Photography, Long Exposure
It has been awhile. Life does get busy so it is a little harder to sit down and do full write-ups about the experience of taking the photos I did. I update more frequently on Instagram and I can be found here. Still, I just wanted to share the few photos of fireworks I took this last 4th of July.
It was nothing too fancy, no huge city display, just a few neighbors shooting consumer-grade fireworks off around the neighborhood. I did do something different this time for the long exposures to get the full effect of the display. I got to use a few new tools in addition to my camera as well as a new mode I did not know how to use.
From tutorial posts about photography, there was a mode on DSLRs called "Bulb Mode." I knew it controlled something but never really looked into it. That is until I was trying to figure out the best way to time my camera clicks with when the fireworks were going off. It was a good thing I was sitting in my driveway and was able to look up the information.
This was a few neighborhoods over.
So I figured out bulb mode was the best for my shooting situation. I had my tripod but no cable release. Thankfully, I was looking into turning a mobile device into a second screen for other photo shoot situations. So I had recently purchased a USB-to-A/V Digital, a USB-C-to-USB Adapter and an Android DSLR Controller app and was able to pull them out to put them to use.
Timing became a non-issue but framing in the dark was a challenge since this was not a display done by professionals. It was done by a bunch of my neighbors, all around me and sometimes all at the same time.
I wasn't able to frame this one. I just put the tripod down and pushed the controller in the app and hoped for the best.
I'm hoping next year I will be able to attend a more formal fireworks show to improve.
Photography, Nature, Astrophotography
I have astrophotography to thank for my renewed fervor in ramping up my photography in general. In 2018 alone my Lightroom gallery holds 113 images. While that is by no stretch a big number, laughable compared to what professionals produce, it is still a large number for me. Comparing it to 2017 where I took 13 presentable photos I'm keeping a small promise to myself: Keep taking photos.
I have no real idea why astrophotography set me off. Maybe it's because of the vastness of an endless sky that moves so slowly it can only be captured on film. We notice the change, the cycle of dawn, day, dusk and night but otherwise it is an auxiliary part of life. Noticed only if you care.
f/1.8, 6s, ISO 800. Different exposures and post-processing can produce almost two different images.
Daydreamer. Head in the clouds. Two comments teachers gave me when I was growing up and I was forced to hear my accomplishments and disappointments. I can add Stargazer to the growing list.
This isn't my first attempt at shooting stars. That time I made the mistake of going to a light polluted area with a lens not primed for this subset of photography. This is my second attempt. While better than my first I forgot it was nearing the full moon. Added to that I guess in my eagerness to get lost I left too early and was unable to find the Milky Way. Too much light, not the right time all compiled into shots of only the stars.
Thankfully with the improvements of Lightroom CC, post-processing has become less of a chore and more of an experimental phase. It is fascinating to me to see what colors I can pull from an image or how I can transform a B&W piece into something just as beautiful as the color equivalent.
f/1.4, 2.5s, ISO 1600. This isn't really a good photo, I just found it interesting.
I live in one of the best places to be lonely. My stolen moments are captured in electronic pulses. Sometimes it's the green of the forest, or the gathering of tiny sea birds. Sometimes it's the forgotten stars that burn just as brightly as the sun but can be displaced from memory because they are so small in the vast expanse of a black sky.
Nature, Photography, Garden
We're going to travel back in time to earlier this year. This is when I first received my used but new to me, Canon EOS 6D. I was upgrading from a Canon Rebel T3 and when I wanted to take the full frame out for a test run, I realized I only had a 40 mm pancake lens that would fit the mount type. So I wanted to find a place that I could be close to the subject and since it was still winter I decided it was time to visit the botanical conservatory that was relatively close to home.
This is also around the time I started truly playing with Adobe Lightroom CC for editing and enchancing my photos.
Established in 1908, the W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory in Tacoma, WA is one of three public Victorian-style conservatories on the West Coast. When I went it was in the middle of a sudden snow in February, so there was a sharp contrast of walking out of flurries and cold into the fragrant scents and warmth.
Sometimes it pays to look up.
I've always liked gardens. There is something fascinating about civilized nature, that despite all the push for technology there are people who put spaces like botanical gardens, arboretums and conservatories back where they can be appreciated.
Photography, Nature, Bonsai
One of the first displays in the small hot house before the main outdoor exhibit.
The first time I had even heard of the Pacific Bonsai Museum was when a co-worker and bonsai artist himself managed to arrange for a small exhibition at the store we both worked. It was fascinating to see miniature versions of trees arranged in artful displays.
You'll notice that I'm not featuring photos of the of the entire bonsai, just close-ups. One of the many types of photography styles/formats I like is macro. I guess it is because I don't like to miss the tiny details that can be overlooked. While I will not claim this is true macro photography, I liked the taking a piece of the whole for my memories.
This small museum seems almost hidden away on the former Weyerhauser Corporate Complex near Federal Way, WA. Admission is by donation and they feature different exhibits through the year. The current exhibit is their permanent and will be featured until April 20th, 2018, with the upcoming exhibit being Living Art of Bonsai: Elements of Design. When I visited last year, it was Natives.
It is a tiny wonder found in our evergreen trees. Admission is by donation.
Directly next to the museum is the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden. When I visit again, I will feature this location with some photos as well.
I highly encourage paying a visit. I know I plan on going again when the next show is ready.