Welcome to our blog!

Thanks for visiting our blog. If you'd like to get updates when we publish a new post, please enter your email in the follow by email box to the right. Alternatively, you can follow using an RSS reader (I personally use NewsBlur combined with GrazeRSS for Android).

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Berea Hot Air Balloon Glow

Setting Up (both them and me)

Last weekend Erin and I went to Berea for their Spoonbread Festival. Well, actually, we really went for the hot air balloon glow. We didn't end up eating any spoonbread since Erin wasn't that interested in getting any, and I would have had to interrogate anyone selling it because of my wheat allergy. This was my first time going to a balloon glow, so I wasn't sure exactly what to expect going in. I took my tripod, a remote trigger and my 17-40 lens. The 17-40 was definitely the right lens.


I really wish they had done more glowing when the sun was setting. There's a nice window where the sky has lots of color in it and the balloons would have been a decent match, exposure-wise. Unfortunately, the above picture during the first glow was a little too late for that time.

After spending a while watching and hanging out, we ventured closer to the balloons. The area all around them was open, which was pretty cool.

My Favorite Balloon

It was quite warm this close to the balloon and it actually felt pretty good since it had started cooling off by this time. I think it would have been pretty cool if I had a fisheye lens to have taken a picture from the ground in the middle of all the balloons. Of course, I don't have a fisheye lens, and probably wouldn't have the guts to lay down in the middle of all those people to try to get a shot like that.

We definitely enjoyed the hot air balloon glow. I'd like to go to another one, particularly if the balloons were floating.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Buffalo Trace Distillery Barrel Room

Erin and I went to Buffalo Trace Distillery last weekend, and it reminded me of this picture. It's been on my Zenfolio for a while, but I've been meaning to post it on the blog. This is probably my favorite picture that I've ever taken.

I decided to convert it to black and white because of the mixed lighting. It was taken in July 2013 when I went on a distillery tour with a large group of friends (college friends were in town for our wedding celebration party).

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Amazing Flying Abigail

Turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks

It's been too long since I've really written a post on here. (even longer for some people... :cough:Erin:cough:) The Abbyversary post doesn't really count, since it didn't really involve any writing. I have lots of ambition and ideas for posts, even some that I've started but I'm a busy/easily distracted person and completing things that don't really matter isn't exactly my strong suit.

Back to the topic: Erin has been teaching Abby to jump through an exercise hoop that we got a while back. (Side note: 2.5 lbs is not easy on your midsection when hula hooping. or your legs when you fail at hula hooping) The hardest part was convincing Abby that it was safe to go through the hoop at all. After that, she was happy to jump through it for a treat.

Keeping her eye on the prize

When we got Abby a little over a year ago, she had some arthritis issues with one of her knees in her hind legs. The vet recommended that we put her on Cosequin, and the relief it's given her is really quite amazing. She used to limp on it all the time, especially badly after laying down for a while. Now we rarely see her limp, usually just after longer walks. And she just generally seems much more comfortable with that leg.

The whole slideshow is below.

And now to geek out a little:

This one's really noisy because it was over 5 stops under-exposed (flash didn't get enough time to recycle)

The picture above is really quite impressive. Not because it has any real merit, other than the rather hilarious expression on Abby's face (click to enlarge), but really just because of the detail that was able to be recovered from a picture that was pretty much black, all thanks to RAW. I think it could even be cleaned up more if I was a little better at post-processing. Here's the original with the levels untouched:

If you look at the zoomed in view you can just barely make out Abby's shape

And just for the sake of comparison, I exported a 100% quality JPEG from the unadjusted exposure and brought its levels up in Lightroom.

Still a little detail there, but nowhere near what the RAW file could recover and most of the color is lost

Friday, November 21, 2014

Happy Abbyversary!

Today, it's been one year since we got this sweet dog. Happy Abbyversary!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Well Crafted Music Fest

The Lineup

First post in a while, and now I've stayed up way too late working on it. My backlog of posts I want to make is huge, with some things over a year old I'd like to get out there. I keep thinking I'll post more frequently but then I get busy and it doesn't happen. Of course, before I know it winter will be here and I'll have too much time on my hands.

Erin and I recently attended the first night of the Well Crafted Music Festival at Shaker Village, thanks to our friends Jamil and Suzanne, who had won tickets for Friday night. This was the first show I've been to in some time, and it was a great reminder that I should get out and enjoy a show every once in a while.

Friday, May 30, 2014

European Starling Battles

Chaos! (I count 9, maybe 10 in this frame)

One day back in January I found the motivation to fill our suet feeder. This attracted the attention of a bunch of European starlings, and Erin and I got to see (and hear) a lot of crazy antics by our visitors. Of course, every time I stepped out the door to take some pictures they would scatter and it was really cold so I gave up. About a week later, the starlings "rediscovered" the suet and a ton converged on the feeder. This time around, I set the camera up on a tripod and used a remote trigger to take pictures. Below are a few of my favorites.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Camelopardalid Meteor Shower

Just an airplane, unfortuately

Friday night/Saturday morning was the Camelopardalid meter shower. Predictions said that it could potentially be spectacular, and the weather was cooperative so Erin and I headed out on our back patio a little after 2am to watch. Well, it wasn't as awesome as hoped, but still not bad. Erin spotted 3 meteors, while I didn't spot any. That's what I get for fiddling with my camera.

Of course, the best ones happened before the projected peak according to Astro Bob, which is a shame. I suppose the lesson is to just get out early and enjoy the clear skies (and set my camera up early too...). The good news is that I did capture some pictures of them since I left the camera out capturing continuous frames. None of the meteor pictures are really any good though, and the volume of meteors was disappointing. Making lemons out of lemonade, I did make a startrail so at least there's that. I think this is my best startrail yet. There's even a meteor pretty clearly visible in the lower right.