Hmmmm, Project 365?

So,

It’s been a while since I’ve heard of project 365.  Have you heard of it?  Well let me tell you a little bit about it.  It is, as you might guess, a photo a day for a year.  Yes, I said a year, that is 365 photos, unless, of course, it happens to be a leap year and in that case you get to take an extra photo, or I suppose you could take a day off during the year and just keep it at 365.  Anyway, I’ve been thinking about doing this and there are a couple of different ways I’ve heard this being done.  One is that it’s 365 photos with you somehow in the photo, for instance a picture of a mirror or you reaching around and putting your finger in the scene as you take the photo, pretty much whatever you can think of to get 365 photos with one being taken per day.  So like I couldn’t take 365 photos on January 1 and then post one photo a day for the next year.  Another one is you take one photo a week for a grand total of 52 photos a year, even on a leap year.

All this to say, I think I’m going to take the plunge this year.  Here is what I am thinking though.  I’ll post my photos once a week at least but there should be seven total.  My photos may end up being of the tree out back at night with no light, or the wall, or the carpet.  It can get pretty boring and life, family and time can get in the way but I’ll post something for that day no matter what.

I’ll start on January 1st and go until December 31st of 2013.

I’ll use any camera I have that I can get an image from just in case I don’t have the D7000 with me at the time.

I may end up changing where I post my photos, so I may start here but decide it’s more convenient to move to flickr or something else but I’ll let you know.  I may need encouragement from time to time so feel free to post nice things as I go along and tell me how awesome I am and what a great dad I am and that I am a MAN among men.  Blah, blah, blah.

Ok…ready…set…GO!!!!!…Oh, I guess in a couple of days.

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Well…

So,

Let’s say that last week I was living in an apartment and wondering if we’d ever get to leave.  You know how these things work out, you move somewhere with high hopes and then life happens and 10 years later you think to yourself, I was only supposed to live here for six months.  Well, that is how I was feeling last week.

This week has a little bit of a different feel for me.  I feel like I am about to move…oh…let’s say in…well…less than 30 days.  Yes that’s right, the Yamada’s are buying a house.  It’s not as grand as the one we wanted when we first moved here, but it’s nice.  A little back yard but behind the back yard is one of the housing community’s parks and, ya you guessed it, one of the pools.  It’s like having a pool in my back yard but I don’t have to worry about upkeep on the thing.  (Sounds good, right Scott?)  Small patch of grass in the front, which means I’m really going to have to figure out how to convince Jo to let me get that riding lawn mower.

Could use some paint on the inside and I’ll have to get a washer and dryer and of course the refrigerator.  I’m getting one with an ice maker and I’m throwing my stupid ice trays out.  MAN I hate those things.

I’m pretty excited about it, I haven’t gotten any pictures yet, when we went to look at houses I went from work and I didn’t have my camera with me.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get some good snaps tomorrow, Jo wants to look at it again.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve got for now, I’ll show you what I did in my latest class in a bit.

Date With Jake

So,

Just like Quinn kept asking me out on a date, Jake, the quiet one, didn’t.  He is a bit more shy than Quinn and sometimes it takes a bit more to get him to say something or tell me something that he wants to do.  Anyway, since I went out with Quinn for lunch I needed to take Jake out as well.  Now Jake has been riding, like actually riding, bikes for a bit longer than Quinn.  He is quite good at it, before I get into that however, let me tell you from the beginning.

Jake and I have been on vacation for  a while now.  Jake’s is his school’s Christmas break, and mine is Christmas stand down, both breaks were needed and will be a bummer when they end.  Anyway, when he went on his break I decided to take him out to lunch, lunch for us was at Burger King, which is an old favorite from Okinawa.  I’d take the boys in the stroller and Skuut and we’d walk down to Burger King and have some lunch.  Ahhhhhhh, good times.

So lunch.  Well when I went on the date with Quinn I told Jake to think of something for us to do.  I went bike riding with Quinn and because they are brothers and not to be out done, well and it’s just good fun, Jake and I went to ride bikes as well.  Now understand my bike, a Kona Stinky-Dee, hasn’t been worked on or ridden in several years and I don’t ride it because it needs some lovin’.  Anyway, when I say we went bike riding, it really isn’t me riding at all, it’s one or both of the boys riding and me either walking along with, or taking pictures or both.  This one was a picture taking trip. and since Jake has been riding for so much longer than Quinn it wasn’t quite as fun or exciting and he just really did well.

Jake Ridin'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In fact he was doing so well he thought he’d catch a quick look at me to make sure I was taking pictures of him.

Jake posing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wanted to get some pictures of Jake posing with his bike but he wasn’t as natural with doing the posing and there ended up being a lot of cheese.

Jake still posing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the sun was out and it was quite bright.  Both my boys, and I have this crazy squinty eye thing in bright sun, or even in not quite as bright sun…and it’s not because we’re Asian either.hehe

Look at that, and don't let it fool you, those little bikes are heavy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He did want to show me how strong he was by picking up his bike and carrying it to the back of the car.  And it’s not a very well advertised fact but those little bikes, the frames are made out of lead and so they are quite heavy.  I think they do that so the kids can build up the strength in their legs to pedal the bigger bikes.

Anyway, he got tired of riding and the posing wasn’t working out so I decided to change tactics and get him into a situation where he could more easily be himself.

So this is Jake not posing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So we were in the parking lot next to the YMCA, which also had a ball field and we put the bike up and went inside the fence.  After I gave him the ring pop…ya, right, I totally remember those also…he totally loosened up and the cheese in his face was gone and we got to some real smiles and his personality came out.

Delicious ring pop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And he got to do some goofy stuff.

I can't decide if this one is my favorite?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or if it's this one?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those last two pictures, I can’t decide which one is my favorite, they are both a little silly, they both have pretty good smiles and they both are showing off the ring pop…I know, that’s what I said….

Well, we had a good time, and I’m really glad I was able to get him out of his posing for pictures mode and into a more fun and real mode so we could get some better pictures.

Date With Quinn

So,

Over the last month or so my son, Quinn, has kept coming up to me and saying…”Dad, remember when we went on a date?”, “Yes, son I remember.”  “Let’s go on another date.”  After that my heart fills with pride and joy that he would want to hang out with me.  Now I am not expecting this to continue but I am hoping that it will for both of them.

Today though he picked for us to go out to McDonalds, he called it the one with the arches.  We went, we ate, we talked, and he told stories.  I ended up dropping my phone in catsup, but luckily it missed going in all the important holes.  We had fries and McNuggets, I had a Big Mac, Quinn had Strawberry Fanta.  It was delicious…strangely enough I actually don’t mind McDonalds, but I did offer up Wendy’s but he didn’t choose that one.

I told him we could go ride his bike, or actually he could, it’s not big enough for the two of us, and then we could go eat lunch.  Of course that isn’t what he had in mind he wanted to eat then ride and since it was his date I conceded and let him have it his way, which is actually  Burger King and where we normally go.  After we ate we drove to the Y by our house and in the back there is a big parking lot which today was completely empty and so made for some nice space to ride around without having to worry about getting hit by a car or running into people or other bikers or anything really, except the curb, which he did once or twice.  Good thing it wasn’t a street full of cars, parked or moving.

As a side note, I might have mentioned that I got a new camera.  I’ve been saving my bones up and through a couple of early Christmas presents I saved up enough to get it in time for opening presents.  Oh, and I spent a couple of days on my homework, got it done and turned in and viola…camera.  Thanks wife.  She finally put me over the edge.  Anyway, all that to say I took my new camera out to take some pictures of Quinn riding his bike around the parking lot.

Quinn is riding his bike, actually with the pedals

He learned a new trick, which isn’t so much of a trick as just a skill that I’ve found actually needs to be learned.  Both Jake and Quinn learned to ride a bike, the balance part, on a Skuut, The problem they both had was that they needed to “learn” how to actually make the pedals to ’round and ’round.

Just being cool

And then he just suddenly struck a pose, I guess since I had my camera out he felt compelled to strike a mighty pose.

So, of course he is Joelle’s son which means he really likes to talk and tell stories.  In this case, you will notice on the above picture there is a hand brake.  Now this hand brake goes to the front wheel, but it doesn’t work worth a darn, but anyway, he wanted to show me how it worked.  He just started riding a bike and so that would be to much, back to his feet….

So you're going along...

and movin'...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then you get ready...

And then you Squeeze...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And squeeze!!!

How great is that.  Now you all know how to use the hand brake on your bikes.  He really did a great job getting out there and pedaling and just plain ol’ not crashing into to much stuff.  He’s my boy and I’m proud of him.

On the other hand, the camera was wonderful.  I had it on CL which for Nikon is Continuous Low speed, and I didn’t feel like I was struggling to get the next shot off before the bike went by.  I used my 35mm prime lens the whole time which was really cool, and also meant that I wasn’t worried about him getting to far away and not being able to crop way in, the new camera adds 10MP to the old one.

it’s got a lot of buttons and dials and switches that I am still figuring out but I’ll get there…eventually.

And on that note I leave you to it.  Have a great day.

What’s Next?

So,

I have been in the Navy for 13 ½ years, and last week I found out that my last day on active duty is the first of September 2012.

The Navy has decided that certain rates, STG…me, are over manned and they need to get rid of some of those that are overmanning those rates.  They said they were going to kick out the people who had been to Captain’s Mast, or have failed their PRT(Physical Readiness Test).  I haven’t done any of those and I still am getting the axe.  They were given a quota of 2,888 to kick out and in the end cut 2,947.

It’s been a good run though, I’ve lived in Hawaii(a tropical island paradise), even got married there.  I’ve lived in England, although it was Cornwall way down south it was still another country and we did do a lot of traveling and site seeing, and they speak English.  I’ve also lived in Japan, although that was Okinawa…again, way down south, and they don’t speak English.  Still, we’ve lived in some pretty fantastic places and have seen and done some pretty amazing things.

I was planning on going into photography, starting my own business and trying to earn a living at something that I actually enjoyed rather than doing something that wasn’t my favorite.  I’m a bit short on that and have a ton to learn still…I thought I had time.

So now what am I going to do?

I do have a secret clearance, that’s gotta help, right?  I will have 14½ years of experience in the world of sonar.  I do have leadership experience.  All that has to count for something, right?  Jo reminded me that we will be debt free when tax time finally gets here, we can go anywhere and do anything and be anything…what do I want to be?  MAN, this is a more difficult decision than deciding Canon or Nikon.

Is it Okay to Call Myself a Photographer?

So…

I’m in college now, wait…again, and my major is photography.  I like taking pictures, and looking at pictures.  I don’t really like to read, and they say a picture is worth a 1000 words, does that mean I can speed read?  Anyway, my wife told me to put up a picture for the 2011 Okinawa Hai Calendar, I won’t tell you which one she wanted me to send in but I will put up the ones I sent in to have the judges take a look at.

Katsuren Castle

10,000 Eisa Dancers

Okuma sunset

Red Hair

Those are the photographs I’ve taken that remind me the most of Okinawa.  I wish the red head kid had been my son but he was out of position for that shot.  Jake’s hair wouldn’t have stood out quite that much, anyway, it’s one of Jakes friends, not to mention a pretty sweet photograph.

So…at what point do I get to start saying that I’m a photographer?  Am I supposed to make up a catchy name for a photography business?  Brent Yamada Photography sounds so…plain.  I want something cool.  My cousin has a cool one, Adam’s Images by Kristi, that’s not so plain.  It has some pizzazz.  How about business cards?  Do people still have business cards?  What about a website?  Watermarks for my pictures?  How much money do I say I want when I take some pictures of the fire that came by my house and a guy says he’ll pay me for a copy of the pictures?

Oh my…so much stuff to figure out.  Luckily I’m only in the first year so I’ve got some time to get it all figured out.  Maybe there will be a class or something that will help me with these things, I’m almost positive there is.

My name is Brent Yamada, and I’m a photographer.

It’s About Time Yamada

So…

Here’s the thing.  I came back from Okinawa and had to drive on the right side of the road again.  As I type I realize the humor, right or wrong, left or right, oh man, that’s funny.  I’m really talking about the actual right side of the road.  We also had to adjust our speed, for the last 3 years we would go to Okuma (the military camp place near Nago) and would be flying, FLYING, past traffic at 55 mph.

After we got stateside and started driving our conversations in the car went a lot like this:

Jo:  Don’t forget to go to the far lane.

Brent:  Far lane, got it…wait…far lane here or far lane over there?

Jo:  Over there on the far side.

Brent:  Ok, far side, I got it this time.

(Light turns Green)

Brent:  (whispering to self)far side, far side, far side, far side, far side

Jo:  NO, NO, NO, STAY TO THE RIGHT OF THE DIVIDER!!!!!!!

or

Jo:  Honey, you know I love you and I think you’re a great, safe driver right?

Brent:  Why yes, yes I do…and thank you.

Jo:  You’re only going 50.

Anyway, lot and lots of conversations like that, and not to embarrass myself too bad but I still walk to the wrong side of the car both to drive and ride.  But all of this is to just simply say, I know I said in my last post that I’d try to keep up but to be honest that has proven more difficult than I had imagined it.  Studying for my Navy classes takes up a bit more time than anticipated, because I’m actually trying to learn the stuff before I get out to the ship.(sigh)  And for my actual school, school, I’ve been taking these retarded classes like Drawing…I think on my last post I put up some of my work.  I mean come on, I’m trying to be a photographer why not let me take some photography classes, my drawings ended up being not terrible, at least I think they didn’t.

Oh and Color Theory…color theory?  Really?  Color theory?  How’s this for color theory…my camera takes a color picture and I put it on my computer and change it to Black and White, or Sepia, or  some other thing.  I did end up actually learning quite a bit.  Like what colors might look good together and why, what is a hue, and saturation.  Tone, isn’t that the same thing as hue?  What’s a hue?  Ya, I can answer those questions now.

And this last class.  Survey of Contemporary and Modern Art, you might ask yourself, what’s that?  Those of you from PUC, I might liken it to History of Western Art.  Oh I’ve got this one in the bag, right?  Riiiiight.  No, there was an actual study of art.  Brushstrokes?  Are you kidding me?  P H O T O G R A P H Y ! ! ! ! ! !  Color palettes, you’re joking right?  P H O T O G R A P H Y ! ! ! ! ! !  7, yes you heard me, SEVEN pages of text later, with pictures so it ended up just about 8½ pages, I end up with not only an A for the paper but also 95% for the class and the instructors comments on the paper were all good. And I learned some valuable information on some very GREAT photographers, and photographs that changed the world.

Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother, 1936.  Which was taken during the Great Depression and helped feed migrant camps around the US.  This particular camp got a shipment of 20,000 pounds of food.

Nick Ut a photographer for the Associated Press out of Los Angeles captured a Napalm bombing on the Vietnamese village of Trảng Bàng and saved a 9 year old girls life.

Timothy O’Sullivan, Alexander Gardner, and Mathew B. Brady, photographed the civil war when photography was still in it’s infancy and exposures were still to long to catch the action.  Your camera HAD to have a tripod and you had to have a horse or two to get your equipment from place to place.

It’s been a frustrating journey so far and I know as an artist I am supposed to take these classes, AND, despite how ridiculous I think these classes are they actually are managing to open my eyes and broaden my outlook.  Maybe there’s hope for me to be a successful photographer yet…We will have to wait and see.

Next up, Introduction to Photojournalism, I wonder if I’ll have to write for that one or if I’ll actually get to snap some photos.