Truland Photography

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Cocktail

This looks so good I can almost taste it. The drink itself was made with ice which had fallen off tree branches after the ice storm in December, 2008 which left many in our area without power for days. The beverage is, of course, Scotch. I don't recall what brand.

I will be enjoying similar beverages this weekend, but with more normal ice cubes. Everyone have a safe and enjoyable Christmas weekend.

Canon EOS 30D, EF 28-90mm f/4-5.6 at 47mm, ISO 100, f/9.0, 1/250 sec., Speedlite 220EX

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Other "Side" of Peebles Island

I've taken a lot of nature photographs at Peebles Island State Park on Peebles Island in Waterford, New York. Mainly White-tailed Deer, some birds and the occasional foliage. You can view the collection of those photographs here.

But the island also has an industrial history. A railroad line ran across it at one point and Cluett, Peabody and Company built a textile mill with a bleaching plant on the Island in the early 20th Century. Some of those buildings remain and while some now are used as State Office of Parks and Recreation facilities others remain vacant and in poor states of repair.

Here are two photographs of old towers I made a week or two ago.  It was early in the morning on a nice clear day with lots of contrast.

Canon EOS 5D, EF 24-70 2.8L at 64mm, ISO 100, f/6.3, 1/320 sec.

Canon EOS 5D, EF 24-70 2.8L at 35mm, ISO 100, f/7.1, 1/200 sec.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Red-tailed Hawk Update

Right before the bird flew away, I did walk around the tree to look for another angle. The lighting was not good because the bird was in the shadows and the sky was bright behind the bird. But, with post processing, I was able to turn this picture:

Into this picture:

Canon EOS 5D, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM + 1.4X, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/400 sec.

Certainly nothing outstanding, but decent enough to add the hawk to the bird guide collection on my zenfolio site. You can visit the bird fieldguide here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Whose Limb is it Anyway?

I happened upon a Red-tailed Hawk sitting on a tree limb earlier today. The bird spent about a half hour preening in the same place. Unfortunately, there was a thick limb between the bird and I so there wasn't really an opportunity for a nice "portrait."

But, an Eastern Gray Squirrel happened to climb the trunk of the tree and head out onto the limb where the bird was sitting. Clearly, the hawk is higher up on the food chain and I can only imagine what went through the squirrel's mind at that moment.

The two sat there for a minute or so and then the squirrel backed off and headed to safety.

Canon EOS 5D, EF300mm f/4L IS USM +1.4x, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/30 sec.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Current Lineup II

There have been some changes since I posted a picture and list of my current equipment back in August. You can read that blog entry here.

Since then I've replaced a 50D body with a second 5D body, replaced the 400 f/5.6L with a 300 f/4L IS and sold the 17-40 f/4L and 100 f/2.8 macro. I've also added a Canon Speedlite 430EX II with a Gary Fong Collapsible Lightsphere.

I've also decided to keep the first generation 1.4X extender in order to have one for each of the "white" lenses, just in case. Here's a picture of the current kit, minus items like filters, remotes, etc.

Powershot G11, Speedlite 270EX w/ omni bounce, ISO 500, f/3.5, 1/60 sec.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Really Shallow Depth of Field

I was out hiking yesterday with a 5D and the 300 f/4L IS with the 1.4X extender on a monopod. There wasn't much in the way of wildlife to shoot so I fooled around with making closeup pictures of fungus, moss, etc.

One of the reasons I picked up the 300 f/4 IS was because of its minimum focusing distance of less than 5 feet. When you add an extender (teleconverter) the minimum focusing distance doesn't change. So, with the lens and extender, I had a 420mm focal length lens which focused at less than 5 feet, resulting in a maximum magnification of .33x. This is more magnification than any Canon combination other than a macro lens and plenty close for most uses. The lens I replaced, the EF 400 f/5.6, has a minimum focusing distance of 11.5 feet and with the 1.4x only produces .18x magnification, without IS or autofocusing (due to the small aperture).

As I wasn't intending to shoot closeups, I didn't have a tripod and even with the monopod and image stabilization I needed to keep the shutter speed up to prevent blurring. So, even at ISO 400, I couldn't go with an aperture smaller than f/8. The picture below of hair-capped moss shows how narrow - or shallow - the depth of field is at that magnification.

Canon EOS 5D, EF 300 f/4L IS, 1.4Xii Extender, ISO 400, f/8, 1/125 sec.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ornamental Grass

Just two closeups of ornamental grass tassels. It's nice to enjoy being outdoors with the temperature in the 60s. Pretty soon it'll be snowing again.

These were taken with the 5D and 100 macro. I may just hang on to that lens.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Stuff For Sale

I've decided so simplify my kit to get down to one big bag and one small bag for everything. To interpret Canon lens date codes, visit a page on The Digital Picture's web site here. If local, we can meet in person. If by mail, I will add actual shipping costs. Payment by credit card through PayPal is possible.

So, here's what I've got to sell:

SOLD - Canon EOS 50D
SOLD - Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
SOLD - Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM.
SOLD - Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM
SOLD - Canon Close-up Lens 500D in 58mm.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Icy Evergreen

Snow in October can create some interesting photo opportunities. Walking around without a tripod, I wasn't able to get any good shots of snow and ice on colorful Fall leaves or Holly. To get the kind of shot I was looking for would have required a small aperture for depth of field and could not be handheld.

I did, however, manage to capture this rather nice picture of some leftover snow and ice on an evergreen shrub branch which should have been pruned earlier in the summer.

EOS 50D, EF 300mm f/4L IS, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/640 sec.

The weather forecast for today gives us a Winter Storm Warning with 3 to 6 inches of snow predicted. With the leaves still mostly on many trees, that should be interesting.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Walk in the Woods

I was out at Grafton Lakes State Park over the weekend. I was hoping for some color but the foliage was well past peak. The sky was overcast, which is perfect for shooting in the woods because you don't get the contrast between sun and shade.

A tripod is a must, of course, due to the low light level but the soft light can really pick up colors. In this case green. This shot of a fern was made with the 5D and the 24-70 lens.

Canon EOS 5D, EF 24-70 f/2.8L at 70, ISO 100, f/8, 1/15 sec.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Some Fall Color

While it has been a disappointing year for Fall foliage, you can still find isolated spots of brilliant colors. So, instead of looking for sweeping hillside landscapes, it might be smarter to look for small bits of brilliance and isolate them. Like this backlit Japanese Maple seed and foliage cluster.

The photo was taken with a Canon EOS 50D, EF 300 f/4L IS USM, at ISO 200, f/6.3, 1/800 sec. It was incredibly windy with the branch moving around about 3 feet in all directions. I used AI Servo focusing mode and was able to get a few decently composed and focused images.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

2011 Foliage Comparison

Instead of repeating all of the information from last year's post comparing 2009 with 2010 fall foliage, I simply added this year's picture and information to the end of that post.

You can read it all here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Really Want One

Canon today announced a new top of the line DSLR, the EOS-1DX. I would be quite happy with one of these bodies and three or four lenses. Unfortunately, at $6,800 I'd have to sell all my equipment in order to buy one.

But then, the 1DX won't be available until March. Time for some lottery tickets.

You can read all about the camera here.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

New Lens with Image Stabilization

My new lens, an EF 300mm f/4L IS USM, arrived a few days ago so I took it out this morning with my 5D to Peebles Island State Park to try it out.

I took the 5D because I wanted to see if the shorter focal length of this lens, compared to the 400mm of the lens I expect it to replace, was going to be a problem if I move to all full frame bodies as I expect will happen at some point.

I left my monopod at home since I was particularly interested in the function of the Image Stabilization since none of my other lenses have IS and I've heard that some people don't like the IS of this particular lens. It is older technology and is a bit noisier than other models. I didn't notice any problems with it and was really happy with being able to hand hold the following two shots of deer. The first was at 1/30 second and the second at 1/50 second. Both were wide open at f/4 and ISO 200.

The first is cropped from a horizontal composition and the second is as shot.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Backlit Maple Leaf

As I await the arrival of the EF 300mm f/4L IS USM, which I expect will be replacing the EF 400mm f/5.6L USM in my bag, I decided to play around with my EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM with the Extender EF 1.4x II attached. This results in a lens combination with a maximum focal length of 280mm at f/4 with a closest focusing distance of 4.9 feet. Almost identical to the lens which is in the mail.

I expect the image quality of the 300mm lens will be far better, of course. The difference between a prime lens and a zoom with an extender attached is significant. I'll do some comparisons and post them later on. I'll also compare the 300mm lens with the extender against the 400mmm lens.

In any case, here is a shot of a backlit maple leaf taken with an EOS 50D and an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM with the Extender EF 1.4x II at the full 280mm, ISO 200, f/8, 1/800 second. I simply spot metered on the leaf and processed in Canon's Digital Photo Professional using the Autumn Hues Picture Style while reducing highlights a touch and adding a touch of sharpness. I also cropped to a square format to remove some distracting twigs in the corners.

So, stay tuned for comparison shots once I get the new lens. Also, watch for this year's shot to be added to the annual fall comparison. You can read last years entry here.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Best of the Weekend

To wrap up the soggy trip to Maine, I'll just post what I think was the best shot of the short and rainy weekend - lobster boats, skiffs and fog at Perkins Cove.

Canon EOS 5D, EF 24-70 f/2.8L at f/5, 1/200 sec, ISO 200

Sunday, October 2, 2011

High Tides

The advertised higher than usual tides yesterday were interesting but not spectacular. And the overcast sky made interesting photographs difficult.

This first shot shows the bridge between Ogunquit and the beach over the Ogunquit River.

The next two shots are from the beach parking area showing waves crashing at the foot of the sea wall at the Sparhawk Resort and then at a smaller motel or B&B next door.

Finally, a shot from the parking lot down to a ramp leading to what is usually the expanse of sand that is Ogunquit Beach. Weather permitting, I'll try to get a low tide shot from the same location for comparison purposes.

UPDATE: The weather did allow for a quick picture with my iPhone just a bit after low tide the morning after this photo was taken.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Gray Morning

I was up and out and the appointed time for a sunrise, but as I mentioned yesterday, I wasn't expecting one. As expected, the sky was overcast with a slight drizzle.

I did manage a walk around the beach at low tide, however. This shot, looking back at the beach parking lot from the shore at low tide shows the conditions.

It occurred to me as I viewed the shots that since they're already almost monochrome to process one that way and see the results. Here's the same shot with some contrast added as a black and white photo.

The softness at the horizon is a combination of haze, mist and probably some moisture on the UV filter element. I don't use protective filters as a rule, but in this weather I'd rather have drops of water on a filter than the lens itself.

There might be a chance for some interesting shots later today as the weather forecast includes the following weather advisory: "INCREASING ONSHORE FLOW AND ASTRONOMICAL HIGH TIDES COULD LEAD TO MINOR FLOODING TODAY."

Friday, September 30, 2011

A Lower Balcony

It's not on the 27th floor, only the 2nd. This time on Ogunquit Beach, Maine. Here's an iPhone panorama.

The Ogunquit River is on the left, the Atlantic Ocean on the right.

The weather for the rest of the weekend looks wet so I don't expect sunrises like last year.

Ogunquit Beach sunrise, October, 2010
Here's a shot of my younger daughter on a walkway over the dunes earlier today.

Canon EOS 5D, EF 24-70 f/2.8L

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

One Last Waterford Flood Entry

Although the high water from what was left of Tropical Storm Lee wasn't quite up to the level of actual Tropical Storm Irene, it's impact was magnified by the fact that it occurred just ten days after the very high levels of Irene.

The first shot below shows the high water at the Waterford Harbor warf on September 8th and the second shows public works crews cleaning up on September 12th.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Here are two shots I took last evening of the moon. Both with 50D, 400 5.6 and 1.4X extender. I used live view and a remote release to try to get the images sharp.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Some "After" Shots, More Water

The remnants of tropical storm Lee brought about four more inches of rain to the region over the last few days and, with them, another rise in the rivers. Although neither the Mohawk nor the Hudson reached the levels caused by Irene just 10 days earlier, both were above significantly above flood stage.

Once again, the Mohawk flooded Battery Park and its surrounding streets in Waterford. Look familiar?

I also had a chance to check out the length of Delaware Avenue on Van Schaick Island. The following shots are of the old Matton Shipyard, now a part of Peebles Island State Park. Matton Shipyard is the open area you can see on Van Schaick Island in the Google Earth capture I included a couple of posts ago.

Note the high water mark indicated by the debris caught in the chain link fence, parts of which were knocked down by the force of the water, as was one of the 19th Century outbuildings of the shipyard. In fact, you can see the building which collapsed in the Google Earth capture. It is the southernmost of the two buildings situated along the road.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Week Later

Although the Mohawk River is back within its banks, it still looks like something from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The picture below is of the bridge over a branch of the Mohawk between Peebles Island in Waterford and Van Schaick Island in Cohoes, just North of where Delaware Avenue was being flooded (see the previous post).

In addition to the river color, note the tree stuck on the bridge abutment. When I crossed the bridge to take the picture of Delaware Avenue, the water was less than a foot below the bridge deck. I would say the river rose a little more than a foot above that level later in the day.

iPhone 4, Pro HDR app, slightly cropped

Monday, August 29, 2011

High Water - Courtesy of Irene

Upstate New York and adjacent Western New England received an enormous amount of rain over the course of Tropical Storm Irene's brief visit. Major flooding of small streams and rivers occurred during and in the immediate aftermath of yesterday's storm.

Today, the major rivers, the Mohawk and Hudson, are cresting significantly above flood stage. My own home is in a voluntary evacuation area but far enough above the river so that I needn't worry. Some of my neighbors across the Hudson River in Waterford, however are not so lucky.

Here is a photo of the Waterford Harbor Visitor's Center parking lot from this morning, followed by a riverside view of the same location.

Here is the same scene in more normal times.

Here is another comparison, first from August, 2009 with the canal boat Day Peckinpaugh in the foreground and then from this morning.

And finally, a shot of the Mohawk River overrunning Delaware Avenue on Van Schaick Island in Cohoes, just a short walk from the scenes you see above. The shot is taken from North to South with the Mohawk River to the Right. The location of the cascade is just North of the open area between the rivers you can see on the Google Earth capture which shows the Mohawk River on the Left.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Current Lineup

Since I haven't been out much taking photographs since I returned from Orlando, I decided to update my equipment lineup.

Shown below are my two bodies, EOS 5D and 50D, EF L lenses 17-40, 24-70, 70-200 2.8, 400 5.6 and 1.4XII.  Using various combinations of the full frame and crop sensor bodies together with the 1.4X extender, I get focal lengths, or focal length equivalents, of 17mm through 448mm, 560mm, 640mm and 896mm.

Not shown is my 100mm macro lens which may, or may not, see much future use as the 24-70 close focuses to 15 inches which, at 70mm is enough for flower and foliage close ups.

taken with iPhone, Camera+, LED flash on

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Familiar View

Today's shot is a familiar one. Taken from the balcony of my hotel room. But this is the full view panorama taken with my iPhone and the 360 Panorama app. If you click the picture you'll get the full 1583x573 image. The weird size is due to the uneven edges which have to be cropped to fit a rectangular format.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Another Storm, Another Balcony, Another Camera

Central Florida is a really cool place to view thunderstorms. Here's another shot from another balcony, at a different location, taken with my iPhone 4 and the Camera+ app.

Unfortunately, this storm injured five employees and three guests at nearby Sea World, Orlando. I do recall hearing sirens about 10 to 15 minutes after taking this shot.

The three guests and two of the employees were hospitalized after a near-miss lightning strike. News reports indicate that all have since been released.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Orlando Sunup

Yesterday, I made the rookie mistake of taking my gear directly from the air conditioned room out to the humid balcony air to shoot the sunrise. Of course, the front element of the lens immediately fogged up. After a bit, I took a few shots just to demonstrate the effect. Here's one.

This morning, I put my gear in the bag out on the balcony about an hour and a half before the sun was due to come up. Ideally, I'd use a gallon freezer bag to seal everything from moisture until the gear warmed up, but I don't have any with me. In any case, it worked to a large extent. Here's one without yesterday's fog filter.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Orlando Sundown

Again from the balcony of my room. This time in the evening.

The amusement park you can see is a portion of the Downtown Disney area of Walt Disney World.