Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Another Non-Writing Related Post

This post has little to do with writing or reading; it has to do, instead, with photography. 

One of my hobbies besides writing is taking pictures. I especially enjoy using a camera to capture images the human eye cannot see. Primarily, this involves night photography. You can open the shutter of the camera for a long time so that what little light is present turns into something bright and strange and beautiful on the final product. Here is an example of what I mean . . .

(Water overlook, around Midnight)
This picture was taken a little past midnight when we had a full moon. The leaves on the tree in the foreground are a little blurry, and that's due to wind during the long exposure. This looks somewhat like a daytime shot, except there are stars and there is a lot more contrast. Here is the same location during the day, for comparison . . .

(Same location as above, during the day)
This was a few weeks before the night shot, so there aren't as many leaves, but it still is fun to compare the two. 

Another fun thing that you can do with night shots is play with flashlights. Check these out . . .

(A little out of focus—but still fun with the flashlight)

(Running up the stairs while spinning a flashlight)

(Running across a bridge, with a flashlight)
I'm still learning a lot about night photography. I like these shots, but I'd check out this site for some really cool ones using glow sticks. 

Taking picture of people at night is really, really hard because you either have to use a flash (which can work, but can also look foreign) or you have to hold really, really still. This next one worked out pretty well . . .

(I'm on the right side. Your right side, as you look at it now)
I like the hard shadows you get from the moon. That's my brother, on the left. We used our headlamps to get some light on our faces, as you might be able to tell from my brother's glasses. 

Another thing you can do with long exposures is change the direction the camera is facing midway through the shot, and then you get a picture that looks like this . . .
(Strange picture)

Since the moon was full, it was more difficult taking pictures of the stars. That's probably my favorite part of night photography, but it's pretty tricky to pull off. First, it's really hard focusing the camera in the dark. Next, if you want the long swirls you get from stars, you need to open the shutter for a looooong time (even though you can get slight swirls after a minute or two). But if you pull it off, it's quite surreal. It's easy to forget that the world is spinning, but when you see a photo you just took remind you of this fact, it's strangely humbling. I just look at the viewfinder and smile. 

(Somewhat out of focus, but still pretty cool)
 Finally, here are two shots that I especially like. The first is of a waterfall my brother and I hiked to. It's in a small valley, so it was especially dark and hard to photograph, but when you have the shutter open for a long time on flowing water, it looks unique (again, something you could never see with just your own eyes). The last picture is of a stream that we walked by (the one that eventually leads to the waterfall). The temperature had dropped significantly, and steam was rising from the surface of the stream as a result. And in the moonlight, it looked and felt downright mystical. 
(Waterfall at night)

(Steam rising from a stream in the moonlight)
Well, I should probably get writing. Just thought I'd share some of the other things that interest me. 

I believe knowing the hobbies of an author can enrich the experience of reading their work, although, I suppose, sometimes it's funner to figure it out simply by reading what they write! 

Anyway, at least this way you get to see some unique pictures.