Friday, August 31, 2012

Phantom Birch Trees

Here is an oldie but (in my opinion, anyway) a goodie. One of my very first attempts at using a slow shutter speed combined with a panning motion of the camera to create an abstract image. This is a stand of birch trees in late winter, taken after sunset just as the darkness was starting to descend on the forest. This was a 5 second exposure, during which I was panning the camera slowly from left to right.

Here is another interpretation of the same scene. This is the same stand of birch trees and again a 5 second exposure, but this time I panned the camera vertically during the exposure. I also chose not to convert this image to black and white however I did desaturate it quite a bit, removing at least 50% of the color that was in the original exposure. The original image was way too blue, and I liked the feel of this one much more with the subtle color.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

August sunset over Dutchman Lake

Yesterday afternoon and evening our sky was flat gray with very little detail in the clouds. Rain was also in the forecast. We decided to do a sunset walk to a local lake and I was hoping the sky would clear in time for the magic hour. As we drove up into the woods, rain started to fall from the sky. As we got closer to the lake, however, it looked like there was a break in the clouds to the west. Sure enough, just as the sun was starting to set the clouds began dissipating. Before we knew it the sky was ablaze with color. It was one of the best sunsets so far this year!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Moon over Oxbow Bend

I'm still reminiscing over my trip out West a few years ago, and today I came across this image that I had wanted to put on my website but just never got around to it. This was at the end of a beautiful day of shooting in and around the Jackson Hole/Grand Teton National Park area. My friends Jake and Stuart were looking forward to an evening of photographing the stars over the Teton Range, something neither of them had done much of before. As the night descended, we began hearing more and more Elk calling in the distance (this was in late September). All night as we photographed the stars over the Snake River and Mt. Moran we could hear the Elk bugling. At times it seemed as though they were on all sides of us (and they probably were). But, thanfully, we never had any up close and personal encounters with them in the dark :-) This photo is another great reminder of what an excellent trip I had with my friends.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

August half-moon at sunset over Lucille Island

Last night as I drove home from work the clouds were looking favorable for a beautiful sunset so I asked Jessica if she wanted to take a quick boat ride out to Lucille Island. We had just enough time to make it out to the island before the good sunset color started to light up the clouds. We watched in awe as the clouds drifted over and changed color as the sun dipped closer to the horizon. The view to the South was the best, as we could see the half-moon drifting in and out between the clouds. It sure was a beautiful sight!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

PERFECT day on the Pigeon River!

We went paddling on the Pigeon River today and the conditions couldn't have been more perfect!  We saw barely a ripple on the water the entire time we were out there (well, other than the ripples created by our paddles and kayaks!).  Here is a picture of Jessica enjoying the incredibly calm and beautiful water of the river today. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Rock Detail - Latourell Falls

Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

I had the urge today to look through some images from the trip out west that I took in 2009 and work on a couple of waterfall images from that trip. Latourell Falls was my goal... I had remembered taking some photos of that falls that I really liked but hadn't worked on yet. Of the many waterfalls within the Columbia River Gorge, Latourell is unique among the best-known Columbia gorge waterfalls, in the way that it drops straight down from an overhanging basalt cliff. Most of the falls tumble to some degree, but not Latourell. The thing I found most amazing about this waterfall was the interesting rocks on the cliff face behind the falls.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Summer Afternoon on Wauswaugoning Bay

On several recent afternoons we have been experiencing late summer rain squalls that are very intense but short-lived. They often only last a few minutes then the sky clears and the sun comes back out from behind the clouds. These photos were taken last week during our outing on Lake Superior where we dodged several of these rain squalls. When these photos were made a squall had just passed over Wauswaugoning Bay to the west of us. We could see the rain falling in sheets over the bay and over Mt. Josephine, but we remained dry from our vantage point. As the clouds broke up after the rain had passed the conditions were so beautiful I just HAD to photograph the scene (imagine that!).

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Perseid Party

Perseid Party - August 11th and 12th, 2012 from Travis Novitsky on Vimeo.

Here is my timelapse video from our night of watching the Perseid meteor shower.  This video was made from roughly 1,482 individual photos taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera and Canon EF 17-40mm lens. Exposure times for the individual photos were all 30 seconds at an aperture of f4 and an ISO of 6400. I used QuickTime 7 Pro to stitch all the photos into a video, then edited the video (added titles, credits and music) using iMovie on my iMac.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fire Tower and the Milky Way Galaxy

My favorite shot from this weekend :-) This photo was taken while we were watching the Perseid meteor shower. My camera had been set up doing a sequence of images for a timelapse video when I noticed the nice alignment of the Milky Way between the fire tower and these trees. I had to take a break from shooting the timelapse sequence in order to capture this photo before the Milky Way moved too far to the west. Sure was a beautiful night for photographing the Milky Way.

Below: A couple more shots from the weekend.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Lily Pad Paradise

Here's a recent shot from a paddling outing on the Brule River and Northern Light Lake along the Gunflint Trail in northeast Minnesota.  This is such a beautiful location to spend the day paddling.  You start out paddling downstream along the Brule River and eventually the river empties into Northern Light Lake.  This shot was taken near where the river meets the lake.  Where the two waters meet there are lily pads everywhere.  For the past few years I've been trying to get a nice shot of lily pads with a nice sky full of summer clouds.  This is my favorite attempt so far at this type of shot. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Evening Thundercloud

We sure have had a lot of cool clouds filling our skies lately. This one was captured while I was kayaking the Pigeon River recently. I could hear thunder off in the distance but I never did get rained on while I was out there.

Below: Another one that I captured the same evening along the river.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Engagement Day!

Above Image: "Where the Lake becomes the River" - Near the Gunflint Trail in northeast Minnesota, the Brule River resumes its journey toward Lake Superior after flowing through Northern Light Lake.

Last night, under the light of an incredibly surreal moonlit and lightning-filled sky over Lake Superior, I asked the woman I love to marry me. And she said YES! I feel like I'm floating on air today :-)

So, Jessica and I are now officially engaged :-) And what do we do to celebrate our engagement day? We spend it outside, of course! We went paddling on the Brule River and Northern Light Lake along the Gunflint Trail in Northeast Minnesota. It sure was a beautiful day!

Above: Jessica getting lost in the grass where the Brule River flows into Northern Light Lake

Above: The clouds and lily pads were awesome.

Above: It was loads of fun paddling through these reeds.  Very interesting to watch them glide magically out of the way as the bow of the kayak nudged them to the side. 

Above: Goofing off in the tall grass.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Leaning Tree over the Pigeon River


Yesterday I brought the kayak and went for an evening paddle on the Pigeon River in search of Moose. I did not see any Moose while I was on the river (although I did see a nice young bull in the dark on the drive home). What I did see, however, were several Beaver and some of the nicest clouds I've ever seen over the river. When I came upon this leaning Tamarack tree I knew I had to try and photograph the scene with the tree and the clouds overhead. Even though I didn't come home with any Moose photographs, I did come home with the memory of another beautiful evening spent on the river.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Summer Storm Cloud

Yesterday while harvesting some cucumbers from our plot in the community garden this really cool cloud drifted by overhead. I thought for sure it was going to drop at least a little bit of rain on us, but it passed us by without getting us wet. Clouds are awesome and I love how they always have the potential of making you stare at the sky in disbelief at what your eyes are seeing.