Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Annual Crocus Post

The crocus finally popped up today. I had mentioned a while back that two years ago, during the warmest March on record, I was able to photograph them on March 19th. This year was similar to last year when I photographed them on April 15th, although I can't say for sure that is the first day they were up.

Yesterday, there was nothing but dead leaves in this patch of yard and today there are crocus. I'll pay attention to how long they flower this year to get an idea of what the range of dates could have been in other years.

Here are a few shots, the first with my iPhone. I have no idea if the data is correct or not, it's what shows up in Canon's DPP software.


iPhone 5, f/2.4, 1/1092 sec., ISO 50

EOS 7D, EF-S 60mm f/2.8 macro, f/8, 1/250 sec., ISO 400

EOS 7D, EF-S 60mm f/2.8 macro, f/8, 1/180 sec., ISO 400

EOS 7D, EF-S 60mm f/2.8 macro, f/8, 1/180 sec., ISO 400

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Finally, Some Spring Weather

After the 16th coldest March in the area's entire recorded history, today's going to be sunny and in the mid 50's. Although that's only about normal, it seems almost tropical by comparison. The day started out slightly below freezing but the sun was nice and it felt warmer than it was.

I went out for a walk with the EOS 50D and a Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 lens that's been sitting around. I'm not sure if this lens will be good enough for general use but it's constructed nicely with a useful focal length range and is a bit faster then the usual kit lens.

One way to overcome a less than stellar lens is to bracket photos for high dynamic range processing. HDR images have a processed quality to them that masks the sharpness or contrast of each of the component images. Someday I'll do a comparison with a really good lens and a really cheap lens to see how similar the HDR images are to each other.

Here are three examples from this morning at Peebles Island State Park. All are HDR files from 3 +/- 1 ev bracketed images. Processing was with HDRSoft's Photomatix Essentials and it's Painterly preset. The local rivers had been high after recent rains and melting and have receded a bit, leaving ice and debris on some flat areas.