Sunday, May 28, 2017

Ashland Wisconsin..

I made it to Lake Superior's Chequamegon Bay in Ashland Wisconsin half an hour before sunset.

The photo above is actually half an hour later just after the sun dropped below the horizon. Just wanted to lead with some color.
There were big driftwood logs washed up on the shore, so I sat down and set up the tripod.
It was nice to be early, with enough time to set up and enjoy my surroundings.
I used split neutral density filters to even out the light between the sky and reflections on the water.
The wind was blowing when I got there, then really died down, allowing for better reflections.
It was a warm and calm night. I felt lucky to be sitting on the shore watching the sunset unfold.
I had a comfortable seat and only had to pay attention to the clouds, sky, and reflections, find interesting compositions, focus and shoot.
The colors were all taken care of and it was just going to get better.
it's a pretty easy gig when it works like that.
Just keep an eye on composition, watch the focus (which got kinda tricky after looking through the lens right toward the sun earlier) and keep shooting.
These images are just a smattering of what I got.
This was one of the more colorful sunsets I've photographed in awhile. I'll post some more photos soon.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Glad I knew it was there..

A month ago I was driving on a highway just a bit faster than speed limit and came up behind an unmarked police car. Rather than risk a possible problem, I got off the highway at the next exit and drove to a nearby lake.

That day it was overcast and windy and I didn't take any pictures, but I found a new place.
So jump to last night, and I find myself driving the opposite direction on that same stretch of highway near sunset.
There were a few clouds in the sky and the sun was getting low, so I got off at that exit and drove to the lake.
I pulled into a gravel parking lot at a boat launch, grabbed my camera, and went to get my tripod from the trunk, but it wasn't there.
I'd forgotten it at home. No problem though, I'd just pay attention to the ISO and shutter speed and do the best I could.
As I stood there shooting; the clouds were getting more interesting and the breeze started to die down.
The sun came out from behind the clouds and poked through the trees on the right side of the frame.
Compose, check focus, shoot. Compose, check focus shoot. Repeat.
There was a pier out into the water that I started to use in the foreground.
I tried different compositions, always paying attention to the clouds.
I couldn't believe my luck.
As the sun dropped lower, the sky got more and more pink.
I kept shooting until the shutter speeds were too slow with no tripod, then put the camera away and watched the sky for a few more minutes. It was pretty unlikely, but I'm glad I knew it was there.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

It's only rain...

It's only rain, but it sure looked cool.

It was storming after midnight with wind gusts pushing the rain against the house and windows.
So I set up a tripod and camera on the inside, and captured these images looking out.
Most of the exposures were about a second.
I used a macro lens and isolated an area of rain drops.
There was a light on outside and the lights were off inside. Whatever I chose for a background determined the color of the image.
I was tired and didn't mess around for long.
Just long enough to make these cool photos.

Sunday, May 14, 2017


It all came together and culminated in this image.

About five hours from where I live is a stretch of road with water on both sides that I had noticed several years ago.
I thought I may be able to make some decent images if I could ever be there at sunrise or sunset on a calm day with a few clouds.
The problem was, I very rarely traveled to that location and never specifically for photos. So several years passed and the opportunity never presented itself.
Until just the other day. The whole world conspired so I happened to be within a few miles of that place with a camera on Wednesday evening. There were clouds to the south and I was feeling optimistic.
I realized I didn't have a tripod once I got there. Hopefully it wouldn't be a deal breaker. I'd just shoot with a higher ISO and shallower depth of field.
The clouds were moving from east to the west, the water stayed calm, and I kept shooting.
I couldn't believe my luck. The fact I was standing there making these images made me smile. A common loon flew overhead and then landed nearby. Two trumpeter swan fed along the shore.
As the sun neared the horizon clouds crowded in.
I thought I may loose the light and the colors would disappear. Lucky for me I didn't and it all worked in my favor.
I kept a close eye on the camera settings and used good technique to ensure sharp images.
I worked on composition and color.
Then I just kept on shooting until the light faded and the colors were gone.
The fact that I was at that particular spot, on that particular day, at just the right time, was such an unlikely event it made me laugh. Being lucky can be a lot better than being good.