I do like drifting. But the real reason I still go to these events has little to do with the cars, or the driving. To Me, camping is the good life. Out under the stars, the sounds of wind, sweeping through the trees, the lack of sirens, which never stop at home in the city. Race tracks aren’t exactly what most people think of when You say camping, but they’re a great alternative to the many popular parks, which are often booked full, or only offer a gravel parking lot full of other people and claim it’s a camp site… Usa International Raceway has, for many years, been My go to camping track. I first pitched a tent here in 2006 and have been happy to do so at least once a year since. It’s not a secluded hike in camp, nor is there a waterfall to soothe the senses. Though it is pretty sweet waking up to wailing engines and screaming tires.
Naturally, I took the time to shoot the stars on both nights this Final Bout weekend. This after all, is what I love to do most… Don’t mind the terrible video quality, tis the way of things when You get free hosting. If You watch it on Vimeo’s site, it will look a little bit better. Just don’t expect it to be great.
I would like to point out how lucky we were, or how lucky this guy was anyways. To survive without a fiery melt down. There was once a Hyundai Genesis that went up in flames and burned til it was no more than a pile of metal at this track. Though it would’ve made great pictures to see this s14 burn, I’m happy it didn’t. Please note, the flamable liquid flowing from behind the door for the gas cap!
Though My goal for the weekend was to capture as much carnage as possible, I didn’t get any. I even missed Tim slamming his car in to the back of Fish. Which looks to have ended the life of Tim’s s13 and delt a fair amount of damage to Fish’s freshly built Boss Datsun Camaro Rocket Mustang Silvia Bunny, or whatever the hell You’d call it. And so, in the absence of destruction of whole cars, here are a few more views of tires being ravaged by horsepower and tarmac. Among other things.
September 11, 2015 | Categories: Automotive Photography, Time Lapse, Videos | Tags: 325i, 350z, action, ae86, animal style, awesome, bmw, bout, breaking, burning rubber, camping, canada, canadian, canadians, car, cars, celica, chaser, clouds, cloudy, club sandwich street team, clubfr, continent, corola, corolla, cressida, cresta, drift, drift farm, drifting, essense, event, faction motorsports, fd, final, finalbout, fun, glow, grip gambler, gts, hachi, haze, high fade, holiday, jzx, kouki, labor day, lapse, lexus, light trails, lights, m3, mark iii, mazda, middle america, midwest, moon lighter, murica, nerp, night, nissan, north america, on track, picture, pictures, pit lane, pits, proceed, race track, risky devil, rural views, rx7, s13, s14, sc300, shadynasty, shawano, shots, sky, skyline, smoke, soarer, star, stars, startrails, supra, tandem, team, team breaking, team proceed, tfworks, time, timelapse, tire, tire slayers, toyota, track, trails, urban glow, usa international raceway, usair, views, weekend, wisconsin, zenki | Leave a comment
This wasn’t My best outing on the photography end of things. I usually snap 1200, to 1800 pictures at each event. But, this time I only managed 327. Fortunately, the number of decent shots was higher than the usual 15%. Some how nearly half of the pictures I took turned out decent enough to post. Though I still need to take the time to take pictures of people, which is something I rarely ever do… I stayed up all night drinking whiskey and shooting the stars. Finally getting around to pitching My tent at 5am, proceeding to sleep for less than two hours and spending the first chunk of the day quite drunk. I think I did pretty well, all things considered. Better than Maggie anyways! Along with the 140 shots of cars, here are a few views from the night before and a video of the 3 time lapses I shot over the weekend. As usual, Vimeo’s free hosting makes video look like garbage, but Ye get what You pay for I guess. Hit the “HD” button to see it in slightly better, but still quite poor quality. No there isn’t any audio, because it’s 3am and I would rather go to sleep… I will add the handfull of clips I shot riding along with people at a later date. However, as an added bonus, here’s a picture of Pat, looking angry…
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, on with the good stuff.
July 15, 2015 | Categories: Automotive Photography, Time Lapse, Videos | Tags: 53, ameteur, andor, burning rubber, camping, cars, club sandwich, clubfr, dark squad, day, dd53, dirty love, drift, driftday, drifter, drifters, drifting, good times, grass roots, image stack, lapse, midwest, milky way, night sky, no sleep til drifting, pat looks angry, photo, photographer, photos, picture, pictures, race track, risky devil, road trip, shawano, shots, sideways, slideways, stars, starstax, street dancer, time, timelapse, tire smoke, track day, usa international raceway, usair, vid, video, view, views, wierdos, wisconsin | Leave a comment
Yep, I made a video! There’s a first time for everything… The first three quarters took Me about 2 hours to patch together, from clips made after each time I shot a sequence. The song took a couple days of semi-inspired attention. The last segment of the video however, took 3 weeks to edit. Mostly because I used StarStax to make 5 versions of the sequences. Then, I had to pluck the right spots from those in small chunks, reverse the numbering order on half of them, make videos of each of those sections, then finally patch them all together and time them to the music. The result? Dancing stars! Watch through the end and see what I am on about..
As with all the vids on this blog, it is hosted for free by Vimeo. So it is of low image quality, watching it on their site does look slightly better than watching it here… So sad, because it looks awesome in 4K! Vimeo also neglected to keep the music synced with the video! :( No wonder I refuse to pay them a penny!
December 29, 2014 | Categories: Photography, Time Lapse | Tags: andor, andorius, awesome, beautiful, buildings, capitol, check it out, cities, city, clip, clips, cloud, clouds, commute, construction, country, countryside, crane, cranes, dark, downtown, eclipse, edit, edited, evening, film, forest, freeway, good, grass, highway, horizon, hosted, lake, lapse, lapsing, luna, minneapolis, minnesota, mn, moon, motion, nature, night, original, park, parking lot, pit lane, pond, race track, road, roof top, rooftop, saint paul, scenic, segment, sequence, sequences, skies, sky, skyline, star, star trails, stars, startrails, state park, state parks, street, sun, superior, the heavens, time, time lapse, timelapse, town, traffic, tree, trees, twin cities, urban, vid, video, videos, vids, wilderness | Leave a comment
In the past, I would take long exposure shots of the night sky. 30 minutes for a single photo was a normal affair. Last summer however, I started shooting time lapse sequences. Setting up My camera to automatically take a picture at what ever interval is desired, changed things up a lot. I found Myself going camping and letting My camera run, aimed toward the heavens while I slept. At first I was taking the resulting photos and making videos. Which is quite cool, watching the stars fly by at high speed. Not very long ago I found a free program called StarStax and have added another dimention to the time lapses I’ve been shooting. There is a video in the works, but it won’t be ready for a while. So, here are the stacked still images of a few of the night sky time lapses I captured this year.
Starting with this gem, which was a 5 and a half hour long series of 1,000 images. Nearly a quarter of earth’s rotation, viewed in one still shot. For those who are curious, The moon was on the other side of the earth and My Canon 6D with 24mm lens were set up as follows: Manual mode, f/1.4(focused on the stars), ISO 640, white balance 5400K, shutter speed of 13 seconds, taking a picture every 15 seconds. There is no edit involved, except running the images through StarStax. The second shot is the same image set, with “comet mode” selected in StarStax, no other edits…
I’m particularly proud of that time lapse! The rest of these were taken with Similar settings, at different locations over the last 6 months. Sadly, the moon was in the sky for all of them but the last one, so there are less stars visible compared to the above shots. Even so, They look pretty cool. If I say so Myself… It’s been cloudy here for weeks, but as soon as I get a chance, there will be more coming.
December 19, 2014 | Categories: Photography, Time Lapse | Tags: amazing, andor, awesome, axis, brush, constellation, constellations, cool, digital, distance, distant, earth's, edit, edited, ethereal, focus, foreground, forest, fun, grass, horizon, image, images, layer, layered, layers, light, lights, long exposure, looking up, natural, nature, night, photo, photograph, photographs, photography, photos, pic, pics, picture, pictures, polar, race track, road, rotation, sharp, shooting star, shooting stars, sight, sky, stack, stacked, stacking, star, star trails, stars, starstax, streak, streaks, the heavens, time lapse, track, trails, tree, trees, turns, usa international raceway, usair, view | Leave a comment
That’s right, I went on yet another one night camping excursion. This time, My brother, our friend Ryan and I headed to Mille Lacs Kathio State Park. The site that I booked was nicely secluded, located on a beaver laden pond, it made for a very pleasant night. Hiking the trail out to our weekend home, it was clear that we were in a part of the park that most people rarely visit. This was certainly one of the most picturesque places that I have been lately. With any luck, I shall camp at this spot again once winter is in full swing. I didn’t take a ton of pictures during the day, instead opting to focus on capturing the stars in the night’s sky. For the first time, I had good luck too. There were no clouds that night and the moon was on the other side of the planet. One couldn’t ask for better conditions to capture the vast expanse of stars.
Most of the day time was spent being lazy as hell. I did set up My cameras to catch a couple of time lapses, but did not take the time to set up My shots very well. Even so, I made a quick video of what I did manage to catch. At this rate, I am going to have to pay Vimeo, so You can all see what I’ve been doing in a reasonable resolution. :( Go ahead, have a look, there’s some nice stuff mixed in to the medeocre day time lapses. I do suggest hitting the misleading “HD” button, which brings You away from here and on to Vimeo’s site to watch it. The quality is slightly more appreciable.
Just after pausing by a map, to see where we were and staopping to take a quick shadow selfie, the path led us to the remains of a tree, about 7 feet tall and completely hollowed out by woodpeckers. Happily, they made a hole near the base, the perfect size to squeeze a camera into.
We did not see any bears, but definately spotted their droppings. There were a few little garter snakes slithering around and plenty of odd varieties of fungus growing all about. I really do love the wilderness! Why did I have to be born in to the city life? Hopefully one day I will be able to afford to move out of the urban environment, I would be a much happy’er person.
October 28, 2014 | Categories: Photography, Random Thoughts, Time Lapse | Tags: andor, andorius, animated, animation, bright, brown rainbow, camp, camping, clear, clip, constellation, constellations, country, dark, day, dusk, endless blue, ethereal, foreground, forest, fun, fungus, garter, glow, grass, grassy, hike, hiking, hole, hollow, horizon, kathio, lapse, leaves, light, lit, map, middle america, midwest, mille lacs, minnesota, mn, moshroom, mullet, mushrroms, night, orion, outdoors, park, path, photo, photographer, pics, pictures, pond, rural, scenery, scenic, secluded, selfie, shadow, shadows, site, skies, sky, snake, snakes, star, stars, state, state park, stills, striped, stripes, stump, sunny, temperate, the heavens, time, timelapse, trail, tree, trees, undergrowth, video, view, wild, wilderness, wooded, woods | Leave a comment
Here is the Video!
September 15, 2014 | Categories: Photography, Time Lapse | Tags: andor, andorius, animated, animation, avery, carlos avery, cloud, clouds, country, digital, ether, ethereal, field, film, fog, foggy, forest, grass, grassy, heavens, landscape, lapse, lookingup, lookup, middle america, minnesota, mn, motion, move, moving, night, nighttime, photo, photographer, photography, photos, pictures, refuge, rotation, rural, shoot, shooting, shot, skies, sky, star, stars, time, time lapse, timelapse, tree, trees, video, wildlife refuge | Leave a comment
Last night, My Brother and I wandered out of the city to find a nice view in the country. It was said there would be a meteor shower, or possibly even a ‘meteor storm.’ We headed east of town, trying to get ahead of the approaching clouds. The shooting stars that we were seeking should have been mostly in the northern sky. We roamed the rural roads north of Hudson, WI for a while, finding a lack of northerly views that weren’t spoiled by peoples lights. Then, there was an openning to the south which revealed an awesome array of stars. We parked in someone’s driveway and proceeded to shoot from there for 2 or more hours. In some of the pictures, You can almost make out the edge of the milky-way. I was however aiming directly at I94, Hudson and the Twin Cities, with all the light pollution they emit. So after a few shots I turned to aim up and above the horizon. Which gave Me the awesome star trails, layered up around the Earth’s northern rotational axis. We only saw a couple of shooting stars, but it was still a great time.
The slightly ghost-like picture at the end was aquired with a 10 second exposure, ISO-800 at an aperture of f/1.4. All pictures taken with a Sigma 30mm 1.4 Ex on My Canon t4i.
May 24, 2014 | Categories: Photography, Random Thoughts | Tags: .jpg, 1am, 2014, 23rd, 24th, 2am, 3am, all night, am, amazing, andor, andorius, aperture, around, axis, beautiful, beauty, capture, capturing, clear, constellation, constellations, country, digital, distance, earth, ether, ethereal, exposure, foreground, ghost, ghostly, gorgeous, high, hill, hudson, images, img, iso, long, low, may, mid-west, middle america, midnight, midwest, natural, nature, night, north america, photo, photograph, photographer, pic, picture, pix, polar, pole, pretty, rings, rotation, rotational, rural, scenery, shoot, shooting, shot, shots, silhouette, sky, somerset, spinning, spotted, star, stars, streak, streaked, streaks, striped, the heavens, tops, trail, trails, tree, trees, twilight, universe, view, views, wi, wisconsin, world | 2 Comments
My friend Asha called Me early in the week and asked if I wanted to go camping. She was in need of being surrounded by nature, as opposed to this city-born existence we live. Sharing Her sentiment, I said “hell yeah!” It was a one night excursion in the snow. After sitting in My alley for nearly an hour, calling state parks, browsing the Minnesota DNR website and scrolling through maps, the destination was decided. Wild River State Park, on the Saint Croix River, an hour or so north of the Twin Cities. I had never been there before and google maps gave us useless directions. For some reason, they said the park’s entrance was at the boat launching point, down a non-maintained dirt road, ten miles from the actual entrance to the park. Eventually, we found where we needed to be and effectively had the park to ourselves. One mile of hiking through sloppy snow down the untouched trail, camp was made. It wasn’t actually very cold out. 40’s on Saturday and 50’s sunday, I would guess the temperature at night was around 30 degrees. The snow certainly made it feel like winter, as did the massive slabs of ice floating down the river.
During the day Saturday, there were no clouds in the sky, so I was quite excited to get some pictures of stars, then as the sun set, clouds rolled in. They relented for about 45 minutes and revealed the sparkling sky I wanted to see. Some good practicing time doing something I have long been a fan of seeing others do. Capturing the night’s sky. Here is what I came up with.
First thing Sunday morning, I woke up, snapped the picture at the top of this post and proceeded to go back to sleep for 2 more hours. After that, we shared a can of pinapple chunks and Asha sat down to read in the sun. I decided to go for a walk, hoping to snag some closer pictures of some birds of prey. Half a mile or so down the trail from camp, I spotted a massive bird landing on a tree a few hundred yards away. I did My best to quietly work towards it, but such a thing isn’t possible when You’re walking through snow ranging from four inches to two feet deep. It kept ahead of Me, following the river for at least an hour, flying from one tree to the next. Every time I got within 150 yards, the bird would skip ahead another 300-400 yards. I use a 70-200mm lens on a cropped image sensor and just couldn’t get close enough for the shots that I desired. Which was quite saddening to Me, given this huge bird was actually an owl. I didn’t know they were so active during the day. It may only be this particular type of owl, which I believe was a Barred Owl. The wing span looked to be five, or more, feet. After looking at the two pictures I got of it, I was suprised that I wasn’t looking at a Great Grey owl. This owl’s eyes were not the right color and the greyish brown, with white stripes on the feathers didn’t match either. Included below is this barred owl sitting in a tree and flying directly over head at about 400 feet.
This was an especially awesome weekend for Me. Seeing for the first time, that big owl, golden eagles and turkey vultures. Not to mention the bald eagles, herrons, swans and various varieties of ducks that were fluttering about in large numbers. Just after the sun set, a pair of golden eagles came to our camp site. One landed in a tree about 40 feet from where we were, while the other circled 40-60 feet above us. I was a bit nervous, as well as awe struck. Not as large as the ones I’ve heard and read about, but the wing span was at least 6 feet. It was to dark for Me to get any sort of picture, so I am making due with these long range shots I aquired during the day light hours.
April 8, 2014 | Categories: Photography, Random Thoughts | Tags: air, amazing, april, beautiful, big, biggest, birds, bright blue, cloud, clouds, colors, cool, covered, creatures, day, daytime, deep blue, dnr, door, doorway, elapsed, exposure, flight, fly, flying, food chain, free, get away, getaway, hunting, jupiter, large, life, look, looking, massive, middle america, midwest, minnesota, minnesotan, mn, natural, nature, night, noerthern axis, north, north america, northern, one night, one nighter, outdoors, parks, patch, predators, prints, puff, quarrel, quarreling, rise, road, rotation, saturday, searching, short, silhouette, skies, sky, snowy, soaring, star, stars, state, state park, sun, sunday, sunrise, swirl, track, travel, trip, vacation, valley, weather, weekend, wild, wild river, wildlife, window, wings | Leave a comment
March 16, 2014 | Categories: Photography | Tags: archer, atmosphere, belt, black, bodies, bright, cloud, clouds, cluster, clusters, constellation, cosmic, cosmos, dark, ether, ethereal, galaxies, galaxy, glow, lights, midnight, natural, nature, night, orion, orions, picture, skies, sky, spots, star, stars, the heavens, time, universe, up, winter | Leave a comment