It was 2017 since we have visited the McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area. Although we have this on the calendar every year, there are some obstacles to going every year. Firstly, the sunflowers are planted so that they bloom around the hottest time of the year. Additionally, the middle of summer has been busy with other photography projects. This year, however, I am much slower on photography project. So maybe this will be the time to go back.
Thinking of visiting the fields, this would be a great way to social distance! Surely the weather will not be forgiving. It is already hazy, hot, and humid as per usual in this area.
Also looking at these photos, we were very lucky with the day we visited. At this time, I only had my phone with me. Given that this was a spontaneous decision to visit, I will plan better if we got this year. Undoubtedly I’ll bring one of my proper cameras and experiment with some ideas I am previsualizing. To be sure I’ll have the website on a shortlist to visit daily until the flowers are ready. If anyone would like to collaborate on some photos, let’s plan to meet out there!
If you follow any photography blogs, they probably have a post of ‘Fireworks Photo Tips’ this week. Obviously, this site is focused on photos, so here is my take! Firstly, I enjoy watching fireworks shows. Since it is both an audio, and visual experience, I do not want to spend the entire night concentrating on photos. Thus, I make my setup flexible for me to both capture images while enjoying the show live. As can be seen in the following photo, this is my setup:
At this time, I mounted the camera on a tripod with a 24mm wide-angle lens. Additionally, I installed a remote release so that I could open the shutter without having my hand on the camera. This is the small cord coming out of the left of the camera body. For camera settings, I have the shutter speed set on ‘bulb’. When you have the camera in this mode, you can control when the shutter opens and closes by pressing on the remote release.
With this in mind, I point the camera in the direction of where I think the fireworks will be exploding overhead. With the wide angle lens, there is a good chance that I will get the fireworks in the frame. Moreover, in your post-processing application, you can crop to a nice composition later. Since the backgrounds are dark and the subjects are just streaks of light, these files can handle a lot of cropping.
When I see the firework shot into the sky, I press the remote to open the shutter. Soon after the brightest flash, I close the shutter again to capture the full explosion. You will likely have to spot check during the show to see a result. However, don’t take too long! Adjust your timing quickly so you can go back to watching the show at the same time. Happy 4th!
This summer, we expect to have an explosion of cicadas – 17 years after the last time this brood was above ground. Since the last time they were around, their nymphs have been buried underground. Although it is unknown how or why they have such a long dormant time, it is precisely timed. So do not be alarmed if you are awakened by their loud buzzing later this summer! Being that the first time I remember this phenomenon was the summer before my wedding, I will have this strange date range in mind.
On this occasion, I found some cicadas sitting on large leaves in my garden. It was not moving at all even though I was adjusting my camera and flashes on stands. In this case, I used a macro lens to get the camera as close to the cicada as I could. Surprisingly, it did not move even as I got the flash and lens remarkably close to its face!