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Spring is coming!

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  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Spring is coming!
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, March 10, 2018 9:27 AM

This is important to me because I love to shoot my models in real sunlight.  My back yard has been snow covered all winter.  A line of grass is showing now, out to about six or eight feet from house.  Area where I set up for my outdoor photos is about twelve feet out.  Also, bare grass right now has some standing water in it.  But, weather forecast for next week is highs in the forties, with maybe a day in fifties!  That should do it.

While I can do the eBay style shots on new models (soft lighting and plain background) on new models I finish, I love to do photo backdrop shots (I have photo backdrops made for several of the genres I build.  I love to have nice crisp edges to shadows in photos, and I think collimated light shows contours better than soft lighting.  I have several builds finished this winter waiting for the sun!

I have thought about trying to build a mini solar simulator, but I remember the big bucks the simulators cost in our vacuum/space chambers at work, and I worry such a rig is beyond my means. 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • From: San Antonio, Texas
Posted by Marcus McBean on Sunday, March 11, 2018 6:25 PM

Don,

Hang in there a few more weeks.  Being in San Antonio Texas I been busy with yard work while the weather is is the sixties and before the heat wave arrives.  Once it arrives I will be in-doors until October.

Marcus

  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Monday, March 12, 2018 9:42 PM

Pffttt.... we've got another Nor'easter on the way - 3rd one in 3 weeks. I just hope our summer turns out far better than last year's summer with all that rain.

  • Member since
    August, 2016
Posted by Keyda81 on Monday, March 19, 2018 5:29 PM

BlackSheepTwoOneFour

Pffttt.... we've got another Nor'easter on the way - 3rd one in 3 weeks. I just hope our summer turns out far better than last year's summer with all that rain.

 

This!!!  I'm so sick of winter!  It needs to go away.  We had such a crappy summer last year.  It was horrible.  I think that is one of the reasons I'm having such a hard time with this winter.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 9:17 AM

Oh, cruel world!  Yesterday no snow clear out to area where I set up my table and tripod- just waiting for the grass to dry a bit.  This morning, there is half an inch of snow back on that area- and two inches forecast for Saturday night.  I have three planes I finished this winter ready to get outside and get their picture taken.  Guess they will have to wait a bit longer :-(

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    February, 2016
Posted by fritzthefox on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 5:53 PM

I've been looking for solutions to shooting collimated light indoors, because the weather here always sucks. One thing I have learned is that, if you use a 'snoot' on the lamp (essentially a funnel for the light), it can sharpen the shadows more like daylight. I keep looking for better solutions, but I think the good old outdoors is still the preferred route. I think LED lighting offers some hope, though. It is very directional light.

What did they do to simulate sunlight where you worked?

  • Member since
    September, 2013
Posted by Les.61 on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 6:05 PM

In the Southern Hemisphere we are still experiencing summer weather. The last 4 days have been 30 degrees (Celsius) or higher. In Sydney Australia (a coastal city) they got to 40 degrees celsius on Sunday 19th March.

Bring on Autumn and Winter!!!

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 9:00 AM

fritzthefox

I've been looking for solutions to shooting collimated light indoors, because the weather here always sucks. One thing I have learned is that, if you use a 'snoot' on the lamp (essentially a funnel for the light), it can sharpen the shadows more like daylight. I keep looking for better solutions, but I think the good old outdoors is still the preferred route. I think LED lighting offers some hope, though. It is very directional light.

What did they do to simulate sunlight where you worked?

 

The solar simulators were like slide or movie projectors, big things with big expensive optics and a super brilliant light source.  I would not need the super brilliant source, because I don't care about exposure time.  I use a tripod, so even with very high f/#  I can stand a minute or so exposure.  But, my setup and photo backdrops require an illuminated area of about two foot square.  For highly collimated light, the exit pupil/aperture must be as big as that illuminated area, and optics that big are expensive.

An alternative would eliminate optics. In that case, the source of the light must subtend the collimation angle or less I desire at the distance it is from the scene.  I would want to use at least four or five feet distance or else the angle of the rays would no longer be parallel.  So the light source must be tiny.  I am going to look for the most intense white LED I can find, and see if that works without requiring an excessive exposure time.  BTW, I think I do not need collimation of a half degree that the sun provides.  I think as much as a couple of degrees would still give sharp enough shadowing and contour modeling.

 

 

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, March 26, 2018 8:53 AM

Big area clear in backyard, and sunlight.  Thank goodness, since all covered with light snow this morning, and forecast is rain, snow, or mostly cloudy for rest of week!  But I did get some shots of Connie, Rapide, Jetstar, and Jennie.  Jetstar photos are lousy so I won't even post them, but here are some shots of the Connie, Rapide, and Jennie.

 

I had posted several shots to Postimage yesterday to use in Aircraft and Civil Aircraft forums.  This morning they were gone and had to reload them.  Don't know why.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, April 01, 2018 11:14 AM

I'm glad I got the above shots in when I did.  Today "studio" has about three inches of snow on ground. It will likely stay for awhile.  Weather calls for highs in mid 30s, and chances of even more snow.  I have my Red Baron Stearman just about done, and need to reshoot the Jetstar.  The Stearman has a really colorful scheme that really calls out for sun.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    April, 2016
  • From: Parsons Kansas
Posted by Hodakamax on Tuesday, April 03, 2018 11:43 AM

Oops, I about missed these! Lookin' good Don!

Max

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, April 04, 2018 10:18 AM

Oh my!! I have had to blow snow every day lately.  We've had at least seven inches since I last saw grass!  Cold weather forecast for rest of week, and another snow storm this coming weekend.  Just finished my Aerobatic Stearman, but I guess I'll be restricted to eBay style photos for at least another week :-(

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    February, 2016
Posted by fritzthefox on Wednesday, April 04, 2018 10:45 PM

Great shots, Don!

 

  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Thursday, April 05, 2018 9:44 AM

Don Stauffer

Oh my!! I have had to blow snow every day lately.  We've had at least seven inches since I last saw grass!  Cold weather forecast for rest of week, and another snow storm this coming weekend.  Just finished my Aerobatic Stearman, but I guess I'll be restricted to eBay style photos for at least another week :-(

 

 

 

Ha! You can have and keep the snow. Cold temps here with a chance of scattered snow showers and sun. Whistling

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, April 13, 2018 9:46 AM

It keeps getting worse!  The last few days had some temps above freezing, and the portion of my back yard where I do my model photography is bare now (though pretty damp).  But there is a major snow storm heading here this weekend, 7-10 inches!  Model club, church, meetings called off.  Perpetual winter!

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Friday, April 13, 2018 7:41 PM

Temps been slowly getting in the high 40s - low 50s this week and into next week. No snow in the forcast in Central New York. Rain mainly. 

  • Member since
    November, 2003
  • From: Newington CT
Posted by tempestjohnny on Saturday, April 14, 2018 9:17 AM
Hit 70 in Connecticut yesterday. Right now it's 60. But tomorrow is supposed to be in the high 30's

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, April 14, 2018 10:27 AM

Thought I'd gotten off easy.  The storm was supposed to be in two waves, the first early this morning, the second at one this afternoon. The second wave seems to have come by early and it looks fierce.  The storm was supposed to be over by one am tomorrow morning.  But it is really coming down hard now (10:30am)!  It looks like the second wave is not going to let us off easy.

Wife was supposed to fly out to Florida Sunday, and was worried the storm would not end on time- now we got word it will last till 7pm Sunday!  She is really sweating it.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Saturday, April 14, 2018 11:26 AM

For about 35 days now, just about every morning I peruse the forum and see your title "Spring is Coming", Don.

When is this going to happen again?

Big Smile

-Greg

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, April 16, 2018 9:05 AM

Got me.  The title of the thread has become a sarcastic comment!

The storm is over.  I have not seen anything on exactly how much my town got, but an adjoining suburb got 20 inches total over the weekend.  I had a real snowblowing job yesterday (had to get my wife to airport- in spite of many cancellations, her flight got off, though very late).  We got another burst last evening, so I will be going out to blow snow as soon as I get done with this post.  Predictions of lots of sun and temps in the fifties are moderating downward.  More snow Wednesday, daytime his from mid 30s to mid 40s.  This snow will be around awhile.  The weather bureau declared this a blizzard, with winds in the 40+ range, so I have a lot of big drifts in both front and back yards (and drive).

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Monday, April 16, 2018 11:31 AM

Don Stauffer

Got me.  The title of the thread has become a sarcastic comment!

The storm is over.  I have not seen anything on exactly how much my town got, but an adjoining suburb got 20 inches total over the weekend.  I had a real snowblowing job yesterday (had to get my wife to airport- in spite of many cancellations, her flight got off, though very late).  We got another burst last evening, so I will be going out to blow snow as soon as I get done with this post.  Predictions of lots of sun and temps in the fifties are moderating downward.  More snow Wednesday, daytime his from mid 30s to mid 40s.  This snow will be around awhile.  The weather bureau declared this a blizzard, with winds in the 40+ range, so I have a lot of big drifts in both front and back yards (and drive).

 

 

Wow, I didn't know you were getting nailed so badly. Amazing what a hundred miles or two can do.

 

-Greg

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, April 16, 2018 12:11 PM

Took some shots this morning after I finished blowing the driveway.  Friday morning the front lawn was bare in spots, a few inches on others.  Now look.  Also neat drifts off our back porch.  The area I set up my table and photo stuff is near the foot of those porch stairs

 

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Monday, April 16, 2018 12:23 PM

That is nuts.

Or is it? Here in northern IN if we get snow in April it is rare and rarely lasts or sticks for more than a day.

Is your snow at all typical for mid-April in MN?

-Greg

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 9:46 AM

Greg

That is nuts.

Or is it? Here in northern IN if we get snow in April it is rare and rarely lasts or sticks for more than a day.

Is your snow at all typical for mid-April in MN?

 

The average for the month of April here is 2.5 inches.  This is far from normal!  It is a record April snowfall, and just a bit below the record for the whole month.  Since we are supposed to get more tomorrow, many forecasters believe we will brake the April record.

I hear people saying this proves global warming is a hoax.  As a physicist, I understand why the jet stream is slowing down, and we are having more Omega blocks.  Also, people have to realize temperature and precip are not locked together, they can go in opposite directions.  In the Twin Cities we are somewhat above the average position of the polar front.  As the climate warms, that position goes somewhat north.  The slightly warmer average temp allows more moisture.  Climate forecasters say here in Minnesota we will get a slight increase in temps, and a slight increase in yearly moisture, but more deluges and longer dry periods, and that is indeed what I have been observing here in the last few years.  Storms move slower and are more severe.  Springs have taken forever to arrive in last few years.  I am getting cabin fever every year!

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 9:58 AM

Don Stauffer

 

 
Greg

That is nuts.

Or is it? Here in northern IN if we get snow in April it is rare and rarely lasts or sticks for more than a day.

Is your snow at all typical for mid-April in MN?

 

 

 

The average for the month of April here is 2.5 inches.  This is far from normal!  It is a record April snowfall, and just a bit below the record for the whole month.  Since we are supposed to get more tomorrow, many forecasters believe we will brake the April record.

I hear people saying this proves global warming is a hoax.  As a physicist, I understand why the jet stream is slowing down, and we are having more Omega blocks.  Also, people have to realize temperature and precip are not locked together, they can go in opposite directions.  In the Twin Cities we are somewhat above the average position of the polar front.  As the climate warms, that position goes somewhat north.  The slightly warmer average temp allows more moisture.  Climate forecasters say here in Minnesota we will get a slight increase in temps, and a slight increase in yearly moisture, but more deluges and longer dry periods, and that is indeed what I have been observing here in the last few years.  Storms move slower and are more severe.  Springs have taken forever to arrive in last few years.  I am getting cabin fever every year!

 

 

I see. Even 2.5 inch average April snowfall makes me twitch a little bit.

The system moved SE from you and was supposed to grace us with 1-2 inches. We lucked out and though it snowed all day yesterday, it amounted to less than a dusting. I just saw another "snow event" forecast for this Thursday.

That physicist-level understanding of weather must have come in pretty darned handy as a pilot, I bet. I don't understand 100% of what you said, but I surely do understand that the weather is getting wierd.

And I have cabin fever too. Hope your snow melts soon. My jaw is still dropped from your pics above.

-Greg

  • Member since
    April, 2013
  • From: Eleva, Wisconsin
Posted by Greatmaker on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 2:18 PM

I share your pain Don.  We got about "15" or so with maybe 3-8" tomorrow.  Lord I hope not. I'm really sick of plowing.

The Pe-2 has HOW many parts????

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, April 22, 2018 2:14 PM

It's here!  Yesterday was sixty, snow is gone from most of my back yard, and grass is dry enough to set up for photos.  Here are a couple of shots of my Stearman build.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    March, 2015
Posted by JohnnyK on Sunday, April 22, 2018 4:36 PM

Nice airplane. I really like the background.

  • Member since
    March, 2015
Posted by JohnnyK on Sunday, April 22, 2018 4:40 PM

Spring has finally arrived in Chicagoland (that is what Chicago people call Chicago and it's surrounding suburbs. No, it is nothing like Disneyland Wink) It is in the mid 60's today, the grass has turned green and the Spring flowers are in bloom.. The only problem is that I have less time for modeling since there is outside work to be done.

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Sunday, April 22, 2018 10:44 PM

Don Stauffer
It's here! Yesterday was sixty, snow is gone from most of my back yard, and grass is dry.......

That figures. I got fed up with whole cold snowy mess and flew to Florida. So now I'm missing spring. Figures.

Your Stearman looks great, Don. Yes

-Greg

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