Saturday, March 19, 2011

February's Photography Successes and lessons

Over the last few weeks I've slowly made my way through the backlog of images I shot on my vacation.  I think the focusing trick I learned from the seminar I attended last April has really paid off, as I came away from this trip with gigabytes of sharp wildlife images.  I wouldn't have captured nearly the amount had I been using my previous focusing method... which consisted of fumbling around with the shutter button, giving up and focusing by hand, then throwing most of the shots out of focus by trying to then take the photo.
Taking the auto-focus function off the shutter release is quite possibly the best photographic decision I made this year.
I compiled so many images that my portfolio update tonight had to be broken down into 7 new galleries...

I loaded them up and placed them under the "Featured Galleries" on my main page - just go to My Site and scroll down to the bottom of the page if you want to take a peek, or here is a list of direct links to each gallery

Snow Scenes - Images taken during the great big snow storm we had in the middle of our vacation.  Many of these were shot from inside the truck as we wove our way down Whidby Island.
Metal, Wood, Water and Stone - kind of a mixture of scenic stuff from around Orcas Island, and experimenting with longer shutter speeds on wave shots.
Birds of Port Townsend - didn't have enough of any individual  bird to do their own album, so the house sparrow, crow and double-crested cormorants ended up here.
Great Blue Heron - it's clear I loved shooting this guy.
Belted Kingfisher - he was more difficult to capture, since he's such a relatively small bird and very, very shy.  I consider myself lucky to have even spotted him
Bald Eagle - an immature bald eagle... I noticed him swoop down just as I was getting into the car to wait for the ferry, and I bolted right back out to follow him.  This guy was being totally harassed by seagulls, who made a racket and dive-bombed him, but never got close enough for me to get them in the shot with him.  The eagle ended up leaving the scene because the heron came back.  It seems in the world of birds, size matters more than talons?
Port Townsend Fountain in the Snow - This is the fountain in Port Townsend which sits at the base of the stairs that connect Uptown to Downtown (they are literal in PT)  We arrived in PT under gray skies, and the snow began to fall just as we brought our bags into the condo.  This is a series of shots taken over the course of our 3 day stay, with varying degrees of coverage and meltage.

This trip was a lesson to me in what it's like to shoot in bitterly cold weather.  I wore fingerless gloves to keep my hands as warm as I could, but I think I may need to invest in some hunting gloves (the kind where you can remove the index finger only) if I'm going to shoot in winter conditions for any length of time.  Also, bright snow, bright sunshine, and transition lenses to not make for a good shooting set-up.  It took me a few outings to realize that the reflection of the sun off the snow made my glasses pitch-black dark - great for driving but terrible for viewing anything through the eyepiece or on the LCD screen.  I started shoving my glasses in my pocket while I shot, but nearly dropped them several times so I really do need to carry my glasses case with me next time.

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