November 20th, 2011

Smoky Mountains 2011

In October, Maria and I went on a week-long vacation with Friends Jim Kimball and George & Mimi DeBarros to Tennessee and the Smoky Mountains. We spend most of the days out shooting in the park, including a hike to Andrew’s Bald near Clingman’s Dome in the center of the park. Evenings were spent at the Quail Ridge Inn Bed & Breakfast near Gatlinburg, TN. This was the second visit to Quail Ridge for Maria and me. We hope to go back in the spring sometime in the next couple of years and spend more time with Innkeepers Anita & George.

On our Andrew’s Bald hike we came across a black bear up in a tree eating. A small group of hikers decided not to wait for the bear to finish his meal, and they decided to walk past the tree towards the bald. The bear became upset and came down from the tree, and rather go after the hikers that disturbed him; he decided to come towards us. The bear, with the hair on his back raised, came towards us on the trail. He took a few steps toward us and then decided to go off-trail for a while. We waited him out for about 15 minutes, and then continued on to the bald. We did not see him again.

The week concluded with snow on the mountain tops, so we returned to Clingman’s Dome for some photos that we cannot get here in Florida.

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March 2nd, 2011

Jan & Feb 2011

I have been out shooting over the last two months, but never had enough images from any one shoot to post. This post includes images from the 2011 South Florida Fair, the 2011 Mid-Florida Stargaze, Wakotahatchee Wetlands, and the 2011 Lake Worth Street Painting Festival. It’s been a busy couple of months with astronomy events as well as the meetup group events. Maria and I have also been busy as we have family in town for the season. Have a look at the images, and let me know what you think. We’ll post again next month…. or the month after  :)

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December 26th, 2010

Everglades National Park

On December 23, 2010 Maria and I went to the Everglades for a day in the park. We arrived at the visitor’s center near Florida City, we saw the exhibits, and then watched the 15-minute movie about the park. We then started out towards Flamingo on Florida Bay. We stopped at The Royal Palm Area and Anhinga Trail, The Pinelands, Pa-Hay-Okee, and West Lake on the way to Flamingo. I had my 5D Mark II with the 100-400mm, and the 17-40mm. After making it all the way to Flamingo, we looked out at the bay for a while, and then made the return trip home.

This was a good trip to end 2010. I’m looking forward to 2011.

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October 23rd, 2010

Smoky Mountains

Maria and I recently returned from a week-long trip to the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. We stayed at a VERY nice bed & breakfast called Quail Ridge. www.quailridgebandb.com I had 6 days of hiking and photography planned, but I only hiked 5 of those days. I went to Hen Wallow Falls, Abrams Falls, Indian Creek Falls, Tom’s Branch Falls, Juney Wank Falls, and Grotto Falls. We also went on driving tours of Cades Cove and Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. We spent one day driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and we climbed to the top of Mount Mitchell, which is the highest point east of the Mississippi River. We planned the trip to be there during the peak time of Fall color, but we may have missed it by one week. We did find nice color at upper elevations. We are looking forward to returning to Tennessee and Quail Ridge B&B.

Take a look at the photos, and let me know your thoughts.

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June 15th, 2010

Lens Test 100-400mm

During this past week I picked up a gently used Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5L IS USM lens. I Went to Wakodahatchee Wetlands on Saturday and gave the lens an hour-long test about two hours before sunset. I set the ISO on my Canon 5DM2 to 400, and mounted the lens & camera to a monopod. I noticed that there is more “noise” than I have seen in my recent shoots, but that’s due to the 400 ISO setting and not the lens. I used a small program to reduce the noise. I posted the photos in the gallery.

Until I purchased this lens I did not have a long lens for wildlife. I believe I do now. I am satisfied with the lens. I also picked up a 2x extender (FKA tele-converter), so I can actually get up to 800mm of focal length with the extender, but I will lose 2 stops of light. I’m looking forward to the next wildlife group meetup.

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May 23rd, 2010

Images from Green Cay and Riverbend Park

Maria and I have been busy this past month with a few issues outside of our hobbies. I did have some time to go to a meetup last week, and to go for a bike ride today. The images were starting to backup so I needed to get them posted. The meetup at Green Cay was very good. The weather was perfect, and I was able to shoot some nice images with my Nikon D70 and the 70-300mm lens. With the D70 having a 1.5x crop factor, the images at full zoom are similar to a 450mm lens on a 35mm film camera.

I carried my D70 with the 70-300mm lens in a backpack during a bike ride at Riverbend today. I went to a spot named “Bird Pond”, but I did not see a single bird. I have been by this pond a dozen times, and there has always been an egret hunting in the shallow pond. I continued on to Hunter’s Loop Pavilion, where I can across a family of Sandhill Cranes. There was one baby in the group, and I sat at the pavilion while they posed for me.

I have uploaded the images from both days in a new gallery. Have a look in the gallery section (link is above), and feel free to ask any questions.

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April 4th, 2010

Morikami Gardens

This past Saturday I went to the Morikami Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, Florida with the South Florida Nature and Wildlife Photography Meetup Group. There were 23 member of the group in attendance. This was my first visit to this park, and it will not be the last. I only walked through about half of the park as the time passed quickly, and I needed to return home for an appointment. I shot some infrared and some color, but I need to go back and spend more time shooting rather than talking with the other members of the group. I posted ten images in the gallery.

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April 1st, 2010

The MacArthur Session

Well I processed the images of the MacArthur session, and I am not pleased with the results at this time. I will give it another post-processing attempt in the near future to see if anything from the session is worth publishing. I guess the bear got me on that one.

This weekend is the Morikami Gardens Meetup. This will be my first visit to this site. I’ll probably load up on equipment, and shoot color and infrared…. or at least be prepared for both.

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March 28th, 2010

Riverbend Infrared

This Saturday I was scheduled for two meetup group events. The first was very early in the morning 60 miles from here, so I changed my RSVP to “Maybe”. I didn’t go. In its place I went to Riverbend Park with my Nikon D70 and tripod packed in a day pack. I also hauled my bike to the park and took off for a workout and imaging session. I toured the entire park and stopped on three occasions to shoot some infrared images. I have posted them in the New Infrared Images gallery.

In the afternoon I packed up the Canon 5DM2, Maria packed a picnic, and we went to MacArthur Park for the second meetup group I scheduled for Saturday. We walked the boardwalk and caught a few good images. After dark the park offered a “Concert under the Stars”, where we had our picnic. I will be processing the images from the MacArthur session this week, and I will post them soon.

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March 17th, 2010

Riverbend Park

This past Sunday I took a walk in Riverbend Park in Jupiter. The park was busy with canoes and bicycles. Wildlife was limited. I took the Canon 5D mark II with me and a backpack. The weather was sunny and breezy. I posted a new gallery with some of the images. Your comments are welcome. In a couple weeks I have two meetup group sessions to attend. Keep an eye out for a few more images shortly after those events.

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