Photo Blog

Photography and assorted thoughts

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Tamron Tours

I had a chance to try out my long lens to photograph wild animals. I went out with the Tamron Tours and the Mikes Camera folks to The Wild Animal Sanctuary near Keenesburg Colorado a few weeks ago. They had a class the night before and we loaded up on the bus the next morning to go out there. 

The Wild Animal Sanctuary has a novel way to allow us into to see the rescued animals.  They have elevated walkways to allow the public in.  The animals don’t feel under stress if you’re in the sky to them.  The Wild Animal sanctuary is speciallizing in rescuing animals that have been kept as pets, or roadside zoos or other unpleasant circumstances for wild animals.  If you want to take pictures the animals have much more room to road around so using a long lens is a very good idea.

The folks from Tamron let us try out long lenses to get our pictures.  Since I already had a Tamron 150-600 zoom  I was just there for the experience.  This is the first time I tried pairing that lens with my Nikon D500, so this was the equivalent of a 900 mm lens. Since there was no problem with light, I used a 1/2500 sec shutter speed to get a steady picture.

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Sometimes what’s happening in the background is the most interesting

A few months ago the Colorado Railroad Museum put on a steampunk festival. They had some performers for the folks who were getting refreshments, and I was fascinated by this young lady who wasn’t on stage but working on her routine.

Sometimes you just want to stand there and watch what’s going on in the background.  I didn’t want to disturb her concentration, and I certainly didn’t want to use any off camera flash.

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Eagle in infrared

Got up this morning, and went out with the Mike’s Camera and Hawkquest to take pictures of raptors.

Here I was spending some time with my infrared work. Just doing the channel swap resulted in a picture that seemed a bit otherworldly. Which might be a good look for Comiccon, but not for wildlife. So I did a bit of work on this picture with NIK filters by DXO. I applied a slight green filter in the software to pop the eagle out from the trees in the background.
Kin and his folks did their usual unobtrusive job, finding ways to get us good shots. And the Mike’s Camera folks were around to help us with getting the best shots. I was the only one doing infrared, so that’s what I wanted to share.
Eagles have two fovea in their eyes so they can see better than we can, but they can’t see in infrared any more that we can.

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Fort Point – San Francisco

In 1853 the Army started construction of Fort Point in San Francisco.

It was fascinating to see something built before the civil war so well preserved. I was intrigued by the staircases. If you might be coming under fire, I can see where you want everything to be nicely protected.

While it may have been useful to have a tilt shift lens for this series of pictures, the Nikon 14-24 on the D850 worked well.
I took these pictures when I was taking the Photographer’s Breakthrough Process Like a Pro course. I never showed Tim these pictures since we working on pictures that needed Lightroom or Photoshop work.

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Civil Twilight shooting on Hawk Hill

We were out shooting on Hawk Hill a few nights ago with a class from Photographer’s Breakthrough. The class was more of a processing class, but when we weren’t in the meeting room, we did spend some time taking pictures.

There are times when you’re trying to find a picture that describes how many people see a particular locale. San Francisco has so many things that identify it so here’s a single picture.
This picture was taken at F/8 and exposed for 64 seconds.

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Point Reyes

You’ve got to admire the folks who ran lighthouses.
Typically when you need them most the weather is the worst. Considering that this lighthouse was in service it started out with an oil lamp, you couldn’t sleep through the night. So the folks who maintained it were truly shift workers.

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Edges of the day

I was out about 6 months ago with Catherine Etherton, and she was saying that you get your best photos on the edges of the day.

This was one of those evenings where I felt compelled to get the camera out and take pictures. To paraphrase Jay Maisel, you should always carry a camera with you. One of the advantages of the little Fuji X-100T is that it makes it easy. For those of you who keep track, this was underexposed by 1 stop to bring the colors out.

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Using filters

These days most photography instructors will tell you that the only filter you need is a polarizing filter. That’s true as long as you aren’t shooting film. Since I was shooting black and white film last month, I was experimenting with a slight yellow filter, k2, on the Colorado State capital.

I think my next experiment will be with a red filter. The yellow filter did darken the sky slightly but not enough to notice.
The film I used here, Fuji Acros 100, was more for night photography, but I like the grain size in this shot.

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Night black and white darkroom work

I’ve been off exploring the black and white side of the world with the folks from the Colorado Photographic Arts Center.

Here I’ve started to meld my night work with my black and white darkroom work. Many thanks as well to Michael Snively, who instead of asking me why I tilt at windmills, assists me in my madness.
Earlier today, I pointed out the Fujifilm rep that they had discontinued the film that would have helped in this. He pointed out that this was .5% of the market. But that percentage is probably where I want to be.

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Classic Aviation

Saturday I was wandering Wings over the Rockies with a group of photographers, and I started looking at B-18 under restoration, and speculated about airplanes designed in the late 30s.

This particular aircraft wasn’t capable of going up against the German BF-109 but found a role searching for German U-Boats. But I was intrigued by the look of this rotary engine. It had such repetition. In the days that this aircraft flew, it had a reliability much better than the world war one aircraft. But nothing like today’s jet engines.