Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Brief Sun Shower on Saturday

BZ Bs.



Both photos taken with Sigma 105mm f/2.8 macro @ f/8.  ISO 200, handheld, no flash.

Second to the Last Day of May…

…and the state to the north of me has disappeared.  I’m sure that Washington is still where it belongs and to the people passing by Dismal Nitch it looks as though Oregon has dropped off the map. 

Welcome to late spring in the Pacific Northwet.  It looks a lot like late winter, though it’s not nearly as cold. 

Or windy. 

Venturing out into the gloom before nightfall (that would be the time of darker gray before the dark-blue gray), the only sounds were the faint but persistent splashes of raindrops in puddles and on leaves, the gushes of water in downspouts and the upward-lilting trills of Swainson’s Thrushes.

I’m glad to hear the thrushes.  I’ve loved that stairstep call since I was a kid.  But, where are the rest of the trappings of spring?  Yes, rhodies have bloomed and spent themselves and the daffodils were weeks early, but where the hell is the sun? 

In “normal” years, my daily uniform would have been shorts and sandals for at least six weeks by now, and I would have had my upstairs windows open constantly since the beginning of April.

This has been one sorry, soggy spring.

Even the herons look pissed off.


Oh, wait… they always look pissed off.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Avian Parade at the Yacht Race


This shot only works well if you click on it.

I’d shot a lot of the preparation for and start of the Tuesday yacht race.  The wind was howling, and even with the aid of the monopod, I was getting pretty fatigued from keeping the horizon level and scanning the interior of the viewfinder for close to an hour. 

Just as the boats were getting to be too far out of range for usable shots, a line of cormorants started streaming through the race.  There are 32 in this frame.  I shot a number of frames and then gave up, heading up and over the fill wall at the end of Pier 1.  As I hauled myself up to the top, I looked back and saw that the stream of back waterfowl had not abated at all. 

They continued to stream south across the river and toward Youngs Bay for as long as I was willing to be battered by the wind.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Different Wavelength

Infrared, to be precise. Just past our normal visible spectrum.


Barn and gate near Brownsmead, OR.

Sony 18-70mm zoom.  f/8 @ 5 seconds with R-72 filter.  Tripod mounted.  No crop, developed in ACR.

Time constraints didn’t allow us to explore and photograph when the visible spectrum lent itself to more interesting photographs, so I took some extreme measures.  It was a beautiful, warm afternoon, but that just didn’t translate well in photographs, so it was time to get out the bigger hammers.

Anyone passing by as I set up the shot either paid no attention at all or thought “Can’t he hold a camera still in broad daylight?” 

It would have been a fair question.  Sunglasses were in order after all.  But the R-72 filter is all but opaque, and the camera’s meter is useless when it’s in place. 


Brownsmead freight station.  Exposure specifications as as shown above.

Technical details:  Both files were developed in ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) with somewhat different settings.  No further adjustments (other than optimizing for web use) were made.

First impressions:  The Brownsmead Station shot really shows off how IR Imaging opens up shadows at certain points of the day.  When shot, the right side of the railroad crossbuck was barely legible… and that primarily from memory.