Thursday, June 19, 2008

Peoria Flickr Group Wind Farm Outing

There had been some recent conversation about going and visiting the wind farm North of Peoria.

For those of you that may not venture North on Rt 40, which would be understandable, there is a wind farm that begins around Tanner's Orchard and continues on almost to Bradford. This is a relatively new development. I drive that route to Sterling once in a while for work, and I recall this past Fall/Winter going up there and seeing all these new windmills that weren't there before!! I believe there are about 100 of these giant turbines churning out 1.5 Megawatts each...enough to power something along the lines of 200,000 homes, I believe.

Anyway, the plan was to meet around 7:00 for some nice warm evening light, turning into a glorious sunset, then, finally, night time shots. Well, Mother Nature had other ideas. The sun was obscured by a blanket of clouds most of the time so no warm light, and a less than spectacular sunset was what we were dealt.

Still, though, there was enough broken cloud cover where we were at to get some interesting shots. This one was while the sun was still up.

Standing Tall

Oh, and I liked how this one came out. It didn't receive much attention on flickr, but, I still like it!

Tall And Wide

Then, as time carried on, it got dark, and the clouds eased up even more where we were at, but, at the same time, a storm was moving in up to the
Northwest. When the half moon wasn't obscured by clouds, it did a nice job lighting the windmills. This is a 10 minute exposure. It's always cool to see what you come up with on long nighttime shots.

Windmill At Night 2

There are a few more from this trip on my flickr site if you are interested.

We are planning on another trip up there...this time under a full moon. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate this time!! :-)

Peoria After Dark

A couple weeks ago, Lola Takes Pictures and I walked around downtown one evening after work. Initially, the idea was that she wanted to take some sunset shots of some buildings "in the 'hood", and didn't want to venture to that area by herself. By the time we got started, it was a little late for what she wanted, so we just walked around down town along Water street, then up by the courthouse.

We started by walking through Martini's and took some pics in there. The bartender was a little apprehensive when we asked if it was ok to take pictures, but told us to go ahead. I wasn't all that comfortable, so we took some pictures and moved on fairly quickly. I did get one shot that I thought was ok.

Martini's Bar

Then as we were walking down Water St. I noticed a photography studio and walked up the covered walkway and peeked inside. As I was walking back, Lily told me to 'Sit'. So, I did, and she got out her flash and started playing. After her battery went dead, we swapped roles and I took a few with the flash off to the side. At least until *my* batteries went dead!! haha!

Lola's Picture Gets Taken

From there, we moved on and headed up by the courthouse, stopping for a shot here and there along the way. After that, we headed back to our cars and took off. But, I decided to head to this old building a few blocks down on Washington St.

Used But Nice

Initially, my idea was to use a flashlight and 'paint with light' on the 'used but nice' sign. The flashlight wasn't powerful enough from the distance I was at to really add much, but it did add a little. But, that didn't stop me! I had a play with lightroom / photoshop and came up with the image you see. A little on the digital art side, but I like it.

Next time, we're going to make sure to have fresh batteries in the flash units and make (bribe) Connie be our model!

Sunday, June 1, 2008


It's been nearly a month since I last posted. Where'd the time go?? It's not that I haven't had things to post...I just haven't gotten around to it for one reason or another.

This past week was the last week of photography class. It was a fun class. I like going on field trips better than strictly classroom time. We didn't have any class outings after my last post, but, I've been out a few times with the camera anyway.

Some mushrooms I found a few weeks ago:
From Below

Then, I had to go to Springfield for several days for work. It sounds like I have to go again this week for several days, and maybe again next week. Not sure yet... But I did take a couple of pictures one night:
Train Station Up Close

Other than that....let's see. I got the garden in a couple weeks ago. It isn't looking as good as I had hoped, but, it's coming along.

Oh! Ritter got engaged!! It was pretty cool! The Peoria Jaycees held a scavenger hunt, which was a lot of fun, and at the end, up in the heights tower he proposed. Everyone, including their parents / family were 'in the know', J.O. was the only one kept in the dark. Ritter was so focused on the proposal, that he nearly proposed to the wrong person!! The elevator doors opened, and he was expecting it to be J.O., but, it was someone else! Ritter was already in motion before he realized that it was NOT J.O. on the elevator that time (she was on the next run). Then, J.O. was so shocked, she had to confirm that it wasn't a joke, and that Ritter was, in fact, serious! LOL In the end, J.O. accepted and we all headed out to Ritter's parents place for a little celebration. Anyway, it was a great time! Congrats John and J.O.!!!

The pool of death has taken it's first victims in the past week. Little bastards!!

Oh, and I got in another practice round with the smoker!

Pulled Pork Sandwich

I threw a 5lb pork butt on the smoker Memorial Day weekend. That is what 12 hours on a smoker looks like! I've been doing some reading, and it seems that even though the rule of thumb is 1 hour to 1.5 hours per pound, it isn't uncommon to go quite a bit longer. I still was surprised by how long it took, but, feel better about the process. This pulled pork had great flavor and was nice and tender. Could have been a bit juicier, but, it wasn't bad. Without bread, it was awesome! But, with could use a bit more juice. I'm curious how much difference there would be with a 10lb roast since all I've done so far is 4-5lb roasts. I didn't want to chance screwing up a large one while I was trying to learn how to run the smoker.