Monday, June 28, 2010

Just About Lost the Camera

Last night we had a storm come through. Wasn't much here but was interesting to see in the distance. With this I got the bright idea to go out on the deck and to try my hand at night/lightning photography. We weren't getting the visible bolts that everyone makes over, no we were getting the ones in the clouds that light the cloud from within. Almost like heat lightning but with the thunder and brighter.

I had my tripod all set up and was just trying to get the camera set for the shots with the correct shutter speed and f stop. I was just experimenting with everything as well as the focal zoom or how much if the sky I wanted to try to capture.

It started to get a little windy so I thought I would take advantage of a lull in the action and pull the umbrella from the stand and lay it on the deck. Just as I got to the table with the umbrella a huge gust of wind came and all I had time to do was turn and see my camera go from an upright postition eight feet from me to fifteen feet from me on another deck level three steps down. Even with the wind and thunder I could hear the camera hit the lower level hard. Maybe it was the camera and not thunder that I heard, or my voice screaming, NOOOOOOOOO!

I went ahead and got the umbrella save and then picked up the camera. The back light screen was still on and I didn't hear any rattling. I tried to manually zoom it in and out and I realized I had problems. I could see hundreds of dollars going down the drain. I took it in where I could see better. I took the lens off the camera and still had problems moving the lens in and out. The camera at this point seemed okay, only the lens was affected.

While giving it a real good slow look over I noticed the focus ring was gapped more on one side than the other. I could only turn it part way in either direction. Figuring I had nothing to loose at this point so I applied some real pressure to the ring on the side with most of the gap and voila, it snapped back into place. I put it back on the camera and took some inside shots. Seemed okay, thought I would try it tonight at sundown.

When I first got the lens it had a "tough" spot when moving it that I was told would go away and it did. Well it's back. I can live with it since I don't do moving focusing like one would do for a video and I hope it too will go away with usage. It does keep the lens from drifting in or out when the camera is pointing up or down.

Killing two birds with one stone here, the following pictures are the same picture.  First is the original taken with my Canon Rebel XTi.  The lens is a Tamron 18 - 270mm / 3.5-6.3 / 72mm DiII VCD.  The second picture is the original doctored with nothing more than the program that came with the camera "Zoom Browser Module".  For more intricute detailing I us Gimp 2.6.  Works just like Adobe Photoshop without the manuals in your hand.  It is a free download on the net.  If you need help, it's online.
Details: ISO 1/500, f-8.0, 270 mm focal, auto white balance, size = 2.10 MB / 636 KB.

This set of picture is just to show the zoom of the lens.  Kind of an after thought of tonight.  Secong picture is zoomed in on the right hand side of the cloud.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Some New Additions To The Neighborhood

Everytime I mowed lately I had noticed that I heard a bird or two squawking when I got to a certain place in the yard.  Well, I found it.  First I found the blue shell on the ground and figured something got to the nest first.  After finding the nest I discovered the shell was just thrown out during house keeping.  Can't quite tell but it looks like there are three Robins.  Could always be a fourth hiding because at first I thought there were only two.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

New Visitor To The Pond

Periodically we get a new visitor to the pond near our house.  Near isn't really the word.  It butts up to the property line and we weren't told about it when we built but after the spring thaw and rains, it isn't too bad.  We get to watch a lot of water fowl and other creatures.

Awhile back I had a white bird show up  that looked like a Blue Herron except it was white.  Smaller but I figured it could have been a young bird.  I sent another blogger, Abe Lincoln, who is an expert on birds the question as to what this bird was.  Turned out to be of the family of Herrons know as an Egrett.

Well, now I am at it again Abe.  This one showed up last night and has been around quite a bit.  I have more pictures if needed but I figure you will tell me it is too of the Herron lineage.  It is rather small and looks like it is carrying three colors.  A brown, a cream and a darker color that I am not sure of on its wings.  Notice the head feathers when it catches the fish.  You'll have to open the picture bigger to see what I mean.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Time For Car Shows

Title: Taj Krueze Car Show
Date: Saturday June 12, 2010
Time: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Location: Carillon Park

John Dixon owns a Porsche Museum in Dayton, OH. It is available as a banquet hall so that you can end  the presence of these fine automobiles. I have other pictures posted in this blog. 

Every year there are a series of events that Mr. Dixon holds that lead up to this weekends car show. There is a wine tasting evening and a dinner / dance. There is a hot go-kart race on a boulevard where the streets are closed to traffic. Teams are formed with one or two drivers and pit crews. Prior to the car show there is a 100 mile drive that ends at the car show as it starts. All the proceeds go to the Ronald McDonald House at the local Children's Hospital.

I am including some shots of some of the past shows where I took pictures and some race shots as well as some of my favorite drivers and or hero's of the sport.


Here you will find my Porsche wanna-be, my garage done with airbrushing. This is something I have never done before. Still learning. Last is my best friends yellow Vette with a split window '63 overlay.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Blue Herron Feeds and Takes Flight

We seem to be getting a lot of action from the Blue Herron's of late.  Generally we get one at a time but recently we have had as many as three.  This one is one of the larger birds that visit the pond. 

The first two shots are at a distance of about 60 feet.  The later shots are when it decided to take flight to get to the otherside so it ended up around 150 feet away. 

I played the fool and crawled down to a wall that is on the ponds edge next to my house.  I was able to get to within 20 feet or so but that spooked him, hence the reason for flight.  I'm sure that any neighbors that may have seen me think I am nuts.  Nope, just retired with time on my hands.