Thursday, July 29, 2010

LeeAnn's Garden in July

Earlier this week I was back in LeeAnn's garden. After the storm we had a few weeks ago I was concerned LeeAnn might have lost some of her garden but she grows strong plants. They withstood the fierce winds marvously.

Hope you enjoyed these latest images.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Radio Tower along the Shore at Midnight

A few weeks ago, July 4th weekend to be exact, I was heading up the North Shore rather late on a Thursday night. Approached Palisade Head I decided to take some time and see if I could compose a star shot with Palisade Head in the composition. It was almost midnight so the sky was about as dark as it was going to get and moon was just starting to rise. I went down to the overlook and didn't see anything compelling. The angle was just to great trying to get Palisade Head, which you photograph down, and the stars, which you photograph up, in the field of view. So I went back to the car and on my return saw the radio tower with the stars in the background. This looked rather cool so decided to do some shooting here.

The first image was a 30 second exposure. I tried to get the to light on the top of the tower to match up with the last star in the handle of the big dipper. The alignment was close but not where I really wanted it. Backing up any more would have put me over the embankment.

I made a couple of 30 second exposures then decided to do a star trail image. There are a couple of ways to shoot star trails. One is to open the shutter for the length of the exposure and the other is to take a series of shorter exposures and blend them together. I hadn't done the blending method in a while, at least I hadn't done a successful one in a while, so decided to do one here. The exposure was set for 15 minutes and the image above consisted of 5 of these 15 minute exposures. The images were then blended together with a program called Image Stacker that resulted in this composite.

After the series of 15 minute exposures the moon was up to the point where it was providing some illumination so again I made another 30 second exposure. A little more of the ground around the tower can be seen.

It was almost 1:30 by now and there was still a good hours drive to the trailer at Grand Marais. Got all of the gear into the car and we were off.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Beautiful Gardens

Last weekend I had the pleasure of visiting two wonderful gardens. On Saturday I visited Brenda and we enjoyed a beautiful Saturday morning, along with our combined 4 dogs, in both her back yard and her front yard. I had brought over some Peonys for her to add to her garden.

(Before I left she fed me this wonderful beef au jous sandwich. It was heavenly.)

I had brought my camera with me but didn't take any pictures. We just yacked all morning. (-:)

Then Saturday evening and again Sunday morning I headed down the street to LeeAnn's garden. I walk by LeeAnn's every day on my daily walk and it always tugs at me to stop or at least come back. With the other projects I'm working on it's hard to get over there but I made time last weekend.

It was breezy both days which made for a few challenges. Doing the kind of close-up work that I like to do is an exercise in patience waiting for the subject to stop moving. Since I also like a shallow depth of field you hope when the subject stops moving it is still in focus so you can snap the image.

One thing that works really well in this situation is the magnified mode of live view. Not only can you get precise focusing but you can also monitor the movement of the subject and when it quits moving snap off an image. It's also a good time to use my plamp to 'help' steady the flower. It's not perfect but it really helps alot. Not only is the plamp useful for keeping the plant from moving you can also use it to reposition the subject compositionally.

I'll quit talking now and let you look at the rest of the images in silence.

Till next time, Thanks for looking.