Sunday, December 30, 2018

2019 Calendar

This is the last calendar I'll be ordering from Shutterfly. Their shipping and packaging practices just don't seem to be what they used to be. One shipment of 18 calendars took a month to arrive, had broken open and only contained 13 calendars.

 I was happy when they re-printed the order at no cost and sent it out before the original shipment eventually arrived. Some extra free calendars would be very nice. But, this shipment too was delayed and when it arrived it only contained 6 calendars.

So, I ended up with only one calendar I didn't pay for with some messy packages and weeks of waiting included. The task now is to find a quality replacement at an affordable price before next fall.

All of the photos in this year's calendar were made in either Maine or Nova Scotia. A detailed list of locations and shooting information is contained in a pdf file at

The photos themselves can be viewed in a gallery on Zenfolio located at

Thursday, December 27, 2018

December at Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve

I'm glad that I rented the 85mm lens mainly because now I'm sure that I don't need a lens like that. If you're not shooting portraits in low light without flash, the lens really adds nothing to the gear I already have.

I've struggled to find uses for the lens and today decided to give up and headed up to the Vischer Ferry Nature and Historic Preserve with my 5D Mark III the 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM lens and a monopod. I figured the monopod would help stabilize things for HDR bracketing at the longer focal lengths.

All of the following are bracketed sequences except for the solitary goose, the robin and the equestrians.


300mm and cropped

300mm and cropped



300mm and cropped



Sunday, December 23, 2018

December High Water

I was out again this morning with the two 5D Mark III bodies and the two Tamron lenses. The weather has been wet and cloudy which at least is good for interesting water levels on the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers.

To be honest, everything I shot this morning would have been done just as nicely with one body and my 24-105mm Canon zoom lens. These were all shot at f/6.7 or f/8. Hopefully, at some point over the holiday period, I'll get to use the fast apertures on the prime lenses.







Friday, December 21, 2018

Christmas Tree Lights

It's a nice balmy 50 degrees today but it's also pouring rain with dense fog. One thing about renting a lens is that you feel like you're wasting each day's money if you don't use it. So, this morning I used the 85mm Tamron for my usual out of focus Christmas tree shots.

This series goes from the lens set at minimum focusing distance to almost in focus at f/2.

I had planned on sticking the little Canon 90EX flash in the bag but I couldn't get it to work yesterday. I was trying to use it on the 5D Mark III body I bought used back in October. All of the settings for this flash are controlled by the camera and even though it's a tiny flash it can be use as a master to control slave units and if it's set for that function the flash won't fire. I reset the external flash settings and it now works.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

The Holiday Period Tamron Concentration

I'm renting a lens for the first time from primarily due to their offer of a free week if you rent before Christmas with a return after New Year's. And, my 12 day rental at the cost of 5 days turned into 13 days when the lens arrived a day early and I was able to pick it up first thing in the morning at a FedEx location near me.

The lens I rented is a Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD to pair with my already owned Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD lens. Now that I have two Canon EOS 5D Mark III bodies my plan for the holiday period is to have each of the lenses affixed to a 5DIII and leave it there.

I have a nice bag set up which fits both cameras, extra batteries, memory cards, filters, etc. and which weighs 8 pounds. Which is a good thing since following my cataract surgery on 12/28 I'm not supposed to lift more than 15 pounds for a week, which rules out my usual backpack weighing over 20 pounds.

Here is a shot of the bag setup.

And here are some shots made with my EOS M body and kit lens showing the two setups.

Images made over this period will be tagged with the "5D4585" label. I hope to get a lot of shooting in but an extremely rainy weather forecast and my eye surgery might cause some problems.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Monochrome and Color - 5D45

Temperatures in the low 40's and no precipitation compelled a walk around with camera this morning. After the trip to Maine, where I mostly used the 24-105mm and 70-300mm zoom lenses, I went back to the Tamron 45mm f/1.8 prime lens.

I'm renting the 85mm version of this lens over Christmas and New Years thanks to Lens Rentals' promotion of a free 7 days when you rent from before Christmas to after January 1st. The 85mm lens is a $750 lens and the cost with the promotion, including shipping, is $82 for 12 days. My plan is to rig up a bag which will hold my two 5D Mark III bodies, one with each lens, and use that kit over the holidays.

This morning started out on the cloudy side then more sun broke through. Some of the drabber shots I processed in monochrome. In addition, the shot of Lock E2 had some green flare from the sun being in the frame but it isn't noticeable in monochrome.

Confluence of the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers

Lock E2

Old Champlain Canal

Old Champlain Canal

Waterford Town Hall

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Christmas By The Sea 2018

An annual weekend trip is the the Christmas by the Sea event in Ogunquit, Maine. The weather this year is a bit on the chilly side but with no precipitation in sight.

So far, I've used both 5D Mark III bodies with the Tamron 45mm and Canon 24-105mm lenses. Here are a bunch of the weekend so far.

UPDATE: You can see all of the shots I've uploaded from the weekend (81) at [moved to]

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Cold December Morning - 5D45

Cold, but not frigid. I decided on my 2.7 mile walk which, from home, takes me through three counties, two cities, a village, a state park and has two crossings of each of two rivers. As I started, the hymn Cold December Flies Away popped into my head and I couldn't get rid of it.

In a kind of frosty haze, I carried 5D Mark III body number 2 and the Tamron 45mm image stabilized lens. Here are some of the results.