photography

Photography, Long Exposure

You and I Were Fireworks

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.

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 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.

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Photography, Life Update

Weekly Life v. 1

There has been a lull in my adventures into the deep, dark woods or other points of interest in my area.  While I do have a few outings I have yet to write about here, I wanted to highlight some of the more regular, mundane things I do around Kitsap County.

Pickling cucumber sprouts aggressively trying to grow out of the starter kit. 

Pickling cucumber sprouts aggressively trying to grow out of the starter kit. 

Spring is here and it is that time of year again.  Time for home gardening and farmer's markets.  This is the first year I've been able to produce strong seedlings, which I hope will turn into a good yield when it comes to harvest.  I've been slowly expanding my vegetable garden variety.  Last year it was too many cherry tomatoes and this year I have the Kirby cucumbers, Roma tomatoes, and when I get the chance to hit one of the local markets, cherry tomatoes.  The Kitsap Peninsula lends itself to several small but good farmer's markets.  I stock up on local honey and get special cultivars of cherry tomatoes (I am keen on Sun Gold and Sun Sugar).

Stylized photo editing and double exposure to get two photos taken from the same angle at different focus points.  Vashon Island Ferry Terminal.

Stylized photo editing and double exposure to get two photos taken from the same angle at different focus points.  Vashon Island Ferry Terminal.

Washington state has the largest running ferry system in the U.S. and the fourth largest in the world.  It's pretty impressive until you live here for 20 years and ride them often and it gets less impressive when the ferry is delayed for 25 mins.  Still, when you ride alone and it's pouring rain and foggy, it lends to a strangely beautiful melancholy.

It also reminds me that my camera is not water-sealed or water-proof, nor are my lenses and I should really invest in a camera cover if I want to shoot photographs in the rain. 

This cat is so handsome.

This cat is so handsome.

This was just a chance shot of my friend's cat, Saki.  He's very shy and has to work up to coming out to interact when there are more people in his space than just his people.  He is also an excellent spider killer, so he's always good in my book.

Oh, and I finally got a new lens.  The Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM and while it isn't the 50mm f/1.2L (the super expensive L series lens I hope to get in the distant future), it is a respectable prime lens.

That's all I've been up to in the last two weeks since my last outdoor adventure.  While I don't have a set posting schedule, I do plan that to do "Life Updates" to keep me actively taking photos.

 

 

Photography, Nature, Bonsai

Pacific Bonsai Museum

One of the first displays in the small hot house before the main outdoor exhibit.

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.  

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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.

 

Nature

Ludlow Falls

This is pretty old news if you follow me on any other social media platform but I upgraded from my very first DSLR, a Canon Rebel T3 to a Canon EOS 6D.  I went straight from a beginner's crop-frame camera to a full-frame with really nothing in-between.  It was a big purchase for me since even though I love photography I barely have time to explore and use my camera.  With 2018 almost 4 months in, I'm making an effort to go out and take photos and hopefully keeping a weekly blog will help facilitate that (oh boy, keeping this promise is probably going to bite me in the butt again).

I've made a pretty good effort of getting out and taking pictures and today after my D&D game was canceled, I decided to try and hit one of the waterfall spots nearby.  I've played around with long exposure before last year when I got a little lost and ended up on National Forest trail 2361.  Deciding I didn't want to get lost again (although I did get turned around), I went to Ludlow Falls, within Port Ludlow, WA.

Tip: Have good waterproof hiking boots.  I managed to sploosh my foot right into some deep water getting here.

Tip: Have good waterproof hiking boots.  I managed to sploosh my foot right into some deep water getting here.

Thankfully for my sedimentary lifestyle, the trail was only 1/2 mile loop.  I, by accident, walked the loop.  I honestly could have skipped the walk, but I'm glad I went the wrong way otherwise I would not have gotten this lovely photo.  Unfortunately, spring in Washington means it's still a little cold, so I could not cross some of the deeper parts of the creek to get a better angle.

I used two Neutral Density filters, this one was with an ND2 and the next few were with an ND8.  For a better explanation of how these filters work, here is a link with photo examples. 

The creamy, smooth look of the water is always fun to view.

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When I finally managed to get up to the actual waterfall, it took a little maneuvering on my part to get to a stable landing.  Thankfully, it was relatively dry land and not a shallow spot in the creek with mud.  

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The amount of water was quite surprising and I had to get at least one shot of the waterfall stilled, with all the bubbles and froth.

I spent about an hour and a half there, not including the 48 min drive to and from the location.  And of course, I had fun finding a new place to explore.