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Friday, September 28, 2012

Police/FD/Ambulance Response - September 28, 2012

Evidently, there was a response required at a neighbour's house just down the street from us. When I got home from dropping off my wife at work, my daughter and I found the driveway blocked off by numerous emergency vehicles that spanned half the block. Had to go around the block to assess how to get into my own driveway. However once I had parked, I asked the fire-captain to please get his responders to move the ladder-truck that was blocking my driveway a foot and a half so that I could get out quickly if I needed to. They did and I appreciate that.

Vehicle licence plates and rank of police officer responding blurred out for privacy. This post concludes September's postings. See you in October. Happy Shooting (whoops...pardon the unintended turn of phrase). Ooops!

More YVR Photos and a tire-tip - September 24, 2012

The Impala is on "park" right now as I have dry-rot on the tires. This Friday I will take the vehicle in for tire replacement. With the new set of tires on, I will be able to put some gas in the tank and start going to places that I haven't been for quite some time. You don't want to mess with dry rot on your tires as you will end up with a tread separation leading to a blowout at high speed. You don't mess with your tires. Play it safe and drive safely. Especially if you have camera gear. Getting smacked in the head with a $5,000 or more lens can kill you if you have a roll-over due to a tire blowout. I'm not letting my tires get to that point.

This is dry rot on the tires due to it sitting on a car lot for months on end through hot weather and cold weather day in and day out. If your tires get to this point, get it into a tire shop and get them replaced. But this is not a tire blog nor is it an automotive blog. All I want to say by imparting this information is "stay safe; check your vehicle's maintenance". As wildlife photographers, our vehicle is our livelihood and our LIFE. If not maintained properly, our vehicle has the capacity to take our life. Don't let it get to that point.

Here are two more photos from the YVR trip that I made (which considering the condition of my tires, I probably shouldn't have made.

Happy Shooting...and Drive Safe!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Some Sunset Shots from September 24, 2012

Caught some of the sunset from both Iona Beach Park and from off runway 26R at YVR while I was waiting for my wife to finish up her class.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Night Outdoor Photography With iPhone

Night photography on the basic iPhone is tough to do as it automatically kicks up your ISO so your photos become noisy. If you can get some illumination in the form of headlights or a lantern flashlight you can trick your iPhone into thinking it has more light to work with.

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) - September 24, 2012

Got the chance to go back to Vancouver International Airport for a while to watch the aircraft come in. This was one of the most favorite things I liked to do when I was growing up. My best memories were of my dad taking me to YVR to sit off the end of Runway 26L and watch for a 747 to come in. Back then, Air Canada used to fly 747-200s. Back then, then engine noises were loud. Nowadays even the large aircraft noises are muted. I posted up on Facebook last night, that now I'm sitting in the Impala with my daughter watching the airplanes come in. I guess it's what's called a rite of passage. Maybe she'll like airplanes, maybe she won't, but's one of the things that makes us both happy and spending time with my daughter is a good thing.

Having watched a lot of aircraft come in, I had the opportunity to do some artistic shots against the setting sun (the last two). I think they came out well.

Airbus A310
Airbus A310
Air Canada A320
A beautiful big-body Boeing 747-436 on final Runway 26R
Air China Airbus A340-313X
Landing in the Sunset, the B747-436 touches down.
Sunset over the tarmac, through the fence

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Zoom-Effect; Green Timbers - September 20, 2012

Green Timbers Shoreline from South End - September 20, 2012

Green Timbers Trail - September 20, 2012

3-shot panorama - September 20, 2012

Green Timbers Lake 3-Shot Panorama - stitched together in Photoshop Elements 8. Testing out new things on Photoshop Elements. Hopefully I can put together some nice panos down at the different places that I go to.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Nikon D600 - Released

The release of the D600 has been a very interesting few days. It's hard to tell what Nikon is going to do now. With the apparent focus on FX as an entry level camera; it is not known whether Nikon is making a switch to full-frame permanently and phasing out their DX sensor or whether there will be still a semi-pro DX sensor model for those who wish to shoot action. However it seems that a lot of the wildlife/action photographers seem to be making that switch to FX; partly for the higher resolution.

Nikon's information page on the D600
Nikon Canada's Press Release on the release of the Nikon D600

As a wildlife/nature photographer, I'm not yet sold on the value of FX format yet. Certainly a bigger sensor creates the opportunity to shoot high-ISO images with relatively little grain and thus be able to shoot faster shutter speeds, however DX sensors have also increased their high-ISO capability...though not as far yet. I see grain when I crop my images at ISO 800 on my D300s, but when you look at a fully-un-cropped image; you can't tell since the image is very clear. All in all, are the benefits of a entry-level FX frame worth upgrading from a semi-pro DX frame? Is the 5.5 frames per second burst shooting speed up to the challenge of the 24 MP sensor. Will there be write delay from the buffer to the card owing that there is a massive amount of data per shutter click to transfer. A delay could cost you the "money-shot".

Will I make the switch eventually from DX to FX. Undoubtedly; however I have no reason to go FX at the moment due to my D300s and any further semi-pro or professional calibre DX frames that may come out of the Nikon factory. Will I buy the D600 just to get in the entry-level door into FX? No. Because the cons outweigh the benefits right now. The only switch that would make sense for me is to go directly from this D300s to a Nikon D4 or equivalent professional grade frame (D5, D6) when I do make the switch. The professional grade frame would provide me with the frame rates and a big enough buffer that the write speeds would not impact the shutter with delays. Professional grade frames are designed and built with speed in mind. After all, the last thing you want is to have your camera have buffer lag when you're in the midst of shooting a falcon in a terminal hunting dive for a kill. With photographers it's always the money shot and anything that detracts from it is unwanted.

A Mallard Pair - July 10, 2012

Mallard Duck Swim-Wake - July 11, 2012

A Crow In A Tree - July 11, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11, 2001

Let Nothing More Be Said; Just Remember...

Monday, September 10, 2012

Remembering 9-11

World Trade Center Smoking image by Michael Foran; US Flag image by FalconRose Photography.

Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.” --President George W. Bush September 11, 2001.

We Shall Remember.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Coal Harbour Paddlewheeler - August 24, 2012

Chaos at the Pond - August 9, 2012

House on Stilts - Art at Coal Harbour, August 24, 2012

St. Paul's Hospital - August 24, 2012

For many years, I walked or bus'ed past St. Paul's Hospital without really thinking about it. On December 15th, 2009, my whole perception of this facility changed. That was the day that I saw my father draw his last breath in one of the rooms in the cardiac care ward. Now, St. Paul's is a place that brings forth a whole cascade of memories and emotions. I can walk past the hospital now without tears coming to my eyes, however I still know deep down inside that this was where I spent my last moments with my father while he still had some semblance of consciousness.

These photos were taken with the iPhone 4s with a little bit of post-processing done in Photoshop Elements

Thanks to those in the Cardiac and Emergency wards that tried to keep my father alive. I know you all tried your best. These people save lives every day and each one lost weighs heavy on them.

Rest in Peace, Dad.

Friday, September 7, 2012

False Creek from the iPhone - August 24, 2012

Some images from my iPhone 4s.

Gear Down and Locked - August 9, 2012

Gear Down and Locked

I love how narrow the depth of field is around the ducks eye when I shoot with the 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII. The duck's eye is in focus and his beak isn't.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

When Photographing Birds, Mask Your Approach

Great Blue Herons are notoriously skittish birds and will take flight if you approach them directly. This is one of the reasons why most non-masochistic photographers will use a super-telephoto lens to get the reach to get photographs of them. I don't have that luxury at least until I can put together three years of saving for a 600mm f/4 super-telephoto lens. Which means I won't have a 600mm in hand until about May or June of 2015. Which means, I'm stuck with the 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII. This means having to utilize my grey matter in between my ears to take advantage of ways to get "closer" to the GBH subjects. To give you an idea. Here's three images that I took this past August 26, 2012 at False Creek. And I'll give you an idea of what it took to get those images.

Image 1 =
Image 2 =
Image 3 =

I'm having to learn the places where I can get close in order to take advantage of the better focus resolving power of the 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII. I have the original 70-300mm G (Non-VR)...but I prefer the 70-200mm, despite the loss of the extra 100mm. Which means really having to get close to get a better focus on the head. Ain't easy to get close, but the positioning of the GBH allowed me to use the manmade topography of the area to get really close without letting the GBH see me.

To give you an idea of where I was shooting from. These were the positions from 1st shot through the third shot.

My approach towards "Henry" the heron.

Taking advantage of your topography and knowing the characteristics of the animal that you are seeking to take a photograph of is essential to getting close to an animal. However this further illustrates the need for the right equipment. I would not recommend using this technique of getting close on photographing the North American Grizzly or Elk. They will charge you if you get close. If you can't buy the right equipment for the photographic job at hand, then rent it. The reason I'm shooting birds, is because I enjoy doing so. And these subjects will not kill you if you don't exactly have the right equipment at the time. There is no point in putting yourself in a bad situation. The photograph is not worth your life.

Stay smart; stay safe...

Happy Shooting