Sunday, December 26, 2010

Family portraits

Christmas seems the perfect time to update family portraits. Here are two portraits taken yesterday of visiting Maryland family. Good thing we found the time yesterday because today is miserable and snowing - in Charleston!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse

I set my alarm for 2.30am this morning to see the eclipse and it was worth getting up and getting cold for. It was a huge challenge to photograph and this is not good! Photographers will notice that the stars are streaked which happens when your exposure is longer than a couple of seconds. Everything is in motion so the image is not sharp. This was 8 seconds at 400 ISO with a 200mm lens using a 1x1.4 converter - the trade-off when you don't have a $2,500 camera and fast 500mm lens(yet!). Anyway, lousy image aside, it was wonderful to see.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thanks Don

video
A great photography mentor and all-round great guy Don Gale died today. He lost his battle with cancer in the early hours of the morning. His houseboat workshop on Lake Powell, AZ about 7 years ago was the first one I ever attended, and so began my passion for landscape photography. I subsequently attended his workshops in Yosemite, Sedona, Zion, New England, Cades Cove and probably a couple more that I can't remember right now. He taught me a lot, always with great humor, encouragement and patience. He had many friends and will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family tonight. This short slideshow features Don and a whole bunch of fun characters that he introduced me to along the way. For a better resolution version of the slideshow, I posted one on my photo website here: www.vanessak.com

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Most Challenging Time of the Year

(To the tune of "It's a most Wonderful time of the Year")

It's a most challenging time of the year
All the pipes they are bursting
and drivers all cursing
devoid of good cheer
It's a most challenging time of the year

It's the wack-wackiest season of all
With way too much eating
and diets a-cheating
My jeans are too small.....
It's the wack-wackiest season of all

Bridge
There'll be houses and backyards
with such little regards
for proper and tasteful decor
With brightly lit planters
and bloated fat Santas
and garish big reindeers and more ...

It's a most penniless time of the year
All the gifts we're a-buying
My checkbook is sighing
But why should we care?
We'll just make a whole bunch more next year.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Whatever happened to global warming?

My friend in Oregon tells me the temperatures haven't been this low in 35 years, and here in Charleston, temperatures have been in the twenties consistently overnight for almost a week with not much relief in sight. We're just not equipped for this, but I guess I shouldn't complain - after all I could live in Minnesota or Chicago or somewhere. Actually I couldn't. I don't understand why anyone would choose to live there. Anyway the heat pump is working around the clock and the outside taps are set to drip all through the night. This is what my back hosepipe looked like this morning.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Good weather for Studio Portraits

The one thing I love about having a studio is that if the weather is miserable, it doesn't have to ruin your plans. Here are a couple of family portraits I shot this afternoon.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Photographing Real Estate from the Air

I had an assignment to do some aerial real estate photography early this morning, so I bundled up as warmly as possible and we were in the air shortly after 8am.The visibility was disappointing, especially since yesterday was so clear, and there was also a lot of cloud cover so the light was boring and blah.Nevertheless we got a few reasonable shots and will probably plan to watch the weather patterns over the next few days and take another stab at it.I can never resist taking another photograph of the Morris Island Lighthouse, even in bad light so I grabbed this as we buzzed past on our way to Sullivan's Island.
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