a second look, dragonflies, ducks, Florida wildlife, Just do it, live and learn, nature, perseverance, photography

The thing about dragonflies…

Dragonflies don’t take direction well. They land on a piece of frond and then they stay still. Which you probably think is a good thing, and yes it lets you take a photo. Actually, if you are like me, you take 10 photos, and the only difference between them might be the light if the sun goes behind a cloud. They land with their back to you, and you beg them to turn around. There are more attractive fronds that you wish they would land on, but mostly they just chose a plain stick. Years ago I took a photo class and we were told we’d take pictures of dragonflies that day. I was skeptical. They always seem to be just flitting past you, how would we take a picture? But in that class we were told the secret to taking dragonfly pictures. Watch where they are landing, then set up your camera, preferably on a tripod, and focus on that spot, because they will come back. So I should probably just be thankful for that tidbit of information, and not get frustrated when the dragonfly doesn’t smile for the camera.

So this one landed on an interesting stick, and smiled, but his face is in shadow.
Not a bad pose I guess.
In the meantime the ducks were splashing and quacking. But not much else was going on.

I recently declared that Hurricane Ian had ushered in some fall-like weather. But today was hot and sunny, and I was out at probably the worst time of day for light in my photos. I guess I don’t take direction well either.

'scene' along the way, a second look, dragonflies, ducks, Florida wildlife, fun, moon, perseverance, photography

Close to home…

Walking to the neighborhood pond yesterday afternoon, armed with my camera and my cell phone, I hoped for something photo worthy to be there. I disturbed the ducks, so I took a picture of them as they swam around, deciding if they needed to worry about me. And I took a photo of this dragonfly too, but that was all the activity there seemed to be. Truthfully I hadn’t expected much, but having had my car in the shop for two weeks I was pretty sure that my friend might be having second thoughts about sharing his car while mine was in the shop, so the pond was my best option to get out of the house for a bit.

I had almost given up on spotting a dragonfly, but this one cooperated.

Then this morning the weather app said it was 71 degrees out and that was all the reason I needed to go out and watch the sun come up.

This photo looks more like the scene looked to me as I sat on this bench and waited. I had used the bench as a prop in a photo before, but I had told myself I should have brought a chair so I didn’t have to sit in the wet grass, and then realized that I could just sit on the bench. Brilliant, I know. After having swatted a mosquito or two I decided that I really should remember bug spray when I head out also.
This iPhone picture surprised me by showing more color that I’d seen as I waited. I took this picture to include the pretty crescent moon in the frame along with the scene. I will admit that this is more colorful than what I saw, and it was ‘seen’ by the camera, I didn’t add anything.
Walking home I wondered where that crescent moon had gone, but I spotted it still up there in the sky, but barely showing. Again the camera saw it differently, but I’m okay with that.

Will I get my car back today? And, if so where will I go? Maybe I’ll take the trike to the bike shop and get the chain put back on it. Then I’ll have full mobility to go with the cooler temperatures. Sounds good to me.

a second look, dragonflies, ducks, fun, nothing's easy, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography

More pond critters…

Didn’t I just declare that I’d never borrow my friend’s very sturdy, and very heavy, tripod ever again? Well, today I decided that it was time to try the Tamron 150-600 lens on the new camera (Canon r7). So I loaded up the lens and tripod onto the basket of my trike and off I went to the little nearby pond. I wanted close ups of dragonflies that didn’t require me to crop away more of the photo than I kept. It was hot and I was on a slope, so it wasn’t easy. But I did assure myself that yes, I can use that lens with the new camera, it worked very well. I just need a Sherpa to carry it for me…

Not much of a background for these pictures on a cloudy day.
These teeny butterflies are so cute.
I was so happy to see this orange dragonfly posing for me.
I had to shoot straight down for this picture, so there was water in the sun causing that strong bokeh.
Love the metallic look to the edges of the wings.
Nice reflection.

Next time I try this I’ll load up a camping chair also!

a second look, birds, butterflies, dragonflies, ducks, egrets, Florida wildlife, learning, nature, perseverance, photography, technology, weather

Pond critters…

I could probably save myself a lot of time and effort if I didn’t do everything by the seat of my pants. I set the new camera up to take bursts of photos, not remembering that this camera will take LOTS of pictures per second. When you add that to the fact that I had set it up for silent shutter, then you might have a clue how I managed to get 1077 photos in probably a half hour down at the neighborhood pond. So I had many, many virtually identical pictures to look at. Not the greatest pictures either. Learning the hard way, but learning.

This tricolor heron was waiting for me when I got to the pond. He flew off and I thought I’d found him but it turned out to be the little blue heron in the feature photo.
The ducks were flapping their wings and I held the shutter button down in my excitement so I finally had to just choose one and stop trying to find the ‘best’ one.
Okay, I worked on two before I cried uncle.
Found this teeny-tiny butterfly in the grass. I got excited because when he flew off the tracking feature of the camera followed him.
See, it kept focus on the butterfly. These photos are zoomed too much I know, but I was excited to see the tracking feature in action.
Of course I concentrated on dragonflies for a bit. A couple of hundred photos worth.
I was happy that it was one of the orange ones that stopped for a bit, that was nice.
I was sitting on one of the swings, in the shade, and focusing on this little bird on the fence, waiting for him to turn around, or fly. I had no idea that he was enjoying his lunch. I waited and waited, taking photos all the while.

Taking advantage of a break in the raindrops, and then they started falling again.

a second look, birds, dragonflies, Florida wildlife, fun, nature, perseverance, photography, technology

Around the corner…

On the days that I decide that I’d rather sit with my coffee and do Wordle instead of racing out the door for the sunrise, I find myself going stir crazy by the middle of the day. The hottest part of the day. Like yesterday when the heat index was still over 100 at 4PM, and distant thunder could be heard. I had decided to try the trusty 18-400 lens plus adapter on the new camera, so I walked around the corner for only a little while, and found an ibis couple, ducks, and dragonflies to shoot. Then, as I was leaving, a red-shouldered hawk flew past at eye level, too quickly to get a shot of him in flight. But he thoughtfully landed on a fence, then caught a snack in a yard, and posed again before flying away. It never did rain…

It seemed as if I wasn’t holding the camera very steady while I took shots of this young speckled ibis, who will soon look like his snowy white cousin. The camera is said to have excellent image stabilization. I believe it.
I sat on the ground to brace my elbows on my knees, at which point the dragonflies decided to land elsewhere.
Even with that much zoom in the lens you still have to crop like crazy.
Those red shoulders give away his identity.
I don’t know what he caught, but those talons look quite impressive to me.
A parting glance before he flew away.
a second look, dragonflies, fun, learning, old dogs new tricks, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, sunrise, technology

New toys…

I went out with my new camera/lens combo this morning. The Canon R7 with the 18-150 lens that it’s packaged with at the moment. People who are wanting just the camera body are still waiting after ordering them a long time ago. I had identified this camera as my ‘next’ camera, even as I insisted that I was happy with my camera set up that had me ready to head out the door and shoot whatever came my way. But the new one is mirrorless, and that where the technology seems to be going. And I bought an adaptor so that I can use my other Canon lenses with the new camera, but I went out in search of dragonflies with the old lens on the new camera yesterday and I wasn’t so happy with the shots I took. It’s all good though, gotta shake things up once in a while.

I have to say that the sky was just gorgeous this morning, and if I hadn’t left my iPhone home charging (it was in the red) I would have taken all my pictures with that for it’s extra wide angle, the heck with the new camera. But I’m not unhappy with what I got…

The colors deepened.
The Ibis flew in.
Yesterday’s experiment.