Storm Brewing

I think it’s time to take a break from the mill images, and post some something different.     I found this rundown barn on my way to a local farm a few weeks ago.  The stormy clouds in the background added some nice drama to the overall scene, so I pulled over and grabbed some brackets.  A little PhotoEffects and some FocalPoint from OnOne Software, and I was done.


Well, it was more like immediately before the storm.  The elapsed time from when I pressed the shutter to when the rain started coming down was unfortunately not equal to the time it took to find shelter from said rain.  Luckily there was a few minutes of light rain before the deluge came, and myself and my equipment were able to stay mostly dry.  I’ve found that some of the best images contain a sky that’s about to punish you for standing under it.


Before we get to today’s image, I wanted to say thank you for all the feedback regarding the new blog design.  It’s still a work in progress, and your input means a lot to me.  I truly appreciate everyone taking the time to leave comments and thoughts.   So thank you.

As for today’s post, it appears my lighthouse obsession continues.  This is Graves Light which is located at the outer end of Boston Harbor.  It’s not accessible to the public, and is best seen by boat which is how I got this shot.  It was late morning, and the sky lacked any nice color, so I decided to process this in B&W.  Tonemapping the brackets brought out some nice detail in the clouds which looked much better in monochrome.  What really impresses me with this image is the power of post-processing software.  I grabbed these brackets while balancing on the deck of a relatively small fishing boat, which is a far cry from my usual tripod set-up or even just standing on firm ground.  But even though each bracket was slightly off from the others, Photomatix was able to line up everything perfectly.  I know we take some of this stuff for granted these days, but every so often I’m reminded how amazing and powerful it really is.


Today’s post is another image of the Tall Ships that were in Boston last week.  This is the KRI Dewaruci, which is the largest tall ship in the Indonesian Navy.  As with the ships I posted about here, it’s used as a sail-training vessel for naval cadets, and also as a goodwill ambassador for Indonesia to the rest of the world.  I was thrilled that the sky was cooperating the morning that I was there, but was disappointed that the tides decided not to cooperate with the sky.  It was low tide at sunrise, and as a result, I could really only capture the masts and sails set against the morning colors.  I of course still like the final image, but would have preferred to have been able to show more of the ship itself.


Well I’m back after a week of vacation at home and time away from the blog.  I had a fantastic week with my family full of fun day trips and some much needed R&R.  While I certainly love to take vacations to new and interesting places, sometimes a staycation at home is still the best.

Last week we were fortunate here in Boston as the city hosted Boston Harborfest, the War of 1812 bicentennial celebrations, Navy Week, and OpSail Boston.  These overlapping events meant that Boston played host to numerous ships and boats, including some of the Tall Ships.  These two ships, the Guayas from Ecuador and the Gloria from Colombia, were docked at Fish Pier, and are just incredibly impressive and beautiful ships.  The Guayas is a 257 foot long Ecuadorian Naval Academy ship, teaching seamanship and navigation skills to naval cadets.  The Gloria, at 249 feet, is the official flagship of the Colombian Navy, and was commissioned in 1968 as a sail-training ship, similar to the Guayas.  I woke up real early to grab some shots at sunrise before the crowds, and was pleasantly surprised with both a nice sunrise, as well as finding the lights still lit on both ships.  I’m endlessly fascinated with the Tall Ships, and will post some more images in the near future.


I was about 5 minutes late on the beautiful sunset color we had the other night, so I decided to try a B&W long exposure instead.  At 8 minutes, this was the longest exposure I’ve tried so far, and it really had a nice effect on  the clouds.  I had to mask out a few random headlights/tail lights from passing cars, and then converted it to black and white by just using Lightroom’s controls.  Every so often, I find it therapeutic to use the more simple controls in LR as opposed to PS, Topaz, etc.


Happy Monday, and I hope everyone had a nice weekend.  Here in the northeast we had the classic summer combo of absolutely beautiful weather mixed in with some nasty storms.  This shot was taken right after some t-storms had passed just before the sun set.  I had to scramble to catch the last of the color, and found this spot not too far from my house.  By the time this long exposure was finished, the color was fading, and I was hopeful that I had managed to get something good.  Fortunately the 2 minute exposure really helped to bring out the colors in the sky and the reflection in the water.


Happy Monday, and I hope all the dads had a fantastic Father’s Day.  My family and I had the opportunity to spend the day out on a friend’s boat yesterday, and although this was a day of R&R, I did manage to take a few pictures from time to time.  This is a shot of the Boston skyline seen from the inner harbor.  The New England Aquarium is near the center of the frame, and you can also see the historic Custom House tower on the right-hand side.  The weather was as good as looks in this picture, with bright sun, a few clouds, and temps in the low 70s.  I couldn’t have asked for a better Father’s Day.


Today’s post comes from Gloucester, MA.  This is one of those places that I’ve driven past several times, and finally decided to stop and grab a few shots.  It’s also a place that looks much better against a stormy sky than a sunny or colorful one.  Or at least to me it does.

Camera settings: ISO 200, f/8, 18mm, 10 second exposure


I can’t seem to get enough of these boardwalks that lead down to the beach.  While they are all typically made from wood or composite, that’s where the similarities among them ends.  Each has its own personality in either its age, color, its chosen path to the beach, etc.  It seems that no two are actually alike, and that means plenty of great photo opportunities like this one.  For this shot, the colors were a little flat and muted, so I decided to process it in black and white.  I think I like this version better than the color one as the focus is now only about tones, textures and lines.

Camera settings: ISO 200, f/13, 24 mm, 3 brackets tonemapped in Photomatix and processed in PhotoTools 2.6 and LR 3.