Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fire in the Mountains Near Palm Springs

Fire rages in mountains above Palm Springs
Imagine the horrific scenario. Southeast winds blowing up to 50 mph.  Fire in Palm Springs moves swiftly through the Indian Canyons and spreads northwest up South Palm Canyon, ending with spotty flames deep into the neighborhood of homes and condos all the way to Smoketree Shopping Center.

Can't happen. Firefighters could handle the spotty flames that would occur in the light brush on the desert side of the mountain. They're ready to move in at any sign of the fire reaching Palm Springs.
Our heroes today are the the vast number of firefighters who are needed to overcome raging flames and smoke.

Here's to the firefighters!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tiki Art from the Old Tiki Spa in Palm Springs on Sale Now

Click on Tiki to purchase the Tiki Spa Tiki--60s Tiki art
This Tiki art is from an image I took at the Tiki Spa years ago. It was another one of those jump-the-fence affairs. I spotted this while jogging behind a fence in the once fashionable Tiki Spa, which at that time was abandoned.

After shooting the Tiki in three parts (top, middle and bottom) and stitching it together, I copied and pasted the stitched image onto a blank background and started a new background from scratch. The color of the background matches part of the Tiki.

Of course you can purchase this bit of Polynesia by pressing the captioned link.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Airstream at Sunset--So Light You Can Attach them to a Bike

Tiny Airstream trailer, the silver classic shall never die.
Airstreams are in. The 1930s trailers are more hip than ever. To be sure, the Airstream still makes them, but they aren't like they used to be.

In Palm Springs we are fortunate to have many opportunities for seeing the originals. After all, Palm Springs is Mid-Century Disneyland.

The Airstream trailers were popular because of the Airstream's light weight. As you can see they were built so a bicycle could tow them. That certainly would be the case with this tiny Airstream that I caught at sunset a few evenings ago.

Getting this image wasn't easy because I had to climb a wall and take the image while I was hanging on it.

There's no doubt about it that this Airstream is a gem.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How to Photograph Palm Springs Fireworks

Palm Springs fireworks in 2006

Before I get to the technical aspects of photographing fireworks in Palm Springs, first let me give you the information about the fireworks show at Palm Springs Stadium.

You don't have to go to the Palm Springs Stadium to see them. The image above was taken on Farrell across from Palm Springs High School. It's a great spot to photograph because there are lots of grassy areas in front of the buildings to set up shop. 

Here is the basic information you need in order to photograph fireworks in Palm Springs--

What you need: A good tripod and dSLR or mirrorless camera (cameras with large sensors).

When to go: To get a good spot near Palm Springs High School on Farrell, get there at 8 p.m. The show starts later about a half-hour after sunset. The sunset is at 8:10 p.m., so the show should get in motion at about 9 p.m.

How to shoot fireworks in Palm Springs: If you have a camera that lets you shoot manually (meaning it has a manual mode, a shutter priority mode, and an aperture priority mode), you can fine-tune just how much light you let into your lens. 

First, set your camera to shutter priority mode (Tv or S mode). 

Then, set a shutter speed value. On a good dSLR camera, the values will run from 1/8000 second (the camera will display just the denominator of 8000) to 30 seconds (the camera will display the number followed by a quotation mark, such as 30”). The lowest value indicate the shortest time the shutter stays open, and the highest value indicates the longest time the shutter stays open. 
When your camera is in shutter priority mode, it determines the aperture according to what shutter speed you’ve chosen to give you the best exposure. The shot of fireworks pictured here required a long shutter speed of 4 seconds. When you photograph fireworks, you must experiment with shutter speeds in Tv mode. For brighter fireworks displays, you need a bit faster shutter speed, and for dimmer displays, you need a longer shutter speed.