We’re off (maybe)!

Wes Walker:

I hope this doesn’t blow up in my face!
I’m sharing a new blog that I’ve started and need to keep it secret from my wife. Please check out my “Postcards from America” blog (also called postcardsfromstrangers).

Originally posted on Postcards from America:

The start of the Bright Angel Trail on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

The start of the Bright Angel Trail on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon .

OK, it looks like the idea has legs. My sister, who lives in Florida at the moment, has said she’d be happy to get the ball rolling. So here’s what I plan on doing:

1) Set up a PO Box to be able to (secretly) receive the cards as they arrive
2) Start to fill out the blog with some posts about National Parks we’ve already visited (with pics)
3) Consider running some sort of competition if enough people get involved!

If you are a blog reader, please leave comments as this will help me evaluate the success of my venture. Also, sharing the blog would be awesome! And remember, the “About” tab at the top left has the details of what the blog is all about. The address will go there, too, once…

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Making the Shot — A Starry Night (Stills & Motion)

Wes Walker:

This is actually something that I am thinking of trying in the next few weeks. I’ll post the results (if I actually end up going out in the middle of the night!).

Originally posted on Photofocus:

I recently had the chance to visit Zion National Park in Utah with two folks on the Photofocus team (Doug Daulton and Pamela Berry).  While there, I had a chance to make an evening time-lapse and some long exposures of the sky. Unfortunately, the moon was out… but we made the most of the night.

For context… the temperature got well below freezing… so I got creative.  Here’s the highlights of my production and postproduction workflow.

Getting the Shot

I used the new Nikon D610.  The camera held up well and didn’t flinch in the cold (even though it was below the rated temperature for shooting. I attached an extra battery grip to the camera to extend the battery life (the cold really sucks batteries dry).

  • I shot raw to get the best range.
  • I used a 50mm prime lens which had the ability to manually focus on infinity.
  • I…

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Entering competitions

My current entry in the World of EOS Photochains competition.

My current entry in the World of EOS Photochains competition.

I enter a lot of competitions. Not so many that I end up on “A Current Affair” showing off my lounge room looking as though a prize-bomb went off, but enough that I actually have won stuff. Good stuff, too! Here’s a list of the things that I can remember off the top of my head:

  • A 10 day trip around New Zealand’s South Island with Intrepid Travel
    This one was one of those “In 25 words or less…” competitions. Mine was something corny about dolphins splashing around my kayak with me looking blissfully on – barf.
  • A pair of Blundstone shoes
    Another corny entry, this one of the “Roses are red” type.
  • A Canon 700D DSLR
    This is a regular one for me. Canon’s World of EOS runs something called Photochains on a roughly monthly time frame. You enter an image that fits with the current “word link” and attach a new “word link” to your own image. I’ve actually won this comp twice, but the forst time I had not paid close enough attention to the rules and was disqualified for having entered a picture that had been previously entered in another competition. Sad face. (NOTE: I have yet to actually receive the camera, so there may well be a double sad face here.)
  • Peoples’ Choice Award in a local photography competition
    There is a local festival that happens every year, and a couple of years ago they held a photo comp where the theme was “Landscape, Peoplescape, Dogscape – images of the Lawson Golf Course.” My entry of a crazy looking dog bounding joyfully along caught the attention of the crowd and they voted me the $200 Peoples’ Choice award. Nice!
  • Third place in another local photo comp
    The local tourist magazine -“Blue Mountains Wonderland” holds a photo comp every year – “send in a few pics of the local area for your chance to win cash.” I sent in a few pics and I won another $200. Still trying to replicate that particular feat, but no luck as yet.
  • First place in a local photo comp (while living in New Zealand)
    This one was kind of funny. In New Zealand they have what you call A&P shows – Agriculture and Produce – and they usually have craft and hobby competitions. One category is photography and I thought I’d enter in the novice category. My $1 entry fee allowed me to send my mounted photo to the show where it was displayed for the duration. I forgot all about it in the following weeks, so you can understand my surprise when I received an email informing me that I had placed First in Show and First in Category! My prize? $2 for the category win and a cool bespoke trophy for the show win.

I guess I am happy to have found a way to actually use my hobby (photography, in case it wasn’t clear) in a way that can have some tangible reward. Elsewhere on the blog I have mentioned my dabbling in micro stock imaging, but that is a whole other kettle of whatever and the topic for its own post. I think I’ll add to this category of posts as (if) I have more luck in future competitions.

Wes

No posts for a few weeks

I'll be seeing you soon!

I’ll be seeing you soon!

I won’t be posting for the next 2 weeks. We are working extra days at the moment (my wife and I are fortunate enough to only work 3 days a week, usually). So, the next post will be on the 4th of August. Hopefully with some new project images. 

Side note – I’ve hit 110 views and 20+ followers. Nice!

Wes