Monday, January 31, 2011

I'll Take Whats Behind Door #1 Bob

Our Daily Challenge: Parking Garage
This is my garage door.
This was actually taken at night with the only light source coming from the garage itself.
I took 5 exposures ranging from 2 ciggies to 10 cough cough hack coughs
I then ran it through Lightroom (most of you have read my lesson on that) and then Photomatix.
Two keyboards later, wa LA
Is it cheating if I can't really park a car in there anymore?
View on black (be careful though, you could get a splinter)

Roll Call

Roll Call
Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
Our Daily Challenge: Order or Orderly

What? These are soon to be collectables. TP Makers have announced they are getting rid of the tubes to be "more green". Translation on this means "we save money on manufacturing AND get to charge you more because we get to put the word GREEN on our packaging"

Luckily they will start on the East Coast so to you I say, I happy chasing the roll across the floor. :)

View On Black (it will give you that clean and fresh feel they advertise on TV)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

No. 2

No. 2
Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
Our Daily Challenge: Numbers

I'm speechless.

I'll let you think about this for a moment while I go hang my head in shame

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Always Feel Like Someones Watching Me

Our Daily Topic: Group of People

So I woke up this morning and something was missing. NO Little Purple Monster.

I flew out of bed, checked the challenge, grabbed the props and ran outside. I put together my set for the shot looking over my shoulder the whole time. Still no Little Purple Monster. Snap snap snap I shot.

I ran up stairs got dressed, processed the photo and uploaded it. I can't believe I got away with getting a shot without the little pesk.

Only problem was, I felt as if I was being watched the whole time. I don't think I like not knowing where he is or what he is upto. I don't trust him. Am I getting paranoid?

Down By the 813

Down By the 813
Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
Our Daily Challenge: Group Of People

Saw the challenge today and cried, NOOOOOOOO. I don't shoot people. I'm not good at it and makes me nervous. When I'm nervous, my teeth fall out.

So I Braved up and asked a couple of friends if they would go down to the abandoned 813 train to nowhere and pose for me. They were speachless. I took that as yes.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
Our Daily Topic: Lines

He's such a drama queen :)

I was attempting to shoot a lovely flower pic for Our Daily Challenge and this little goof kept jumpin in the way

So, I came up with some NEW lines. Ladies and Gentleman, if you will direct your attention to the photo above and let your eyes follow the lines of water flying into the big purple babies eyes. :)

Runways For Bees

Runways For Bees
Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
Our Daily Challenge: Lines

Everytime I see African Daisies I notice the lines on the petals and how they draw your eye to the center of the flower like little runways for bees.

Yes my Mother dropped me a lot.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

United We Stand, Divided We're Blind

Our Daily Challenge: Side by Side

This was a difficult shot to get. They fought all night long and were tired and cranky for the photo shoot. Can you tell they're not speaking to each other?

Into The Sunset

Into The Sunset
Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
Our Daily Topic: Side by Side

Yes, it's true, the first ride to spin so fast, it flung you off to the center of the sun.

Repeat business was not good.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Arts, Crafts And A Thing Called Tape

Our Daily Challenge: Sticky

The other day I was a little mean to LPM when I yelled, "LOOK! Paparazzi out back!!!" He was out there for TWO days looking for them.

For todays challenge, I decided to recreate an exact replica of Los Angeles using only tape, paper and other craft thingy McBobs.

As I sat down to go to work on my rather grand undertaking, I heard "LOOK! Publisher Clearing House is here!" I ran down the stairs, stepping on two cats and a dog (don't know where the dog came from, we don't own one) and flew out the front door.

As my head was spinning in all directions looking for my Million Dollar Check, I heard the door slam behind me and click locked.

After stubbing my toe, spraining a finger and climbing through a window on the second story, this is what I found.

At least he didn't moon us.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
ir·re·sist·i·ble  [ir-i-zis-tuh-buhl]

1. not resistible; incapable of being resisted or withstood: an irresistible impulse.
2. lovable, esp. calling forth feelings of protective love: an irresistible cat.
3. enticing; tempting to possess: an irresistible face

This is Toby. Short for Tobasco. Fuego and he are litter brothers and what a difference. Toby is close to 18 pounds and Fuego is around 7 pounds. Where Fuego is hyper, Toby is laid back and basically a cool and righteous kitty.

Dictionary Kitties Series: 3 of 3

Impetuous 1

Impetuous 1
Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
Our Daily Challenge: Begins With I

im·pet·u·ous  [im-pech-oo-uhs]

1. of, pertaining to, or characterized by sudden or rash action, emotion, etc.; impulsive: an impetuous decision; an impetuous kitty.
2. having great impetus; moving with great force; violent: the impetuous winds. (and she does get gas sometimes)

Her name is Beijing. She was hastily named during the Olympics in China because for two week prior to that she had no name. I had kept calling her by the name of an inappropriate body part and she started to answer to it. No, it wasn't Virginia. Amazing how fast she got named after that.


Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
Our Daily Topic:  Begins With I

in·sane  [in-seyn]

1. not sane; not of sound mind; mentally deranged.
2. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a cat who is mentally deranged: insane actions; an insane asylum.
3. utterly senseless: an insane plan (like the one where he decided to bonzai me from the door top)
Insane is the word and insane this guy is.  His name is Fuego.  He loves to run in circles and he rarely sits still.  He will do tight circles around the other two cats just inches away from them.  They are quite used to him and Ignore him. 

If you would like to read the story of how I acquired him and his brother toby you can check it out at this link.  I promise you like the story.   :) 
Are You Insane is the name of the story and it is 100% a true story" rel="nofollow">
Are You Insane is the name of the story and it is 100% a true story

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
Our Daily Challenge: Low Angle Shot

Woke up to a text message "can you bring my phone, I left it at home" from anonymous. Found the forgotten phone and took it to it waiting owner at work at the local Home Depot. They have these sculptures in the parking lot that are really neat. This one is two nails going into a piece of wood. The spiral is supposed to be the sound of the hammer hitting the head.

If you are looking for the Little Purple Monster I told him the Paparazzi was out back then ran to the front door and sped off. I believe he still back there looking for them.

Deere John

Deere John
Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
Our Daily Topic: Low Angle Shot

This shot always reminds me of my senior year in high school. I moved to Minnesota.

In the spring time a buddy of mine asked me if I wanted to work on his family farm, they needed some help and I needed a job. I gladly accepted.

I was hired along with two other friends and our job was to drive the tractor through the fields and pick out large rocks that could destroy the plows and other machinery.

Being 5'6" and 125 lbs and the smallest, wussiest of the bunch, I was nominated to drive the tractor. It was an old Bee tractor similar to the one in the picture only much longer. I hopped on, got a few lessons and was ready to go.

We hooked up a trailer to load rocks in, I started it up, revved the engine, realized I hadn't put it in gear, popped the clutch. Yeah, you should always remove your foot from the gas peddle when popping the clutch.

It was AWSOME! My first wheelie in a tractor!

Another quick class on taking your foot off the gas when putting it into gear and we were on our way.

I had to drive through a small stream with small, three foot banks. I drove down, got in the middle of the stream and the trailer hooked on something and stopped me cold. I turned off the tractor to hear the answer to my question of "HELP". I was told to just "Gun it". So I did. and there I sat, not moving! I heard someone yell, "Put it in gear", so I did, with my foot floored on the gas peddle!

I came out of that stream and up the bank flying like a bat at of hell!. I was airborn for what seemed like minutes. I landed on the back wheels with the front wheels about 7 feet off the ground. Just about wet myself.

A few minutes later, a little dust trail wound its way from the main house to where we were at. My friends father got out and whispered into his ear.

What did he say, I asked.

He said tell the city boy he's fired from tractor duty in the entire state of Minnesota and he better bulk up if he's gonna be pickin rocks out of my farm.

Two months later as we ate dinner, my friends father turned to me and basically told me he didn't think I would of lasted 2 hours let alone 2 months on the farm. He was real proud of me. It meant quite a bit to me that he felt that way. For a reward, he decided to let me try my hand at driving the tractor again. I felt like a kid in a candy store.

I was on the tractor before anyone was even out of there seats at the dinner table.

With excitement in my heart, I turned the key, stepped on the gas and popped the clutch! Yeah, that was pretty much the last time anyone has ever let me near a tractor

True story (for real)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Look At Me When I'm Talking To You!

Our Daily Challenge: Sideways

In the words of the late great Rodney Dangerfield, "I get NO respect!"

So I had this idea about a fantastic Sideview. I planned it all out, set up the camera and against all good judgement I asked LPM to help. With everything set, I counted to 3 and snapped the shot only to find LPM starring at the camera.

Once again I explained the challenge was Sideways and reset everything. I counted to 3 one more time and snapped the shot. Would you believe the little !@#$% looked at the camera again!

Even while yelling at him, I couldn't get him to look at ME! The little fart sees the camera and just stares at it

PS. Once again, those are NOT me teeth!!! :)

View on black, it really makes the teeth pop!

Chicken Wings Shmicken Wings! Check Out These Puppies!

At the beginning of the photo session, the cute little chickens were a little nervous so I turned on some music to help make them more comfortable. The song was Disco Duck from the 70's. I think they liked it.
Quacker Series 2 of 5
Our Daily Topic: Sideways

Monday, January 17, 2011

No Privacy

No Privacy
Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
Our Daily Challenge: Topless Without People

Cool, I thought, I can try my hand at my first artistic nude. (yeah, I know. I see him, I'm ignoring him). So I spoke with monkey and he said definitly NO! (Stop looking at him, thats what he wants) But after some bribery he agreed as long as it was artistic and no naughty bits showed. (Really, look up and stop staring at him)

So, Monkey undressed and hopped in the tub. We took a couple of carefully planned shots to make sure no "naughty bits" showed. (if you keep looking at him he will never go away, NOW STOP LOOKING AT HIM!)

Oh forget it! Fine! You win. This is really photo of a pair of eyes stairing at a naked monkey. I hope you all are happy, he'll never leave.


Could of been a better set, but I was out of time and the cat ate the bathroom window.
The tub is a compartment from the fridge.
The shower rod came from a window blind
The shower rings are fancy paper clips (pretty fancy, eh)
The shower curtain is a plastic grocery bag that I cut up.
The pervert in the corner you all know already

Sunday, January 16, 2011

4 O'Clock Tea

4 O'Clock Tea
Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
Our Daily Challenge: Afternoon
I decided yesterday that when the challenge came up, I would go with my first thought. After five minutes of static running through my head, I decided to go with my second thought: Four O'Clock tea in honor of my British brothers and sisters. Don't know if you really have tea at four or not but according to Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, you do.
I boiled some water, grabbed some muffins (it would be an evening shot if I actually went out looking for scones here in California) and made my set.
Perfect! I was happy. I ran upstairs to grab the camera. Upon arriving back in the dining room I spotted him. Yeah, you know who was standing at the edge of the table.
He smiled at me and I knew he was up to his old shenanigans once again. I snatched my trusty bat I keep handy just in case I'm mugged by racoons and hauled (you know what) after him
As you can see, I missed.
What was that? Oh. No, he's always been purple. Your white balance must be off on your monitor. :)
The L button really makes the grain on my table look good.

Lunch At McFlowers

Lunch At McFlowers
Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
Obviously he Super Sized.

Our Daily Topic: Afternoon

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hip To Be Square

Hip To Be Square
Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
Our Daily Challenge: Square
I would like to start off by saying, Those are NOT my teeth.
When I saw the challenge SQUARE, the song "Hip To Be Square" by Huey Lewis and the News popped into my head. I knew instantly what ... stop laughing, those are NOT my teeth ... I wanted to do.
I ran out to a local party store to find some glasses and a bow tie. Lucky me, they came with these teeth. One more time, stop laughing, the teeth came as part of the pack and are NOT my teeth.
I ran home, ironed a shirt, burnt my finger, wrote on the chalkboard ... For crying out loud, STOP LAUGHING! THEY ARE NOT MY TEETH!!!! Fine, Laugh! I'm outta here!
Hope you like, I brushed my tooth for this.
Yeah, it might look good in black, I don't really care. Your all mean! Just hit the dang L button :)
Cool Fact, this is the very first Self Picture I have ever taken and I am getting over the flu.

Guardian (Outtake)

Guardian (Outtake)
Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
I was all ready for the Focal Point challenge. I had my set up, got my lighting then grabbed my camera. As I focused the camera, a little pink moster popped into view. "Get out of my shot Little Pink Monster", I yelled, and he sauntered off.
I dusted off the set and got rid of any tiny pink footprints and settled back down with my camera. A quick focus and there he was again, posing ... nude! "Thats NOT art" I yelled, "it's just gross! Now get off my set! and put pants on!!!"
By this time, Godzilla Kitties had destroyed my Tokyo and I had to reset. I glanced around in all direction and saw no pinkness. Quickly, I grabbed my camera, flew down to the set, focused and snapped! I was happy ... until I pulled up the shot on the monitor and saw this
Outtake of Our Daily Challenge: Focal Point

Friday, January 14, 2011


Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
Our Daily Topic: Leather
Meet MOOOOO. I met her at the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa in 2007. She was standing off in the shade when she caught my eye. I immediately licked my hand and smoothed down my cow lick and sauntered over.
I asked her name and she said MOOOOO. I thought it a pretty name and told her so. She responded, MOOOOO. Yeah, I got it.
Later on, we got slushies and rode the Ferris Wheel into the wild blue yonder. We were in love.
It didn't last long, turned out she was a cow and I was a pig. :)

Twenty One Years of Service

...of holding my pants up and for that, the world thanks you.

What? You want the set up for this? Fine, I washed a rock. :)

Our Daily Challenge: Leather

Thursday, January 13, 2011

On The Side Of The Road

On The Side Of The Road
Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
Our Daily Challenge: On Wheels

I saw the topic for today and got really excited. On Wheels, how cool is that! So many things to shoot and so little time. So I hopped in my car and drove around the back yard.

After driving about 20 miles or so, I started to get disappointed, no inspiration. Just as I was ready to turn around and start heading back to the patio door, I spotted this abandoned car on the side of the road with a weed growing out of the engine.

I slammed on the breaks and skidded to a stop! I found my shot


Seriously, I had a blast today. Everything in this scene is set up. The weed in the engine block is the tip of a Popcorn plant (yes, thats the name of it, no it doesn't grow popcorn) The fence I've had forever. The dead trees in the background are dead blooms. Even the rock and fallen log (the stick) I placed where I wanted. I even made a dry river bed out of the little rocks you find on top of the soil in a potted plant (part of it is in the lower left).

The scene I set up actually is quite bigger than what was photographed. I do that on purpose even if it's not going to be in the shot. That way I can move around and shoot from different angles and I'm still in the set. Also, it inspires me.

Really super cool on black! Go ahead, hit the L Button, it wont hurt a bit

PS. if someone knows how to add a picture to the comments without posting into the photostream could they send me an email. I sometimes have outtakes that are cool but don't want them in the photostream.

Wild Blue Yonder

Wild Blue Yonder
Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
Our Daily Topic: On Wheels
You get to ride these cool gondulas on this giant wheel into the wild blue yonder where you accidently spill your slushy and the operator man yells at you. Stupid operator man. Maybe if it wasn't going a hundred and fifty miles per hour I wouldn't of dropped my slushy. It was a good slushy too!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
Our Daily Challenge: Focal Point

I thought I would go to the serious side today. I our challenge was focal point.

I started with the subject. I've been looking for a chance to shoot this guy for awhile so I was really excited about this because I knew he'd be perfect for the challenge.

Then I went with the set up. I only wanted him in the shot so I put up a black background. Then I lit him from the right hand side slightly forward so he would stand out a little more. I set up my depth of field on his face. I didn't want a big difference of focus between his face and his body so I played around till I got the focus I wanted.

Last was composition. I always shool bigger than I want and crop out what I don't need. You can always go smaller but you can't add back into the image.

And that my cool friends is how I shot todays challenge. So if you don't mind, I had a big mexican meal last night and the room here has just become unbearable. So go look at the pic, I'm outta here.

View on black (hit the L button) It really makes the image stand out

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What? You Never Did This As A Kid?

Our Daily Challenge: Melted

Why is it the easy sounding ones are the hardest. I had this whole set up with more army men and a parachutist. I shot this about 50 times. Four melting men later and no lighter fluid left, I came in to look at the pics. Wasn't happy with any. I cropped the heck out of this to make it look descent

Monday, January 10, 2011


Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
We interupt this program to bring you this special bulletin. Unexpected snow fell on a southern California highway this morning causing a commuter to slide out of control and crash into a monster ... Behind the chaos, traffic is backed up for miles!

Our Daily Challenge: Chaos

Ok, the first words out of my mouth when I saw this challenges were "COME ON! Really??? Followed by some mumbling about Yvonne trying to send me to an early grave. :)

PS. My neighbor came out this morning and saw me in the driveway setting this up. He saw me, started busting up and left shaking his head. He must thank I'm nuts now.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Tree Grows In Costa Mesa

Our Daily Challenge: Tree

When it comes to processing images, I really don't know exactly what I'm doing yet. So for today, I thought I would practice.

I started with Photomatix. I uploaded my exposures and banged the keyboard with my fists a couple of times.

Afterwards, I saved then uploaded to Adobe Lightroom. Here, I picked up the keyboard and banged it upside down on the desk a few times.

Last, I uploaded to Flickr and waited patiently (means I didn't yell obscenities)

DISCLAIMER: Please don't try this at home. I am a trained profesional Banger

Mr. Tree Waves Good Bye To The Holidays

Our Daily Topic: Tree

I had this photo I took at christmas and hadn't uploaded it yet. I thought it was too late, then the daily topic came up with Tree and I thought it would be fun to wave good bye to the holidays ... and to wearing pants

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
Our Daily Challenge: All One Color

Sometimes the best way to approach a challenge is the easist way.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Bubble Bomb!

Bubble Bomb!
Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
Our Daily Challenge: Bubbles

This actually was not an easy shot. I took about 100 photo's trying different ways to shoot. No matter what, I kept getting bubble juice on my lense and had to keep cleaning it after every couple of shots.

I have this bubble machine we got two years ago to help spice up a garage sale we were having. We set up the garage sale then placed this bubble machine on the curb and turned it on. It lived up to it's name. There were bubbles everywhere, billions of em. It worked too, everyone who drove down the street coming from the car wash all honked and gestured I was number one for making them drive through a billion bubbles after cleaning there car.

Anyway, that was two years ago and I was sure I would never find this in my garage with a two foot path leading from the front to the back. The rest of the garage is packed to the roof with, well, everything. Not only was it right there stuck in the middle but it still ran. Didn't have any bubble juice though and had to make my own.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Skydiving Monkey

Skydiving Monkey
Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
Our Daily Challenge: Jump

I had a couple of ideas and none worked for me. I finally came up with this one while looking at a certain troll with ugly hair on a fence :) I thought if he was gonna jump, maybe he should have a parachute.

So, I made a parachute, spoke with monkey ( he was dead set against the whole idea by the way) and snapped some shots.

The idea was to erase the string holding him up. As you see, I've never done that before so I guess I will have to figure out how do to it properly and practice.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Did You Hear Something?

Did You Hear Something?
Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
Our Daily Challenge"  Natural Framing

I have to admit, I never really heard of natural framing before. After reading the cool article linked in the post I realized I've done it before, just never intentionally. It's funny how you can do things without thinking about them but when your challenged your mind fills up with static. Took me awhile to come up with this one.

This Challenge actually scared me, so I played off that. Found an old door with no handleset and used the handleset opening as my natural framing. Hope you like

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Honey Dew Hell

Honey Dew Hell
Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
Our Daily Challenge:  A Writing or Drawng Instrument

Todays challenge is "A writing or drawing instrument". So, with camera in hand and some pencils, crayons and paint markers, I shot a gazzilion shots. Twenty minutes to shoot, 10 seconds to delete. Hated them all.

Defeated, I sat at the computer wondering how to do this when I spotted a posted note stuck on the side of the monitor screen (how many do you have stuck to your computer). Hmmm, my two brain cells started pacing and then collided with each other, A-HA!, I can do a Honey Dew List. After all, you can't write without something to write on and everyone can relate to a Honey Dew List. So, this is my attempt at the daily challenge of A Writing or Drawing Instrument.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Drive In Theater For The Electonic Age

Our Daily Challenge: A Portrait From Behind

Yeah, I know, cheat! :) It's raining outside and it's supposed to rain all day and I have to go to work this afternoon. I don't really want to take my camera out into the rain so I've been pacing the floor on what to do.

After two trips over the cats (they paced with me) I was looking at the photo I posted to Our Daily Topic and thought to myself, that looks like a scene from a movie. I was reminded of the big Drive-In screens of the past my parents used to take me to. My mind started thinking, how can I incorporate that into a photo. Then I remembered. As I was pacing and tripping over the cats, I stepped on my little yellow car. I can make a Drive-In scene using my little characters and cars and I can utilize the scanner as the tarmac. I will shoot them from behind and thus the challenge of A Portrait From Behind.

Facing the Challenge

Facing the Challenge
Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
Our Daily Topic: Portrait From Behind

Our Daily Topic differs from Our Daily Challenge by allowing us to post a picture from the past. Our Daily Challenge has to be shot AFTER the challenge is announced and Our Daily Topic can be from any time.

Going through some of my older photo's, I found this one. I originally discarded it, something about it I didn't like. I think it was to plain, boring compared to some of the other images from this set I took in August.

I saw it in a different light this time, I saw a cropped version of it in my head. I pulled up the photo did a quick crop and it made a world of difference. Glad I never deleted it

Sunday, January 2, 2011

No Playing

No Playing
Originally uploaded by hbmike2000
Our Daily Challenge: A Quite Place

With my computer down and a sick spouse (and a very messy house at the moment), I couldn't come up with any ideas. Feeling hungry and not wanting to cook lunch, I drove over to the local McDonalds. Waiting in the drive-thru I noticed the playland was empty. Very unusual for this area. I reached for my Droid Incredible and snapped this shot. I used PicSay Pro and gave it a touch of vignette and uploaded it using my phone.