Category Archives: photography

2014 Geminids meteor shower

In 2014, the Geminids will peak between December 13 and 14 in 2014. A 3rd quarter Moon may make it too bright for observers to view the shower.

Northern Hemisphere observers should try their luck right after dark, while those in the Southern Hemisphere should try to catch the shower after midnight.

The Geminids can be annually observed between December 4 and December 17, with its peak activity being around December 14. The shower owes its name to the constellation Gemini from where the meteors seem to emerge from in the sky.

Unlike most other meteor showers, the Geminids are associated not with a comet but with an asteroid – the 3200 Phaethon. The asteroid takes about 1.4 years to orbit around the Sun.

The Geminids are considered to be one of the more spectacular meteor shower during a year, with the possibility of sighting around 120 meteors per hour at its peak.

While it is not necessary to look in a particular direction to enjoy a meteor shower – just lay down on the ground and look directly above and you are bound to see some meteors – astronomers suggest looking towards the south to view the Geminids. As a general rule, the Geminid meteor shower intensifies after midnight and produces the greatest number of meteors for a few hours, centered around 2 a.m. That’s true no matter where you are around the globe, and it’s true whether the moon is up or not.

Give your eyes at least 20 minutes time to adapt to the dark. Often, meteors come in spurts and are interspersed by lulls. So give yourself at least an hour to watch the Geminids.

You don’t need special equipment – only a dark, open sky. Simply look upward and enjoy the company of family and friends.

 

Pineapple Fountain – A different look

One of the most eye-catching fountains in the whole city, Charleston’s famous Pineapple Fountain stands in Waterfront Park, in the downtown district. The Pineapple Fountain has become one of the city’s most photographed landmarks and symbolizes hospitality.

I have posted this image previously, but this time have taken a different “look” at it. Hope you enjoy it!

Click on image for larger view

 

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Reworked Image

This morning I reworked an older image that I had taken on the Inlet side of Belin Memorial United Methodist Church here in Murrells Inlet. Here we are close to the beginning of Advent and obviously this picture was originally taken during Lent! I liked the “rework” and thought I would throw it up here for your comments.

Click on image for larger view:

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Cirrocumulus Sunset

Yesterday evening, just before sunset, I walked outside and saw some amazing cloud formations. I instinctively knew that a spectacular sunset was awaiting and I quickly jumped in the car and headed toward Hunting Beach State Park, one of my favorite sunset spots. Along the way I convinced myself that I would not make it in time. So, instead I stopped at the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk and walked out onto Veterans Pier.

The clouds I saw are called Cirrocumulus. Cirrocumulus is one of the three main genus-types of high-altitude tropospheric clouds, which also includes cirrus and cirrostratus. They usually occur at an altitude of 16,000 ft to 39,000 ft. They are small rounded puffs that usually appear in long rows. Cirrocumulus are usually white, but sometimes appear gray. Cirrocumulus clouds are the same size or smaller than the width of your littlest finger when you hold up your hand at arm’s length.

When these clouds cover a lot of the sky, it is called a “mackerel sky” because the sky looks like the scales of a fish. Cirrocumulus are usually seen in the winter time and indicate fair, but cold weather.

I think they made for a spectacular sunset. Check out the images below and tell me what you think!

(click on image for larger view)

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Wood Storks and Ibis

Late yesterday afternoon I went to the causeway at Huntington Beach State Park to shoot the sunset. I went a little early with the hope of being able to shoot some of the many birds and ‘gators that frequent the area. Tucked back away off to the side I spotted these Wood Storks looking for their dinner. A close look showed that the Wood Storks had been joined by two Ibis!

Click image for larger view:

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New Gallery!

Today I added a new gallery to the website. This gallery consists of old barns and other such outbuildings found along old country roads mostly in Horry County, South Carolina. Go take a look!

http://www.billbarberphoto.com/galleries/old-barns/

 

 

New Photos in Gallery

Several new photos were added to the Gallery “Maine” today, here is a preview:

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What is Time Lapse Photography?

Time-lapse photography is a cinematography technique whereby the frequency at which film frames are captured (aka the frame rate) is much lower that that which will be used to play the sequence back.  When you replay this sequence at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster and lapsing.

Put simply: We are manipulating time. Objects and events that would normally take minutes, days, hours, or months can be viewed to completion in seconds having been speeded up by factors of tens to millions.

Where did time-lapse photography originate?

Eadweard Muybridge (yes the spelling is correct, see below), a nineteenth-century photographer is often quoted as originating the technique.  Cathy Curtis point out that he is famous for three things:

1.    his own bizarre spelling of his name
2.    his sensational acquittal for the murder of his wife’s lover
3.    and his blurry but indisputable photographic proof that Occident, former California Gov. Leland Stanford’s racehorse, galloped by lifting all four feet off the ground.

One of the first uses of time-lapse photography in a feature film was done by Arnold Fanck in his series of work called Bergfilms, including this 1926 film The Holy Mountain.

Probably the most important person to popularize the art wasn’t a photographer at all, at least not at first. In the evenings, after work as a banker John Ott would come home and build and experiment with time-lapse equipment and the growth of plants.

We have come a long way since Occident’s hooves left the ground. Today time-lapse photography has gotten a lot simpler but it certainly is not easy.

I finally delved into this mystifying realm. Just the other day I created my own Time Lapse. I set my camera to take one shot every 5 seconds and let it do so for about 25 minutes. I ended up with 290 images which at 24 frames per second rendered a 12 second video. Check it it out below. I hope you enjoy it!

Neighborhood from Bill Barber on Vimeo.

Birds in Flight

I often admire beautiful shots others take of birds in flight. To me, an image of a bird flying is much more interesting than a bird standing around in muck. However, photographing birds in flight takes a lot of skill developed from a lot of practice. I need a lot of practice. My skills at catching birds in flight suck.

This evening I ventured over to Huntington Beach State Park. At the time I was there, there was not a lot of bird activity, but I was able to practice some Bird in Flight shots. Below are a few that didn’t turn out too poorly, but as you can see I still need a LOT of practice with this genre.

Click on each image for larger view:

Bird-in-Flight-web Egret-on-Patrol-web Heron-in-Flight-web Wood-Stork-in-Flight2-web Wood-Stork-in-Flight-webIbis-in-flight-web

Grand Canyon

Back in 2009, my youngest daughter was living in New Mexico. We went to visit her and along the way made a side stop at the Grand Canyon. Neither my wife nor I had ever been there before. We viewed it from the South Rim, and every viewpoint was simply “WOW”.

Here is one example of what we were able to see: (Click on image for larger view)

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