Wednesday, August 26, 2015

More IR Photography Fun


Shot with my elderly Olympus E-420.  ISO at 100, f22, exposure time of 20 seconds.  Note, I also shot this in black and white mode.  The greens didn't turn out as 'white' and eerie as I wanted in this shot, but I love the softness of the clouds that were moving through.

Next is basically the same shot at 10 seconds. But edited much differently, I kept working at changing channels and editing until I got white in the foliage.



Well now in this shot I waited for the sun to come out from beneath a cloud and I worked with the colors a bit more and did get the trees behind the house white.

So I decided to follow some instructions I found on developing this shot for a more 'blue' sky and I got this:



Well that certainly is interesting and a bit wild.  I abandoned that to go see what my Nikon D3200 outfitted with the 50mm came up with.



Shot with the Nikon with an ISO of 800, f10, and 3 seconds.  This didn't turn out too badly and although not perfect with a touch more editing I think the whites would come out if I lost all the color and went strictly black and white [it was shot in black and white mode].

But I got sidetracked and tried some other things instead:



Okay this was really funky looking like some camera gone over to the evil side.  

So I messed with the color balance some more and got this:



I liked this for some strange reason, probably because it is so 'out there'.

So I went back to the drawing board and decided to try and do it as a black and white image and perhaps I finally got it.



What I have learned is that IR Photography isn't something you can just 'run' out and shoot.  It takes a lot of thought to set up and look for the proper lighting.
Processing is very difficult because of your colors are predominantly red, so there is a lot of post editing to be done.

I shot in RAW, I used both color and black and white modes, tried different exposures and different methods of processing.

Each time a shot is taken with an IR filter, it will be somewhat of an experiment or personal taste as to how the image turns out.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Breaking Rules

I've been reading all about the Infared Filter I purchased.

Rules.
Yes there are 'rules' or guidelines for using this filter as it blocks out all but the infrared rays.  Okay, maybe I am a bit incorrect here, but...but I'm no tech geek and I just know that the shots turn out RED. There are quite a few wonderful tutorials and explanations as to how to use this filter properly.

I really wanted to use it though and the weather was not cooperating.
It was blustery and overcast.  
The filter should be used when it is very sunny and calm.

But I found a spot to sit on the side of the road and set things up.  Tainter Hollow Road is not busy. It is about a lane and a half wide.  It has grass growing up the center of it.


I couldn't help but add the little sunburst in the center...just for some fun...

I enjoy walking there and there is a nice little trail along the trout stream if you care to find it.
The valley is very steep and I thought I could get out of the wind and the cold blasts of air for a bit.

I played around with a shot I took until I came out with this, some sort of 'fantasy' type shot.  I could just see a unicorn running down the road towards me.


Well okay, maybe not a unicorn, but heck, I had some fun.

Sleepy bees:


The weather forecast originally had called for a very sunny and pleasant day with a few passing clouds.


However, the skies didn't look that way about 4:30 when I decided to pack it in and head home.

I'd gone to Tainter Hollow expecting to take some great sunny photos with the IR filter and ended up doing some HDR work which I normally shy away from.


But I think photography rules are meant to be broken sometimes.

And I think that is perfectly okay.
How else will we learn if not by experimenting.

IR Photography


I opened up the package with anticipation.  The Hoya Infared R72 filter.
I couldn't wait to try it out.
After reading about cameras that had been modified and seeing photos processed with modified cameras and those that used filters, I decided to try the filter.


These shots are not perfect, but just beginner shots.  I found that there was quite the difference in using my old Olympus camera and my newer Nikon.



The above shot was taken with the Olympus.  I started out with long exposures and with my camera ISO set at 100 or 200.  Winds were gusting up to 30 mph during these shots so the foliage shows up blurred.
I'm really monkeying around with processing.  
Here is what an original file looks like before any processing:



I found that some photos are better off converted to black and white.  It makes the final process easier.

I am also happy to be able to do this in the digital age.  I have taken shots and deleted many that didn't turn out.

I've done some reading and it looks like I'll have to make more adjustments in my White Balance and experiment with that, I also found that one of my Nikon lenses leaves a hot spot in the IR shots, so I need to go back and stick with the nifty 50mm.  Nikon also offers RAW conversion software that may be able to help better with the white balance as Lightroom and CorelAfterShotPro can't seem to do it very well unless I convert to black and white.

Anyway this looks like a new fun experiment at least until the snow flies!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Time Off

Well I'm not really going to complain about my work schedule.  I am a part time employee that just happens to be filling in a lot.  My days off seem to be pretty rare and the schedule for me is a bit brutal.  Too much swapping from day work to overnight work for my tastes.

Anyway, yesterday I woke up at 5am and literally bounced out of bed.  It was my day off for the week and I wasn't going to waste a moment of it.

I made some coffee and looked out the window to see the sky.  It was overcast and glum looking.  I waited for my coffee to brew and then on a whim grabbed my camera bag and headed for the ridgetop.




At first it didn't look like it was going to be very interesting, but I thought I'd have my coffee and enjoy the solitude and the sky anyway.

As the sun began to rise, it did get more beautiful.



The colors became brilliant and the fog started to creep across the low lying areas.





After I got home from the short lived but rather stunning sunrise, a light rain moved in.

We really need rain badly, the pastures are beginning to show stress along with the corn.  

We experienced a few brief showers and during one of them I went to the garden and picked some summer squash and zucchini along with some green beans.

For some reason the garden that my neighbors planted is doing wonderfully.  The squash has taken over and it looks like a bumper crop!

Squash soup, squash pie, squash, squash....!

And then I took a shot of the climbing beans that were planted.  They are literally climbing anything they can wrap around.  The blossoms are pretty but what I found while zooming in was more interesting.

Some sort of spider.


After I took this, I heard thunder close by and headed back indoors.

I took my garden goodies and made up a batch of cooked zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, green beans, onions, a bit of dill, and carrots.  It was sort of a sauteed veggie delight.  
Very delicious too.

Today we go to Madison for hubby's two month check up.  Then tomorrow it is back at the strange and convoluted hours that I have been working.

I have been assured that my hours will decrease by the end of the month.  I am looking forward to that.

I want to have some time this fall to ride Siera, hike, and enjoy a bit of the fall.

Morris says he'd like it if I had some more time to spend at home also.


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Missing her ~by Morris

When Lily was packing up, I tried to make sure she took me along with.

I don't think it worked.
She is gone and I am still here.

Signed,
Morris


Friday, August 14, 2015

Empty House


So Lily has gone home.  Our visit was fun and now the house seems quiet.
Morris walks around the house and goes outside to look around for Lily.

We miss the cheerful energy of hers.  "What are we going to do today Grandma?" 


I sort of enjoyed that, it surely kept me busy thinking of things that would appeal to her.

Yesterday I took down the tent we were going to sleep in. Now at least I think I can set it up rather quickly.

Our next few days here on the farm are predicted to be extremely hot.  Not as warm as other places I suspect, but warm for us northerners who are not used to it.

I'm looking forward to the next grand child visit and hearing, "What are we going today Grandma?"

Rarely is there 'not' anything to do around here.



Sunday, August 09, 2015

The Visit

Last week we retrieved a special visitor from Wausau, WI.  Our grand daughter Lily.




Even though I've had to work a full and crazy schedule we have been getting in some great quality time and fun.

I awakened her one morning for the traditional PJ Sunrise Shindig.  Well, it was just her and I of course, but she sure took to it.  She took some amazing shots with her camera phone.

She expressed an interest in learning how to ride, so we have been working on it a bit every day when time allowed for it!

She has found a balanced seat and graduated to the next step.  Learning how to use the reins.  It is confusing at first and very easy to over steer or over 'do' anything.  Fred was very patient and good.
After about an hour Lily was able to guide Fred over logs and in patterns in the yard without being on a lead line.

And she was pretty darned happy about it.

We had to take an unexpected road trip to the VA clinic for Grandpa, but we made the best of it by going out to lunch and then stopping at a neat wayside along the Baraboo River for a few photos.

Then Lily had an idea.  She dropped to the ground and yelled..."Hey Grandma!"

She stayed there until a Daddy Long Legs crawled onto her!

Last night we thought we'd try sleeping in a tent with Morris and it worked for a while!  We chatted and then started to fall asleep until we heard the echos of a huge thunderstorm.


We could see it above the trees on the western horizon.  Quickly we grabbed our stuff and took it all back to the house.  We settled on 'camping out' on the futon instead and the both of us plus Morris settled in and quickly fell asleep.

The much needed rain and storms stayed south but we could hear the echo of the thunder.

Lily has learned how to identify poison ivy, trillium, wild strawberry, nettles, Blood Root, and wood sorrel.  She is a quick study and eager to always learn.
We may go back to Wildcat Mountain State Park and take the Pisgah Mountain Hemlock Trail on Tuesday so she can look for more plants to identify.  

She enjoyed our hike to Ice Cave and then our jaunt into Billings Creek, where the water was ice cold and very refreshing!


So far I think the visit has been wonderful.  We've enjoyed so many things together.

She has kept these too old 'farts' hopping!

She even got Grandpa to make a small fire to cook hotdogs the other night.


And we topped the evening off by watching the fire.  We put a package of 'stuff' in the fire to make it turn colors.  It was pretty.





And today I have to work 12 hours, so Grandpa and Lily will do chores together and perhaps go visit Great Grandma.

Another full day!
And...sadly we all know the visit will end on the 12th.
But until then we will make the most of it!


Friday, July 31, 2015

A little fun in the woods

Around Christmas last year, my Grandaughter Ariel and I thought it would be fun to each take some toys and photograph them.  We'd set them up and take the photo, then send it to each other with an explanation of what was happening in the picture.

See Making Up Stories from March of this year.  Of course I began to add little toys to the My Little Ponies we both had started to use.

The one character we've had the most fun with is Doe.  Doe is always trying to find a good place to live and she is always making terrible decisions.
Like the time that Stinky was 'horrified' to find out that Doe had decided she would live in a parking lot.

Well things happened this year and I sort of dropped the ball on hiking in the woods with a pocket full of toys.
I just didn't have time.

The other day I went to get groceries in town and I decided to check out the resale shop.  I wandered around their 'new' store front  and thought to myself, boy it stinks in here and everything is crammed in.
I was looking for jeans, I like finding them for $2.  For farm work, they are just fine.

Anyway I turned around and a display amongst the clutter caught my eye. Trolls.
I hadn't had trolls since I was in Jr. High.  I'd gotten my first troll in 1965 and it had coal black hair.  They provided endless hours of play.

Well that brings me back to this display.  Everything flashed through my mind and suddenly I found myself carefully looking at the trolls.  I wanted the old ones, not the newer soft mushy ones.  I ended up... with two.   At $1.00 per troll, I was pretty tickled.

And this afternoon I thought I'd take Morris for a short walk and look for Indian Pipes.  I grabbed my camera bag and the trolls off from the table.

I paused when I put the trolls into the bag, sitting in the extra space was Doe One and Doe Two.  Doe Two filled in when I temporarily misplace Doe One for a couple of months....

Picture me carefully crouching on the forest floor and trying to figure out if the canopy of leaves will make the scene too dark, or will the breeze blow the leaves and brighten things up?
I set everything up and then....
PHOTO BOMB!


Morris who is never interested in anything I am doing in the past 11 years, decides to smell the trolls and then push them over with his nose.

I take Doe One and Doe Two and set them back up with the trolls and chastise Morris.  He blinks at me and then marks a plant to tell me what he thinks of me.


We achieve success and the lighting cooperates just fine.

I'm finally happy to say that Doe has found a home with the Wood Troll and the Wild Troll.  I don't know...does the look on the rainbow haired troll just look a bit crazier to you? Wild Troll looks like he is trippin'.  Just saying.



Wood Troll seems more sane and subdued.


I put the Trolls and the Does in my camera bag and stood up, brushing my pants off.
I smiled and zipped them up safely and began to think of what sort of adventures they may all have together.

The sun was low in the sky and it was time to go home.  I smiled to myself, half expecting to hear my mom call me in for supper.

No, I was all grown up.  Well let's think about that, who is all grown up that plays with toys in the woods?

I whistled for Morris and we started down the trail that would lead us back to the farm.  Both of us were happy.

I'd also found what I'd originally came out to find.  Indian Pipes....


It was a good afternoon after all.