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“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.”  Carl Jung

I reached back to November for this shot – taken on Treasure Island with San Francisco in the background.  I had one camera on the tripod, and the other in my hands that I was shooting back with.  I was a bit surprised when I saw the light trails in the road behind me.  I had set the shutter speed slow on purpose – looking for the motion blur.  The light trails are a bonus!

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“No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.”  Ansel Adams

I’ve become fascinated by the whole concept of long exposure photography.  We’ve bought some ND filters, so now I can explore this medium in daylight whereas before I could only do it at night.  It’s a whole new learning curve, and is teaching me even more about the requirements of a good photograph and about how light affects everything – whether there is lack of it or not.  Today I played around with creating a silky effect of the ocean waves washing ashore over the lava rocks on the beach.  Longer exposures (2 seconds up to 30 seconds seem to create a whispy, dreamy effect while faster shutter speeds (1/4 or 1/2 second) create the long, silky ribbon effect.  These are all done with a .4 and .8 ND filter stacked on my 70-200mm VRII lens).  I even stacked a polarizer for the longer exposures.  

The composite below is of my walking shoe impression in the sand (can’t climb the lava rocks in bare feet), and one of the long exposure shots I did.  This one was at 3 seconds.

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“I get my best ideas in a thunderstorm.  I have the power and majesty of nature on my side.”  Ralph Steadman

The Island of Kauai was enveloped by a huge storm front with rain and thunderstorms.  Interestingly enough, the storms skirted around the eastern side of the Island and left the North Shore virtually untouched.  However, we could see the storm off in the distance as it ventured it’s way east over the ocean.  Headed for the mainland I guess!  The lightening lit up the sky like it was daylight – even from our vantage point.  We quickly gathered our tripod, camera and Neutral Density filters to try and get some lightning bolts.  It took quite a few attempts and long exposures but we were finally successful.  

Another shot I wanted to try was using the pop-flash technique.  Glen held an off camera flash unit, as did I.  I set the self timer, and during a long exposure (almost 7 seconds) each one of us popped the flash at a different time.  When I was editing the photos I realized I only had one good lightening shot, and it wasn’t in any of the pop-flash shots.  So – Photoshop here I come!  I combined two of the best photographs, created a layer mask and masked in the lightening bolt.  

Love the magic of Photoshop!

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