Project 365: One Year in Photos
May 27, 2009, 8:00 am
Filed under: 365, Nikon D60, One Year in Photos, Projects

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So, if you clicked that little black 365 icon in the top left corner before this weekend, odds are you were left staring at a blank page.

No longer.

365 is a project I’m doing, where I take a photo every single day, then look back in a year and wonder where the hell my life went. Sometimes the photo will be of me. Sometimes it won’t. Hell, it might wind up being a picture of you. But, whatever it may be, there will be a new picture for each day.

If you check and don’t see a new picture up, trust that it’ll be up within a day or two. Sometimes, I just won’t have time to post them right away. Besides, if you’re that hard up for my photos, you might wanna take a long, hard look at the choices you’ve made in life, thus far.

Anyway, enjoy the photos and, as always, feel free to leave feedback in the form of a comment, email or note attached to a rock thrown through my bedroom window.

(Ed. note: The photos will also be posted on my Flickr account, with some choice selections posted to Facebook. Not all of my friends read this site, so I’m trying to make it easy for everyone to find.)

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Well I’m Alive, So I Got That Going For Me, Which Is Nice…
April 4, 2009, 7:16 am
Filed under: 4AM Project, Near Death Experiences, Nikon D60

The 4am Project seemed like an interesting idea. People around the globe going out at four in the morning–their time–taking pictures, posting them on Flickr, and in the end, giving us all an interesting look at the world at a time when everyone is typically asleep.

I’m willing to bet that my 4am Project had a lot more excitement than yours…

What started as me going to take pictures of an empty South Beach quickly turned into me swerving through traffic while being chased by a guy in a red pick-up truck. What? Your night didn’t involve any scenes from The Bourne Identity? Rookie. I’ll spare you the long version of the story (mostly because I’m already tired of hearing myself talk about it) and just say that it involved sharp turns, screeching tires, a frantic 911 call and a shit-ton of cop cars coming to my rescue. I had really only seen stuff like that in the movies.

Well, until four o’clock this morning…

Somehow, though, with my hands still trembling for the remainder of the night, I managed to hold the camera steady enough to get some decent shots. I couldn’t tell you how I did it, though. In all honesty, I was fully prepared to call this set of photos the Michael J. Fox Series. (I’m going to hell. I know.)

I also met a really nice photographer/ex-Marine on the beach who taught me some lighting tricks and gave me this piece of advice about my camera:

“You’re holding a weapon. I watch everybody around me this time o’ night. If anyone comes after me, I won’t hesitate to hit them in the head with this. $800 or your life?”

I’ve met a lot of Marines and they’re all about as bat-shit insane as this guy. They’ll use a toothpick to slice your neck open if you give them enough reason. Really nice guys, though. Just a little nuts.

When all was said and done, I had spent about a half an hour taking pictures on South Beach. Not a very long time, but when half of your night is consumed by a crazy old man who chases you in his truck because he thinks you’re the paparazzi, 30 minutes isn’t too shabby.

At the end of the night, as I was leaving the parking garage, I pulled up to the lady in the booth and handed her my ticket.

“I almost died tonight,” I said to the woman.

“That’ll be $16,” she replied, clearly disinterested in my story.

My teachers always told me I’d be worthless, but they were wrong.

$16… that’s what my life is worth.

The rest of my 4am Project photos can be found on my Flickr page:
MY 4AM PROJECT



Monday Morning Flickr Whoring
March 30, 2009, 9:00 am
Filed under: Nikon D60, Photography

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It’s Monday, and you know what that means, don’t you? (Besides that you’re at work and hating your seemingly meaningless life.)

It means that you have to look at more of my shitty pictures.

This weekend, I messed around with my camera and tried to learn something new. I did. Whether it wound up looking cool or not is a totally different story. Apparently, on these fancy shmancy cameras, you can change the shutter speed. And while I knew that was a helpful tool in taking pictures at night, I had no idea you could use it to make really cool, trippy, streaks of light appear on an otherwise boring photo. (See: above) All you have to do is slow down the shutter speed, snap the picture and then shake the shit outta the camera, and you can tell people that you’re artsy. Fuck yea. I’m deep.

Or something.

There are also a few other new shots on the Flickr page that don’t look like the inside of a laser tag arena, so feel free to check those out, as well.



Shooting A Child Is Easier Than You Think
March 9, 2009, 9:00 am
Filed under: Adam Smoot, Nikon D60, Photography

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When you first take up photography as a hobby, you have a general idea of the types of things you want to take capture with the camera. Usually, you start with beaches and sunsets and work your way up to buildings and other structures. Sometime after that, you decide to move on to live subjects. There’s only one problem…you never really thought about how awkward it’s going to be taking pictures of people who don’t even know you.

Welcome to my world.

Saturday morning, I wandered over to the baseball field I played at growing up. It’s been at least 15 years since I’ve stepped foot on their grass and when I finally come back, it’s to capture the memories of other kids. I felt kinda sketchy. I mean, who takes pictures of other people’s children except child molesters and Sears? But, you can look anywhere online and find pictures of random kids doing random things, so apparently, it’s not all that uncommon.

When I first arrived at the park, there was a t-ball game being played on the far field, but I was staying away, choosing only to shoot scenic shots on one of the empty fields. Ya gotta put your toes in the water before you jump right in and do the backstroke. Eventually, after 20 minutes of putzing around–including a trip to the snack bar for a $2, 16oz. bottle of soda (WTF?!)–I manned up and started snapping shots of the kids. Fuck it. If a parent is gonna be weirded out by me, they’ll have to deal with it, because if I was going to get any decent shots, I’d have to forget anyone was even looking at me. I gotta say, after about 10 pictures, it wasn’t even a thought in my mind. The only thing I was focused on were the five-year-olds, attempting to play baseball, only creating some new version of the sport where there are no base paths and tackling is totally allowed. Kids can be cute when they aren’t in your immediate family and destroying your shit.

After that, I made my way to a game with older kids, about 10-12 years-old, that more closely resembled the traditional form of baseball. The one with a pitcher, catcher and some semblance of organization.

All in all, it was a pretty good day to shoot. Maybe I did look a little strange to some people and maybe some parents had their fingers on the keypad of their phones, ready to press 9-1-1. All I know is that I got some pretty awesome shots. You can check the Flickr page to see more than just the one above.

(Special thanks to Michelle for accompanying me, making me feel 1000X less awkward about what I was doing.)

Where It All Began [Flickr]


So THAT’S What Photos Are Supposed To Look Like…
March 2, 2009, 1:22 am
Filed under: Flickr, Nikon D60, Photography

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My first car was a Chevy Prizm. I was 18 and only working part time, so really, that was as far as my bank account would take me. It was a decent enough vehicle that I wasn’t embarrassed driving it around, but I also wasn’t about to go coasting down A1A, picking up women in it . I loved that car like it were my son. My American-made son who was always on the verge of breaking down, but somehow always managed to live another day.

Then, just a few months ago, I bought a new car… an Accord. Compared to my Prizm, this thing feels like a tank. There’s enough room in the back for someone to sit down and not wedge their knees into the driver’s spine, which is nice. It has automatic windows and locks; something I wasn’t fortunate enough to have on my previous car. Have you ever tried reaching across the inside of a car to crank the passenger window back up, doing 90 mph on the highway, because it just started to rain? I don’t know how CarMax ever got the skid marks off the driver’s seat.

My favorite thing about having a new car, though, is that the steering wheel doesn’t shake when the cars exceeds 50 mph. Truth be told, I sort of miss clutching the steering wheel with both hands, out of fear that if I let go, the entire car will shake itself to pieces. However, there is something to be said about a smooth ride on a long trip to Orlando.

Now, for the longest time, I was happy with my old, crappy Chevy. It got me from point A to point B, and while it wasn’t flashy, it got the job done. But, it wasn’t until a bought a far superior product that I realized just what I was missing, and that this process only moves one direction. From here on out, I can only buy better. No regression.

What am I getting at?

My old point and shoot camera was awesome. It was a lot quicker than most of my friends cameras and the screen on the back was huge. I honestly didn’t think it could get any better than that… until I bought my new toy. There’s no turning back now.

As of right now, I’m an amateur. Unless there’s another word for someone who sucks at something because he/she just started. In which case, I’m that. This is the first time I’ve ever tried semi-interesting photography and I felt like you all should come along for the ride. I’ll be posting shots here every so often, but I’ll keep the majority of my photos over on Flickr. Feel free to check em out and leave some constructive criticism.

Or just make fun of me. Totally your choice.

THE FLICKR PAGE



It’s A Girl!
February 23, 2009, 8:56 am
Filed under: Announcements, Nikon D60

Allow me to take this Monday morning to welcome the newest member of the Smoot family. We expect her arrival in the next 7-10 business days. I already wanna pinch her cheeks and spoil her with gaudy lenses.

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