Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Clear Day But A Biting Cold

For some reason after you have a day or two in a row of mid 50's to low 60's a 35 degree or so day seems to be really cold.  This day started out looking like it was going to be nice.  Open the blinds and let the warm sun in.  There was a frost but it didn't last too long as that warm sun burnt it off pretty quick.  As it turned out, the day was cold and it stayed that way all day.  Good day to clean up the files in a computer.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Screening Room

First time I have imported, edited or posted from my new Apple MacBook Pro.  There is a learning curve after being with PC's since 1986 when I got my first Gateway computer.  I don't remember the hard drive size but I'm sure it wasn't anywhere near a gig.  More than likely it may have been more near a 100MB's or even less.  I did upgrade the Ram from 2 to 4 mega bytes which was tops back then.  

There are 5 computers working in this picture with on 32" Toshiba TV working as a larger screen for editing purposes.  The MacBook is only 13".  There is an iPhone, an iPad plus a 17" HP desktop and a 17" HP laptop.  Both of the PC's started acting up.  The desktop is in the mood now to give me the proverbial BSOD (blue screen of death).  Issues with the hard drive, ram, video card or just a connection could be the cause.  The laptop was acting up but it has improved with a lot of time spent staring at the screen.  

I always thought they were fairly fast machines because I don't load them up with garbage and I watch where I go on the net but the MacBook with it's flash hard drive makes them turtles.  I do plan on replacing the monitor with a real "monitor" because the resolution on the Toshiba is only 1080 and the best you can get with HDMI is 1080.  Dell makes one that is Thunderbolt connected to Mac's with a much higher resolution.  The MacBook is Retina and only 13" but I can read it better than the big monitor sitting directly behind it.  The Dell will be very similar if not undistinguishable.  It's also half the price of the Apple 27".

So, this is my "screening room" where my head is always in the cloud(s).  I am currently cleaning up an Iomega 250 GB external hard drive so I can transfer the files that I want from the desktop and then remove it from my life.  Who knows, maybe I will do the same with the HP laptop in time, if you have an Apple product you don't really need much more.  Technology is passing old farts like myself so fast but Apple makes it just a small learning curve.  

(Click the Picture)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Finally, some green buds are popping up.  Now that we are seeing more 40's and 50's we will be seeing the rebirth of the plants that had to lay dormant for the past 6 or 7 months.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Fire In The Sky

Thursday past was a great day for what is called the "blue hour" in photography.  Sun coming up through the horizon gives way to lots of added color.  This gets even better as the summer comes on and the atmosphere gets clogged with all the dust from debris of dust storms, fires, construction and farming.

There was frost this morning but it was short lived with all the sun.  Melting of the ice from the ponds is helping the waters warm and the mist/fog starts to show in the early hours.  

Where are they all going?  Do you think they are communicating with the tower?  I doubt it but who knows today how communications take place.

Raising the sun up the "sun pole"?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Photography Accessories

First you get the camera with at least one lens...I bought the body only and added an all in one lens thinking that would do it.  Well as you can see here that idea went out the window a bit.  I still use the all in one, Tamron 18-270 mm but have added a Tokina 11-16 mm with a 2.8 f-stop.  I also have a circular polarizer for each lens and 3 ND filters for the Tamron.  Also seen in the photo are my Tamron tele-converters...1.4-x and 2-x.  Stack these puppies up and you get long range photos, not as good as a fixed prime large lens but they fit in the budget.  Put these on the camera and more times than not you will use some sort of editing software....I use LR and PS.  Also in the picture is my stand up flash to get over the lens cover and all wrapped up one can see my remote.  The batteries are in a block of wood that I drilled holes in so they didn't stay in the remote and flash, where they would discharge and corrode possibly.  Mono-pod, tripod and camera back aren't shown....just won't fit on the shelf.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Small Moon and Clouds

I like pushing the envelope of what I can TRY to do with my camera.  It is also a learning curve in many ways unlike the old days when it cost you film and processing fees.  I take it, look at it, and delete if I don't care for it or it is really bad.  More of the latter than I like for sure.

With the waning of the small moon or this particular moon phase, I saw it trying to peak through the clouds so I thought that I had another opportunity with low lighting.  These were taken on a tripod of course and the shutter was on Bulb so I used a remote release.  Both were set on ISO 100 with the aperture set on f-11.  The lens was my Tamron 18-270mm with the 2x converter in place.  The top photo was taken at 109mm and the bottom was at 119 but you need to do the double it up routine.  Top photo was released at 60 sec and the bottom was released at 106 sec.  Two things were happening during the opening time of the shutter, the moon was rising and the clouds were moving hence the soft or blurred look.  I actually bumped the contrast and clarity up a bit in post processing for a bit more cloud definition.

Now I can delete them from the card and move on to my next experiment.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Small Moon.....Big Light

They say we had a small moon last week.  I don't think it shrunk, it was just a tad further out of orbit than the norm.  I guess if you're an astronomer that this would be pretty neat.  Big thing for me was to be able to get a full moon on clear night that wasn't quite so bright.  It's really hard to take pictures of the moon unless you have some really expensive equipment.  In this case it was me, my Canon camera, a Tamron lens and the controls.  The f-stop played a real big factor for me to get the star burst of lens flare look.  Then Light Room, Photoshop and I just played around with some brushes for effects and fun.

Here comes a plane for a landing.

Getting brighter as it closes in.

Oops, the page slipped.

Look Who Showed Up For Dinner

This little guy showed up just a few days ago when the ground was totally covered.  He didn't spend too much time here but now he seems to like it.  There is a feeder in the tree that he's in in the first photo so I hung another one in another tree, giving him a choice of locations and a different flavored suite cake.  He found the peanut butter one this morning.  The second suite holder is in a tree with a platform type of feeder so I'm too sure how he'll do there, he may get spooked by all the other birds that show up.  Unfortunately Starlings love suite feeders and there seems to always be plenty of them around.