Scherschel BBQ

Tim and Chelsea hosted a barbeque at their house on Friday for our family. It was our first social outing with Elijah and it went pretty well. The food and company were both wonderful. I wish we could have stayed to enjoy the fire pit but we had to call it a night and head home. Thanks to Tim and Chelsea for having us all over!

Emeline and David were fun targets for my camera and I got a couple fun photos:

Pregnancy Photos

Tyla and I have attempted a few home photo sessions to capture her big beautiful belly. You might have seen some of them on Facebook, but I thought I’d post them here too. The due date is less than 3 weeks away!

Fun With Photo Editing

I took a couple series of photos at the corn maze when we were back in Indiana and edited them all together. I was going to use Photoshop and do it all by hand, but the Photo Fuze tool in Windows Live Photo Gallery (free download!) worked perfectly. The key to a trick photo like this is setting your camera to manual so that all of the exposures are exactly the same and then holding the camera as still as possible between photos.

Photographing Propeller Aircraft

For years I’ve seen big beautiful images of propeller aircraft and never realized how difficult they are to photograph. The photo below is the best example that I captured at Seafair this year.

What’s so difficult? When taking a picture of a jet, you crank up the shutter speed until you’re shooting so fast (1/500th to 1/1000th of a second) that you have a much easier time dealing with the speed of the moving plane and avoiding blur. If you try that with a propeller, you’re also going to freeze the propeller in place and it looks very unnatural. To let the prop spin all the way around and get nice prop blur, you need to slow down to something around 1/60th of a second. But as soon as you do that, the whole plane is now going to be out of focus because it’s moving so quickly. That means that you need to VERY carefully attempt to move your camera along with the path of the plane while you depress the shutter and hope that the prop is blurred but everything else stays clear. This same technique applies to photographing a cyclist and blurring the background to show speed but still keeping the cyclist in focus.

Luckily for me, the Blue Angels were the highlight of the airshow so I didn’t have to worry about propellers for most of the day!

Seafair 2012

Every year Seattle hosts a multi-week event called Seafair. Navy ships come into port, there’s a large airshow including the Blue Angels, and the hydroplane boats race. This year I got the pleasure of watching the Blue Angels twice.

On Friday, my division at work rented out two of the Argosy boats. I was on the Royal Argosy (the one that hosted our wedding reception) with camera in hand. The Blue Angels fly up and down Lake Washington, so being out in a boat is a very unique way to watch the show. They seem to pass within arms reach.

On Saturday as part of Tyla’s birthday weekend extravaganza, I surprised her with tickets to Seafair. We usually just watch from a park or somewhere free, but this year we had reserved parking and two reserved seats in the grandstands. It was well worth the price as we got to enjoy the whole airshow (not just the Blue Angels) and it was all taking place right in front of us with commentary over the loudspeakers. In between flying acts, we got to watch the incredible hydroplane races up close and personal.

I almost didn’t get any pictures on Saturday though. We walked the mile from our car to our seats and I pulled out my camera for the first shot. I depressed the shutter button, but nothing happened. It immediately dawned on me that I had left the battery in the car. AUGH! I decided it was worth the effort to go get it so I handed Tyla the camera and most of the stuff in my pockets and ran to the car and back. It was 90 degrees that day and I don’t run, so by the time I got back, I was a ball of sweat.

I’m so happy that I ran back though because I got some good pictures. A few of my favorites from both days are posted below but you can see more in the photo gallery. I know that photo gallery isn’t awesome, so I’ve also posted some of the better ones on Flickr. If you want full resolution copies of any of these, please let me know.