adventure, Camping, fun, go with the flow, leap of faith, learning, life goes on, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Day 1 from The Pastures…

Getting the camper set up was not the cinchy part of this adventure. Contrary to what I had imagined. My cousin says that it’s because everything is new. The canvas will relax, she says. I hope she is right. And to level this thing on the lot there are wood blocks under the leveling jacks, plus this thing is the ‘extreme sports model’ so it has extra big tires too. All of this means that in order to put the awning out a ladder will have to be involved. And at least one tall cousin. My do-it-myself motto is out the window already.

But the birds were chirping this morning, and I love breathing cold air while I sleep, under nice warm covers of course. And sleep I did. There was a group out there watching the Bruins game last night and I thought I’d listen, but I have no clue what the score was. The coffee tastes pretty good this morning, my first morning as a camper….sun set from my doorway last night…

adventure, bucket list, coping, finding my way, Just do it, leap of faith, learning, life goes on, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Snowbird diaries, Chapter 2

I feel like a bit of a fraud.  For months now I have been talking about setting out in my comfy trailer with a couch and a Murphy bed, and being a Snowbird.  I planned to ‘decorate’ it.  Maybe not over-the-top ‘glamping’, a la Pinterest, but make it mine.  Until my fellow campers online insisted that I couldn’t pull that trailer with my van, which had shown up on Facebook one day as rated excellent for towing.  Just saying.  So the dealer took responsibility and were going to switch me to a smaller trailer, but when I went to the dealership to see it in person it wasn’t there yet.  But on the showroom floor was this pop up camper that I fell in love with.  On sale.  Sold.

Now this I could handle, I thought.  It’ll be easier, not so much technology to figure out and to go wrong.  But that was theory, the reality came when I went back on the 30th for my walk through, and I drove it away.  Not to the campground, that will be today, but to my friend’s house where I would have to pull up the driveway and then turn myself around.  I put some thought into this ahead of time and had a plan, but, as my uncle had already warned me, the smaller the trailer the harder it is to back up because it responds more quickly.  I found out what he meant as soon as I got there, when every time I turned the wheel the camper looked like a virtual jack knife maneuver.  I eventually gave up and thought I was going to have to get someone to do it for me, which was disappointing.  S I unhitched the camper and parked the van beside it for the night.

By yesterday I had a new plan, so I re-hitched the camper…fullsizeoutput_120efullsizeoutput_1210.jpegYes, I backed up the van and got things hitched up by myself, grateful all the while for no witnesses.  It still took a few tries to get myself positioned to head back down that driveway and drive to the campground and begin this new adventure.  But now I know I can do it, it’s not just theory.  And that couch that I was so happy to find in the original camper?  It’s in this one!  Seriously!  And so it begins…

fantasy images, learning, perseverance, photography, silliness, technology

Multiplicity…

That was the name of the class we took.  In the class we used an actual person posing for us in the same garden area five times, in five different poses, in five different places.  At the end of the exercise you, okay, not me because I didn’t know the camera controls in my new camera so I gave up pretty quickly.  And that’s really just an excuse because I never learned to set the focus where I wanted it in any of my cameras.  But I guess the class was a success since I now know how to do exactly that.  And how to erase an image from one photo and add it to another.  Trust me, it’s exhausting, thinking I mean.  At the end of the exercise some of us had the same person appearing five times in the same final photo.  You have to admit that that idea has potential.

Obviously that would be a lot more impressive than seeing three bunnies, or three Ginny dolls, since I easily could have had multiples of those items.  But a heck of a lot of work went into these images and I’m glad I learned to do it.  I’m sure I entertained the neighborhood while I tried to pose various objects out in the sunshine, and before I could get the camera focused the wind would knock them over.  Or I’d realize that the background of the photo was going to be terrible, which had me on the ground trying to shoot so that the sky would be the background.  I tried, but was futile.  I moved inside and got the bunny photo and called it a day.  But I learned a new trick, and I am an old dog, so that’s something…4=27-19ginyx3

 

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…