Monday, August 31, 2009

Rancho Palos Verdes Brush Fire

A brush fire that broke out at 7:55 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27 in the Portuguese Bend area of Rancho Palos Verdes, burned 230 acres. This is the city I live, so I went out with Nikon D700 and the Nikkor 70-200 VR f/2.8 lens to capture images of the fire.

My main problem was that I did not take the tripod. I had no idea how big the fire was and if I had to evacuate the area in a minute's notice. In retrospect, I should have taken it and placed in the trunk of my car, just in case I could have used it - next time there is a news event. It was very hard to shoot at very low speeds even with a VR lens.

The whole story of the fires is here. All the pictures of the fire that I kept, can be seen in my Photo Gallery or in the Slide Show Format.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

HDR Photography

I am beginning to look into HDR photography as a main medium. I have always been interested in HDR, but have never gotten around it. In order to pursue this interest, I just purchased the "Photomatix Pro" software, which seems to be the standard of the industry.

I have no idea, at this time, how far I will take HDR, how I'll use it, and what personal style I will develop. There is a wide range of HDR photos in the Internet. Some are very nice while others are very exaggerated to the point of being almost "gothic," imho. Therefore, I still do not know what middle ground would work best for me. Regardless, I feel that this is a very exciting new medium that will find its right course. For example, I remember when the stereo or quadraphonic sound was first introduced. The marketing strategy, at the time, was to have the sound go from one speaker to another, like placing the listener in the middle of a formula-1 raceway. However, that is not how people listen to music and it changed with time and so will HDR.

If I pursue this interest with certain vigor, I will post the tools, links, and sites to HDR photography. One further thought, this blog will turn its attention to photography knowhow instead of equipment - I have everything I need for the next three years or more. The only thing is camera upgrades, if mine develop an unacceptable level of "hot pixels."