Yuletide Photo Contest

Off-week bonus post!  This year I entered the Yuletide beer photo contest over at A Good Beer Blog.  These are my entries (click to enlarge the photos)- wish me luck!

Oh Christmas Tree

Oh Christmas Tree

We had an early Thanksgiving this year, which my wife took as an open invitation to set up the Christmas tree early.  This is a long exposure shot taken with only the tree lights on with the camera at the maximum focal length and nearly the lowest f-stop to allow the multi-colored lights to really blow out and bloom.  I think the beer really pops against this soft but vibrant background.  The result was my favorite photo of the bunch.  A friend suggested I take a flash light and illuminate it from the front for a fraction of a second to bring out the color and detail in the head as well- perhaps I will play around with that technique sometime.  Unfortunately, the head wouldn’t sit like it was when I was taking pictures outside, so I was in a bit of a rush.
Featured beer: Lawn Dart Saison (homebrew)

Three Amigos

Three Amigos

Ah, the start of something beautiful.  This was taken at the Hofbrauhaus, over at one of the bench seats in the middle of the main dining hall (And yes, before you tell me, I know: its a tourist trap.  It happens to be a tourist trap that serves delicious food for a reasonable price, however.).  Given my location, it should be titled “Three Freunds” instead of “Three Amigos,” but it just doesn’t have the same ring to it.  This was taken with my older camera, so there is considerable noise from the low light, and far more lens distortion than I would like.  Just out of a frame, carved on the table, were the names of the members of Halestorm and their band logo, a great band from Pennsylvania I started listening to back in college.  I couldn’t get the lighting right to get a good picture of the carving (the room was dark and the flash just glared), but this picture always reminds me that the world can be smaller than it looks.
Featured beer: Hofbrau Dunkel

A Round with Friends

A Round with Friends

This is another picture from the Hofbrauhaus in Munich.  This was in the middle of a great trip around Europe, and exemplifies my favorite part: sitting around and chatting over a liter or two of great beer.  It was actually taken on a separate occasion at a booth that had better lighting from a nearby window.  I’m not sure how I did it, but this photo really pops.  Guess it just goes to show what good lighting does for you.
Featured beer: empty Hofbrau Dunkel

Fall Nightfall

Fall Nightfall

This is one of two pictures taken in my back yard.  Fall was in full swing, and when I get two seconds between raking leaves that have already hit the ground, I enjoy admiring the splotches of color still on the trees.  This shot was taken with a long exposure at night.  I was pleased with how the blue of the night sky contrasts with the yellow-orange of the fall foliage.  I did get a bit of lens distortion on the glass itself from taking at the lens’ maximum focal length, but its a fair trade off for the pleasant blur to the background.  Such are the limitations of only having one lens about.
Featured beer: Lawn Dart Saison (homebrew)

Moon Struck

Moon Struck

Alternate title: Bark at the Moon.  But then again, I would probably need to drink the beer instead of photographing it before I start barking.  I went out one night looking to take some long-exposure shots, but not really knowing of what.  This shot is the result of me laying on my back for about two and half hours snapping shots.  Surprisingly, the head on the beer just sat there the entire time.  I over-exposed the moon more or less by default to expose the rest of the image enough, but it gives the moon a sort of pleasant dreamy  quality.  Pretty much the only way I know of to photograph the moon and something else is HDR, and I didn’t want to get into that for this project.  I ended up taking multiple one-second exposures so they wouldn’t blur (ugh- no tripod!), then layered them on top of each other with an averaging function to get rid of the noise.  This is basically equivalent to taking a longer exposure on the camera itself.  There also appears to be a planet on the left- the more yellow, larger dot.  I’m not exactly sure why, but I think my favorite part of this photo is actually the Orion’s Belt to the mid-left.  Maybe it just makes me think of Men in Black and I get a chuckle.
Featured beer: Lawn Dart Saison (homebrew)

– Dennis, Life Fermented

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About Dennis
Home brewer, home chef, garage tinkerer. Author of Life Fermented blog.

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