lightroom cc

Photography, Nature, Astrophotography

Trying to Shoot the Stars

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.

f/2.8, 2s, ISO 800

f/2.8, 2s, ISO 800

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.

f/1.8, 6s, ISO 800. Different exposures and post-processing can produce almost two different images.

f/2.8, 6s, ISO 800

f/2.8, 6s, ISO 800

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/1.8, 6s, ISO 800

f/1.8, 6s, ISO 800

f/1.4, 2.5s, ISO 1600. This isn't really a good photo, I just found it interesting.

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

W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory

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.

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.

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.

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