There was some spirited discussion on who might attend, and much speculation about the weather, since much of the past week or so, has been very cloudy and rainy.
When I woke up on Saturday morning, and looked out the window, only to find the skies still thickly clouded.
This was not good.
With coffee in hand, I went to the Chester County PA Photography page, and started a new thread, trying to finalize the details for our rather impromptu meet-up, later in the night.
Throughout the day, I kept looking at the sky, and try to figure out which way the clouds were moving.
In the mid-afternoon, I took both my kids down to East Ward elementary school, to burn off some energy in preparation for the evening, and when we started to leave, I was beginning to see increasingly larger sections of blue sky, which was very encouraging for a night of photographing the Super Moon.
By the time dinner had been prepared and consumed, the cloudy skies had returned.
Just before I left, I quickly checked the radar for clouds, and the hourly animation strongly suggested that there were big clear pockets of clear sky, coming down from the north, and would be over us within an hour or so.
Using Creek Road (Rt. 282), I got to the boating side of Marsh Creek State Park, within 20 minutes, and was able to find easy parking because many people were already packing up and leaving for the night.
After parking, I started to get my gear, but hesitated from getting it all out, because I still feared that no one was going to show up.
When I reached the predetermined meeting point, I was very delighted and relieved to see several other people standing there with their cameras!
It was very nice to know that I am not the only crazy one!
After the various introductions, I headed back to my car, and grabbed my gear, heading back to the group to setup for the rest of the evening.
As the night wore one, we talked about various topic, and exchanged various stories about photography, family and life.
We also tried to identify which towns were glowing against the sky line, as well as experimenting with flashes and flash-lights.
At 23:35, when perigee finally arrived, the clouds were still as thick as when we started, but it did seem a little brighter, which could also have been from us standing in the dark for the past three and half hours.
It was not long after, that we packed up our gear, said our good byes and headed home. In reading the subsequent posts on the Facebook page, it seems that everyone had a good time!
“Let the finished file sit on your hard disk for a day or two. Don’t post it right away. I found that when you get back to it a day later, you will discover things that you might want to change, things that you did not discover while you were working on the details of the image very intensely.”
True words to live by if you are doing HDR…
I have also taken to heart Klaus’ idea of doing:
as early in the HDR process as possible.
I wish I had read or thought about this before!
Anyhow, I just finished posting three images to Flickr and Panoramio, and have many ideas for future captures!
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When I was woken up, I was presented with Father’s Day cards, and a special banner that Amy, Madison and Logan had worked on just for me!
What a nice way to start the day!
From there, I was allowed to watch my Sunday morning programs with a hot cup of coffee and an omelet in peace!
So far so good!
And peace was a relative term…
I could hear the kids up stairs running back and forth in the upstairs hallway, screaming and giggling…
It was also not hard to realize, they needed to get out and burn off some of the energy that is perpetual when the two of them are together!
Since it was Daddy’s Day, I got to say where we were going! Yeah!!
I did not have to compromise or negotiate, especially when the kids heard that Mommy was going to come with us!
My plan was slowly taking shape!
(Insert “Mad Scientist” Laughter)
Now the hard part… Where?
I wanted to try some place that I have not been to before, but keep it close by.
I knew because of the heat and humidity, I wanted to be near water.
Based on that, I looked up Marsh Creek State Park.
Am I suggesting that I have never been to MCSP before? – NO
I have been to the Pool and Water Park area on the east side several time, and I have been Mountain Biking before in the south-west part near the Brandywine before, but I did not think anyone but me would be interested in that adventure.
So I had to figure out some place new, so I took to Google Earth to fly around a little to scope out a trail, and in doing so, I remembered the damn in the southern park.
So I gather up the troops, jumped into the car, and headed out, and about 30 minutes later, we were parked and heading down the trail.
There are many small coves that surround the lake, and as we approached the first one, there were some folks fishing and a dog that was having a grand time in the water.
Not to be out done, Logan and Madison pleaded with us to be allowed to go in the water and play with the dog.
Who am I to say “No”?!
We let them play for a little bit, and then called for them to join us on the rest of the walk, and all we got was “Awww…”, but finally we were off again!
I should have figured that as soon as we were on “open” trail, Logan would be running down the trail, and the parents calling out to him to slow down and be careful! Soon to be followed by his sister, trading back and forth who would be our guide, calling out rocks and roots so we would not fall.
Very cute, but after the first 50 “obstacles ‘… Well, what do you say as a parent…
We finally got to the over-flow drain, and the kids were having fun walking on the grate, looking down into the rushing water as it fell in, but Amy was a little more apprehensive about the whole situation.
Then we crossed over the main damn, where we were pasted by several Mountain Bikers as they headed to the trails on the far side. I reminded both kids, that we needed to work on getting them off of training wheels so that we could start doing the same thing.
At the edge of the meadow, we stopped and rested, saw a Red-Winged Black bird, and agreed that it was time to head back.
On the trip back, Madison made sure that we all knew she was the guide, but after some time, she relinquished her lead, and Logan scampered to the front.
As we returned the swimming cove from earlier, both the kids just ran into the water without evening asking, and happy played until it was time to leave once again.
On the car trip home, there were talks of baths and then fun that we had on our Father’s Day Nature Walk.