Posts

Katie & Jared’s engagement in Jerome

Katie and Jared were so fun to hang with in Jerome…we wanted to hit up the mining town, but it closed when we got there. But we wandered around outside and made lemons out of lemonade, and then hit a random dirt road that went off into the mountains for sunset. Nothing more fun than being able to just explore and find cool spots you’ve never seen!

A Corona by Moonlight

Moonlight Corona
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 17-40mm f/4 l, 22mm, iso 1000, f/9, 13 sec)

Something a wee bit different today.

A few weeks ago I was in Florida shooting a wedding and wanted to capture some lightning over the ocean while I was there. It didn’t happen…but this little decaying storm was perfectly silhouetted against the late night moon…it was beautiful.

And I was also wishing for an ice cold Corona for some reason.

Moon

Moonrise - Highway 87

.

(click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, tamron 17-35mm 2.8, 17mm, f/5.0, iso 4000, 20 sec // buy print)

It’s Movie Title Wednesday, a series that has been going on so long that I’m surprised I haven’t run out of films to use yet.

Moon is one of those hidden gems that you may not have heard of before. It came out several years ago and stars Sam Rockwell as a guy who is on a 3-year stint managing a mining operation on the Moon that helps replenish Earth’s resources. If you love pure, classic science fiction…this is a film you gotta see. The movie received an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes and 8.0 rating on IMDB. Solid numbers.

On the last day of stormchasing the monsoons last year, I ended up driving over 450 miles. I was up near Winslow, the day was over and it was time to head home. I chose highway 87 which would take me through Payson, a route I’d only been on once before. A bit after 8pm I realized I was in this wide open area with retreating clouds and some of the Milky Way appearing above me. I pulled over and aimed south to capture some stars, but the clouds were quickly returning and the shot didn’t turn out so well.

But then, as usually happens, I turned around and saw the moon rising. I’ve shown this picture to a few people, plus it appears at the end of my latest book, and most of the time the first thought is that it’s a sunrise. Until you see the stars in the sky and realize that would be impossible.

The moon rose with a orange glow about it and the clouds were perfect, even getting lit up underneath a bit as if it were a sunrise. The taillights from the car illuminated the highway.

It was so peaceful out there too…quiet, nothing for miles and miles and miles. Not a car in sight. Was a wonderful way to end the stormchasing season.

 

The orange moon

Click to view on black, I think it’s got a much better feel to it.

I’m not much of an astral photographer…star trails, the Milky Way…the Moon…none of these are my strong suit at all. I just haven’t felt a strong desire to shoot these kinds of subjects.

And honestly, the moon has been shot a bazillion times…what else can do you do with it?

But despite all of that, I got up early on Saturday morning to check out the lunar eclipse that was going to turn the moon orange. I’ve never seen that before and the next eclipse of this type wont come again until 2014 (so I heard), so I figured why not try to take a few pictures.

It was a negative 2 degrees (Fahrenheit for my Canadian friends) and I think that was the coldest temperature I’ve ever experienced before. That’s what I get living in Arizona.

All I had was my 70-200mm, and I thought the moon might fill the frame a bit more than it did, but this was the result. No cropping…I kind of liked the descending line of trees so I kept it this way. This shot was the best of the bunch. Right after this moment the sky started going brighter and brighter, and as the moon became fully eclipsed, it was too light out to even see much more than an outline.

Se7en

Powerline Sunset in Nevada

(Click to view in lightbox, the choice of a new generation)

If you haven’t seen the movie Se7en, then you probably wont get how it connects with the image above. You probably wont get the horrific moment it represents in the film either. And I don’t want to give anything away for people who still want to watch it, so I’ll do my best to just skip those details.

Needless to say, when I was processing this photo…it was suddenly obvious that it was going to be used for Movie Title Wednesday. I think I even may have had an inkling when I was standing out there taking this.

On a side note, I still am having so much fun with this series. It’s amazing how many images you can take…things that may be similar in a lot of ways (like the bazillion sunsets or sunrises I post) but somehow you find something unique in each of that that can relate to a movie. I love it.

The movie Se7en stars Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman back in their younger days, and revolves around a serial killer that murders people for breaking The Seven Deadly Sins. It’s gruesome, brutal and I absolutely loved it. One of those great, great thriller/horror/crime films that will always be remembered by movie fans. The scene depicted by the above photo was one of those that will forever be stuck in my brain.

This was taken a few weeks ago during my latest trip to Las Vegas. I had just returned from exploring El Dorado Canyon and the Nelson ghost town area, and was racing to find a great location to capture the sunset. The spot above is situated south of Boulder City and lies in a very wide, bowl-shaped valley. These powerlines in some areas stretched forever, and you could see them for 10’s of miles as they would go up a distant hillside. The symmetry was awesome, and so when the sunset arrived, I knew this is where I wanted to be.

Because of the aspherical aspects of my Tamron 17-35mm, the powerline towers are a bit flatter than reality (even after lens correction), but you can kind of see how the road goes on and on and on forever and the towers go right along with it.

This was taken just a few days before the Super Moon and you can see it in the upper right corner.

(exif: canon eos 5d mark ii, tamron 17-35mm 2.8, 17mm, f/14, iso 100)

Sunset on the Mogollon Rim

I know what you might be thinking…where is the color? This is a sunset right? Yeah…it was, but honestly…if there are no clouds or other excitement, the tones of a normal sunset tend to bore me to tears. At least, when I look at them in photos. In person, it was a beautiful and serene moment from my camping trip late last week.

I’m shooting from atop the Mogollon Rim area, a ridge that stretches across the mid-to-northern areas of Arizona. It’s about a 90 minute or more drive from Phoenix, and what’s amazing about it is being able to go that short distance and see temperature go from 110 to 77. I love it up there!

What struck me more about this sunset scene in front of me was the “layers” of mountains stretching out in front of me…and the edge of the Mogollon Rim coming from the right horizon and dropping into the valley.

That and of course the moon and Venus up in the heavens. Subtle, but they are there, I promise *grin*

I still look at this photo and can’t decide if I love it or if it’s just okay. The camping trip itself was a blast, but the skies were so clear the entire time, I wasn’t excited about most of the shots I took. This sunset was beautiful in person, but it just didn’t translate well to a photo (in my opinion), so the black and white was a way to “fix it” for me.

Technically this is a six bracket, HDR processed with my usual suspects, taken with my Tamron 17-35mm 2.8.

Howl: Some full moon photography

One of the things that drives me when it comes to photography is trying new things. I may be especially good at something, but I definitely would love to give it a shot. Doing that gives me an opportunity to expand my skills, learn a different way of doing something and enhancing my abilities to provide quality work.

For example, I’ve never been able to really photograph the moon very well. Mostly because I didn’t have a really good zoom lens to get up close and personal with it, which are the kind of moon photos I tend to enjoy. So I borrowed my friend Tyler’s 55-250mm lens and watched the moon rise last night.

I definitely learned a few things. The first was to never leave home without my main tripod. The snaky one I have in my bag just couldn’t handle the weight of the zoom lens, so this first picture below didn’t get as crystal clear as I wanted.

The second thing I learned is that my old lens CAN actually take some shots of the moon with detail, I obviously didn’t realize how to do it correctly. So all in all, a good night of work.

The first shot below is from the moon rising over the San Tan Mountains.  The second shot I took around 11pm last night on a drive down Highway 87 looking for something interesting to shoot.

This full moon shot DID earn me an Approver’s Choice over on Wunderground last night, so that’s cool!

This church above is called St. Ana’s and is on the way to Coolidge. I’ve seen it during the day and have always wanted to take a picture of it. The moon casting an amazing glow down affording me the chance to just snap it at night instead.

It’s not exactly my style of photography…but it was fun to do it. The moon cast some shadows under the tree and buildings, which made it almost look like it was day out. There were a few lights on in the back of the church grounds.