Our first stop on our road trip from Idaho to Georgia was Teton National Park. We quick pitched our tent to secure a camping spot then took off down the road for a hike to Bradley Lake. We didn’t know it at the time, but this blue sky during the hike was the last we would see until we were almost in Georgia. The rain began a couple of minutes before we reached the car and then it turned into what felt like a full on monsoon. Breaking the tent down in the morning was fun using the break-down-the-tent-while-still-inside-of-it-leaving-the-rain-fly-for-last technique. This place is definitely needing further attention from me in the future.
Eight Shot Pano. Full size can be found HERE in all of its glory.
We took a trip to a swamp in Southern Georgia with a crazy sounding name, Okefenokee. The swamp is pretty massive and full of spiders, alligators, snakes, and godless killing machines, aka bears. Consequently, I am not about to go camping here anytime soon! I took this 4 vertical shot panorama from the top of a lookout tower that was about 50 feet high. AutoPano Pro is pretty amazing software for stitching. I had a tripod set up for these shots, but the wind was blowing and 3 people on top of a lookout had the top swaying quite a bit, yet it still seems to have stitched even the foliage without a hitch.
The city you see on the other side is Turkey’s fifth most populated city, Adana. There is an American Air Base minutes away from this city. It is kind of arid, dusty, and dingy compared to what most Americans are used to, so most of them think Adana is a terrible place. I, however, love it. Where else can you get some of the best food in the world for cheap while watching people drag 100ft long bundles of rebar down the street in the middle of traffic while an old man squats in the median to relieve himself? It feels like a different planet, but there are hidden gems all over the place.
I finally bought an Arca-Swiss plate for my 70-200 tripod foot so I can start getting some landscape and architectural shots with this most excellent lens. I have really liked the results, although, if it gets very windy, I find that my carbon fiber tripod is a little bit too much on the travel size to be able to handle long exposure shots with the 70-200 mounted up there without getting a little blur. It was a bit windy this evening, so I had to hang my entire bag on the tripod to ensure all exposures would come out sharp.
I have only a couple of weeks left here in Japan and kept realizing that there were quite a few shots that I did not have due to my short notice move to Turkey before last summer. Now that I am back, I now have only a few weekends left before leaving Japan for good. We basically only had this last weekend as our only time when we don’t have something planned and getting a good shot of Fuji was one of “those shots” I was missing out on. So we threw our sleeping bags into our small little Toyota Starlet to camp out on Friday night for a 4am viewing of Fuji across Lake Motosu as long as our luck way for clear viewing conditions.
Two people sleeping in a Toyota Starlet goes against the grain of the universe and I would never recommend anyone ever try that. On top of not being able to sleep in 3 cubic feet worth of space, I also omitted my allergy meds, and allergies in Japan kick my ass. Luckily the weather cooperated and we had our first clear skies in what seemed like weeks. Not only did we get an awesome viewing at Lake Motosu, but we were also able to get some nice warm light paint on Fuji across nearby Lake Saiko.
One more from my day in Yokohama. The cherry blossoms are starting to bloom, so hopefully I will finally be posting up some decent hanami shots after this weekend, hanami NOT from Yokohama.
Tonight is kind of sad since it may be the last time that I ever make it into the city of Adana before I leave for Japan. A lot of good times were had the first time I lived here since it is where I met, dated, and married my wife. Adana feels like such a foreign land compared to any other place I have ever been and I really love it. The crazy shit you see people do here is always entertaining as well! Anyways, me and my buddy found this bridge underpass and used my SB-600 light to create the shadow of me and then painted the scene with green and blue LED key chain lights.
Not your usual long tail-boat-on-a-nice-deserted-white-sand-paradise-beach picture. This was only about 15 yards from the edge of the beach so they were able to wait until low tide to remedy the situation. These long boats are really damn smoggy and noisy when operating and I secretly wouldn’t have missed this one if it was totally enveloped by the sea, but on the other hand there aren’t a lot of other options to get back and forth between Railay. Still, I have no idea why Thais utilize these slow, inefficient, and completely archaic long boats?
Sneak attack from behind!
I decided to leave Demonicus–my trusty tripod–at home for my recent trip to Istanbul. I wanted to give my D700 a good high ISO workout since I know I will be going back to Istanbul many more times in the future. There was one site we visited that I had never visited before and I was very, very impressed with it. I really had to fight to get some usable shots though since it was the underground Basilica Cistern, which is very dark inside. It had a decent wooden rail to place the camera on, but even at ISO 4,000, I still had to take some long exposures and the wooden railing wasn’t quite cutting it since I had to actually press down on the camera to keep it balanced.
I decided to give this the HDR treatment as well, I like the way they look coming out of this camera and the cistern had so many neat textures and and cool reflections that are really brought out with HDR.
Perv shots sell… or so I am told. I am an equal opportunity photographer and just because some ladies happened to find themselves into a mildly interesting frame that I attempted to capture with my camera is no reason to discriminate and not take the shot and/or post online.. Right? This first one was taken at the Topkapı Palace when me and a buddy found an empty pool beside a walkway and some interesting lighting. We tried and tried to get some interesting shots, but the human subjects were not cooperating. This one was one of the few decent shots, but I had to crop a whole lot out to make it interesting.
This next one I saw these two walking up to the window and my photography senses started to tingle, but I had my 14-24 wide angle lens on and didn’t want to run up about 3 feet behind these ladies to get the shot; so I dropped my bag on the floor and rushed to switch out my lens, fired off two shots as fast as I could while still kneeling, then they walked away. This scene had massive amounts of dynamic range so I had to do a lot of work in Photoshop after trying to compress that range. I ended up trying black and white which helped the grain take on a more film-like look.