Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Spring Migration Starting

Goose Reflection
Canon EOS 6D Mark II & Sigma 150 - 600mm f/5- f/6.3, ISO 1250, f/6.3 @ 1/1250s Manual exposure
Since the last post it has seemed like the world has changed. Covid 19 has taken hold and since I am working from home and basically self-quarantining for the time being I decided I would try and catch up and post some of my recent images. I know during my last post I had talked about wanted to make YouTube videos and I still do. After filming some test runs I realized how much work goes into editing the film. So I need to work on getting better footage, so I don't have to edit as much. With due time I am hoping to start producing good quality videos on my channel.

Canon EOS 6D Mark II & Sigma 150 - 600mm f/5- f/6.3, ISO 800, f/6.3 @ 1/1000s Manual exposure
Since my last post I have spent a lot of time out filming and photographing. Eagle season here is really coming to an end and with this pandemic I am not sure I am going to be able to travel to Maryland to go to the Conowingo Dam again. So, for now I will turn my focus to other waterfowl during the migration months here. Over the last month or so I have seen plenty of eagles due to them being on their nests. But I have not managed many good photos. However, I have been able to get some photos of many other species.

Canon EOS 6D Mark II & Sigma 150 - 600mm f/5- f/6.3, ISO 1000, f/6.3 @ 1/1000s Manual exposure
The first photo that I liked from my trips was a photo of a goose standing on the edge of the ice and reflecting nicely in the open water. I was quite happy with the image. I know that it is just a Canadian goose, so not the most thrilling subject but I just liked the way the image turned out.

Canon EOS 6D Mark II & Sigma 150 - 600mm f/5- f/6.3, ISO 1600, f/8 @ 1/1250s Manual exposure
While spending many hours waiting in eagle blinds for an opportunity that rarely came I did get some opportunities to photograph ducks and seagulls. The one day a common merganser came close to the blind and was fishing along the edge of the ice. I wish I could have gotten a little closer, but I will take what I can get. The seagull image was of the bird taking off the ice. I love the contrast of the image and the outstretched wings. I was also lucky enough to get an image of two seagulls flying together. They were circling together for some time, and I was happy to have gotten a decent photo.

Canon EOS 6D Mark II & Sigma 150 - 600mm f/5- f/6.3, ISO 320, f/6.3 @ 1/1250s Manual exposure
One of the days I got to the Bashakill Wetlands before the sun came up. I was lucky enough to spot the Mute Swan very early so I was able to photograph it during the golden hour while the sun was coming up. It turned out to be a weird morning because after the sun came up it quickly went behind clouds and started snowing. I probably spent about an hour photographing the swan and was happy with the way some of the images turned out. I always love the winter grass turning a gold color due to the early morning sun. Also, the swan was more of a soft yellow instead of the typical bright white.
I am looking forward to taking more trips soon.

Hopefully, the Covid 19 situation will end soon, and life will return to normal. Until next time, please be safe. 

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Happy New Year and a Slow Start to 2020

Canon EOS 6D Mark II & Canon 24-105 mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 Lens, ISO 400, f/11 @ 1/320 sec Manual exposure
I hope everyone had a happy holiday and a great start to the new year. I have been trying my best to get out and photograph wildlife, but it has been extremely slow to start the new year. I would normally be photographing bald eagles by now, but I am not seeing many in this area. It has been very warm this year and the lakes are not frozen over yet. I feel like I have seen increased numbers lately but they have to much free range with all the open water. Hopefully, soon it will get a little colder and I will be able to get some great photos of them. Speaking of bald eagles, I have planned a trip next weekend to Maryland in the hope to photograph some. I look forward to updating about that upcoming trip in a little over a week.

Canon EOS 6D Mark II & Canon 24-105 mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 Lens, ISO 50, f/11 @ 15 sec. Manual exposure
Over the holiday, since I was not having much luck with wildlife I did spend an early morning at the Bashakill Wetlands in Wurtsboro, NY. I arrived well before sunrise and I decided to test out some of my new equipment. I was taking some long exposure landscape photographs using my new Cokin Neutral Density filters kit. I like them so far. I have not had too many opportunities to use them but they are very simple to use. I had one photo from the trip that I liked. I decided to put the photo into black and white because of the long exposure. I feel that it looked great that way. The 15-second exposure made the water very reflective and the grasses are reflected quite well in the water. Also the clouds got smooth because of the long exposure. I just loved the way the photo turned out. It was something that I had never been able to do before, and it turned out well. I look forward to trying more long exposure daylight photos soon.

Canon EOS 6D Mark II & Canon 24-105 mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 Lens, ISO 160, f/11 @ 1/320 sec. Manual exposure
I also decided that I would go through some of my old photographs from my trip to Alaska earlier this year. I discovered a new way to touch them up and I was experimenting a bit with Photoscape X. I love the way I was able to touch them up. I feel the one photo that I made into a high contrast black and white was almost like an Ansel Adams photograph. It was taken in British Columbia on the Yukon Suspension Bridge. I love it, and I hope everyone enjoys it. I also touched up another photograph that I had not posted before and I like the way it came out. It was when the cruise ship was approaching the Dawes Glacier and we were heading into an ice field, which gave the foreground water some interest. I hope to go through some more and hope that I can find some other interesting photographs.

I will be leaving for my trip on Friday and I am looking forward to it. I can't wait to spend the whole weekend photographing with a friend. Until Next Time.

Monday, December 2, 2019

GoPro Hero 8 on its way

I have been spending my weekends out an about but I have not managed any good photographs. I spent a couple of days at the Bashakill Wetlands and didn't really see to much. I did encounter a lot of people out enjoying the trails before winter set in this week. I have also been monitoring the local reservoirs for eagle activity, but I have only seen a couple. Nothing close enough to photograph. I did see some kind of weasel or fisher but I was not sure exactly what it was. The photographs I did manage were to blurry. It was a long way away from me, but I was still very happy to get the opportunity to see it. I don't normally see them.

This weekend was another lost weekend because of the major snowstorm. The roads have been to dangerous to risk going anywhere, and it is still snowing. Hopefully next weekend will be better.

Since I was stuck mostly inside I decided I would order a GoPro Hero 8 and some other stuff. I am hoping to start making vlog videos for YouTube in the future. I figured getting a video camera would be the only way for me to accomplish that so I made the purchase while it was on sale this weekend. I had already ordered a Rode video micro microphone for my camera so I can start to do some videography of my trips. I am hoping that this winter I will be able to take some video of the bald eagles that I have been photographing for over a decade.

Since I was basically stuck at home I decided that I would make a Shutterstock account and test my luck with selling some of the my photographs. I am interested to see how it turns out. So far 9 out of 10 of my images were accepted. I was extremely happy about that. I was all worried that my images would not even make the cut to be accepted. Only time will tell how this will work out for me. Over time I hope that I can talk a little more about my findings with Stock photography.

I am hoping to get out an take more photographs soon. Until Next Time.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Early Morning Walks and Backyard Macro Photography

Jumping Spider
Canon EOS 6D Mark II & Tamron 90 mm Macro Lens, ISO 1000, f/8 @ 1/180s Manual exposure
Two weekends ago turned out to be a photogenic weekend. I did not get a chance to upload the photographs. On Saturday, I stayed home and took a lot of pictures in my yard. I managed a few good photos. I was mostly trying to photograph using my macro lens, but I was not having to much luck. I did manage one photograph of a weed in the garden that had gone to seed. One seed was sitting atop the plume of other seeds. I just loved the way the photo turned out.  I was pleased with the way the light hit off the curves in the seed, and with the composition of the picture.

Canon EOS 6D Mark II & Tamron 90 mm Macro Lens, ISO 100, f/2.8 @ 1/400s Manual exposure
After about an hour, I was lurking around our shed, looking for spiders. That is when I looked down and was amazed to find a little jumping spider just hanging out on a plant pot. I did my best to photograph it, and I was delighted with the result. It is the best jumping spider photograph that I have ever taken. There are things that I could improve on. But I was excited when I saw a few of the photos. I could not believe how amazing these little spiders are. I was just stunned to see the beautiful orange colors around his eyes. I also liked the way that the background turned out in the one photograph because the light from my flash made round speckles in the background of the spider when it hit off the plastic of the container. I just really loved this photograph.

Canon EOS 6D Mark II & Canon 24-105 mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 Lens, ISO 50, f/13 @ 1/10 sec Manual exposure
That Sunday, I decided I would get up before dawn and go out to the nearby reservoir to try and photograph the fall foliage. It was a somewhat foggy day, and I was only happy with one photograph that I took. The colors were stunning, but I did not capture many pictures that I was pleased with. However, when the sun was rising, I saw a patch of high weeds that were shining in the morning light. So I decided I would try and capture it. I laid on my stomach in the tall grass and pointed the camera directly at the sun. I loved the color and the contrast that I was able to capture, and I was quite surprised by the way the photos turned out. It was worth laying in the grass for the shot.

Canon EOS 6D Mark II & Canon 24-105 mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 Lens, ISO 50, f/13 @ 1/60 sec Manual exposure
Canon EOS 6D Mark II & Canon 24-105 mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 Lens, ISO 50, f/13 @ 1/60 sec Manual exposure
Overall the weekend went well. But last weekend, I did not get a chance to photograph anything. I am planning a trip to a friend's farm tomorrow and Saturday. I am hoping that I will get plenty of photographs to share.  I look forward to the next time. I hope everyone enjoys the photos.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Bashakill Wetlands and Mongaup River

Mongaup River
Canon EOS 6D Mark II & Canon 24-105 mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 Lens, ISO 50, f/32 @ 4 sec Manual exposure
Last weekend I spent Saturday evening on a trail along the Mongaup River. I was trying to photograph the fall scenery as well as anything else in the woodland. I started by taking photographs of the Mongaup River, trying to capture the fall colors and some motion blur. The photo is more of a water motion blur photograph than a typical fall color photograph, but I was happy with it. Towards the end of the evening, I sat on a rock along the river and watched the sun go down behind the trees. The beautiful yellow rays of light were coming in through the trees, but I was unable to capture the true essence of the scene I was seeing.

Mushroom Close up
Canon EOS 6D Mark II & Canon 24-105 mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 Lens, ISO 1600, f/5.6 @ 1/60 sec. Manual exposure
I was also very fortunate to find one lone mushroom on a log that I was able to photograph. I also liked the way that the photo turned out. I have not done much mushroom photography, but I think that I will try it more in the future.

Canon EOS 6D Mark II & Sigma 150 - 600mm f/5- f/6.3, ISO 1250, f/6.3 @ 1/400s Manual exposure
Sunday morning, it was a much darker dreary day. It was supposed to rain, and I wanted to get out before it started. So I went out to the Bashakill Wetlands at about 7 am.  I walked the stop sign trail where I had photographed the egrets the week before, hoping that I would see them again. I made it to the place where the egrets were, but they were not there. I decided that I would sit on the raised platform like the previous week, and wait to see what I could find. It was very peaceful because I did not see any other person at the Bashakill that morning. I think the weather kept everyone away. After about an hour sitting in the raised stand, I heard a Great Blue Heron. It came flying in and landed in front of me. I was lucky enough to capture a few photographs of it coming in. Then it actively was fishing in front of me for a while. I was unable to use my 1.4x teleconverter because of the lighting situation. But my Sigma 150-600 did an excellent job without it. It was fun watching the Heron fish for a while. Then I realized that it was getting agitated by something. Then I noticed something else behind the Heron in my viewfinder.

Canon EOS 6D Mark II & Sigma 150 - 600mm f/5- f/6.3, ISO 1250, f/6.3 @ 1/400s Manual exposure
Initially I thought it was a muskrat or beaver. But after looking closer at the picture, I realized it was some river otters. They seemed to be fishing in the same spot as the Heron. The one photograph shows the Heron staring right at the river otters. I had not seen river otters at the Bashakill before so, it was a great treat. I had sat in the stand for about 3 hours, and mother nature rewarded me for being patient. Even though it was a dark overcast morning, it turned out to be a great day. At around 11 am, it started raining, and I decided to call it a day.
Canon EOS 6D Mark II & Sigma 150 - 600mm f/5- f/6.3, ISO 1250, f/6.3 @ 1/400s Manual exposure

Overall last weekend turned out great, and I look forward to spending some more fall weekends taking photographs. Until Next Time.

Canon EOS 6D Mark II & Sigma 150 - 600mm f/5- f/6.3, ISO 1250, f/6.3 @ 1/400s Manual exposure