a second look, bugs, butterflies, Florida wildlife, flowers, learning, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, simple things

Photography groupie…

Seriously, that’s what I am, a photography groupie.  I see photos from lots of photography groups online, and when I see that someone has seen the nearby eagles I become possessed with heading over to see them too.  Same with the owls.  Lately it’s been butterflies.  A friend just took a fun field trip to a butterfly garden a couple of hours from here, and just then butterfly pictures started showing up online.  So I Googled butterfly gardens nearby and came up with Hammock Park.  If you are looking for a big, lush butterfly garden then this one isn’t for you.  I didn’t know how I felt about walking the trails in the park by myself so I had nearly given up when the butterflies suddenly appeared.  Today I am headed to a macro photography class, so, as usual, my timing could have been better since I was taking close ups today.  Just means I’ll have to get out there and have a do-over!  And try to do better!4-19-19monarch14-19-19bug24-19-19buttshotforbetty4-19-19bugfeature4-19-19monarch34-19-19bug24-19-19monarch2

a second look, birds, Florida wildlife, learning, live and learn, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, perseverance, photography, technology, unintended images

Intended and unintended images…

I feel as if I’ve emerged from my cocoon of ‘settling in’ just in time to have my first snowbird season looming.  Suddenly I’m rushing to catch up on some online classes with my photo club, the FCCP,  and the one I watched yesterday morning led to an a-ha moment.  My new camera and lens are wonderful, and I could get along using them exclusively with no problem.  Less to carry also.  But one of the first things I did with my new camera was attach it to my ‘big’ lens, the 150-600, and headed to the rookery to practice, and didn’t get a single really good image.  How disappointing.  But the class I watched yesterday made me realize that my problem with blurry pictures may have been my shutter speed, and I was out the door in a flash, this time in search of the eagles.  I parked and began to walk over to see if I saw them at the nest when I saw this;4-17-19heronlaunch24-17-19heronlaunch I haven’t seen Great Blue Herons in the tree tops in a very long time.  There was an eagle nearby also, but he flew away too quickly for me to get his photo.  So I moved on and found this;4-17-19pelicanI had seen lots of pelicans in this spot before, almost looking like a rookery that day, but not yesterday.  I decided to swing past the eagle nest on my way home again, and that proved to be the photo op I was looking for;4-17-19princess24-17-19princess14-17-19princess4-17-19mom&dad24-17-19mom&dadMom and Dad were in the tree just above the nest.  The Princess, as she is known, was in a tree not far away and even closer to the road.  She is looking regal isn’t she?  But what I hadn’t counted on was a dead armadillo in the road very close to where I had parked.  By the time I returned to the car there were vultures on both sides of the road and in the trees, and I had to get past them to get to the car.  They are creepy.  But then once I was at the car I couldn’t help myself, and so we have these last photos of the day.4-17-19vultures24-17-19vulturesBeauty, after all, is in the eye of the beholder.

friends, healing, learning, life goes on, live and learn, Uncategorized

Technology vs people…

Part of the joys of belonging to the photo club that I’ve found here in Florida, and I’ll repeat myself here, it’s the FCCP, Florida Center for Creative Photography, are the classes available to attend in person or online, and the opportunity to learn to use your camera more effectively.  And to do this within a group of people with a common interest, which  leads to pleasant lunches after a shoot, plus friendships to bring even more contentment to your life.  The bigger group through which I found this group is called Meet UP, and through them you might find groups in your own area, for photography or whatever other interest warms your heart.  Connections with people are more important to your/my happiness and mental health than I ever realized.  I needed to spend time at home by myself, and I did, happily at home for a long time, honestly.  But it didn’t sustain me forever, and the people I’ve met here, at work and through photography, plus the people I’ve re-connected with back where I grew up, have made all the difference.

All of which brings me to these pictures.  This is me trying to apply the lessons I learned last Saturday, in a class where we learned to take panoramic photographs.  If you can take the photos correctly the computer can then stitch them into a panorama.  So I had a brainstorm last night and raced out to an overpass in Tarpon Springs to take said panoramas.  Only the view from the overpass wasn’t quite as lovely as I remembered it to be.  And  zooming out to take as many photos as possible resulted in a very wide photo, a good thing I thought, but very small images off in the distance.  Not quite what I was going for.  So it’ll take time to figure out which view suits this sort of image.  But, as I’ve learned in the classes I’ve taken, when you edit in Lightroom the edits are non-destructive, allowing the images to be re-edited, and re-combined, and you might find that your initial disappointment in the photos was just your quick judgement, and it may turn out that they make you happy after all.4-16-19HDRpano2Turns out the largest panoramic image I got won’t load here.  But that’s okay, this one is what I was going for anyhow.   And a few more that I liked…4-16-19HDscene34-16-19HDRsunset4-16-19HDRscene14-16-19HDRcaptjacks4-16-19HDRboat4-16-19HDboat2

Still learning, and that makes me happy…

 

'scene' along the way, learning, live and learn, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, technology

Living and learning…

A year and a half ago a blog reader encouraged me to find a photography group here in Florida.  It would be a way to meet people and also add to my growing enthusiasm for photography, she thought, and she was right.  So thanks LoisMargaret.  The group has done exactly that, brought me friends, got me out of the house, and I’ve learned so much about photography.  Today I went to a class on learning to take panoramic photos, and I left dying to try it.  And I knew just where to stop on the way home to practice.  Oh it’s not the ideal setting for these photos.  The ideal setting would be up high with scenery laid out below you.  It’s not easy to get up high here in Florida.  Mt. Dora claims to be Florida’s highest point at 186 feet about sea level, LOL.  But I thought the scenery in Dunedin on the way home would be a perfect spot to practice, and so I did.  I employed most of the tips I learned in class today, but before I can use my tripod I’ll have to clean the sand out of it.  So, far from ideal photos, but four beginner panoramic images.  And a couple of extra photos that I couldn’t resist taking.  It was a glorious Florida day, but that’s just the way we roll here…4-13-19HDRpano34-13-19HDRpano54-13-19HDRpano#24-13-19HDRpano#14-13-19HDRboats34-13-19HDRboats24-13-19HDRboats

a second look, birds, Florida wildlife, learning, nature, old dogs new tricks, Osprey, perseverance, photography, sunset

Big birds…

That’s what tonight’s photo shoot was supposed to be about.  Big birds like this…04-11-19bigbirdshoot2

We were on a beach near the airport, and the planes were supposed to be coming towards us to land.  An entirely different perspective.  And we were shooting at sunset so some color in the sky behind them would have been nice.  There were plenty of planes, but they were taking off with the wind, and we couldn’t see where the planes coming in were landing.  But it was okay since birds of a different sort kind of stole the show.04-11-19bigbirdshoot104-11-19bigbirdfeature2Wait, is that an osprey?  Oh, let me zoom…04-11-19bigbirdosprey1And the prettiest shore bird, a willet I think.  I saw another one of the photographers concentrating on him, and later on he said that he thought he caught  this guy with a tiny little crab in his mouth.  I hope his patience paid off for him.04-11-19bigbirdwillet

I took 675 photos, and I have to say I love the new camera and lens.  We were panning, so all my photos were taken hand held, and zoomed to the fullest, so I assumed that I was getting blurry shots, but hoped for a few that I liked.  Well, my shots weren’t blurry at all.  Oh, and the new lens goes from close up to pretty great zoom, like this.04-11-19bigbirdflower

I have so many more photos to go through, but tomorrow morning is another shoot so I need to go to bed.  I have to get up early…

Chinsegut Conservation Center, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, history, learning, live and learn, nature, perseverance, photography, technology, unintended consequences

History come to life…

I wasn’t expecting a history lesson when I went to join my photographer friends yesterday.  It was to be a hike, and I was welcome to join them.  They hike a LOT, and volunteer at the Chinsegut Conservation Center, and are currently editing/updating a history of the Chinsegut Hill property itself.  So our hike was on property that is not open to the public, but of course we were conscientious and didn’t leave anything behind us, or remove a thing, unless it was ticks.  After a hike they usually remark about how many ticks they have found on themselves afterwards, which is a big reason that I don’t join them often.  “Stay on the paths and you should be all right,” they said, and then the paths disappeared, and on we trudged.

The history lesson concerned the CCC, Civilian Conservation Corps, which I’d heard of but honestly knew nothing about, but I looked it up this morning.  This turned out to be the most popular New Deal program of the time, 1933-1942, and it provided unskilled manual labor for unmarried young men ages 17-28 during those difficult depression years.  They were provided with shelter, clothing, and food, plus a wage of $30/month, $25 of which was required to be sent back to their families.  They labored on lands owned by local, state, and federal governments, and this program was not only a boon to the men and their families, but also led to an appreciation of the outdoors, and the need to protect our national resources.  Chinsegut Hill benefitted from the labors of these men, who built the buildings on the property plus improved the wonderful acres of natural environment, preserving it to this day.  When Betty and Linda first saw this property it was old and worn, but in pristine condition, buildings intact, dishes on the table, a bible beside the toilet, and equipment in the fields.  As if people had just walked away.  But it was recently vandalized, windows broken, and the buildings are now locked.  As Betty said, nature is reclaiming what was hers in the beginning.

So now you know what you are looking at, if you have stuck with me this long.  And as I have written this it has occurred to me that I forgot to check myself for ticks.  Excuse me…03-26=2019CHINSEGUTHILLBROKENWINDOW03-26=2019ChinsegutHill503-26=2019ChinsegutHill403-26=2019CHINSEGUTHILL303-26=2019CHINSEGUTHILL203-26=2019CHINSEGUTHILL03-26=2019ChinsegutHilltruck

There were a lot more photos I still needed to go through, but I’ve just started saving them to my external hard drive.  It’s getting back to them that’s the problem.  But you get the point.