Currently viewing the tag: "lightning"


Today’s Photo:  Ibanez

When I was 18, I got a guitar for my birthday.  I had great plans to be a musician, but that has not come to pass.  I still get it out and pluck a few tunes.  I got it out the other day because I decided to take a few shots of it for the Music assignment …Continue Reading Here…

The Leaf Redux

Today’s Photo:  The Leaf Redux

I finally had some time to process this other leaf photo that I took while in Chattanooga.  I still don’t know which I like better, but I think I am leaning toward this composition as apposed to the other Leaf.  Any opinions?  Please fell free to leave a comment.

The Orange Sculpture

Today’s Photo:  The Orange Sculpture

I am usually pretty good about figuring out what things are.  However, this was not one of those.  I have no idea what it is supposed to represent or supposed to be.  I found this sitting in front of the Hunter museum in the Art District of Chattanooga.  Even though …Continue Reading Here…


Photographing movement can mean two things, movement of the subject or movement of the background.  You accomplish this feat by using the same mechanisms for both, a slow shutter speed.  For me, creating movement during the day has been difficult.  There is usually so much light that you cannot get the shutter speed slow enough. I guess with the right kind of filter, I would be able to, but I just have a polarized filter on the camera for now.

I have found that to blur the background, I set the camera to shutter priority and the shutter speed around 1/30 of a second.  This allows me to get fairly good crisp photos of the subject and, depending on the speed of the subject, good movement in the background.  Decide what area of the subject you want in focus and then follow the subject with the camera and attempt to keep the subject framed as you want.  The beauty of this technique is that most of the time, the background colors are the only thing that matter.

On the other hand, to blur the subject, I set the camera on a tripod, shutter priority and a shutter speed somewhere below 1/30 of a second.  To keep camera shake out of the picture, use a remote shutter release.  As the subject moves through the photo, push the button.  If the subject is not blurred enough, make the shutter speed slower.

Today’s Photo:  The Drive-By

I decided to take sometime with the family the other day and just watch my children ride their bikes.  I promised myself prior to going out that I was going to put the camera down.  Of course when I got outside, I began seeing all the photographic opportunities.  So, I had to get the camera.  My youngest was riding her bike at a very unsafe speed, at least I don’t think I ever rode that fast when I was that young.  I convinced her to drive in circles around me while I took photos.  I found out quickly that she has the precision driving skills of an Indy Car driver.  Or maybe like the Drift Racing drivers, she almost had enough speed to start drifting and was only about 6″ from me most of the time.

Here is another portrait of my Little Treasure.  And don’t miss last Friday’s Daily Photo.

The Drive-By©2011 Just Shooting Memories (all rights reserved)

Fireworks Mini Tutorial:

I have been getting a lot of requests for me to explain how I took a recent set of firework photos.  I am in the process of writing a full fledged tutorial with screen shots and post processing, but did not want anyone to wait for the “meat and potatoes”.  This should get you started so you at least have some photos.

1.  Location:  This year I had a lot of trouble deciding where to take firework photos.  This requires lots of research, Google Earth and good old fashioned asking.  Unfortunately, the last is where I took the short cut and almost lost.  Firework photos with just the fireworks can be found most everywhere.  It is the photo with more foreground in it that stands out.  Getting this on purpose requires lots of research on the location.

2.  Bring a tripod:  It is impossible to hold a camera perfectly still for 2 – 4 seconds.  Make sure the tripod is rated to hold the full weight of the camera.

3.  Focus:  Since most fireworks displays are just after sunset this is not hard to achieve.  Get in place before the sun goes down, let the camera auto focus in the area where the fireworks should be and then switch the auto focus off.  As long as you are not moving around, you should be able to get some crisp well focused shots.

4.  Manual Mode:  Because of the low light, you have to shoot in manual mode to make sure you get well exposed shots.  I used the following settings for most of these photos.

Shutter Speed:  I varied my shutter speed for these between 2 and 4 seconds.  I found that 3 seconds seemed to be the best for me.  trigger the shutter as soon as the firework is launched and that will give you the trail as well as the burst.

Aperture:  I used the 18 – 105 kit lens for my Nikon D90 and opened the aperture all the way (3.5) at 18mm.

5.  Check the shots:  Most firework shows are about 30 minutes long.  After the first ten or so shots, stop for a few seconds and scroll through them to make sure you have the settings right.

Now you have the photos, what to do with them.  I will address this in the upcoming fireworks tutorial.

Today’s Photo:  Another Firework Shot

This is another firework shot from the Allatoona Yacht Club’s July 4th celebration (actually on July 3rd this year).

Fireworks 2©2011 Just Shooting Memories (all rights reserved)

Fortunately, I was able to find a firework show this year which was on Sunday, July 3.  It was on Lake Allatoona at the Allatoona Yacht Club.  I had almost decided to skip the event and just go to one Monday night.  I am SO glad I decided to go.  While sitting on the lake shore just on the other side of a small cove from where the Yacht Club is, I began seeing a large thunderhead moving near the lake.  I set the camera up and captured some bolts of lightning.  Not a good sign, maybe the rain was moving in.  I also got a few shots of the hundreds of boats lining the lake.

At 9 PM, the show was supposed to start.  9:02 PM and still no show, but no rain either.  And then, all the sudden, Fireworks.  I began taking photos and rapidly as the fireworks were going off.  I sat through about 30 minutes of beautiful fireworks.  What a sight.  The Alltoona Yacht Club really puts on a show.

I got finished packing up and literally ran back to the truck to beat some of the crowd.  While we were waiting in traffic (My father was kind enough to put up with my photographic jaunt), I was reviewing some photos and noticed what I thought were additional fireworks (Lightning) in the background.  This was confirmed when I opened them in Lightroom for a little post processing.  This is one of those double features…

Fireworks 3©2011 Just Shooting Memories (all rights reserved)

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