“And the Kingdom Fell” Photoshoot

I really enjoyed this photoshoot on 8-2-15. There was initial worry concerning the unpredictable weather, but it provided the perfect backdrop for the shoot.

I am always looking to integrate my subject(s) with the environment and I was pleased with this result.

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Photo shoot with "And the Kingdom Fell"

Night Lightning at Lake Worth Beach – 8-13-15

I was fortunate enough to photograph another storm recently. They are a daily occurrence in South Florida’s tropical savanna climate. The most ideal time for me is when I am able to take photos of lightning, at night, without actually getting rained on. This particular combination is not nearly as frequent. A perfect storm within a storm if you will.

I know my camera is weather sealed. I am just too paranoid about being outside in the rain with electronics. I suppose it’s about as crazy as someone putting plastic on their furniture. No offense to anyone who still subscribes to this practice…

I was able to find a few places at Lake Worth beach that allowed just enough cover to keep my gear dry while taking photos.

I made the mistake of going under the pier and there was a couple under it. A lot of giggling ensued and things were just entirely too creepy so that didn’t last long. I also found out that it’s not wise to try and take long shutter shots when the tide is able to reach your tripod. It makes for a rather unstable platform.

Luckily I was still able to come away with the following photo.

Lake Worth Beach - 8-13-15 - Lightning between Florida and Freeport Bahamas

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Magnolia Green Jumper – Lyssomanes viridis

This little jumper gave me just enough time to snap a couple photos before he jumped out of the frame.This was the smallest magnolia green jumper I have come across. I didn’t expect a worthwhile shot because I wasn’t using my extension tubes at the time, but am pleased with this effort.

Magnolia Green Jumper - Lyssomanes viridis

Background:

In Florida and other southeastern states, the Magnolia Green Jumper is one of the most easily recognized of all the jumping spiders. Its vibrant green coloring along with that stupendously orange cap and huge, forward-looking eyes give it an eerily cute appearance. But have no doubt, this little spider is a balls-to-the-wall predator, easily hunting and capturing prey many times its own size.

Jumping spiders are small to medium in size, stout-bodied and short-legged, with a distinctive eye pattern. The body is rather hairy (pubescent) and frequently brightly colored or iridescent. Some species are ant like in appearance. The jumping spiders forage for their prey in the daytime. They approach prey slowly and, when a short distance away, make a sudden leap onto the unfortunate animal. They are good jumpers and can leap many times their own body length.

Jumping spiders have excellent vision, with among the highest acuities in invertebrates. The eight eyes are grouped four on the face (the two big Anterior Median eyes in the middle, and two smaller Anterior Lateral eyes to the side), and four on top of the carapace (two medium-sized eyes toward the back, and two very small eyes in front of them). You can think of the Anterior Median eyes (AME) as acting like our fovea, with high acuity but small field of view, and the remaining six eyes acting like our peripheral vision, with lower resolution but broad field of view.
The AME’s are long and tubular, which helps their resolution (longer focal length, more magnification) but which means they have a narrow field of view. Since the AME’s have a narrow field of view, the spider needs to point them in different directions to see different things. To some extent this is done by moving the carapace, but the eyes can move as well. This is not done by moving the whole ‘eyeball’, since the lenses of the eyes are actually built into the carapace. Instead the retina moves around, while the lens stays fixed. This retinal movement is accomplished by extremely tiny muscles.

Source: http://www.cirrusimage.com/spider_magnolia_green_jumper.htm

Lake Worth Beach Night Lightning 7-30-15

Micaela and I were grocery shopping a few nights ago and I couldn’t help to notice the constant flashes of lightning just east of our location. We luckily live approximately a mile from the ocean and  I was long overdue for lightning photos. It was not raining at the moment so I was already considering the possibility of lightning photos. I quickly used my android lighting tracker titled Blitzortung Lightning Monitor. Really amazing and easy to use program to find out exactly where lighting is striking, it’s frequency, etc.

In a matter of seconds it was evident the lighting was situated between between Lake Worth, where I live, and the Bahamas which is a short distance away off our coast in South Florida.

I drove home to drop the groceries and Micaela off and then was at the beach within 2 minutes. Unfortunately by the time I arrived the flashes were no longer constant.

Luckily I will still able to pull of a couple shots.

Enjoy!

Lake Worth Beach Night Lightning 7-30-15

Lake Worth Beach Night Lightning 7-30-15

I was hoping to be alone…

Yesterday morning was interesting. I was up at 5:00am and made coffee and quickly gathered my gear to take some photos. When I arrived at the beach the only visible lights were on the pier; otherwise the sky was dark. As my my eyes adjusted I noticed something approximately 20 feet in front of me. I assumed it was a patch of seaweed. As the sun was rising it became evident the vegetation, rocks, etc. was actually someone who was sleeping on the beach.

And I thought I would be the first one on the scene?

My goal was to take shots without any people in it. How did that work out up ask? In utter failure!

Instead the result was the following:

1. Sleeping person
2. Couple in the water
3. Man texting while holding a fishing pole
4. A boat which pulled close to the shore during the shot

All I was missing was a hot air balloon, blimp, :fill in the blank:

Maybe next time…

Looking back just prior to Sunset

This shot was taken after 8:00pm the other night when the sun was already below the horizon. I decided to look towards the east and noticed this varied cloud formation. My biggest regret when taking landscape photos during sunset is leaving too soon. The sun is great and all, but the real magic happens just after it is gone.

I snicker when I see other photographers leaving before the sky reaches this dramatic peak. It’s a gamble; never knowing when it’s going to occur. It can change from one minute to the next in the most unbelievable way.

There is something to be said about having patience…

Looking back just prior to Sunset

From wiki: As a ray of white sunlight travels through the atmosphere to an observer, some of the colors are scattered out of the beam by air molecules and airborne particles, changing the final color of the beam the viewer sees. Because the shorter wavelength components, such as blue and green, scatter more strongly, these colors are preferentially removed from the beam.At sunrise and sunset, when the path through the atmosphere is longer, the blue and green components are removed almost completely, leaving the longer wavelength orange and red hues we see at those times. The remaining reddened sunlight can then be scattered by cloud droplets and other relatively large particles to light up the horizon red and orange.

Out of Memory

Sadly I have a dozen memory cards in my camera bag and too many other adapters… well me and every other photographer on the planet… It occurred to me. If you think your desktop is clean just take a shot at a very narrow aperture and you’ll see everything.

It’s hard to believe how inexpensive memory is compared to 1984 when my parents purchased a Commodore 64 for me. I just pulled the cost of memory that year and worked with looking at how much our current common memory sizes would have cost back in 1984…

Out of Memory?

“The Neighborhood Floozy”

Meet Persia! Micaela and I have officially adopted her as our outdoor cat. Who could blame us? She greets us daily. She acts like she loves us. More on that later. She patiently waits on top of the recyling bin or just outside the neighbors stairs directly across from the front door.

Recently my neighbor Steve remarked that she is exhausting his tuna supply. Tuna?! I thought we were the only ones generous enough to feed her Tuna?! I thought Persia’s love and affection was only aimed at us? Albacore at that! Not the grayish typical smelly tuna that the likes of Subway serves. The expensive white, flakey, meaty tuna!

A couple weeks ago she was “allowing” us to pet her. She had just been fed and was strolling back and forth rubbing her head on as she passed. It looked like cat nirvana had been reached. It was evident the fondness towards her was being reciprocated.

"The Neighborhood Floozy"

Here is where it gets interesting… Minutes later when the neighbor who lives across the street parked on the curb Persia abruptly left without the slightest hint of a goodbye. It was so painfully obvious like bringing your child to school that has reached that age where it’s no longer cool to acknowledge your parents. “PSSSST, can you drop me off at the street before school”. THAT bad!

Picture this… Persia is walking by, tail up, life is gravy, car parks, and she just keeps on walking! Right up to this neighbor! What the heck does the neighbor have that we lack? Is our love not well endowed enough? YOU WERE JUST FED! Micaela and I felt so understandably inadequate at that moment.

Does Persia really like us? It’s painfully obvious if she treats the 2 neighbors closest to me with such reverence there are bound to be others! Have we been duped? Using her looks to take advantage of giving individuals?

Oh poor pretty kitty!!! Quick go grab the Tuna! Little do we realize she has conned countless others of their hard earned tuna fish and miscellaneous sundries.

Persia…we love you… even though you toy with our hearts.
Signed, Your Loving Parents – Roberto & Micaela

Don’t play Chicken with a Semi

‎Taken on November ‎17, ‎2012 at ‏‎6:31:18PM on Connors Highway approximately 1 mile from the 20 mile bend bridge in Western Palm Beach county. Anyone familiar knows the road curves for the first mile and then it’s a straight line which is shown in the photo.

The road is in horrible condition. A combination of heavy use by semis and dump trucks and a total lack of maintenance.

It was an effort that reminded me of musical chairs. The biggest difference is instead of children getting up and moving about I was grabbing my camera equipment and quickly moving to the side of the road!

Nothing good can occur from playing chicken with a semi.

20 Mile Bend

Mars Convergence

In my opinion some of the most spectacular sunsets occur just minutes after the sun disappears below the horizon. Under the right circumstances the sun illuminates the clouds and turns them into the most spectacular backdrop. This was taken on 11-26-2014 at 6:42pm at the Arthur R Wildlife Refuge.

I shot other photos beginning 45 minutes prior that I also enjoy. Place them side by side and the difference is staggering. It’s amazing how much our surroundings change in a matter of minutes.

The sky reminded me of Mar. It was as if I was this awestruck 5 year old. The enthusiasm. I was fumbling with my phone to snap pictures. I was nervously trying to study my camera settings to make sure everything was perfect. It was one of those moments that I had to act fast and I knew I only had s small window of opportunity.

If you look just above the silhouette of the land you will notice what looks like wavy plumes of smoke. It reminded me of the Aurora Borealis! It was dancing as I stood taking pictures. Taunting me to take more – so I did!

I think this was my closest experience to visiting another planet…
Mars Convergence