Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tiny White Flowers

I am not sure of what this one is called, but I love how dainty it is!

Pink and Blue

I am always amazed when I find pink Forget Me Nots!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lupine Stalk

It is fascinating to get up close to lupine to see how the petals go out in a circle all around the plant.

Lack of Punctuality

I went in search of lupine recently, and finally found a semi decent patch. It has come really late this year, which is disappointing. It is finally started to explode with purple along the roadsides, but it has been late in coming!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Lupine Drop

I have observed through the years that the leaves on lupine plants collect water very easily. However, I have yet to get the perfect shot of it, and this one is still not there.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mile 17 Fire 2 Years Later

It's been two years since the Mile 17 fire here, and the trees that were most affected have not recovered. It is quite startling to see lush green grass contrasted with orange and black even still. The fireweed looks promising for there this year, though!

Deceptive Quiet

The scene looks so peaceful and quiet that it is hard to believe that a few hundred feet away a noisy bonfire was occurring with cars making all kind of racket. I think scenes like this are some of the most interesting....conflict between serene waters and humanity disrupting the quiet of late evening.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Polarizer

I finally took the plunge and bought a polarizer for my 17-40L lens a couple weeks ago. I'd been hesitating because I didn't want to spend $170 on a good one quite yet, but I knew it was necessary, and so far, I have loved it. I had one with my previous wide angle lens, but I didn't use it much. I took this one out to the beach a couple days after it arrived in the mail and thought I would share what a useful tool it is.
A polarizer cuts glare, as well as saturates colors. This image, I was not utilizing the polarizer, so the water and sand in the foreground look to be continuous, when the direct foreground has a blue, silky glare. I like the effect, but sometimes the glare is distracting.
This image shows the effect of the polarizer taking the glare off the sand, as well as allowing the rocks under the water to peek through, despite the long exposure. I was surprised by how well the colors were saturated at a long exposure versus a not so long one that I observed as I sorted the images.

I am excited to keep experimenting!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Magical Light

I was up a bit earlier than usual a few mornings ago and was delighted to find dew all over the horse tail grass (but not much of anything else =/) I didn't have much time to shoot, but I ended up with this shot that I really enjoyed.

Last evening, there was an earthquake that occurred in the Aleutian Chain. You may have heard about it, the tsunami warning that followed, and then the cancellation of the warning.

We were never in danger here, and were only under and informational posting, not even a "tsunami watch". All the networks (CNN, ADN, etc) all posted around the same time that the official website cancelled the advisory. Less than 5 minutes later, I heard something outside and opened the door. Our tsunami warning system was blaring, saying we were under warning, and to evacuate.

Facebook became aflutter with confusion, and it sounds like the poor tourists panicked a bit getting to somewhere higher in elevation. Then the borough ended up calling some folks and letting them know it was a fluke, basically.

Apparently, the warning system is supposed to go off if there is a warning anywhere in the state. Unfortunately, this is incredibly impractical considering how large Alaska's coastline is. This occurred also right after the Japan earthquake in March, as well. It just wasn't as huge of a deal because there were no tourists and it was the middle of the night. We were needlessly warned of a cancelled threat. The boy crying wolf comes to mind, for sure. The system is great, but it is doing more harm than good right now.

Hidden Treasures

It's always amazing to see what is hiding under a high tide!

Print available

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Blogger Meetup!

Seems so formal to call it a "Blogger Meetup", because it was really a friend meetup! Susan and her husband (who I met 2 summers ago) were down last week and we met up with them and Richie (who I knew already) for dinner! It was a great time to chat and enjoy a great meal!

Have any cool meetup stories to share? I love meeting online friends!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lupine Hunting

The general consensus seems to be of late that this summer's flowers have been less than stellar, unfortunately. I have been comparing the lupine that has appeared to last summer's, and this year's has not been as good. It has been a rather dry summer so far, but with clouds, no sunshine, so I assume that has something to do with it.
A friend from high school let me know that she knew where some lupine was in bloom and offered to go with me in search. So, off we went. It was a fun afternoon with someone I had never actually hung out with before, but it was fun! The lupine was unfortunately not very good at the location, but it was better than I have seen so far this summer!
We stopped at the museum for some more flowers that we could tell were actually in bloom and had some fun on the train!

I really hope the fireweed blooms a lot this summer! Above location had lots of plants already growing, so I am hopeful!

Barnacle View

I had not shot the sunset from the beach in over a month and I was really missing it. When the weather stopped being so cloudy as it was for weeks, I climbed out of my indifference and went for a late evening (11pm) drive. The sunset was nice, but it was much nicer to get out and do what I love most again!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cosmos

I really like Cosmo flowers. They are rather uninteresting a lot of ways, but I love their simplicity.
Do you have a favorite flower that is not very popular?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mt. Redoubt Steaming 3

I received word from a friend that Mt. Redoubt was steaming on the 12th. I was immediately interested, but decided to wait until sunset time to see if it was still visible. The tip of the volcano was obscured the whole time I was out, but the sunset just kept getting better, and better.

I posted about a month ago that I rode my bike to work (or at least I thought I did, can't find the post at the moment). C has been riding his off and on since then, but my first trip and back was awfully rough. I am happy to report that I have biking for the past couple weeks and realized right off that my bike had been having problems with the gears. It impacted my ride to and from greatly that first time and I feel rather silly about it now. It's been fun to ride to work and back, because it really does not take too long, it's good exercise, it's fun, and it's a change of scenery and pace from driving. OH and it saves gas. (We are at $4.39 right now, what about you?)

I'm happy that I get to ride right now, just bummed that it won't get to last more than a few months before winter sets in yet again. I plan to take advantage of it as much as possible!

Mt. Redoubt Steaming 2

Second image from this spectacular sunset. I love the low lying pink clouds. So amazing.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dandelion Drop

Water drops make just about any plant much more interesting!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Watermelon Berry Flowers!

Watermelon berries are rather bland and taste more water-y than watermelon like, so I really should not be excited by their existence in my yard. I think it is more just childhood memories of them, more than anything :)

Anyone reading a big berry eater?

Mt. Redoubt Steaming 1

Mt. Redoubt letting off steam at sunset last week. One more image to come. Incredible sky, isn't it?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Early Morning Visitor

I was about to head to work when I glanced outside and saw this little guy peeking at me. I raced to grab the camera out of my bag and hurriedly took some shots.
I opened the door a crack to get a better picture, and he flinched a little, but did not take off.
I have not seen him since, but I hope he comes back for another visit :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Caterpillar!

I really seem to get excited by the simple things in life! I was shooting the sunset and scouting for flowers as I did when I came across this little guy. It was windy, and 11pm, so I had a horrible time getting sharp photos in the declining light (Yep, sunset is around 11:30pm now), but I think they turned out good in spite of the challenges!
Are there any inconsequential things that get you excited, or am I the only one?

Majestic Fly

Since getting a macro lens, the most ugly insects (except spiders...) suddenly have beauty. I just had never been able to see it before. The setting sun is behind this fly, and I just loved how its wings are transparent enough to show the color through them.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Splat and the Horse Tails

The grass is getting taller out there, and Splat isn't! I have already run into the problem of not being able to see  birds (as well as baby moose!) because the plants outside have finally exploded and it is green everywhere. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be a good year for flowers. I went out for a drive with a friend yesterday to a place that is usually full of flowers this time of the year, and it was not too great. Pretty disappointing.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Piano

C is quite gifted on the piano, and has been bemoaning the absence of a piano since he moved out. I have tried to get him to look at purchasing keyboards from retailers, but he never was sure what he wanted. Now that we have a house, it was suddenly a much smarter idea that we waited. Less moving of it, as well as tons more room.
Someone in the local area started a "buy sell trade" group which I check every few days. A family friend was selling her keyboard! And better yet, C had actually played it at youth group a lot. He knew its quality, and once we arrived to check it out, he didn't even play it, just said he wanted it.
He is really happy with it, and it has been so nice to see him playing it again.

Waxy Dew

I have come to love a good hard rain, because of the photographic opportunities from the raindrops covering many surfaces. Ordinary leaves (which have finally exploded transforming our landscape to green!) become fascinating worlds with water drops covering them.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Twins!

It's that time of year again!! So thrilled to be able to watch these two babies and their mom three times in one day!
#1
#2
So tiny next to their mother!
Taking off for the evening!

I am so blessed to live in a place where I can see baby animals on (relatively) regular basis!

Yesterday at work...
- Had a customer who was trying my patience with his ignorant questions, but the icing was on the cake when he asked, "Do the espresso meltaways taste like espresso?" No, strawberries. Of course!

- Had a big spider appear from nowhere on the counter, and before we could do anything, it ran right off the edge and fell to the floor. Not quite a leap, but some kind of jump nonetheless. Freaked us out!

- Little boy: "Alaska is so delicious!"

Sunday, June 12, 2011

March, April & May Photo Times

I have been really, really bad in posting these updates, but I have been very good at tracking my times and mileage!

March
March saw the decline of my shooting as the days got longer and it became harder to get out and shoot. I drove 66.6 miles and went shooting 10 times.

April
April started off strong, but then it was finals time, the days kept getting longer, and I moved! I ended up shooting only 6 times (32.9 miles).

May

May was much the same, though my commute to the beach was shortened immensely. I started working full time, and the sunset around 10pm put a big damper on going out for the sunsets. I went out a total of 5 times (22.4 miles).

Keep in mind, that I do not record the times I go outside my home to shoot, or events. Those often make up a significant portion of my editing times.

Fiddlehead Fern

I am thrilled to have some ferns in my backyard, and it has been fun to watch these ones grow and slowly uncurl themselves

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Hoverfly Colony

It's amazing how many bugs can congregate on one dandelion.
They aren't too interesting really, but up close they have much more character!
I love seeing the pollen covering him, especially on his eyes! So strange!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cloud Fun

I looked up at the sky the other day and ran for my camera. The clouds were fascinating! And then I decided to have a little fun...
I was using my wide angle lens, narrowed my aperture (higher number) and used a slower shutter speed. Then, I clicked the shutter, and as I did, I zoomed into the clouds. Such a fun effect to try every once in a while.
Ever tried this trick with something? Or done something similar?