[Click the images to see larger.]
- Animals/Birds of the Badlands, Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks 2016
- National Parks Landscapes 2016
- Animals of Yellowstone/Tetons/Badlands 2014
- Yellowstone/Tetons/Badlands Landscapes 2014
- Animals of Yellowstone/Tetons/Badlands 2012
- Yellowstone/Tetons/Badlands Landscapes 2012
- Animals of Yellowstone 2011
- Birds of Yellowstone 2011
- Yellowstone/Tetons Landscapes 2011
- Yellowstone Textures
- Custer State Park, SD
- Great Smoky Mountains NP
- Rocky Mountain National Park
- About Me
Some years the North Shore of Lake Superior is frozen over or has huge ice flows by now, but despite several days of below zero weather the lake was still open when I was there last weekend. I like how the water washing up on the shore freezes on the rocks, creating an icy shore-line environment. Watch your step.
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Lightning over Lake Superior at Grand Marais, MN on a June moonlit night. Multiple 8-second exposures blended in Photoshop. After taking some sunset photos of the lighthouse (below) and waiting for the northern lights which never appeared, I was heading south to find a place to sleep before taking some sunrise photos. I looked in the rear-view mirror and saw a couple of lightning flashes and turned around back to a lake view of the storm. Setting up the camera on the tripod with an intervalometer set to take continuous 8 second exposures, I took photos of the storm moving across the lake for about 45 minutes.
The sailboat and lighthouse photos below were taken earlier in the evening at Grand Marais with a rain shower on the horizon. [Click the photos below to see larger.]
I couldn't resist a few fireworks photos on such a beautiful night at Clear Lake, Iowa. I love how the fireworks paint their abstract colors across the water. ISO 400, f/16, shutter on the 'B' setting for continuous exposure for an undetermined time. I would open the shutter and watch the fireworks as they blossomed and cover up the lens with my hat when they had reached the peak. Some of these are multiple exposures as I would uncover the lens and add another burst, then close the shutter when I thought I had enough on that frame. Confused? Well, I have to take a lot of pictures to get a few good ones because I never know what they will look like. Happy Independence Day!
I took a walk around the yard and gardens between rain showers yesterday and took a few photos of the raindrops on the leaves and flowers. (Click on the images to see larger.)
As our Earth races around the Sun there are a few months, from November to February, when the Milky Way is not visible because it is blocked by the Sun. From March to October the galactic center (the brightest part of the Milky Way) is visible in the Northern Hemisphere and best photographed on a clear night with a new moon. I use an app called Photo Pills to determine what time the galactic center will rise above the horizon and the location - southeast sky in the spring, south in the Summer and southwest in the fall. On this night in April it would be visible from 2:03 AM til 5:07 AM and then the sky would start to get light from the rising Sun. Because there was haze on the horizon I couldn't really see the brightest part until about 3:30 AM and later. These photos with the lonely tree and the windmill were taken between 4:30 and 5:00 AM, ISO 1600, f/3.2, 25 second exposure with a 20mm lens and a sturdy tripod. They are single images. I could get brighter stars by using a higher ISO, but would get more noise (grain) in the sky, or use a technique of image stacking by combining multiple exposures in to one. Something to try next time. (Click the images to see larger.)
We recently took a drive over to the Mississippi River near McGregor, IA to look for Fall colors in the trees. The colors weren't as intense as we had hoped, perhaps because of the dry weather, but we did find some pretty trees. The image above and the first three below were at Pikes Peak State Park. Left to right below - wild ginger and trees, a dry gulch, Bridal Veil Falls (not much water flowing), and last - colorful trees at Effigy Mounds National Monument north of Marquette, IA. (Click the images to see larger)
Lightning tonight. According to my weather app the storm was about 50 miles away. I take lots of long exposures with the hope that I will get a lightning strike in one or two of the frames. The camera is on the tripod, and I use a remote timer (intervalometer) set in this case to take 20 second exposures repeatedly. I never know if I will get a bolt of lightning during that exposure or if it will be in the frame, but sometimes I get lucky. I would never do this when the lightning is close or if I can hear thunder. 112mm, f4.5, ISO 250, 20 second exposure and cropped.
Below is a second image taken earlier with a wide angle lens while there was still a bit of light in the sky from the setting sun. I got a triple! The three lightning bolts didn't happen at exactly the same time, but they happened within the eight-second exposure. The length of time the shutter is open has little to do with the exposure because the lightning strike is so fast, but does allow a wider window of opportunity to capture one. The exposure is controlled by the f/stop and ISO (and perhaps a bit of post-processing in Lightroom and Photoshop). 35mm, f/5, ISO 100, 8 second exposure and cropped.
Last evening I tried out the new digital remote trigger (intervalometer) that I have for my camera. I had it set to take one exposure every 15 seconds for about an hour and a half as the clouds came rolling in ahead of a storm. I stopped taking pictures when it started raining. Then I opened the 300+ still images in Adobe Premiere Elements and made them in to a time-lapse movie. (This is part-1. I'm working on a longer version over several days.)
Just a few notes about my photos. See more on Facebook.