Friday, July 30, 2010

My Harley, my iPhone and the full moon

The Harley-Davidson and I ventured out for a moonlight ride Sunday evening, leaving the sissy bar and its cargo capabilities behind. I toured most of Brevard County, which didn't take long because I was averaging 90 mph. But I felt naked without my camera, a condition I regretted when the sun went down and I was equipped only with a cell phone camera. As our star dipped below the western horizon, our satellite rose in the east. Two phenomenons collided, though, as anticrepuscular rays (sunlight that appears to be emanating from the eastern sky at sunset) seemed to be shining from the full moon.

My mode of transportation is pictured along Pineapple Avenue in northern Melbourne, a roadway that parallels the Indian River.

Night exposures with an iPhone aren't easy -- and aren't that pretty either. This was one of about 10 shots I took of a stand of sea oats as they blew in the breeze along Cocoa Beach. It's so grainy that it almost looks like a bad painting.

Another of the moon near the Eau Gallie Causeway in Melbourne. And to address the reason why I haven't been taking thunderstorm photos this summer, read this.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A minor-league Fourth of July

I liked the smoke trails in this more than anything.

Instead of taking in one of the major fireworks displays on the Space Coast this Independence Day, I went with a few friends to a Brevard County Manatees minor-league baseball game, after which a show was scheduled to promptly take place.

The game was rained out because Mother Nature decided to be uncooperative for the first time in the entire summer. Cracker Jacks were abandoned. Mitts were stashed. Beer sales ended. Much to our delight, however, the announcer at Space Coast Stadium told us every 10 minutes that the fireworks would be shot up within the next 10 minutes.

We waited 10 minutes, and we waited 10 minutes, and so on and so forth. Delight became rage.

Ballpark staff members entertained the children by hurling various things -- oversize T-shirts and bags of non-trans fat potato chips -- into the rain-drenched stands. (How ironic, right? They don't want the kiddies eating trans fat, but here, have a Triple XL shirt because it's the only thing that'll fit you. Makes sense.)

I entertained myself by rapidly firing my camera flash at the woman who danced to "Y.M.C.A." in front of me (she was mentally deranged and likely intoxicated, so she did not mind, rather thought she was a disco star). Craning my neck backward, I looked straight up into the mist that floated on a tortuous path to the earth, which made it look like snow, which reminded me of a better place: Maine.

Then, a countdown. From 20. In a piercing, high-pitched voice. ... Talk about torture. I'd rather be waterboarded.

But then it was time. "3 ... 2 ... 1 ... blastoff." Silence. No blastoff. More bags of chips. More T-shirts for the fat kids.

Six 10-minute warnings later, ineptitude reared its ugly head again when the pyrotechnics crew finally started blowing up the rockets -- directly behind us, where we couldn't see them well. Mind you, the Manatees belong to the Florida State League as a Single-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers -- small peanuts, really. And again, this is Brevard County, which says a lot in and of itself. They don't call its premier city "Melboring" for nothing. So we really shouldn't have expected more.

I took three photos, and I think that's overkill.

This shot accentuates the bokeh, or out-of-focus points of light. In this case, they're green sparkles.

A friend's 3-year-old, Jake -- a.k.a. Jacob, a.k.a. Jakers, a.k.a. Mermaid Boy -- covers his ears because they were cold, or something.