Lori Carey Photography

Thursday, November 29, 2007

One of things I've been trying to do lately is carry my camera with me more often. I had been in the habit of only taking the camera when I was "going out to shoot," and there are so many photos I've missed over the years. I always see some of the best things when I'm out with my friend a.k.a. Diana; she has the spirit of a true adventurer. I love her even more for putting up with me and my camera when we're out. Even when we keep things more mellow, there's always something that catches my eye.

I'm in a bit of rush because I was experiencing some technical difficulties and my schedule is crazy busy right now, so this is a bit short. But more to come!

Upcoming photo adventures in December:

- this weekend we're going to do a run on Otay Mountain Road to explore the old WWII bunkers and seek out some Mexican border monuments.

- On the 15th and 16th we're going to explore the western side of the Mojave National Preserve. Our Old Mojave Road trip has been reschedule twice already; once due to the fires and the second time because the friends who were going to join us on the trip had that three-week flu that was going around. Now we're trying for a shorter two-day trip. Tentatively planned are the lava tubes off Aiken Mine Road and most definitely the singing sand dunes for sunset/sunrise!

Monday, November 26, 2007

New Infatuation

As I was processing and uploading photos last night I realized that the most populated gallery on my website is now "Offroad Adventures." I've been shooting faster than I can process lately, let alone catch up on the older stuff, but I've been having a lot of fun with my jeep!

We had to skip the Project-JK run to the Panamint Mountains last weekend because Bill had to work Friday. Fortunately ctimrun was also in town for the weekend. We had a lift party to put a 4.5" Currie lift on his jeep the prior weekend and he was itching to try it out. But he was missing his front drive shaft while he waiting for the upgrade to come in. It was a perfect opportunity to head up to Main Divide to play around on the side trails and since I let Bill wheel, it gave me the opportunity to play around with the camera.

Cleveland National Forest was closed after the wildfires last month, but portions in the unburned areas reopened on November 10. Main Divide was open from the trailhead off of Ortega Highway up to where it meets Indian Truck Trail just short of Modjeska Peak. We took Indian out to the 15. Saturday's weather was perfect - bright and sunny with temperatures in the high 60's at an elevation of 4200 feet. The Santa Ana winds only provided a gentle breeze, but they had cleared the air down below and the views were spectacular.

The guys had so much fun playing on the side trails, climbing the hills and showing off their flex that what was planned as a half day run turned into a whole day and gave me plenty of photos ops. Every time they found a hill that they wanted to climb I would run to the top so I could photograph them on their way up, then run/slide down to the bottom to photograph them coming down.

Most of the time when we're out on a trail I'm too busy concentrating on my driving to give enough attention to my camera. I take some quick grab shots and don't have time to worry about if the lighting is right. I can deal with it somewhat in post, but nothing comes close to a photo taken with the proper exposure and lighting at the time of capture! This time I had willing participants that would move and pose the jeeps at my request, so it was a great opportunity to experiment and learn what works and what doesn't. The biggest disappointment was that most of the obstacles required an angle that had me shooting directly into the sun, and there wasn't much that could be done about that. I did use fillflash successfully when photographing the undercarriage of ctimrun's jeep, but I didn't think my 580EX alone would be powerful enough on its own to overpower the sunlight when shooting directly into it at a distance from the jeeps. I will try have to play around with it some more though, since setting up light stands on the trail is not practical (and noisy considering I'd need a generator!)

Since ctimrun's jeep is dark and mine is light, I did learn a lot about what light is more flattering for which color. Frequently, light that was perfect for my silver jeep was too dark for his redrock, and light that was perfect for his jeep was just too bright for mine. Trying to photograph the two of them side by side is akin to photographing a bride in a white dress next to a groom in a black tux, except the wedding photographer gets to use lights and I had to work with only the sun.

All in all, a great learning experience and really fun day. ctimrun is a great guy with a good looking jeep!

You can view the rest of the photos in the gallery here.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Every day is a day of thanksgiving

Nietzsche wrote; "The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude."

I love sunflowers; they have a subtle quietness about them but at the same time have an in-your-face-look-at-me attitude; they are a little showy but not at all fussy; and they have a happy upbeat demeanor with a laid-back casual wildness about them. And when you look deeper you find a more serious side; they have stories to share about the golden mean and the mystical fibonacci sequence, clockwise and counterclockwise spirals and why pi spirals are not as efficient as golden ratio spirals in the world of phyllotaxis.

Most artists are familiar with the Rule of Thirds, but not all realize that the Rule of Thirds is merely an oversimplification of the Golden Ratio, the Divine Proportion, Leonardo's sectia aurea, "Phi", and it's fascinating relationship to the Fibonacci numbers.

What does this have to do with Thanksgiving? Everything.

My husband and I both try to live everyday in thanksgiving. Today I am thankful for, among many other things, sunflowers - the beauty they bring to my life, the mysteries they have shared with me and the wonder they inspire in me to learn about such things as Fibonacci numbers, Phi versus phi, magical spirals and the importance of math in both nature and art.

For me, Thanksgiving the national holiday is a day to celebrate the harvest not list the things for which I am thankful, and I feel pity for people who only remember once a year take time to reflect on the things and people they are grateful for. I have so much in my life to be thankful for that it could never all fit in one day! I think my husband said it best when he looked at me one morning and said "Every morning I wake up and I have to pinch myself." I hope we never lose that feeling.

But to my dear friends who may read this, yes, more than anything we are most thankful for the wonderful people we've met in our lives, especially those who have become our cherished friends.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Death Valley Trail Report

Yep, still making promises I can't keep!

We spent November 10th and 11th on a fun-filled weekend with the local contingent of Project-JK jeep folks for some mild offroading and wild sightseeing through Death Valley. We started out on Cerro Gordo (a.k.a. Yellow Grade) Road in the town of Keeler, California and made our first stop in the ghost town of the old Cerro Gordo Mine.

From there we took Saline Valley Road to Lippincott Mine Road. We camped near the Racetrack so we could grab sunset and sunrise photos, then took Racetrack Road to Teakettle Junction. At the Junction we turned onto Hidden Valley/Hunter Mountain Road. After airing up on 190, we swung by the Trona Pinnacles on the way home for another fantastic photo op. With a storm on the horizon, the lighting couldn't have been better.

I'm not going to post a full trip report here because I wrote one up for the Project-JK site (which is only part of the reason why I'm late posting here), so please visit www.project-jk.com and you can see my full trail report under Project-JK Death Valley Racetrack Run 2007.

I focused on processing and uploading photos for the trail report, and I still have many more photos from the Racetrack and the Trona Pinnacles to process for myself (in addition to some great shots I got last weekend) which will be posted in separate galleries. For now, you can view the gallery of trip photos here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

There are some people who should not have a blog, and I am probably one of them. I have just been too busy living to actually take the time to write about it. I guess that's a good thing for me because I have a full and happy life and I'm enjoying every minute of it.

So with my sincerest apologies for neglecting my posts for several weeks, I present you with another installment of my LOL Photographer while I play a little catch up and promise to post something real tomorrow. This is an appropriate one because I just returned from a weekend in Death Valley with the Project-JK folks, but the photo is from 2005.

The face is about as bad as it gets.