Social Butterfly
The Right Side

Lightning And Thunder

I love lightning photos.  

During this time of year in Arizona there is usually ample oppotunity to find those nights where 100's of strikes are happening during a storm and catching some great activity.   My technnique for capturing those strikes is essentially put the camera on "bulb" shutter mode and hold the button down until the sky lights up with the strike or strikes....then release.

 Its definitely a hit and miss kind of shooting but I have been sometimes very happy with the end results.  Here are a few samples from Monsoon 2015 in Phoenix this year.




Monsoon2015-3103.jpgI loveed  the last one in that space in my head where a plane flying through lightning bolts just makes me shudder a bit when I am traveling accross the country, and its my plane flying throgh weather like this.




15 Years Crystalized

This week marks our 15th wedding anniversary.   I did some quick research from the internets for this part of of the story.   Traditional gifts for this time are Crystal, followed by the more modern "watch".   It doesn't say Diamond, Swiss, or Mickey after the words "watch" so I figure there is some open territory for interpretation on my part.  We have a nine year old boy that's sharing the house with us till he's 18, so the Crystal might wait for a few years.

The anniversary number of 15 is also listed as "significant" versus say the 20th, or 25th anniversary.   I tend to think in terms of my own parents who were 40 plus years into being married as significant.  As they say times have changed and perhaps if you place this against the average of 8 years for American marriages...then we are bucking the numbers with good success. 

When we were about to get married, we had good family friends that gave us their secret to staying together for the whatever-may-come stories.  They said that you had to enjoy being around that person as a friend most importantly.  Because if you didn't have that first, then the things to come that no one knows about on their wedding day would be that much more challenging.   I have that friend.  My friend and wife Marissa. 

We don't let each other get away from facing the tough conversations.  We support each other and sometimes disagree wholeheartedly.  So far I think we continue to enjoy the travel through our lives and knowing the other is going to be there to either provide the calm and comfort or tough love as they say...

Happy 15th Anniversary to my Bond Girl-Marissa Honey-Jones.  May we continue to develop our friendship and love for many years to come.

September 16, 2000 

Do you ever wonder why you have  blog?

I haven't checked in with this set of pages in a long time if you are one who reads dates.  I have been thinking about pulling down the site and just focusing on other ways of communicating but this week I am going to try and post something at least every two days to see if I can keep on a schedule.   At least I will have some fresher content for a week, and at worst I figure out that blogging isn't what I am meant to do.

If you're along for the ride, I guess we'll see how it goes.  


The one where I talked about Bracketing

I probably read more blogs and comments about photography on a daily basis than I write.  This might be a blessing in disguise for my reader(s) who would either like to hear someone rail against the trends, or foretell of the next best thing.  I don't use that space for either very much. Generally I use the time and screen for either sharing a photo that I took where I applied some new learning or to convince myself that hosting a blog is going to benefit my attempts to make photography more than my escape.

All that brings us to tonight's topic:  Bracketing and then processing with multiple frames.  I will be honest in saying that I haven't done any bracketing work except to find the best exposure, focus or flash for a particular subject and delete the rest. 

Oak Creek near Sedona - 5 Exposure composite from P7000 and processed with Photomatix Light

Recently I picked up a Nikon P7000 as a smaller camera to take with me on those quick trips out the door, and when I travel for my day job.  I always want to bring the D300 with me, but then what lens was I going to pick and I want to carry all my bags on... and it goes from there.  So Far the P7000 has done nicely with the niche I wanted to fill.  There are better small body cameras out there, but for the price I think I have done pretty well.

So one of the features of the P7000 is a bracketing setup where you can pick either 3 or 5 exposures and then either use Shutter, ISO, or White Balance to create your set.  You can also pick whether your intervals are 1 Stop, .7 or .3.  

The Lego "Dune Hopper" series that Peyton and I put together today. 5 Exposures -2,-1,0,+1, +2

For the two examples here I used the "TV" (Shutter Speed)  bracketing mode on the camera.  I chose the 5 exposure mode and kept it at 1 Stop increments.  I had the camera on a hard surface in both instances and no tripod (mistake but you use what you got).  Then I combined those frames using Photomatix Light using the tone mapping mode for the shot in Sedona and Exposure Fusion for the Lego Trike.  I have not found my flow yet with tone mapping and it looked like crap on the Lego model.  The reflections and color in the rock formations definitely benefitted from it.

All this is free to download for try before you buy, and I highly suggest that.  In fact I love software makers who put their versions out there first and let you decide the value.

From the first few experiments I think it will benefit some of my landscapes in general because the overall benefits are definitely more apparent.  The next subjects will likely be some of the downtown buildings, and night shots that I see from the photographers like Trey Ratcliff, and others.

 Alright its 11pm on a Sunday - time to get back to my day job.  Thanks for stopping in.

Virtual Copies of my view

I got to kick back and camp this weekend for Father's day.  First thing is that we camp about once a year, and its nothing close to primitive - but its a ton of fun with our friends and their kids.  

Now to the photo part.  On the way home we drove almost the entire length of the Mogollon Rim near Payson, AZ.  Great views to be had here (Forest Road #300 for those looking for a trip soon), and it had been a couple of years since we had been there.  

Two versions of the same view for this one. I used the Virtual Copy option in Lightroom  Although it rarely happens, you can critique or vote on the treatment you like best.



And then the virtual copy in B&W...



Here's hoping that the weekend brought you some great places to stop and take a few pictures on your way home.   Till the next time.