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Frank Lake Bird Sanctuary

duck

Basking Duck

Couldn’t sleep the other night so decided to get up early and try to catch the early morning light at a bird sanctuary not too far from here. I packed my D300 and 300/4 lens, threw my bicycle in the minivan and headed off just past 6 AM. There was a nice sunrise happening and I could have stopped right near my home to try to get a shot with a horse in the foreground against the sunrise, but all my gear was packed away in the backpack and I didn’t want to lose any time getting to my destination.

Vehicles aren’t allowed past the gate at the sanctuary, and the viewing hut is by my rough estimate around 3 km along a barren path in the middle of nowhere. Instead of say a nice long walk along a wooded path in the forest, imagine more walking in the desert. Where you can see your destination as a tiny dot on the horizon, and after walking for what seems like forever the dot’s bigger, and you turn around the other way and your car is now a dot around the same size. This is why I took the bike.

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Small Rural Photo Contest

Submitted three images to a local Photo Contest for July. My only other entry was my bottoms up/ducks in a row shot last year that I thought was a pretty neat capture but didn’t win.

2009- My Year for Going Photo Crazy

Armed with some new equipment I’ve been making this year my biggest ever for photography. Getting through the winter blahs with some reading, research, and planning, I managed to start off spring with a trip to visit family in Europe. This was followed by a number of more local photography excursions leading into summer. I’ve been immersed in photography- reading books and magazines, listening to podcasts, frequenting a number of on line photography forums, even watching the Frame TV station in HD! I would like to have a good 10,000 images in my 2009 folder by the end of the year, and I’m on track so far with almost 5,000 as of the end of July.

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New Blog. 1st Entry: My Pentax DA 35mm Macro Ltd lens

Of all my lenses, which is not exactly the largest collection but it spans two systems: Nikon and Pentax, my overall favourite lens is my Pentax DA 35mm f2.8 Macro Ltd. This little sucker is well built (do you remember steel?), optically brilliant, razor sharp, reasonably fast, compact, and the close focus abilities open up a lot of neat options for shooting. One of the things I’ve found I like doing with it, especially with my kids, is just holding the camera out at arms length, picking an angle- usually crooked and upward for effect, and snapping a shot or two right up in their face. I would caution doing this with adults as the lens is so sharp that it’ll reveal every little hair, wrinkle, bit of dirt, or lack of grooming there is to see. I attempted this kind of shot last summer with my son Jordan, and accidentally underexposed it, really badly. Yet I was able to recover it somewhat in post processing and decided to convert it to grayscale (which I often do with noisy/grainy captures). So nothing really amazing about this photo (below) except that I had to increase exposure 4 stops (that’s no typo- 4 whole stops- the maximum that can be set in Lightroom!)  to get this result. Yet. especially viewing at full size, you can still see every little strand of peach fuzz on his face!

The Whimsical Image
huge-lens

Tripods are for pussies!

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