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).


4. I’m glad it was mellow.


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



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.




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






July 30, 2009


Filed under: Canon 5d Mark II, Lensbaby, photography — vaughnsphotoart @ 9:07 am

1. A steeple stands in for broken wrought iron.

2. children and adults.

3. A well dressed pole.

4. Tagged.

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.

May 24, 2009

High Dynamic Range Imagery

Filed under: Canon 5d Mark II, HDR, HDRI, photography — vaughnsphotoart @ 9:46 pm

The batch from the tunnel didn’t work out due to a lack of bright data (I really did need the tripod after all) but I think I’ve got the hang of it now with properly exposed photos and the newer software. The photos show some differences due to variations in the settings… I’m still deciding what I want these things to look like.

HDRI = High Dynamic Range Imagery. Take multiple photos of a wide contrast scene, varying the exposure up and down to capture the full range of data available. Using special software, you combine the images, and use tone-mapping to convert the scene-wide contrast into “micro-contrast”. This compresses the tonal range a bit, and enables details that would have been lost to come through.

Here’s some images I made a couple years back to explain it…
http://www.vaughnsphotoart.com/miscimg/hdr1.jpg (3 exposures)
http://www.vaughnsphotoart.com/miscimg/hdr2.jpg (result)







May 23, 2009

Abandoned Mine Tunnel

Filed under: Canon 5d Mark II, photography — vaughnsphotoart @ 9:22 am




I had hoped to have some high dynamic range images for you, but that hasn’t been going so well. For one thing, my tripod was in the car, which was with Melanie in Big Stone Gap. Beyond that though, I just having trouble getting the HDRI’s to come out. I’m not sure if it’s that the source images were too dark, or I just don’t have the knack of the settings. But I’m having trouble making anything that is an improvement over a regular image.

The rest of these images are the surrounding area.






9. [info]ezerick in the background… A rather large piece of concrete in the foreground


April 14, 2009














These were taken at Grandfather Mtn, NC, with a Canon 5d mkII and a Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3.

April 10, 2009


Filed under: Canon 5d Mark II, photography, Sigma APO 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM — vaughnsphotoart @ 9:31 am

Wandering downtown on a recently drizzly and cold day, I saw:





March 19, 2009

Grandfather Mountain & Luna

From two weekends ago, at Grandfather Mountain. Yes. I have been that slow.

Took this in the front yard… actually put it on the tripod, used mirror lockup, etc.

These were shot with a Canon 5d Mark II, and a Sigma APO 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM, except the ladder shot. That one was the Canon 17-40mm f/4.0 L.

March 3, 2009

First Batch from the Canon 5d Mark II

Filed under: Canon 5d Mark II, people photography, photography — Tags: — vaughnsphotoart @ 10:05 pm

So I recently acquired one of these:

It’s taking some getting used to. Minor differences in controls, minor differences in judgement. Just enough to throw me off. This is the first batch of photos from the camera I am happy enough with to share.

We’ll start with the lovely Melanie:

Hannah and Lorelei, wanting Arbys

Painting on the side of the cool shop downtown…

Different shot, same subject, blasting the black, texture, and saturation…

Dude… wtf

This one makes my happy tingle.

This lil bird is puffed up against the cold. I think i focused on the branch in front. :(

Another one for my happy center.

These kids were shooting a movie of some sort… camera girl is out of the frame.

Apocalyptic, isn’t it.

Another cold bird.

… and there goes the last of the light.

February 8, 2009

Queen Anne’s Loss

This past weekend I took Lorelei, Hannah and Storm up to Roan Mountain. We had intended to head to Cloudland but the gate was closed. We instead parked and went up into the balds of Carver’s Gap. In the summertime this would probably be a low meadow full of Queen Anne’s Lace, but now everything is dry and dead and flat. The Queen Anne’s Lace stems have turned stark white, and are all bent in the same direction by the wind. They looked like the bones of a forgotten, spindley alien. I liked the stark white contrast against the darker trees and rocks.

While down at ground level, I also shot this silhouette-ish shot of the weeds against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

January 4, 2009


Filed under: canon 5d, photography — vaughnsphotoart @ 5:22 pm

January 2, 2009

buoyant regular hexahedron

Filed under: canon 5d, photography — vaughnsphotoart @ 11:37 am

November 24, 2008

Photos from LEAF, part 2

1. Tall girl.

2. Frisbee dude, catching

3. Frisbee dude, throwing

4. Out behind the main stage

5. Storm caught this, and also found the pottery she put it in.

6. Juggler with light-up pins

7. They change colors. :)




11. Shorter exposure

12. Looonger exposure

13. Just liked this one because it is surreal


15. Storm making faces

16. Switching to fire…


18. This was my favorite of the fire pics.

November 1, 2008

out at the old airfield

Filed under: black and white photography, canon 5d, photography — vaughnsphotoart @ 9:07 pm

October 31, 2008

the old steamplant

Filed under: abandoned, black and white photography, canon 5d, photography, ruins — vaughnsphotoart @ 5:37 pm

A somewhat spooky shot, for Halloween.

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