Friday, April 18, 2014

04/15/14 A Lunar Eclipse

Lunar eclipse sequence at its peak on a chilly April night outside Kewanee, IL

Early Tuesday morning, I drove northwest of Peoria, IL to escape the city lights (light pollution) to better observe a lunar eclipse. I never have had the opportunity to photograph one of these events so I decided it was time to give it a shot on this night. It was a terrible April early morning to be outdoors however with temperatures near freezing which made photographing this event more subdued. Tired and freezing my behind off I decided to just photograph the beginning portion of the eclipse this go around. I do need to get a more higher-end telephoto-zoom lens I found out first-hand on this night as I was using my Canon 5D Mark III along with my Canon EF 70-300mm f4.0-5.6 IS lens. I'll be upgrading that lens down the road as I wanted a little bit better quality especially after cropping. All of these photos were cropped and I also used Photoshop to put together the beginning of the lunar eclipse sequence as well. I've added a few photos below:

 Every lunar eclipse starts with a full moon!
 And it begins...
 Halfway there!
 Nearing the peak of the eclipse!
 The media hyped "blood moon"!
A more distant shot here...
 If you didn't know this event was happening on this night
I'm sure it would freak some out!
 A longer exposure to show more the the "blood red" color...
 Once again the first half of the lunar eclipse using some of my
photos above in Photoshop...Pretty cool what you
can do with some editing!

It was fun to try something "different" for a change and I'm sure the next go around I'll be much more prepared with a even better telephoto-zoom lens. I'll be posting more over the coming weeks as spring begins to bring severe weather to the Great Plains and Midwest after a very slow start to the chase season. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 24, 2014

02/06/14 Winter Scenes & Wind Farms

A beautiful winter morning scene at a local wind farm outside Camp Grove, IL 

Over the last month, I finally had enough of the "cabin fever" that this brutal winter has caused. After another winter storm and yet another morning of sub-zero temperatures I decided it was time to find the will to venture out in sub-zero temperatures and grab some winter photos finally! It has been such a brutal winter I didn't even want to venture outside much of this winter even for photography. There's not much that keeps me from venturing outdoors, but Old Man Winter sure changed that this year. It was the snowiest winter on record in Peoria, IL and the 8th coldest on record. On that note, I've added a few photos as I "braved the elements" and shot some photos outside Peoria, IL of the winter scenes amidst the brutal cold below:

Fresh snow pack and deep blue skies...always a plus!
A cool winter scene in the middle of nowhere...
A majestic winter scene!
A frequent spot I visit for photography...
"Winter wind"
Snowplows busy on this particular morning and during this particular winter!
One of my favorite shots on this morning!
Some snow drifts...
A well set-up winter shot with a wind vane!
You've seen this bridge in past photos but not during the winter months...
Another snowy scene!
Some hefty snow accumulation here...
A cool winter perspective!
A winter portrait and evergreen trees...
Who doesn't like a white picket fence?!
Gotta love winter scenery!
Some good contrast here!
"Winter travels"
More winter scenery...
Another winter shot at the wind farm!
"Enter at your own risk"
A good shot illustrating an earlier heavy snow event...
Snow drifts and wind turbines!
Lots of icicles out there this winter...
Beautiful blue sky!
Lonesome tree and a winter landscape!
A small snow trail in the snow pack for a rabbit at my parent's house...
One more shot at the wind farm!
The snow depth was at 12" inches when I shot
this photo in February...good grief!

Hopefully, we are done with Old Man Winter for good! I'll be posting more in the coming months as spring severe weather begins across the Midwest as I get more and more accustomed to my new camera. Stay tuned.

01/22/14 More of Our Pets...

Luigi, one of my parent's cats on a winter morning in Kewanee, IL 

A couple months ago, I ventured home briefly to test out my new camera on some of our other pets. It had been quite a busy and long holiday season at work which meant I didn't have really any opportunities to head back home during that time-period. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to see the family and our pets during the short stay. I've added below some of my favorite shots during the trip back to my hometown of our pets below:

Taser, growing up quite fast...
Luigi, has always been a tough cat to photograph over the years, but I
got a few good one's on this occasion!
Taser, a close-up!
A rather neat portrait!
An aww kind of shot!
Taser is quickly becoming a big cat...
"Eye-catching"
Taser, eager for spring along with the rest of us!
"Looking to the sky"
Another cute shot!
Another cool shot!
Dad, got him his own Chicago Blackhawks jersey!

Our pets always have a large impact on our lives. Don't take them for granted and make sure you enjoy every minute with them as well. I'll be posting some winter photos soon as well. Stay tuned for that update.