Photo of the Week - January 20, 2012

Snow turns to Ice
The Great Storm of 2012
January 20, 2012
Olympia, WA

The 15 inches of snow that fell in our yard were followed by over 12 hours of freezing rain. The freezing rain laid a sheet of ice up to 1/2 inch thick on everything - trees, branches, roofs, sidewalks. The weight of all that ice on top of the thick blanket of snow was a recipe for disaster.

Our power went out on Thursday morning at 8 AM. It was restored on Sunday morning at 10:30 AM. In every yard on our block evidence of the storm's power lays on the ground in the form of large tree limbs, smaller branches. Along our street and Capitol Way, ancient deciduous trees up to 30 inches in diameter are split, as though a logger with a giant maul was chopping straight through the tree. It will take weeks to clean everything up. And, the landscape of Olympia will be altered for years to come.

On a side note: Thanks to all the great people who were out making life a bit easier during the storm. From the folks at the Tumwater Safeway who were operating their store despite having no lights, to the neighbors helping to clear brush and checking on one another, and to the people who had power or heat and shared their homes with those who didn't - Thank you.

Photo of the Week - January 18, 2012

Photo of the Week
January 18, 2012

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
This week's photo can be reduced to one all-encompassing and ever descriptive word: snow.

Today, Olympia received enough snow in a 24 hour period for this to be considered
one of the top 5 snow storms since the weather began being recorded in Olympia.

To learn more about the Winged Victory Monument
on the Washington State Capitol Campus,
click here

To learn more about the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial
in Olympia, click here

Snow in Olympia

Tuesday at 9 AM
Wednesday at 9 AM

The Effects of Shutter Speed on Snow Falling

It is snowing outside and some of you are sitting in front of your computers instead of being outside taking photos! Or, at least photographing through the windows of your cozy house.

Since we rarely get snow around here in Western Washington, I thought it might be helpful to give you some ideas on what shutter speeds work best for the look you are trying to achieve.

Be sure to note that these are not specific suggestions of combinations. Your actual shutter speed and aperture combination will depend on how much light is available when you take the photos. If you shoot in Shutter Priority (Tv or S) and choose your shutter speed, your camera will set the f-stop for you. If you shoot in Aperture Priority (Av or A) and choose your f-stop, the camera will choose the correct shutter speed for you.

In order to get the full range of shutter speeds shown here, I did have to change my ISO. The majority of the shots were taken at ISO 400. The fastest shutter speeds required ISO 800 to let in more light. If I had needed a shutter speed longer than 1/4 second, then I would have needed to lower my sensitivity to ISO 100.

All photos are equivalent exposures and had the same cropping and brightness correction applied to them.

Click on any photo to see it full sized.

ISO 800    1/1000    f/2.8

ISO 400    1/250    f/4

ISO 400    1/60    f/8

ISO 400    1/30    f/11

ISO 400    1/15    f/16

ISO 400    1/8    f/22

ISO 400    1/4    f/32

Photo of the Week - January 8, 2012

Photo of the Week
January 8, 2012

An imaginary place I visited on my vacation.

When I am asked what I did on my vacation and what the high points were, I am always at a bit of a loss; there are often small moments in time on a vacation that are meaningful but don't photograph well. I decided to resolve this dilemma for my current vacation by capturing several of the highlights in a single image.

Included in this image is an irrigation canal north of Blythe, CA on the Colorado River, pelicans and an avocet from the Salton Sea, the nearly full moon and the Imperial Sand Dunes - largest sand dunes in the state of California.

The story is all my imagination. I hope you enjoy my vacation as much as I did.

Photo of the Week - January 1, 2012

Photo of the Week
16th Annual Model Train Festival
Tacoma, WA
Washington State Historical Society

"Celebrate the season with the sights and sounds of model train displays that will transport you back to the days when the iron horse was king. From scaled-down steam engines weighing half a ton to people no bigger than a fingernail, the model railroad displays throughout the History Museum will entertain and delight you.

These local clubs are providing model train layouts: 4D PNR HO Modular Group, 4D NTRAK Group, Mount Rainier N-Scale, Pierce County Lionel Club, Tacoma Northwestern Model Railroad Club, and Boeing Employees Model Railroad Club. Plus, the Puget Sound Model Railroad Engineers will be on hand to operate their masterpiece—the largest permanent model railroad layout in the state. Washington Operation Lifesaver, a program dedicated to preventing and reducing accidents at highway–rail grade crossings, will have an information booth set up at the event. Organized by the Washington State History Museum."

Check out the Tacoma News Tribune article on the event here

Photo of the Week - January 1, 2012

A new kind of New Year's Ball Drop
Martin Building/Flat Win Company Rave
and New Year's Block Party

Olympia, WA
January 1, 2012

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