Countdown til Monday

Solar Lab

Solar LabSolar Lab

As we count down the days to the Solar Eclipse, we were able to practice outside during our Friday morning class. Our instructor went over some of the things we learned in a lecture a month ago about the safest and best way to get a good photograph. We practiced taking a few exposures of the Sun and its current visible spots. Even though it was pretty hot outside, it was a lot of fun and I can’t wait until Monday to hopefully get some good images of the Solar Eclipse.

Solar Lab

Tethering and Capture One

Digital Imaging

The second year of Photography started off the same as my first Digital Imaging class last semester, leaving me stressed and lost. Luckily, with the help of my instructor and my great classmates, I got caught back up. Digital Imaging is definitely one of my weaker classes. I love photography and everything about taking photos, but before starting this degree, I never touched any of the software part of it. I enjoy everything I learn, some things may just take me a little longer. With that being said, once I started getting the hang of Capture One and how tethering works, I really was having fun with it. Tethering lets you connect your camera straight to a computer or laptop. This way one can view a much bigger image of what you are shooting, make ISO, aperture, shutter speed and other setting changes, plus take the photo all from your computer.

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Here is a behind the scenes look of what it looks like shot with my phone while Doug prepares to take a photo for his lab assignment.

The Nectar of Butterflies

As I walked along the banks of Jordan Lake looking for birds to take pictures of, I ran across all these little bushes lining the shores. Most were more than waist high and had these circular bulbs on them in different stages of development. Some were greenish yellow, some a darker red, and others resembled little pin cushion. They are a button bush. They are obviously a great treat for butterflies and moths as they flocked to the little flowers. Flitting from one to the other and enjoying them.

Beauty and Grace Soaring Above

Jordan Lake
Great Egret
Jordan Lake
Great Egret
Jordan Lake
Egret

Jordan Lake

Jordan Lake

I drove out to Jordan Lake this morning in hopes of getting a few shots of the Herons and Egrets that frequent the lake. Shooting wildlife is my passion but it can be a hit or miss. It all depends on the birds and animals. It was cloudy and very humid this morning and I wasn’t having much luck getting some clear shots of a couple distant birds with my 200-500mm lens. I decided to put my other lens on and walk along the shore to get a few wide angle shots when a beautiful white egret came flying towards me. I barely had enough time to get the settings set as she soared over my head and then flew back out over the lake. So beautiful and graceful with wings outstretched. These are the moments that make all the missed opportunities worth it.

 

Revved Up Engines, NOS, and Wheelies

As I’m getting ready to start my second semester at Randolph Community College in Photography, I decided to go out and practice shooting more motion and action. We went to Piedmont Dragway this time. This used to be one of our regular Thursday night hangouts many many years ago. Being well over a decade since I last visited this track, it was nice to see that there were quite a few more cars here then at Rockingham Dragway on Saturday nights. I had gotten used to shooting from certain areas at The Rock, but the stands at Piedmont Dragway are much closer and lower which made getting a good angle a little more challenging. The clouds came in quickly, making the light disappear fairly fast on an already late evening start, so I did not get as many action photos as I would have liked. There were a few great wheelies, a quick little fire on the carburetor before take off, some burnouts and plenty of showing off of these powerful cars and motorcycles. Test-N-Tune night is always my favorite because it is more about having fun then just serious competition.

The Raptor of the Rivers

 

I went down to the river near my house this morning in search of the otters and beavers I used to see each morning before I started college. I had no luck in finding them this morning, but was able to get some photos of an Osprey, a Great Blue Heron and a Hawk with my new lens. Raptors are my favorite birds, and the Osprey holds a special place in my heart. These beautiful birds of prey are also called Sea Hawks, River Hawks, or Eagle Fish. They are found near most water sources such as rivers, salt marshes and oceans because their diet consists of only fish. If you ever get the chance to watch one soar through the sky it is an amazing sight. This one watched over her terrain with serious focus, and would glare at me every time she heard the camera shutter. She even followed a far off plane with her golden stare. She sat for quite awhile, scratching her head and watching silently until a hawk flew on the branch next to her, then she decided it was time to leave.

A Work of Art

As I’m getting ready to start my second year at RCC in Photojournalism, I was going through some of my photos from past semesters. One of the most challenging classes that I took was Small Format during spring semester. It was one of those classes that really make you work for your grade, and made me question if I was good enough to make it almost every day throughout the eight weeks. Many of the assignments put me way out of my comfort zone, making me introduce myself to strangers and then asking to photograph them. There were a couple assignments that I really enjoyed in that class though, and one of them was the workplace assignment. Most products are manufactured on assembly lines nowadays, but I wanted to find someone who still worked each piece with their hands. Someone who created beautiful works of art. Luckily, the first place I emailed, Seagrove Stoneware Pottery were kind enough to let me come shoot. Alexa Modderno and David Fernandez are the talented craftspeople that own Seagrove Stoneware Pottery. I was able to watch, and photograph David Fernandez turning some clay on the wheel. To watch this lump of clay be formed into something so lovely is quite amazing. Not only is Mr. Fernandez a talented potter, but he is also the mayor of Seagrove. I appreciate them taking time out of their busy schedules, to share their pottery with me.