St. Olaf Stars: The Story Behind the Photo

By Bill Webb

Circular star trails behind St. Olaf Church; photo by Bill Webb

St. Olaf Stars by Bill Webb

This star trails image is a composite of 125 images taken using an intervalometer to trigger the camera every 16 seconds. The individual image exposures were 15 seconds long at f/2.8, ISO 1600, using a 14mm ultra-wide-angle lens. I positioned my camera to place the polar (North) star above the steeple.

Capturing the photos took about 30 minutes. In Photoshop I stacked the images to create the trails.

The light on the cemetery markers is caused by another photographer who turned on his car lights (a REAL no-no) while I was doing this. I have another version of this image that eliminated the lights (they were on for just two frames), but I kinda liked this one.

The location is St. Olaf Kirke (The Old Rock Church) in Cranfills Gap, Texas. Gates into the property are locked so you can’t just drive in.

Fuzzy Dice II: The Story Behind the Photo

By Darren Wiedman

Black-and-white photo of dice dancing on glass table top. Photo by Darren Wiedman

Fuzzy Dice II by Darren Wiedman

This shot was one of about three hundred that I took for our “Motion” competition many months ago.

One Saturday afternoon, to my wife’s delight, I spent several hours dropping dice on a glass table with my right hand while simultaneously pressing the shutter release cable with my left.

It took a while to get the lighting right and not have odd reflections on the glass. Timing was also a huge issue. I was trying to capture the dice in a way where some were still falling and others were bouncing back off the glass. But the dice would often ricochet out of the shot.

I included the wall in the background to give a sense of depth, but later I realized that the harsh line was a bit distracting. But it did help if one of the dice was crossing the line. That issue eliminated a lot of otherwise good images.

I wanted to give a sense of motion while still having the dice remain sharp, so I “dragged the shutter.” This is done by using a flash to freeze part of the action, while keeping the shutter open long enough to capture more of the subject with ambient light.

This was a lot of fun, and I could’ve done it much longer. But I ran out of daylight, and my wife ran out of patience.

Fuzzy Dice II by Darren Wiedman (f/4.5, 1/80, ISO 400, 78mm)

Worth a (Two) Second Look: The Story Behind the Photo

By Bill Webb

A 2-second photo by Bill Webb of insects at night flying around a light

Worth a (Two) Second Look by Bill Webb

How often do we fail to notice the beauty of the “small things” in nature?

Such is the case with insects drawn to lights at night. Their flight (seeking what?) seems futile and beyond understanding — hardly worth a second look. But, how about a TWO-second look? That’s what I did to capture this image.

Using a tripod and a telephoto lens and a two-second exposure, we are able to get a different look into the world of insects and their behavior. Some of those random and, to us, pointless flight paths now are seen as almost ballet-like. Others could be the antics of an aerobatic pilot. Still others appear to be the frantic flight of beings possessed. The briefest of pauses as the wings change direction now appear as “barbs” along a piece of wire, perhaps. There is so much to see even in the minute parts of nature.

The more I study images like this one, the more intrigued I become. I was honored to have Earth Science Picture of the Day use this image on October 30, 2009. It also garnered the award for Viewers Choice photo for the month of October.

Fort Worth Stock Show Outing

On Saturday, January 18, the Trinity Arts Photo Club held its first field trip of 2014 at the Fort Worth Stock Show to take in the sights and capture a few images while doing so.  If you like anything that is Western, this is the place to be in January in Fort Worth.  The weather was fabulous too.

After collecting ourselves, we started in the livestock exhibition buildings, wandering among sheep, cows, steer, horses and pigeons.   Yes, pigeons.  We had opportunities to photograph the owners grooming and cleaning their animals as well as putting some of them (generally horses) through their paces.  I never knew that the animal fashionistas used industrial sized hair dryers to groom their beasts at an event like this, but they do.  Since the livestock are in buildings, some with windows and some without, we were presented with various lighting challenges, depending on which building we were in.

After taking images from every imaginable angle of occupants in the livestock buildings, we made our way out to the Midway, where children of all ages were riding rides, playing carnival games and eating food that rots your teeth.  But no…even on such a beautiful day, the crowd on the midway was sparse, making is tougher to photograph the various rides in motion…since they were often not in motion.  But we gave it the old college try, and made the best of it under the circumstances, getting some nice images in the process as you see below.  Tripods were an absolute necessity for sharp shots, especially after the sun went down.  They also allowed for long exposure images of the spinning rides creating blurs and bringing the lights to life in the process.

Overall, it was a great first event for all that attended and we hope to see many more club members at future events.

MRL

_DSC7922 FW Stock Show TAPC Jan 2014_ _DSC7929 FW Stock Show TAPC Jan 2014_

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