With all the wet weather, the wild flowers and plants are really starting to grow and green up. I have noticed the wild Iris buds popping up. The first one opened today! I lucked out when a late even rain shower left some water droplets on the petals.
There is something magical about thunderstorms in the Rockies. I decided to compile a video of a few photos I took of lighting accompanied by some audio of rain and thunder rumbling I recorded this afternoon. The photos and audio certainly do not replace the live experience in anyway!
I was safe indoors during all of these events. However, I have been caught outdoors hiking or camping in storms before. Although the experience of being outdoors during storms is unlike anything else, lighting is not something to take lightly. Enjoy the video!
- Project start date: 02/21/2015
- Project end date: 05/13/2015
- Time-lapse timeframe: 02/22/2015 through 04/24/2015
- Time interval between photos: 30 minutes
- Total photos taken: 3429
- Total number of photos used in time-lapse: 2913
- Video frame rate: 24 frames per second
- Camera Body: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
- Lens: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
- Flash: Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX
- Memory cards: Eye-fi SD card; San Disk Extreme Pro 32GB CF cards [2x]
- Camera, lens, and flash settings:
- Aperture: f/11 to start off; switched to f/22 once the buds started opening
- Shutter speed: 1/200th (flash sync speed)
- ISO: 100
- Lens set to manual focus and image stabilization off
- Flash set to ETTL with no exposure compensation
- Camera was in manual exposure mode with an unknown exposure compensation (3 plus stops under)
- RAW and JPEG file types shot separately to each memory card; RAW to the CF card, JPEG to the SD card
- Edited RAW files exported to JPEG used in the time-lapse video.
- Other lighting accessories: floor lamp with daylight balanced bulb
- Westcott 20″ 2 piece diffuser/reflector set (one white diffusing and one black reflecting)
- Tripod: Promaster XC528C with ball head mount
- Intervalometer: Canon Timer Remote Controller TC-80N3
- Batteries: Rechargeable AA Ni-Cads for flash, Canon Battery Packs LP-E6 for camera body, and one button cell for the timer remote
- Photo editing: Adobe Lightroom CC and Adobe Photoshop CC
- Video Compilation: Adobe Premier CC
- Audio adjustments (Fade in and Fade out): Adobe Audition CC
This weather pattern is really making things green. There is rain in the forecast through Sunday, and there have already been a couple of days of moisture. I woke up to big flakes of snow this morning.
I am not unhappy with the weather forecast. In fact, I was mentioning to someone that it may actually help me complete a project I have been working on since February. The project is a time-lapse of an orchid blooming.
It is almost perfect to stay in to edit photos. That brings up an interesting point about the orchid time-lapse and photo editing. I do not typically edit images in the manner that I am doing at the moment. In some ways, I am almost thinking I should have left the images as is. However, there is a stick holding up the stock with the orchid blossoms. The stick detracted from the images in such a manner that I made the decision to remove it.
The orchid time-lapse itself is over three thousand images taken over just over two months. I threw some of the bad images out right after import, which narrowed the count down to two thousand nine hundred eighty images. That is a lot of photo editing! The stick is not in all of the images, and I placed it in different places in the image throughout the time-lapse sequences. This made it easy to remove from some sequences, while other sequences are more time consuming. I am down to the last thirty seven photos to edit!
I may as well stay inside and get this project done! What else is there to do when the weather is wet and soupy?
This Bible passage came to mind, today, as I was checking in on a time-lapse of an orchid – 2 Corinthians 4:18 “For we fix our attention, not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever.” (Good News Translation) The reason why was that I have not yet observed any change in the orchid. I look at it, and it still looks the same as it did yesterday. However, as I scroll through the time-lapse images that are clicking away over the period of time, I can see tiny (minute, little, otherwise unobservable) changes. It’s like a glimpse into things not seen. There is also an anticipation of the flower that is to come.
I just added a new page – “Specialty Sales Items” – to my blog pages. This page will feature specialty items that I have for sale. There is already one item on the page.
The item that is currently for sale on the Specialty Sales Items page is a one-of-a-kind (the only one that I have) framed Loch Vale Snow print. It is an 8″ x 12″ print with a double matte and high quality UV protection glass. It just needs a wall to hang on. Email me – email@example.com – for more details if interested in purchasing.
Check back on my blog, and the new Specialty Sales Items page for more posts and items. I am excited about some of the projects that will become available as they come to completion! Right now, I am working on a 2016 calendar that features Poems from a local poet. The calendar should be available for pre-order fairly soon, and is expected to be ready around May or June.
There is a song by Mat Kearney, called – “Learning to Love Again.” The song has been playing on one of my playlists for awhile. The lyrics really speak to me as a photographer, especially in the first verse. “‘Cause that was the real you running through the fields of gold wide open… Standing in places no picture contains.”
I relate to the lyrics, because I have been there – “standing in places no picture contains.” There are several reason why this can occur. Some places do not have the right light. It may be the wrong time. There are places that simply are not photographic [although, very rare]. Sometimes, there is no camera, or the photographer made a mistake. Then, there are those moments. The ones that are perfect [or not so perfect], and no picture can contain them. The emotions and everything associated with being in that moment are not depicted in the picture that is captured [if captured].
Those moments, the ones that are perfect [or not so perfect], often times leave us standing there in awe of them. As photographers, we try to capture these moments as accurately as possible. Yet, I have put the camera down and stood there in some of those moments. There is simply no way a picture is going to do the scene any justice. They are not recorded on anything other than the memory I have in my mind.
Our eyes capture the scene in a way that the camera cannot see. Our emotions are captured in ways that a picture cannot accurately depict them. The song touches on this in such away that I go back to some of those moments. Those factors of: time, preparedness, and simple awe came into play.
Yeah, I wish some of them could be contained in a picture. It does not always happen. “‘Cause that was the real you running through the fields of gold wide open… Standing in places no picture contains.” I have to admit, some of those moments not contained in pictures are the best ones.
I have touched on this in some of my previous posts. It is cropping up a little bit more, at this point in time. The phrase, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” is another way to state the phenomenon of critiquing a photograph.
I am looking back at the thousands of photos I have stored on my computer and drives. There are plenty of bad photos along with the few goods ones. My mind is really looking at the photos in a more critical manor. I am seeing things in photos that I like and I dislike. I am also remembering the moments that created the photos.
Here is what I find very intriguing. It is not really a new concept or epiphany of some sort. Photography is a very subjective subject. What I find good in a photo may be criticized by someone else. There are certain rules that photographers live by, and sometimes break.
As I have been looking more critically at my own photographs, I find I have my own biased opinion of what makes it good or bad. This biased is created from a number of things. How well did I do with the technical aspects of photography? If there is a technical aspect that is off, why is it off? Then, does the photograph make a good composition (is it artistic)?
Those are not the only things biasing my opinion about a photograph. Some pictures were stumbled upon (happened unexpectedly). Other photos were a concept that I thought of and created by taking time to setup for the photo. I am probably going to defend photos that I took more time to create than ones that I stumbled upon. That is not always the case. Sometimes I really dislike photos that I took time to setup for.
Sometimes, a photo is not technically correct. It becomes a great photo, because of the emotion it invokes of that moment. Other times, a photo is technically correct, and it does not invoke any emotion. Each person connects to a photo in different ways.
What I see in a photo, whether it is technically correct or not, is influenced by being in the moment. There are moments that other people shared. There are moments I spent by myself. Yet, the moment in and of itself creates an emotional attachment to any photo. What I see in a photo that makes it good may be completely disregarded by someone else, because I was there in the moment. I am biased, and I critique my photos based on my overall experience of being the photographer.
I got goose bumps as I read this.
As I look at these rabbit tracks in the snow, I feel anticipation for 2015. Where do they go? I have a few plans for 2015 that will hopefully become a footprint on my path in photography!
The first project, that I have already started work on, is a collaboration with a local poet to make a calendar. We have three months fairly well planned with the pictures and poems selected. It has been fun to bounce ideas back and forth, and draw inspiration for photo ideas I may not have come up with on my own. We are hoping to have the calendar for sale sometime this year with the calendar itself being for 2016. This should be good news for all of the people that have requested a calendar full of my photos!
I am going to push a little bit harder to go on a few more photo trips, this year. One, that should be relatively easy, is a trip to Yellowstone to photograph wolves in the wild. This has been on my list for some time, and I feel like 2015 is the year to go do it. It can be a weekend trip. I just need to put it on the calendar and go.
I did a few astrophotography projects in 2014. It was good practice for when I can plan to head out to better locations. Again, my objective is to put a few weekend trips onto the calendar in 2015, and go. The same can be said for my practice with doing time-lapse photography. In all honesty, I purchased the second camera body as a result of my practice in both of these areas of photography. I can take pictures with the second camera while the first camera is setup for a long exposure or time-lapse.
I am confident that photography will take me places in 2015. I look forward to the tracks I will make. None of these projects and trips would be the same without all of my friends, family and followers. Thank you for joining along! Happy New Year, 2015!