It’s been quite some time that I photographed a bird feeder. We got one as a gift for Xmas. The first week there was nary a bird. They had not found it. Somehow, they do, but it took a long time. I’m not too patient. Ha! And now the hard part, decent pictures. It’s a work in progress. I got one doing a chin-up, and another in flight, and finally a perched bird ready to fly. There was a woodpecker. Alas no decent picture. Eventually…
Why’d the chicken go to the post office? Ha ha again. Not too much time between turkeys and chickens. Funny. We were rural – traveling back roads. Why not? I see chickens all the time. But in the parking lot of the post office?…. It (the chicken) was certainly used to people. It never flinched or scurried as I shot my pics. What does a chicken find to eat in a parking lot? Leftover “fries.?”
Why’d the turkey cross the road? Ha! There be wild turkeys! Both sides of the road. I saw them coming over the hill in the car. Ha again! I was the one in the car…I slowed well before we got there. Then I let the car slowly roll down toward them. No good. They were skittish and nervous and started to run/hide. I got a few shots to document that I had actually seen them. Hey! There were turkeys. See?!
For the purists: Green tint – car glass/windshield. And focus – you can’t always get what you want through car glass. … too lazy to correct in digital processing.
Scene at the beach – redux
Here’s something I learned. The Sony RX100 does a better job focusing than the Canon. This is critical at the beach when I was trying to catch a wave. The autofocus was way better. The zoom has a longer reach. Bottom line: good wave detail. It is still dependent upon the photographer to get the right moment. I didn’t quite (do it). My bad. User error… Ok!?
So, a swimmer in the heavy sea and waves – his glasses are on his forehead. Intentional? Lifeguard – sexism? – she’s in a bikini, the men are in trunks. Waves bigger than your head – is it perspective or real – real! Portrait of a gull – he really did walk right up to pick food up right next to our beach chair.
Follow-up: Maybe I spoke too soon. Or, maybe I have not mastered the focus algorithm. But the Sony does hunt and frequently fails to focus on the subject at hand. It could be user error. I have to pay attention way more. The Nikon D610 has closest focus setting that gets the subject closest to the camera. That works for the most part. I can think faster than the camera can focus. And, I am frequently in too much of hurry to worry about focus until it’s too late. So, there have been some missed shots. Sometimes there is a do over and many times not.
Four years ago, we sold our apartment in Manhattan. I bought a new camera, actually a fair amount of new equipment that I had lusted after. This was followed by an extended trip to Maine. This year is redux; we travel back to Maine. I got this spiffy camera. I’m not a fan of Sony as a camera though I have owned many Sony videocams and Walkman. Four years ago, cats were theoretical. I had never met a cat I liked or who liked me. It’s been quite a transition. I’m out of Manhattan. I don’t miss it for all the troubles you have to put up with. I miss the action and the restaurants. But I eat well and don’t lack for anything to do. And it is/was time for a new phase. This one is way more peaceful. Anyway, things have a way of repeating. This one time it worked out. The road I have taken has been pretty spectacular.
Symmetry? We had another spectacular trip to Maine. Did I mention it was spectacular?
Unsafe in a shell
I learned this trick in the last months I dove in the Red Sea. Hermit crabs. They live in shells. I would see shells as we dove. I turned them over and waited. If there was a crab, it emerged to turn it’s house back – right side up. My dive buddies would laugh at me. No crab on the reef was safe from me. Mostly I would get or not get a satisfactory shot. Everyone else lost interest and stopped taking pictures of the crabs. I persisted. Look!
Eggs! Not once, but more than once. Actually, it happened more. But, in this instance you can see that the crab is in the act of laying its eggs. I think.
At least that’s my story and I’m stickin’ with it. You should be impressed. This was not easy. Really? The timing !!! I was there, I will readily admit purely fortuitously. But there!!
Toot your horn
Kidding? Idiot. Criminal. Crooked. Undeserving. Unindicted coconspirator. Spoiled brat. Imbecile. Demented. The list it sooo long. You want what? This is an embarrassing moron I am ashamed to even acknowledge. But idiocy deserves a moment. There, 15 seconds, now go home. Consider it a snowball’s chance in hell.
Okay, back to diving… I’m editing some images for a presentation next March. Ha! I was never known for advance planning. But…. So, I’m looking through roughly 60,000 dive images. Many, most, are not any good. You take a lot and most are out of focus or poorly exposed. Got it? I’m looking over a night dive. The exposure is awful. But? Well, I ratcheted up the exposure and lo and behold… not one, but, at least four shrimp! I’m lucky to see one. But four! They like to hide behind urchins. Protective? I can count four. This is a complete surprise to me. I must have edited when I finished the dive. I guess? I don’t remember. Meanwhile, serendipity, I found something new. I know you might not be impressed. The Planet Earth series is full of amazing shots. We see amazing shots day in and day out. I’m just an advanced amateur. I am humbled to get these shots and to have had the opportunity to do so. Hey! Four shrimp, one shot! They are notoriously shy. You should know. You’d eat them if they were on your plate. They know this too!
Too good to be true
So, we wandered through the animal display at the country fair. I’m not interested in chickens or rabbits. They are caged and you can’t get a good image. Whoa! Was I wrong! Thanks for dragging me in. Can you believe the images I got eyeball to eyeball with these chickens. And one even laid an egg for me. Hairy feet? Ok feathered feet? Crowing on demand? And the colors and the patterns. Oh my! I’m used to Perdue under plastic wrap. Too beautiful to eat… This was an extraordinarily wonderful unexpected find that I was dragged into seeing. Thanks!
He was in the lottery sales booth when I took this picture. Was he the salesman? I watched him struggle with his shirt. I admit it was a bit warm. What? Why? You decide. I’m stuck with this visual. Did I mean struck?
Make your own art
I’ve been to a lot of museums and on occasion I get to feeling a little silly. So, I incorporated the experience in my Photoshop antics. It’s not too hard to do. I’m not a multilayer manipulator. I do a few things only. Otherwise my attention wanes. I like that they hung a window near a window. The obvious problem was with the interior exposure vs the outdoor brightness. It’s simple to fix with two images exposed with the final plan in mind. And then I simply cloned myself. It’s better than genetic modification.
Black and white
Evolution. I started in black and white – Tri X. I developed my own because I was on a budget. Cheap! It’s a mindset you never lose. It’s why memory card are so wonderful. Unlimited shots (seemingly) for little money. Color. Nope, expensive, till I developed my own slide film. Heaven. I never shot another frame of black and white. The color was like landing in Kansas in the Wizard of Oz. Color was totally seductive. I never looked back and never used black and white film again.
Black and white is a mindset. You have to live and dream in it. Ansel Adams, my hat is off to you.
Black and white is easy. Photoshop, whatever. Just convert your color to BxW. So simple. It is. But it’s not the same as thinking in BxW. For that you need to see your subjects in tones. I’m a color guy. For sure. I see color. It might be fun to experiment. The camera will shoot BxW automatically. But, then, I would want my color too. Easy, shoot color and convert it. It’s just not that easy and definitely not the same thought process. Drat!
And the cats? Elle is behind the door. She’s separated in order to recover from a wound to her tail. The high chair is against the door handle in order to prevent the sisters, Spice and Feather from opening the door. Yup, they can jump the handle and get the door open. As you can see, they are patiently awaiting entry. They are more curious than sympathetic. When I let them in, they went straight for the food and water. It’s not punishment. Elle just needs some quiet time.
Pemaquid lighthouse. Everyone comes with camera or iPhone to get a photograph of the lighthouse. I sit and watch them scramble all over the rocks up and down, every which way. They take their shots and move on. Only a few will see the reflection in the tidal pool. Virtually no one will point out this shot. One kind Englishman in all the times I have been here actually took the time to point (I already knew) down at the pool for me. And in all the others I have tried on occasion to point out the quintessential image to some passersby. Largely unnoticed is a gem at their feet. Move on, next attraction, , . look mom, see where I’ve been. Look down at your feet.
Do it yourself
Well, this was a first for me. I’m old. This is my first lobster. I don’t eat lobster. Nope! Nada! Never! Ok! But sometimes a bit of lobster bisque. I like the wine flavor. I’ve cooked/steamed lobster. I didn’t like that either. Afterward I turned over the carcass to the eater. The most fun I have had is in shooting a lobster. Yeah yeah, I mean photographing one while scuba diving. But finally, I am subject to the dissection. My companion would eat it steamed but had never taken one apart. At least I knew the theory. Oh, the mess! And the smell of lobster juice on your fingers… no! I did not do anything more than dissect… nary a taste. When you consider that: how you say the title can have two different meanings. I prefer a command interrogative, not entirely accurate but it sounds good. Now that I have broken down a lobster, bring it on!
Tuna as sushi
Here’s something I don’t see often and never in Maine until now. Tuna. I don’t know how large. Say about 300 pounds? At least! It was a big one. It made quite a hit at the dock. I heard some loud voices and peeked over the rail to see the commotion. This was a big fish tale. How big?! But this was no trophy fish. It was headed for the market and a handsome profit. Within moments of hauling the fish onto the dock it was already being dissected. Off with its head! Soon to follow were the fins. They used a simple power saw. Onto the truck. Off and away to market. The head was tossed upon the dock and soon discarded for lobster bait. Nothing goes to waste.
There’s an artist whose work I saw yesterday. He depicted various tradesmen of Maine at their work. One was a lobsterman. And then I saw an old man pick up a poster/print of that lobsterman and mistakenly wondered if he was the man who had posed for the print. No, he was just an old man shopping in the gift store. But his appearance was striking and made me think that he did not seem the tourist who would be wandering like us. I had a cut over my eye once. It was from a door slamming back into my forehead as I walked through on the way to work. It would have required stitches but I was to hurried and too stubborn. Besides the shoemaker (surgeon) has no shoes (stitches/sense). That cut bled all afternoon during my office hours. Heaven knows what my patients thought when they saw me walk into the exam room with a bloody tissue over my forehead.
Here’s the Queen Mary 2 docked in port in Rockland, Maine. It’s a bit overwhelming for the poor little lighthouse beside it. I’ve been there. it’s at the end of a very long rock dock. It’s a long walk – a mile. The light house is several stories tall. Or… that’s one big f’n ship! I saw signs in town welcoming passengers into the shops. You get a few hours in town to souvenir shop and to see what there is to see. No one eats. Food is plentiful and free onboard. I did not know this until I took my one and only cruise. So, restaurants are SOL Maybe someone will sit down to a lobster dinner or a famous lobster roll? Who knows? Meanwhile that big boat is messing with my picture of the lighthouse.
I have been to this lighthouse many times. I remember the first. Bob took me. We were riding in the car to breakfast. We stopped. I was very pleasantly surprised that he was kind enough to take me to this great photo op. I’ve been back myself many a time. each time I try for a different look or view. But a lighthouse is still a lighthouse….It’s not easy to get to. It’s out of the way. Not many people come here. I do. Forest Gump did. You would too if you really wanted to do it. Mostly folks don’t.
I complained I had no shoes until I met a man with no feet… or something of a quote like that. I had never considered this until a couple passed the doorway and his wife told him they were in front of a bookstore. How utterly sad! We go in and out with nary a thought. I cringe because the car and then the house are crammed with books. I built an 8×12 foot bookcase to accommodate the accumulation.
“I cried because I had no shoes till I met a man with no feet.”― Helen Keller
When did we become an international laughing stock? I know the US is not loved in many many places. But! Come on! This photo is in Italy at a parade. They actually pay enough attention to care? I don’t know who the Italian president is nor could I name anyone in the government. It’s just not on my radar. And there was the big baby Trump balloon in London – which El Paso is busily trying to rent for themselves. But the erstwhile Republican congress stands behind the fearless leader. Why?
No charm the second time around. I was last in Baxter State park in 2008. Near the end of the day I had the moose encounter of a lifetime. I was (my) nose to very big nose (moose). And it was awesome. I knew it was once in a lifetime then. Unfortunately, it has proven correct so far.
We tried once more. The views were spectacular. The closest I got was a moose sign as we left the park. But at almost the same time after we had just left the park… beaver! I stopped to shoot the setting sun over a marsh.
And in the water were two beavers just swimming about. They were unfazed by me or my camera. And voila! Beaver encounter. I realize that they were not particularly photogenic. But at least I had a real wild nature encounter with an animal not usually seen by me in the wild.
So, I continue my experiment with shooting the moon. It ain’t easy. And you may not care. After all, why do it at all. But I know that the exposure is about 1/800 f11 or something close by. Don’t forget to hold your ISO low too. A high ISO will make too much grain/noise in the final image. Okay! I did all that. And, look! I got a really nice image with spots on the moon and all. It’s better than my Canon. The Canon could not render me an image so large. Sony has a much better digital zoom. It doesn’t focus as well as the Canon. I’m still mastering the quirks of the Sony. Tonight, it shone!
Sun? I learned and adapted this trick from Jules. She held a pair of binoculars to the lens of her camera. Voila! Telephoto picture. I did it with Dave on Governor’s Island and shot through a telescope to get sun spots. It’s a nice trick. It’s not perfect but then again I wouldn’t have an image without doing it. Next: Are there brown spots on Uranus?
Red’s is an institution in Wiscasset, Maine.The place is crowded day and night. It sits on a choke point at a bridge crossing. i haven’t tried the food – hot dogs. There is absolutely no appeal to standing on a line in Maine.
This is an experiment in night shooting. Ordinarily the light on the sign would overwhelm the scene. Either you would read the sign or it would be overexposed and you would see people. I don’t know how they made this algorithm. But I can read the sign while seeing details of the people standing below the sign. Geez! How’d they do that? But more to the point, knowing that the camera will capture a night scene with more even exposure, that will make me better in capturing the scene. Kodak never did that for me. Thank you, Sony.
There is something to be said about pictures of apples. As a fruit, apples are very photogenic. It’s a fact. Don’t ask.
There are hundreds of varieties of apples. Did you know? And some have gone missing. Not extinct. They just have gone away for a while and can’t be found. There is an actual organization that looks for lost apple species. They will return someday? Meanwhile my grocer carries about three brands. Hey! I ‘been robbed!