Red Rain

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Red Rain

I’ve struggled to capture photographically the feeling of the rich color in Japanese Maples. Typically, the light is wrong, the angle is wrong and/or I don’t take the time to make the shot. To get a good angle would require a ladder. Ladders are a bitch to check when traveling by air and take a lot of room when traveling by car, so I don’t usually pack one.

However, my camera has live view. Which is the only way most modern point and shoot cameras can be operated; you have to look at the screen instead of through a viewfinder to compose and expose. The DSLR has a viewfinder as its default and that’s a big reason I shoot with my DSLR. The viewfinder makes getting the shot you want much easier in just about every way. Composing a shot and focusing precisely where you want happen so much faster through a viewfinder. Another viewfinder benefit is the stance you have to take. By bringing the camera to your eye, you immediately hold a more stable position. It’s a little more tricky when you compose with arms out, looking at a screen. My iPhone archive is full of blurry shots I took before I realized that image stabilization can’t always save a shot. So when I’m carrying the DSLR, I use it. Sure, I’ve shot DLSR video using the rear screen in live view mode, but stills? Not something I do very often.

Looking at the leaves and the light, I resigned myself to turn on live view on my DSLR and see if I could get the shot I wanted. Live view is tough to shoot with a DLSR because of the weight of the camera and lens. The benefits of live view have been outweighed by the difficulties in holding an awkward position to get a shot. In the past, I’ve used a rig that provides more stability. However, like a ladder, rigs are a pain to travel with unless you have a scheduled shoot. And even then, probably best to rent something local. So yeah. live view, no rig. This isn’t meant to be a boast or complaint. I’m just saying I got outside of my comfort zone with this shot, but I’m happy I did. The light from the overcast skies was just right on this leaf, but only if I held the camera above my head, full manual.

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You might have noticed the new digs. I’m testing Linode (affiliate link) as a host for I’m trying out a theme from Elegant Themes called Divi, that is a CMS framework on top of WordPress. I haven’t been too happy with themes like this in the past and I’ve ended up doing more hacking than I’ve wanted to on a purchased theme. I will say that the developers are close on this one. But the biggest problem remains in Divi: no way to easily customize showing a certain number of posts with offsets programmatically within the theme. I certainly can’t be the only person to want this. I have yet to work with a framework inside of WordPress that allows for real world publishing (mostly for clients) without a degree of hackery that almost defeats the purpose of paying for a theme.