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I have nothing against SLR's. They're very functional and allow a photographer to take some pretty nice shots. That being said, there is a lot more to photography than an über expensive camera. My camera is a Panasonic Lumix LX5. This camera not only has manual exposure, aperture, ISO and even focus capabilities but it also fits in my pocket. It's still a point and shoot. What I hope to demonstrate through this blog is that good photography is more about the photographer than the camera and that it's okay not to have an SLR because really, who needs mirrors?

North Carolina

posted Oct 19, 2016, 7:38 PM by Peter Miller   [ updated Oct 19, 2016, 7:51 PM ]

The last few weeks of summer I got to spend in North Carolina on an internship. While I was there, staying with my cousin, I got to visit the Museum of Life and Science in Durham as well as visit the American Tobacco Campus and I got to spend a weekend at my grandparents' place on Topsail Island. I played a lot with macro as usual, but also played around with the tilt-shift effect, particularly on Topsail. All in all, it was quite a fun trip, and it gave me a reason to update my blog in the first time in quite a while!

Museum of Life and Sciences

American Tobacco Campus


Surf City - Topsail Island

Luisa Dasilva Emulation

posted May 15, 2014, 8:02 PM by Peter Miller

    For my final project in my photo class, I was to choose a published photographer and do some research on them and create some photos in their style. Upon browsing photographers, I came across a photographer who quite intrigued me.

    Personally, I really enjoy macro-photography and bokeh photography. I've been doing bokeh since before I even knew it had a name, and my camera is really good for it. Luisa Dasilva, however, has taken bokeh, and added a twist. Usually, the foreground is in focus and close up revealing lots of detail. The background is out of focus, like an object your eyes aren't focused on. This puts an emphasis on the foreground object. What Dasilva has done in some of her photos is she has actually taken the background and added a watercolor like effect. The result is the whole picture appears to be a water color, but the foreground is extremely detailed. It was after I saw those particular photos of hers that I decided I wanted to try my hand at that.

    There are two albums in particular with great examples of Luisa Dasilva's use of this effect and I will link to them below. I prefer not to embed images directly as they are not my work and this blog is for showing my work. That being said, I highly encourage you to check Dasilva's work out because it is quite good! To see her other works as well, check the source link posted at the end of the writing portion of this post.
            Album: 2014 Recent Work            Album: More Macros

    Luisa Dasilva is photographer specializing in nature who has traveled to many parts of the word from South America to Australia and gotten many good shots in the process. Dasilva shoots pretty diverse subject matter, though it is almost always connected to nature, whether it be birds, flowers, or leaves trapped in the ice. Dasilva currently lives in Sunrise FL in the United States and is very passionate about photography. She views it as a way to share moments and emotions with people and although she is a great photographer, she still looks toward others to learn new things every day.

            Source: Luisa Dasilva on Photo.net

Below are eight of my own images, all taken at Hebron Academy, that I have created in an attempt to emulate the style with which Luisa Dasilva intrigued me:

The Journey of the Orange Tube

posted May 5, 2014, 7:14 AM by Peter Miller   [ updated May 5, 2014, 10:34 AM ]

I had the opportunity to meet up with Kevin DeSorbo, the Network Administrator for Hebron Academy where I am currently finishing my senior year. For my photo class, I was to do some photojournalism, and the network that runs throughout the school has interested me for quite some time. Mr. Desorbo, who was also my computer science teacher last year, seemed quite happy to show me around and bring me behind the scenes where students rarely see the infrastructure that is responsible for keeping the ties from the devices in our pockets or our backpacks to the rest of the world via the internet.

The journey starts not too far away in this ominous brown building on Route 119 in Hebron Maine. (Okay, it starts in data centers all over the world, but it arrives to Hebron here.) I've passed this building countless times without ever giving it a second thought. From here, a fiber-optic cable is run all the way to the school.

The internet actually enters campus in a location you'd not expect; Atwood Hall, the freshman and new sophomore dormitory.

The cable doesn't actually get processed at Atwood though. For that, there is some hardware in a different building.

The cable comes along these set of telephone poles over to Sturtevant Hall, the main school building of Hebron Academy. The building in the picture is Atwood Hall, and it is taken near Sturtevant Hall where it comes in.

The server room is very small room adjacent to the tech office. This room is the heart of the network, distributing the network two ways from here. Looking at the ceiling though, there is one critical issue with this room: water pipes. The ceiling is full of plumbing, and although there have been no issues as of yet, the tech department are still taking precautions and will be moving the whole system to another room in the summer when the school is closed for vacation.

 This room that I called "the heart" could probably also be given other names of vital organs. For example, it it also "the brain" in that this is where the "H Drive," a network drive that gives each student their own place to store files is. It could just as easily be "the kidneys" as this is where filtering comes in keeping students and faculty off of dangerous or just plain "not safe for work/school" sites. These functions are done by various modules on this server rack. To my surprise, however, the actual website, www.HebronAcademy.org, is not hosted in this room but actually by the same company that runs our "Portal," a part of the website that allows students to find their assignments and other important information created and run by Whipple Hill.

Fiber optic cables are flexible strands of glass that conduct not electricity, but light. A laser pulse is used to send information, and since light is the fastest known thing, this makes networks way faster than traditional cables. This is how Hebron is connected to the world and how each building is connected to the main network. This is where the main fiber comes in and gets routed to each building.

The cables run through two orange tubes going out in two directions like two arms branching out from Sturtevant. The cables are each labeled nicely. Remember, these are glass fibers running everywhere through an orange tube going from building to building.

Mr. Desorbo took me on the left half of the network. From Sturtevant, it is a matter of following this tube to the Treat Science Hall, back to Atwood, through Sargent Gymnasium, through the Business Office to Halford Hall and then to the new Athletic Center and finally to Robinson Arena. That is just one arm. This orange tube runs with the fiber to each of these buildings through tunnels and old irrigation pipes. Occasionally it makes an appearance on telephone poles losing the orange conduit.

The orange tube appears in some places that are just plain creepy. This is one of many hidden spaces in the old Sargent Gymnasium, which is now the LePage Fine Arts Center. There was a window with pipes running through elsewhere in this room and no one around could figure out where the other side of that window even was.

Many buildings on campus sport a box like this. Here is the back of the business office. This is often where the fiber enters and leaves the buildings.

Each building also sports equipment which turns the fiber optic systems to plain cable which runs through the rest of the building. The reason for switching from fiber to cable at this point is that it is the format for which computers and wireless hotspots are able to use. Most of the campus uses CAT 5 cable, which has been the standard for quite some time. The Athletic Center, however, uses CAT 6, which is actually faster than the rest of the network. (The result being that it is bottlenecked until other systems are potentially upgraded in the future.) This is because the building is quite new, and in fact the only building new enough to have this stuff built in natively. Here, the cables are also color coded where purple is for the phones, black is for data and blue is standard ethernet, what plugs into a computer.

From the racks in each building, the cables go throughout the buildings to sockets like these in the Treat Science Hall where computers are plugged in allowing for fast internet access. Also plugged into these are some wireless hotspots which provide wifi for wireless devices to access the internet.

At the end of each side of the network, there are these boxes with the same warning label found on a hand held laser because that is what it houses. Remember, network communications aren't just about getting information in, but also getting it out.

Self Portraits

posted Apr 20, 2014, 2:49 PM by Peter Miller   [ updated Apr 21, 2014, 6:49 AM ]

These pictures were taken for an assignment in which I was to take ten self portraits conveying an emotion. As my camera is still being serviced, the first was taken with a Canon Powershot S5 IS, the second was taken with Jenna's Nikon D3100 which she was kind enough to lend me for that shot (You should check out her blog) and the rest were taken with an Olympus E-420. The latter two are DSLRs, so they are an exception to this blog. Anyway, these shots were fun to take and quite a few of them have been edited. It is interesting to note however that this was not done with Adobe Photoshop but rather GIMP, which is a free open-source photo manipulation program that's pretty good. (Though Photoshop still has the upper hand.) The photo depicting disapproval in the form of a newscaster references this video created by a friend, Kane Williamson.

Shocked
Shocked

Confused
Confused

Exhausted
Exhausted

Bored
Bored

Lazy
Lazy

Devious
Devious

Care Free
Care Free

Dissaproving
Disapproval

Patient
Patient

Bokeh & HDR

posted Apr 6, 2014, 12:12 PM by Peter Miller

Recently, I was assigned a project in photo class which required six photos shot in the bokeh style. This is where the subject is up close and in focus while the background is blurry. One of these photos is to be in HDR, (High Dynamic Range) which is where a photographer uses different exposures and uses part of each to compose a bright photo that's very dynamic. On the bright side, bokeh is a style that I love doing and my camera is absolutely fantastic at. The problem is that my camera is still in Texas. Luckily, I got to use a Canon that was available to use. It was actually pretty similar to my Lumix, so that was good. (And still without a mirror.) The other bad thing is that HDR works best with a backlit environment which is not where I shot mine. The first six photos are my straight up bokeh shots and the next four are the source exposures used for my HDR piece followed by the HDR piece itself.

Bokeh

HDR Source Exposures

HDR Completed Photo

New York City

posted Apr 3, 2014, 8:19 PM by Peter Miller

I finally went to New York City for my first time this february. Here are a couple of pictures I took from my hotel window.

Ice Storm

posted Apr 3, 2014, 8:16 PM by Peter Miller

There was an ice storm the day before Christmas 2013 here. It looked particularly cool on our 2000 Chevy Suburban. Also, by this point the manual control dial had completely failed. I took these in aperture priority mode.


Science

posted Apr 3, 2014, 8:12 PM by Peter Miller

Red

posted Apr 3, 2014, 8:09 PM by Peter Miller

I was assigned a project this fall to shoot pictures of red things. I edited a few of them using Adobe Lightroom, but the ones posted now are originals.

Variety Pack

posted Apr 3, 2014, 8:01 PM by Peter Miller

These are some photos taken at my school, Little Sebago Lake, Baldpate Mountain and Camp Hinds. Really, I just found them on my SD card.

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