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Category Archives: Black & White

“Fissure” (??) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/8, 1/80s, Built-in Fill Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Architecture’ Filter

Well, it’s time for another one of Scott’s Photo Assignments and for this go around¬†the challenge is Abstract Photography. I generally do not go out looking to take abstract photos but occasionally, they do find me. ūüôā

All but the last two photos were taken today. With not alot of color around these parts and very few flowers to be had, I looked for subject matter outside my norm and concentrated on form, light and texture. The last two images I pulled from the archives since otherwise, they probably would never have seen the light of day.

Can you guess what they are? (Answers will be posted tomorrow).

“Wired” (??) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/6.3, 1/200s, ISO 200, Selective Toning


“Rusted” (??) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/8, 1/125s, ISO 200


“Grilled” (??) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/6.3, 1/80s, ISO 200, Colors Inverted


“Inprismed” (??) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/3.2, 1/100s, ISO 100


“Rosebud” (??) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/7.1, 1/100s, ISO 200


“I.C.U” (??) Canon Powershot SX40 HS, 27.3mm, F/4.5, 1/15s, ISO 1600


“One Red, Two White, Three Black” (??) Nikon Coolpix P7100, 42.6mm, F/5.6, 1/250s, ISO 100


The Seas with Nemo & Friends is one of my favorite¬†EpCoT attractions. Little did I know then¬†that I would walk away with photos perfect for Karen’s October Photo Hunt, which is all about idioms.

We begin with two shots taken outside the pavilion:
“Birds of a Feather Flock Together”

“Birds of a Feather” (Animatronic Seagulls, The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion, EpCoT) Nikon Coolpix P7100, 16.3mm, F/4, 1/1000s, -1.7EV, ISO 400, Built-in Rear Curtain Flash

“Swimming with Sharks”

“Swimming with Sharks” (The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion, EpCoT) Nikon Coolpix P7100, 6mm, F/2.8, 1/80s, ISO 400, Nik Silver Effex Pro ‘Strong IR HC’ Filter

For the third entry we head on into the ride itself. When I find myself on certain dark and rather slow-moving attractions,¬†I like to play with slow-shutter speeds allowing colors and forms to bleed into interesting compositions. So, from inside my ‘clamobile’, I clicked the shutter release and held the camera as steady as I could:

“Blur the Lines”

“Blur the Lines” (The Seas with Nemo & Friends Ride, EpCoT) Nikon Coolpix P7100, 6mm, F/2.8, 2s, ISO 1600

Visions of coral reefs, sunken vessels and sea life are instantly transformed into¬†a land of pink and apricot clouds¬†along with a lime green sun (or, is it¬†an alien ship??) ūüėȬ†

For the bonus Halloween shot, we head on¬†over to the Magic Kingdom. I simply¬†couldn’t resist this little guy dangling from one of¬†the¬†scarecrows that decorate¬†the¬†common at the very start of Main Street, USA:¬†

“Hung Out to Dry”¬†

“Hung Out to Dry” (Pumpkin Mickey Doll, Magic Kingdom, Main Street USA) Canon Powershot SX40 HS, 20.3mm, F/4.5, 1/800s, ISO 100

So, there you have it… THREE days early¬†and complete with¬†idiom bonus! ūüôā

“Twilight Terror” (The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios) Nikon D300, 28mm, F/22, 1/320s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter

Some very wet weather outside¬†has me digging through¬†the photo archives today. There are still so many photos I haven’t posted from our¬†last trip to Walt¬†Disney World!To match the doom and gloom raging outside my window,¬†it seems appropriate to take a tour of¬†‘The Twilight Zone¬†Tower of Terror’, an attraction¬†at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Although I’ve ridden the “ride”, turns out I’m not a fan of being dropped¬†down an elevator shaft. ūüėČ

So while guests rushed passed me to access the queue line, I strode leisurely along, soaking in all the extraordinary details of the run-down exterior, lobby and, yes, even the basement.

Our tour begins outside. This is one of the few images shot in color, where the sky was a brilliant blue and the gorgeous Florida sun shone beautifully,¬†lighting up all the architectural details.¬†Hmmm, doesn’t exactly conjure up a feeling of terror, now does it? No worries. A quick pass through Nik’s¬†Silver Efex Pro¬†was all I needed to pull forth the¬†uh, ‘terrifying’¬†mood.

“Concierge of Terror” (Concierge Desk, Lobby, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios) Nikon D300, 56mm, F/5.6, 1/10s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter

Walking into the hotel lobby, we are first greeted by the concierge desk. I’m sure someone will be along shortly… ūüėČ

“Cuppa Terror” (Tea Cart, Lobby, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Nikon D300, 28mm, F/4.5, 1/10s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter

While we wait, lets take a look around. To our left, a spot of tea can be enjoyed while taking part in a game of Mahjong. Although I’m quite impressed with the lush furnishings and elegant finishes,¬†it appears housekeeping is¬†not a high priority here. I must speak to the hotel manager about this.

“Check-in to Terror” (Front Desk, Lobby, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, 45mm, F/4.5, 1/10s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter


Weary from my trip and tired of waiting for the concierge to return, I move towards the front desk.
Once again, the place seems deserted.
Perhaps the desk clerk is helping the gentleman who left his topcoat, hat and folded newspaper behind?

“Interrupted Terror” (Front Desk, Lobby, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios) Nikon D300, 28mm, F/4.5, 1/5s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter

“Super-intended Terror” (Basement Office, The Twilight Zone Tower of Tower, Disney’s Hollywoood Studios) Nikon D300, 35mm, F/2.8, 1/30s, -0.3EV, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter


After waiting impatiently for service, I begin searching the hotel for any signs of staff, eventually making my way into the basement level of the hotel.

Here, the Superintendent’s office and maintenance areas yield more of the same: neat, orderly, yet¬†completely covered in dust and cobwebs, as if quickly abandoned and frozen in time.

“Hidden Terror” (Maintenance Shop, Basement, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Nikon D300, 28mm, F/2.8, -1.0EV, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter


The hidden Mickey is a nice touch and instantly reminds me that indeed, I was never in any danger what-so-ever.

“We hope your stay at The Hollywood Tower Hotel has been a pleasant one. And please… do come back and see us again.”

Happily, I step back out into the bright sunshine, thankful I didn’t become¬†a permanent resident of “The Twilight Zone’. ūüôā

On February 8th, 2011, I¬†embarked on a committment to fitness, promising to stick with it for 16 weeks. My annual physical the day before was a high motivating factor since I could no longer ignore the few extra pounds and elevated bad cholesterol level. Nothing horrible, mind you, and I didn’t even get a reprimand from my doctor since compared to most women my age, I am actually very healthy. But I knew I didn’t like the direction things were heading¬†and decided to make a change right then and there.

The Pro-form Elliptical that had been collecting dust in our spare room since November 2009 (yikes!) was as good a place as any¬†to start. Over the years, I’ve pretty much had a hate-hate relationship with that machine. (For anyone who has ever had the pleasure, you know exactly what I am talking about ūüėČ ). Since elliptical machines work the upper body¬†and¬†the lower body at the same time, workouts are more intense and you tire more quickly than¬†doing the same amount of time at X-level on say, a stationary bicycle or a treadmill.

“I Hate/Love U” (Skechers Shape-ups XF Accelerators) Nikon D300, 38mm, F/4.5, 1/10s, ISO 640, Built-in i-TTL Balanced Fill Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, -1.3EV, Nik Color Efex Pro ‘Old Photo’ Filter

I started off slooowly, knowing full well if I did too much too soon my enthusiasm would quickly¬†wane and I’d be right back to doing nothing (sound familiar?). Over time, I increased minutes and then, intensity levels,¬†even adding in weight training and abdominal/core workouts on my non-cardio days. About six weeks in, I started HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) on the machine and began to notice changes in muscle tone and my clothing started to fit better. I still wasn’t in love with exercise but I was in a routine that actually seemed to be working.¬†

Then, ten weeks in, my committment was seriously challenged. While out and about, doing routine errands, I rolled my left foot on an uneven sidewalk, breaking the 5th metatarsal bone. Ouch. I was devastated. All I could think about was, I had come so far, put in so much time and sweat and what was I going to do now?? Luckily, I was able to get in to see an orthopedist the next morning and was sporting a (removable) walking air-cast and crutches when I left their office. Yes, I did break the bone but I was given full permission to continue working out, as long as I could endure the pain. 

“Good Form’ (Female Fitness Portrait) Nikon D300, 28mm, F/4.5, 1/10s, ISO 640, Built-in i-TTL Fill Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, -1.3EV, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Silhouette II’ Filter

Are you kidding me?? 

At the time, I thought the orthopedist was insane.¬†I couldn’t even put weight on that foot so just HOW was I going to¬†exercise??¬†He assured me that after a few days of rest,¬†elevation and icing, I would begin to feel better. Riiiiight.

Needless to say, I was not convinced but sure enough, time proved he knew what he was talking about.¬†Four days after the ‘incident’, I was¬†back on the elliptical. I did 25 minutes that day (albeit on Level 1 and at¬†a reduced pace than what I had been doing) but I felt like I had climbed Mt. Everest. Was I shaky and scared to death? You bet. Did my foot feel like it no longer knew what to do? Oh, hell yeah. None of that mattered. The important thing was, I was back and from that point on, I knew I was going to be okay.

In the days and weeks to follow,¬†I did what I could, had good days as well as some setbacks, but I kept at it, determined not to quit.¬†And here I am,¬†six months since I started (that’s two months more than what I¬†originally committed to), a new woman. Sure, there¬†are¬†days¬†where it isn’t easy and my conviction is thoroughly¬†tested,¬†but I’ve¬†made friends with that ‘machine’ as¬†I am convinced that it not only saved my sanity,¬†it acted as the perfect rehab for my injury.

Without¬†it, I certainly would not have healed as quickly as I did and¬†when faced with the possibility that I couldn’t work out, I realized I actually wanted to. (Funny how that happens, huh?)¬†I have a completely new outlook on fitness and exercise these days…it is simply now part of the¬†routine.

If you are looking for a run-down of pounds/inches lost, sorry to disappoint. I do not own a scale and I never took measurements. My goals were to lose the love handles and the¬†‘jigglies’,¬†improve core strength and overall¬†muscle strength, develop muscle tone, be able to take the stairs and not¬†lose my¬†breath,¬†make my heart strong, and in general, no longer shudder when I look in the mirror.

Mission accomplished. ūüôā

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