Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Sparks Fly

After a busy June, we were excited to have a laid back and relaxing 4th of July celebration. A small group of us gathered a friend's house for kebabs, pies, ice cream, and fireworks! Cooking and photographing was very therapeutic. The best part was that I finally put to use the Live View and Live Composite feature on my EM-10 (after more than a year of ownership!).

Coming from Ohio where it was legal to purchase, but not legal to launch fireworks, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of "normal" people who enjoy expressing their inner pyro twice a year (July 4th and New Year's Eve). Our friend's neighborhood is a particularly good place to enjoy fireworks from the comfort of your own front yard. On this particular night, there was a small family that seemed to have filled a truck bed with mortars for their teenage daughter to launch every 10 mins or so. I was happy to not spend the money and take advantage of the lovely show.

Willow + Starburst

Colors + Twinkles

Gentle Burst

Raining Light

Twinkle Poof


In addition to the lovely fireworks, we also experimented with some light painting.

Fan Out

Don't Look Directly into Light with Remaining Eye..

The Energy of Four 

Balls of Love?

The Tunnels of Light

The Love of Light.

Dark Angel

It was a lot of fun to see what my camera could help me create almost effortlessly. There is a craft to long exposure photography that I never felt capable of successfully practicing. The Live View and Live Composite tools that Olympus has created has really boosted my confidence in this type of photography and I look forward to spending some more time creating more light painting photographs and trying my hand at astro-photography in the future. 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Family Vacation 2015 - Beach Time!

This year's family vacation was headquartered in Vilano Beach, Florida. The whole family got together, rented a house on the beach, and spent a week chillaxing in the sun. The view from the deck at sunrise was lovely.

Walkway to Heaven

A New Day Has Come

My bucket list includes watching baby sea turtles hatch and scuttle into the sea. I did not get to cross this item off of my list, but I did get a little bit closer to doing so with the sea turtle nests that dotted the beach.

Let's Schedule Another Vacation...

I was hesitant to bring my camera down to the beach, but eventually convinced myself that a little sea air never hurt anyone... I put my 17mm lens on and never messed with it when out of doors. I also kept my circular polarizer on in order to protect the front glass from any sea spray. These tactics seemed to work, but my tripod did require a full dis-assembly and cleaning when we returned home.  

Remnants of Life

Sea Crumbs?

Perpetual Motion

One of the best parts of family vacation is the family, of course! I have the loveliest little nieces around.

"I just pooped my pants!"


Miss Riley and her freshly laundered Bubba

Pose for me, Libby!


Tyler Fish on Land

A group of us visited the St. Augustine Lighthouse for a ghost tour. The tour wasn't very scary, but the light house was neat. 

Beacon Against the Night Sky

We managed to hop in the group that climbed to the top of the lighthouse at sunset (and sans excitable girl scouts and their moms). Here is a panorama from the top of the lighthouse overlooking St. Augustine. 

Fading Light

St. Augustine is a cute a little town with a touristy center full of cute little shops. St. Thomas Ave. is particularly famous. I found this shop chach-y, yet amusing.  

"I mustache you a question."

There is an ice cream shop with two locations in St. Augustine that we visited a couple of times -- Kilwin's. It is certainly not up to Jeni's delicious fare, but appreciated on a hot Florida afternoon. What was most appreciated, however, was the waffle cone that was acquired, unrolled, and scarfed in all of its crunchy, vanilla wonderfulness. The family came out for a good jaunt along St. Thomas Ave. and I was able to get the girls to sit still long enough for photos with their dad and grandpa. 

Triple Trouble

Moody Miss Libby

While wandering around St. Augustine, we went down to one of the docks where the girls got a chance to explore a "pirate ship." While there, we had the pleasure of watching the bridge from St. Augustine to Anastasia Island go up for a sailboat and shrimping boat.

Back to Port

A Landlubber's View

Overall, this part of Florida was lovely. The vacation was a success as it provided a much needed break from work and allowed us to catch up with family before the holiday season.