Sunday, June 15, 2014

The HoneyMoon's over (Lake Michigan)

This Friday, June 13th, 2014 - there was a rare event.  A full moon rising on Friday the 13th.  What made this moonrise even rarer was the coloration - a warm, amber-honey color was predicted for this rising.  Thus, the Honey Moon.

So, risking all the horrors of Friday the 13th - and when you're carrying a DSLR camera to the beach/lakefront that's a LOT of money to be daring the bad-luck fairy to look away from - the mythos of the full moon causing madness ( I'm already crazy and didn't need to worry too much about that one) and my Squidnificant Other's (SQO's) being bored, I dragged him into the car and off we went.

Once we got to the lake, I realized I had forgotten all about the whole 'cooler by the lake' thing, and was only wearing a light top with no sleeves.  Well...  Artists always suffer for their work.  My Turn!!!

We arrived a bit early - sunset was in full swing, but the moon hadn't come up yet.   So, as I had some time to kill, I set up on my beach for some sunset shots.

I wasn't disappointed - Mother Nature delivered a very purple sunset...

My beach on the Lake (and just to be clear, here, if I've gone to a location for shots 3x or more, it officially, at least in my mind, becomes 'mine.'  My Beach, my Riverwalk, my Fountain, etc...)
runs roughly northwest to southeast, so I can get both sunset and moonrise on the same location. 

I foresee a foray out to my beach in my VERY early morning.. to catch a sunrise.

As we made our way up the concrete causeway to the round observatory extending into the Lake, I found - people.  Not many, just a few, people -as crazy as I am- with cameras extended toward the horizon to catch the Honey Moon rising.  Once again proving that I'm not the only nut-job in this state, but amongst a small, eccentric minority of slightly insane nature-lovers.

I snapped away.  Moonrise was well in progress, the color was fantastic, and the camera was singing in electronic joy.  Once I took my attention off the moon - I noticed the power plant further up the shoreline.  Beautiful, the way the reflections hit the water. 
Say what you will about the cost of utilities these days, but I'll forgive them my high-heat bill last winter for them putting out this spectacular light show on the shore.  But only last winter's bills.  This winter, they're on their own.

 Now, I know I've mentioned that the SQO is a musician.  As a performer, he's a natural in front of the camera.  I've lost count of the number of projects he's appeared in - he's always a willing for whatever insane idea I have involving my camera. 

I'd come across a number of forced perspective photos on the web - and naturally, the 'what the hell' just burst out of me in the throes of the moonrise (who am I to question the strange ideas blooming under the light of the full moon?) 
Several moments of 'just a bit to the right, now raise your hand JUUUUUUST a bit more, back to the left a hair, turn your head a little more, lower your chin, NOPE, too much, lower your hand a fraction of an inch,' produced this ducky little shot. 

And, as an aside - He was certainly more attentive to the Lakeshore temperature than I was - June, and he's sensibly dressed in a leather jacket, hat, and scarf, while I'm doing the whole 'Freezin' for a Reason' thing.

Overall, the shoot went well - but I couldn't tempt the wicked fates of Friday the 13th by getting great shots without paying the price for my success - even with being under dressed, freezing my bunz off, and succumbing to the influences of the light of the crazy-generating moon.  (where do you think the term 'lunatic' comes from?)

Finally, there were no more good shots to be had.  As the moon rose higher in the sky, the amber hue faded away, until only the standard white moon filled the sky.  Quite pleased with my shots, I quickly packed things up...because by this time I was shaking more than a bit, I believe I started acquiring a lovely shade of blue, and the mosquitoes were undaunted by the brisk night air (in Wisconsin, the mosquitoes grow fur to combat the weather!). 

The DSLR came off the tripod and into its bag - close and clip.  The Canon with the mega-zoom got looped around my neck.  The tripod was folded, but the legs were still extended.  The teacup had its own little bag to stay secure in, along with a smallish brass chalice I'd picked up at Goodwill (seriously, folks, if you're ever looking for awesome photo props that won't break the bank - go to your local Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul, or any other resale shop in your area), and they were both nestled inside.

We made haste to the car - up the concrete sidewalk toward shelter and warmth, when I heard it.

A metallic tink. Followed by the breaking of glass.

I had forgotten to zip the bag with the teacup.  Both it, and the chalice, launched from the bag in a misguided attempt to break for freedom.  My poor, brave, foolish little teacup.  I guess the pressures of stardom were too much for it.  It must have been depressed to never be pressed into service as a container for a hot bath of Earl Grey, surrounded with happy, crunchy bikkies on the side.  It ended its life of photographic supermodel-dom on the concrete walkway for the observatory on Bender Beach on the Wisconsin side of Lake Michigan.

Rest in Pieces, little buddy. Friday the 13th took you from me, and the Honey Moon is now over...

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Drip, drip, drip...

Above all else, a hobby represents fun!  If it's not fun, it's not a hobby...its drudgery.   I do spend some time on the 'net checking out what others have come up with - and this one has been ticking around in my head for quite some time.  It was pushed forward in the creative queue quite by accident.

My obsession with water continues.  This weekend I was handed an opportunity by the Squidnificant Other (my boyfriend's 'stage name' has been Dr. Squid forever...) by a quirky set of coincidences... 

We spend some time together during the week - separated by band practices, work, and about 12 miles.  Weekends we spend more time together, when life doesn't interfere.  Sooooo....

Saturday night.  We cuddled, we watched a movie, we browsed the web, we did the things that couples do.  I finally ran out of oomph around 2am, and curled up in bed, while he stayed up to check a few things.  Make some snarky remarks and/or thoughtful dissertations on Facebook.  Send out a few emails to the band on rehearsal schedules.  Do a bit more research on something that catches his eye on the web. 

You have to realize my S.Q.O. is a fully-functional night person - he works well and has knife-sharp clarity once the clock reaches those early AM hours, and distainfully disregards that the world's standard is sleep at this time.  Honestly, he'd be a natural at a 3rd shift job - it's his preferred time of the day...but he tries to keep closer hours to mine, which mirror the old 9-5er job and a sleep schedule to match.  What can I makes you do strange things me staying up until 2am and him fighting his own internal clock.

I'm not sure what caused it, as I was in the bedroom lost in dreams...but he ended up with a wild craving for jelly.  Bread.  A schmear of peanut butter.  And one simply does not ignore the after-midnight munchies.

Sooo - bread.  Check.  Next to the microwave.

Peanut butter.  Check.  In the cupboard, 2nd shelf, to the left, behind the honey.

Knife.  Plate.  Check and check.  IT'S SAMMICH TIME!

Jelly.  In the fridge, on the door, middle shelf, about in the middle of the door.  EWWWWW!

I have to interject here, quite apologetically, that sometimes, I forget that certain contents in my refrigerator exist, and science projects happen.  One day, I hope to evolve a new lifeform that will, in its gratitude from being released from the refrigerator, fix Wisconsin's weather to be 72.5 degrees  and sunny year round, with light rain overnight, except on holidays and scheduled camping/photo trips.

So - frustrated and thwarted (and a little bit disgusted) he ends the life of my little biological colony with extremely hot water and dish soap, and then leaves the jar in the sink filled with water to soak out the overly sticky remnants. 

I'm sure he found something companionable to snack on to satiate the midnight-munchies...but he didn't let me in on the ingredients in his snack-a-palooza.

When I got up in the morning, I saw the evidence of the thwarted sandwich.  It was sad, really - the peanut butter jar, bread, plate and knife were all poised and ready on the counter, patiently waiting for the jelly to join the sammich party.  I feel so bad that they all got stood up.

And then I saw the jar in the sink.  Filled with water and under the spout - which has a slow drip (I gotta keep reminding myself to ask the building superintendent to fix that...) and it struck me...catching a water drop in motion has been on my bucket list (I just HAD realize that....) for a long time.  Hello, opportunity!

I snapped off a series - blurry....blech.  Missed the drip...fooey!  Shutter speed too slow...indistinct image.  Too high...darkness.

I ran through a lot of variations on settings - always remembering my exposure triangle, until I got one that froze the water in mid-splash.  You can see that the drips above the splash are still a bit indistinct, but I got very, very close to what I wanted.

I see another 'bout of learning on the web for how to correctly frame, light, focus and capture a drop in the throws of the splash - but for a first attempt, I'd say not too bad...