Archive for April, 2012

Slick

Posted: April 30, 2012 in HDR, Michigan, Nikon D40

Welcome to the motor city; Detroit, Michigan. This shot was taken at the North American International Auto Show. And yes, I realize it is not the traditional automobile (but I have lots of those to come so don’t worry). This is a 7-shot sequence HDR, and was taken by me literally lying on the ground, embarrassing myself in front of multiple people. This shot has had several “treatments” applied to it to get that sort of glossy-glowing look; but I think it pretty accurately reflects the atmosphere of the day.

This was my first trip to NAIAS, and I have to say it probably will not be my last. We spent about 4 hours looking around, and never once went back through an exhibit we had already seen. I really had no idea what to expect either. I brought a ton of photo equipment with me because I wasn’t sure what situation I would need to shoot in. Turns out you can go right up to, and even get in, about 85% of the cars that were on display. The other 15% were surrounded by low rails (usually on those giant motorized turntables), but you could actually get quite close. I chose to mount my 10-20mm wide angle lens and just have some fun with it.

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Bob Evans?

Posted: April 29, 2012 in HDR, Nikon D40, Ohio

This picture was taken sometime around 6-7am in Berlin, Ohio (Amish Country). Amish country is interesting… You’re out there in this just pristine beauty, rolling farm country, and everything seems in such a… “the-way-it-should-be” kinda way, but then you see some Amish dude giving you the “stink eye” because you are enjoying the nature with a forbidden piece of technology in your hands… So I guess what I’m trying to say is Amish Country is pretty awesome and pretty judgemental all at the same time. Besides the whole wardrobe fashion, men’s hairstyles, and excessive amount of manual labor though, the amish way of life is pretty cool.

This shot also kind of reminds me of like Bob Evans farms, or at least how I picture them to be (instead of probably like a concrete non-descript building in New Jersey or something). Dad was driving and I was riding shotgun with my camera already mounted to the tripod ready to bust out at the opportune time. Sometimes you don’t even know you missed the shot until you look in the rear view, and this was one of those occassions. We passed this place (which didn’t look all that interesting from the other direction) I looked back and said, “We gotta go back.” Which was easier said than done…

Among having to watch out for the Amish buggies and everything, you also have to watch out for those darn English, who drive like madmen (Those Amish are really taking their lives in their hands when they venture out…). Also there’s not very many turn arounds. So after a near miss, we returned, and I carefully extended the tripod legs standing in a ditch to take the picture. I think it turned out well.

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Amazon

Posted: April 28, 2012 in Ramblings...

They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. I’m not so sure about that… I mean, I can readily admit I have a problem, but it doesn’t really stop me from doing what I do. I think they need to change that saying to “The first step to recovery is having your spouse place parental controls on your Amazon.com account.” It’s called an addiction folks…

I’m not really sure what it is about Amazon, but that site is just AMAZING. Where else can you search for just about anything from the discretion of your own semi-darkened office? (Wow that really sounded creepy…). I just got an email this morning, here’s what the subject line said:

Amazon.com Recommends: Precious Lil’ Pirate Toddler / Child Costume

So you know I had to open that message up… Once open, I had like 20 different links to check out items that matched some of my previous buying history. And that’s when I realized I really do have a problem… The list included photography equipment, LED lights on a strand, a 365-day Chuck Norris desk calendar, A Bob Ross DVD collection, Hong Kong Phooey T-shirt Iron-on’s, fake eyebrows, ski goggles, and bulk batteries. Oh, all that in addition to the Precious Lil’ Pirate Toddler / Child Costume that is… Funny thing is that as I viewed all these recommendations I was all like “wow… Amazon really DOES know me!”

As a side note, the “Precious Lil’ Pirate Toddler / Child Costume was nothing like what I was expecting. That may or may not have anything to do with the fact that whenever I see the word “Lil’” in any product description I immediately think the worst. For example, I’m picturing this outfit that has one leg permanently affixed in the “up” position, while the other leg is in the “down” position. The costume comes with an eye-patch, but instead of solid, it’s slotted like Kayne’ West sunglasses, and there is a “crunk cup” accessory that comes with instructions on how to make your own codeine-laced sizurp mixture.

By the way, I know I still have yet to explain why the “Precious Lil’ Pirate Toddler / Child Costume” was recommended on the email… but I think that’s enough for today.

The Old Covered Bridge

Posted: April 28, 2012 in HDR, Nikon D40, Ohio

This one is a view of the inside of the Charlton Mill Covered Bridge, that’s about halfway between Xenia and Cedarville, Ohio. I had never seen this bridge before as it is tucked away off the beaten path in the country. I approached the bridge in my truck but parked just short of the entrance because honestly, it didn’t look like what you would call “stable.” The whole thing, in fact, was sort of leaning to the side a little bit.

I started taking pictures and saw there was a guy just sitting next to the bridge eating his lunch and watching the water in the stream below. A nice peaceful retreat for the day, I thought to myself, as I took in the smells of the woods, the sunlight trickling in through the slats of the bridge, and the sounds of the stream running underneath the smooth wooden floor boards.

Then I heard this weird noise coming toward me (rather quickly). It sounded kind of like some awful hybrid combination of a weedwacker that is running without the oil part of the fuel+oil mixture, and a gasoline powered go-cart. Turns out it was a Toyota Celica, that apparently had some sort of frankensteinish-type aftermarket bastardization performed to the exhaust system, and apparently the shocks too, because it was riding about 6 inches off the ground.

Anyway, this fuel-powered nightmare was approaching me (standing in the middle of the bridge with my tripod, trying to get the last shot in this sequence) at about 40+ mph on this 25mph backroad (with reckless intent). As soon as the shutter closed on the last shot I swept the whole rig up just in time to scurry over to the side of the bridge and watch this moron launch his ride through the tunnel like he was Bo Duke making his daily moonshine run (and maybe he was… although I think most people in the area just drink Busch from those camo-printed cans). I felt certain the bridge would collapse, but nothing dramatic happened.

Looking back, it was probably a good thing that I witnessed this happen, because otherwise I might not have tried to cross that bridge in the truck and I would have missed other photo opportunities on the other side.

Time’s Up

Posted: April 27, 2012 in HDR, Nikon D40, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee. Home of the Blues, Beale St, and random people who do black tar heroine whilst driving on the interstate (no joke – I saw that happen while I was there…). On the plus side however, they do have some pretty neat old buildings, a halfway revitalized downtown area, and obviously some citizens that know how to multi-task.

This shot was taken probably a block away from where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot. Apparently this is a claim of fame for this area, but honestly it just made me nervous. Good thing I had my friend Greg with me. Not that Greg would necessarily been of help mind you (he was about 100lbs lighter than me at the time, and I’m fairly certain he would have beaten me in a footrace running from drug-addicted Memph-zombians.  Nevertheless, it was like that whole “safe” feeling when you’re sick at home and you’re just happy you have your mom. In that way Greg is like my mom. (I am just as amazed as you that this post has taken this unexpected twist.)

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Purple Rain

Posted: April 26, 2012 in Light Painting, Nikon D40, Ohio

I took this shot at Englewood Metropark in Englewood, OH. This is not an HDR, I just played with the white balance & hue settings in photoshop until the yellow sparks turned purple. My oldest brother in law is spinning steel wool that has been set on fire, while contained inside a metal wisk on the end of a 3 foot length of jack chain. Not really sure why I had to tell you it was “jack chain,” other than the fact I just like to say jack chain…

This shot was just after dusk, as we needed it to be dark. We had originally set out searching for tunnels to do this type of shot in, and eventually found our way to the park (which has this super cool old stone tunnel). Technically, it closes at dusk (whatever that really means) but the gate was still open (although technically it was the exit gate). We drove in quickly and my brother in law and I jumped out to get the shot, while a friend kept watch for rangers. We got the shot and left without any trouble.

The sparks are not really all that furious in “real-time” but each individual light trail gets “burned” to the sensor via. the open shutter and ends with an image representing an accumulation of the total sum of all the sparks, which equals a pretty amazing effect if I do say so myself…

Please click on the picture for full resolution.

The Creepy Old Barn

Posted: April 26, 2012 in HDR, Nikon D40, Ohio

I found this shot on a cold misty morning in Vandalia, Ohio. The kind of morning that is just perfect for finding cold misty things. However, it’s not as easy to find cold, misty, & EPIC looking things, so it took me a little while to find this cool old barn. When I did, I had to park like a block down, and then walk through a few front yards (no sidewalks…) to get to the perfect spot for this shot. I was kinda spooked that somebody might yell at me, but since it was like 6:30am, I took my chances. This is my first post, so I thought it would be appropo to post my first HDR Image.

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By the way, even though this post says it was published at 3:26am, it totally was not. Turns out that I am technologically stunted, and still had my blog on Armenian time or something. So technically this post should say April 25th at 8 something in the PM, but it’s in Armenian instead, mostly because I still have no idea how to change that… my apologies…