Thursday, June 07, 2012

Storm chasing


It's been a quiet spring and early summer here in northern Illinois so far, weather wise. Not too many storms brewing up this way. A lot of good my online storm spotter training has done for me, huh? Storm spotter training has taught me the best position from which to view a storm (useful for photography) as well as the worst. Best position also means safest position.

We recently had a small storm system move through late in the day. I followed it on radar via my iPhone as it approached from the west and mapped a route to intercept it (also on the iPhone -- what a great tool. Thanks, Mr. Jobs). My wife and I then drove through the storm and followed it as it headed east. The image above shows the storm retreating over some northern Illinois farmland late in the day. Late afternoon sunlight played across the open fields as menacing clouds snarled overhead.

This image is a combination of two pictures. One was exposed form the sky, the other for the field, then both images were combined on computer.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Against the wind

Against the wind

The only thing I like better than photographing people is photographing people doing something they love to do in the environment in which they love to do it. Suzanne was kind enough set aside some time to model for me. More than once. Unpredictable weather canceled more than one scheduled session. We finally wwere able to connect on a chilly spring day to get the picture above. Several times running around the bend. Sun in her face. Wind blowing like crazy. But she loves to run. She loves to help others. By posing for me, she got to do both.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Walking the lonely path

Cold day on the beach

Taken last weekend on the shores of Lake Michigan near Evanston, Illinois. Recent weather has been more suited for late November than mid-May, and this picture is indicative of that.

Friday, April 29, 2011


Drama in the skies

A look at the skies in northern Illinois while storms and tornadoes battered the southern U.S. Spring is the time when the cold of winter is replaced by the warm of summer. It does not change peacefully, however.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lights! Camera! Robins!

As the day closes

I heard a commotion near my front door about a week ago. A series of shrill warbles that sounded like a robin. Upon investigation, I found that a female had built a nest in a yew bush right outside the door at about eye level. I presume the commotion was to announce the laying of a clutch of four eggs.

Robin's egg blue

Not being one to waste an opportunity when it's handed to me, I've scouted various angles of view, planned placement of lights and cameras, and will document the robin family over the course of the next three or four weeks.

Mama's already gotten a taste of being in the limelight. The top picture looks as if it were taken in the late afternoon sun. Oh, no. Mid-day. Flash on a light stand ten feet away, zoomed and gelled to simulate late day sunlight and put a catchlight in mama's eye. White balance on camera adjusted to heighten the effect.

Mama took it all in stride. No prima robin she.


More to come.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mmm ... nectar

Mmm ... nectar We both struggled to get what we wanted. I wanted a picture and the hummingbird wanted food. The bird came back to the feeder again and again, despite my presence just five feet away. I'd fire off a shot and scare the little guy off. He'd come back for his meal and we'd repeat. After I got a few shots worth keeping, I let the bird eat his fill. Bounced flash fired by wireless trigger.

Monday, March 21, 2011

What's on the horizon?

On the horizon

You can sit and wait to see what happens or you can go out and meet it.