Wednesday, April 27, 2011


You ever see those posters with a picture, a word, and then a motivational phrase?  A good word for this one would be "INTENSITY".  Followed by the motivational phrase, "Dad, stop bothering me and take your camera with you!" Yeah, sometimes it gets intense like that.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Had a halfway decent day to celebrate Easter this weekend.  The kids and some friends were able to participate in an Easter Egg Hunt in the front yard(backyard too muddy) and we were able to spend some afternoon time at the park.  Both situations gave me time to goof around and try some of the stuff I've been studying in regards to flash photography.  I got a long ways to go to get some consistent, good results but I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to put into play some of the things I've learned from books and websites. And a few shots came out pretty good.  Here's one of the Bubbleman, Derek. Gotta love the chocolate ring around his mouth from, what else, chocolate.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A-well-a everybody's heard about the bird..............

B-b-b bird, bird, bird,b-bird's the word.  Famous lyrics from a cool song.  If you aren't familiar with what I'm talking about here's a link to refresh your memory.
The above should be a good hint about tonight's post.  About the only creatures moving around outside at my house in this weather are the birds.  Here are a couple shots from the last few days.  Now, I know the first one is a cardinal.  Who can tell me what the second one is?  I have no clue.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Been awhile

Yeah, yeah, I know its been awhile since I've been here.  I hope to get back in the swing of things shortly.  The number one thing that would help this is decent weather.  Its correct that a true photographer braves all weather to get the shot.  But, I think that mainly pertains to a "paid" photographer.  So I am, therefore, exempt.  Time has also been in short supply due to various things going on.  And lets not forget our wonderful dependance on foreign fossil fuels.  I have definitely curtailed the photo excursions I like to go on after dinner or early morning.  So there are no excuses in the future, I have been working very hard on photography aspects that should make the above "excuses" a moot point.  I am presently studying, through books, websites, videos, and experimentation the world of "flash" photography.  And a whole other world it is.  No postings yet of aforementioned flash shots, but the day will come.  To do what I want to do takes a lot of study, experimenting, and some gear which I am only able to acquire through time.  But, I'm getting there.  Anyway, for now, here is a shot from last week catching a really cool sunset.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Walking path

Another of my shots from up north.  Similar to here, lots of deer up there.  Probably even more.  I headed out after dinner one night to see what I could see and I had deer jump out in front of me and cross the road 3 times in 3 miles.  Here is what I suspect is one of their paths.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Unfortunately, this is what I am.  Diurnal is the opposite of nocturnal.  I prefer to be out in the daylight and sleep during the night.  Diurnal.  If I was nocturnal, I would probably be better at photographing star trails.  Star trails are long exposures of the stars.  They really are very simple............if you have patience.  Anyone can create long as you have little to no light pollution, a clear sky(no clouds) and..............time.  While up north last week I decided to try my hand at creating star trails.  Their is little light pollution up there, at least not like around here, the skies were clear except for the stars, and I had plenty of time. Once you have these ingredients, you setup on a tripod, point your lens to the skies, and open the shutter for a long period of time so the camera can squeeze out(or in) any light that might be present.  This can't be done on all cameras, but many can.  The trick is to know how long to keep the shutter open and this usually comes down to trial and error.  But, what comes with this is the necessity to be patient.  The shot I am showing below was with the lens open for almost 13 minutes. On top of the 13 minutes exposure is another 13 minutes for the camera to process the shot.  It can be done quicker, but to reduce the amount of noise in the pic theres a setting you can turn on and it makes a much cleaner pic.  So, 26 minutes for one shot.  If I was nocturnal, eh, no problem. With waiting comes sleepiness.  I'm sure if the temp was above 30 degrees while doing this I wouldn't get so antsy.  But, it wasn't.  Below is a shot I found on the internet that shows pretty much what star trails should look like.  It always helps to have something in the forefront or the background of your pic, too.  Below that shot is my first attempt.  I hope to have a stunning shot by the end of summer. I just got to take more naps.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunrise deconstruction

I often drive by this old house and barn not far from my house.  Nobody has lived there for at least the last couple of years.  I always say to myself, "Self, you really should stop and try to see what kind of shot you could get out of this." The place looks perfect to get a nice wideangle shot.  There is usually a chain going across the driveway, probably to keep the kids out (the barn looks like a fun place to have a party).  In the last month, the house was torn down and I'm sure the barn is not far behind in the demolition/deconstruction arena.  So finally, I decided to make the stop.  It was a sunny morning with a bright sun. I put on the wideangle lens.  I was having a hard time getting a proper exposure with the bright sun so I made this an infrared shot.  I think it brought out the clouds in the background nicely.  And, (this is pretty neat), if you look closely in the center of the pic you can see a white spec. 
At first, thought I had a spec of dust on my lens or in my camera.  But, when I zoomed in on it on my computer I could see it was a quarter moon leftover from the night before.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Great swimming weather

Posting some more pics of our trip North last week.  2 things necessary to keep the kids occupied and happy:  an indoor pool with slide and other fun stuff and a grandma.  Grandma took us to the pool she works out at and the kids had a good time.  Don't let the fear in Derek's eyes in the one shot fool you.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Rest in Peace

Spent a few days of this last week up nort' with the kids visiting grandma and grandpa.  Got out early one morning to do some shooting.  My drive towards the sunrise took me to an Indian reservation.  Pretty area right on the Wolf River.  Found this little cemetery that had a special quality with the morning sun shining down.