attention to detail, backyard visitors, birds, butterflies, dragonflies, Florida wildlife, fun, in the neighborhood, live and learn, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, squirrels, technology

Just because…

Just because I’m ready to sit outside with my camera and enjoy the birds who visit the feeders doesn’t mean that they will actually show up on cue. And just because I have my camera set to take the fastest bursts possible doesn’t mean that I will actually get that great shot of a bird lifting off with its wings spread just so.

I wind up with a slew of pictures of a titmouse holding onto the post, but when the moment finally comes that he takes off it startles me and I take my finger off the shutter and this is the last shot of the burst.
Cute little guy thinks he’s a woodpecker I guess. This feeder gets a lot of attention from more than just the woodpeckers. And it slowed him down a bit. These guys stop just long enough to pick up a morsel and off they go.
I love the backgrounds the bougainvillea gives me for my photographs, but now there is a void in the shrubbery and this vine with big leaves seems to be the reason. It may be taking over, and I have no clue what it is. I’m always afraid it might be poison-something.
Someone else has discovered the woodpecker feeder. But she poses everywhere and all the time.
I walked out in the yard to examine the possibility that bugs were on the flowers out there. And this butterfly cooperated by showing up way up high, but I had my zoom lens plus extender so I was able to get a shot or 20.
Just because I wasn’t at the pond doesn’t mean I wasn’t delighted when this dragonfly showed up and landed in the bougainvillea. I hit the shutter and got a burst of about 40 shots exactly like this one. Doesn’t he just look happy?

I played with the new artificial intelligence features in Photoshop yesterday and it was amazing what you can do. One of my friends said that now no one will believe that the shots that she has worked so hard to get are ‘real.’ Looking at that dragonfly face I can see that someone might question it, but it is ‘just’ a photo. I always hope for a shot of a dragonfly face like that, and to that end I’ve spent a lot of time sitting by the pond, waiting for the magic to happen. And this shot took just a second when I wasn’t expecting it at all. We all put lots of time and money into our photography habit and now something new is on the horizon. I wonder where it will lead…

a second look, black and white, dragonflies, fun, in the neighborhood, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

At the pond…

Yesterday afternoon was hot, but the sky was pretty and rain was predicted so I decided to head to the pond to see what the dragonflies were up to. The landscape crew had apparently cut the grass recently, and they cut a lot of the reeds at the water’s edge also, so not so much for the dragonflies to land on. Plus I had taken the extender off the camera so these photos are cropped to a ridiculous degree. That’s when technology helps you out. The camera has a lot of megapixels, plus the new denoise feature in Lightroom helps a lot too. I appreciate a quick walk to the pond now and then when most of our photo ops require an hour’s drive, or more.

Okay, so this is basically what was going on. Dragonflies landing on sticks and holding on.
Sometimes they stand up a bit.
Looks like someone nibbled on this one’s wing.
Wow, orange dragonflies DO land once in a while.
Butt shot of the dragonfly but I liked the details on his perch.
I liked this black and white version of the feature photo. On Sunday we have a class on how to edit your black and white photos, so I’m jumping the gun.
a second look, attention to detail, birds, dragonflies, Florida wildlife, in the neighborhood, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, Tricolored heron, unintended images

Take a lesson…

I took a lesson from having the Bird Buddy in the backyard these last couple of months. It seems like the late afternoon, ‘dinner time’, sees the most action from the birds. So last night the salad was made and the salmon was marinating, so I headed to the little neighborhood pond to see if I could see some dragonflies. And yes they were there, but despite the drenching rains we had recently the water levels are low, revealing various bits of trash along the edges of the pond. I see lots of workers tending to landscaping in the public areas here, but those bits of trash never seem to go anywhere. Maybe I’ll have to buy a net and try to snag some myself.

While I appreciate the knowledge that dragonflies will always return to the same spot, which gives you the opportunity to set up your camera and wait for them to show up, they tend to always land facing the same way so it’s the same shot over and over again.
It’s always nice to see their faces also. I took a zillion of this pose also, then had to try to decide which was the sharpest shot.
After seeing the red-winged blackbird on the feeder I probably shouldn’t have been surprised to see him at the pond. It is the sort of landscape I’ve seen them in before, wide open spaces with tall reeds, in this case cat-o-nine-tails, to perch on. But I’ve been coming to this park for several years now and have never spotted them before.
It may not look small in this photo, but it was small, and it just showed up in my viewfinder all of a sudden. I have no idea where he came from, but he decided to walk around right in front of me and hunt for dinner. Maybe it’s because I was sitting on the bank with. my elbows on my knees so I could steady the camera, but he didn’t seem to mind my presence at all.
See, not very big in reality.
And here he is with his catch, and a bottle. I could have edited the bottle out but I’m making a point here…
I can understand that stabbing into the muck might have muddied up his bill, but why is the fish looking muddy also? He apparently didn’t mind, he downed it a second or two later
attention to detail, attitude adjustments, brainstorms, bugs, dragonflies, facing facts, Florida wildlife, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, technology

The Dunning-Kruger effect…

Our fearless photo club leader has a name for the syndrome when you are such a novice at something that you don’t know what you don’t know. I hope I remember to ask him what it is so I can repeat it before I post this. He also isn’t a fan of Youtube videos, but I watched one yesterday anyhow. It was on setting my new camera to take stacked images in the camera. Yup, automatically. Plus when we got up this morning there was an upgrade to Lightroom that added a ‘denoise’ button to the editing panel. Be still my heart. So off I went, camera and tripod in hand, down to the little neighborhood park. I figured that the dragonflies stay still enough for the camera to shoot 20 or so images in a second or two, and I was right, I got tons of images. But I don’t think I got the effect that I was looking for. Operator error I’m sure. I over-estimated my abilities because I didn’t know what I didn’t know. At least denoise worked well though…

This tricolor heron was moving, so not the shot I had set out to take but I took the shot anyhow. I can’t resist posting it because he had a fish, and I had had no clue when I took the shot.
I don’t know what is so great about landing in the muck to pose for me, but that’s what they did.
I was attracting a crowd as I took my pictures.
I don’t feed them, but I guess they figure there is always a first time.

I had first gone to my usual spot that gives me my sunrise view from this park. But the sun was up high enough to be in my eyes, so I moved to the opposite side of the park to shoot these pictures. With the sun over my shoulder I was quite surprised to see that tri-color, I hadn’t noticed him before. Plus the shallow water revealed some bigger fish than I would have expected to be there. And it turned out that Google knew the term for not knowing what you don’t know. And now you do too!

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, dragonflies, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, natural wonders, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, perseverance, photography

Quick stop…

The rookery isn’t exactly on the way to Clearwater where we were heading to have dinner with some of the members of our photo group, but it wasn’t too far out of the way for us not to stop for half an hour. Found another photographer friend there also. We are everywhere these days.

They are getting so big.
I love this fluffy stage of wood storks as they grow up.
Dragonflies are there so I can’t resist trying to find them with. my zoom lens.
Different sticks sticking up through the lily pads give you very different backgrounds.
The tricolor herons were very busy flying in and then tucking into the shrubbery.
I know there is a nest in there somewhere.

Where to go next is always the next question…

a second look, adventure, birds, dragonflies, egrets, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, nature, perseverance, photography

Babies and more…

This Tampa rookery is one of the closer destinations that we can go for photos from our home base in Wesley Chapel. And this time we found the babies we were seeking the last several times we came here. Plus we found some photographer friends to enjoy the day with us. A nice bonus.

Egret chicks have been a bit elusive until this trip.
Someone is calling for MOM!
I had my long lens on the camera and as I scanned to see what I could see this egret was filling the view finder. No cropping, but I liked the picture.
Then she decided to take off.
Our friend said that the snowy egrets were putting on a show, and I think he was right. I don’t know if I can post a sound clip, but if you are interested, and would like a chuckle, google ‘snowy egret call’.
Up periscope came to mind when I saw this photo.
I didn’t forget the wood stork babies. This guy is getting big.
The water has been overtaken with lily pads since we were here last. I decided to see if I could find any twigs sticking up through the lily pads in hopes that there would be a dragonfly landing on it. And there was, and if that one left another one would land asap.
The black crowned night heron is usually tucked into the low shrubbery, which makes for a tough photo. But just was we were leaving this one hopped up to a branch and spent a bit of time grooming itself.

We should try to get out every day, but my cold has me dragging today. Thankfully I had photos from yesterday to keep me busy. That and a nap…