I rarely get a good vantage of the storms that come through because of how we are situated. Last night, even though it isn’t an awesome shot, it is still kind of impressive because the clouds were ominous looking.
Last night we got our first thunderstorm of the season and it was a weird one.
As usual, we get all kinds of wind and a little lightning. The weird part is that this line of storms was really narrow. We got a downpour and some hail, which lasted less than 5 minutes and then it was gone. While weird, I didn’t think much of it until Hubby pointed out that the houses behind us had piles of what looked like snow at the base of all the downspouts.
We haven’t had snow for a while and we hit nearly 80 yesterday. Turns out, it wasn’t snow.
We got enough hail in that less than 5 minutes, of which the hail portion lasted maybe one minute, to create rather large piles of slightly larger than pea sized hail that ran down and out the downspouts off the roof. The fact that they are all still there this morning is kind of shocking.
I have one of my mums just now starting to show some color and petals. I have 2 or 3 different colors (I honestly can’t remember if one is different or not) and this is the only one that is starting to put on color, so I have a little ways to go before I get some actual flowers.
I’m hoping that the storm we had blow through here last night didn’t do too much damage. I’m not certain I’ve ever been in a storm that kept dropping hail for that length of time before. It would start, hail for a few minutes, then drop off to nothing or almost nothing. Within 10 minutes or less, we’d get another round. And we aren’t talking little pebble or pea sized hail, either. This pattern kept repeating for almost 2 hours. It was a little freaky to say the least.
We also got a ton of amazing lightning. I took advantage of the opportunity and attempted to get a decent shot, trying out what worked well the last time by doing a video. Turns out, I’m an idiot. I had managed to capture this incredibly amazing mass of bolts. It was stunning to watch. I saw it show up on my camera screen so I knew I managed to get it. I got to edit it out of the video only to realize I didn’t have it completely focused, probably because I was shooting through the glass door and it was rain coated. I could have cried. I had this epic, probably damn near one in a million shot and I was out of focus. *sigh* It looks okay when I keep it REALLY small.
It is one of those days that is turning dark. The air is thick and oppressive and thunder is rolling in the distance. I have no idea if we are actually going to get any of that rain, but it sure is making the day dreary.
So much for the pool. Maybe later I guess. Instead, I’ve been tossing around ideas and concepts with regards to indie authors and book marketing.
I have seen a whole lot of hurdles, not just for me but for other indie authors, with regards to even getting your book in front of other people. I do recognize that this is coming from a narrow perspective and I’ve probably just not yet found the right groups or people to give me a better perspective, so this is potentially a bit skewed.
I’ve seen a lot of talk about supporting other indie authors. As I’ve mentioned before, this tends to be a bit cliquish. Authors tend to support other authors in their own genres or those they are friends with. If you don’t fit into one of those two areas, you don’t get that support (and I don’t entirely disagree with this). You also see a lot of groups dedicated to supporting all indie authors without regards to genre, but they seem to only have indie author followings.
Another side of this lovely book marketing coin is the readers, which seem to be left out of the equation. Not all authors read all genres. Some authors may not even be readers (this kind of breaks my brain but it is a truth). So why are all of these groups and support systems targeting only other indie authors? Why are they not attempting to connect those authors with readers or book bloggers who have an interest in the genres for the books they are trying to promote? Those are the ones that genuinely have the ability to get a book noticed.
If you were to look at this from just about any other business marketing standpoint, this system wouldn’t make sense. You wouldn’t cultivate support and a following for say video games among other video game manufacturers, because they aren’t going to be the ones buying your games. You would want to connect with the gamers.
That isn’t to say an indie author should not support another author, just that it kind of feels a little like barking up the wrong tree. Like that whole support system is unbalanced and energy is too heavily focused in the wrong area.
The idea that there should be some way to somehow create a group of both readers/book bloggers and indie authors and pair them together based on genre interests is something I’d absolutely love to pursue. The problem with that, for me at least, is one of the same roadblocks I have with marketing my own book. That is the lack of connections to get it all off the ground. That and I am struggling to find bloggers that are willing to even look at indie books and authors.
I’d love to find out if it is even possible or if others, from either the indie author side or the book blogger side, would even be interested in a set up like this, if they felt like it would be of use to them. If you have thoughts or suggestions, please chime in!
I have always been fascinated with weather photography, especially pictures of lightning. Sadly, I’ve never quite mastered the art. I fully accept that a large portion of that is a lack of actual knowledge and little effort on my part to relieve myself of that lack through research and experimentation. I have played and not gotten a lot of good results, but I haven’t played enough. I honestly do better with the long exposure nighttime playing than anything, but even those haven’t been that great.
With the amazing number of storms we’ve had lately, I got off my lazy butt and made a few half-hearted attempts, none of them producing anything worth sharing. When storms rolled through yesterday, I thought it was the perfect opportunity, but I didn’t want to set up my tripod only to have to yank it all down quickly because I had no clue if the storms were going to start dropping rain and I wasn’t in a protected area. My timing was shit and I invariably missed either seconds behind a bolt of lightning or seconds before. I have a ton of shots of some lovely clouds, but none of actual lightning.
I then remember BG saying something about getting a really cool image out of a video on her phone. I know my new camera can also do video, but I never made the effort to really play with that and didn’t even know how to take a video, let alone what to do to pull an image off one. I decided to try and I figured it out. And holy crap! I am really liking this ability.
Not that any of these are truly amazing shots, but… they have given me an incredible stepping off point to play in the future.
I need to do a bit more research and playing to ensure that the quality of these images are as good as a normal still, but I’m kind of impressed with what I got yesterday.
I will be doing lots of playing with this in the future and not just with the lightning shots. BG suggested doing this for recital photography so maybe I won’t miss some of the poses she would have liked for me to capture, but missed in between shots. I’m also going to see how well this plays with my other lenses in interesting conditions like wind. Really, it is like I was given a new toy.
Today is trying really hard to be a grumpy day. I feel like that has been me a lot lately, which is frustrating because I try really hard not to be so negative. I can see the positives in today in that even though we are soggy as all hell and you can’t walk in the yard without sinking a couple of inches into what is beginning to look more like a swamp, we are safe, our house is whole, and we didn’t get a flooded basement like I suspect some of our lower lying neighbors did. Some people not that far from me cannot say the same this morning and what is making me grumpy is petty whining in comparison.
The rain finally broke yesterday afternoon and it cleared off for a couple of hours before the storms blew up again. Thankfully, they did so after only a brief downpour here, but I got to watch the clouds forming off to our northeast.
I have always found it fascinating to watch clouds, especially storm clouds. This massive storm kept billowing up, higher and wider, building on itself. You could watch those edges just continue to roll and grow.
I didn’t get any of these with the houses for context other than a small roof peak here and there, but this was a massive beast. I no longer have quite the clear view I used to because of all of those houses, but I still have a decent enough gap in certain areas to still be able to get some good pictures.
It was close to sunset so there was some really interesting lighting going on, but it wasn’t quite close enough to create more stunning colors. Still, it was amazing to watch. And, I was really glad we didn’t get any more rain last night. Sadly, I think the next round it due to hit later today and they are calling for another doozy with a potential for upwards of another 7 inches or so.
BG had one of her final dance classes last night. It was a long one, so I planned on dropping her off instead of staying like normal, but she ended up feeling really crummy. To be on the safe side in case she wanted to leave, I needed to stay. I took my book to keep me busy, but at the last minute, I grabbed my camera, too. Her studio isn’t exactly in a pretty area, so this was totally a whim thing. I am so glad I did.
I love storms. The crazy looking clouds. The lightning. The rain (most times). Pretty much everything. Hubby and I joke that when we retire we are going to go storm chasing. Think of all the cool photo opportunities! Sadly, I need to get a whole hell of a lot better at taking pictures of storms before that can happen. I got a little practice the other day after the all day storm finally broke. We got a stunning full double rainbow right out my back door and I managed to get some of the best rainbow pics I’ve ever taken. Which, considering I was battling keeping my camera dry, keeping the back door open and the cats in while jockeying for position with BG trying to do the same, is damn near miraculous in itself.
I also managed to obliterate the total number of photos I took over the entire year last year with this grouping. I didn’t hit 1k images (only counting nature shots) until late fall last year. The below photo was my number 1k for this year and we JUST hit May.
While the coloring in the cloud shots was a little off, it really wasn’t off by much.
This fall/winter has been odd to say the least. We get crazy, record setting cold temps including record setting snows in November. December? Maybe a dusting of snow really early and mostly normal temps, but brushing up against the warm side one day and dropping to frigid the next. Now that we are in January, I’m already sick of it, which is really out of whack for me as it is barely, technically at the start of the season. I want some snow or I want spring. At this point, I’d kinda take either.
As pretty as the last snowfall was, it didn’t last longer than a day. The temps stayed cold, but the snow was gone. Now we are getting another round. It’s kinda crazy. It is really unusual for us to get anything measurable before Thanksgiving, but we got our first one before Halloween (that one might have broken a record) and we’ve already had a second since then and it looks like we might be working on a third today. It’s going to be one hell of a winter.
…just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. MC saw all the snow clinging to everything yesterday and said it looked like Christmas. It does make a pretty contrast, but… yeah. Not yet. It is all mostly gone today, but the cold is hanging tight. Feels more like January than November.
I think we skipped it. We have already had a measurable snow. Not a ton, but measurable. We are also stupidly cold for being in the middle of October, including already having freeze warnings. But hey! I get to really test out the new furnace. I just hope it doesn’t completely kill off my mums that are JUST starting to bloom.