Friday, July 21, 2017

Peebles Island Scenics

Yesterday morning I walked around Peebles Island with my 5D Mark III with 24-105mm lens and 7D with 100mm macro lens. I wasn't happy with any of the shots from the 7D and macro lens. I'm a bit out of practice with real macro shots and image stabilization really isn't a substitute for a tripod.

The landscape setup on the 5D Mark III resulted in some decent shots. While I bracketed five files, I ended up processing less than five as the under exposed files were really dark.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Stages of a Bee Balm Blossom

I've been using my 100mm macro lens with my crop sensor 7D lately to see if that would pair nicely with my 5D Mark III and 24-105mm lens for event coverage and general walking around. On a crop sensor body the 100mm lens has the field of view of a 160mm lens on a full frame body. This can be an advantage as you don't need to be as close to the subject to have the subject framed the same way.

Canon makes a 180mm macro lens but it is f/3.5 and it doesn't have image stabilization. I'm hoping this will work out nicely.

This small patch of Bee Balm had blossoms in various stages of development. These shots were all made at the same time. All are at f/8 and ISO 100.  These are all full images with no cropping.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sailing Canal Boat Lois McClure

The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, located in Vergennes, Vermont, has a fleet of boats that operate on Lake Champlain as well as other waterways. This year, in honor of the 200th anniversary of the beginning of construction on the old Erie Canal, two of its boats, the schooner Lois McClure and the tugboat C. L. Churchill, are traversing the present day canal.

This weekend, the boats are tied up in Waterford, NY, the Eastern terminus of the Erie portion of the canal. You can read more about the museum, these boats and this years trip on the canal at

Monday, July 3, 2017

High Water Over Cohoes Falls

As a followup to yesterday's post about high water, I'm including some shots of Cohoes Falls from late this afternoon. Late afternoon is the best time to get the rainbow in the mist, if you're in the right place and the wind is strong enough in the right direction.

I used a circular polarizer filter which, if I oriented it to darken the sky and accentuate the clouds, the rainbow disappeared. But, with it oriented to maximize the rainbow, the rainbow was more prominent than without the filter.

My tripods were in a different car so I had to rely on hand holding which isn't really a problem there except the higher the camera is the better the scene. You can only hand hold so high, especially while bracketing for HDR processing.

Here are three shots followed by a video.


Apparently Blogger uses Flash for the videos which won't work on iOS devices. So, here's a youtube version of the video.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Days of Rain

Almost every day for the past handful of days torrential rains have passed through in the late afternoon or early evening hours - or both. There hasn't been a lot of wind, hail and lightning - just lots of rain.

The rain brought the level of the rivers up almost to the top of the wall in Waterford.

And here are some shots, also from this morning, showing the high level of the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers as the Steamboat Meet takes place at Waterford Harbor.

Here's a graphic from the National Weather Service showing rainfall totals from this system. All this area pretty much drains into the Hudson or Mohawk Rivers by the time they reach Waterford, the immediate Lake George area notwithstanding.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Catalpa Tree Blossoms

I have access to a Catalpa Tree with very low hanging branches. The blossoms are quite beautiful when viewed close up.

Here some shots with my Canon 5D Mark III and 100mm f/2.8L macro lens. These first two are five file HDR composites processed with different presets in HDRSoft's Photomatix Pro software.

These next two shots are single image photos. Exposure information is in the caption.

f/11, 1/1500 sec., ISO 1600

f/11, 1/180 sec, ISO 400

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Morning Walk

This morning's walk was over to Waterford and up the old Champlain Canal trail North of the Village. There's a new building on the Waterford waterfront and this is the first time I've shot the scene since construction began.

The path along the old Champlain Canal is great for plantlife, birds, snapping turtles, rabbits, deer, beaver, etc. This morning, it was American Ginseng and Snapping Turtles. The red berries and the leaves to the right of the berries are the Ginseng.

Here's what happens when some animal, I presume a raccoon, discovers a Snapping Turtle nest.

Lastly, here's a shot on top of the old Waterford Town landfill facing South, back towards the village.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Reflections, Rivulets and Rivers - Part 3, Rivers

As I hiked the Peebles Island perimeter trail heading North on the West side of the island I noticed that the water level was lower than it should be. The level on this section of the Mohawk River is controlled by a hydro-electric dam located near the Bald Eagle nest site. It was obvious that something had happened to the dam. There are never ripples in this section of the river. And the water is usually up to the duck blind. I'd estimate the level is about two feet lower.

This is what the dam looks like when it's all intact. Granted, the wooden extension is not the most confidence inspiring construction I've ever seen. When the water's really high, it flows over the top of the extension (Duh).

In any case, here's what the dam looked like once I got to it this morning. Lots of lumber floating down into the Hudson I'd say. This isn't the first time this has happened. The "before" photo above was made prior to the last time it got washed out. The wooden extension was then rebuilt. When it's fully functional, no water goes underneath the wooden part.

Reflections, Rivulets and Rivers - Part 2, Rivulets

When it rains a lot and the bogs on Peebles Island fill up, they drain in a variety of rivulets down to the river. Some of them cross either over or under the trail (culvert). Most of the time they are dry.

Here are three HDR processed photos and a video clip.


Reflections, Rivulets and Rivers - Part 1, Reflections

I'm breaking this blog entry into three parts. I try to keep these things a certain length with about four photos. From this morning's post rain hike on Peebles Island, I've got nine or ten photos and a couple of video clips. So I'm breaking it into three parts.

First, here are some trail scenics incorporating standing water on and along the trails. Equipment used is a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and EF 24-100mm f/4L USM lens. These shots are all five bracketed files processed in HDRSoft's Photomatix Pro software using the vibrant preset.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Boxelder Fail

I was mowing at our Summer party place the past couple of days and noticed that some branches on a three trunk boxelder tree were blocking my path where they hadn't in the past. On further investigation, it was evident that, although the tree had split years previously, one of the recent storms had caused the split to open up more.

Yesterday, while I was photographing the tree I heard a crack and figured it wouldn't be too long before the South half of the tree was on the ground. Sure enough, sometime overnight it let go.

I was reading up a bit about the Boxelder, which is also known as ash-leaved maple, and ran across a well written piece by Steve Nix. Here's a quote:"Boxelder, also known as ash-leaved maple is one of the most common and adaptable urban trees in North America — it also may be the trashiest. Planting it next to the house is probably not a good idea... [it] is a rather nasty tree where limbs break with a vengeance — a landscape maintenance nightmare." Amen. You can read the online article here.

Here are two photos of the tree yesterday afternoon and two similar shots from this morning. Firewood anyone?

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Past Couple of Days

Not that I'm back from graduation trips, I've been out walking again in the mornings. Saturday I went on to Peebles Island with my 5D mark III and 100mm macro lens and Sunday over to Waterford and up the canal path with my 50mm lens.

Here are two shots from each morning.