Ice carving of a beta fish at the Reading Fire + Ice Fest in Reading, PA, USA

Testing Out my New Smartphone Camera

I recently upgraded my old smartphone to a new one, an iPhone 6s Plus.  I wanted a bigger phone, and my husband and I usually stick with Apple phones, usually a model behind the most recent one. I know, my phone has been out a while, but it’s new to me.

On January 14, 2017, Joan and I went to the Reading Fire and Ice Fest in Reading, PA, USA.  It’s the third year in a row we’ve gone, and that’s how many years the festival has been happening.

Ah, but this year I didn’t take my DSLR.  Nope.  It was drizzling outside, and I don’t like to take my good camera out in the rain, but I figured my phone would be a decent proxy if I wanted to take some photos, like I did, of the beta fish ice carving above.

The camera in the iPhone 6s Plus is decent.  You can do those live photos now.  I tend to turn them into GIFs, like this one of my dog getting his belly rubbed.  Sputnik's belly rub face

Ok, back to the fest.  Here are two more photos from the fest that I took.

Ice carving at the Reading Fire and Ice Fest 2017

 

Angel fish ice carving from the Reading Fire and Ice Fest 2017

Huh, I just realized that all three photos that I chose to feature here are carvings of fish.  I can be so thick sometimes.

I also popped these three photos into Lightroom to see what results I could do to jazz them up.

 

That’s basically the ice aspect of the fest.  As for the fire, here are a few that I captured on my phone.  You can see more of the fire photos over on my hooping blog.

As usual, it’s hard to capture frozen motion in low light on a smartphone camera.  At least my model of the iPhone isn’t immune to that.  I believe the iPhone 7 does better.

The iPhone 6s Plus has the usual decent iPhone camera.  It’s good in a lot of situations.  It’ll do.

Sputnik in all his handsomeness.

Sputnik the Photogenic Pyrador

I would like to introduce everyone to a our new dog, Sputnik!  He’s a Great Pyrenees/Labrador mix, hence a “pyrador,” and is six months old.  Sputnik is going to be a BIG boy.

My husband and I got him from LaMancha Animal Rescue in Unionville, Pennsylvania, USA, not far from Coatesville.

LaMancha is a beautiful rescue facility!  They are a working farm with chickens, cows, horses, and, of course, dogs in clean kennels and cats in a special house to adopt.

Sputnik’s story is that he came from Alabama, USA, where he was a stray.  LaMancha transported him here, called him Zeus, and he was barely there a week until Sam and I snatched him up.

We were going to LaMancha to see two other dogs and didnt’ know about Sputnik until we got there.  When we arrived, we were told that the one had been adopted, and the other one we walked for a little bit, and he seemed frightened.  Not a match.  We asked about the other dogs there, and were told about Zeus.  We walked him on a trail on the farm (all the dogs get walks there), and were treated to kissed, hugs, and was known as the Pyr Lean.  Great Pyrenees will lean into you really hard you pet them.

We had our dog.

Sputnik was put into the back seat of my car, and I was treated to hugs and kisses on the way home as I was sitting back there with him.  Here’s a video of me introducing him.

I have never had a dog look so nicely at the camera for me.  I think it was the shutter clicking when I would take an exposure.  Still, I’ll take it!  He poses well for the camera!  Here are a few other shots that i took of my handsome guy.

Sputnik and his whale

Sputnik and his whale

Sputnik looking at the camera.

I already have pictures of him over on Instagram.  Here are a few good ones.

That ear. #dogsofinstagram #pyrador

A photo posted by jennabee25 (@jennabee25) on Dec 11, 2016 at 5:19pm PST

I look crazy, and Sputnik looks dopey. #pyrador #dogsofinstagtam #selfie #selfiewithdog

A photo posted by jennabee25 (@jennabee25) on Dec 12, 2016 at 5:21pm PST

 

So, that’s been my photographic journey with Sputnik over the past four days he’s been with us.  Much more to come, believe me!

Harry Gottlieb and his catch.

Surprise Cats

I absolutely love the photo of my great-grandfather Harry with his prize catch.  This photo was taken in Atlantic City.  The cat makes the photo, along with Harry’s huge smile while showing off his big fish.

I’m pretty sure Harry wasn’t expecting to compete with a cat for his dinner.

I don’t know why I decided to do a post themed “surprise cats.”  I guess, this photo reminded me of one that I took a while ago and was the first photo that I ever posted on Flickr.

"Kitten" by Jennifer L. Dixon

See the kitten in the middle?  I didn’t notice that before.  I just shot the candid people at the time.  Then I got my film developed.  Boom! Surprise cat!

 

 

 

Dutchland Blitz V. the Mason-Dixon Roller Vixesn

Dutchland Derby Rollers. Go, Blitz!

I know, long time, no update, but I do have some great stuff to share with you guys today.  On Saturday, I attended the roller derby bout fought out between the local Dutchland Blitz of the Dutchland Derby Rollers, against the Mason Dixon Roller Vixens.  I am happy to say the Blitz handily won the bout.  I was there with my photography Meetup group, and we all got some excellent shots of the event.

Hester, the Dutchland Derby Rollers Mascot!

Like this one, I want to share a few of the photos I got during the evening.  This is Hester, the mascot of the Dutchland Derby Rollers, and she is wearing a birthday cake because this is the tenth season of roller derby in Lancaster, PA, USA!  Congrats, guys!

Rainbow Derby Unicorn

This volunteer was showing her Dutchland pride by donning a shirt and an eye catching unicorn horn.  People come all dressed up in all sorts of ways for roller derby bouts. I love see the creativity and variety.  I also love the name the derby girls and refs come up with for themselves.

The Blitz pivot scores!

I used my Nifty Fifty 50mm f/1.8 lens for the entire bout.  I love that lens.  This isn’t the greatest photo of my edits, but I still like the action in it.

Keep an eye out for the rest of the photos which should be popping up on my portfolio website soon.  Speaking of portfolios, I finally have posted the rest of my Outer Banks photos there.  Go check them out!

 

Apurture Intervolameter from Amazon.

What’s an Intervalometer?

Yes, what IS an intervalometer?  I had never heard of one until I asked about an interesting situation I had during one gathering at the photography meetup I’m a member of.

Here’s how I learned about this funky piece of camera equipment.  I had just started hooping (which I encourage you take take a look at that blog), and wanted to take timed pictures at regular intervals for, say one minute, every fifteen second.  I had attempted to set this up with my Canon 7D, only to learn that I could take one shot per timer and had to reset every time I wanted a new exposure.  I needed a solution.

I presented my dilemma to Blake, a fellow photographer, at the photo meetup.  He suggested I purchase an intervalometer.  Eh?  I had never heard of it, and it was a mouthful to say, but I went to Amazon and did a search.  It turns out, there are quite a few on the market!

I decided to purchase the one above:  Apurture’s version of an intervalometer.  I read the specifications, it met my needs, and it would get to me quickly.  Neato!

I read the instructions that came with the intervalometer.  It acts a a remote shutter, a timer that would take photos at regular intervals (sweet), and would work great for time-lapse photos and a bunch of other stuff.  I was pleased with my purchase.

I decided to put my intervalometer to work during a trip to the woods, during which I had brought my hoops along.  I got some great shots!  Here’s my favorite I got using the regular timer interval shutter release, say I had it take photos for one minute at 15 second intervals.

Me hooping. Intervalometer demonstration.

I also set the intervalometer to take long exposure photos over a set amount of time that same day to take photos of me using an LED hoop.  Here’s one of the best below.

LED hoop long exposure photo. Intervalometer demonstration.

Next, I want to share a good one I took last year at French Creek State Park, Elverson, PA, USA.  When taking self portraits with an intervalometer, you have to mindful of when the shutter is going to release so you can pose yourself properly.

Me, hoop self portrait. Intervalometer demonstration.

Lastly, my intervalometer was a boon when it came to astrophotography during the same year in that same trip to the woods I took the first photos with.  I set it my camera to manual, the intervalometer to take one photo for a 3o second timed exposure.  For my first attempt at astrophotography, it’s not too bad!

Astrophotography. Intervalometer demonstration.

I hope I have shown you a few things you can learn from this handy piece of gear.  They usually range from $20 on up, depending on the features and compatibility you need.  Intervalometers are cool.  I’m so glad I spoke up at that meetup and asked about my dilemma.  Thanks, Blake!

 

 

 

 

Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Yeesh, I haven’t updated here in almost a month!  That’s bad.

I was recently in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA with a group of friends who wanted authentic Philly cheese steaks and to see historical stuff.  And that’s what we did.  I also happened to have my camera with me, too.  Here are a few of my shots.  And that’s a view of Independence Hall above there.

Decor in Philadelphia's Little Italy

Geno's Steaks in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Chandelier in Independence Hall

View of the Liberty Bell

To see more of my photos from that excursion, head on over to my Flickr album to check them out.

35mm Holga Image with Sprockets

35mm Holga Finds

I recently moved, and one good thing about unpacking boxes is that you find unexpected things.  In one box, I found an old portable flash drive that contains a lot of the first photos that I took as a budding photographer.  One thing that I LOVED to do, and still do love, is stuff a roll of 35mm film into my Holga CFN 120 and seeing what I get.  The above photo is just and example of some of the cool things that have come out of that camera.  I want to share my 35mm Holga finds with you, complete with film sprockets.

Funny, whenever I would get this film developed and explained how I wanted it developed, Dianne, the woman at the lab I would speak with, would give me a funny look.  I wanted the film laid flat and not cut up into individual images.  I also didn’t want prints for that reason, but rather get them on a CD.  Here’s a great explanation of the process here.

Enough of me blathering along. Let’s get to the photos!!

Cars 35mm Holga sprockets

These are just cars at a show that seemed like they’d make an interesting shot.

Gardens and Cala Lillies Holga 35mm Sprockets

Here’s a montage of floral photos on 35mm film put into a Holga.

multi-exposure

This one is a great because it shows the double exposure capabilities you can use with a Holga, too.

Sign Monkey Flower Holga 35mm Sprockets

Ah!  Color!  I remember taking these at my old apartment.

There, I think you get the point on what you can get out of a Holga CFN 120 camera when you use it with 35mm film.  I remember where I put that Holga, too, when unpacking.  I might have to go get a roll of 35mm film for it today and start using it.