Thursday, July 07, 2016

June 22nd Storms

Facebook makes it too easy to become lazy when it comes to other online activities such as maintaining this blog. It's been a busy time since last post and maybe I'll get caught up? Remains to be seen as I'm at a different place anymore with this stuff. Anyways, a few weeks ago we had a big day for Illinois with the majority of activity up north but also some drama in the downstate...

Severe thunderstorm at daybreak between Springfield and Decatur with more bark than bite and an otherwise big wet non-photogenic mess.

Secondary line later that morning from the same location that was unwarned yet unlike the previous, highly photogenic with a well defined outflow roll cloud.

Heading north into unfamiliar territory for a look at numerous tornado warned storms in the vicinity of the I-80 corridor, dramatic structure beginning near the small town of Walnut.

Positioning a few miles west for a new cell bearing tornado warning, intense lightning with this one so I didn't stick around nor remember location.

Dropping even further west and south, end of the line cell caught the end of day light from yet another unnoticed location but didn't care as it was just cool.

Now dark and stair stepping south to safely navigate away from the complex, new storms downstream would go tornado warned. Following at great distance, saw power flashes during the journey including over the Pontiac area. Tripoded 300mm with release, I was able to get a likely tornado illuminated by power flash occurring at or near Fairbury several miles away.

Continuing to follow up until I-55, long lensed it some more to get suspicious features over the Thawville/Buckley areas. Lightning bugs were on one this night and made for cool effect even though lives were being adversely affected. Storm appreciation is a complicated activity to understand and will always be a love/hate subject. I just like the challenge of witness and documentation while letting the pictures speak for themselves.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Falling Behind

Twelve years is a long time to pour oneself into developing a craft that remains stagnant due to real world setbacks hence the inactivity. Since last post there have been some spirit dampening things to go down which included accidental deletion of the original April 27th tornado video. Anyways, it doesn't matter, here's some more pics from late April through early May. I'll get caught up someday, maybe...

April 21

April 24

April 26

April 30

May 1

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Peep Show

From the beginning of this year up until recent, I had been spending free time down in Fayette County Illinois. While there I took full advantage of an opportunity to document a local Spring Peeper concentration located at Ramsey Lake State Park. They truly are like looking for a needle in a haystack as you have to search for them by sound in either twilight conditions or after dark with a light. Even then when you've come so close that they are at your feet, they are still easily missed for merely being 3/4th's of an inch long. From late March through April, I made several visits and came away a little more successful with each attempt. On my final trip, Ava was along and got to experience what it is to go from silence during daylight to an ear piercing high frequency cacophony as dozens of them call for mates at sundown. She thought it was pretty cool and I am glad we had the chance to make this unique memory at her young age. Despite hearing them since childhood, I only saw one for the first time last year at age 41. From that brief encounter I knew that I wanted to return with new ideas inspired over winter which included developing a homemade portable macro studio that could easily be carried into the woods. For as all good things come to an end including my purpose for being in Southern Illinois, so too does the annual 'peep show' upon phasing into mid-spring. I have always had an affinity for Fayette County and especially since 2011 when Ava and I were down for another loud event being the periodical cicada emergence. Unfortunately, the reality of life that could not be more true for myself is that where we are vs. where we see ourselves as wanting to be is always just out of reach, much like a tiny peeper at night...

The 'portable macro studio' comprised of two milk crates duct taped together with the top one lined in black foam board while being illuminated by LED flashlight on an adjustable wire coat hanger.

March 29 - Water bottle cap

April 2 - Ceramic figure

Ground level

April 13

Railroad marble balanced on the flashlight.

April 15 - Glass ball

I have a friend who makes the most amazing things including battery powered LED illuminated silicone mushroom night lights. I bought one off of her as it is by far the coolest prop yet!

April 16

In related news... a few of the grey tree frogs from last year made it through the winter!

Full night light, approximately 8"L x 4"W x 5"H. I believe they will be available on a limited basis. Learn more by contacting PJ's Kreechurs on Facebook.