Midnight Moonbow

I don’t remember if I’ve posted this shot on the blog before.  It was taken during my first night at Yosemite National Park a couple of years back (April of 2013), around midnight. A crystal clear night…not a cloud in the sky.  The waterfalls (especially the upper falls) were in bloom thanks to the late April snow melt.

A bright full moon created a moonbow from the mist of the upper falls.

Taken with the Nikon D800, and the Nikkor Noct 58mm lens at f/4, ISO 800, 30s.
Upper and Lower Falls

Off to Blackwater Falls

Finally, after waiting over a year to go, I am heading off to Blackwater State Park tonight.  The Park is located right in the middle of EBF, West Virginia…a few miles southwest of the world famous town of Davis.  Google maps is telling me the drive should take about 3.5 hours.

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 4.39.38 PM

The main purpose for the trip is to photograph a few of the many waterfalls in the area, specifically Elakala Falls…which from my research seems to be the most photogenic of the falls.

The ideal conditions to shoot a waterfall are just after a rain shower under cloudy skies, when the rocks are still wet and shiny.  Put on a polarizer to minimize the glare, and the deep saturation and texture leap through the lens.  Thunderstorms are in the forecast for the area over the next couple of days…hopefully I’ll get lucky and have a chance to shoot the area just after a nice downpour.

On a completely unrelated note, I am leaning toward sleeping in my car tonight once I get there.  TripAdvisor.com is telling me there are hotel rooms available in nearby Canaan Valley, but they seem a bit pricey.  Plus, it’s much easier to wake up and get moving pre-dawn when you’re in a car seat and your lower back is on fire…as opposed to trying to get out of a warm, comfy bed at 4:30am.

Spa Creek Bridge

This is one of the oldest shots I’ve taken with a full frame camera.  It was a passive touristy sort of shot, with just a circular polarizer affixed to the font of the lens and *gasp* no tripod.  No work went into the prep…just saw it and shot.

The Spa Creek Bridge in Annapolis connects State Street and Compromise Street in the downtown harbor.  For my money especially during the golden hours, this is one of the most  beautiful places in Maryland.

I was standing along the top of the bridge when I got this shot, looking west to what I believe is the Charles Carroll House.

Even though it was sunny out, there were patches of thick clouds to help the polarizer diffuse some of the sun.

Nikon D700 with Nikkor 28-300mm lens at 70mm, ISO 100, f.8 at 1/00s.

 

Downtown as seen from Spa Creek during the middle of the day.

Downtown as seen from Spa Creek during the middle of the day.

Sebastian

sebastian

 

This is Sebastian, our 15 year old silver Persian…although he was 10 when this image was taken.

Shot with the Nikon D700 and 50 f/1.4 lens at 1.4, ISO 800, 1/125s, no flash.

If I could only recommend one prime lens to someone, it would be the 50 f/1.4 .  In my opinion, it’s the finest lens on the market when you include all factors (weight, portability, sharpness throughout the aperture range, price, etc…).  It was the first lens I ever purchased, and I still own it and use it.

If you’re a beginner or novice in photography, I recommend you purchase or rent this lens.  Especially indoors, this lens rocks at f/1.4.   Just open up the aperture, set your ISO to 800, and you can shoot indoors all day long without a flash.