Friday, June 24, 2011

Picture this

Tuesday night, I let Molly the sometimes (and frequent) pain in the buttock dog go do her business.

Since Molly sometimes refuses to take care of her calls of nature unless she has company (don't ask me why), I followed. As soon as I looked out the back door, it looked like a disco bar was going on outside.

Strobe lights were apparently firing off every second or so. Being the curious person I am, I walked to the side of the house to find out what was happening.

I was expecting a work truck or something on the road in front of the homestead.

Nope, no work truck. It was a natural light show going off. Overhead the clouds were clear and stars were visible. But to the east, there was a large cloud firing off lightning at a rate I have never seen before.

Typically, there will be a flash of lightning, followed by another a few seconds or minutes later.

Not this time. There was continuous lightning going off with flashes in different locations inside the cloud.

This was neat, I decided, and glad this wasn’t overhead. Despite the brightness of the flashes, the cloud was far enough away no thunder could be heard.

I alerted my wife to this and asked her to come look. She wasn’t all that excited to get off the couch since Trish had a rough day vacationing. But finally, she came outside and took a look.

This actually interested her for a few seconds before whatever was on the telly prompted her to move back inside.

When I see something unusual or interesting, this was a call for me to morph into Craig the Photographer!

I got the old camera out, changed the lens to one better suited to the conditions and grabbed the tripod. There are big trees in front of my house, so I decided to go to the top of the hill and take some pictures.

One of my favorites is pictured in this blog!

I got set up pretty much in the middle of the road next to the water tower, hoped nobody would run thine rear over with an automobile and took to firing pictures.

I set the shutter at a slow speed so I could capture a string of lightning, and that is what I got.

While fighting off the attack from a swarm of mosquitoes and other irritating insects which wanted to distract me, I spent about 20 minutes firing off pictures until the cloud moved to the north and behind a group of trees.

I looked in the viewfinder and reviewed the pictures. They looked good! Of course, they all look pretty good until I post them on the computer and cull out the bad ones.

I loaded the pictures and went through them until I narrowed my choices to a couple. I always shoot on RAW instead of JPEG so I have more control over the processing, er, process.

I edited the picture and got it ready to go and this was the result from the light show.

I go in stages where I take a bunch of pictures and times when I am not so active. Yesterday, I saw some little flowers in the yard and took the second picture. The flowers were roughly the size of a dime.

And since they were low to the ground, I got out my miniature tripod and loaded up a macro lens to try and get the picture.

Not my best effort, but it turned out okay.

People sometimes ask me what I like to take pictures of. My favorites are sports, macro (bugs and flowers) and wildlife. People? Not really. I don’t really enjoy the whole posing thing and prefer taking candid pictures of the little ones doing cute stuff like smashing cake over their face.

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