Summer Colors

Here are some flowers from our little garden.  I really like these kind of flowers that open up flat like this.  They look like starbursts.

Photos taken with the Fuji X10 in super-macro mode.

Who dares wins.

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Tonight’s Moon

I have been taking many test shots with the D2X in order to get used to it and to fine tune the settings as well.

Tonight, i took on the moon.

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Photo taken with the Nikon D2x and Nikkor 70-300 VR G.  SHot at f/8, 1/320, spot metering, ISO 400, 300mm and -0.7 step.

I’m getting there.

Who dares wins.

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Stalking A Cardinal

It’s been hard to get a decent photograph of the Cardinal that frequents our backyard, but i finally got him!

I noticed that he and Mrs. Cardinal were flying around at the back, so i went and attached my 50-230mm to my X-Pro1 in the hopes of photographing at least one of them.

He does not stay still for very long and i needed him to do so in order to get a decent photo of him.

Maybe he was “listening” to me, because he stood still on top of the fence just long enough.

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Photo taken with my X-Pro1 & XC 50-230mm.  Shot at f/6.7, ISO 3200, 1/25s at 230mm.  Thanks for not moving a muscle for a few seconds.

Who dares wins.

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Little Creatures

When i can, i take the time to sit on my balcony and enjoy the peace and quiet (well, quieter then some places) of a Sunday afternoon.

It’s nice to look up into the sky and see all the different cloud formations and see if there are any aircraft flying by, only to wish being on one of them.

Looking around the trees and flowers in my backyard, there is also plenty of activity to be spotted.  Bees, butterflies, birds, squirrels, etc.  Watching nature at work is pleasant on a relaxing Sunday afternoon.

This squirrel was amusing to watch.  He started to eat this apple while he was hanging onto the side of the telegraph pole.  At one point, he dropped the apple.  So, he had to go all the way back down to the ground and retrieve it.

Once he got to the ground, he was very thorough in getting back the apple that he had dropped.  He inspected 2-3 apples before he came across the one that he had been munching on minutes before.

Once he retrieved his apple, he made his way to the top of the telegraph pole and finished eating.

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For the first time, i was able to take a photo of a hummingbird.  It was flying around among these “trumpet” flowers, going to each one and putting his beak inside.

Being on the balcony, i must have been about 25-30 feet away with my camera.  Thanks to the 50-230mm, i was able to get some decent shots, but i did have to crop them a bit.

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I will certainly be looking out for hummingbirds from here on out.

Thanks for looking.

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Backyard Birds

It was another beautiful day here in Montreal, one that you could not resist by sitting inside all day.

I took my daughter to the park and then once home, took a seat on the balcony to enjoy the warm weather.

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We both sat on the balcony, watching the various birds come to visit the backyard.  They used to be easier to photograph; but since my neighbor at the back decided to cut down most of the small trees along the fence, the birds are now stopping on trees further away.

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I certainly don’t have the best lens to do bird photography with, even at 230mm.  Unless i am really close to the birds, i always have to crop the photos.

In my opinion, the minimum focal length suitable for good birding photography, is 400mm.

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During the afternoon, i was able to catch a few Starlings pecking through the grass.  I was also able to get some closer shots of the Cardinal.

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My daughter really likes birds, so it was nice to take these photographs with her and show her the photos afterwards.

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Thanks for looking.

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From The Balcony

On a warm “summer like” evening, there is nothing better to do then lounge outside, whether it be on your lawn, your deck or your balcony.

With the temperature above 20 degrees Celsius this evening, i could not resist taking in the beautiful the day that was given to us.

As the afternoon turned into evening, i managed to take some photos.

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We had a few helicopters pass over us, as we usually do.

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I played around with the film simulations a bit, as well as the metering, just to get some different results.

For the metering, i used spot metering on all the photos and i switched back & forth between greyscale and vivid for the film simulations.

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It was nice to be able to catch the moon as it was rising, while still having some daylight to give some good light to bring out the clouds and sky.

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I don’t necessarily like moon shots.  However, if you can shoot something more then the usual “moon/black background”, it makes for a much more interesting photo in my opinion.

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Thanks for looking.

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Rainbow

Yesterday afternoon was quite an overcast one.  The clouds looked somewhat menacing, but they only managed to sprinkle down a few drops of rain.

As the afternoon wore on, i noticed a beautiful sight in the sky.  A wonderful and colorful rainbow arched it’s way across the tops of the trees and houses at the back of my home.

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I really had to play around with the colors in these photos.  I wanted the rainbow to “jump” out a bit by making the colors a little saturated.

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It was really nice to see this rainbow come out yesterday afternoon.  It really brightened up what was otherwise a dull afternoon.

Thanks for looking.

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Focus Issues?

OIS = Optical Image Stabilization

For the fun of it, i took my X-Pro1 out to take some photos of the moon.  It was such a clear night, i could not resist.

I am not big on taking moon shots, for they all kind of look the same in the end.

Anyhow, i went out onto my balcony to take the photos with my X-Pro1 with the 50-230mm attached.  I came back inside to look at the results and was surprised at what i saw.  Almost all the photos were soft to the point that no detail was showing up at all.

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I thought that this was really weird, since i was always able to get nice, sharp photos of the moon in the past.

Before going out to take more photos, i opened up the lens a bit more and increased the ISO a bit so that i could get a faster shutter speed.  However, in the back of my mind, i really did not think that this would make much of a difference since the OIS should take care of any camera shake at low shutter speeds.  Besides, the photos were soft, not blurred.

I was right, it did not make any difference at all.  My photos were still coming out soft.  A bit of panic started to settle in.  I was really hoping nothing was wrong with the lens.

For whatever reason, i thought about the focus area box.  On the X-Pro1, you can adjust the size of the focus area box by pressing the AF button and then using the dial on the back to increase or decrease the size.

I increased the size of the focus area box, thinking that it could not possibly make the situation any worse then it already was.

Low and behold, making that focus area box larger fixed my problem.  From that point on, every shot was sharp.

I really can’t tell you why the larger focus area box made a difference, but it did.  Before making it larger, i had the focus box right on the moon, so i don’t know why the photos were coming out soft.

At one point, i thought it was the OIS, but the OIS controls camera shake and my photos were not blurred; rather, they were soft, meaning something was wrong with the cameras focus.

I am happy that nothing was actually “wrong”, but instead the soft photos were due to a camera setting needing adjustment.

Thanks for looking.

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