Thursday, February 27, 2014


I like tripods.  I know several photographer who don't like tripods because they're restricting.  They don't like to use them if they can help it.  Me? I like to use them.  I like the way they can move.  I find myself wanting a new tripod ever so often because I just like to play them.  I admit it, I'm a little over-imaginative sometimes. If you're having trouble reading this because of the constantly spinning image above, I completely understand. I had only a little trouble with that while I wrote it.  Basically I put the center column horizontally and then I took a picture facing the column, turned the ball head, took another, and so on. This is in my dad's house.  I think we might have been watching old James Bond movies, like with Sean Connery.  I like this gif because it throws the whole world around while keeping one thing in place, the center column.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Revolution is a TV show that started in 2012.  I just started watching it on Netflix.  By "just" I mean that I finished the third episode, right in a row, and then started this post a few minutes later.  I started watching it, actually just heard about it, because I was looking up blackouts. I take a lot of pictures and like to take them in the dark where I can provide all of the light myself.  Blackouts aren't good in that they shut down water pumps and heat and whatever else runs on electricity, which is basically everything these days.  But who doesn't know that?  What's really interesting about power outages is the way it looks.  I love seeing only a few things glowing amongst giant shadows of buildings.  I not only like how it looks, I like the idea of being able to use my flashlights. 

I have a lot of flashlights which are nearly all LEDs.  I have a really bright one that is a modern lantern.  I have a tough foot long plastic one that is also quite bright.  I have a large and small waterproof flashlight.  I have one of those neck lights that you can bend around.  I have a flashlight that has five green LEDs.  I have a three AAA Maglite that I like because I can take off the reflector and it produces a nice even light.  I have a little yellow one that has four white LEDs, two red LEDs, and two yellow LEDs with four functions.  Those are eight of my flashlights that I probably use the most, but I do have more.  I don't know why, but I just love the way it looks to go around with a small (or large) amount of light in a dark place.  Painting with light is definitely quite interesting.  

Revolution, however, is a very different thing than any normal blackout.  Unlike a normal one, this one affected the whole world and isn't being fixed.  It also somehow makes even small portable electric equipment not work.  When it showed the blackout occurring, it showed a highway of cars that suddenly stopped.  A wave seemed to travel into the distance as headlights and taillights went out a mile away.  The world that is left is full of riots until some guy takes control in a way I haven't yet discovered.  The whole thing is interesting to me not just because of the lack of power (since none of my flashlights would work that part isn't as fun) but because of the end times spoken of in the Bible.

In the show there are still people who are preaching in the streets and stuff but it's nothing like it will be.  I do believe the Bible and try to read it everyday.  I also talk to Jesus everyday.  It's called praying of course, but it's not just asking for things.  There's much more to praying than just asking God for things and then going about the day.  But I might be getting ahead of myself.  In the Bible Jesus himself talks about the end times.  One thing he says in Matthew chapter 24 (24:12) is "And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold." Lawlessness is essentially not being under God's authority.  Jesus is saying that when people follow God's word less the love of many will grow cold.  I am reminded of the Catholic priest in the show who wanted Miles to be punished for starting the militia.  His love had grown cold.  

The end times will be much like this show in some ways but in others it will be vastly different.  The world is going to come under one government.  This will be a government that will seemingly have all the answers but it will not.  Those who are truly following the Lord Jesus Christ will quite possibly find themselves alone against an unruly government who despises them.  Daniel 11:32-35 says "He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.  And the wise among the people shall make many understand, though for some days they shall stumble by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder.  When they stumble, they shall receive a little help. And many shall join themselves to them with flattery,and some of the wise shall stumble, so that they may be refined, purified, and made white, until the time of the end, for it still awaits the appointed time." They will be purified until the time of the end.  God's people are being purified.  His church is being purified.  

So although Revolution is only a TV show, it brings up much in my mind about the plans of God.

Monday, February 24, 2014

More of Me

Here are a couple more from the same set of images that I used in the last one.  Which one looks the best?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Grass and a Wand

I mostly put these two images together because I liked the colors.  I decided to put them into Photoshop and see what I could accomplish using some layer modes and only a little erasing.  Here is what I got:

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Yellow Truck

I like this gif because it basically shows the difference between a telephoto lens and a wide angle lens.  I took it by taking pictures at a steady rate (as well as I could) and zooming out as I walked closer to the truck. A telephoto lens brings objects close together while a wide angle pushes the background away.  But since I was getting closer to the truck, it nearly stayed the same while the building goes much further away.

Just the Picture, Dancing Room

Here's the room with all of the frames in one picture, for those of you who can't see as well.

The Dancing Room

Friday, February 21, 2014

More Gifs

Light Sphere

Radio Signals

Me Running Down a hill and changing the leaves
Friends sliding up a railing backwards

Up the Stairs

Playing some Racko

Yes, my sister has some serious skills.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


I live in Illinois now but I grew up in southeast Iowa.  Much of my extended family lives in Topeka Kansas so I've taken that six-and-a-half hour drive often.  We used to take highway 2 along the bottom of Iowa for the first half of the journey.  My sister and I always enjoyed seeing "the Dinosaurs" when we passed a certain farm.  When I took this particular set of images I was driving to Topeka by myself and decided a picture was in order.  Thus, a great gif.
Somewhere along the red line

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Snow Adventures

A few days ago it snowed in the morning but was clear the rest of the day.  The end result was almost a foot of snow on the ground. I decided to go on a little bit of an adventure.  I drove to a rather large park that has some trails and many trees and hills called Forrest Park Nature Center.  It's at the bottom of a very steep curvy road that I rather enjoy driving down at unsafe speeds.  Needless to say, I went a little slower than usual with all the snow.

I like this image because the sign seems to point opposite of the road

I had my camera with me and started down one of the trails, which totally covered with snow.  It was obvious that a few people had been on the trails earlier but there was no one now.  I was wearing my Merrell waterproof shoes but what really kept my feet from being totally drenched were my socks.  The shoes kept snow out the bottom but when snow gets in the top then it usually gets cold fast.  I was wearing a pair of snowboarding socks made by Smartwool (PhD, medium cushion).  I don't snowboard and would probably cry like a baby the first time I fell but I do appreciate the socks.  I was walking, trudging, through snow that was continuously in contact with my pants, shoes, and socks but my feet hardly got wet.  The trail was ok because the snow on it had been somewhat flattened by previous hikers but upon leaving the trail I found myself quite grateful to have such amazing socks.

The reason I left the trail, despite seeing a few signs asking visitors such as myself not to, was because of the deer. Yes, I blame the animals.  I saw six or so deer cross the path ahead of me from my right on the edge of the park near some buildings and run up the snow-and-tree-covered hill on my left.  I decided to follow.  I only had a 55mm prime lens so I couldn't zoom.   I tried going closer and calling out to them but didn't really get a close image.  Eventually they just went too fast and were out of sight.

I continued to trudge up the hill all the way to the top.  The sun was close to setting in front of me and was beautiful sparkling over all the snow.  The light was great.  By this time I decided that I was ready to return to my nice warm car.  Although dry, my toes were starting to get a little cold. Soon I did find myself coming to another trail. Many twists and turns later I made it back to my car before it got dark.

I decided to go back to the park two nights later.  This time I took my small Osprey backpack, my portable Manfrotto tripod, and two bright Pelican flashlights.  I purposely arrived near dark because this time I wanted pictures at night.  This time I walked to the far end of the park.  I saw a field of deer but they were so far away as to be tiny and the snow drift was nearly as tall as my legs.  I returned to the now-well-worn path.  After going down a steep hill I came to a place where one tree had fallen on another and started to rot.  I just liked the triangle they made with the ground.  

I threw one of my lights, the Pelican 9410L, right into the snow probably twenty feet away.  I like Pelican flashlights because they're tough and water resistant.  I played around in the snow and piled it, lighting it differently and such.  I liked that I could bury my flashlights to make the snow glow from beneath.  It looked just like dry sand when you pile it in one spot until you get a conical hill.  I knew my tripod would just need to dry and it wouldn't rust or anything.  I use the Pentax K-5 as my main camera and I was quite thankful for it weather resistance on this trip.  While I was playing in the snow I could keep my gloves on and easily use the controls and not worry about water getting in the camera body at all.

A bit further on I came to a log, covered in snow of course, and I just set the light on it so it was back lit.  I just thought it looked really cool.  I enjoyed throwing snow in the air and having it rain down in the light.  The effect was something like a curtain of light.

By about that time I was getting cold, all over.  I packed everything back into the bag except the light and continued along the trail.  It curved and ran along the edge of the hill before finally coming to a T.  I hadn't really been that far back in this park before so I was glad of the signs.  I climbed the hill and it seemed to take forever.  I was getting tired fast and ready to sit down and drive home.  Each step the snow beneath my feet would steal some energy from my stride.  My flashlight is very bright but it still didn't seem to penetrate the darkness of the woods around me very much.  Finally I made it back to the lonely parking lot, my car the only one.  I sure am glad I have heat in my car and a warm house!

Not an Accident

Some might feel sad for this snowman who couldn't get out of the way fast enough, but was he even trying?  I mean, really he was right in the middle of my friend's parking spot.  Oh, right.  I put him there.  It was all my fault that he died.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Two halves of a sandwich I made in a toaster oven.  Yes, I certainly wasted a bunch of energy leaving the door open like that, especially since it was in May.  I did like how the cheese nicely browned on top of my olives. I've found that many people do not like black olives but I certainly do. I like them on my sandwiches, on pizza, and out of the can.  However, I don't think that I like them that much merely on taste.  I think that there's a little more going on here.  I think part of it has to do with how much people around me don't like them.  But I do like the texture quite a bit.  Anyway, I'm sure that the constant motion at the top of this post has been a bit distracting, but what can I say, I'm more of a photographer than a writer.


I like gifs.  They're almost like short videos, but have no sound and are therefor just made of pictures, which is what I take. This is of a friend of mine dancing around with a light up frisbee.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


What is this image?  I know because I took it, but I find that it's not always immediately obvious.  So I'm just curious, what do you think it is?  How was it photographed?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Odd Shapes

I was in a phase for a while of taking a lot of panoramas.  I found that I didn't always like to cut them into rectangles.  The above image was taken in Vienna, Austria.  I was there for a two week writing class with my college back in May 2013.  There was a ladder like the one in the image but opposite that I'd climbed up to the platform.  Therefore the image is from a second story view. The window on the very bottom of the image was our classroom, right below me.  I find this to be a very interesting way to explore the space visually. 

This image, of the Parkhaus City (Parking City) entrance is another interesting image that was made by stitching together several exposures.  The entrance really is a curve but the format makes it difficult to tell. 

This one was taken on the same trip, but in a different city.  Whereas the rest of the class returned to Illinois I went on a train across Germany all the way to Amsterdam.  That is where this image was taken. I like how confusing it seems at first glance.  The cherry-picker seems to be on the ground and holding up a building at the same time.