Thursday, August 29, 2013

Texas Hill Country Report

Lynn and I recently returned from a week in the Texas Hill Country..  Highlights were a visit to 4 of the San Antonio Missions dating back to the 18th Century.

We also visited the Natural Bridge Safari Wildlife Park and saw the large variety of African Animals that roam free there.  Sorry, but no lions.

And, we toured the President Lyndon B. Johnson Texas White House and saw Air Force One and the President's collection of vehicles...mostly Lincoln Continentals.

We toured an interesting cave.  A contest was held in the early 20th Century to name the cave and interestingly enough the final name was The Cave with No Name! A photo from the cave on my next post.

We stayed in the hills in Canyon Lake which was centrally located to do this sight seeing.  

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Black & Yellow Crowned Night Herons.

It has been a wet month here on the west coast of Florida.  As a matter of fact it is thundering and threatening at this very moment.  With all of the standing water in the Park I am seeing birds in places that I have never seen them before.  This week on a couple of occasions I spotted a pair of Black Crowned Night Herons.  I have never seen them there before.

Black Crowned Night Heron

Interestingly I always have seen Yellow Crowned Night Heron in the Park.  But, since the rain they have disappeared.  Do you think that the Yellow Crowned Night Herons and The Black Crowned Night Herons are having a turf war?  I guess only time will tell.

Yellow Crowned Night Heron

On my walks through the Park I always carry my Canon G1x camera.  This camera only zooms to 105mm making it really difficult to get sharp bird shots.I definitely don't want to get so near  that I stress the bird out. However, my shooting with this camera generally results in noisy unusable images. I feel pretty good about the shots above.   I am making some comparisons for a replacement for this camera with a longer zoom and better Macro capabilities.  

-More later...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Our Shih Tzu at 11 Months

We just took Gabby, our 11 month old Shih Tzu in for her second haircut yesterday.  After a haircut is always time for a quick photo session.  Dogs are like children.  Their patience is short. I only got a handful of shots.  This was my favorite.   I shot this with my Olympus OM-D EM5 with the 17mm Olympus 1.8 lens.

More later...

Friday, August 9, 2013

Photos from Church Shoot

Wednesday I went on a photo shoot with 5 other photographers to shoot the interior of Peace Presbyterian Church in Clearwater, Florida.

I decided to take along my 8 mm Rokinon Fisheye lens on my Nikon D7000  for the majority of the shoot.  I recently purchased this lens for opportunities just like this.  I decided to buy this lens as opposed to the much more expensive Nikon lens since I knew that I would rarely use this lens.  But, it is certainly the perfect lens for church interiors.  It allows the photographer to get everything in the photo from the base of the alter all the way up to the interesting wooden rafters. I converted this to monochrome in Nik Silver Efex Pro.

The stained glass in this church is spectacular.  Much of it has been donated by local congregants.  

Photo Shoot at Peace Presbyterian in Clearwater

On Wednesday I participated in a photo shoot with 5 friends at the historic (1921) Peace Memorial Presbyterian Church in Clearwater, Florida.

I decided to use my recently purchased Rokinon 8mm Fisheye lens on my Nikon D7000 camera.  The Rokinon Fisheye was reasonable.  I had always wanted to try some fisheye shots. I love the effect.  And, since I knew that a fisheye would be a lens that I would only use occasionally for opportunities like this I bought this lens.  The Nikon Fisheye is much more expensive.  I am thrilled with the results.

It is nice to be able to show everything in a photo from the beautiful wood floors on the alter to the open wood ceilings.

Peace Presbyterian church also offers some exquisite stained glass windows.  I  brought along my Olympus OM-D E5 Micro 4/3 camera for these photos.  I attached the 12-50mm lens and put into Macro mode for the following.

Interestingly, these last two panels reminded me so much of the wonderful art that we had seen in the Metro in Moscow, Russia a few years ago.  In the Metro artists had shown art featuring service workers and their contributions to the country.  More later...

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

New York Trip

My my...Time gets away from you when you are having fun!  Since my last writing Lynn and I spent a week in northwestern New York state near Lake Ontario.  The daughter-in-law of friends of ours was seriously injured recently in a head-on collision nearby in Hilton, New York.  I was asked to emcee and photograph a benefit called "Diane's Miracle"  that was held in Diane's honor.  We were happy to report that we were able to raise almost $10,000 toward her recovery.

While in New York we made driving trips along the historical Erie Canal in Rochester, Brockport and then in Lockport near Buffalo.  In Florida we are owners of Mercedes Benz vehicles as well as being officers in our local Mercedes Benz Club.  It is always interesting to photograph other MB cars and vehicles in different settings.  I spotted this Mercedes E class in front of a historical building in Lockport. The charming setting seemed like it should be in Germany, not near The Erie Canal!

We had dinner with friends during the week.  Dan is a classic car fan and owner of a Chevy Super Sport.  I asked Dan if there were any old car shows in the areas.  He was kind enough to steer me to 3 different shows!  He was displaying his beautiful red Chevy in one of the events.  In this area classic car owners turnout at around 6 PM and show their cars til sundown.  Many classic car owners attended the event that we attended at a rib restaurant.  I was most intrigued by this hot rod.

On the last day of our visit we decided to drive down to the Finger Lakes. The views of the vineyards and the lakes in the hills are breathtaking. None of us had ever been to Ithaca so we decided to go there and see the Ivy League Cornell University campus.  It was beautiful.  The centerpiece was the spectacular Triphammer Falls.

Northwestern New York is a picturesque place.  All of the photos on this page were taken with my Olympus OM-D E5 and the Olympus 17mm f1.8 lens.  What do you think?