Wednesday, July 31, 2013

ND Filters.....A Learning Curve

I've been working with two new filters I bought for my camera.  I have 4 filters now, the first was the clear UV protection that everyone should own to protect their lens.  After all, after the camera the most expensive part of your arsenal for photography is the lens.  My lens isn't the most expensive by any means, Tamron 18-270mm DiII VCD, but it was more than my first camera that I put it on.  Now that I've upgraded my camera they run neck and neck.  I digress....I then purchased a circular polarizing filter to assist the camera in real bright midday lighting to get better colors.  Now I have two more filters.  They are the ND Neutral Density 0.6 and 0.9.  These help with clarity, like looking for the fish in the water commercials or cutting through the haze of the day when the humidity is so high.  They also add depth by darkening the shadows and you can take still shots and have motion.  This is when you put the camera on a tripod, set the shutter speed to something longer than stop action 60 or above and what ever moves in the focus plane of the lens is blurred.  Good example would be a waterfall.  You can take pictures where you see the drops of water and only assume motion or you can use these filters and get various types of motion from yea it's there to what looks like soft snow.  Personally, I don't like the latter. 

This was taken on a bright afternoon, with a lot of wind.  I set the camera up on a tripod, opened the f-stop to let vary little light in and then lengthened the shutter speed to over a minute.  I had the .9  ND filter on due to the amount of light.  The house is stationary while the smoke tree in the foreground is showing movement.  I also converted the color picture to b/w.  All editing was done in LR 5 except for resizing and file extension.


In this photo I used the .9 and the .6 ND filters since I was shooting into the light.  As you can see, the bottom of the clouds was darkened, the sun was able to give a flare of light as it was peeking around the umbrella.  I did use the graduation tool in LR 5 from the upper right corner to somewhere below the sun.  This was for me to be able to light the green grass in the bottom of the picture.  Other than that it is pretty much right out of the camera.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Save the Bird

We've had a pigeon hanging around for about a week.  Started off on the neighbors window sill.  Sat there for 2 days straight.  Found it on my landscape wall yesterday and today while I was across the street talking to someone it came walking from somewhere like it knew us.  I went home and got some wild bird seed an fed it.  It ate like it was starved.  The gentleman that picked it up said it was thin.  He also said the variety was know as Arc Angel, a show bird variety.

When we first noticed it I got my camera to see if I could get a reading off the tag on its leg.  I then tried to decipher the tag with no luck so I called a local pigeon club and they came a picked it up.  They said the tag was special because most tags are two letters that indicate where the bird is from, like AU or IF and CA.  This one was TSCSH with 2011 under that and on the other side in bolder print was 2024.  Bottom line is the bird won't be the meal for the Red Tail Hawk that hangs around this area.

Click on bird to increase.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

It's Been Wet and Now Hot

We had an almost perfect spring if you like cool and wet.  Then we had an entrance into summer on Memorial Day when the pools were to open and it was cold and wet.  We continued on to the 4th of July and it was fairly decent in temps but.....wet.  Here it is near the end of July and up to about a week ago my yard was mowed no less than every 5 days due to the, you guessed it, wet.

Now we haven't totally made up for the drought from last year, according to the local weather experts that tend to take you to school on meteorological activities every night during the weather but in my book the well is full.  So, starting last week we went from flood watches to high heat warnings.  Yep got over 90 degrees and after 3 days we have a heat wave.

Well today we got both, hot and wet.  Not just humid but rain to help increase the humidity.  But, in the long run it did cool off.  I was able to cook out this evening and not have to fan myself or hold an umbrella up. Suppose to be real nice tomorrow.....82 and sunny.

A front move in and over heading east.

The sun tries to peek through the clouds.

As a last ditch effort the sky tries it's best to frighten those below.

Raindrops dancing on a tables edge.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Left Overs

If all the clouds could have gotten together today we could have had one heck of a thunderstorm. Fortunately they were unorganized too much. Where the clouds weren't the sky was bright and clear. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Trying To Come Out

The sun is trying to come out, there is blue sky showing, however, those clouds just want to be squeezed and low and rains.

Of course I have to set the true mood since the blue sky didn't stick around but the clouds did and with backup.


We have had nearly two and a half weeks of clouds and rains.  As one of the last storms past and the clouds began to clear to the west I took this picture to the east and decided I needed to set the mood for the area.  No rainbows, just clouds.  The sun was peaking through a slit causing only a bright spot in the lower clouds leaving the upper clouds and the terrain usual this year.

And Then There Was One.

There are fools born everyday and there are reports for those fools not to become fools.  These two siblings were dropped off in the pond next to us.  They are as big as the Mallard babies which are approximately 10 weeks old.  The Mallards are close to starting to try out their wings, just haven't grown the long tip feathers.  These two, however, are far from that.  The wings are not more than 2 inches long.  

Someone bought then thinking their kids would like them.  Not one thought of how to raise them and get them ready for the real world was ever used.  This morning we can find only one.  It is calling out constantly for its sibling.  There are other ducks in the pond, Mallards, but they don't have anything to do with them.  If anything, these white ducks are afraid of them.  

I call the one in the back the Fonz because of his duck tail (DA).  Looks like he's saying "DAD?"

This is the only one left.  Whatever got its sibling did a good cleanup because there are no feathers.  Maybe on of the local hawks.