Day 39 - Orion in the southern sky. / by Edward Crim

Winter’s grip is still unbroken, in spite of a warm spell we had last weekend. My front yard is a sheet of ice, apparently from a water main break in either my yard or my neighbors. It was also an issue at my studio, where I’ve noted for some time that water seeps from under the building and flows down the parking lot entrance to the street. That flow of water was a sheet of ice this morning, about an inch thick in some parts. These midwestern winters are getting to be a bit on the tiresome side. 

So I went to my favorite park, less than a mile from my home. It was late in the day when I went, as I was busy with a variety of other jobs, such as a video promoting our Studio 858 Thursday evening model and photographer events and another one that is a review of a Swiss made 35mm SLR camera called the Alpa, made from about 1942 to 1990. It’s part of my alphabet of 35mm SLR cameras from Alpa to Zenit, a Russian made unit. There are only three letters of the alphabet for which there is no corresponding camera: J (I propose “Japanoflex”), Q (though the Ritz Camera brand Quantaray did sell a camera, they called it the “Dakota”. I’m under the impression there may be a Quixotiflex, but I’m not sure it’s a worthwhile search) and X (Xenoflex would indeed be a strange name for a camera).

I got to Forest Park just as the sun was going down. I had picked up Rebecca from school and entered the park from Lindell Boulevard just in time to see it sink below the horizon. Sunsets, though, are hard to photograph. The brightness range of the scene is so great that capturing what be see is beyond the capabilities of our cameras. At least with one exposure. High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography is a way of surmounting this difficulty that involves taking multiple exposures (at least 3) and blending them to capture the detail that we see in the shadow areas of the scene, the midtones and the highlights. It is usually an automated process that the user can adjust to his or her preferences; Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop will allow the creation of HDR images. I myself have not been too happy with the results I’ve gotten, nor with most of what I see others doing with the technique, but there are a few who have mastered it.

I wound up returning to Studio 858 to finish shooting and editing the video (available on the St. Louis Photo Authority®’s Youtube channel) and so wound up in FoPa (as my children call it) shortly before the start of the 10pm to 6am curfew. It was then that I saw the hunter and went to seek him where he roams.

Orion in the southern sky

Orion in the southern sky