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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Lost Lagoon - June 28, 2012

Had a fun time at Lost Lagoon shooting photographs of the birds there. I thought there was a Great Blue Heron there, but unfortunately, he was nowhere to be seen.

Lost Lagoon Fountain,

Evidently from what I hear, this fountain lights up in different colors at night, but considering that it was raining, I was not about to stay until dark.

A pair of corms sitting on a poop-encrusted pier

two Canada Geese (Branta Canadensis) playing "follow the leader".

A Canada Goose portrait.

Staring at the photographer

this one did not want to be photographed, he/she was ducking his/her head.

I enjoyed the trip over all and I have more photographs of the Lost Lagoon trip than this, but I'm going to be using them as filler on the days that I don't go out to photograph things.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Green Timbers Urban Forest Lake - June 27, 2012

Another trip to Green Timbers gave up a pair of nesting bald eagles sitting in a tree. Unfortunately due to my short 200mm f/2.8 lens, there is no way to get any closer.

This next shot was a shot that could have been a serious keeper if I had upped my shutterspeed and lowered the lens about two feet.

A Red-Winged Blackbird comes into land at the beach part of the lake.

The little girl (this is a female red-winged blackbird) is playing "I've got a broken wing...feed me..."

Female Mallard Duck

I love turtles...The two of them were sitting on a lot sunbathing. Spotted them thanks to a couple at a picnic bench who pointed them out to me. Whoever you were...Thanks!

This little male redwinged blackbird was trying to take off but I managed to capture him doing a one foot liftoff which made him look like he was drunkenly trying to dance.

Ah, Green Timbers. This is my place to happily relax and get the daily stressload off my shoulders. When I leave here, I feel less stressed.

Now, these two signs are the reason why I can't put a float in order to get closer to the wildlife

So please don't ask me if I can construct a floating tripod stand to carry my 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII closer. I can't!

Happy shooting!

Why I hate TIffen Polarizers

I am not a fan of Tiffen filters. When I shoot with the damned things they turn the sky into something that looks like I'm looking through a set of my RayBan aviator sunglasses. It's not a result that I particularly appreciate when I spent hard-earned cash on it.

This shot was done without the circular polarizer

Notice the shot has perfectly blue sky?

This was the shot with the circular polarizer from Tiffen

The sky looks freakin' grey-green!

This shot is the one closer in where the sky is even more pronounced with the circular polarizer

The sky looks disgustingly green

without the polarizer

Pathetic that the sky looks better without the polarizer on.

From now on, I'm not going to try and save a few bucks. I'm going to stick with Hoya

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bear Creek - June 26, 2012

If there is one thing that I have to like about the iPhone 4s is the quality of photos that is achievable from this camera phone. With a little post-processing from in Photoshop Elements, the iPhone 4s can print a very nice 4x6 or 8x10 at full size resolution. However you won't be able to print a poster-sized image, nor would you want to. The iPhone 4s is my go-to when I'm not in the mood to carry my DSLR or my Nikon L11. Until I get my Nikon P7100, the iPhone 4s will be my mainstay when I want a quick concealable camera...when I'm not using it as my phone.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Brilliant Blue - June 20, 2012

The first time I shot this frame, the blue irises came out purple. I put a Hoya circ-pol filter on the lens and it turned the irises a rich blue color"

That's pretty much when I decided I needed a decent circ-pol for all my lenses. I like the intensifying effect on the skies as well. The tendency of the exposure (when I set the camera to get the subject in correct exposure) tends to make the sky a little to over-exposed. Hence the reason why I need polarizers to correct the sky and bring it back to a brilliant blue instead of a faded aquamarine.

Field of Blue - June 18, 2012

Saw this field of blue flowers at Holland Park. I looked at it and an idea crept into my head to see just how many of the blue flowers I could put into a frame. Too much would have brought the flower planter box (a great big bricked ring around the base of a tree) and destroyed the idea of a "field of flowers"

I like the result.

Friday, June 22, 2012

2nd trip this year to Green Timbers - June 20, 2012

The second trip out to Green Timbers in two days wasn't as productive as the first. However, I felt that I had to take advantage of the "blue sky" which has been very rare in the Fraser Valley this year. The opportunities to get blue sky in the photograph have been few and far between and one has to jump on it when it happens. So that's how I found myself in Green Timbers.

Problems happened from the moment I got there. I could see that there were a lot of people taking advantage of the sunny day to get some fishing in. And that in itself caused a lot of the waterfowl to take to the water, completely putting the more skittish ones like a pied billed grebe out of camera lens range considering that I was shooting with my 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII for the IQ.

Contrary to labeled photo; this was a baby pied-billed grebe.

The plus was that the trails were well lit and I didn't have much of a problem shooting the trails hand-held. It was worth the effort to walk over to Green Timbers just for the opportunity to shoot those images.

After I spotted the pied-billed grebe and had several attempts to try to unsuccessfully capture an image, I shot a still unsuccessful and heavily cropped image of two basking turtles on a rock. I kept swearing to myself that if I had the 600mm lens, I'd have been able to shoot a much clearer image of the rarely seen turtles at the pond. They tend to come out to bask on a sunny day. I was eyeing the rock hoping to see the great blue heron there, but alas, no luck happened to be with me. I guess I must have used it up yesterday.

There is a small bridge and trail in Green Timbers which is a popular little photo opportunity for me. Usually when I've shot, I've underexposed this, so being able to get this was a small treat. I take what photographic victories I can get; especially on a day like this.

Having seen so many people out at Green Timbers with not much opportunity to shoot ducks, I decided that I would return to Whalley-Surrey Central and go to Holland Park to shoot floral. With that made up, I made my way along 100th Avenue and over to the Best Buy. Luck was with me there, as there was brilliant blue sky and I was able to capture this image of one of my favorite bushes, the pink dogwood tree.

This is the reason why I tell people that they need to have a circular polarizer. The CIRC-POL, as I call it for short, intensifies the blue in the sky where ever there is blue to be seen. Mine is a Hoya 62 CIRC-POL and I've had it almost from the time I bought my 70-300mm f/4-5.6 G (non-VR) lens. It pretty much is a permanent fixture on there and I rarely take it off other than when I want to shoot on cloudy days. Of course, if I don't mind the 1 stop loss of exposure, I tend to shoot with it also on cloudy days to intensify the tonal quality of the clouds or on most cloudy days, bare, you'd end up getting a static grey sky with no texture whatsoever. With a circular polarizer you intensify the texture of the cloudy sky and you're able to post-process that to bring it out since you don't lose any tones in the texture.

I'm looking forward to shooting more photography over at Green Timbers. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to see some osprey as well as observe fishing by the resident bald eagles. Green Timbers is a treasure trove in the centre of an urban community and I'm glad that I live so close to it.

Monday, June 18, 2012

New Rumors from Nikon D600/D400

There's rumors that there are two more DSLRs slated to come out on the market. One being a new full-frame "entry-level" priced to appeal to the entry level market with the D600. And a semi-pro DX DSLR to replace the D300s with the D400 which supposedly is supposed to come out in October according to Nikon Rumors.

There are also two new lenses which are out. There is an 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR - for both Nikon full frame and DX cameras which should be great for those who want a walk around lens and don't want to put up with having to carry a 16-85mm and a 70-300mm VR. The second lens being a 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G ED VR for those who want a wide angle for the full-frame lenses. The full frame not having the 1.5x crop will consider a 24-85 as a standard wide-angle.

Nikon D600 - this is a leaked image from Nikon showing that the rumored D600 is actually a rumor that could potentially have some truth to it. No idea when it will be on the market. I don't like the way they did away with the option to use a manual control shutter trigger leaving only the option for the use of the ML-L3

Nikon D400

18-300mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR

24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G ED VR

The D600 is meant for an entry level market, but when you start getting into the full-frame market, you need to understand that most people who are going to use the D600 are going to be the serious photography hobbyists who won't like being hamstrung by the lack of a decent manually controllable remote or access to flash capability for camera strobe flashes other than popup flash or on the flash mount. Of course there are ways around it, but not being able to put a flash on a stroboframe, without having to use a frustrating combination of wireless flash triggers such as Pocket Wizards can be a frustrating venture. The lack of a cable connector will probably drive more advanced photographers towards the Nikon D800 than the D600 and will leave the realm of the D600 to the neophytes who just want to say that they have a full-frame camera.

Also a warning from Nikon to those who use the old versions of their software Nikon Transfer and Nikon Capture NX. NEF files from newer cameras may inadvertently get corrupted if you use them with the old software. Now if you are using Capture NX 2 then you shouldn't have any problem. N-Photo Article - Nikon’s warning over NEF files

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Flag Day US Holiday - June 14, 2012

Not only is today my wife's birthday, but today is Flag Day in the United States. Needless to say, there are numerous places around Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada that fly "Old Glory" so I figured I'd post this American Flag shot in honor of Flag Day, the US Holiday

St. Andrews-Wesley Church - June 9, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

Construction Tunnel - June 9, 2012

Some Bird Shots - Coal Harbour - June 9, 2012

Pelagic Cormorant sitting on a post in Coal Harbour

Shot of a Great Blue Heron flying or more like soaring through the air. This kind of shot would have been much better with a 500mm or greater lens. I'm hoping that the Sigma 50-500mm or the Nikon 300mm f/4+TC-14EII and TC-17EII will be a temporary fix. That's if I can manage to get my hands on one.