Tag Archives: canon

Winter Collection

During the North Dakota winter, the tendency is to stay indoors as much as possible.  That’s understandable as the season can be unforgiving with scouring winds and week-long snaps of sub zero temperatures.  However, the season also affords moments of profound beauty, stillness, and wonder.  A favorite pastime of mine is just going out and being immersed in it all, breaking trail across the untrammeled snow and observing winter’s glory.  Albeit these escapes often lead to frozen fingers, fogged lenses, and the occasional vehicle problem it all seems worth it.  Here are a few images of winter time in North Dakota.  Click on an image to launch the gallery.

Lake Sakakawea

IMG_3259reIMG_3230dppedit

Canon XSI, Tamron 17-50 2.8, 8-stop Neutral Density Filter, Cokin P-Series, P120 Graduated Neutral Density Filter

June.  The eastern shore of Lake Sakakawea.  After setting up my camp, I venture out to a nearby shoreline for the magic hour.  It’s just me, the camera, and a few birds in the trees.  In the middle of June the evenings are still cool, especially off the lake.  The sun sets for hours.  There’s no rush.  I look for light, for reflection, for compositions, for the “strongest way of seeing”.  Fallen branches and driftwood form abstractions against the sky and in the water.  The light changes in fine gradients.  Every so often a bird flutters in the brush.  The water laps the shore, almost imperceptibly.  All tallied, the evening is nearly silent.  The air tastes cool, fermented.  The sun is golden, subdued.  There’s a picture waiting in the water.  I walk around the scene, examining it as if were something expensive for purchase.  I secure the tripod, affix filters.  I survey through the viewfinder, the world miniaturized and vibrant.   I adjust parameters.  The gauges balance out.  Everything around is still.   I depress the button.  The shutter opens and snaps closed,  capturing the calm while at the same moment shattering it to pieces.

New Zealand landscapes

Directions for blog consumption – please select one of the following options
1.  If you are a friend or family member please see to option A
2.  If you are a budget backpacker please see option B
3.  If you are a photography nerd please see option C
4.  If you are speak Spanish please see option D
5.  If you are a time traveler from the future please see option E
6.  If you are an intelligent life form from outer space please see option F
7.  If you are another wordpress user see option G
8.  If you want to give me money please see option H

To all: I apologize for the eye destroying white on black font scheme

A.  Hello friend and/or family member.  Here are some pictures of the New Zealand landscape.  Thanks for stopping by.  Geez, it’s been a long time since we’ve spoken.  I’m sorry I haven’t been in contact.  I’m doing well in New Zealand.  I’m working at a kiwi fruit packing facility and staying at a comfortable cottage not to far from the ocean.  I hope you’re doing well.  I really miss you, and can’t wait to see you soon.  If you feel inclined, send me an email.  I would love to hear from you.  Or give me a call sometime.  Love, Mike

B.  Hello wayfaring internet surfer.  Welcome to my blog. It’s likely you are scouring the internet researching for your upcoming journey to New Zealand.  A search engine has probably taken you here.  You don’t have much patient for small talk right now.  You want answers regarding your trip, because you want everything to be perfect.  You want to sit on a camping chair on a bluff overlooking the ocean during sunset.  You want to tour the south island in a thorough and cost effective manner.  You might even hold a work visa, and want to score a cool job while you’re here.  Well, let me cut to the chase.  Here everything I know, in no particular order.
1.  Sleeper van – transportation and lodging fused into one mean machine for the same cost as hostels each night.  drivenz.com  go with the super sleeper and you will have every thing you need, right down to clothespins and a corkscrew
2.  Department of Conversation campsites – numerous and beautiful averaging $5 NZ per night.  Get one of the mini booklets and a decent road atlas.  Remember water tablets and to bring your own tp.  It’s all good.
3.  Pak n Sav – “New Zealand’s lowest prices guaranteed” for real
4.  Milford Sound – MILFORD SOUND!
5.  Jobs – speaking only of the Bay of Plenty – apply in person – early and often
6. Talk to any and all fellow travelers as recommendations and friends will be made
7.  All the best things are free
8.  http://www.backpackerboard.co.nz/

C.  All images below were taken with the compact enthusiast RAW-enabled Samsung EX-1, also known as the TL500.  Some of the shots were taken by holding a Cokin graduated neutral density filter in front of the lens.  In others shots, a circular polarizing filter threaded onto a third party lens hood were used.

D.  Hola amigo! Espero que usted disfrute de los cuadros. Espero que usted haga bien. Espero que usted disfrute de la vida. Tengo que decir, pienso la lengua española y la cultura son hermosas. Gracias por visitar mi blog. Tenga un día agradable.

E.  Hello time traveler from the future.  These pictures represent the earth, specifically the New Zealand zone, as it once was circa the year 2012.  Yes, it used to be this beautiful.  I apologize on behalf of our entire current civilization for what may have happened to the earth from this day forward.  Hopefully you all have learned from our mistakes.  Also, I have buried a time capsule on the northern property line of my parent’s home.  It’s a lunch box filled with cassete tapes of our era’s greatest rock and roll, plus action figure toys of our time.  Cheers.

F.  Hello intelligent life form from outer space.  What is taking you so long to make contact?  Come and say hello already.  As you can see our planet is verdant, filled generously with oxygen, and very life sustaining.  Doesn’t it look beautiful?  Surely, it’s worth a stop, even for a brief time.  May I suggest first visiting a pacifist country with a small military.  It is there that you will likely be most warmly embraced.  Just try to avoid the United States at this time.

G.  Hello fellow wordpress blogger.  Thanks for visiting my site.  I hope you enjoy my pictures and stylishly themed blog.  I’ve taken great care in presenting the content found here.  If so inclined, please leave a comment, subscribe, or click the “like” button.  I will be sure to visit and admire your awesome blog in return.

H. Hello generous, handsome/beautiful, and intelligent benefactor.  Please contact me at your convenience.  I really look forward to hearing from you.  Have a wonderful day!

Mazu celebration

Mazu is a highly revered deity in many Asian religions.  She is known as the patron saint of the seas, protecting wayfaring ships and sailors from the perils of the sea.  In honor of the goddess, devotees host elaborate celebrations.  The following pictures, taken April 17, are from one such celebration.

The procession began with fireworks.  The length of four city blocks was partitioned off and strewn generously with firecrackers, which were brought in by the truckload.

One loud wave of constant explosion swept down the street for nearly ten minutes.  Ash, smoke, and cinder filled the air.  Car alarms rang out.

The sound echoed off the nearby buildings, amplifying the volume.

Firework casings blanketed the street.

The procession culminated in an empty lot where a series of performances took place, like these costumed acrobats jumping across pedestals.

Various shrines were brought forth, all lined with electrical lights.

Deity costumes.

Piles of firecrackers were laid on the ground and ignited.  Costumed performers, as testament to their faith, withstood the explosions.

Later in the evening, an aerial fireworks finale took place.