I went out Saturday night at midnight to shoot the lightning. The view through my viewfinder was pitch black, making things challenging. I set the focus to infinity and started playing with exposure settings. I wanted to keep the clouds as sharp as possible with out getting too much ISO noise. I settled on 5 second exposures. I set up Trigger Trap to fire every 7 seconds, giving me a 2 second interval between frames. It worked pretty well, and some lightning actually struck right where I wanted it a few times. This was a fun shoot.
For this assignment we are required to shoot a photo essay. I decided to tell the story of a blank canvas becoming a work of art. Karen Lei has been drawing for ten years, and recently decided to take up painting. I enjoy her artwork so I decided to focus on one of her paintings for this assignment. Karen started the process with a sheet of masonite. She coated the masonite in gesso, and let it dry before continuing. She begins with a single brush stroke, and then her idea starts to take shape. It was cool working with an artist for this assignment. The painting studio where Karen made this painting had nice even light. The room is lit by skylights and windows on every wall. Between my 50mm f/1.8 and my 18-270 f/3.5, it was easy shooting.
This assignment was to find the essence of a place. That place was Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. We set out in search of the DNA of this area. I started out walking around town, and spotted the Lava Hot Springs History Museum. I spoke with the staff of the museum and learned that most of the historic buildings in town were destroyed in a fire, and then a flood. I explored the museum and took a couple shots there. I decided to find out what the modern town had to offer. The next stop was the water slide sign at the entrance to town. This sign pretty much says it all. Visitors to Lava drive under this water slide as they get off the highway and pass the Olympic size pool. Next I wandered up stream along Main Street. I found the Royal Bar, the oldest building still standing in town. Today it is a pizza parlor. I continued up stream to the Sunken Gardens Grotto. This location offered a great vantage point to photograph the hot pools. These hot pools are the main draw for visitors to the area, and have been since the town was settled in the 1800’s. After taking a moment to soak in the ambiance of the grotto, I followed the river back downtown. I came across a pile of tubes for rent and it hits that from end to end, and all through the heart of it, Lava Hot Springs is all about water recreation. The warm waters that flows through the basalt foundations of this town are the true essence of this area. The last thing I decided to do was to zoom up above the town with my UAV and shoot a panorama. I wanted to establish the spatial relationship of the town, the buildings, the river, and the water attractions to the highway, mountains, and railway. This project was challenging and rewarding. I would recommend that any photographer go out and tackle this sort of project next time you are in need of some inspiration.
This assignment was to take a feature photo. I decided to interview Geran Call with Robotics and Communication Systems Engineering Technology program at Idaho State University College of Technology. Geran gave me a tour of the 3d printing and robotics labs. This was a great experience. First he introduced me to the 3d printed R2D2 (from the movie Star Wars). This radio controlled droid is fully functional and life sized. It has motorized accessory ports, the head rotates, it drives around, and it can even talk in the classic R2D2 style. Geran teaches his students to design and build functional robotic systems using 3d printed and laser cut parts. The team also built a fuctional Wall-E robot from the Disney Pixar Movie Wall-E. We explored the 3d printing lab and Geran demonstrated how the big 3d printer can blend plastic and rubber to achieve custom physical properties in the resulting printed material. There are so many cool things in the robotics lab I had to struggle to stay focused. A robotic guitar caught my attention. The guitar has one string and a computer that controls the amount of tension applied to the string. There is also a robotic strumming mechanism that holds guitar picks. The computer controls the tension and strumming to create music notes and ultimately guitar music. The last stop on the tour was in the robot lab where Geran showed me the 3d printed robot arm. The arm moves ping pong balls around and plays beer pong. This tour was awesome, and Geran is an interesting person. I really enjoyed this assignment. It was hard to decide on a single image for my assignment, and I am glad I can put the whole story up here. I hope you enjoy and get inspired to make something cool!
The Boy’s 3200 Meter Race at the 2015 Simplot Games was a close match between Elijah Armstrong of Pocatello, Idaho and Levi Thomet of Kodiak, Alaska. Levi pushed Elijah the entire race, and the two of them left the pack behind. The energy in the Holt Arena during that final lap was at a very high intensity level. Elijah came in first with Levi right behind him; just one second from a national record. This was my first experience with shooting a live sports event. I found it to be a fun and challenging project. I was also shooting video footage of the race while covering the story for this assignment. I had a great time.
The Snake River reflects the sunset just beyond Jensen’s Grove in Blackfoot, Idaho.
The Snake River wraps around the Blackfoot Golf Course in Blackfoot, Idaho.