Friday, July 23, 2010

"Fireworks" and "Supersonic" take July Challenge Titles

By Larry Rogers

Mark Prince and family took a hot July trip to St. Louis, and while there they attended a holiday fireworks celebration.  Where Mark goes, so goes the Nikon.  As he described his fireworks technique to us at the July gathering, Mark set his Nikon D40 on "bulb," the continuous-open shutter position.  Using an aperture of f-8 to f-11, Mark then used a remote shutter release to open and close the shutter when he thought there had been an aerial activity worthy of capture.  Mark told us he believes the shutter was open from two to six seconds at a time.  Here is Mark's winning entry, "Fireworks," in the challenge category "Summer Celebrations." 

Blind Squirrel finds a Nut!

Every once in a long while, opportunity and preparation meet.  We call that "luck" in this business.  I attended the Dayton Air Show on Sunday, July 18th along with members Mark Prince and Ken Crites.  Rising at 4:30 a.m. on a non-work day in the summer is something so unnatural to me that even I am amazed that it happened.  However, by the end of the day, even I felt it had been worth the early rising, the relentless heat, and even the 45-minute delay in the Navy Blue Angels show.  The image to the right is my winning entry in the special "Air Show" category this month.  When I first looked at my pictures back at home, I did not expect to find a shot like this one.  I had not noticed the shock wave "vapor flash" which is the signature of a jet approaching and then exceeded the speed of sound (768 mph).  But just as I saw this image in my Adobe Lightroom film strip, I knew that a special moment had occurred that day.  I may change my mind on this one some day, but for now, I believe this is the shot of my life - so far.

Technical details:  Shot with a Nikon D3, Nikkor 70-200 mm f2.8 VR zoom lens, panning hand held, in NEF (raw) mode.  Post-processing included Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop CS5, and Topaz Labs "Adjust" plug-in. 

August Meeting Date > 8/26/2010 "Adobe Lightroom"

Next month's meeting will include an instructional topic, "Adobe Lightroom" led by Larry Rogers.  We will demonstrate Lightroom's "organize" functionality, which enables the photographer to categorize photos by quality for later elimination of those that are not saved, as well as Lightroom's "develop" functionality which now has many of the features also found in the more expensive big brother, Adobe Photoshop.  We will start promptly at 6:30 p.m. at MaxTrain in Mason, Ohio.


  1. Fantastic shot Larry! Personally, I think luck favors the experienced photographer. So, I expect to see more "shots of a lifetime" from you.

    Can't wait to find out what our next photo challenge will be.

    - Jonathan

  2. Thanks Jonathan! Your comments are appreciated. I have "poked" Ken about sending out the next challenge topic. Hopefully we get that soon!