a First Person Shooter of Sorts

August 17, 2009

the timber rattler I saw yesterday

1. I submit for your consideration one timber rattler, approximate age 14 years old, who was cooperative enough to let me take these photos of it.

2. A good set of rattles… it acquires a new one each time it sheds. They shed every 1-2 years… 1.4 years on average (thus my age estimate).

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4. I’m glad it was mellow.

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6. The reason I was up there… to see the Pinnacle Mountain Fire Tower

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9. There was a combination of two reasons that stopped me from going to the top. First, the stairs were missing. You can see where the stairs should be there is still a handrail, and brackets for the steps. I was game to climb this, and began doing so. That’s when the second factor kicked in… a nest full of very energetic hornets was being shaken with each step I took, and they began to swarm. I didn’t want to get up there and get attacked while unable to make a quick (and safe) descent, so I decided discretion was the better part of valor.

10. The building at the base of the tower.

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14. In addition to venomous snakes, there was an abundant variety of mushrooms in the area.

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August 13, 2009

Some shots from a hike on Buffalo Mountain, Johnson City, TN

Filed under: Canon 17-40mm f/4.0L, Canon 5d Mark II, landscape photography, nature photography — vaughnsphotoart @ 10:32 am

1. Leaves along the trail on Buffalo Mountain

2. Sunshine breaks through the canopy

3. Trail to the overlook on Buffalo Mountain

4. Remains from the fire last year.

5. Tangled remains

May 29, 2009

Looooong exposures are your friend

Filed under: Canon 17-40mm f/4.0L, Canon 5d Mark II, nature photography, photography — vaughnsphotoart @ 12:59 pm

So I went to the quarry cave again, this time with nonspecific. I hooked up the remote switch and set the camera to the bulb setting, so I could hold the shutter open as long as I wanted. Then came the fun part… using my extra-bright flashlights to “paint” the cave with light, only lighting the areas I wanted. It was nearly dark by the time we left, and definitely dark by the time we made it back to the car. As nightfall approached, a heavy mist settled into the cave, making for a surreal experience. When the lights were off, it was pure black, and when on, it seemed pure white, and you could barely see any better. Also strange, was that just 10 or 15 feet apart, and I couldn’t understand Kara at all, due to all the echoes. In short, I had a blast. :)

Then suddenly, photos:

Near the entrance:

Exposure Time: 30.000 s
Aperture: f/5.0
ISO equiv: 400
Lighting: natural lighting from left, lesser so from right, fill-in by flashlight

Side chamber:

Exposure Time: 77.000 s
Aperture: f/7.1
ISO equiv: 800
Lighting: generous and erratic use of 2 high-power flashlights :)

Side chamber:

Exposure Time: 156.000 s
Aperture: f/7.1
ISO equiv: 800
Lighting: No flashlights close the camera or within line-of-site of the lens. Two flashlights were held fairly still for about 45 seconds, and then waved around for fill lighting for the remainder. This seemed to work well, and cut down on the mist haze, getting a crisp view of the far wall.

I also took more HRDI fodder, we’ll see how that goes.

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