Short Lens Project

Almost never do I remove the 55-300mm zoom lens from my camera. Primarily, its dedicated purpose is for photographing birds, so the long lens is always welcome. Sometimes 300mm is still too short! Using the long lens crops out a lot before the image is even framed, and so from time to time I’ll put the short lens on the camera. It’s an 18-55mm zoom, and gives me a very different perspective in the viewfinder. I will often see things I want to capture, and I am tempted to put the long lens back on, but I’m forcing myself to use the broader format sometimes, to add some variety to all the close-cropped images. Also to keep my mind’s eye open to the creative prospects of a new view on old things.

 

Joshi Daniel has a blog called “The 28mm Project”. It is almost always head shots of more-or-less candid portraits. We can see that Joshi must get in close to his subject to fill the frame. I think that’s the idea. To get really close and make an intimate portrait. I did that with some of the floral shots. I still have the short lens on the camera, and look forward to continued practice. I may even break out the focus doublers and do some macros.

That is, unless I see a bird that really needs its photo taken.

Keep pointing and shooting!

 

Paz

Springing

 

A March sampler from around the town and trails. Click any image to start a full-size carousel.

 

 

Gotta run. Trout are calling.

 

Paz

Snow Dogs

We were fortunate to have a local dogsledder, Kate Walrath of Run By Dogs, give us a demonstration at the village Library. She told us about different types of sled dogs, including the Siberian Husky and the Alaskan Husky. The latter is a smaller, rather plain looking dog. I was surprised to discover these canine competitors were about the size of my own Sassy June (a Chow-Husky mix called a Chusky). I thought sled dogs would all be big, strong 60-pounders. The small black dog with some white on her face (I wish I could remember her name) is actually a retired racer from Alaska. Racing dogs get a share of race winnings, and they are put into a “doggie 401k”. Kate’s place, called Run By Dogs, is a retreat for retired sled dogs as well as a training facility and a place to learn and enjoy dogsledding. The monies in the 401k’s pay for the dogs’ boarding and veterinary expenses.

Click any image to start a full-size carousel.

 

It was very cold that Saturday, as you can see by the apparel. It was in the mid-twenties, but no wind. It didn’t bother the dogs a bit, though. For the retired Queen from Alaska, this is probably equivalent to retiring to Florida! 

It’s good to get a different perspective sometimes.

 

Until next time,

 

Paz

A Winter’s Day

 

Winter Walk

We donned our snow shoes and headed for the woods, Ryan and I. He had visited a few days before to check out the trail and break it. It was fairly cold, mid-20’s. The overcast skies would sometimes part enough for a brief wash of sunlight, and were otherwise true to their grays of winter. We stopped at the lean-to for coffee, and stopped from time to time to shoot a photo. Mostly, we were overwhelmed by the beauty of the woods, the snow, the sky and the breeze.

Though it occupied barely an hour of our Saturday, it was the highlight of the weekend. New snow, the wind in the woods, and my favorite hiking partner, son Ryan. One hour of perfect peace. It doesn’t get any better than this. 

 

Paz

Farewell Winter Gallery

I am very fond of winter. I like the challenges it brings, and there are few things prettier than a world covered in a fresh coat of gleaming white new snow. When the time finally comes for the snow to leave, I always feel a bit melancholy about it. Well, I know it will be back soon, and that makes the long summer more bearable. This spring I spied a fisher running across a cornfield, and I was quick on the draw with the old Nikon. I snapped a few pictures of the little critter, a youngster, before he dashed off to the banks of the Schoharie Creek. Three of my favorite things came together for some other shots, namely a field of corn stubble with snow and Canada Geese. Somehow, they always look best when surrounded by snow. Ironically, the only shot of Snow Geese has no snow in it! Hope you enjoy this last sampling of the season, now that we’re impatiently awaiting tulips. 

Click any image for a full-size carousel.

 

Here’s hoping summer is kind to us. I remind myself I only need to get through five months before the world will start to cool again, and once again we will be greeted by the wonderful world of winter.

 

Until next time,

 

Paz

December Gallery

A little sampling for December.

I found it quite interesting when reviewing the Trailcam photos, that the Trailcam decided, on its own apparently, to take a lovely snapshot of the quiet wood at sunrise on New Year’s Day 2018.

It also caught a great shot of a Barred Owl, the moment it landed on its prey.

I was pleased to get my own shot of the owl. 

I’ve also included a shot of Rock Doves, which we all know as Pigeons, taking off from the farm fields of our rural area. This is for Ellen Jennings at Passing By Photo, who told me she’s never seen pigeons outside of an urban environment. Truth is, Ellen, that even in the country, these birds hang around people, their farms and livestock. It seems their favorite place is perched on the silo.

 

Grandson Max moves up to Varsity Basketball this year, and provided us with exciting game pix. Younger sister Lizzy is right behind him, Captaining the JV Girls team. Their game was a real nail-biter. Tied, overtime, and a loss in just the last eight seconds!

We did the National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count last weekend, and my prize was a shot of a Pileated Woodpecker. I see them from time to time, but this is my first photo of one. It’s quite obscured by a branch or two, and flew off before I could shoot a second frame.

May peace find you and keep you throughout the New Year!

 

Paz

Autumn Gallery 18

I tried my darnedest this year to keep the camera from blocking my view and enjoyment of the autumn. In this season, there are photos everywhere I look. I stop on the way to work, I stop on the way home, to bathe in the breathtaking sights. Alas, too many fascinating subjects called out to me, and I did, in fact, take pictures of all those autumn-y things; colorful foliage, golden sunrises, rich, red sunsets, deer on the move, migrating geese. Somewhere in there I became obsessed with capturing the texture of water droplets after the rain, on a variety of surfaces. I also captured a number of frames of the wide variety of mushrooms and other fungi that seem to leap from the ground on a daily basis in this season. I tried to capture a little sense of the state of the trails, and the in-between season, between fall and winter. It’s one of my favorites.

A break from the monthly Galleries, this is a seasonal one. Photography, like all the other facets of my life, advances and recedes in activity level, based on other distractions and goings-on. Readying for winter occupies a goodly portion of one’s time in autumn. Rest assured, the camera is never far from me, and we’ll continue to compile images for your perusal and entertainment.

Take care,

 

Paz

Da Bear, and other Trailcam pix

Here he is, without further ado. The Holy Grail for my trail camera, the black bear.

Black Bear

And some other highlights.

Also shot two thousand frames of waving grass until I mowed in front of the trail camera. If you use one of these, be sure to keep the grass cut as the motion triggers the camera. Or put the cam away until “Seeing Season” returns!

The Trail Cam has been a lot of fun. We’ve caught a bear, many deer, coyotes and turkeys. Some neighbor cats, possums, skunks, dogs, an owl, raccoons and a Chupacabra! The camera ran til August, about ten months, on a set of batteries. No doubt would have lasted a year if it wasn’t taking countless snapshots of empty grass. A new set of batteries and winter’s approach, and we’ll be ready for another great season!

 

Paz