May 312012

Today I went under the “knife”.  Hopefully very soon I can breath through my nose like the old days.

Yesterday I went back in history at Virginia City, Nevada to when most medical procedures probably included some whiskey or other strong spirits.  Today at 6:30 am I entered a surgical center and was home at around 10:00 am after having my sinus’s torn to smithereens.  Believe me I feel as though I am having a blood transfusion through my nose.  Little pain and no PANIC or ANXIETY.  Glad I was born in these times of incredible medical advances.

The photo opportunities in Virginia City are endless.  I had an hour and a half yesterday to enjoy camera time in Virginia City;

What first caught my attention was “Iskey”  I am sure Iskey and his mule was a plant for the benefit of tourists. Iskey is for real.  He talks, looks and smells the part.


The buildings have not changed much in over 100 years.  From the wood planked sidewalks to the window frames everything feels like an old west mining town.



At one end of Main Street sat a 1937 Graham Automobile.  It is in pretty darn great shape.  I was on my way back to Reno. Probably blew it and didn’t get a shot of the whole car.  There was a dumpster on one side and a trashed new truck on the other side .  So I tell myself a great shot of the whole car may not have been a good thing.  Loved the hood ornament and the grill!


All shots with Nikon D800, 28-300 f3.5-5.6 lens.

 Posted by at 11:17 PM
May 302012

The last two days have have been spent on a plane, in a car or walking in airports…..

With travel comes landmarks in certain cities.

Here are two;

SLC – Airport Traffic Tower

Reno, Nevada – Church of the Flowers Tower.


 Posted by at 12:24 AM
May 272012

Found this Ivy on a building in SLC.  Nothing special.  Loved the shapes, textures and colors.  Especially the detail.  I shot this with the D800.  Yowza!  I am amazed every time I get on the computer after shooting with this Camera.  It’s incredible.  Not a wildlife camera, a sports camera, but a great still life, portrait and scenery camera.  This shots are handheld.  As I am getting older and my body is falling apart I have to rely on tripods, window mounts etc.   That adds to the fact that it is so sharp even with shaky Sam here……

Both photographs shot at ISO 100, 1/125 @ f/5.6, -33 EV.  No post work done on photographs.

On a personal note I read blogs everyday of great photographers.  It seems that a lot of them “brag” or make note of all their handholding shots.  I know there are a plethora of times when a tripod is difficult or impossible.   But I will never forget what one of the greatest photographers that has ever lived said to me face to face – “nothing is better for a sharp image than a camera on a stable tripod” Ansel Adams.  Yes he was carrying around behemoths that required a tripod.  But this was much later.  He said this when he was shooting a lot with smaller formats that 8×10.  He had mentioned earlier that the question he is asked most was how his shots with the smaller format cameras were so sharp.  And he always replied about the use of a tripod.


 Posted by at 6:50 PM
May 262012

While I recognize that the technological world we live in is great, sometimes it sucks too.

I upgraded to Adobe Photoshop CS6 today.  Have been watching CS6 videos for a couple of weeks.  The videos created a real excitement to me because of the improvements over CS5.  Real exciting “stuff”!  Then I downloaded it.  First problem was my GPU card.  I have a Mac Pro loaded to the hilt with RAM, drive memory, etc.  Just have an “incompatible” GPU for CS6!  After three hours with Apple it started to work.  Then my somewhat new Nikon D4 files would not come up.  Had to download the new Camera Raw BETA version.  Then had to download the most current CS6 update.  Finally!!  Well kinda.  All the plug-ins need updating and downloading!!!  This is where the bad words start flying!!!!!!!

Gave up at that point and loaded a few shots from FBWR of some White Face Ibis.  When viewing these incredibly beautiful birds  through the viewfinder I am shocked at the colors.  And what looks like metallic feathers.  They truly are one of a kind beauties!

 Posted by at 7:36 PM
May 242012

Enough of the Egret shots?

I never get tired of photographing these beautiful birds.  Especially their artistic method of catching snacks.   No two splashes from the Egret spearing the water are the same.   It’s like christmas for me.  Shoot hundreds or thousands of photographs and rush home at night to get on the computer to see the results.  It’s always exciting.  The birds are back in Davis County.  For lunch today I stopped over and stole some images.  The Nikon D4 is amazing.  It’s ability to capture so accurately such a dynamic range as the white Egret blows me away.  In the past I always have had to make some exposure compensations.  Not today.  And the speed and accuracy of the focus is delightful.  Makes an amateur like me look a lot better than I really am……

 Posted by at 11:06 PM
May 232012

I love Black Necked Stilts,

They are funny birds.

Adults have long pink legs and a long thin black bill. They are white below and have black wings and backs. The tail is white with some grey banding. A continuous area of black extends from the back along the hindneck to the head. There, it forms a cap covering the entire head from the top to just below eye-level, with the exception of the areas surrounding the bill and a small white spot above the eye. Males have a greenish gloss to the back and wings, particularly in the breeding season. This is less pronounced or absent in females, which have a brown tinge to these areas instead. Otherwise, the sexes look alike.

They fly fast and from what I have seen short distances.  For years I have posted about these pink legged critters.  Saturday I was fortunate to get a fairly sharp photograph of one in flight.  Kinda liked it…..

Played a little bit with the OnOne frame software program.

 Posted by at 6:26 PM
May 202012

Yesterday must have been a “Century” ride for valley cyclists.  They cruised through my little community all day.  Groups of what look like professionals all wearing sponsor cycling garb cruising at about 20 mph.  Some smaller groups with mixed garb but riding hard and fast.  Yet others riding double bikes, some alone and others just cruising along enjoying the cool day with hopes of finishing the ride.  A fun test for the photographer.  Panning with low and high shutter speeds.  Playing with depth of field.  All in all it’s great practice for panning birds.  A lot to think about when photograhing bikers including;

* Background

*Shutter Speed

*Angle of view

*Composition including not cutting off tires, heads, etc.

And many more items to consider when photographing cyclists.  To test me even further I used my D800 that has a highest frame of just few shots per second vs my D4.  It sounds like a lot.  But it isn’t.    When a cyclist is passing at twenty miles per hour and you want to pan with a slow shutter speed to show motion in the photograph, it gets tough.  Shooting with the D800 I had to anticipate the shot much better.  Out of about 2000 shots I was happy with about twenty…10%.  About my average.   If I would have been shooting with my D4 I would have had to review well over 4 times as many frames.  And probably would have had a much higher percentage of good shots.  My favorite was a cyclist that was in the fast ride “low wind resistance” position.  Added a little more drama to the photograph…….

 Posted by at 9:00 PM
May 112012

Along the Mississippi are Locks and Dams.  This one in particular had particular interest to me because of the clouds, red pipes and how it created depth in the photograph.  Easy shot to expose. Notice the swallow condo’s on the pole in the foreground.  A beautiful day!

 Posted by at 10:18 PM