30 Bucks – A Lens Cap Or Time Lapse Movies?

Alright, before we get started, I just want to say this post is way too long.  If you’re not interested in the jibber-jabber, but wanna see my bitchin little time-lapse movie,  just jump to the end.

$30 doesn’t buy you basically anything in photography.  Maybe a lens cap.  That’s the main reason I never bought a Timer Remote or Intervalometer before.  The Canon branded one costs about $150.  After reading up on how to make Time-Lapse movies on the awesome DIY Photography website, I did a little research and once again, it was Ebay to the rescue!

When my Taiwanese beauty arrived in the mail I was quick to bust it out.  You have a few options, but basically it comes down to:

  1. How long should I wait to start taking pictures?
  2. How long should I wait between shots?
  3. How long should I make the shots (or let the camera take care of it)?
  4. How many pictures should I take?

Want to read all about it and see the final movie?  Hit the jump and read on.

Continue reading →

Sponsorship In Calm Seas

One more for you from the same day as this.  Wide angle lens from the bottom of the mast.  I have a few under sail that had a great swoopy motion to them, but this one… the clouds!


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The Budweiser Select sponsorship on the sail sort of cracks me up.  Not only do you not see it when you’re on the boat, but I don’t even know what Budweiser Select is.  If ever a misnomer there was, this is it.

Religion of the Sea

Went sailing last week.  Biiig yacht – 70 feet.  I thought that seasickness might be the order of the day but standing on the dock waiting to get on board was the worst part.  My beer was cheap and Korean.  One of my fellow passengers decided that sake, Merlot, and Red Stripe was a good idea.  Somehow we all survived.  I took this.

Yacht Mast with no sail - triple cross

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I can see how sailing might be your religion.  To top it off, this boat gets the triple cross – symbolism, right?  Maybe there is something to it – I managed to bring my camera and my camera strap, but not the piece that attaches the two together and somehow I didn’t drop it into Elliott Bay.

The Artificial Forest, Via The Orange Trees

Sometimes I see a scene that has promise, but the background isn’t right.  I’ve been walking past this sea of cones, you see, for a few months now.

Orange Cones at Qwest Field

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Lots of cones.  There are a bunch of signs next to it as well, which also have something cool going on, if I can figure it out.  Anyway, as you can tell from the signs picture above, this area is a bit surrounded by fence, cars, trees – lots of things that, as some friends of mine used to say are all great tastes that taste funny together.  So I’ve been thinking about these cones and eventually I think I figured it out.  Get low, get close.  This picture was taken with my wide angle, which means I was REALLY close to the cones to not show what is around.  But the cones are thick enough that it just doesn’t matter.  Sea of cones.  That’s what I wanted, and that’s what I got.

The Towers of Power

UW Red Square Brick Towers

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The University of Washington is not lacking for nice architecture.  Quite opposed to the soviet-bloc style architecture of my alma mater, UW for the most part feels the way a real old-fashioned school should – lots of ornate stone buildings with ivy up the side.  They also have this brick thing going on in places, especially the aptly-named Red Square (not to be confused with that other Red Square).  Although home to a couple statues, a lot of freshmen, and a great view of Suzallo Library, I like the brick monoliths above the best.   The fact that they only built them to ventilate the parking garage underneath only sorta detracts from them.

Up In Smoke

UW Powerplant Smokestack HDR

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The UW has a power plant.  I suppose it’s pretty obvious when you look at the massive smokestack, constantly billowing… well… smoke, I guess.  I’ve looked at it a million times, but it wasn’t until I was lurking around campus the other day, trying to find an innocuous place to illegally park while driving the afternoon impromptu shuttle run that I realized how close you can get to it.  Even though it still produces 40% of the campus emissions (coal to natural gas switchover in the 80’s not withstanding), I’ve always loved looking at it.  A massive symbol of industry, hiding in plain view next to Montlake boulevard.

I took this picture with my wonderful Tokina 12-24 wide angle lens.  Although I was a little worried about how long I could hang around taking pictures of university infrastructure before someone ran me off, I got up as close as possible to the base of the stack and shot almost straight up.  In a more documentary picture, especially shooting from corner to corner of the frame, I might have used Photoshop to straighten out some lines, but I liked the effect of all the angles in this picture.  Using my standard HDR setup (handheld, but tight against my wonderful R-Strap, burst mode, AEB) I shot three shots and used Photomatix to combine them, but I dialled down the insanity a bit as I didn’t think this picture needed the glowing lights treatment.  I really like this shot in general – having a good subject means you don’t need to work nearly as hard to make the final product something you like.

Capitol Hill Light Rail Demolition

Today I’m breaking from the standard photography stuff.  Why?  Because the bulldozers are out across the hill from me, starting the demolition for the Light Rail station on Capitol Hill.  Finally.  Although it isn’t scheduled to start actually operating for another 6 or 8 years, I suppose it’s something.  There’s a gallery below of the work going on today.

Here It Comes

See all of the images in the gallery below.

Seattle Has Fishing Boats – Who Knew?

Fishing Boat on the Seattle Waterfront

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I know that Seattle is huge in fishing.  We have a Fisherman’s Memorial.  We have tons of fishing boats.  It’s just that until a few days ago I’d never been down to the docks where all the boats are moored.  That oversight has now been remedied.   I had a good time walking the docks looking at the fishing boats.  When I was growing up in San Diego, it was home to a ton of purse seiners, but those are long gone.  Seattle still fishes for real.  Some, like the boat above, still sport the wooden-sided retro look.  How cool is that?  I really like the symmetry in this shot.  Taken from right in front of the bow with my trusty wide angle helps really bring out the sweeping lines in the shot.  Just remember to shoot from the middle with a wide angle – any distortions toward the edge of the shot will be mirrored on either side.  Nobody likes a misshapen ship, right?