Eddie, Eddie, Eddie (shaking head)

Tuesday after work, I took Eddie for a walk around the larger park that contains the dog park which he enjoys so much. The walk was brisk, and both he and I were winded by time we got to the dog park. Eddie, however, quickly found a way to cool off while I wasn’t looking!

I’d walked over to take one of the plastic bags available to keep the park clean after one’s dog does his business. While I went that way, he went to where a couple of other dogs had dug a decent-sized hole in the soft Georgia clay. It had rained earlier in the day, so there were about five inches of water/mud/gook/dog slobber in the bottom of the hole.

Eddie goes and just plops down in it before I even realize what he’s doing. Well, after one plop, he’s pretty dirty, so I just let him continue playing. At one point, the playing between the dogs becomes a ruckus, and Eddie ends up rolling onto his back in it. This photo is before that happened, so you can imagine how much worse it got. Ugh.

At that point, I figured it was enough, and I tried to get some of the mud off with the water from the water fountain. It basically just made a thinner paste and got mud all over me and my clothes. Fortunately, I had the good sense to put my camera away before I started that mess.

I put down a towel in the back seat of my car and, of course, it only worked minimally well. He still managed to dirty it up pretty well. By time we got home, a torrential rain was falling, so I just took Eddie out to the bottom of the driveway where the water runoff was strongest, and splashed him until he was fairly clean. By time I was done, we were both soaking wet, but at least we weren’t orange anymore. :)

Duluth’s Hall of Justice (echo.echo.echo)

Another night photo… sorry, y’all get to be the recipients of my practicing night photography. It just amazes me that so much detail can be picked up when it’s so dark outside.

This was taken with a 16-35mm wide angle lens. I really enjoy using this lens for landscapes, but it has its pros and cons for close-up subjects. One of the pros is that I can be fairly close to my subject, and still pull all of the scene into it. However, the ability to pull the edges in also results in one of the cons… it slants those outer edges inward so that it makes vertical objects look like they’re “falling backward.” I can do some digital magic to correct the distortions, but sometimes, it results in an even worse distortion. That was the case here. I tried to correct the fall back, and it just ended up looking weirder, so I left it as is.

However, I’m very pleased with the detail and the sky. As you can see, the blue hour had already passed (it was after 9:00pm), and so the sky’s colors were depending into purple. The clouds were rolling in from the south, and the reflection of the lights of the city were making them pinkish.

And finally, you can see the shadow of me and my tripod in the lower right-hand corner. I didn’t even realize that was happening while I was shooting. Kind of a shadow fingerprint, I suppose. :)

Very pleased with the details on this one.

Here’s the Church, Here’s the Steeple…

Technically speaking, this is not a good shot. However, it was the prettiest picture of the sunset I took last Saturday.

I was way up on a hill, about the same level of the base of the steeple. I wish I could have gotten more of the church, but the trees were in the way. If I’d shot downward more to show a bit more church, I would have missed the expansive clouds. If I’d shot up to get more clouds, I’d have cut off even more church, so I shot at about the only place I could.

I took a LOT Of phone and electrical wires out of this one, so I won’t show details because I did it in a hurry and didn’t do a very good job.

Anyway, it’s hard to beat a pretty sunset. :)

Pillar of the Earth

… and why is that? Why don’t architects build structures like this anymore? They’re so beautiful and majestic… and they last!

This is a chapel on the campus of Carleton College in Minnesota (I think, unless I got it confused with the chapel on St. Olaf’s campus in the same town).

I actually took a picture of the entire front of the building in my shot, but cropped it down so you can see better what makes it so beautiful… the symmetry of the design, the textures of the stone, the intricacies of the details, and the lustre of the polished wood.

When I see buildings like this, it reminds me of a wonderful novel I read a few years ago… The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I won’t even begin to try to give you a synopsis, but it was a wonderful read about a man who was compelled to build cathedrals. Structures like this always make me think how proud the architects and builders must feel when something like this is created from their imagination and their labor.

Details, if you’re interested.

Hickory Dickory

I was in Rome, Georgia yesterday, planning to take photos of the quaint and bustling downtown area. I drove around for about half an hour, trying to find a good vantage point, but there were too many cars and tall crepe myrtles on the street to get a good shot. Sunset time was fast approaching, so I ditched my original plan of shooting main street and decided to find a high place from which to shoot toward the sun.

Rome is in the foothills of the Appalachians, and like its Italian namesake, it has seven main hills. One of the hills had this awesome, terraced cemetery on it, but I wasn’t sure of the safety of the surrounding neighborhood, so I went instead to the hill with the clock tower on top of it.

It was my intention to get shots of the clock with the sunset in the background, and I took plenty, but none looked the way I wanted them to. This one, however, was one of the first ones I took when I got there, and from a totally different direction, but I think it’s my favorite. While the sunset is not in this shot, you can still see the golden color it cast on the white of the clock.

On the National Register of Historic Places, the clock was added to the tower (built in 1871) in 1872 and, according to reports, has been keeping accurate time since. Each face is nine feet in diameter, the hour hand is three feet, six inches long, and the minute hand is four feet, three inches long. The bell within the clock tower is made of genuine bronze and measures 40 inches wide.

After I took this photo, I went to set up for the sunset shots. Mosquitoes were really bad, so I went back down to my car to get insect repellent. As I was spraying myself, the clock struck 8:00, and I almost jumped out of my skin, the sound was sooo loud! I guess it would have to be to be heard across the town, but I just wish I’d been expecting it. :)


I’ve Got the Blues

Well, I’m getting my night photography technique down better, I think. Of course, it helps to have a cool-looking building to take a photo of. This is the brand spanking new student center on the Cartersville campus of Georgia Highlands College. When I was looking online to make sure of the name, I found out they just opened it this past Wednesday. I’m glad I stumbled upon it, because it wasn’t even what I was planning to shoot tonight.

This photo is a great example of what is known as the “blue hour.” For about an hour after sunset (or before sunrise), when you take long exposures that include the sky, you get this awesome, rich blue color. This first of a series of this photo was taken at 8:54pm (sunset was at 8:10) and is the result of an HDR compilation of seven different exposures ranging from one second to thirty seconds.

I’m very happy with the details on this one, and glad that the highlights of the lights didn’t blow out too badly either.