learning, on closer examination, photography, technology, unintended images

Hernando Hideaway…

I know.  I have this night photography thing on the brain.  I’m going to stop now, she said optimistically, and actually learn to use the program.  There is more that you can do besides just looking at the presets and choosing the one you like the best.

I stayed out after the sunset last night to go find the local bars to see if they would make good HDR photos.  A lot of them were disappointing because they had cars pulled all the way up the front doors, but not all of them.  And I came home with a fat lip!  But that happened in the garage when I grabbed the camera by the strap and tried to put it over my head.  The only disaster of the night, which ended at 8 PM because I am just that much of a wild woman.  But my fellow Hernando Countians apparently are pretty wild and crazy, because all the bars were hopping.  I didn’t know half of them were even there.


I took this last one at 5 AM this morning, and went back home because the lights were out at all the places I had expected to stop.  The front of this place was dull and gray, and the sign was completely obscured.  Last night, however, this is where I stopped for a salad with salmon on it, which was great.  Choosing to sit at the outdoor bar wasn’t so smart though.  There was the smoking, and the band, who made up for in volume what they lacked in talent.  Just my opinion.  But I was amazed at the image that Easy HDR made out of the three bracketed shots I took, in resurrecting a photo out of what I was seeing.  I wonder how it does that?  And if they’ll trim the shrubbery if I ask them to…thecove2

fun, learning, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, special effects, sunrise, sunset, technology

Night photo walk…

I went out for the sunrise this morning, but I was still under the influence of the night photo walk that I did last night.  I was having such a good time last night that it was a shame to cut it short, but the guilt over leaving the dogs too long got to me.  Plus I had to go home and download a new program, Easy HDR, in order to process the photos in HDR (High Dynamic Range) as I had seen them on the photo group’s Facebook page.  Well, maybe I didn’t have to, but using that program was going to be a whole lot easier than trying to figure it out by myself in Lightroom.  So this morning instead of being happy to see the sun come up, I was lamenting the end of the darkness because I wanted to get a photo of the bait shop adjacent to the Hammond Creek bridge to use as an HDR photo.  And I couldn’t resist the Great Blue Heron (two-footed again), as he walked on top of the wall but looked like he was walking on the sunrise itself.

baitshackhdr.jpgAnd more from the walk in Tarpon Springs last night.  I swore I wouldn’t use the presets in the program, but it’s hard to resist instant gratification …

getaguru2storefrongnightstrongIMG_6742_3_4_easyHDR-dramatic-dark23-8sunsetboatsredboatHellasAnd just so you know, the guys from the group marched over and asked the PTB at Hella’s to turn on the lights on the soldier out front.  And they did!

finding my way, learning, perseverance, photography, sunset

Library sunset…

Tuesday night was the last of the sunset viewing from the roof of the Clearwater library.  Come Sunday we will leap ahead an hour, which makes the sunset too late for library viewing.  But when we roll the clock back this fall we’ll be enjoying this view of the sunset again.  I’d like to say that my confidence is growing as I go to these photo shoots with this group, but the reality is that the more of these photo shoots I go to the more I realize how little I know about the art of photography.  If patience is a virtue then my fellow photographers are very virtuous, because they certainly are patient with beginners like me.  And I thank them.librarysunset8librarysunset6librarysunset5librarysunset4librarysunset3librarysunset2librarysunset

adventure, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, learning, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, Uncategorized

And they’re off…

They say that the third time’s a charm, and I wouldn’t argue with that.  Three times I signed up to go to Tampa Bay Downs with the photo group, and twice something came up and I had to cancel.  But not yesterday, and for that I’m grateful.  Not only was it a great day weather-wise, but I really enjoyed the friendly group that gathered to watch, and photograph, the races.  We had several press passes to share amongst us, and those passes allowed us each to have a turn at taking photos from the inside rail.  It quickly became apparent to me what an advantage that really was.  All the useable racing photos that I got yesterday were taken while I was having my turn at the inside rail.  And they were taken after talking with the other group members and adjusting my camera settings accordingly.  I would have loved to have stayed longer but I was feeling sorry for the dogs back at home, and had an hour’s drive ahead of me…2-24horses12-24horses22-24race2-24races32-24races52-24races42-24horsesfeatureAnd, of course, I walked in the door and they looked at me as if to say, “Oh, are you home already?”

history, honor, learning, moments, photography, soldiers, The Booksville Raid

The Brooksville Raid…

The Brooksville Raid was a Civil War skirmish that is re-enacted in Brooksville every year, and is said to be the biggest Civil War re-enactment in Florida. It recounts the landing of 240 Union troops at Bayport on July 1, 1864. Those troops then marched to Brooksville, pillaging and destroying plantations in their wake. The Confederate defenders skirmished with them, and sent to Tampa for help, but there never was an actual battle. The union troops did what damage they could and returned to Bayport and from there returned to Ft. Myers.

Charley liked to call it “the war of Northern aggression”, but then he fancied himself a southern boy. We went to the Brooksville Raid in 2013, and watched the battle but didn’t venture into the Union and Confederate camps at all. I’m not sure that we knew they were available to tour. Sunday’s photo meetup at the Brooksville Raid started when they opened the gates at 9 AM. It was to our advantage to be there so early so that we could take photographs without crowds in the background. Walking the camps went a long way to helping to imagine what a soldier’s life may have been at that time. I overheard a re-enactor explaining to another photographer that his great-grandfather had left the farm at 15 years old, and fought for all four years of the Civil War. He became a re-enactor to honor his ancestor’s service.

Once I had toured both camps, and watched the artillery demonstration there were still two hours to kill before the actual battle was going to be fought. I took pity on the dogs who would be needing to go out, so I didn’t stay for the battle itself. But I had it on good authority that the South was going to win this time. They do two re-enactments, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. I looked up the information on the raid because I was told that since the Union had won the skirmish on Saturday, the Confederacy would win on Sunday. That seemed like rewriting history until I read that I wasn’t a battle as much as a series of skirmishes. Charley was on my mind the whole time I was there. He would have been pleased to see the South prevail.

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Bayport, birds, dogs, eagles, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, learning, old dogs new tricks, photography, sunrise, technology

Back to basics…

There I was at Jenkin’s Creek, after a lovely sunrise at Bayport.  I pulled into the parking lot and could see a large bird in the ‘wood stork’ tree, but I honestly couldn’t tell what it was.  Lucky for me there was another photographer there, Tony, and he said that it was a juvenile eagle.  I would probably have to have used Merlin to be sure what it was if he hadn’t been there.  I suppose that I look like I know what I’m doing, what with the tripod (which he said isn’t sturdy enough for my lens), as well as the gigantic lens itself.  So Tony got out his phone and was going to play eagle sounds in an attempt to get this eagle to fly for the sake of the photo op.  So, said he, ‘you probably want to increase your shutter speed.’  Nothing will fluster me more than something like that statement, because I still fumble to make those sorts of changes in the camera settings.  I admitted that I’m a rank amateur with this stuff, and because of that we both managed to miss the shot.  Bet he was glad I showed up.  He said he had gotten some good portrait shots at least.


So I decided I needed to work on my camera skills, and off I went to the dog park.  And I easily upped the shutter speed to account for the action I was hoping to capture.  It’s a lot easier when there are no witnesses to my fumbling.  Maybe I’m getting better at all of this after all.

1221doggie1221doggie21221doggie3Obviously the dog in this last picture has zoomed out of the focus point I set, but what I like about the photo is that the leaves he kicked up are perfectly in focus.  That made me smile.  Note to self, perhaps you ought to increase the focal area next time.

And the sunrise.  I never get tired of going out for the sunrise, and sunsets for that matter.  This one got prettier than it looked like it would with the fog.  And it was foggier when I got home than it was when I left.  Practice, practice, practice…