Some days are just too nice to stay inside. Sunday was one of those days, with cool weather in the 60’s and partly cloudy, crisp blue skies. The sun would weave in and out of the clouds, leaving a perfect balance between hard and soft lighting for most of the day. It’s the light I love for outdoor photography – not to harsh and not too soft. [Read more…]
Tips for camera setup with fireworks
- Use a tripod because exposure times will be many seconds long.
- Set the camera to Manual exposure mode.
- Use a cable release with shutter speed set to BULB so you can start and stop the exposures without having to keep your hands on the camera.
- If you don’t have a cable release, set your shutter speed to values of 1 second or longer (4 to 10 seconds is usually what I do with my cable release). The longer exposure times create longer trails and capture more explosions in a single frame.
- Turn off auto focus and pre-focus your lens at a target approximately the same distance as the fireworks.
- Use a low ISO such as 100 or 200.
- Experiment with various apertures, but f/11 to f/16 are good starting points.
- You may even need to add a 1-3 stop neutral density filter or polarizer to help reduce the amount of incoming light.
- Start exposures before you see the firework explode so that you capture the entire explosion. If you start after you see them explode, you’ll capture just the tips of the trails with nothing in the middle.
When the fireworks start, your camera will be ready if you have followed the above tips. Start off with an aperture of about f/16. Before a firework launches, press and hold the cable release to begin the exposure. Continue holding it while the firework launches and explodes over a period of 4-10 seconds. Finally, release the button on the cable release to stop the exposure. Experiment by altering the f/stop and amount of time you press the cable release during exposures.
Today I switched to Pandora from Last.fm for my streaming radio. I was a Last.fm user and paid subscriber for quite a while and always loved it. But lately the Last.fm player for Windows has been skipping during songs so much that it’s just too annoying. This happened at home and work on very nicely equipped systems with high bandwidth connections. I probably should have just contacted support, but instead I searched around their forums and saw a few users with similar posts and no replies, so I just didn’t have the energy to battle it. I will miss several features of Last.fm, but for now I just want to enjoy skip-free music. And so far, that’s exactly what I’ve gotten.
Thank you to all of my friends and family who made this birthday a great one. The little cake in the photo was perfect. Everyone knew I wanted a small party with a few friends and family, so the tiny cake was right on theme. And you know the saying about having your cake and eating it too? Well that actually happened since I got to take the whole thing home by myself. 🙂
It’s a bit out of sight, tucked away in the 240 Plaza strip mall just south of I-240 on Western, but I’m really glad I found this place. One of the things I miss about traveling to larger cities is the variety of food we used to find. Mediterranean Grill gives me back a little of that ‘fix’ I crave now and then.
The food is always fresh, made to order, tastes great, and the owners are friendly. Some of my favorites are their Dolmeh (or Dolmades), pita bread with tzadziki sauce, kubedeh kabob (seasoned ground beef) with grilled vegetables and saffron rice, and the tabouli and Greek side salads (still need to try the others). Hopefully they’ll be able to add lamb dishes to the menu someday (grilled, sliced lamb on pita with crisp, roasted potatoes would be great).
Although the food says “dinner table service,” the interior is setup like a nice sandwich shop, with orders placed at the counter. This setup is both good and bad. The good is that I can quickly come and go without any fuss, and I love the self-serve ice machine. The bad is that it just won’t attract a dinner crowd, which is why I think they close early most nights. Check them out if you’re in the area and want to try something a little different.
Over the last few days I revisited a pair of popular fractal programs to see if I could come up with anything interesting. Apophysis generates flame fractals and is mesmerizing to watch as you animate through formula and color variations. UltraFractal is probably the most popular and feature rich application for creating fractals. Most of the images here are flame fractals generated in Apophysis, then rendered with UltraFractal and finally edited in Photoshop for compositing and color manipulation.
Took a few photos today of flowers and plants at the Myriad Botanical Garden / Crystal Bridge in downtown Oklahoma City.