Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy Valentines Day

This is for Mary... since she didn't get the attachment I sent with her email!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sea Birds on the Atlantic Coast

I don't usually get close enough to birds to bother to try and get a shot. But a landscape type shot is possible, even with a relatively wide zoom lens. In fact I was using the Nikon D40 this day, not the D200. The D40 is what I take on "family" trips, and this was a family trip. So anyway, here is the bird framed nicely in the corner (using the tightest framing I could get with the 18-55mm lens that came with the D40). I like the way the waves add a nice pattern to the frame.
This shot is more clinical than the one above, but the bird is nicely lit. I like this shot mainly because it is something new for me. I hardly ever have the chance to photograph a bird. The clouds helped diffuse the light but also kind of cooled and flattened the image to some degree. Ideally, I would ask for a slight bit of sunshine, which this time of day would have been lighting the top and back of the bird, kind of like the shot above.

After Sunrise in Charleston

If not for the water, this might look like a Martian landscape. The light was amazing that day. I love the way the sprays of water are backlit (somwhat sidelit) by the recently risen sun to the right of this frame. Here is another shot, just to show the action of the waves. Also you can see a bird in the top right corner. Of the two shots shown here, I like the second one best.

Pre Sunrise in Charleston

As my friend and I froze our fingers off, we waited for sunrise and got some nice shots of the water. I like the pink sky, which reminds me of pictures I have seen of Mars. I also like the purple-blue water, which I suppose picked up color reflecting from the sky. See below for more shots from this same day...

Vertical Sunrise

Here is a vertical shot (above) that I also tried in a horizontal arrangement (below). I like each one for different reasons. But the thing I like most about the vertical shot is the interesting pattern of the waves. I was looking for something diagonal or zig-zag like. And I was able to get that using the vertical composition but not horizontal. Horizontal framing limited the depth of the photo, while vertical let me shoot the sand near my feet and also include the sun.
I chose this shot because I like the way the sunlight reflects off the surface and the way the group of three waves kind of breaks up the light. It might have been cold and windy, but the reflection was also very bright.

Blustery Sunrise in Charleston, SC

It was so cold and windy on this January morning. But my friend and I spent nearly 40 minutes on this shoreline near Charleston, SC. I tried to position the camera so that the waves would be more diagonal in the frame, but based on my location and the position of the sun, this is about the best I could do. I got several of these shots, including a vertical. I tried to snap the shutter when the waves looked most interesting rather than just being uniform horizontal lines.

Lochness Monster (sort of)

One of my friends said he likes this shot, and then specifically referred to the the "Lochness Monster." I smiled when he said that, and I remembered some of those fuzzy shots of the monster I had seen years ago.
The dark bump on the left part of the frame was intentional. I wanted to add some variety (color/texture/pattern) to the otherwise extremely uniform (and possibly boring) frame.
I got this shot before the sun rose above the horizon. I was standing on a beach in Hilton Head, SC, looking east over the Atlantic. This was the brightest and most colorful sunrise so far that I have seen over the Atlantic in my limited experience--being from the midwest, most of my life, I haven't seen too many ocean sunrises!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Loblolly Pine at Congaree National Park

My tripod and timer got this shot of me while I was checking out this huge loblolly pine in Congaree National Park. It had been selected as a record loblolly until they found another bigger one off the main trail.

Congaree National Park

In this shot, I tried to show the depth of the swamp at Congaree National Park. It was just a few weeks ago, and the swamp was rather dry. But this lowland area had some standing water. I like the way the moss on the trees shows the peak water level from last year. This was a fun 2.4 mile hike on the boardwalks around the swamp. It was a partly cloudy day so I was able to get some diffused lighting even though I was there during early afternoon.