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Missing the boat…

It wasn’t the right setting to try the photography technique we had intended to use. Our photo club guru, Jeff, says that You Tube how-to videos can be made by any Tom, Dick, or Harry so watch out. But in this case I think it was more the two people on the receiving end of the information who missed the boat. Further practice is needed.

The feature photo was taken with a new lens I bought, and I wasn’t attempting any particular settings when I took it. Which is evidence that the new lens bears no responsibility for the lack of desired results. Nope, blame operator error, as usual. But with Lightroom all was not lost, which is a good thing since it’s been too hot to venture out for photos in the daytime lately. Venturing out to check out the pool wouldn’t be a bad idea however. Just heaven forbid, no pictures please.

I like the softer focus on this one.
How about a black and white-ish effect?
Various people wandered onto the dock to watch the sunset.
I liked the cloud in this picture. It looks like it’s straight out of the new Jurassic park movie, which is another possibility for an activity for the heat of the day.
'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, friends, fun, live and learn, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, simple things, technology, unintended images

Incoming…

I had been taking pictures at the rookery for quite a while. The nests look like piles of sticks, the ones you can actually see that is, and I was quite sure that with all the little heads bobbing up and down I’d probably gotten a few clear shots that I’d be happy with. So I was a little bored, but my friend hadn’t ever gotten himself out to see the new little chicks before so he was still having fun. But I was wandering a bit, and then I saw him. A wood stork out of the corner of my eye. He was flying in with a nice piece of nesting material. But instead of making a beeline for the nest he looped around just enough for me to get my camera up and start shooting. No plan, no attempt at composition, just start shooting and attempt to get him in the shot. Later on when I got the SD card into the computer I looked at the pictures in order, always looking for the best shot of the chicks. There were several hundred pictures, and I was deleting as I went, so I was getting tired of the whole process when I got to these pictures. Yes, I’d gotten the wood stork. Well, most of him at least. And I cracked myself up when I saw them. So here they are, all my shots of this big, awkward, funny-looking-but-somehow-charming, wood stork.

I wasn’t sure that I’d gotten him in the frame at all, so I decided that what I liked about these pictures outweighed the fact that I missed his wing tips. For me anyhow.
A graceful turn.
I love the look on his face.
He’s putting on the brakes, which is probably why I was able to get his whole self into the shot.
Honey, I’m home!

Just a few seconds out of a photographer’s day, but most of the time that’s all it takes to make your day.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, nature, perseverance, photography, sunset, technology, Uncategorized

Sunset drive…

Our Tuesday camera club meeting always takes place at 6 PM on Tuesday night. The lovely park that we pass by on our way to the meeting is always pretty, but it’s the sunset that changes. Not too long ago the sky was on fire as we approached the park and I worried that I’d miss the sunset completely. This week’s meeting at 6 PM had us early for the sunset, but not too early for the sky to be amazing. So I held my phone out the car window and kept the burst button down. If you are a photographer, whether a pro or just for fun, you are used to going through a LOT of pictures to find the few that you like a lot. In this case there was an unusual amount of photos taken, but as long as I find a couple to use I’m happy. Life is good.

A possible proposal?
Love the clouds.
I was inside for the sunset itself, I’ll bet it was gorgeous.
I would imagine that someone enjoyed the sunset on one of these benches.
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Spoonies…

It was a toss up really. Which did I want to see more, Painted Buntings or Spoonies? This trip to Merritt Island was instigated by a gal I talked with when I was unsuccessfully shooting the eagles the other day. It was unsuccessful because I never saw the eaglets that day, but also because when I changed to my biggest lens I somehow upset the settings in the camera and had a hard time getting everything back to normal. As we talked about where to go and what to see she said that she saw ‘hundreds’ of Spoonies at Merritt Island a few weeks before. That statement was what sent me home determined to take a trip soon, like the next day! The fact that the weather was going to be absolutely perfect cemented the deal.

The Blackpoint Drive was the place to see them, stop #11, she said. And she was right! There they were, right on cue. Not hundreds, just a few. And once you are there and seeing them there is only a limited variety of poses that you can get. Standing there looking pretty, with a lovely reflection because you don’t seem to see them on land, is one pose. And the other pose is with their beak in the water, swishing back and forth. That’s about it, so I got a lot of identical shots. But the other shot I’ve seen online is with them flying, their feathers looking gorgeous in the sun. So I was torn when they took to the air, I was disappointed that they were leaving, but I kept shooting.

I couldn’t get over the deep red color on the wing. And what I assume is the ear hole (?) which sometimes shows prominently in the pictures.
As they swish their bill back and forth they unearth small snails, fish, insects, shrimp, crabs, and some plants. Shrimp is what causes their pink coloring.
In looking up their diet I discovered that there are 6 varieties of Spoonbills and they are common all over the world. But the Roseate Spoonbill is the odd ball due to it’s coloring.
I love the ruffled feathers in this shot.
Did I want him to leave? No, but I happily clicked the shutter as he took flight.
Pointed ‘toes’, graceful feathers…
Up, up, and away.
It was the end of the trail, and the next day we didn’t see them except in the distance.

It took me two days to get the courage to look at my spoonie shots. After shooting all day I realized that I hadn’t quite gotten my camera back to normal. It was shooting jpeg photos, not RAW, and I was worried that none of the shots would be decent. But what that really means is that the geniuses who create the algorithms that edit the photo as you take them know what they are doing. And there was nothing much for me to do except crop. Whew. Another adventure in Florida. At this moment I have no clue what’s next, but that’s okay, it’ll be a surprise to me too.

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Those photo ops…

I’ve been disappointed in myself lately. I haven’t been out for as many sunrises or sunsets. Maybe I was just too lazy, I thought. Or maybe, just maybe, the morning coffee with someone to talk with was the reason. And chatting over dinner might just result in the sunset happening right outside the window and I never noticed. So I’ve given up one obsession for another, well, maybe not obsession, but certainly a lovely distraction. I feel very lucky. And those sunrises and sunsets keep happening, so that when I do head out the door there they are. The big question on this day, which was last Monday, was whether we would reach Edgewater Park before the sun sank totally beneath the horizon. Traffic was annoyingly slow, and we were actually heading to a photo editing opportunity in Clearwater, so we weren’t stopping for the sunset. Nope, I was just shooting out the window of the car as we now seemed to be whizzing past. I was happy to see that I managed a couple of usable shots. And a selfie!

Just made it!
Oops!
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Deja Vu…

Four years ago to the day, last Saturday to be precise, I went to my second photo walk with my ‘new’ (at the time) photo group. I saw the announcement of a photo walk to see the Dunedin Christmas Boat Parade and had to summon up all my courage to go join in with a bunch of people I didn’t know. Especially true since I was such a novice with my camera, which to me was a big deal investment, but I was barely functional with it. Lucky for me one of the group administrators set my camera up for me that day, thanks Kate. Our leader Jeff had snagged prime territory for great views of the boats as they made their way into the marina, and even provided chairs for us to sit on. A luxury I’m afraid I didn’t appreciate until 4 years later when we were faced with finding a place to shoot the scene on our own. Weighed down by equipment, and with two (really three) hours to kill before the boats would arrive, we decided to take advantage of the empty bleachers which would give us a great view of the boats arriving at the marina. Great view yes, but a challenge for photography with boats arriving and leaving and their lights overlapping, etc. The feature photo is from my iPhone as the sun was setting, and it was about 6 PM, time for the parade to begin. It took almost an hour before the boats began to arrive at the marina. A dramatic sunset filled the gap.

If we had brought chairs we may have been able to sit at the railing. On the other hand, the top row of the bleachers was a pretty good perspective over all.
The sunrise itself got a lot more dramatic than it first appeared that it would be.
The reflections were amazing…
There was a dolphin sighting…
I didn’t see a bear in the Smokies, but I saw a bear on a boat.
Boats were coming and going…
And going and coming…
Frosty was there…
A simple display created quite the reflection.
The boats came into the marina to make their turn…
Rudolph lit the way…
Some boats carried lots of people, some not so many…
Do I know what this boat was all about? No. But I included this picture because of the little girl…
And finally Santa arrived, escorted by the Pinellas sheriff department.

Even though I had advice about what settings to use for this shoot I will need more practice before I’ll be really happy with shots like these. But I was happy with the day itself. Winter in Florida can’t be beat.