Day 26 – Close-up
I don’t really wear jewelry too often, but in my summer boredom I recently got into some beading supplies my mom has and I put together a simple strand of seed beads for a cross necklace that originally had an extremely cheap looking chain. Photography isn’t my only outlet of creativity–in addition to said bead work, I can color some mean looking dinosaurs.
Day 27 – From a Distance
Sure it’s a little dark, but don’t be afraid. One of the things I really miss up at school is being able to see the stars. All the light pollution in columbia blots them out, and all you see is an orange haze. I’m no astronomer or anything, but I’m pretty sure this is the constellation orion. It’s one of the only ones I can identify, besides the simple ones like the big and little dipper.
Day 28 – Flowers
I kinda regret the photo I used for day 19–would have been perfect for today. But, these little violet hosta blooms will do just as well I guess.
Day 29 – Black and White
This chest likely didn’t hold any pirate booty, probably more like the clothes and linens of a respectable, hard-working pioneer family. Regardless, this weathered antique has seen some wear in its days, and probably traveled some exciting places.
On another note, I need to rant for a minute. I am absolutely not a fan of digital pictures that are simply turned black and white post production. I started my photography with black and white film in a 35mm camera. There’s a HUGE difference between shooting black and white film, and shooting digital and simply editing the file. Similar to my rant on day 17, editing a photo to black and white does not make it a good photo!
Day 30 – Self-Portrait
Over the last decade the Harry Potter series has been an integral part of my life. Next month, the installment of the final film will close out the journey I’ve been on for nearly half my life. Sure, it’ll be sad that there’s no new books or movies to look forward to, but I still have the Wizarding World of Harry Potter that I can visit some time down in Florida.
So closes out my 30 day excursion. I may be a day late and a dollar short, but I'm thoroughly satisfied with (most of) my photos from this last month.