Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Vulcan Silhouettes the Post-Dawn Sky, Birmingham

A Shrouded and Silhouetted Vulcan, Birmingham
I firmly believe that luck shines most brightly on those who are most prepared. So a couple of weeks ago, while I was sitting idly in traffic on I-65, thanks in large part to a number of Alabama drivers unable to grasp the concept of ice accumulating on bridges, I noticed that the fog and dense clouds over Red Mountain were shrouding a silhouetted Vulcan in an orange mist in the early post-dawn sky.

So I opened up flipped open the camera bag that was lying in the seat next to me, snapped on my telephoto lens, and for the first time in my life, prayed that traffic would continue to sit still.

Since I started this job in October, I've carried a camera of one sort or another on every out-of-town venture, and on most occasions have found something to photograph and which has contributed to this blog. On this particular occasion, I didn't even get out of town before my opportunity arose.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Moody Sky Envelops Vulcan, Birmingham

A Moody Sky Envelops Vulcan, Birmingham, Alabama
This and other photos of Birmingham can be found on the website, here.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Trees and Cloudless Skies in Montgomery County

Trees and Cloudless Sky in the Rural Montgomery County Farmland, Alabama

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Lens: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

Test Photos of Darby while I got acclimated to my new Canon lens
If I'm being completely honest my first impression of my new Canon EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM lens was: "Geez! That's a noisy autofocus! I wonder if something's wrong." After some quick research, I determined nothing was wrong; it's just the nature of this lens.

Other than that, I have been really pleased. It's a better performer than the Tamron 70-300mm Di LD lens that it replaced, but at 3x the price it ought to be. And the addition of Image Stabilization is likely to increase my number of handheld keepers many times over. That's assuming I can get the hand of photographing fast-moving subjects, like the one above.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Darby's Greatest Day - Cold Weather, Water, & Snow

When I took Darby took Black Creek Park on the snow day, I knew what I was signing up for. For the four days prior to the snow day, it has rain ceaselessly. So there was sure to be plenty of standing water, and since I wanted to get some photos and video of Darby but didn't want to risk destroying any equipment, I took my GoPro Hero2. With it, I took this photo, which rates as my favorite  photo to date.

Darby's Greatest Day, at Black Creek Park, Fultondale, Alabama
This and other photos of Darby can be found at the gallery dedicated to her on the website: Darby.

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Snow Day for Darby

With as much as Darby loves the combination of cold weather and water, I suspected that if you added another element to that concoction, it was bound to be successful. So when I got home from work (early), Darby and I went to Black Creek Park, where I'm pretty sure she had the best time of her life, which is saying quite a lot, because I've never known this dog not to have a good time. When we got to the park, I just unleashed her (my apologies to a couple of runners whom she may have spooked) to let her romp and stomp and snort and run and cavort all she pleased, which was quite a lot.

Darby at Full Tilt at Black Creek Park, Fultondale, Alabama

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Hornworm, Destroyer of Crops

While the hornworm makes for a great portrait (and I thank him for his cooperation), he is a great destroyer of crops and the bane of many a farmer, particularly tomato growers. The hornworm is a caterpillar that, after growing to three or four inches long and leaving a trail of leafy carnage in its wake, will take to a cocoon  and sprout wings.

The Hornworm, Destroyer of Crops :: Fultondale, Alabama

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Found Film and the Old Mill at Shades Creek

I recently had a roll of film developed from my Mamiya M645. The roll was more than two-and-a-half years old from the time it was first put in the camera, so I could not recall anything that was on the roll. Though my expectations were pretty low and the roll turned out to be half empty, I did come away with this gem, a photograph of the Old Mill at Shades Creek in Mountain Brook, Alabama.

Old Mill at Shades Creek, Mountain Brook, Alabama :: Mamiya M645 on Ilford FP4 Plus Film

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Pier in the Darkness, Bayou la Batre

In resuming a set of photographs from last week, this decrepit fishing pier was actually photographed in much darker conditions than it appears. The light pollution from the towns that surround the Mobile Bay that was reflecting off the low-hanging clouds served to create a different atmosphere in the photograph than I was experiencing.

Pier in the Darkness, Gulf of Mexico, Bayou la Batre, Alabama

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Baby Paxton's Sweet Dreams

Whatever he was dreaming about certainly appears to have been pleasant.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Meeting the Family's Newest Member

Over the Christmas holiday, I was able to head home and meet the newest addition to our family, my nephew Paxton. Now I'm a firm believer that not all babies are adorable, but (any familial bias aside) this guy is cute as a button. And as you can tell this yawn was almost just too much for him.

Baby Paxton, the Family's Newest Member

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Pier in the Bayou la Batre Twilight

Pier in the Gulf of Mexico, Bayou la Batre, Alabama

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Thoughts on the First Photograph of the New Year

Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Lens
Ordinarily and under ideal circumstances, you'd prefer that your first photograph of the New Year be of some significance or somehow be noteworthy. 

I can think of any number of subjects that might fit that bill, and I had in mind a couple of places to visit on Tuesday that may have lent themselves to such opportunities, but relentless rain throughout the entire day deterred me.

So my first photograph of the year was of a lens that I had planned to sell on eBay, but ended up not selling on eBay, so that first photograph proved absolutely and entirely to have no utility or note.