Another day closer to warmer weather. I talked with my dear Friend Dave, who is wintering in Florida, yesterday. He was sitting on his deck enjoying a beverage and soaking up the sun. He said it was a bit nippy and only around 78 degrees. As I looked at my computer monitor and the little weather app said -6 I told him I hated him. 🙂
I have to travel today so I’ll take my camera and hopefully find something interesting to take a picture of. Sounds like the weekend (weather wise) is going to be a real challenge. The Phantom fleet will be grounded yet another weekend. My list of things to video and photograph with them is growing. Hope I get to do them all.
This is one of the last images I took of the sunset last Tuesday. The sky with some nice clouds was just so pretty combined with the orange and red colors of the sunset. A nice image to end the week with. I have a few things to work on this weekend so it’s doubtful if I’ll get much photography in. But then again you just never know.
That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by the blog. I appreciate you and your helpful comments. Enjoy your day and be careful.
I don’t know what it is about my barns that fascinates me. When I’m out looking for images to capture I do not go looking for barns. Perhaps it is that during my formative years I worked on farms and spent a great deal of time in these barns. Who knows. I just know I enjoy photographing them and they always seem to draw my attention as I’m driving down the road. There’s been more than few times that I’ve done a u-turn and headed back the way we came. Jeanne will usually say, “You saw a barn didn’t you?” 🙂
These images are from Tuesday evening when I took an alternative way home. It was the golden hour and most of the time it doesn’t really matter what you put in front of your lens if the light is right.
I’ve photographed this old shed before. I think a couple of years ago in the summer time. It sits in a valley and I just like the way it looks when sitting on the hill overlooking the valley. I was looking though some of my archives but stopped after a couple of years not finding this structure. I know I photographed it, perhaps in 2010.
Toward the end of my photo session Tuesday I was heading west on this county road. Talk about a feeling of desolation. The temperature was 3 above and the wind was blowing 20 – 30 mph. I’ll be honest, I didn’t get out of the car to shoot this. I stopped the car and stuck my hand / camera out and took a number of shots hoping to get one good enough to share. My fingers were numb. 🙂
That’s enough rambling for one day. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you enjoy your cold day. Be careful.
Yesterday afternoon I had some meetings at one of our smaller banks. By the time I finished it was late enough that if I drove straight back to Maquoketa it would be closing time so I decided to take an alternate road home and see what images I could capture.
The light was getting soft and it was a perfect time of the day. Although it was only 3 above with a 15 – 20 mph wind so the shooting conditions were not ideal. None the less undeterred and with no personal concern for my comfort, I went in search of things to shoot with my camera.
As I have noted on this blog before, the deer population is abundant. This has been a difficult winter for them and they are struggling to find food. This little guy was right next to the road trying to find some prairie grass to eat.
A few miles down the road and I saw a large herd of deer feeding on the remains of a corn field. I turned around and followed a gravel road to a vantage point that I could make this image. These deer, while watching me all the time, made no effort to get away from me. They had found some food and were not about to run away from it. This scene was repeated several times on my journey home. I hate to see animals struggle. When you think about how long, cold, and miserable this winter has been it’s hard to imagine what the animals have to go though when they can’t come in to a nice warm house and get a hot meal.
I see the same animals (horses and cows) on the way to work every day standing out in the open. Watching the steam come from their breathing and imagining how uncomfortable they must be.
I found a surprising number of things to photograph on this little journey. There were a couple of times I had no idea where I was but knew eventually I find a road where I had been before. This is what I saw before finally deciding I better head for a warm home and a hot meal. 🙂
All images were shot with a Nikon D600 | Nikon 80 – 400 mm VR 5.6 lens | ISO 800 1/1250 sec @ f8.0
Thanks for stopping by. Next few days well into next week, it sounds like there will be more of the same. Bitterly cold temperatures and lots of snow in the forecast. Enjoy your day and be thankful your are not animal. Be careful.
Fun weekend even though it was pretty cold. The sun was out most of the time and that does a world of good both physically and mentally for humans. We need the sunlight to rejuvenate us.
As is our custom, yesterday Jeanne and I took a “photo drive” to see what we could find. Where to go is always a challenge. Kind of like fishing on a lake. If you go here you are concerned that they are biting over there. We decided to go out by the Mines of Spain yesterday. Since we weren’t really dressed for hiking and that is not our inclination anyway we didn’t stop and take any of the trails.
We did come across this little guy who seemed confused or sick. He was moving very slow and didn’t seem to know which way to go. He didn’t try to run away from me when I got out to take this image, which surprised me. I hate to see any creature suffer. I hope he was just confused because when we came by this area a few minutes later he was gone, so I’ll hope for the best.
Angie brought the kids over Saturday for a visit as Ben was working. We had a nice visit and lunch together and then she and Josh wanted to see the Phantom fly. So even though the conditions were borderline I decided to throw caution to the wind and do a short flight. I did a 10 minute flight up and over the school and then coming back for a landing. Angie wanted to make sure she got in the image. 🙂
The whole time we were out there Joshua had his arm around my leg. I guess he felt safer that way. It was fun to watch him react to something he had never encountered before. After it landed and the motors had shut off he went over and touched one of the propellers. He thought it was pretty cool.
That’s it for today. Hope you enjoy your Monday. Thanks for stopping by and be careful.
Last Sunday Jeanne and I were on our usual photo drive and we were coming down a country road when Jeanne said “OMG, look over there.” I thought it must be significant because she is usually telling me to keep my eyes on the road. 🙂
So here were all of these white geese in a straight line (like lemmings) headed somewhere. I just caught a glimpse of them and then we were by them. After turning around twice, finding a place (the middle of the road) to park I got as close as I could. Apparently I caused some real confusion in the ranks because some of the geese decided to turn around and go the other way and the other half didn’t get the message. So there was chaos in geese-ville. 🙂
All ended well because the geese at the front of the pack seeing resistance from the group turned around and continued on their predetermined journey.
I have photographed this old structure (which is still in use) many times. In fact it is on the Iowa Banker’s 2014 calendar for November. Since I have taken so many images of it before and many of them I have posted here I decided to try a different processing style. The more I look at it the more I really like it. In fact if I may say so I really like it.
At around 11:00 p.m. last night I finally finished up the last of the portraits from the 2014 Maquoketa Chamber’s Gala. If you have a little spare time and want to have a look just click on the “daveupdegraff.com ” link on the right of this blog and then click on the Gala link there.
Well that’s it for today. I am so glad it is the weekend again even though the weather sounds crappy. The weather will probably keep the Phantoms grounded again.
Enjoy your day. Thanks for your support of this blog. I will do my best to bring you interesting things to look at and think about. Be careful.
Yesterday at precisely 5:01 p.m. I and three of my friends from work walked over to the Northern most parking lot at our bank in Maquoketa and I launched the Phantom. The goal was to take an aerial image of the bank’s footprint. I’ve always been curious as to what the bank would look like from overhead. So since the temperature was a balmy 37 degrees (it felt colder than that after 5 minutes) a light wind of around 7 mph and nice sunshine what better time to fly.
I sent the Phantom to an altitude of 387 feet and took this image. Then trying to get a better composition I went a little higher and I thought a little further South. Since I’ve never seen Maquoketa from the air I got disoriented and couldn’t figure out where I was from the tiny monitor on my iPhone. Fortunately my friends never lost sight of the little speck with the green lights so they guided me back over the bank where I made a perfect two point landing. 🙂
I made another critical mistake as well. I shot about 15 minutes of video including a couple of minutes of my friends smiling at the Phantom. Unfortunately when I landed the copter I turned it off before stopping the video on the iPhone application, which corrupts the video and renders it useless. 😦
Other than that mistake it was a fun experience and my friends really enjoyed watching the Phantom fly. We drew a few other spectators as well. 🙂
Like anything, I will get better and make fewer mistakes the more practice I get. I wonder what it is like to operate the controller with unfrozen fingers?
Thanks for stopping by. Some difficult weather over the next few days so be careful.
Happy Hump Day Wednesday!
A rather abbreviated post today because as usual I am running way late. I’ve been working on the portraits I took at the Maquoketa Chamber Gala – 2014 pretty solid for the last few days and I’m getting close to being done but still have some more work ahead of me. Each portrait takes about 30 – 45 minutes of processing, enhancing, compressing, uploading and posting to the website so the subjects of the portrait can download them to their computer and either print them at home or send them to a print facility like Wal-Mart, Snap Fish or some other printer.
I have 28 completed and another 12 to do. On the whole I am very pleased with the results. Like so many things I do not shoot studio portraits often enough to develop a flow and style. I love to shoot portraits but it is a lot of work for me because in many instances the lighting is not quite right or the subject has some article of clothing out-of-place or any number of a hundred other things that have to be fixed in post processing.
I tried a new lighting set up on this shoot that I had seen on one of the on-line courses I have taken. It worked great as long as people stood exactly on the mark that I had taped to the floor. I didn’t always get them to do that as there were people behind them impatiently waiting to get their portrait taken and so if one of the couple would move too close to the light I got really bad hotspots and those (for me anyway) are hard to correct. Granted if I had taken my time and insisted on people standing in the right place and not take the shot until it is perfect that would solve a lot of problems. But I like to accommodate people so it was more of a one, two your through and on to the next one. 😦
Wait a minute, didn’t I say this was going to be a short post? The image above was shot last night on the way home. I saw this guy kicking at the ground trying to find something to eat through all the snow. The light was perfect from the setting sun so I pulled off the highway onto the shoulder and grabbed this image. I’m going to get killed one of these days doing that. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your midweek hump day and as always be careful.
Happy Tuesday! If you’ve followed this blog for awhile you remember me telling you I was working on a project that required some assembly and wiring. Well this is what I was working on. It is my second Phantom. I know what you’re saying. No there was no need for a second one but I wanted a better video camera than the Vision 2 (which has a great still camera) so this is it.
It carries a GoPro Hero 3+ Black edition video camera attached to a Zenmuse gimbal, which provides for a really stable platform. So no matter what attitude the Phantom is in the camera stays level. I also had to install a transmitter (that’s the white thing sticking out of the back) so that I could communicate with the camera. It took probably a full 8 hours of work to get the thing ready to fly. It was actually cheaper than the Vision 2 but required a lot of set up.
I know, the wiring looks terrible but that is just until I get things configured the way I want them, then I’ll tidy up the wiring.
This is the Vision 2 Phantom (so you can see the difference.) The vision 2 has a dedicated camera and is pretty much ready to fly out of the box. It uses a WiFi connection with an iPhone App to provide first person view (FPV) of the actual flight. There is no gimbal on the Vision 2 so you get a lot of distortion when there is wind (and there is always wind) and when you change direction. It has a 14 mp camera and shoots in RAW so it captures a lot of data.
This is the FPV for the new system. I’m having a lot of problems with it right now and I’m trying to correspond with the manufacturer about the issues. Hopefully once that is resolved I will be able to get some HD resolution video of the flights. The flight below is a 7.5 minute clip of the first flight with this system. It was 22 degrees and like I said I was having a lot of problems with the monitor, not to mention it was as cold as a witch’s heart. I couldn’t feel my fingers. I trimmed out a lot of sitting idle from the video. There still is a bit more than I would like but I was trying to fiddle with the monitor so I just let the Phantom hover.
I still have less than a full hour of practice with the Phantom so I have a lot to learn about controlling it and making it go where I want it to. Jeanne assures me that warmer weather is coming and I can get in more flying time. 🙂
That’s it for today. Thanks for checking out the blog. Enjoy your day and be careful.
Happy Monday. One of the advantages of working in the banking industry is that we traditionally recognize 9 holidays. Today is one that is recognized by the Federal Reserve (President’s Day) so we get the day off. Yea!!
Yesterday I looked at the thermometer and it said 31 degrees. The minimum flying temperature for the Phantom is 24 degrees so I reasoned that it would be a good day to fly. Well by the time we got to the little park that I like to fly at the temperature was around 22 on my car thermometer. Naw, that can’t be right so I decided to fly anyway. It was cold, really cold and the flight lasted only about 8 minutes I was out in the cold for about 25 minutes and I was a Popsicle.
I would like to show you the video from that flight (there is a lot of white in it) but I’m still trying to figure out the best way to edit the video. I need to take more lessons. 😦
After flying Jeanne and I drove through the country looking for interesting subjects to photograph. We found a few and I will share those with you as the week progresses. I like this lonely tree sitting in the middle of a harvested field. I hope you do too.
That’s it for today. I’m not even halfway through processing the portraits so that’s what I’m going to be doing today. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day and be careful.
I’m sorry I just had to share one more duck image with you. I was culling some of the 300 images I shot of the ducks and came across this one. Talk about having to run a gauntlet. Anyway I like all the action and color of this image.
Short post today. Nothing worthy on my mind just looking forward to a three-day veg. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day and please be careful.