Saturday, December 26, 2009

Nick Cutsumpas and White Plains Basketball

I went to go see a close family friend, Nick Cutsumpas, play basketball in a high school basketball tournament. Nick is the captain and starting point guard for White Plains High School. I had gone with my Uncle Lloyd to see him play earlier in the week and he played well. Tonight was not a pretty game but White Plains managed a 46-44 win at the Westchester County Center.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tufted Titmouse

Nikon D300, Nikon 70-200mm at 200mm, 1/250 at f/4.

As the weather has dropped into the teens, more and more birds have been eating from the bird feeder in my father's backyard. Yesterday, I took the photo above right after a morning workout. I noticed two cardinals at the feeder and snapped a few shots of them, but the photo of the tufted titmouse above was the best of the bunch.

I used a long focal length (200mm) with a large aperture (f/4) to create the great bokeh, or background blur. This is important because the background tree branches were too distracting and therefore needed to be blurred to emphasize the bird and feeder in the foreground. To get this effect use a low f-stop, such as f/3.5 or f/4. The lower the f number and the farther away you are from the subject, the more blurry the background will become. If I had used a small aperture (large f number), such as f/14, the trees and background would also have been in focus (creating the opposite effect and no bokeh).

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Leaving Chicago

It's only natural to think highly of people when they are far away or no longer in your life. The things that bothered you fade and you begin thinking, "Hey, he wasn't such a bad guy. I kind of liked him. I hope he's doing well."

The same applies to the neighborhoods and cities where you have lived. You drive away thinking about the people who you were fortunate to know and deeply thankful for the close relationships you have made. So as I packed up and left Chicago today I began thinking about the people I'd be leaving behind. I also thought of the fond memories over the last four years, such as those below...