Bring On The Heat

It has been very hot lately. I took photos outside yesterday and was sweating buckets. My next photo session will be indoors thank you. So in honor of the heat, here are some photos featuring red subjects that I found around my neighborhood and at the car show.

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Frosted Mugs & Footlongs

We have arrived safely back in town after spending a week in Douglas, Michigan during the biggest heat wave in thirty years. I can still hear the drone of the many electric fans we had running day and night. As always we had great food and great fun but at times the heat took a toll on our patience if not our tempers. Such is life in a big family of strong personalities. We can survive most anything together so all is well in the end.

I’ve passed this old barrel structure quite a few times before without ever stopping to photograph it. I noticed a couple of painters working on it last Saturday and stopped to talk to them. They told me about plans to restore the barrel and move it to a new location. The painters also told me there was an information booth about the barrel restoration in front of the library on Center Street, so I went over there and talked to the volunteers about barrels, woodworking and other roadside attractions.

I knew before going that I wanted to take a night shot of the barrel using some sort of light painting. I talked James into going with me to photograph the barrel because it’s always nice to have a big imposing figure with you while lurking around in the dark. He was quite helpful and painted the interior of the barrel for me following my direction. My first test image was a noisy five minute  exposure but pretty instructive. I lowered my ISO and reset the aperture. The next exposure was better so we continued at five minute intervals trying different lighting techniques on each round. In this image I left a couple of exposures out to create gaps in the star trails. Longer exposures tend to create noise in digital images so the idea is to take several images and then stack them together and blend the exposures to form a single image and in turn reduce the noise and stuck pixels. Needless to say, it’s a time consuming process that must be practiced to achieve the best results. You also need some sort of remote release for your camera to avoid any movement. It probably would have been a good idea to lock the mirror up to avoid any vibration at the beginning of the exposure.

http://douglasrootbeerbarrel.blogspot.com/2011/06/root-beer-barrel-memories.html

Dust & Neglect

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Among all the things that need to be done around here, blogging seems to get pushed to the rear burner most often. Many times there is not enough day (or energy) left to  do the task. We are going on vacation very soon and I have a whole list of photography  projects to do during my time off. I’m not sure if the blog will get updated or not but I plan on taking a stab at it.

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It feels like I’ve had less and less time for actually taking any photographs lately so I’m hoping to get a lot accomplished while we are away. Baby Wren was in the hospital getting tested for all sorts of potential digestive disorders last week. She is back to gaining weight instead of loosing it.  On the other hand, Baby Henry is looking like a fine plump fellow and is heading off for California with his Mom & Dad today. I’ll miss him this week.

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Speaking of California trips, I took this photo of apples in California when we last tagged along on one of Ricky’s business trips. I like apples and I liked the vintage looking wall map in the background. We had a very expensive breakfast at a very expensive hotel in Santa Barbara with a view of the ocean. I was forced to reluctantly concede that the very expensive breakfast served in style at a beautiful location was actually better than a weeks worth of five dollar breakfasts from a greasy fast food joint.

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We are all pretty happy with our iPhones built in camera which makes it easy to snap and upload all sorts of photos on the fly. I still think they are expensive toys but of course once you taste the candy it’s harder to resist it. I’m looking forward to the next version of the phone and camera or at least the time when I will be able to upgrade to it around the end of summer. A couple of family members already have the current latest version and it is an improvement. I always seem to have too much in my pockets so ditching the point in shoot camera is no loss to me. For serious stuff I pull out the big gun but since most everything ends up on the web now big guns are usually overkill.

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Around here we’ve been dieting for the last two weeks (something new for me). The last time I lost any substantial  amount of weight was when I was in the hospital and nearly died a couple of times. Technically, I did die (also more than once) but I came back to tell tales of  other worlds and universes.  Today I just wanted to brush the dust off the blog and share a few of my iPhone photos crusty dusty style.