Is there anything more serene in nature than a rainbow after a violent thunderstorm? In fact there is - there is a double rainbow, twice as serene. How about a serene double rainbow over a serene golf course? That's serene to the 3rd power. And a double rainbow over the golf course two days after a hurricane came through and made a mess of things all over? Epic serenity, right there.
Who doesn't like fireworks? Little kids, old people, men, women, city people, rednecks, cowboys, sophisticates, millionaires, junkies, goodie two-shoes and naughty boys who drive across three states to get the good stuff that is against the law in places where the bed-wetters write the rules. Well, guess what - nobody goes "ooh" and aahhhh" over those stupid rules and nobody ever threw a parade or wrote a song to celebrate the people who wrote 'em, sparklers are for chumps. So even though the legal displays put on by towns and cities on July 4th might be bigger and more impressive, I like the little ones out in the boonies where some pirate took a little risk to remind us of what we all want to be independent from - somebody else's stupid rules.
Everyone knows I love waterfalls, and that I love to photograph the ones near our summer home - all of the rivers start in cedar swamps and cascade over the granite they have carved over millennia on their way to Lake Superior. There are no crowds and no guard rails; the paths lead you to the rock formations and you crawl around until you find your shot. In the spring, the snow runoff makes for thunderous flood-stage fury, but I like the late summer low-flow times. The water zigs and zags and forms small rivulets that make for quieter contemplation and better photographs.
This photo probably would not win a ribbon in any contest - the composition is unbalanced, it is too dark on the right and too bright in the upper left corner, the editing is choppy where I tried to take out the sun flares, and I should have taken the shot at a different time of day when the lightning was better.
But it is one my favorites because it salvages the best of what was available. It was the only day and time of day I could take the shot. I had to climb down a steep bank to get the composition angle I did get and darn near broke a leg doing that. I had to learn two new Photoshop techniques to take out the sun flares, and ended up with a black and white rendition to make up for the awful shadows against the colors in the the sunlight.
So despite its flaws, it is a memorable photo because by rights it should have been just god-awful and deleted, but it turned out ok. I love waterfalls - they are very difficult to shoot well and the time that takes to set up the shots forces me to be fully engaged with the most beautiful thing in nature for an hour or two. My 8th grade art teacher said art was 90% seeing and 10% doing. I am am starting to figure out what he meant.
There aren't too many places where you can shoot a waterfalls from underneath or behind, but the LaSalle Canyon in Illinois is one of them. The trick is to get up early and get your shot before half of Chicago shows up to swarm the place and take the obligatory nature selfies.
Taken las September at our lake place in northern Wisconsin. Northern lights and cloud flares through the big dipper from down on the shore after midnight. It is not a great technical image, but it captures the moment - perfectly still and quiet with a fantastic color light show over the water.
I am not a "car guy"; really don't care that much what I drive as long as it gets me from here to there. But a couple of years ago, I joined some of our photography club members at a car show and discovered how much fun it is to capture the distinctive features and rich colors of the cars from the late 40's to the early 70's. There was rolling art in the garage back then, I just did not appreciate it at the time.
How pathetic is this: I'm standing at the corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Flamingo Rd - on one corner is Bally's and Paris, on the other the Flamingo, on the other Caesar's Palace, and on the fourth, the Bellagio. So what do I do? Take long exposures of the traffic and back in the room by 10, where Joanne is reading a book. 20 years ago, we would have been just getting started at 10...
I used to stop the action with a 12-gauge pump, but those days are in the rear-view mirror and it is just as much fun to bag 'em with a camera - a bit harder to do, actually. The only thing I miss is the dog - nothing like a day in the woods up north with a bird dog doing what it was born to do. Bliss.
this is actually two images stitched together and then cropped in Lightroom to give more width to the shot. Florida has beautiful sunsets, but also some gorgeous sunrises, too. The obvious problem is that you have to get up early to see them....
My dad did not believe in borrowing money - he saved and paid cash. The first brand-new car he bought was a 1965 Chevrolet (starts with a C, get it?) Biscayne when he was 41 years old. He was a practical guy and always described his choice of the Biscayne over the top of the line Impala as "I won't pay $400 bucks for an extra taillight." The Impala model in that era had three taillights and the Biscayne had two. I think of him saying that every time I see an Impala with its distinctive 3-light tail.
I recently visited Vancouver, BC for the first time. Everyone told me it was beautiful, but I can't say that I agree - it was grey. Grey sky, grey pavement, grey buildings, grey or black hair, grey to black clothes. And then there was this one girl - dancing with reckless abandon in a fuscia pom-pom suit and a Mexican wrestler's mask. She tried to spray paint something on the sidewalk but just made a smear - said she was protesting the high price of weed, and asked me to join her in the fight against the injustice of it all. I had to decline - didn't bring anything pink and left my luche libre mask back home, too. I offered to sign her petition, but she didn't have one; she said I could take her picture instead so here you go...
I am learning how to use the speedlight, so be gentle - shot this at a car show in downtown Lakewood Ranch with off camera flash and think it turned out ok for a handheld after dark. I wish I brought my tripod, but didn't plan to stay that long.
The Caribbean island of St. Kitts does not have a lot to offer to the photographer on shore leave from a cruise ship for the day. If you like to shoot people...check that, photograph people...there are many interesting street people and hustlers to be found in the tourist zone. But if you ignore the passed-out drunks and walk a ways past the t-shirt shops and rum bars, you will find this gorgeous stone church.
I was down at Centennial Park in Sarasota shooting diving pelicans and when the sun began to set I saw a fellow trying unsuccessfully to get a shot of his hot car - the sun was so bright it was just a silhouette. I suggested he just wait 5 minutes until the sun started to slip below the horizon and bingo - nice little car shot. This is the stuff you learn in a camera club like LWRDPC; if he was a member I would have had him turn the front wheels a bit away from the camera...