Milky Way over Johnson’s Beach

First order of business… HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY WONDERFUL MOM!

I live about 10 mins from Johnson’s Beach, which is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore (US National Park). There are 3 forts dating back to Civil War times, Fort Pickens (Pensacola Beach) and Fort Barrancas (NAS Pensacola) are still standing, but the Fort that was on Johnson Beach has washed away as the key “recreates” itself.  A few colleagues and I attended a D-Day Memorial at Fort Pickens in June and one of them decided to pick up a “Night Owl” pass so we could shoot the Milky Way and some star trails at the Fort.  Since today is the New Moon, I figured that this weekend was close enough, but the other folks couldn’t make it out.  I ventured out by myself to our normal beach spot and shot for a couple hours.

The plan was to shoot star trails with my Mk2, and the Milky Way with the Fuji, but in #CCF (Classic Chris Fail) style, I forgot my memory card for my X100s and hadn’t downloaded the files on the card that was in my bag, so I only had 20 shots left!  I ended up getting my favorite shot of the night just playing around with the Fuji and seeing if it would be wide enough to shoot the Milky Way or not (see the portrait orientation shot below – it makes a killer iPhone home screen too!).  I ended up shooting mostly with the Canon, but I definitely had the ISO too high which led to some problems in post.  I really need to invest in a 14mm 2.8 lens…  I ended up shooting a pano that I feel turned out pretty nice – the light pollution from the condos on the key kind of washed things out, but I think it was a decent first attempt as astrophotography in Pensacola!

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Milky Way over Johnson's Beach Pano
 
Milky Way over Johnson's Beach

Posted in Astrophotography, Canon 17-40mm 4L USM, Canon 5D Mark II, Florida, Fuji X100s, Landscape, Long Exposure, Nature, Night, Panoramic, Pensacola, Perdido Key | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blue Hour at Grand Marina

I am blessed to know people all over the country (and now world), thanks to my upbringing and from my job in the Navy.  This social reach has become more expanded with my photography hobby and I have made it a point to try to meet up with my “internet friends” whenever I travel to their neck of the woods.

I have been following Zach Frailey for quite awhile (better known as the Uprooted Photographer) and have admired his work shooting around New Bern and the Outer Banks.  He is also a photog professionally and does awesome work for the Kinston Press.  When I planned my last minute trip to Camp Lejeune, I immediately reached out and set up an evening to drive the hour up to New Bern to shoot!  After walking around the city doing a little tour of my own, we met up for dinner and, as Zach puts it, “pointed our camera at things.”  One of these was the Grand Marina in New Bern.  The sun had set, leaving a little color in the sky, so I threw in the 3stop that is build into the X100s and did a little long exposure action.  Most of the boats stayed still for me and I really loved this shot from the second it popped up on my display!  I tend to ‘linger’ at times, shooting the same scene over and over and over again, but this comp required 1 take only!

If I ever am stationed on the East Coast, it will be a blast meeting up again to shoot!

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Blue Hour at the Grand Marina

Posted in Fuji X100s, Landscape, Long Exposure, Nature, New Bern, North Carolina | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Getting back in the Groove

For those who don’t know, I have been in a pretty big photog “funk” this year.  My passion just hasn’t been there and I find myself avoiding photography, most likely because I am so far behind on processing that it just feels like more “work.”  Things have also been busy with work which doesn’t help either…

I was up in Camp Lejeune this past week for some training and traveled only with the X100s since my Canon is in the shop (my 35 broke AGAIN #ccf).  I have a love/hate relationship with this camera because it works great until I start shooting fidgity kids.  I haven’t done much landscape stuff with it since I mostly shoot ultra wide so I really didnt know what to expect on this trip (not to mention that I would be busy with class).  WELL, went out shooting EVERY DAY and saw some great sunsets and had tons of success.  I am also super pumped to meet up with Zach Frailey in New Bern to do some shooting and have a little photog ‘nerding out’ later on!

This shot is from 2 nights ago in Swansboro and had some random person press the shutter as I was looking out at the sunset.  I really felt back in the game at this point and hopefully you will see lots more from me in the future!

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Back in the Groove

Posted in Fuji X100s, Landscape, Night, North Carolina, Portrait, Swansboro | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Mike + Joy | Eden Gardens Engagement

Mike and Joy are probably the smartest people I know.  I have known Mike for the past 2 years and his girlfriend (now fiancee), Joy, and my family have become great friends.  They are both physicians and Mike is starting his Ultrasound residency this fall (unfortunately in the civilian world – a big loss for the Navy IMHO).  I’m sure he will have a giant medical text named after him someday!  Joy practices in Destin and is always awesome to hang out with when she is visiting Pensacola.  Both of them love my 2 boys and they are either excited to have kids some day, or will use the memory of my crazy kids running around as a reminder to wait :)

On our recent boondoggle to Hawaii, we started talking about engagements, ring shopping, and proposal ideas. I leant him my “How to choose a diamond” book which had been passed down to me from one of my best friends back in the day.  Since they are both super outdoorsy types, Mike planned a weeklong backpacking trip to New Zealand where he and he popped the question on top of a mountain!

Mike and Joy originally pitched the idea to get together with our family for a picnic and weekend out in the Destin area, with an engagement shoot mixed in. Mike and told me about Eden Gardens State Park and I had to take one look at the trees on a Google image search, and I was all in!  It was super humid and the bugs were getting us towards the end, but the locale was awesome!  I wish the best to both of them in the future!

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Posted in Canon 35mm 1.4L USM, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 70-200 2.8L IS II, Canon 85mm 1.8 USM, Florida, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Basking in the Sunset

A colleague of mine lives near Big Lagoon State Park and has property right on the water.  I decided to head out to his place for a little sunset shooting and was not disappointed! I shot the pano with my X100s, the others with my 5D Mark II…

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Basking in the Final Light1

Sunset Pano Grand Lagoon

Basking in the Final Light

Posted in Canon 17-40mm 4L USM, Canon 5D Mark II, Florida, Fuji X100s, Landscape, Panoramic, Pensacola | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments