The HoneyMoon’s over (Lake Michigan)

Originally published 6.15.2014 on The Tempest and the Teapot’s Google site.

This Friday, June 13th, 2014 – there was a rare event.  A full moon rising on Friday the 13th.  What made this moonrise even rarer was the coloration – a warm, amber-honey color was predicted for this rising.  Thus, the Honey Moon.

So, risking all the horrors of Friday the 13th – and when you’re carrying a DSLR camera to the beach/lakefront that’s a LOT of money to be daring the bad-luck fairy to look away from – the mythos of the full moon causing madness (ok…so I’m already crazy and didn’t need to worry too much about that one) and the SQO’s being bored, I dragged him into the car and off we went.

Once we got to the lake, I realized I had forgotten all about the whole ‘cooler by the lake’ thing, and was only wearing a light top with no sleeves.  Well…  Artists always suffer for their work.  My Turn!!!

We arrived a bit early – sunset was in full swing, but the moon hadn’t come up yet.   So, as I had some time to kill, I set up on my beach for some sunset shots.

I wasn’t disappointed – Mother Nature delivered a very purple sunset…

My beach on the Lake (and just to be clear, here, if I’ve gone to a location for shots 3x or more, it officially, at least in my mind, becomes ‘mine.’  My Beach, my Riverwalk, my Fountain, etc…) runs roughly northwest to southeast, so I can get both sunset and moonrise on the same location.

I foresee a foray out to my beach in my future…one VERY early morning.. to catch a sunrise.  

Two years, hasn’t happened yet.  Can I procrastinate, or what???

As we made our way up the concrete causeway to the round observatory extending into the Lake, I found – people.  Not many people, mind you…but just a few -as crazy as I am- with cameras extended toward the horizon to catch the Honey Moon rising.  Once again proving that I’m not the only nut-job in this state, but amongst a small, eccentric minority of slightly insane nature-lovers.

I snapped away.  Moonrise was well in progress, the color was fantastic, and the camera was singing in electronic joy.  Once I took my attention off the moon – I noticed the power plant further up the shoreline.  Beautiful, the way the reflections hit the water.

Say what you will about the cost of utilities these days, but I’ll forgive them my high-heat bill last winter for them putting out this spectacular light show on the shore.  But only last winter’s bills.  This winter, they’re on their own.

Now, I know I’ve mentioned that the SQO is a musician.  As a performer, he’s a natural in front of the camera.  I’ve lost count of the number of projects he’s appeared in – he’s always a willing vict…er…volunteer for whatever insane idea I have involving my camera.

I’d come across a number of forced perspective photos on the web – and naturally, the ‘what the hell’ just burst out of me in the throes of the moonrise (who am I to question the strange ideas blooming under the light of the full moon?)
Several moments of ‘just a bit to the right, now raise your hand JUUUUUUST a bit more, back to the left a hair, turn your head a little more, lower your chin, NOPE, too much, lower your hand a fraction of an inch,’ produced this ducky little shot.

 

And, as an aside – He was certainly more attentive to the Lakeshore temperature than I was – June, and he’s sensibly dressed in a leather jacket, hat, and scarf, while I’m doing the whole ‘Freezin’ for a Reason’ thing.

Overall, the shoot went well – but I couldn’t tempt the wicked fates of Friday the 13th by getting great shots without paying the price for my success – even with being under dressed, freezing my bunz off, and succumbing to the influences of the light of the crazy-generating moon.  (where do you think the term ‘lunatic’ comes from?)

Finally, there were no more good shots to be had.  As the moon rose higher in the sky, the amber hue faded away, until only the standard white moon filled the sky.  Quite pleased with my shots, I quickly packed things up…because by this time I was shaking more than a bit, I believe I started acquiring a lovely shade of blue, and the mosquitoes were undaunted by the brisk night air.

In Wisconsin, the mosquitoes grow fur to combat the weather!

The DSLR came off the tripod and into its bag – close and clip.  The Canon with the mega-zoom got looped around my neck.  The tripod was folded, but the legs were still extended.  The teacup had its own little bag to stay secure in, along with a smallish brass chalice I’d picked up at Goodwill (seriously, folks, if you’re ever looking for awesome photo props that won’t break the bank – go to your local Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul, or any other resale shop in your area), and they were both nestled inside.

We made haste to the car – up the concrete sidewalk toward shelter and warmth, when I heard it.

A metallic tink. Followed by the breaking of glass.

I had forgotten to zip the bag with the teacup.  Both it, and the chalice, launched from the bag in a misguided attempt to break for freedom.  My poor, brave, foolish little teacup.  I guess the pressures of stardom were too much for it.  It must have been depressed to never be pressed into service as a container for a hot bath of Earl Grey, surrounded with happy, crunchy bikkies on the side.  It ended its life of photographic supermodel-dom on the concrete walkway for the observatory on Bender Beach on the Wisconsin side of Lake Michigan.

Rest in Pieces, little buddy. Friday the 13th took you from me, and the Honey Moon is now over…

The Dirty Dozen

Tempest teacup crop

2014 to 2014. RIP little buddy…

Have I mentioned lately that I was infected with the photography bug a few years ago – and that as a result, I suffer from an obsessive desire to point various lenses at strange, twisted, ordinary or really beautiful things?  That this illness additionally manifests as an almost manic need to show these images to everyone who can stand a chance-encounter with my blog or my Facebook page?

There.  Photography is a disease.  Does that make my camera a drug?

Last year, after the frenzy of Christmas had died away to the cold doldrums of January in Wisconsin, I started browsing the web to alleviate the boredom.  The trouble started when I found my browser looking at cameras.

When all else fails…blame the computer!

Big cameras…complete with big price tags.  Cameras with them scary interchangeable lens systems and multiple menus and complex books for how to operate them.  In February, I dragged my credit card out of my wallet, and made it (well, the company who issued it, really) rather happy by using it to adopt a Canon Rebel.  Since then, I’ve had a lot of fun pointing it at the aforementioned strange things.

Now…here comes the hard part.  Going back through the files in my computer, I’ve chosen the “Dirty Dozen” – my 12 favorites, shot with the new camera.  These are the ones that I Ooooooh’d and Ahhhhh’d over when I saw what I’d captured in the small view screen, and continued to get all Oooey-gooey over when they came out of the camera and onto my computer screen…

Of all these shots – only one was manipulated beyond simple straightening or cropping in ‘shop…and even that one was merely a simple change of background.  No colors, pixels, or lighting adjustments were made to any of the Dirty Dozen.

Do you know how HARD it was to pick only 12????

The first one is obvious – I see it every time I take a look at the T&T.  This is the shot that started the blog…got me back into writing…and eventuA Tempest and a Teapot copyally, introduced me to all of you.  This is the only picture in the group where I did major adjustments in ‘shop – I took the teapot on the rocks, clipped it from its original background, and dropped it in front of the waves.  Both teapot and wave images were by my hand, taken on the same day, at the same location – which is why they fit well together – I didn’t have to balance lighting values.

AIMG_0633This next one was the inaugural launch of the Canon – the SQO and band-mates had a show in Mid-March – their first live event in over a year.  the Canon was primed and ready to catch fantastic images!

This is actually a shot taken when the headliner band was on stage – a group called the Black Moods based in Tempe, AZ.  They actually toured all the way up here – in the uncertainty of Spring in Wisconsin (yea, I was impressed) to introduce themselves to the world.  This is actually a shot of the lead singer’s hair, as he flipped it around behind the mic.

A WE Energies

Let’s go a bit further in the year – June.  June 13th, to be exact.  Friday, June 13th.  We had a full moon due to come up that night, and those who follow the heavenly bodies declared that this would be a yellow, honey-colored globe rising.  Thus…the Honey Moon.
I celebrated this celestial event by heading to the same beach where the T&T shot was taken – this time at night.  While I was waiting for the moon to make her appearance, I squeezed off this fantastic reflective shot of the Electric Company plant.

A Dave holding the moonAnd when the moon finally rose?  I had the SQO capture the whole thing in his hand.

Sadly, this was the end of the little teacup featured quite heavily in the early days of the T&T on Google –  Friday the 13th reared its ugly head, and caused the teacup to shatter on the cement walkway.

A bird Feeder Close

Skipping forward another month – we have a family thing every year in July up at my Dad’s place on Lake Reinhart.  I did get coerced into taking some of the stilted, stiff, wooden family groupings (which weren’t even considered for the Dirty Dozen) I detest, but then I got to aim the lens at nature and the landscaping.  Three of this day’s shooting made the list.  This one is a favorite bokeh shot.

A pump and Drops FramedDad built his own ornamental pond in his yard, and decked it out with a small bridge, fountains, and ancient, rusty outdoorsy things.  I’ve always had an obsession with water and reflective surfaces, but in this shot, I didn’t focus on the water in the pool, instead concentrating on the spray of fluid jetting up from the fountain.

A Fireball 4

The last shot from the reunion at the lake was my oldest son.  He used to skateboard until an unfortunate spill from his board resulted in breaking his ankle in 3 places.  While I had hoped he would find a nice, safe hobby to replace throwing himself high in the air, allowing gravity to drag him back -hard- to the ground, he took up spinning bundles of Kevlar, soaked in kerosene and set on fire, around his body as he danced.  Seeing though this wasn’t enough to give me a mild heart attack, he attempted again to halt my bodily functions by actually spitting flames.

At one point in the day, he discussed how his hobby was not as hazardous as skating.  The reply?  “Dude…you’re breathing fire!”

a IMG_2985

And speaking of fire – in September, the kid’s fire tribe held their last meet of the year.  Because I had shared the fire shot from the lake widely on Facebook, I was invited to point the camera at their group as they played with flame.  Out of that series, this one, and the one below, made the ‘Dozen.’

a IMG_3118

After this shoot, I realized one major thing.  The shots taken earlier in the evening were great – as the night wore on, shots were less likely to be sharp – the reason?  Fatigue.  The arms start to get tired holding the camera up, and start to shake.  When taking shots in a dark location – any shaking is transmitted to the image.  Off I went to the ‘net in search of a new rig – the shoulder harness.  I can’t wait until the spinners do their thing again, as I’ll be ready to be steady throughout the night.

IMG_3287October rolled around, fading the greens of summer to the autumn palette of tans, reds, browns, and yellows.  I took one final stroll down the Waukesha Riverwalk and up Main Street to catch the Autumn feeling.

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And, finally, November.  The Feastaval.  I have to include this one in the ‘Dozen,’ because I absolutely love the shadow which appeared in the light of the staff…it’s sharp and crisp and painfully in focus.  The staff’s path created whirlpools of vibrant color.  a IMG_3442 crop

**Whew**

I’m spent.  Reviewing all the shots I’ve taken over the last year, even narrowing it down to ONLY the Canon shots, and then having to pick the best of the best…let’s just say I won’t be volunteering for any judging anytime soon.