Friday, July 31, 2009

Week 14, Day 92, July 31, 2009 "Esker Trail at von Engeln Preserve at Malloryville"

I'm not sure how many people from this area know about Malloryville, and the von Engeln Preserve in our area. Malloryville is between Freeville and McLean. The von Engeln Preserve is owned by the Nature Conservancy and is a wetland and some very interesting Glacial Features.

This photo is the trail that traverses over the Esker that is part of the preserve. An esker is a ridge of gravel that was formed as the glaciers melted. The tunnels underneath the glaciers deposited the gravel. There are not a lot of eskers left in that they made excellent places to get gravel.

Another feature of the preserve is a bog that hosts a lot of pitcher plants. The bog is very acidic. Pitcher plants trap insects in the tube like structures and absorb the nitrogen by digesting the insects.

It's a short hike, and is a great place to relax. Be prepared for mosquitoes.

Lesson Learned:
  • Once again I realized that there are many photo opportunities for nature in the immediate area.
  • I took advantage of the lesson I learned at the train trestle, and made sure that I set the camera to a focal length of 17 to give the photo more depth.
Photo details: Exposure time 1 sec, Aperture f/11.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 17 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 22.32mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, tripod.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Week 13, Day 91, July 30, 2009 "Gary Rith at the Cornell Pot Shop" Winner of Week 13 Online Viewer Poll

I was very honored to be invited by The Gary Rith of the Gary Rith Pottery Blog to the Cornell Pot Shop. Gary demonstrated many aspects of his work. He made a pitcher, glazed some cups and piggy banks, loaded the kiln, and assembled a tea pot.

I'm amazed at all of the details, and all the techniques that he uses in his work. It seems that many forms of art require both the technical skills to complete the tasks as well as the artist touch for the beauty, and appeal. Gary processes these features with an incredible ability to teach others, and an excellent sense of hospitality and humor.

Thank you Gary for allowing me to photograph, watch, and listen, and learn more about the tip of the iceberg of your craft.

Lessons Learned:
  • Many of today's lesson dealt with the seeing similarities between different art forms. To do it well, there is a depth that seems to come from both a vision, an ability, and a lot of work and experience in learning the craft.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/100 sec, Aperture f/4.0, ISO 800, Focal Length 19 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 31mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, hand held.

This photo was the winner of the online viewer poll for week 13.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Week 13, Day 90, July 29, 2009 "Shelter from the Rain"

We had some more rain this afternoon, and on the way home I noticed the horses under the trees. I don't know very much about horses, but they appears to be seeking shelter from the rain.

I like the composition of this photo, but I don't like the lighting. I didn't have enough time to use a tripod, and filter. I hope to return some day, and I'll see if I can get the horses to pose again for me. :-)

Lessons learned:
  • Most of my quick shots do not result in the quality of photo that I would like. Photography takes time to do it right. I don't always have the time.
  • I want to say thank you to some suggestions from RuneE from Norway. I'm starting to learn about optimal aperture settings, and that I need to learn more about them. He has some great photos on his site. Please take a look.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/125 sec, Aperture f/5.6, ISO 100, Focal Length 200 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 323 mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, hand held.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Week 13, Day 89, July 28, 2009 "Ducks"

I attended a going away party for a running friend tonight at 6:00, so I had a little time to kill. I went to the Cornell Plantations to take some photos. There were some great ducks in the pond, and a great photo opportunity.

Lessons Learned:
  • There are a lot of great photo opportunities around the Cornell Plantations, especially opportunities for the "Bench of the Week".
  • A lot of people are great about having there photo taken. There was one couple that allowed me to photograph them on the bench. I may still use that photo in one of my other blogs for the bench of the week. (If you read the blog, thank you for letting me take your photo.)
Photo details: Exposure time 1/60 sec, Aperture f/8.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 140 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 226 mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, tripod.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Week 13, Day 88, July 27, 2009 Train Trestle Part II

The lighting was better, and I used a circular polarizer filter. I think this photo is better than the first one that I took. I also found out why the photo is loosing symmetry. There is a bend in the river, and the trestles left and right side are shifted from each other by about 3 feet. It appears to be part of the original construction because the concrete doesn't seem shifted from one side to to other.

Lesson Learned:

  • I think the biggest lesson learned is that I should have used the 17mm focal length instead of the 21 mm. The track looks longer and more impressive with the 17mm.
  • I didn't find the exposure that I liked the best of the photos that I took. I think a graduated filter would work better than the circular polarized filter. (This is more of a hypothesis than a lesson.)
Photo details: Exposure time 1.3 sec, Aperture f/22.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 21 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 34mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, tripod.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Week 13, Day 87, July 26, 2009, "Night Time Tomato Plant"

I did a lot of experimenting with photographs, but I didn't like the results as well as yesterday's rain experiments. (On Facebook, not this blog). It's just one of those days of learning what doesn't work.

This is a photo of our small garden at night with the flood light. I think there is some potential for night time shooting, but I'm not very happy with the results so far.

Lessons Learned:
  • Experimenting can be tough, but hopefully it will add to my growing experience. Thomas Edison, "I haven't failed, I've found 10000 ways that don't work." Today I found about 10 things that didn't work.
  • Night Time shooting is an excellent way of getting a black back ground.
Photo details: Exposure time .8 sec, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 100, Focal Length 70 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 113 mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, tripod.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Week 13, Day 86, July 25, 2009, "Swinging"

We were at a family reunion for my wife's side of the family. I took many photos, and was pleasantly suprised by this one. I like the spacing between the girl on the far left, the two swingers, and the women helping her grandchild to swing. I also really like how the girl on the left is posing.Bulleted List

Lessons Learned:
  • A reinforcement of the lesson, take a lot of photos.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/1600 sec, Aperture f/5.0, ISO 800, Focal Length 8- mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 129 mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, handheld.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Week 13, Day 85, July 24, 2009 "Bird of Prey"

I've noticed Turkey Buzzards on top of the Steeple of the Groton Community Church on some mornings when I drive to work. Today I had my camera.

There isn't a lot of color in this image because of the lighting, so I decided to make it Black and White. I think it works for these types of photos.

Photo details: Exposure time 1/400 sec, Aperture f/4.5, ISO 200, Focal Length 100 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 161 mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, handheld.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Week 12, Day 84, July 23, 2009, "Era Gone Bye"

Between Groton and Locke runs an old railroad bed. The trains used to run when I was a child. Some of the old trestles are still there. This one has trees growing through it, and many of the supports are now missing.

Lessons Learned:
  • This is another object that was difficult to photograph. It is large, and it's difficult to get back far enough to photograph it without a lot of trees and other objects in the way. It reminds me of the stone fence my neighbor has. I think I'll try and go back to both of these places after the leaves have fallen off the trees.
  • I think that I should have centered this photo better, but it's a 4 mile hike, and I don't have enough light to go back tonight.
  • Writing the blog will hopefully allow me to remember what I want to accomplish the next time I go to this site.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/50 sec, Aperture f/9.0, ISO 400 (I didn't have my tripod with me.), Focal Length 17 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 27mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, hand held.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Week 12, Day 83, July 22, 2009 "Toad"

Last night after I posted my photo of the day there was a beautiful rainbow. I did take some photos of it, and put it on my facebook account. But, it was to late to post it here. :-) I see others had taken photos of it as well. We could see hints of a second rainbow.

On the way home tonight, I notice it was raining again. The nice part about the cloud cover is the colors near the ground are not washed out by the sun.

While I was taking photos today, I noticed this toad. I had to quickly put my dog, Tank, inside so that he wouldn't eat the toad when I tried to take it's photograph. I succeeded, and the toad hopped off at the end of our photo shoot, and the dog never found him/her.

Lessons Learned:
  • My little tiny tripod isn't a very good one. I need to look for a better one for the ground photography.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/20 sec, Aperture f/4.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 40 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 65mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, tripod.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Week 12, Day 82, July 21, 2009, "Reflection on Milk Can"

It was raining tonight, and I wanted to try and capture something to do with rain. I attempted to capture the rain as it fell, but it wasn't very heavy and difficult to see in the photos. I then attempted to capture the rain dripping off of the roof. I did capture that somewhat, but it wasn't very interesting. I then began photographing water dripping of the lid of an old milk can when I noticed the puddle on top. I focused on the reflection of the tree in this pool of water. That became the most interesting of my photographs for this evening.

Lessons Learned:
  • Keep looking.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/50 sec, Aperture f/8.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 40 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 65mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, tripod.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Week 12, Day 81, July 20, 2009, "Foul Shooting"

Sometimes you get lucky. This shot looks a little like a studio shot with a black background, but it isn't. Somehow the aperture, and shutter speed combined to make the background completely black. The game was outside, and the sun was shining directly on the player.

Lessons Learned:
  • Luck sometimes plays into getting a great shot
  • One problem that I have had with cameras is I'll get it set in one setting, and I accidently turn the know without knowing it. Then the camera isn't set to what I think I'm shooting. Today it happened again. Because the settings on the (M)anual settings were so different than the settings for the Av (Aperture Priority) I noticed it right away because the shutter speed was much slower. I think I'll try to remember to continue to set the (M)anual setting much different from my regular shooting mode. It didn't happen during this photo, but some previous photos.
Photo Details: Exposure time 1/500 sec, Aperture f/3.2, ISO 100 , Focal Length 180 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 291mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, handheld.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Week 12, Day 80, July 19, 2009, "Bodlt Castle, Alexandria Bay" Bench of the Week

This is the second "Bench of the Week" at Bodlt Castle in Alexandria Bay, NY. Alexandria Bay is in the Thousand Islands.

When I was a child my Grandparents had a camp near Alexandria Bay. We would spend a lot of vacations at "The River" as we called it. The first time I went to Bodlt Castle, the place was a mess. There was graffiti all over the inside of the building. They've made a great effort to restore the Castle, or finish it. (The Castle was never finished originally.)

There's a nice park in Alexandria Bay that overlooks the island, and is a great place to sit.

Today we traveled to the Thousand Islands to see some family friends. I haven't seen any of them for about 10 years. We had a lot of memories to share. The oldest friend is who I call Uncle Stanley. He's 97 years old, and is sharp as a tack. He recounted the story of how my Grandfather and he first met. Uncle Stanley was looking for a good camping spot at Kring Point State Park. The site that he normally had was occupied. The caretaker told him of another spot that was very good. It was currently occupied, but the people were leaving that day. Those people were my grandparents. Uncle Stanley asked my Grandfather if they were going to leave. My Grandfather's response was, "We'll leave when were damn good and ready to leave." With a statement like that, it's hard to imagine how a friendship would begin, and be with us over 50 years later. They are a great group of people, and I miss them, and miss our summers of years ago.

Lessons Learned:
  • You can't go home again, but you can share a lot of great memories
  • I was asked by my wife why I didn't photograph our friends today. I find that when I get involved with photography, I have to step back from the situation. I become lost in trying to make a great photo, and no longer participate with those around me. I didn't want to loose the moment with these great people, so I didn't photograph. I need to somehow learn to do both, or some way around this.
Photo Details: Exposure time 1/60 sec, Aperture f/16.0, ISO 100 , Focal Length 70 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 113mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, handheld.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Week 12, Day 79, July 18, 2009 "Tent Over Winefest" Winner of Week 12 in the Online Viewer Poll.

The Finger Lakes Wine Festival took place at the Watkins Glenn International Raceway. It's an interesting event were the participants pay an admission ticket to sample wines from most of the Finger Lakes Wineries. During the day people can purchase wine, and put a sticker on the bottle. The bottles are collected and held at a tent near the exit. At that point the people collect all their wine bottles to take home.

This photo was the top of one of the tents at the Festival. I liked how the sunlight was reflecting off of one side, and the clouds in the back ground.

Lessons Learned:
  • I think the White Balance was the key in this photo. It has a much different look with a default White Balance.
  • Having a single lens with me allowed me to focus on just one type of shooting. I took my 50mm f1.8 lens because it is very small and light, and was easy to carry for the day. The problem with the fixed length was I had to stand back to take photos of my family. This was difficult with the crowds, but I did take some interesting close up photos as well. Sometimes the photos were so close that on a profile shot of a person the side closest to me was out of focus, but the other side of their face was in focus. This is the opposite of most photos, and created an interesting effect. I don't care for the results so far, but it may lead to some interesting future shots.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/640, Aperture f/13, ISO 100, Focal Length 50 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 124mm, Lens Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II, hand held.

Winner of week 12 in the online viewer poll.

Week 12, Day 78, "End of the Trail"

These shoes hiked a lot of miles this past week. It's time to air them out, and let the mud dry so I can clean them well.

Lessons Learned:
  • Closeups of items many times produce interesting photos. I think it is partly because we don't normally look at items this closely.
Photo details: Exposure time 4 sec, Aperture f/11.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 17 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 27mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, tripod.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Week 11 Day 77, July 16, 2009 "Long Lake from a Bench"

I was inspired by Barbara Martin's Blog Theme "Bench of the Week" when I took this photo at Long Lake in the Adirondacks. It's a great theme, and I hope that she continues using it.

I've been informed by Barbara that she got the idea of the "Bench of the Week" from RuneE of Visual Norway. Take a look at Barbara's and Runes blogs.

The Sea Planes in this photo have been run by the Helms family since around WWII. I've been up 3 times, and the views from the sky are spectacular.

I'll fill in the rest of the information on Monday.

Week 11 Day 76, July 15, 2009 "Goodnow Mountain Fire Tower"

This 60 foot Fire Tower is on the top of Mount Goodnow near the town of Newcomb in the Adirondacks. It's a fairly easy climb with incredible views. I had a hard time deciding between the tower, and the views from the top. The clouds in the sky were spectacular on this day and it made for a photo that I really like.

Lessons I wish I Learned:

  • I think I should have tilted the camera a little more to make the tower look straighter.
  • The camera equipment can get heavy when carrying it to the top of mountains.

Week 11 Day 75, July 14, 2009 "Sunset over Rich Lake"

Many of the Days were cloudy, but on this day the clouds began to break up as sunset approached. I grabbed my camera and went back to the beach on Rich Lake. The clouds and the light were great, and there were a few people out in canoes before the daylight completely disappeared.

Very often there are loons on these lakes. Loons are one of my favorite birds. I usually see them in pairs, and their calls are eerie, and beautiful at the same time. Did you know that a Loon cannot walk. They are designed to swim, and dive for long periods of time. Many of their bones are solid unlike most other birds.

This year I only saw single Loons swimming, and only heard their calls once. I wonder if they were nesting, and if one would catch fish while the other was watching the eggs? I did take a few photographs of Loons, but they were not very close. We did have one pop up out of the water about 30 feet from us while we were swimming. I was amazed at how large they are.

Lessons Learned:

  • I was very curious about a polarized filter for this shot. I done have one, but wonder if I can take better photos with one. Do you have any thoughts?
Photo Details: Exposure time 1/50 sec, Aperture f/21.9, ISO 400 , Focal Length 80 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 130mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, tripod.

Week 11 Day 74, July 13, 2009 "Cascade Mountain, Adirondacks"

We climbed our first Adirondack High Peak, Cascade Mountain. A friend of mine had suggested this as a first High Peak. It's an easier climb then many of them, and has great views. When we arrived at the top it was very windy. We ate and rested on one side of the rock dome to avoid the wind. This was our favorite hike of the week, and the views were spectacular. The view overlooks Porter Mountain, another high peak.

While we were up there, I noticed somebody with a GPS. I asked him about his work. He was working for the Nature Conservancy mapping the meadows on top of the mountains in the Adirondacks. He was going to measure 18 of the High Peaks this year.

Lessons Learned:
  • I took my very small portable tripod, but will have to invest in another one if I want to take a lot of photos during long hikes. Does anybody have any suggestions?
Photo Details: Photo Details: Exposure time 1/40 sec, Aperture f/20.1, ISO 100 , Focal Length 115 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 186mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, hand held.

Week 11 Day 73, July 12, 2009 "Moss on a Stump", Winner of Week 11 in online Viewer Poll

Today we did a 10 mile hike to one of the Great Camps, Santanoni, near Newcomb in the Adirondacks. The trail is the old dirt road and is fairly flat. There is the old farm that supported the camp, and the camp itself which is on Newcomb Lake. (The only building on the lake.)

Along the way this moss had great lighting, so I took a few photos. I also took some photos of the camp, but it's very difficult to see the whole camp at once. It is surrounded by trees. (I'll post some of those photos on my picasa site.

Photo Details: Exposure time 1/60 sec, Aperture f/5.6, ISO 100 , Focal Length 70 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 113mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, hand held.

This was the winner of week 11 in the online viewer poll.

Week 11 Day 72, July 11, 2009 "Rainy Day on Rich Lake"

We arrived in the Adirondacks and it rained most of the day. I went to a beach on Rich Lake, and took a few photos. The mist was rising from the trees and looked like a morning fog.

Lessons Learned:
  • Rainy Days are interesting for photography, but on the gray dreary days I find less inspiration. I need to look in new ways.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/640 sec, Aperture f/29.0, ISO 100 , Focal Length 95 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 153mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, tripod.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Me and the Boys are going on Vacation

I'll be on vacation for the next week. I won't be posted any items until I return, but will continue to pick a photo that I have taken that day.

Week 11, Day 71, July 10, 2009 "Interesting Tree"

Yesterday in the fog I noticed this tree for the first time. I like how the branches are sparse, and curve. It was featured in yesterday's photo for the day. Today when I drove by I saw a large bird sitting in it. I stopped and took a few quick photos. When I zoomed I could see that it was a Turkey Buzzard.

Lessons Learned:

  • I begin to notice things a lot more when I am looking for photo opportunities.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/640 sec, Aperture f/13.0, ISO 800 , Focal Length 200 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 396mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, handheld.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Week 10, Day 70, July 9, 2009 "Morning Tree Fog"

This morning the fog was incredible, and created all sorts of interesting opportunities for photography. Unfortunately I had to go to work, so I only had time for a few shots.

I like this one. It reminds me of Asian Art for some reason. I think some of the trees have a bonsai look to them.

Photo details: Exposure time 1/800 sec, Aperture f/13.0, ISO 800 , Focal Length 75 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 121mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, handheld.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Week 10, Day 69, July 8, 2009 "Just the Moon", Winner of Week 10 in Online Viewer Poll, Winner for the month of July in the online viewer poll.

I really like the photo that I did the other day with the moon, and the framing of the branches of the tree. I've asked many people if they could see the craters on the moon in that shot, and they didn't notice them. I think if it was printed larger than the blog they would be more noticeable. That is why for today's shot I just choose a closer view of the moon.

I enjoy looking at the moon especially when it's full. Yesterday was the full moon, but it was to cloudy when the moon rose, so I didn't get a photo at that time. When I woke up at 1:00 AM it was out, but I was to tired to take a photo at that time. I decided to wait until tonight.

Lessons Learned:
  • I tired with and without the mirror lockup, and it didn't seem to make a difference in the moon shots. It might make more of a difference when shooting closeups with a macro lens.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/160 sec, Aperture f/10.0, ISO 800 (I thought that I had it set at 100 but didn't, grrrr), Focal Length 200 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 1477mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, tripod.

This was the winner of week 10, and the month of July in the online viewer poll.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Week 10, Day 68, July 7, 2009 "Sunset Clouds"

One of the really cool things about all the rain we have been getting the last couple of weeks is the clouds have been amazing. As they roll through they take on various shapes and colors. Near sunrise and sunset the red colors of the sun reflect off of the bottom of the clouds.

This one almost looks like smoke from a fire. I hope that you enjoy.

Lessons Learned:
  • Today I was playing with an hdr plug-in for gimp. Gimp is a open source Photoshoplike program. The hdr plug-in inputs 3 images of various exposures and outputs a single image. One of the places that this is useful is when there is a light sky, and a dark landscape. With this it is possible to create an image where the sky isn't to bright, and the landscape isn't to dark. I'm in the early stages of playing with this. I hope to use a photo after processing in the future on this blog.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/8 sec, Aperture f/14.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 70 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 180mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, tripod.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Week 10, Day 67, July 6, 2009 "Pass Over the Top"

My interest in photography began with taking photos of my children while they played sports. As the kids matured, and I purchased better equipment my photos improved. I still like taking photos of sports, but it is much different than nature and people photography.

My son is in a summer league, and this photo was taken during tonight's game. This isn't my son, but a great teenager anyway. It's tough to get the camera to focus well, and get a clear shot. This one seems to have come out quite well. (It's really hard to get the photos clear inside a gym.)

Lessons Learned:
  • Although interesting, I'm not finding sports photography as interesting as I once did.
  • The officials always seem to be in the way for the great shots. :-)
Photo details: Exposure time 1/320 sec, Aperture f/3.5, ISO 100, Focal Length 85 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 240mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, hand held.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Week 10, Day 66, July 5, 2009 "Daddy Long Legs"

Photography is opening doors for me in interesting ways. Sometimes when I take photos people are curious and ask me what am I doing. Many times when I tell them about this blog, they begin to tell me interesting places that they know.

Last night a neighbor was telling me about his woods, and how they have trails all through them. I took a walk through them, and the trails are very nice. There are many ferns, and the light comes through the trees and lights them in interesting ways.

Another neighbor asked me if I was afraid of heights. It old him no, and he said I could climb to the top of his silo if I wanted a photograph from there. I'm not sure if I'm brave enough to do that yet.

On the way back I noticed this Daddy Long Legs on a leaf with interesting lighting.

Lessons Learned:
  • Talk to people about photography, and ask about interesting places to photograph.
  • Day time shooting seems to work well in the woods because of the filter of the trees.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/125 sec, Aperture f/4.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 40 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 65mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, tripod.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Week 10, Day 65, July 4, 2009 "Fireworks"

Happy Birthday to the United States. What is a 4th of July celebration without fireworks?

I like this photo. I believe that most of the explosion is on one plane, and the photograph seems to show it. I also like the various colors.

Lesson Learned:
  • Remember a back up battery. Lucky this time I had one.
  • It's hard to hear the shutter open when there is a lot of noise. With the longer shutter speeds it was difficult to tell if a photo was being taken.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/20 sec, Aperture f/7.1, ISO 1600, Focal Length 17 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 27mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, tripod.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Week 10, Day 64, July 3, 2009 "Crow with Clouds"

My Uncle has a pond in Summer Hill, NY. It's a very small area of the state. My father-in-law jokes that it is called Summer Hill because that's the only time of year that you can get there. Today was one of those summer days. It's an excellent place where a lot of my family gathers. My children enjoy going there, and my Aunt and Uncle enjoy having everybody around.

After dinner I took some photos. I was going to attempt to take some photos of fireworks. (Especially after seeing Greg Kirkpatrick's firework photos on Facebook. Great job Greg.)
It began raining, so I didn't have the opportunity to take the firework photos. Maybe tomorrow night.

I did attempt to take some more photos of birds this evening. I attempted to get as close to a dead tree that had some crows roosting. Finally when I was to close, they began to fly. The crows flew over head, and I began to follow them with the camera. This is one of the photos. I like the contrast of the black crow on the blue sky, with the clouds. The darkness of the crow created a silhouette effect that I like.

Lessons Learned:
  • I think I'm beginning to learn a little behavior of the birds. If I was directly toward a tree with crows in it, they tend to fly away quickly. If I walk at an angle getting closer to the tree, I seem to get closer before they fly away.
  • Red Wing Black Birds seem to sometimes become agitated and fly directly overhead while chirping. I think they may be marking where I am, and alerting other birds to my location.
  • The more that I know about my subject, the better job I can do with my photography.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/1000 sec, Aperture f/9.0, ISO 200, Focal Length 200 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 323mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, hand held.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Week 9 - Day 63, July 2, 2009 "Tiger Lillies in the Rain"

My time was once again very limited on the photography side of the day. My youngest son Allen was in Boy's State this past week, and we picked him up from SUNY Morrisville. This included a ceremony, and a dinner. Allen did not want to be photographed, and it was raining. Between a few rain drops, I took a few photos of the Tiger Lillies..

I like the composition of the blossoms in this photograph, along with the rain drops on the petals of the flower.

Did you know that you can eat the petals of the Tiger Lillie. They have a sweet taste. I get a lot of strange looks when I eat them, so I refrained from doing so today. I try to embarrass my son only a few times a day.

Lessons Learned:
  • Because of the limited time I concentrated on the composition of this photo. I tried for the best background, and the most interesting arrangement of flowers. I think it worked well this time.
  • I also tried a lot of shots in a moving car when it was dark. The results were not very good. No surprise here, but it was worth a shot.
  • I discovered that my camera has a Mirror Lockup Setting. Usually when the shutter is pushed the mirror flips up, the shutter opens and closes and the photo is taken. With the Mirror Lockup setting enabled, I push the shutter once and the mirror flips up. Then I push the shutter again, and the photo is taken. Why is this useful? When taking macro or telephoto photos on a tripod I want to limit the vibration of the camera. The movement of the mirror can cause a vibration of the camera, and cause the photo to have a little more blur. Using this setting can reduce the vibration and hopefully produce a clearer photo.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/500 sec, Aperture f/4.0, ISO 200, Focal Length 17 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 27mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, hand held.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Week 9 - Day 62, July 1, 2009 "Working in the Shop at Night" Winner of Week 9 and the month of July in the Viewer Poll

No, I'm not a Peeping Tom. I wonder if people named Tom take offense to that saying. My son knew I was going to take photos of him through the old shop window while he did some wood working.

I'm not sure if this shot works. I like the angle, and having the window in the foreground. I can see the outline of the window, but it's not very pronounced. I think a little light on the window would have a better effect. I also think that I should have my son move closer to the window. I may play around with this setup some more. Probably without my son, so I won't drive him crazy. Then when I have it the way I like it I'll ask him to come back. You may see this one again.

Lessons Learned:
  • I also find that the more photos I take, the more particular I become. I think this has a plus side, and a negative side. On the plus side, I'm thinking more about my shots and the subject matter. I'm starting to recall my previous photos and what works, and what doesn't work. On the negative side, it's easier to become disappointed, and frustrated with the process.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/25 sec, Aperture f/8.0, ISO 1600, Focal Length 17 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 27mm, Lens Canon EF 17-40mm, handheld.

This photo was the winner of week 9, and the month of July in the online Viewer Poll.