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Reliving Past Photos

I have been re-discovering lots of forgotten gems as I continue with my re-organization project. Here are three more.

The first picture was taken in 2010 along the Farm to Market Road near Bow, WA. I love looking for shorebirds in the flooded winter fields in the Skagit Valley. This picture of Dunlin in non-breeding plumage was taken with a 500 mm lens with a 1.4 tele-extender. Settings were ISO 800, Aperture f/20 and Shutter 1/250. Diagonal lines are one of my favorite composition elements and this image uses diagonals to the max. It was a windy day and I probably should have opened the aperture up and used a faster shutter speed. Fortunately, the image is reasonably sharp.

Skagit Dunlin

The second two images are from a Palouse trip with the Olympia Camera Club in 2013. This was the first time I had been to the Palouse and I was just blown away by the colors, textures and patterns of the grain fields. The farmhouse picture was taken not too long after dawn. Once again, there are strong diagonal elements. This was taken with a Canon 1D Mark II and a 28-135 mm lens. I do not think I used a polarizer. The settings were ISO 100, Aperture f/5.6 and Shutter 1/125.

Palouse Farmhouse

This last image is my first experience at night shooting and light painting. Night shooting has become a favorite of mine. It is of a grain elevator in the Palouse. There was a lot to learn. The Canon 1D Mark II is not the best camera for night shooting as I discovered that night. It was just too old. Any ISO above 800 was extremely noisy and the tiny LCD on the back was not large enough to see the image so I could adjust the focus. I was extremely lucky to get anything in focus. I fell in love with night shooting and decided on the spot that I needed to upgrade my camera. It took two years, but eventually I purchased a Canon 7D Mark II which was better suited for night photography. I used the 28-135 mm lens. I tried using my 18 – 35 mm lens, but I could not get it to focus properly. I remember all these details because of the notes that I took that night. I keep a notebook with details of most of my photo trips. The settings were ISO 3200, Aperture f/3/5 and Shutter 15 s.

Palouse Grain Elevator at Night

A Sunny Day

I am sitting in my family room on this beautiful day aching to be out in the park capturing the beauty of spring with my camera. It is hard to stay home and practice social distancing when the sun is shining and it is warm outside. So, instead of taking new spring pictures, I am revisiting ones taken in years past.

Here is one taken in 2015. It is a peony taken at the Lord Mansion near the Washington State Capitol Campus. The Lord Mansion is site of the old Washington State Museum and has beautiful gardens full of roses and peonies.

Peony

I notice that I tend to do my spring flower pictures in mostly the same locations each year. I tend to go to Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve, Scattercreek Wildlife Area, Washington State Capitol Campus, McLane Creek Nature Trail and Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. This means that over the years I have taken many similar pictures. Each year I choose an aspect of spring photography to concentrate on. Some years it is flowers, other years it is birds or even landscapes. Mima Mounds and Scattercreek are prairie lands in southern Thurston County. Wildflowers, birds and insects are abundant. I go here when I want to concentrate on unique prairie flowers and on meadow birds. McLane Creek is riparian habitat; I find different birds and flowers there. The cherry trees are the draw to the Capitol Campus. I am still working on my “perfect” shot of the trees with the capitol in the background. I won’t get it this year. Mt. St. Helens has flowers, hummingbirds and the Milky Way.

Each spring I strive to improve my macro flower photography. This means working on focus, flower selection, positioning, lighting and trying out different equipment such as extension tubes, flash, flash modifiers and macro lenses. This year I have a new ring flash and was looking forward to trying it out. I guess I will have to do my experimenting this spring with cut flowers and action figures.

I am longing for the great outdoors, but I have found plenty to do indoors. I started off by reorganizing my file structure for storing images. I organized my images by date and was constantly frustrated by the amount of time it took me to find images. I almost remember where I took a picture; I seldom remember a date unless it is of great significance. I always remember that I went to Antarctica in February 2000. So I decided to organize my images by location and then by year. It’s taken awhile, but I am almost finished reorganizing. The jury is still out.

I also have been busy re-editing photos that I previously edited in Lightroom/Photoshop, in On1. I am enjoying refining my skills. One thing that I do find easier to do in On1 than in LR is masking. The refine tool does a great job separating trees from sky. Below is a sunset taken at Rowena Crest near Moise, Oregon that I redid using On1. Comments?

Rowena Crest

Arrow Balsamroot

Stacked Flower

Central California Coast Bird-Photo Trip

The trip with Jack Lien to the central California trip has yielded an over abundance of images; too many to choose from. As I peruse the images, I am struck with how often we were in the right spot with the right light. The image below of a Whimbrel at Morro Rock Beach State Park is an example of this.

I love to discuss my images with my photo buddy Mary Bowman. She looks at my bird images with a landscape photographer’s eye and often sees things in them that I don’t. She suggested converting several images to BW. I did and am very pleased that I followed through on her suggestions. The results are below.

Frost

Originally published on 01/04/2016

This is the year I became fascinated with frost. We started having frosts in late November; lots of clear, cold, and sunny days. Each day I’d admire the frost on the ornamental plants around the coffee Kiosk. And so of course I began driving with my camera and one lens to capture the frost.

Here are two images, one is the full image and the other is cropped from that image. I cropped it because people could not really see it on my phone. When I made it bigger, the majority exclaimed that I should repost it with just a small section so that the water drops (aka melted frost) were accentuated.

This next leaf image is another favorite of mine.

To see the entire frost album click here.