Return To Blogging Land
After an extended break, I have returned. Between work and other craziness in life I’ve neglected both the blog and photography over the past couple months but I have returned. The weather around here has been fairly nice recently and many of the flowering trees are in full blossom, creating a perfect excuse to get outside and take some photos. It has been fun but not quite the same as traveling the world and taking photos.
Red Headed Friend In The Flowering Tree
This bird is a regular in this tree which is right outside our kitchen window. He comes by almost every day with another bird and the combination of his color combined with the blossoms on the tree looked like it would make for a nice photo so I grabbed my camera and snapped a couple shots while he was on the near side of the tree and in clear sight. Unlike my previous attempts at getting a photo he not only stayed in place long enough for me to get a photo but pretty much posed for the camera.
I got my first digital camera about five years ago, an Olympus Stylus 1030SW, and began my journey into the world of digital photography. One of the features this camera had was the ability to do panoramic photos in camera, which I thought was really cool, until they almost never worked properly and came out with a horizon that didn’t match up and all kinds of weirdness in the photos. Eventually, I learned to take them as separate photos in camera and combine them on the computer and the results improved. As I’ve gotten better with my photography I’ve started taking less of these photos because they usually don’t turn out with results that I like. Occasionally I do get one that I really like however, and those occasional successes usually make for an interesting photo.
Door County Fall Colors
I took this photo a few years ago in Door County, Wisconsin. It was a beautiful October day and the fall colors were at their height. We stopped along this curvy road to take pictures and while standing on the opposite side of the road I realized that it may make for an interesting photo with the road on either side of the photo and the car in the middle. The processing to combine the photos gave the photo an interesting effect, not exactly what it looked like from the perspective I took the photo from but capturing the feel of the scene well.
Tripods And Remote Controls
When most people talk camera gear they focus on cameras and lenses, both of which are are perfectly fine, who doesn’t want a nice camera and a good set of lenses to put on it? There are plenty of accessories to help your photography, two in particular I’ve found helpful. The first is a tripod. Many pros will claim that you should buy an expensive tripod, but if you’re just an enthusiast like me, a fairly inexpensive tripod will probably do. I purchased this Dolica tripod back in 2010 and have been very happy with it, the tripod is fairly light, sturdy enough for everything I use it for without any problems. For some, investing in a more expensive tripod may be a good choice but for the occasional self-portrait shots and night photography, a decently reviewed less expensive tripod will probably do. The second accessory I have found useful, and also very inexpensive, is a wireless remote. I bought the official Canon remote which has served me quite well, both for triggering the camera while it is on a tripod for longer exposure shots so that there isn’t any movement from pressing down the button on the camera, and also for taking portraits when there is no one else around to take a picture for us. Sure, there is the auto-timer in the camera but taking multiple photos that way consumes more time and this way you know exactly when the camera is going to go off.
Stepping Onto The Frozen Lake
This photo was taken in December, a little early in the winter to be out on the ice but there had been a stretch of cold weather so the ice seemed solid and we stayed close to shore, just to be safe. It was a nice sunny day and as you can see there were many large cracks in the ice which would probably make people not so familiar with being out on the ice a little nervous. The camera was set up on the tripod but not using the remote since I figured holding her and trying to press the button at the same time wasn’t the greatest idea.
Missed A Day
Sadly, yesterday was the first day of the year that I missed posting a photo here. I actually had no internet access for the entire day, the first time in quite some time that has happened. Anyway, I’m back and planning to get back to posting every day.
This photo was taken in early October of 2009. Getting snow this early is extremely rare in Wisconsin and the snow came down hard and in large snowflakes. As you can see the grass on the ground was still green and all of the trees still had their leaves, some of which hadn’t even started changing colors yet. Since it was such a rare occasion I decided to take pictures of the trees around the neighborhood. It didn’t take long for the snow to melt but it looked quite nice while it lasted.
Close To Home
It’s easy to look at all of the photos that are posted on the internet and feel like there just aren’t great photo opportunities near where you are like there are in New Zealand, Iceland, Switzerland, Hawaii, etc., etc., etc. While I love traveling and the great photographic opportunities it provides, it’s important to remember that there are plenty of great photographic opportunities close to home, probably some that have been hiding close to home that you’ve never known about. So, the next time you’re looking at a photographer’s blog and wishing you could travel to wherever their pictures are from, don’t forget that there are plenty of great photographs to be taken wherever you are, you just need to find them.
The photo below was taken at Copper Falls State Park in northern Wisconsin this past September. It is a perfect example of the above paragraph, I had lived within two hours of this state park for 25 years and never visited the park. The park provided great hiking trails, some wonderful photo opportunities, and they were having an open house so there was even free apple cider and cookies. As you can see from the photo, we visited the park about a week before the fall colors hit their peak but there was still enough color to make everything look nice. I used a longer exposure (1/10 sec.) since I love the look it gives waterfalls, might have tried an even longer exposure but there was not a good place near the river to set up a tripod.