Photo: Toad

Photo: Toad

A photogenic toad near our house… he did not hop away even after I took this picture. As you can see from the drops on the toad and blades of grass, it had just been raining.

Happy New Year everyone! 2011 is going to be a revolutionary year.

Fujifilm FinePix A360, 1/30, F2.8, 5.8mm, ISO100, 2006-02-03T15:12:58-05, 2006-02-03_15h12m58

Location: Thripp Residence, Ormond Beach, FL  32174-7227

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Sexy Flowers

Photo: Sexy Flowers

Pink flowers covered in drops of water… from rain or a medicine dropper?

Fujifilm FinePix A360, 1/30, F2.8, 5.8mm, ISO100, 2006-02-03T10:59:13-05, 2006-02-03_10h59m13

Location: Thripp Residence, Ormond Beach, FL  32174-7227

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Rainbow of Hope

Photo: Rainbow of Hope

A rainbow high among the clouds.

Fujifilm FinePix A360, 1/333, F4.7, 5.8mm, ISO64, 2005-10-02T07:47:59-04, 2005-10-02_07h47m59

Location: Thripp Residence, Ormond Beach, FL  32174-7227

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Rain

Photo: Rain

Rain falling far away.

Fujifilm FinePix A360, 1/74, F4.7, 17.2mm, ISO64, 2005-08-29T18:35:23-04, 2005-08-29_18h35m23

Location: 1832 Nelson Ave., Ormond Beach, FL  32174-7228

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Blizzard

Blizzard

It’s a blizzard! A snow day, at least.

This was a downpour of rain that started while the sun was still out. The sunshine reflected all across the newly fallen water in the parking lot, making it look like snow. I shot this car backing out of a parking space, at 132mm from about thirty feet away.

I made the water look like snow by over-exposing and adding contrast in Photoshop. I also converted to black and white. I didn’t even notice that Adobe Camera Raw 4.0 has a vignetting slider under “Lens Corrections,” but I’m using it now to darken the corners rather than burning in manually. It turned out nice here.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 28-135mm, 1/500, F5.6, 132mm, ISO100, 2008-11-13T14:07:11-05, 20081113-190711rxt

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Cars at Night

Cars at Night — a slick road reflecting the headlights of cars

Cars on a slick highway in the evening. I was liking how the lights were reflecting off the pavement, so I grabbed my camera to snap this from the car. 5 minutes after Ominesence, and 20 minutes before Flash in the Night.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/200, F2.2, 50mm, ISO400, 2008-06-26T17:49:53-04, 20080626-214953rxt

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Ominesence

Ominesence — a stormy, ominous sky over the sea and city

Ominesence: the state or quality of being ominous. The real word is ominousness, but I made up this alternate. This is a river and city with dark clouds overhead. The right side is bright light and good weather, though it too is broached by darkness. I took this in a moving car crossing a bridge; you can see the railing at the bottom. Used a 1/250 second shutter speed to freeze the scene, though I had to go up to ISO800 because it was so dark out.

I added contrast, darkened the dark clouds and corners, and removed a lot of noise. There were lots of markers and pylons in the river which were bugging me. I cloned all of them out. Now it looks like it should.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/250, F1.8, 50mm, ISO800, 2008-06-26T17:44:30-04, 20080626-214430rxt

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Torrential Rain

After weeks of threatening skies that produced nothing, we’re finally getting some rain in Daytona Beach, Florida (Ormond Beach actually, but they’re close). I was drenched on the way to school yesterday, and we just had quite a cloudburst at my house. Here are two photos:

One thing that you’ll find when it’s raining a lot… is that it’s hard to get a good picture! First, it’s very dark out, so motion blur becomes a big problem. Second, you’ll take lots of photos where it looks like nothing is happening! (I always do.) Just a bit of fog or a gloomy sky, instead of the big raindrops and howling winds that your eyes see.

You can only really show the wind with a motion blur shot of trees, or if there’s a tornado or tons of mist flying about. You get photos with no rain because it takes a fast shutter speed to show it, which you can’t use in the dark normally (try upping the ISO sensitivity and using a smaller f number). But I have some other tips to capture the mood:

• Over-ride the auto-metering by stopping down a bit. When you want a dark scene, the camera doesn’t know and will make everything look bright and cheery. You have to fix that yourself.

• Show puddles, big puddles. Or the raindrops hitting those puddles. Use as fast a shutter speed you can, or a slow one showing the blur of turbulent water.

• Get a shot of raindrops falling. This works best if it’s still raining and the sun has come out, because there’s plenty of light and you can easily use a fast shutter speed, like 1/2000 of a second.

• Show raindrops on a window with a dark sky behind it, from inside your house or in the car.

• Stake out a spot and take shots of cars kicking up water, like my shot, Make Waves.

• Take shots before the rain starts, like I did with The Red-Brick House. Often, the sky is beautiful and ominous, but after the rain starts falling, it turns to a boring gray mush.

• Get closer. Even if it’s blurry, snap photos of rain sweeping off roofs or draining from gutters. You’ll capture the experience of torrential rain much better than just pointing your camera into the sky.

• When it’s blue and rainy out, your camera will “fix” this by making it look a normal, warm gray. Over-ride the white balance by using the “sunny” setting (not cloudy, as that’s too warm). You’ll get more interesting, unsettling blue tones, without them being excessive.

• Protect your camera! Put a plastic bag over it, then cut a hole for the lens if you need to. If you’re particularly wealthy, you can even buy a camera rain cover (there are lots of options).

• Go to the river or ocean and take shots of all the rain hitting the blue water, or the haze off in the distance. Watch out for lightning, though.

• If you’re going to photograph lightning, set up a tripod under a roof somewhere, shooting with a thirty second exposure. You’ll need to close down the aperture as far as you can, perhaps even using a filter to keep the light under control during the lengthy exposure. Don’t trust your camera; under-expose your photos. If any lightning does turn up, the camera won’t be expecting it, so the shot will turn into an over-exposed blob if you’re listening to the meter.

Now you know what to do. Just wait for some rain, and get out there.