Jamaica: Friday

Sunrise, waterplay, sunset, dinner, entertainment

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I never saw the first sunrise while we were in Negril, but Darla got up early this morning to enjoy it. Unfortunately, she also discovered the bane of photography down there: lenses will fog up at the drop of a hat! Still her shots are pretty of the sun rising over the jungle forest.

Kelly and I snorkelled for quite a while, and discovered a little crab, another flounder and a pretty good size sting ray. He was about 18-24″ across, and was just where the shallows dropped off past the swimming buoy lines. Very cool to see!

What I discovered through all my trials with the Olympus and the underwater camera bag was that I need a different solution for shooting underwater! The bag was just plane uneven in front of the camera lens, and added a lot distortion if it wasn’t pulled tight. I suspect that a camera designed for underwater work — even something like a Canon A60 or A70 with its underwater case — would’ve been better. Live and learn!

Trouble in Paradise
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Sunset was amazing! Today brought us our afternoon storms, but they stayed to the north of us, so we had the advantage of a big storm stretching from north to west, and the sunset just south of west. We had two terrific storm related events — a double rainbow and fantastic lightning.

Before we took our trip to Jamaica, I bought a device called a Lightning Trigger from an outfit in Colorado called Stepping Stone Products. I talked with the owner/creator about what the device would do, and had one shipped. I didn’t know if I would get the chance to use it, but figured I’d have it along for the ride. Boy, was that a good move!

I set up, facing north as the sun was setting, which was really lighting up the palms. I set up for shutter priority mode, and set the shutter at a quarter second. I thought there was something wrong with the device, as it started firing the shutter as soon as I plugged it in. What I figured out, though, was that the Lightning Trigger was firing off the lightning from the storm far out to the west off Bloody Bay.

I ended up finding two consecutive shots which I combined for the shot you see here. That lightning bolt lasted for over half a second, and allowed me to get a really, really great shot!

Now That’s a Fire!
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What could match that? Well a little fire breathing. We were supposed to have a beach party at the resort, but the rain kept that all at the stage. We sat and watched the entertainment, which included a fire breather. We saw him last year, and it looks like he hasn’t incinerated himself yet! Once again, he was quite fun to watch, but hard to photograph. A lot of contrast between the fire and dark surrounding it.