Friday, May 30, 2014

HDR Sunsets in Montford and My Thoughts

      Today I went up to Montford Park/Complex to try to get some sunset photos since yesterday it was just too cloudy. I took some photos and then just hung out and watched the sunset. I was thinking about things and I thought to myself, why do things I don't want to do? Now, I don't mean school and such. I'm just talking about things I do to make other people satisfied. Sure, it is always nice to do things for people but sometimes you gotta think about yourself! One example of this is music lessons. I have started to not enjoy going to Jazz Ensemble every Saturday. Not because I am lazy and just don't want to go, but because I don't feel like I'm learning anything and I'm not enjoying myself. The whole reason behind playing music is to have fun, right? Why don't I quit? I feel like if I stop going, my parents will take it as me quitting. I'm not quitting the Trombone! Just Jazz Ensemble. I mean, not everything works out.

     Another reason I want to quit is because I want to start playing the Viola, along with the Trombone which I already have been playing for about five years. Viola lessons cost roughly the same amount of money as Jazz Ensemble and I want to do it more right now. I guess I'll just talk to my parents and hear what they have to say on the matter. Goodnight everyone!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Steve the Cat

     Steve the Cat is ferocious, intimidating, and a bit of a bozo. Steve is the most aloof creature I have ever encountered. He hasn't a care in the world, yet he always seems to appear when his food bowl is empty. He has a sister who is extremely nimble and intelligent. Every night, she manages to climb onto the roof outside of my window and she sticks her nails in the screen, pulls it off, and jumps into my room. I'm not much of a cat person but these two cats are pretty incredible.

Baseball Game!

     I don't particularly enjoy baseball, I don't have anything against it either. However, tonight, I was trying to get some pictures of the sunset over at the Montford Complex and it was really cloudy. Now don't get me wrong, clouds can make a sunset spectacular, but these clouds were just completely covering everything and there was nothing to see.

     I first heard the Montford Theater program so I headed over there and sat down in the grass. I took some pictures but there were no good shots so I headed over to the baseball game that was taking place right next door. I walked over there and started taking some shots of the players and I had never taken any action shots before so I didn't know what settings to put on the camera; I got some cool shots, just not any super high quality shots. These are the shots I got:

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Crazy HDR Photography

     Yesterday, I found out for the first time what HDR meant.  I achieved High Dynamic Range by taking multiple photos of the same subject with different exposures (amount of light). Then, in a program called Nik that I just got today, I mashed the photos together and turned the saturation (color extremity) a little bit and voila! The eye can see about 10 exposures of light at the same time, while a camera can only see about 3. That is the reason why many of the photos that we take seem much more dull and flat than we saw originally. By combining different pictures with different exposures, you can get more exposures in one picture than you could normally.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Exploring Manual Mode

      A couple of days ago, I was sitting in class before school, and I got bored so I took out my camera and started messing around with it. I tried to take a picture without my lens on to see what would happen. The camera wouldn't let me do anything, due to the error message saying, "Lens Not Attached". I put it in manual mode and it stopped showing the message. I was just fooling around to see if turning the lens around would make things far away and I pressed the front of the lens against the camera and I looked and I saw that everything was hugely magnified! The view was very blurry so I messed around with the levers on the lens and I got it to manually increase the aperture and I got a macro shot out of a zoom telephoto lens.

Nuclear Explosion!

      Hello people, I apologize for not posting in a few days, a couple of technical difficulties and also, I went camping this weekend! My whole family went (6 people) plus 3 of my sister's friends (9 people). We left on Friday after school and got back yesterday. We went up to the Burnsville campsite area. I took a couple of good photos that I'll share with you guys over a period of a couple of days.

     This picture below, is a photograph of our campfire while it was dying down and popping and cracking. It was pitch black outside except for this fire so I had to set my f-stop to 22! It was about a five second shutter speed. This slow shutter speed allowed more movement and travel of each individual pixel. The streams of red line are actually embers that traveled in the air while my shutter was open. The slow shutter speed is also what caused the silky feel to the fire.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Queen Mab

     Today in English class, we finished reading Romeo and Juliet. My class consists of mainly ludicrous buffoons which leaves me and a few others to read the entire script. I played Romeo, Juliet, Mercutio, and Friar Laurence. Mercutio has a speech in which he is making fun of Romeo's dreams of love and speaks of a 'Queen Mab', who is, from my understanding, a woman of some sort. Her name for some reason reminds me of a spider. Maybe it is because I play World of Warcraft where there are lots of spider queens to kill, or maybe because the name "Mab" is eerie and slimy sounding. Who knows.

     This picture reminds me of Queen Mab and the dream-like state that Mercutio describes - the blackness behind the focal point seems never ending and the web looks dangerous and mysterious.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Bird Sanctuary

     A few weeks ago, I went to the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary to try to take photos of some birds. It was mid-day so there weren't many birds out but on the way out, I saw this pretty caterpillar! While I was trying to get some shots of birds, I sludged through the middle of a pond to get up close. The ground resembled quicksand and the only way to keep from sinking in was to walk really fast before I sunk down, which scared the birds away! This was one of the only acceptable pictures I took on that outing.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Modeling in a River...?

     So, here I am trying to take a photo of the river. After I take the photo, I stand up because I am about to fall over since I'm standing in the middle of a slippery, algae covered rock and gram says "Go back to that position, don't stand up!". I look over my should and see gram drawing me. Her drawings are at her page Real Life Journals.


      This was a fun picture to take. Before I was about to cross the street, I saw that the road looked interesting and would be cool to take a photo of it from the perspective of an animal that is about to be terminated by a roaring engine traveling at 35 miles per hour. I lied in the middle of the road and started to focus until suddenly I hear, "BEEP BEEP!!!". I look behind me and I'm about to be the next organism that the Warren Wilson clean-up crew has to scrape off of the pavement. I jump up and leap out of the road. Luckily I got the photo before I died! :)

The Riverside Trail

     Before the cow incident, we went walking down the Riverside Trail. This trail is located on the Warren Wilson College campus. When I was about eleven or so years old, me and my grandmother built a Coracle boat. It is a small boat that use to be used by the Native Americans. It is made out of willow tree limbs and takes about six months to finish drying after you soak it and tie it together. We put this boat in the river that runs alongside the Riverside (I wonder why it was named riverside...) and it floated! We paddled down the river without getting too wet. This picture is the view from the trail of the lonely barn that the college uses to store materials.

Extraterrestrial Life!... or Cows?

Last night, my grandmother and I went out do do some artwork and photography (you can see her art at Real Life Journals). On our way home we spotted some cows!

     These cows were so happy that I was visiting them! When we drove up, they were silent. I strolled over to the buzzing electric fence and they started howling and running in circles! By the time I got to them, it was almost pitch black so I had to use my flash. The cows would sit there for a while and stare at me and then go back to being psychopaths. I took this picture with flash on while they were staring at me and it lit up their eyes like they were full of 10,000 volt electricity. They look fairly nightmarish.

     This cow really had a thing for me. Would not stop following me around. Every time I touched it's nose, it would howl like it is doing in the picture above. She also looks like she was born in Kentucky and is sucking on a strand of wheat grass.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Paternal Similarities

     It's sometimes hard to recognize how similar you look to your parents. Looking at my sister, Maya, and my dad, David, I can barely notice any similarity just by looking at them on at a time. Looking at them next to each other like this is incredible! I could combine these two pictures and I would get the same basic features. The immediately noticeable similarities that I can see are the eyes and ears. Almost identical.



 This is Hope, she helped me understand how to use my camera when I first got it and this is the first picture I ever took with my Nikon D5000. She is going to let me take a photoshoot with her this Sunday to practice for my actual photoshoot. Check in on Sunday to see the pictures!

My Sister's "Photoshoot"

     After we went to the Mellow Mushroom tonight, my family and I went to the Battery Park Book Exchange/Champagne Bar. It is a beautiful building with a Coffee bar and a Champagne bar. They have amazing chocolates and other delicacies. The walls are lined with ancient books and there is a cozy upstairs loft area where my French Conversation Group is held.
     After first posting the picture of the Cardinal (North Carolina Cardinal), the photographer who took portraits of me and my sister when we were babies contacted me. She said she loved my photography and wanted to hire me to take photos of her children! My sister let me use her as practice for the upcoming photoshoot! 

More Rain!

      After taking this picture, I used this dripping water to try to pour it on a leaf that was dripping to get an interesting photo. I couldn't get a picture of the water droplet in mid-air so I decided to go inside. On my way inside, I cut my toe so deeply on a rock that while I was hobbling inside, I created a nice trail of blood on the floor. It still hurts now! I was told by my grandmother (her amazing website is Real Life Journals) that the native americans told the European settlers to not wear shoes while they are outside so that their feet can toughen. I completely agree with this and I also think that if I'm going to pursue this ideology that I should carry some gauze with me at all times. Apparently, Native Americans also used their body's grease to keep them fairly warm during the winter which is why they didn't need to wear big coats when it was cold.

Clouds & Sunsets


     Tonight, my family and I went to the Mellow Mushroom downtown. After we got done eating, while we were walking back to out car, I saw how pretty the sky was. Moments later I hear; BOOM BA DOOM BADAADADA DOOM BOOM!!! I look to my left and see a couple of college G's partying in their cars listening to rap. I decide to dance along. Then I hear "GO BOY GO! AYYYY". I was part of the club!

The Cost of a Good Photo

     Getting these photos is really quite difficult. Especially bird photos. Lots of crawling and climbing and creeping and failing. I take hundreds of pictures when I see a bird in my sight, hoping to find one that is any good. Sometimes, however, there is a really dumb bird that is too busy looking at a leaf to see my creeping behind it! That's when I get lucky. Shazam!

Bird Feeder

      Today, I got home from school and got out my camera and started tracking down some birds to take pictures of. I got a few good photos but only after I deeply cut my foot, soaked my lens in wet ground, and stained my white shirt with grass. I thought to myself, I really should get a bird feeder. So I did! I got one and attached a rope to it and chucked the rope over a gutter and tied it up. I left it dangling in front of the front porch (I attached it to the roof). Immediately a bird appeared! I used almonds, oats, and blueberries for the bird feed since I didn't have any from the store.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Another Rainy Day

     After seeing how cool rain could make a picture (see my Rainy Day post), I decided to see what else I could take a picture of during a thunderstorm this weekend. I was walking around and looked at the road and saw the water gushing down the road. I found this construction cone with a miniature "waterfall" and took the picture at almost ground level. I thought this picture was interesting because it seems like the water is frozen and is ice. The water droplets are suspended in midair, dripping from the cone.

Rainy Day

      I had never taken a picture during a storm before, but I will be sure to do so the next time one comes around! It was about 9:00pm and it was raining like crazy! The night was blacker than coal and I could barely see my hand in front of my face. I saw this bloomed rhododendron flower that was completely drenched. I turned on my flash and tried my best to manual-focus on the flower (which I couldn't see through the viewfinder) because my autofocus couldn't focus in the pitch black light. This was the result of flash at night during a rain storm;

The Blue Ridge Parkway


    The parkway is an amazing place to hike and watch the sunset. This photo is incredible in my opinion, the sun somehow made this halo of light in my picture. The light was extremely bright, especially staring at it through a lens! I was up there for about an hour taking pictures of the rapidly changing light and this one was the most interesting one. I went into Lightroom afterwards to slightly adjust some features such as the exposure and contrast.

Real Life Journals: Turtles Again

Real Life Journals: Turtles Again

This is the link to my Gram's blog post that corresponds with my Turtles post, check it out and check out her blog site!


     On Saturday me and Gram (my grandmother) went walking up the Hawcreek Trail. We were driving up there and in the middle of the road, we happened upon a pretty turtle lying there. I picked it up and brought it to the trail. Halfway to the trail, there was another turtle of the same type but bigger. These are the pictures I took of it!

The Moon

     I've never been able to get a good shot of the moon because of the extremely low light levels. Such a slow shutter speed is required that I could never get a sharp photo. On Sunday night, however, the moon was extremely bright. It was about 10:30pm and the sky was scattered with clouds, I was going to bed when I saw how good the sky looked so I shot this photo;

     This is a picture of a North Carolina Cardinal that I took last week. It is the first bird picture that I have taken. I used a 55-200mm lens with my Nikon D5000. It seems like most of the best photos I take happen when I'm not planning on it. A lot of times I go outside and take pictures after school but for this picture I was just walking home with my camera to put it away and I saw this!