Merry Christmas, It’s Only Halloween

Six years ago we bought a fake Christmas tree at Costco after fighting early January fire hazards, scratched car roofs and pine sap on everything. It was a wonderful tree. A glorious tree. Every year the unpacking and repacking took it’s toll on the various segments. It is not into the Charlie Brown tree category yet, but last year the pre-lit lights went out on one segment.

After much begging and pleading, I received permission to “looking into alternatives.” That was my cue to be creative on the tree replacement plan.

Here it is. Simple, elegant, and with only the most minimal of ornaments and color highlights. I proudly showed this to Ann last week. The responses were:

  1. It is only a day past Halloween
  2. We will have a tree that presents can be put under and will support our trove of ornaments
  3. No
  4. Hell no

I leave it to you, should I push forward with my case to make this the Adams’ Christmas Tree for 2013?

Eye of Sauron

I recently started taking images of high speed water drops. The process moving from a ziplock bag with a small pinprick to the Camera Axe system was informative and increased my keepers from 1 out of 50 to 8 out of 10. With so many different ways to capture drops, this one came up.

The “eye” is the second drop that collided with the first drop which made the column. Totally unexpected and a keeper.Don’t look behind you, you may see Isengard….

Any Vice to be Found?

The hotel we stay in when vacationing in Sarasota has a lot of the typical Florida icons: palm trees, beautiful sunsets, and warm weather. No sign of Crockett & Tubbs though.

Summer Storm

Sitting on Longboat Key beach, the afternoon storm clouds started to roll in from land. I was able to get setup looking back over the hotel to catch the action. Impressive amounts of lightning and thunder. Some strikes were cloud-to-cloud like this, while others had that Close Encounters of the Third Kind feel with just lighting up the clouds. By the time the storm arrived it was breaking up. Very little wind and only a brief shower.

No palm trees were injured in the production of this image, unlike others that Norm and Robbie took on.

Summer is Coming

While a Game of Thrones winds down for the season, Summer is coming. This was taken on last years family¬†gathering. I liked the thin line between the horizon and clouds above. As usual, what was captured in the camera didn’t do justice to the actual colors and contrast. Bumped this as a single image HDR, then a little cleanup. My feet and tripod got wet on this one!

Coachella Valley Dawn from Keys View in Joshua Tree

 

 

Growing up in Las Vegas I’ve been all over the surrounding areas, but for some reason had never visited the Palm Springs/Joshua Tree area. A loss rectified. When my wife and I vacationed there recently, I was able to get in a sunrise at Keys View in Joshua Tree, then make a trip around the Salton Sea.

It was c-o-l-d up on the ridge overlooking the valley. The wind was a constant 15 – 20 MPH, and the temperature was hovering around 14 degrees¬†Fahrenheit. This image is of the Coachella Valley overlooking the La Quinta area, and I think Palm Desert to the far, far right. To the left is the Salton Sea, which I’ll post some images of the desolation of the area.

 

Crystal Glass

The macro world has a lot to offer. While sipping a 12 year old Macallan, I notice the bottom of the glass I was using. My initial study was using a red laser to create patterns, but this one was more interesting. It works well in portrait (e.g., Pinterest) as well as landscape for a print.

Fore!

The AT&T looking palm trees got my attention. taken just before sunset at the edge of a golf course on Longboat Key. Not being a golfer myself, I guess most don’t go looking for their balls in the water hazards. Not many crocks here, but you never know….

 

 

Longboat Key Sunset

Longboat Key Sunset

 

Our summer vacation was my first chance to use the Nikon D800 in wide open areas. I rented the 14-24mm wide angle lens for the trip, yet found my 24-70mm and 70-200mm for suitable for beach shots. The first couple of days the sunsets were bleh. No clouds or strong colors.

On the last day though, the afternoon/evening breeze kicked up and there was a good line of clouds on the horizon during sunset. The sand was kicking up by the time I took this shot, and it gave the beach a blurred look that contrasted well with the water and clouds.

Still getting used to the new camera, but loving it!

Lone

I would love spend more time in the mountains of the Northwest. Growing up in the Southwest we would spend a lot of time hiking in the desert and mountains, far away from populated areas. It was quiet out there, but even with dead silence, it is a totally different type of silence I experienced in the image above.

This image was taken on the Blue Ridge Parkway during a morning when the mountains were socked in with clouds, mist, and a light rain. The moisture in the air really deadened the sound. So even though I was on the side of the road, it was completely quiet until a car would come within 200-300 feet.