Things That Fly: Birds

Photographers enjoy taking pictures of birds because they’re small, fast, and offer a challenge. They also like to hide in tree branches, making it damn near impossible to focus on them, rather than the leaves. I can’t tell you how many photos have been ruined by a camera’s propensity to focus on the thing closest to the lens, but they likely number in the thousands.

The mockingbird, Florida’s state bird. They look a bit plain, but they sing beautifully and have an amazing repertoire. 

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Scattershot

I’ve got a folder full of photos I never posted here, and I’ll be putting them up over the next few weeks. Sometimes they’ll have a theme, but more often than not, it’ll be whatever catches my attention when I look at the pics.

I keep taking pics of this old tower in town. The latest rumors say it’s being torn down, but unless it’s structurally unsound, I don’t see why. Look at all the satellites on top of it. Where else would they put them?  I snapped this from Lake Placid one morning, using the Sigma telephoto. The sky was breathtaking.

A sunrise shot over the lake. I was messing with zone shooting, trying to get the town sharp while allowing framing from palm fronds. Normally, a camera will focus on whatever’s closest to the lens. 

Two midges on a flower, because they’re beautiful (look at the colors in the top one’s wings), and I haven’t posted an insect macro in a while. These do not sting, by the way. 😉 Look closely and see a third insect, upper left. No idea what it is.

Barely caught this wild turkey before it vanished into the long grass.

Closeup of a squirrel, because why not?

The water lilies were blooming.

Suki, looking pensive. I miss her. My life isn’t the same without her.

See you next time.

 

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Landscapes

It was foggy one morning as the sun rose, and I went out to take pictures of it. None of these were augmented with fake sunrays. 😉 I have to say that these days because Luminar offers sunrays. These are all natural!

Took this one from the street near my house.

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Morning at the Lake

I haven’t been down to the lake in a while, but yesterday morning I fetched the camera and walked there. It’s a short trip, three or four minutes at most. The hurricane was causing havoc on the east coast of Florida but where I live, it was still quiet. Though NOAA is forecasting lots of gray skies and rain this week, the sun was out while I was there.

Remember all pics are clickable for uploaded sizes.

First thing I saw was this great blue heron, standing near the shore. It’s hard to see in this picture, but a Halloween pennant dragonfly and white crab spider were also captured.

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Before/After: Sony a6400

Did I tell you my camera strap let go while I was on the bike, riding home from the lake one morning? This is the second time I was reminded what it feels like when your blood “turns to ice.” The expensive Sony telephoto lens was on it, too.

The combo hit the tar road and bounced. I didn’t see that, I heard it. I was terrified to turn around and look, but I did. The lens hood and cap were sent flying. I picked those up first, then the camera. It didn’t seem damaged, except superficially along the edge of the lens.

I walked home with the bike and camera; I was only a few minutes away. When I got there, I blew possible dirt/dust off the lens and took a good look at it. Not broken, as far as I could tell, but there was a faint scrape across the glass.

I cleaned it, put it back on the camera, and did some tests. I ran tests for several days, then I switched out the lens and tested the camera again.

The good news is both seem to have survived the shock of smashing to the ground, but I realized how awful it would be to lose my camera due to an accident, so I decided to buy another one. I’ve had the a6000 for three years. It’s an excellent, affordable, mirrorless camera. I would never go back to a Canon single-lens anymore. My SX60 is sitting in a camera bag, unused. I took some amazing pictures with that camera, but I love the Sony mirrorless system. It’s allowed me to up my game as far as photography goes. I take pictures now I couldn’t take then.

I decided to keep the a6000 as a backup and purchase the Sony a6400, which offers faster autofocus (AF) speed and human/animal eye AF. I’ve been wanting this camera for a while, and I decided the time was right.

AF animal eye has allowed me to zero in on wildlife, giving me a higher “hit rate” on sharp pictures. So far I’ve tried it on anoles and birds. I can’t wait to run into an alligator again.

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