For several years running, the Christmas day sunrise has been nothing short of spectacular here, to the point of becoming an almost spiritual thing. Not This year. We were greeted this morning with an overcast sky and patches of misty rain, the result of a warm front that marched through late yesterday and overnight. But the Christmas weekend was not a total washout.. Christmas Eve morning was a keeper. With the colder air, the scene could be from October. There were just enough clouds to reflect the warm morning light. I had seen the clouds moving in over the tall lob lolly pines from my kitchen window and grabbed my camera. No filters. Nikon D750 fitted with a 24-120mm f/4 lens. Iso 400, custom white balance, though Automatic on the 750 is quite good. Manual exposure. Spot metering. 1/125th of a second at f/22 which explains the slight flare to the sun. Best wishes to all for a great holiday and a safe and prosperous 2017.
This shot of the Stars and Stripes and the State Flag of North Carolina flying on the barrier dunes along the Outer Banks at Sunset was chosen by the Eastern Council of the Boy Scouts of America to be awarded to selected friends of Scouting for their outstanding support. Exquisitely matted and framed by Shenandoah Printing and Graphics of Greenville, North Carolina, it is a most impressive presentation. It was a real honor for the Scouts to select my shot. I cannot think of a better organization to be associated with. Thanks for the look. See you soon.
I’ve posted many shots of the stately Live Oak that anchors the old Civil War Ear Cemetery on our farm, so in that regard this shot is nothing new but, of course, as the seasons change so does the view. I rather liked the eerie warm hues generated by the dawn light on this early December morning, contrasting the golden tones of the ripening soybeans in the field with the dissipating dark clouds in the North sky, while throwing the old tree into silhouette. I had taken the 812 warming filter with me that morning but on live view, it added a bit too much warmth so I took it off the lens. As with most of my efforts here on the farm, the light is the big star here. Nikon D800E. 18-35mm lens.
A Side Note! I usually post on Sundays but I had a rather horrific accident on Saturday evening. I had driven into the City of Kinston to photograph a new tribute to the role of Tobacco played in the economy here. On my way to the scene, I took a shortcut through a parking lot. I tripped on a raised area in the paved lot and crashed the left side of my face , my left eye in particular on the asphalt. By the time I got to the Emergency Room, the eye had swollen completely shut with only a purple golf ball size lump where my eye was. I was virtually certain I had fractured my skull and/or the orb of my left eye socket, but CT scans proved otherwise. There were no fractures. The doctors in the ER were as amazed as I was. Back home, I popped a handful of ibuprofen and began the ritual of 20 minutes of ice on the injured eye, 20 minutes off, and repeating that on into Saturday night and through Sunday. The swelling had been reduced by about half by Sunday morning and I could see out of the injured eye which, as one might suspect, was completely bloodshot. This and the swelling has left me with blurred vision in my left eye. A visit to the Eye MD this morning revealed no damage to the eyeball or to the implant in the injured eye. Now it’s just a matter of warm compresses to help the red eye dissolve and the rest of swelling to subside. Ah yes, so what happened to the brand new Nikon D750 I was carrying that day. It was in my right hand when I took my tumble and it struck the pavement with me. though it came out far better than I did. No dings, dents, or scratches. And yes, it still works. Nikon builds em tough. Moral of the story: when you’re out and about, watch where you’re going and pick your feet Up! God willing and I avoid falling into a hole somewhere, I’ll see you next time.
One of the oldest of Photography “Rules” is in play here. I say “Rules” because, of course, there are no rules ,and those that have been passed down come with the caveat, “made to be broken.” Over the years though, I’ve found this one is worth remembering: when all else fails, get low! As it was, this was no shot at all when I first saw it. The distant dark tree line swallowed the scene. But by getting low, the high grass stalks met that incredible orange of the dawn sky and bingo, a scene worth capturing. I thought it was a rather pleasing shot. So did my followers on flickr. It got a lot of hits and faves and so forth. I decided to put it on my web site and sold a small print the first day. So, a worthwhile photography that all came about because I “went low.” Mind you, “getting low” is not something I do much of these days. At my age, getting low is one thing, getting back vertical is quite another, but this shot made even the complaining knees worth it. Nikon D800E. 18-35mm lens. Thanks for the look and have a great week.