Friday, April 7, 2017

Spring Is On The Way

     A weekend warmup is on the way here in Minnesota. The neighborhood is alive again with people and their dogs out for walks, motorcycles rumbling and kids playing in the park.  Just as we emerge from winter ourselves, nature has been emerging quickly from a winter stasis.

     During the winter cold and being stuck inside I took the opportunity to photograph a beautiful set of tulips in the house I got from Trader Joes. I played around with the lighting to capture the beautiful colors of these tulips  by using my Westcott Apollo collapsible softbox with a remote triggered Canon 580EX II inside to create an illuminated background. This setup allowed the background to become near blown out and the flowers to become somewhat translucent to show details of the flowers.

Tulips with softbox background. Copyright 2017

Tulips in window light. Copyright 2017

Saturday, June 11, 2016

North Shore 2016

Memorial weekend we made a journey to the Minnesota north shore along with all of our 3 dogs. Needless to say, it made for a full vehicle with camping gear The weather was not great the first day with off and on rain, fog and then cold a night, but that is what rain gear and sleeping bags are for.

During this trip it was finally time to try out the new tent I bought last year, for the first time. This tent was great to allow space for an inflatable mattress and room for 3 dogs. I must also add that this Eureka Copper Canyon tent I got from REI is tall enough for me to be able to stand up. No more hunching over or crawling on my knees to get around in the tent.

First night under the stars in the new Eureka Copper Canyon Tent.After a day with rain with the rain and fog, we were fortunate for a clear evening look at the night sky, and were given a show with all of the shooting star like things passing by. Even one burned so bright like a flash in the sky and caught the eye of Erika's and I. Some of these long exposure night sky photos when looked at closely showcase some streaks of light going straight across the photo. I thought maybe there may been a meteor shower I was not aware of happening.
Our Milkyway

Focused on the North Star

This trip I had a goal to find a moose, to just see one outside of a zoo setting and get to at least say seen a moose in the wild. I thought the best place to do this maybe to set out on the Gunflint Trail road out of Grand Marais. Sure there are lots of trees, wetlands and lakes along the way and even a viewing deck by a pond we hiked to observe moose. It turns out it was not our day and our search continues as no moose were visible. 

The trip wouldn't be complete without a chance for the dogs to go swimming. Sophie and Aspen geared up in their Ruffwear lifejackets to brave the VERY cold Lake Superior water.
Sophie and Aspen enjoying the north shore of Lake Superior

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Finally, Snow

It was just recently we received a good amount of snow here in Minnesota just before Christmas, that actually stuck to the ground. It is late in the year for us to finally get any actual snow. The Bernese Mountain Dogs love the snow as always and had their chance to play and lay around in the snow as if it was not even cold.


With the dogs out enjoying the freshly fallen snow, I also wanted to share a photo of the Christmas tree lot that pops up every year. Just down the hill from where I live is a view of this tree lot displaying lots of beautiful trees this time of year. When the evening comes the lights strung from wooden post to wooden post are electrified and the bulbs glow with this beautiful soft light.
Red Wing, Christmas Tree Lot
 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone, may 2016 bring a year full of opportunities and happiness.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Long Exposure Daytime Photos With a 10 Stop ND Filter

    Recently I purchased a 10 stop ND filter, a B+W F-Pro from B&H. I've tried some long exposures of water at dusk in the past without a ND filter that were fun, but difficult in the rapidly diminishing light. I knew I needed a ND filter to play around with this in the day time, to show blur of clouds, trees, water, or even make a busy place look void of people.

    I have some ideas of what I want to photography around here other than a typical waterfall, but most of them are involving the clouds recently. The clouds are proving to be quite dramatic in the afternoon with the recent daily thunderstorms that we have been getting.

    I plan to keep playing with the filter and share some of the work as I go and continue to make improvements. I am finding depending on the speed and the focal length of the lens I want to get a shutter speed at least above 10 seconds. Wider angle lenses i.e.. < 24mm, you will want a longer shutter speed than you would need for a telephoto.

   My only complaint so far with the filter is that it shows some purple color tinting due to the glass, this could be dependent on what angle from the sun I am photographing that causes the filter to do this. So far some adjustments in white balance have helped to correct this. 

    The first photo below I used the ND filter along with my B+W 77mm Circular Polarizer MRC stacked on first to be able to see which way the polarizer needed to be turned.
Long Exposure from the top of Whiskey Hill by Elba, MN (ISO 200, f/13, 15/1 shutter)
Plumber Building- Mayo Clinic (ISO 500, f/11, 5/1 shutter)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Germany Visit

   Back in January of this year I was sent on a business trip to Germany to spend a few days there to meet with one of our largest clients. It certainly was a long trip from Minneapolis to Chicago, then to Amsterdam, and finally landing in Hamburg. 

   While it was a chance to go to Europe for my first time ever, I was unfortunately very sick at the same time with a sinus and lung infection. This made flying very painful with the cabin pressure changes. I hope to never experience that again. 

So I will share some photos below from the trip staring with a few from the Amsterdam Schiphol airport. Likely one of the largest and nicest airports I have ever been to.
Holland Boulevard Lights in Amsterdam Airport.

Closeup of the inside of the Holland Boulevard lights.

Our connecting KLM flight from Amsterdam to Hamburg with the sun just breaking the horizon in the morning.

After the short flight from Amsterdam, we landed in Hamburg, very tired from the flight. We stayed at the Hotel Hafen in Hamburg with rooms in the tower over looking the harbor.

View from my hotel window.

View from my hotel window, ship in dry dock for maintenance in the port of Hamburg.

Interesting space saving bathrooms.

They even had a rubber ducky in the bathroom, but no bathtub. Not sure if was to be used playing in the sink. 

View of the hotel room from the bathroom looking over the desk and out the window.

View out the window with the fire escape, which was nice to catch some fresh air and some unobstructed photos from.

Clean room with cable set on the 

Small deer mount?

Every room has one of these, yes it is a real apple. As tempting as it was to have when I was sick, the apple was not in the best of condition.

Nice view of landungsbrücken and the port of Hamburg. I did not get to check it out, but there is a tunnel from here to the other side of the port.

Skyline view to the north east.

Across the port you there is a theater putting on the production of The Lion King.

After dinner Jay and I headed back down the walkway to our hotel.

Crepes of course!

Really great looking ship in the port.

Where we stayed, Hotel Hafen Hamburg. Apparently had burned down in the past. They had a beautiful interior and items we would consider delicate and antiques just part of the usable decor.

Another view of landungsbrücken.

Cargo ship moving through the port at night, I like seeing all of those cranes on the horizon.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Jason and Raquel Wedding Marquette Michigan

Congratulations to Raquel and Jason Cowell. Married in beautiful city of Marquette Michigan located on the grand Lake Superior.

Much love to the newly wed couple