TrulandPhoto

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Final Shots of the Year

Yeah, it's been kind of quiet lately. Not getting many chances to shoot

I did get out this morning, though, and caught some deer with snow shots.



There are a few more at the zenfolio site. Let's hope it doesn't take long to get things going in the new year. Cheers.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Carry It With You

I try to always have my big bag with me when I'm out and around. It weighs 25 pounds - and that can be a pain - but you never know when an opportunity will present itself.

I was driving over a bridge near my home earlier this evening and saw some amazing light. I quickly parked at a supermarket, grabbed a body already attached to my 17-40 and walked back onto the bridge.

The light was going in and out of the clouds but I managed some decent images. Here's a panorama of three separate images combined in Adobe Photoshop Elements 8.

Click on the photo for a larger view.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What a Difference a Year Makes

UPDATED for 2011 at end.

The fall foliage season this year in Upstate New York didn't seem that colorful to me. The leaves seemed to be dropping earlier than usual and without the vibrant colors we all look forward to each Autumn.

I looked back at some photos I took in a friend's backyard last October to see if my impressions were correct. Here's the way the maple trees looked last year (2009) on October 22nd.

October 22, 2009

I took the same scene this year on October 19th. The difference is obvious.

October 19, 2010

An early fall? Not really. Look at the Hosta in both pictures. It's actually greener this year. So are some of the other trees.

My guess is that the warmer, drier summer we had this year is the reason.

In the summer (6/1 to 8/31) of 2009, the area received 18 1/2 inches of rainfall, an excess from normal of over 7 1/2 inches. The average mean temperature over same the period was 1/2 degree lower than normal.

This year, the rainfall amount was 9 1/4 inches, a shortfall from normal of over an inch and a half and only half of what it was the year before. In addition, the average mean temperature was over 2 1/2 degrees higher than normal.

If I'm still around, I'll try to remember to do another comparison next year.

OK, I'm still around so here's the picture and information for 2011.

October 20, 2011
Using the same comparison dates, the area received 18.12 inches of rainfall, almost the same as 2009. The average mean temperature was 1.5 degrees above normal for the period. In addition, as of this date we have not had a frost, the lowest temperature reached being 36 degrees.

Another factor affecting the Maple tree in the center of the photos is insect damage. This Spring (2011), a Pileated Woodpecker opened up a large section of the lower trunk revealing a rather ugly scene. So I'm guessing that the brilliant display of 2009 and prior years is a thing of the past.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Coastal Maine Calendars Now Available

Calendars from my recent trip to Maine are now available for purchase. Spiral bound calendars display an 11x17 photograph each month and are priced at $23.99.


Single page wall calendars measure 11x17 and display a photograph of boats moored at Perkins Cove taken from the water and are priced at $5.99.


Visit the calendar store for more information.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Canon Shooter on Ogunquit Beach

No, it's not a new adult beverage intended to be consumed from a canonmugs shot glass (a 50 f/1.8?) but one of the things I watched overlooking the Ogunquit River and beach yesterday afternoon. I viewed, and photographed; seagulls, a biplane, surfers, fishermen and what appeared to be a wedding shoot - all from the comfort of my balcony.

The wedding shoot was particularly interesting. A photographer, his assistant and a couple dressed as a bride and groom were going through the motions on the beach at a location approximated by the red oval on this shot taken with my 17-40, about four hours earlier.


It's difficult to say if it was a real wedding, a fashion shoot or self promotion because, while the photographer and his assistant were dressed up, the bride was wading through the water in her gown at times and there was no entourage, limo, etc.

The photographer appeared to be using 5D bodies with 16-35 and 70-200 f/2.8 zooms. In any case, the photos below are 100% crops of shots taken at a distance of several hundred meters with a 50D, 400 f/5.6 with 1.4x extender mounted on a monopod.



Sunday, October 10, 2010

... in Flight in Maine

The coast of Maine is proving to be chock full of photo opportunities. I was sitting on the balcony of my lodgings earlier this afternoon with my 400 f/5.6 handy and took these two shots three minutes apart.



You can see select shots from the Maine trip in a collection on the zenfolio site at http://trulandphoto.zenfolio.com/mainecoast

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Photography and Traveling

Two of the photographers I regularly follow on the Internet have been traveling to Asia recently.

Lewis Kemper just returned from a trip to Tibet and David duChemin is currently in Kathmandu leading a photography workshop.

I don't get to travel much which is probably why I like nature photography. Plants and animals exist pretty much everywhere. Even our own backyards contain lots of subjects for photographs.

A Great Blue Heron could be in a wildlife sanctuary in Florida or, like the one below, in a tree a short walk from my home.


I will be visiting the coast of Maine before too long, though, so we'll see what interesting subjects I can come up with.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lens Lineup

Before I sell two of these lenses plus the Kenko TC to pay for the newest one, I thought I'd post a photo of them all.

From front to back and from left to right they are: Kenko Pro 300 1.4X DG; EF 1.4x Extender; EF 50mm f-1.4 USM; EF 17-40mm f-4L USM; EF 100mm f-2.8 Macro USM; EF 200mm f-2.8L II USM; EF 70-200mm f-4L USM; EF 70-200mm f-2.8L USM and EF 400mm f-5.6L USM.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Focal Length Benchmarks

As an exercise, I took my lenses out this morning and took photos from the same position with zooms at their extremes, primes and some primes with 1.4x extender. The focal lengths I ended up with range from 17mm to 560mm. On a crop sensor Canon camera, the apparent focal length of the lens is 1.6 times longer than it would appear on a full frame or 35mm camera. The focal lengths are the real focal lengths of the lens or lens extender combination.

400 plus 1.4x (560)

400

200 plus 1.4x (280)

70-200 at 200

100

70-200 at 70

50

17-40 at 40

17-40 at 17

I was going to use the towers you can see at 50 and 40mm for the center of the images but it was too hazy to adequately resolve them with the long lenses. These were taken from Peebles Island looking toward the city of Cohoes.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Friendly Heron

It's been my experience that Great Blue Heron will generally take flight if they catch sight of you 100 yards off. Interestingly enough, it seems it's usually when you stop walking that they take notice.

Yesterday at the Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve, I had the unusual pleasure of meeting a heron that didn't seem too fazed by my presence. It was very near the main parking lot, which was a good thing because the mosquitos were ridiculous.

I saw this heron and stopped, probably only 20 yards away. For the next half hour or so I was able to change lenses, move the tripod around, swat mosquitos, all in plain view of the bird.


At one point, it walked out into the water, toward me (I had to take off the teleconverter to fit it in the frame) and into a spot of sunlight filtering through the trees.


You can see these photos and a couple more in the Fauna Gallery of the zenfolio site at http://trulandphoto.zenfolio.com/fauna.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Attractive Invader



Purple Loosestrife is an attractive plant I'm sure you've seen along waterways and roadside ditches. Introduced from Europe in the early 1800s, it can now be found over much of the US and Canada. When Purple Loosestrife gets established, fish, bird and wildlife habitat becomes choked out, eliminating native food and cover.

Control methods are uprooting by hand, mowing, cutting, burning and herbicides. Also, four host specific insects have been approved by the federal government for introduction into the US in attempt to control the weed.

A page on the website of Minnesota Sea Grant is a good source for more information. You can visit it here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Isolation

One of the nice things about close-up photography is the ability to remove the subject from its context. Here, for example, is a photo taken of a frog with a 200mm lens and a 1.4x teleconverter with some extension in between.



The closeness allowed me to isolate the frog from the flower pot in the backyard pond in which it and a bunch of its friends were sitting. Here's the complete scene with the frog filled pot on the left.



Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Which one gets the coffee?



I like my EF 70-200mm f-4L USM coffe mug from Canonmugs.com. But I was thinking, what if someone sees it in my car and breaks in to steal the lens just sitting there out in the open?

Maybe it would make more sense to make lenses look like coffe mugs.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Playing with Panoramas

I played with a couple of stitched together panoramas and uploaded them. I'm not really happy with the software but it's a beginning. You can check out the attempts at http://trulandphoto.zenfolio.com/p691605948.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Locations

The photo site has, at present, collections from two locations in the Capital region of New York State.

One, which I can walk to from my home, is Peebles Island State Park, located at the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers. A website for the park exists at http://nysparks.state.ny.us/parks/111/details.aspx which contains directions and maps.

Visher Ferry Nature and Historic Preserve is located on 600 acres in the Town of Clifton Park and consists of an old section of the Erie Canal along a four mile stretch of the Mohawk River. It is not a formal park but trails are maintained and there are parking areas. A Website with some information is located at http://www.placewiki.com/viewplace_detail.php?placeID=298.

As photos from other locations are organized into collections on the website details will be provided in blog entries.

Greetings

Welcome to the blog companion to my photo web site located at http://trulandphoto.zenfolio.com/. This blog, the website itself and my twitter feed at http://twitter.com/trulandphoto are the tools I will use to share my nature photography.

The zenfolio site contains the photos along with the means to order prints, etc. The twitter feed will provide instant notice of updates and inportant information. This blog willl contain background information which may be of interest regarding equipment, locations, etc.