Monthly Archives: July 2016

Sunflower Season

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The middle of summer has arrived and if you live in the DC area we are lucky to have some great fields for sunflowers that are open to the public. Mckee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area grows several fields each year and currently the flowers are peeking!

Having shot the sunflowers each year for the past several years I find it a bit challenging to come up with fresh compositions. On the way to the field this year I noticed some fast moving puffy clouds and was hoping to do some long exposures, but by the time I arrived the clouds had moved out and I was left with a clear blue sky. I reached for my seldom used fisheye lens and came up with the shot above. I used a reflector to light up the face of the flower, but fill flash would have been an option here as well.

Solitude

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When I started thinking about this blog, I was going to title it “How’s Your Friday Night?”. The only reason for that question is that I see others post pictures on social media asking such questions when they perceive their location is better at that moment in time than yours.

I’m not convinced that everyone would want to be standing in 3 feet of cold mountain water on a Friday Night. But this is how I spent last Friday evening and I can’t think of any place that I would rather have been. Even considering the mild case of poison ivy that was a result of this evening.

This little spot is hidden away on the upper part of the Rapidan River just inside of Shenandoah National Park. The road getting there is a bit of a rough ride and not something I would want to travel without a 4×4 truck. The entire evening I had this little portion of the park all to myself. I love doing tours, workshops and meetups but last Friday evening I really enjoyed the solitude of having this little spot all to myself.

A Passing Storm

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The meteorologist is predicting a thunderstorm. When this happens do you think about the photographic opportunities? I must admit that I do not always think about getting out when storms are imminent. But I do have a device called the Lightning Bug that makes capturing images of lightning much easier. The Lightning Bug plugs into the Hot Shoe on your DLSR and connects to the camera by cable, you set the sensitivity on the Lightning Bug and sit back and let the camera and Lightning Bug do all the work.

Perhaps it’s a little more difficult than that, you still need to make judgements about exposure and composition, but the Lightning Bug handles the difficult task of timing the exact moments of capture.

If your DLSR is not handy, I have had great results using an iPhone App called iLightning Cam to capture lightening with my iPhone.

Our Friends at Hunt’s also have a blog on using the Lightning Bug to capture Fireworks.

Our friend Alan Samiljan, at Hunt’s Photo and Video is having a sale this month on the Lightning Bug. It’s $20 off and includes a free cable. Give Alan a call at 781-662- 8822 if you would like to add this to your camera bag.

P.S. While Lightning can be a great subject for us landscape photographers, please be safe and don’t put yourself in harm’s way!!