Friday, November 28, 2014

In The Kitchen

Our daughter in the kitchen yesterday preparing the meal.  The tail wager at her feet is her sous-chef.  He's the cleanup guy.   All I can say is Yum!  Fantastic turkey, Brussels sprouts fixed with walnut oil and wall nuts, mashed potatoes, spinach salad, corn casserole and a casserole that was yams and turnips cubed with apples and cranberries,  cranberry relish and last but not least her mothers infamous cornbread dressing.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Starry Starry Night

I'm still learning my new Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 lens so last night I decided to try to see what I could get from's just too cold to go out at midnight and take some shots of the sky.  December 13th may find me outside as that is the peak for the Geminid meteor shower.

View larger. | Geminid meteor 2012 as captured by Henry Shaw of SummersMagic Photography.  Click here to learn from Henry how to take photos of meteors.
This was captured by Henry Shaw of SummersMagic Photography

Again, so far, I am very impressed with this lens.  It's a very fast lens and has less distortion than I thought it would have.  Clarity is great as well.  Manual mode is becoming my favorite with this lens as I can get in real close and still not get too much distortion.  I haven't weighed it but it seems to be about as heavy as my 18-270mm and nearly as long when the later lens is in the 18mm position.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bird Frenzy

Maybe there is something the fact that animals have that seventh sense when there is impending conditions out of the ordinary.  On Sunday these Starlings were in a feeding frenzy.  There were hundreds of them.  They would land in the street and leave is a swarm, darkening the sky wherever they fly.  They used the pond to take their morning baths, I say morning because they show up around 9 AM everyday along with 5 crows the Cardinals, a couple of Blue Jays and some other smaller varieties as well.



A Mood Set In Color

     It's November 17th and we have had our first measurable snowfall for the season.  Trouble with this is that it is November 17th.  Not only do we have snow but the pond froze over for the last two nights, giving way to the warmth of the sun during the day but only slightly.  In this area we should not see the freezing of water until after January 1st and then it is only safe to get on to skate etc. if it is solid with no melting for 3 weeks.  Last night it got down to 13 deg. but on a better note next Monday it is to be 57 deg. or above normal.  Welcome to the Miami Valley.

These photos are meant to set a mood about the 5" of snow we got and the bone chilling temperatures that are upon us and yet I think there is beauty in winter scenes.  April seems so far away right now.

Ready For Next Year

The growing season is over and the plants have made plans for next year.  Some haven't given up on this year as seen in the photo.  The Maple in the foreground has its buds all set and the Flowering Cherry as well.  You can even see the large bud where a flower will emerge in its pink and white blossom.  Now, to get through this years winter months.  I took these shots just days ago...we are in a polar vortex...already!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Which One?

I posted the top photo on a photography site for feed back.  I have received 4 replies and they pretty much all said the same thing.  The last one was the most feedback where the respondent questioned the spot of light on the wall, too much contrast and overly dark.

I haven't put the other two pictures up.  I just finished the second one but I put one like it up and the comment then was that the open book was a distraction.  Maybe so.

The third picture is just a beginning in the series of photos I took of these books hasn't been posted anywhere and doubt that I will either.

Question.....what do you think.  Click 'em to make them bigger.

Friday, November 7, 2014

dPs challenge

DPS....Digital Photography School is a online newsletter with offerings of tutorials both free and fee based.  The fee based are usually from professionals with eBooks involved.  So far I've been a cheap skate and yet I have gotten a ton of training.  I have never taken the challenge of sending a photo until now.  I'm not sure what to expect but I hope to get some criticism or feedback.  It's nice to hear "good shot" or "great picture" but it's also nice to get the negatives, even if, don't like what you hear or read or, two....the critic does get what you are trying to put across.  My brother is a good critic....he tells me what he sees.  My wife does the same thing....tells it like it is and she is tough as nails.  My daughter, a graphic designer, and my niece, becoming a self employed photographer, are gentle soles.  Their kind, boosting the spirit or the retired guy.  And my sister-in-law, well she just loves everything and can find no fault.  You have to love her comments.

Anyway, I sent this in to DPS as my monthly photo challenge for the subject matter of ..... Brown.

Enjoy ;-)

Monday, November 3, 2014

400mm USM or L Lens

Just as large as this lens is the word Super fits it just fine.  Personally I think this is a great lens for not only birding or any other kind of wildlife at a distance but also for artistic touches.

I took this photo Saturday night.  This tree is approximately 20' from my back door.  The color in the background is a street that is lit by sodium vapor lamps.

The next morning my brother took these two shots of the frost on the deck rails.  Again, this is as well as all photos in this post are with the 400mm lens.  Shot was taken at about a 14' distance.

It's all about the color in the fall and this lens lets you capture it with no problem.  I lightened it just a bit but otherwise I really like the way it pulled the red, magenta, yellow and gold out.

Almost done, sitting on tripod and changing the focus from the maple tree in the foreground to the pine tree in the background.  The maple was 35' or so out and the pine tree is 50 yards or better on the other side of a road that runs behind our house.

Lastly, on Saturday night I was able to catch all the bats and witches flying out after a wicked Halloween night in the area.  They heard that there season was over and the kids were still bouncing off the walls from all the candy they had collected.  No worry, they will be back next year for another round of ghosts and goblins.
Truthfully, this is a street light and the maple tree from the first shot but at a different angle.  Again I must point out the artistic capabilities of the lens.  It just takes your imagination.

Trying Out A Different Lens

I worked with a Canon 14mm USM ll lens over the weekend.  I think it is awesome.  It has great color as well as bokeh (natural) and crystal clear.  As you can see here I focused on the OK button in the top photo and the Guide button in the 2nd photo.  Above and below these focus points the images are blurred.  I was maybe 6" from the controller.

In the third picture I was only going for the clarity of the scene, both near the lens and in the distance.  As I still learn something all the time I would use this for a street lens, a macro for non moving items and as it is, a wide angle lens.  It brings out the detail at all ranges.

If you want to see them more or more of them, click on the pics.  I know, I need to clean my controller.  Also, I did not make any adjustments for distortion as I thought I might have to.