Happy Hump Day! ~ 338
Yes I still love to photograph barns. I was on the way back to the office from visiting one of our newest banks when I saw this barn against the brilliant blue sky and the big puffy white clouds. The fact there was also water in the shot was just the icing on the cake for me. I haven’t shot many barns this year because I’ve focused on wildlife during the migrating season.
This year I hope to shoot more farm scenes and perhaps the planting of crops, something I haven’t really paid much attention to in the past. We’ll see.
I do enjoy capturing images of wildlife. Although yesterday I didn’t have the right lens with me. Generally when I’m traveling to one of the banks I take the most versatile lens I have, the 28 – 300 mm. It does a good job for a variety of shots but wasn’t long enough to capture the swans up close and personal. This was a nice marshy area close to Scott County Park. I’ll have to visit this area again. Lots of ducks, geese, coots, and swans.
A complete departure for me with this image. I liked the pattern of trees reflecting in the water. I don’t know it just looked cool in person. I’m not sure I really captured what I saw but overall on second look I like it.
Lots of profound thoughts bouncing around in my head this morning. Fortunately for both of us I’m out of time and need to get the day of work started. Knowing my short-term memory issues I’ll forget about them by the next time I sit down in front of my computer. 🙂
So I guess that’s it for today. Enjoy your midweek hump day. I’m off to Cedar Rapids today. Might be some photo opportunities on this trip.
Thanks for stopping by and be careful.
Happy Friday! ~ 343
I’ve driven the same stretch of road for 14 years now. It is somewhere arround 4 – 5 miles long and is narrow and hilly. The speed limit starts out where I first get on the road at 50 mph, drops to 45 mph, then 40 mph and finally to 30 mph. Yesterday on my way to work I was deep in thought about some issues and frankly was not paying that much attention to my driving. I came around a corner and started down a steep hill when I met a Deputy Sheriff and instantly looked down at my speedometer.
Hmmmm, 53 mph, then I glanced in my rear-view mirror and saw his break lights come on. Yep I was had. There is really only one place on this stretch of the road where you can safely pull over and I wasn’t very far from it so I just pulled over, stopped and put my 4-way flashers on and waited. I knew it would take him a little while to get turned around and then sure enough with lights flashing and dust flying beneath his wheels he was in hot pursuit. I think it shocked him to see me sitting there waiting on him. 🙂
I thought when he checked and found out that I haven’t had a ticket in over 30 years he might feel benevolent but I was wrong. He left me with some papers and an envelope. Well I deserved it and as a former Deputy Sheriff in a past life I know that was his job and he did it. I shook his hand (which also surprised him) and wished him a good day.
That’s how my day started but good day after that. I spent my lunch break at the “Duck Pond.” There were no swans at the pond so after finishing my sandwich I drove over to the pond on the other side of 61 highway. The swans were there in a small pool with one goose. I don’t believe they have made a nest yet even though many of the geese have laid eggs and are nesting. Maybe their still just dating. 🙂
That’s it for today. Supposed to be a great day weather wise and it’s Friday so enjoy. Thanks for stopping by and be careful.
A couple of my friends asked me what happened over the weekend because not only was there no blog on Saturday or Sunday but none yesterday either. Well as much as I hate to admit it I never touched a camera the entire weekend. That is with the exception of the Phantom’s camera.
As you may recall one of my laments about the FPV (first person view) set up on the Phantom requires me looking at my iPhone (very small and hard to see in the sunlight) or a 7 inch monitor, which is also somewhat hard to see in bright sunlight. Enter a product called Fat Shark Goggles, which in essence puts two small TV screens in a pair of goggles and then you can see exactly what your camera is seeing.
So Saturday I spent most of the day reading material about how to install the transmitter on the Phantom and use the Phantom’s own power supply as opposed to having a secondary battery power supply. Between reading, watching videos, making diagrams and doing the actual wiring it took me most of Saturday to accomplish. Mix in there 4 flights to test the equipment and a visit from Angie, Josh and Gabby and that pretty much took up the whole day.
Then Sunday was reserved for a couple of well-earned naps, some more flight tests and finally a night flight around the neighborhood. So I’ve got probably 15 Gb of video of the Phantom taking off from our back concrete slab, rising to a height of 300 – 500 feet, a couple of 360 degree turns and then a landing. I don’t think you want to see that over and over again. So come Monday morning I didn’t have anything worth showing.
Yesterday on my lunch break I grabbed a bite and then off to the duck pond. There were not as many birds there yesterday as there has been last week. Only 3 swans and maybe 30 – 50 geese. The two geese in the first image were sort of stranded in a small open pool of water surrounded by ice from the morning’s cold temperature. The second image is of a lone swan (perhaps nesting) I hope. I am excited to see if we get some more cygnets again this year as I will enjoy photographing their development.
Finally just a pair of swans intermingled with some geese. Life at the pond was peaceful and relaxed yesterday. I think most of the territorial disputes have been settled for the time being.
As soon as warm weather arrives I’m going to attempt a fly over of the duck pond. I think it will make an interesting video.
So that’s it for today. I hope you enjoy your Tuesday. Thanks for stopping by and be careful.
I know, two days in a row images of the Cygnets. Well normally I only give you weekly updates but this evening on the way home past the duck pond not only were the Cygnets right up next to the roadway where I could capture them with my 300 mm lens but there were more swans there then had been the day before.
So there were three new swans at the pond and not only that they all seemed to be getting along. I have noticed on more than one occasion when another pair of swans enter the area of the duck pond the current residents become a bit inhospitable and generally end up chasing the intruders away. Not the case this evening as it was just one big happy family. They tolerated me pretty well for awhile and then started giving me nothing but their south ends so I ended my photo experience. But I was really surprised and delighted at the same time to see the new arrivals.
And now (as Monty Python used to say) for something completely different. I’ve talked about how I purchased my first digital camera in 2000, a small 1.3 megapixel Olympus point and shoot camera. Well I sold that camera to a friend and purchased another Olympus, this one a little more advanced and a whopping 2.1 mega pixels. That was huge. I purchased it in the latter part of 2001. I shot hundreds of images with that camera. It could shoot JPEG, and TIFF and its largest file size was 1600 X 1200 pixels. Then in 2003 I purchased a Sony Cyber-shot 6 megapixel camera (see I had a problem even then.) I sold the Olympus to one of our banks (as they were wanting to buy a digital camera to record various activities sponsored by the bank.)
Now fast forward 10 years (and I had completely forgotten about that camera.) I was in that bank Monday and visiting with one of the loan officers and on his back credenza sat this camera. I recognized it immediately and wondered if it still worked. He said they had not used it in the last five years and just didn’t want to throw it away. Plus no one knew how to use it. I offered them $10 for it and brought it home. I cleaned it up and put fresh batteries in it and it still works.
Not a good test of it but I took a picture of my computer screen in a dark office. Still it’s nice to know the old kid is still capable of making images. It will now go on my self along with some of my other camera collection.
Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day and be careful.
Quick update on the Swans at Hurstville. They seem to be doing just fine, despite the ever decreasing water supply at the pond. There is one area of the pond that seems to retain enough water to keep them happy. As you can see from the above image this Cygnet is getting pretty big, almost the same size as his/her parents.
Not to worry the other Cygnet is out of frame, laying in the muck and grooming itself. I couldn’t get them both in the same image because of the focal length I was using.
I saw this dramatic cloud formation on my way home and just had to pull over to the side of the road and grab some images. I could not find any harvesting last evening. Lots of crop still in the field so there is still time to get some good harvesting images.
I got a new iMac yesterday. My laptop is getting a little old, slow, and full. I have been thinking about replacing it. I was looking on-line and made the decision to go with a desktop instead of a new laptop. That decision saved 50% of what a laptop would have cost.
Additionally I go from at 14 inch screen to a 27 inch screen to process my images. The laptop will still travel with me but I can take a lot of disk space it is now using and transfer that to larger capacity disk of the iMac.
The problem is transitioning from one system to a new one. Just getting programs that I use everyday reconfigured to my liking is a lengthy process. Still better than trying to figure out Windows 8. I do not know who Microsoft uses to determine what people like (they say their design is the result of user feedback) because I have yet to meet someone who likes Windows 8 or for that matter the new Office configuration. I was talking to an avid Windows user the other day and he lamented that he cannot find things on his computer since he switched to Win8.
There is consistency in the Mac OS. 🙂 I was a DOS / Windows user for ever but I’m very happy with MAC.
That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day and be careful.
Happy Hump Day! I stopped by the Duck Pond yesterday on my lunch break and was able to get fairly close to the swans. The light was high and bright but I was more interested in getting a shot of the swans than trying to make a prize-winning image. They seem to be doing well, although there is little water left in the marsh, it appears they are doing what is necessary to stay fed and safe. One of the dangers they will face before too much longer is when they start to fly. There are some high voltage power lines on the North side of the pond and they’ll have to navigate beyond them.
I love this time of year and the harvest. I enjoy the softer light on my evening commute and the machines in the fields harvesting the crops. I saw a half-dozen combines in fields on the way home last evening but this one the only one that I could get a safe place to park and capture a couple of images.
Another field where the harvest is completed. A couple of grain wagons sit at the far end of the field and they have already baled up the corn stalks.
So you can expect to see a fair amount of harvest type images in the month ahead. I really enjoy shooting the process and the wonderful warm colors of Fall.
I hope you have a great day. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Be careful.
This image is not going to win any wild life contests nor is it a good image by any stretch. What it does accomplish is to show you the progress of the young Cygnets. They were pretty much hunkered down in the tall grass of one of the remaining islands that still has water around it. The Mother was not far from the little ones and the Father was keeping close watch on me. It was very HOT around 6:00 p.m. when this image was taken so I didn’t stay around too long. I could tell that the parents were concerned about my presence so I hastened my shooting and then left.
Jeanne had an engagement this evening so I took a change of clothes with me. My intent was to change after work and then shoot some images around Maquoketa that I have wanted to capture for some time. There is an old feed mill in the downtown area that has some unique structural features I wanted to capture. Of course upon exiting my car my lens and viewfinder fogged up. It took several minutes to clean them up so I could get some images.
By the time I walked around the building once I was sweating bullets. Did I mention it was HOT?
A couple of my friends inquired as to why I haven’t posted a blog in the last couple of days. One because of a lack of images and two because by the time I get home I just seem to want to veg. I have 4 “must do” projects on my desk right now and I just don’t have the energy by the time we finish dinner to even start them.
I also did something this evening I didn’t think I would ever do. In fact I said I would never do it. I agreed to shoot a wedding! I know, what am I thinking? But the lady who is getting married is a very nice person and she wants to keep it very simple. Yes there is still a lot of pressure to do it right and produce quality images but I’m not as worried as if it were a full-blown wedding shoot with reception and the whole enchilada.
It’s going to happen in a couple of weeks so I’ll keep you posted on the process. Thanks for checking in on my ramblings. I’ll get back on a regular schedule hopefully. Enjoy your day, be careful and keep hydrated.
Back to work yesterday after 9 days off, it took a little getting use to again. When I came into town I saw a pair of swans swimming near the observation deck and I was concerned because I didn’t see any young ones. I had worried about the cygnets because of the dropping water levels and my heart sank as I passed the swans and verified there were no little ones.
Not to worry because when I got on the other side of the pond I saw the other two swans and they indeed had the cygnets with them. Apparently another pair of swans have taken up residence at the pond, which is great.
I apologize for the poor quality of these images. I didn’t have time to capture any images this morning when the light is in the correct position. On my way out-of-town I have to shoot straight into the light. Not the proper makings of a good image. However I did want to show the progress of the babies so I’m willing to give up some style for telling the story.
Enjoy your day and thanks as always for stopping by. Be careful.