Archive: December 2009   |   View all recent posts

Day 365 ~ Happy Birthday, Mia!
WHAT: Dogs, Project 365 (2009)   |   WHEN: December 31, 2009
One year ago tonight on New Year's Eve, a little ball of fur was born - unbeknownst to us - just for us.  3 months later we found each other and she's been our little girl every since.  Happy birthday, Mia!





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2009 Project 365 ~ The Year In Photos
WHAT: Project 365 (2009)   |   WHEN: December 29, 2009



As we wrap up 2009, I started looking back on my Project 365 effort.  The goal was to take at least one photo a day and post it on the blog.  Admittedly this was going to be a stretch goal for me knowing I don't even remember to zip up my pants most days.  TMI?  Okay, sorry.  (btw, shame on you if you've noticed the barn door open and didn't tell me).  I managed to start off like a photographer-possessed, though, posting at least an image a day for almost all of January until I got married on the 24th.  I lot of things stopped happening that day.  < Kidding, honey!  Totally kidding... it was an easy joke, so at the risk of discretion I ran with it.>  

Then I posted almost everyday in February that I was in the country after returning from Italy from our honeymoon.  And in my defense, I took over 3600 photos in Italy, so I think that buys me a little slack for the days I missed.  March and April were stellar as well with the consistency meter giving off-the-chart readings.

And... then the wheels fell off the proverbial wagon.  Life got in the way, and frankly I got bored.  Maybe bored is not the right word... beat down might be a better description.  Let's face it, it's easier memorizing the phone book than it is coming up with something interesting to photograph and post every single day, especially in the middle of a busy spring photography season.  To those who have done it successfully, you cheated.  I don't know how, but you did. 

After the first quarter, my posts began to be every other day, and then eventually every other every other day.  In the final analysis, my Project ended up falling just shy of 365 days... more like Project 213.  And for anyone who was paying attention - 'cause I obviously wasn't - there were two 'Day 180's' and two 'Day 105's'.  And in some cases where I got a little smarter I combined multiple days of images into a single post, so I guess that means I squeezed a few more than 213 days in there.

Anyway, I started looking back at my year's worth of images the other day, and couldn't help but smile a couple times.  Although I thought on more than one occasion along the way that doing a Project 365 was a pain in the you-know-what, in hindsight it's provided me with a visual journal of my year, and it's pretty freakin' cool to have that now.  

So, all in all, I give myself a B- on this year's effort.  Now you may be thinking 'B-??  You only posted on 213 out of 365 days.  That's like 58%, which is a failing grade in any other scenario.'  First off, simmer down.  No need to get snippy here.  Secondly, I graded on a curve.  That's one of the benefits of being the pupil and teacher.  Sure, I could've done better, especially in regards to frequency, but I'm pretty happy with the content for most days I did post, so I cut myself some slack and gave myself an 'attaboy' for 2009.

I thought it would be fun to provide a quick slideshow recap of my Project 365 images.  And when I say quick, I mean don't blink or you'll miss a few days.  There's 604 images covered in just a couple minutes.  I didn't include images from client shoots because the number of images would've been too many to make this manageable.  And for the same reason in some cases I didn't include all the images from my travels from a given day.  So, without any more delay (is it just me or has this post gone one forever already?), hold on to your hat and enjoy the ride.

See you next year.



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Day 363 ~ Indianahhh...
WHAT: Cityscapes & Landscapes, Project 365 (2009), Travel   |   WHEN: December 29, 2009
I'm pretty sure I couldn't have possibly napped more than I did during Kylie and I's 3 day visit to Indiana over Christmas to visit her family.  I mean, I think her parents are still waiting for my body imprint to come out of their La-Z-Boy.  This was pretty much how my schedule went while we were there.  Eat - nap - snack - watch some TV - eat more - snack - watch TV - put a few pieces of the 1000 piece puzzle together - graze - snack (if I wasn't napping) - nap - go to bed.  Get up next day and repeat.  It was the best 3 days of the year.  I seriously haven't felt as relaxed and rested for as long as I can remember as I did after our trip.

I did manage to squeeze in a little walk in between naps on Christmas Eve day, if only to prove I didn't sleep the whole time I was in Indiana.

Funny little story about this first image.  Who says photography's not a contact sport?  I was inspired recently by friend and super-talented fellow Dallas photogapher Jen Weintraub and her photo of an adorable little girl on a spinning merry-go-round, and when I spied one near the police station in downtown Princeton, I thought I'd give it a try.

Now, I was the only one around, so no cute little models in fun clothes were available to spruce up this image, so I'm already -3 points.  Anyway, let me paint you a visual.  Close your eyes and imagine me leaned in holding my camera in the center of the merry-go-round with the other hand on one of the outer rails.  I've got one foot on the merry-go-round (so I can reach the center with my camera) while the other is pushing on the wet stone/grass around this death wheel to generate the motion that will give this pullitzer the motion blur.  Got that in your head?  Good.  Well, it lasted about 3/4 of a revolution before my wet shoe slipped off the merry-go-round.  Now I was faced with a dllemna... I've got a rather expensive camera & lens in one hand, and my other is precariously still holding on to the rail.  I'm starting to go down and I can either A) let the camera go to help brace my fall with that hand and probably come out unscathed, B) take my non-camera hand off the rail it was on and try and break my fall on the merry-go-round platform while my knees likely drag in the wet grass and stone or C) keep my camera hand on the camera and my other hand on the rail and break my fall with my shin on the edge of the platform and my chin on the next rail over.  I ask you, what would you have done?  I chose C... and all the ungraceful glory that came with it.

I'm just glad there wasn't anyone around to see my merry-go-round fail.  I popped right back up (biting my lip and shedding a tear on the inside because of the sharp pains in my knee and chin) and went about my business like nothing happened just in case someone might've seen the debacle from a nearby window.  In any case, was it worth it for the image below?  I say yes.







Here's the courthouse in the quaint little downtown square.



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For Sale to a Good Home
WHAT: News, Personal   |   WHEN: December 27, 2009
New year = new car this year.  Sooo... that means my old car is now looking for a new home.  Honestly I'm a little sad to see her go; she's been a great car for me for the last 9 years, and after getting her thoroughly cleaned up last week, she still looks good.  It's funny how you can tie memories and milestones in your life to the car you were driving at the time, and this one's got a ton of 'em.  This car holds some special sentimental value to me just because it was the first car I ever bought and paid off.

Here's the 411 on the goods:

2001 Ford Escape XLT - $4500 (OBO)
-  100,813 miles
-  1 owner (me)
-  2WD with V6 engine
-  leather interior
-  6-way power driver's seat
-  roof luggage rack
-  power moonroof
-  power windows & door locks
-  CD and cassette player (did he say casette player? Yes, he did.  No idea if it works, though, because it's never been used)
-  cruise control
-  alloy wheels
-  running boards
-  rear spoiler
-  fog lamps
-  tinted windows
-  new tires in June '09 (~10,000 miles on them)

The Fine Print - The car is 9 years old, and so it's not without a few minor faults, none of them very serious.  In fact, I've lived with a couple of them for over a year.  Here they are:

-  The radio & CD player work perfectly except for the display, meaning everything sounds great, but unless you've memorized your radio presets, you may not know what station you're listening to (until they announce it, of course, like they do after every song and commercial).  This one perplexes me a bit because the display will come on and work fine for a few minutes once a month or so, and then just randomly goes back out.  Makes me think maybe there's just a wire loose or something.  In any case, I had my presets memorized, so I never bothered getting it fixed.
-  The factory-installed tinting on the front driver's side window has started bubbling at the top and will eventually need replaced.
-  The factory-installed tinting on the front passenger's side window has been scratched near the top of the door line.  There was a span of about a year where I kept locking my keys in the car, and one of the AAA guys used the wrong tool to unlock the door one of those times and scratched the tinting.
-  A section of the door panel fabric has come off of both doors in the front, but in both cases this has been re-glued.
-  The O2 sensor was replaced in October '09
-  The idle controller was replaced in November '09

Kelly Blue Book Value:
Private party (if you were to buy it from an individual) for this model in good condition - $5,780

I think this car would be a great second family car or a fantastic first car for a HS student.  If you're interested or have more questions, shoot me an email at mail@mattnicolosi.com.

Finally, here's a few images of the car.












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Day 359 ~ Ho Ho Ho
WHAT: Dogs, Project 365 (2009)   |   WHEN: December 25, 2009
Merry Christmas from Indiana.  I've been enjoying my time with the in-laws in the Hoosier state, and I'm about to settle n for another long winter's nap.  In fact, I think I've napped more in the last 2 days than I have all year.  Not sure what the deal, is but anytime I get close to horizontal, whether it's on the couch, in the La-Z-Boy, or on the floor, it's only a matter of time until the Z's succeed in a takeover bid.  I'm not complaining, though.  I haven't felt this rested in a looong time.

Here's a quick image from everyone's new best friend, Phyllis.  She's my brother-in-law Bryce's new Boston Terrier, and my new leg warmer  while I work on my laptop.




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