Meeting Strange Men at Night

That’s where I’ve been.

Really where I’ve mostly been is buried in work. Re-launching a major product at work, which required a major work shift as my normal pile of stuff continued to mound up, has meant that I’ve been badly behind since April. I’m still not entirely caught up, but I’m close enough and it feels good! I’ve even started to visit blogs again, and that feels even better πŸ™‚
(Are you feeling nerdy and want to know what I sound like and perhaps what I do for a day job? Part of that re-launch included me creating tutorial videos, etc. for the new product roll-out. Feel free to have a look/listen if you’re feeling especially bored πŸ˜‰ )

iPhone collage of some of our recent moody skies

But, I lured you here on the promise of seamy intrigue, and so:

The other day, one of my Flickr buddies, Aaron, posted a cool photo of a shipwreck. Thinking it might’ve been the one we hiked to last summer, I inquired about its location. The short version is: “Yes it’s the same shipwreck, and would you like to shoot together sometime?” To which I replied: “Sure! I have no idea who you are besides some Ephemeral Internet Person, this sounds like a great idea! Let me grab the bear spray!” We hashed out a plan to keep an eye toward the weather, and – naturally – meet up for some star time.

We’ve been having a rather Pacific Northwest-like summer, so when yesterday brought both clear skies and a new moon, I contacted Aaron and another visiting photographer friend (who we bumped into while walking Petey the other morning – she’s in the area from her home northern Illinois), and we settled on a loose plan. Golden hour rolled around, and the three of us met up in the parking lot behind the maritime museum in Glen Haven.

Star trails over Sleeping Bear Point

We hiked between the poison ivy vines and over the dunes, and landed on a stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline that we called home for the next few hours. The conditions weren’t as idyllic as we had imagined they would be, but we had such a nice time together – chatting over image creating, thoughts on editing, funny stories. Landscape photographers, preferring the company of Mother Nature over fellow humans, tend to be loners. I’m no different, but for a few hours, it was nice being among friends – even new friends who feel like old friends thanks to a shared passion. I didn’t even bring the bear spray πŸ˜‰

The iconic DH Day Barn under stars and light pollution

16 thoughts on “Meeting Strange Men at Night

    • I’m hit or miss, but I think that’s because when I’m out shooting, I often just want to be left to my own devices with Mother Nature. The other night, though – perhaps because it would’ve been unwise to jaunt off on my own in the dark – conversation was easy. We had a really nice time πŸ™‚

    • I am so glad I didn’t need it, too! It helped that Aubrieta gave Aaron the thumbs-up earlier in the evening πŸ˜‰
      I’ll be happy to pass along some tips when you decide you wanna try to shoot for the stars!

    • We’ll get you hooked up! I added it to the website the other night πŸ™‚
      I’m glad I included that link. I think my job is hard to describe, and no one really knows what I do when I “work from home.”

  1. Glad to see you back and not so overworked. It’s always nice to see few rd flowers dotted around the place.
    I thought perhaps you had gone down a rabbit hole, been drinking strange potions and conversing with Cheshire cats. Perhaps you have, I’ll check your video later when I’ve got a bit more time. πŸ™‚ Have rest if you can, I’m sure you deserve it.
    Incidentally, just how strange does a strange man have to be to warrant meet. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    • It’s really nice feeling some sense of normalcy again. Whatever that is.
      In point of fact, I did drink strange potions, though I’m not sure what kind of hole I fell into. It was sure trippy.
      The thing about strange men is that one doesn’t know how strange the man is until one meets said stranger. It’s all a guess, or perhaps an uncollapsed wave function. Perhaps we should consult Mr. Schrodinger’s equations.

      • Sounds like you’ve been superpositioned. Welcome back.

        I think Schrodinger might have taken it a bit further. For instance the observer might have considered the cat both alive and dead, but the cat certainly new if it was alive. The question would be, would it know if it was dead.
        The other question would be; if the annoyed living cat got out of the box would it have collapsed Schrodinger’s wave function in a violent assault. And, would Schrodinger be arrested for cruelty to animals.
        These, and other daft questions, will be answered in next weeks episode of soap.

        Thanks for the fun πŸ˜€

  2. Brazen are’t you, putting your meet with a strange man out there for all to see? Love the results, most especially the barn. I’ve wondered what you do, so the clip you linked to was very interesting. Do you do the whole shebang, write, speak, film, etc.?

    • Working for a business-to-business company is a foreign thing for many people, and our industry is particularly inscrutable, I find. It occurred to me that when I say I “work from home,” it is incredibly unclear what I actually do. The video is just a small portion of what I do, and it’s also probably the most interesting of my tasks. When we need those videos (which are most often used as training materials, but we’re working toward other implementations), I do the whole shebang – though I sometimes have help on some of the phrasing. They take a long time to make – hence being badly behind on my normal tasks.

  3. Pingback: Storming the Harbors of Darkness: DH Day Barn Edition | Michigan in Pictures

    • Thank you! Maybe you should give it a try tonight – we have a good chance of strong aurora later on. If you see this in time and have a tripod, try these tips for starters:
      Manual mode, focus your widest lens at infinity, making sure your camera isn’t in auto-focus mode, because it won’t find focus in the dark, and making sure you have any vibration reduction features on the lens turned off. Aperture as wide as it will go (smallest f number), ISO between 800 and 3200, shutter speed between 15 and 30 seconds. Faster shutter speeds will allow you to capture more “movement” in the light, so you might have to play around with your ISO to shutter balance.
      If there are no northern lights, and you just want to try for stars, do all the same things as above, only stick at ISO 3200 and shutter speed at 30 seconds.
      (Sorry if this is preachy – I just love night photography, and think you’ll enjoy it too!)

        • Do you have the ability to shoot in raw? If so – and you also have a program to read that data! – do that, too! Be prepared for your images to be a bit grainy, but at least you have a place to start now πŸ™‚

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