Thursday, November 13, 2008

Another good reason to leave once I'm done?


A fire started less than 10 miles from where I live tonight. It's grown rapidly-they have a code red alert until tomorrow morning. The news explained that means danger of explosive fire.  Westmont College is on fire. Power lines are burnt and Santa Barbara is mostly without fire. 

Not helping the situation: the Santa Ana winds with wind gusts of up to 70mph. Watching the news guy, when the wind gusts it looks like I'm watching hurricane coverage. I don't like this. Nope. Not one bit. The good news is that it seems that most everyone has evacuated (even though homes have burnt.)

I'd like to think that the fire is not coming this way. I'd like to think. But still, I don't like it. And next year, I'll be somewhere else. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Notes on Infrared

I'm so glad I never got rid of my first digital SLR camera, the D70. While it may be only 6megapixels, it is better suited for the things I'm doing in class right now (infrared) than my newer camera.

The last time I shot infrared was on film back in the 90s. Now, I'm trying to shoot infrared (IR) with a digital camera, but did you know that most digital cameras have a special IR blocker built in? Yeah, makes things tricky, doesn't it?? So, you end up with a few options...
1. Have the blocker taken out...but then you won't be able to take normal pictures on that camera. In effect, you'd have a camera sensitive to both UV and IR light.
2. Use filters that block out regular light. And you know what?? You can't see through them!! So you better focus before you put that filter on. And get ready for much longer exposures.

So, why is my old camera better?? Well, newer cameras have bigger and better UV and IR blockers। So that means that you need much longer exposures to get anything to show up।  So my trusy old D70, the same one that I used on my little cross country trip comes in handy once again. I'm still getting a hang of how to get some decent looking IR shots, here is one of my first attempts..aloe in infrared.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


As seems to be my norm, I got to class late today, sliding into the first seat I saw as the teacher was handing out the first set of today's handouts.  As I looked around to see who else was in the class, I was happy to see many people I knew. I didn't expect that, and I'm glad.

We received a series of assignments, most of which were about infrared. Yay! This is going to be learning by playing, my favorite! Other things we'll be covering? Ultraviolet, fluorescent dyes and tracers, moonlight photography and star trails, and microscopic and polarizing filters. All of this in a short seven weeks.  Even though we've only had one class, I have a feeling that this class will only give me a taste of the possibilities and that I could continue playing with this type of photography for a while.