Christmas Tree

I think I finally have my camera set up properly to take good pictures. I realized I wasn’t shooting in RAW format and had incorrect aperture, ISO, and shutter settings. Christmas is well over but we still have our tree up.  It gave me an opportunity to operate in low light.  There is a lighthouse ornament that I really enjoy.
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I think I might try some editing on the above images and post those as well. See if I can make any of them a little better with some post processing.

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Snow Day

Warning: I don’t have a tripod yet. I have purchased one and it is on its way, but I still wanted to go out shoot photos and share them. These photos were all taken after a snow storm at around midnight. The ISO on all the photos is extremely high at around 6400, and my camera just isn’t that good at that level. So all the photos are a bit grainy and noisy due to the ISO issue.

I love snowstorms and the cold. The world is just so much more peaceful when it snows. When you go out in a snowstorm or immediately after the world is quiet; its sort of resting or sleeping for a moment. I absolutely love that time. William H. Macy agrees (jump to end of video):

It snowed about 2 or 3 inches, just enough to make everything still and beautiful. Immediately outside our house, our neighbor still had her christmas lights up. The fake trees had snow covering the light making it glow. Too bad I didn’t have a nice tripod to take a better photo.

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I decided to move out to the street to see if the light was a little better out there. Our street lives in no mans land between two neighborhoods. The plow trucks from either neighborhood turn around before this segment of road. It is only maybe 1000 feet long, but no one ever plows it or treats the roadway. It gets better a day or two after a storm just from cars carry salt and cinders from the other roads onto this section. It makes for a nice snowy, calm, still picture.

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I did find a pine tree. It made for an interesting picture.

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I headed inside for a moment, but then I realized I’d be hard pressed to find another nice snowstorm like this in the near future. So I ventured out looking for any more Christmas lights. I must of spend over an hour trudging through snow, but I was rewarded with a singular lit tree.

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This is when I really wished I had a tripod to set up properly. Again the ISO is way to high, but I still like the photos. The snow was too amazing to pass up and these lights weren’t going to be around much longer.

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I really like the last one. The snow, lights, and tree branches really come together well. I’ll have to wait till next year to get some better pictures. These will do for now.

Before the Cold

At the beginning of last week, we has some of the coldest temperatures in the last 20 years.

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It’s steaming not because it is hot, just to the large temperature differential. It is referred to as steam fog, and it was more prevalent and spectacular around the Chicago area.

Before all this cold weather gripped the area we had a few flakes of snow. It collected on roofs, grassy areas, and untreated surfaces. During the day it was still well below freezing but the sun gave just enough energy to cause some melting. This, of course, led to icicles. The sun was just setting and really caught the ice as it was melting.

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The sun then set but still reflected off the clouds.

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And a plane flew by in mid turn.

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Not a bad evening before the cold. You can check out the gallery here.

Griggs Reservoir

Griggs Reservoir and Park is a large park along the Scioto River in western Columbus. The entire park runs along 2.25 miles of the reservoir from the dam up to Lane Ave.

In 1904, the city began construction of a dam on the Scioto River just north of Columbus to provide for an adequate water supply. Julian Griggs, the City’s chief engineer used a plan developed by Samuel Gray, an engineer from Providence, Rhode Island. The City hired John Gregory, a consulting engineer from New York, to coordinate the building of the dam. The dedication of the dam was in 1908.

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Its height is only 35 feet (11 m), but it forms a reservoir almost 6 miles (9.7 km) long with a 1,200,000,000-US-gallon (4.5×109 l) capacity. I am always amazed at these large structures. A dam that was built over a hundred years ago still stands today. When I visited there was quite a bit of water flow over the dam. It made an almost deafening roar on the downstream side, but as soon as you walked to the upstream side it was quiet and serene. A few logs and sticks were caught at the top of the dam. It was just below freezing with some light snow showers. I really like how some of the icicles have built up on the overhanging logs.

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I’ve always enjoyed signs. They are supposed to display a warning or information in a small area. At the dam there are two overflow release structures. You can sort of see them on the bottom of the first photo. If the water level in the reservoir gets too high they can release water downstream through the structures. There are quite a few signs indicating this action.

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Further downstream are a bunch of signs warning of swimming around the dam. Poor fellow didn’t have a chance.

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Upstream of the dam is more park area. There are quite a few tables around and places to park. It’s amazing how calm the water appears just above the dam.

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I can’t wait to come back in spring or summer. I put a few more pictures in the gallery if you would like to take a look.

Cat Page

The internet is lacking in cat pictures.  I’ve rectified this situation by making a cat picture gallery.  You’ll find pictures I’ve taken of our cats there.  It will more than likely be updated frequently.

The Cat Page

The black one is Atlas and the grey one is Maximus.

Christmas in Florida

I’ve completely re-tooled this site as a photoblog.  Christmas brought a wonderful gift from my family, a new Canon EOS Rebel SL1 with a 18-55mm and 75-3000mm lens.  It is simply one of the best gifts I have ever received and one which I will enjoy for a long time.  Since I now have an amazing camera, I need a place to put and share the pictures.  I’ve never really consistently updated this site, but now I have a reason and a purpose to use it.  I’ll be sharing photos I take and writing bits to go along with the photos.

 

Of course after I opened the box I had to take some pictures.  Luckily Christmas Day was the nicest day of our trip.  It was warm and sunny which gave rise to a really nice sunset.

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I had to mess around with autofocus and some of the other settings.

 

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The sun sets which means it was time for turkey!

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This was one of the juiciest turkeys and was simply amazing.  The stuffing is to die for, and we definitely ate our fill.  We ate so much we felt that we should get some exercise and go for a walk.

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I love the lights that were in the bushes surrounding the area.  They light up all the leaves and are scattered enough to look random.

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The sprinkler system activated on our way home.  It was a fine mist that just looked like fog had rolled over the bushes.   All in all a great Christmas!