Noticed this monarch floating about in my yard. 70-200 with 20mm tube + camer fill flash.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
This was our favorite campsite - C-1 at the Jackson KOA overlooking the Snake River. It was awesome! This is also our Nemo Morpho AR (http://www.nemoequipment.com/) tent. No metal parts. It uses 2 air beams that pump up in about 60 seconds. It too was wonderful!
This was our campsite at Canyon in Yellowstone. $18 a night + $3.25 showers. Oooh aren't we big spenders! Notice the yellow ring. I guess we were in Yellow stone, so perhaps we should have expected it. Any way, we had a huge rain/hail storm the first day we were there. We were out touring about and it flooded our camp site. No harm done to us. Our tent was closed and "uphill". Notice the orange thing on the side of the picture.......that's me waiting for breakfast.
Before you laugh out loud, I'm snuggling in my sleeping back in a recliner chair. Yep, my sleeping bag doubles as a coat around camp. It is amazing! Check it out http://exped.com/exped/web/exped_homepage.nsf/b43HomePageE?openframeset Their slogan is "The maximum outdoor experience with minimal means." I have the bag, and both Darwin and I have the Synmat 7 & the chair kit. http://exped.com/exped/web/exped_homepage.nsf/b43HomePageE?openframeset and http://exped.com/exped/web/exped_homepage.nsf/b43HomePageE?openframeset
You can leave the chair kit on the air mattress and it converts into a chair with one simple cord. So, it is very comfortable and adjustable. It's also about twice as warm as the best thermarest mat. Being insulated from the ground better makes a huge difference in sleeping comfort.
It was in the low 30s that morning and Darwin is the wonderful camp cook. I wasn't quite awake yet, so I just hung out in my bag until my warm oatmeal was ready. Wondeful, wonderful, wonderful! Everyone should try hanging out in their sleeping bag, outside on a cold morning.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
This dragonfly shared our campsite with us at Canyon. It landed on a rock and stayed there all night. I thought its gold wings were very nice. I'm so glad I noticed it just sitting there. I put the 20mm extension tube on my 70-200mm lens and used the pop up flash to add light. I manually focused and all of those practice shots in my back yard paid off.
I so wanted to get a picture of a dragonfly in flight. They are so fast. This was the best I could do - getting a good picture of them taking a breather. I used my 400mm lens. I am amazed at how well it "sees". It simply needs light. I tried to keep most of my pictures above 1/640 and that seemed to give me really good results.
Our favorite place to hang out and watch the wildlife was at Oxbow bend. There was this 1/2 mile gravel road that took you out of the traffic of the park and you could just watch and wait.... This osprey came by and I thought I'd try and see if I could follow it in the sky. Oh, it almost made me dizzy......
Round and round it went and then all of the sudden, the wings changed shape and I thought, "gee it is going to dive".
At this point, I'm trying to follow it with the lens, my neck is about broken off from turning around so fast and then.....BAM.....it hits the water.
I sure didn't plan on seeing pelicans on my vacation this year. They are so majestic and have a wing span of 9 feet! It is something else to watch them fly. One of the things that I've been reading about is that you either have to choose to be a wildlife photographer or a landscape photograper as it is really hard to do both. Well, I did have my Custom Fuction dial set up for wildlife, but I had just been shooting a morning landscape when we drove by this pelican. I jumped out of the car and it took off. I was so amazed at watching it fly in the morning sun that I just started shooting. My settings were totally off, but somehow, these pictures managed to at least capture the beauty. The light/fog was a beautiful backdrop against the white of the bird.
I noticed when I got out of the tent the other night that the moon was beautiful. So, I got my tripod out, read my manual about mirror lock up and was taking a shot or two of the moon with the 400mm lens. Worked really well. Darwin said that Jupiter should be out, so when he got up, I asked him about it, saying that that spot looked like Jupiter, but what were the other things by it? Much to my surprise, he looked through the binoculars too and said that those other spots were Jupiters moons! I shot that shot at ISO 3200 and it actually cleaned up really well. I guess you can see more when you're several thousand feet higher than we are in Nebraska. That was a treat, for sure!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
I have always wondered what this cardinal's story is.....fight, disease, genetics? He's been around for at least 2 years, I think.
Lunch is served....over and over.
I had the opportunity to purchse the 400 5.6 L lens last night. Better than the buying the lens was driving out and meeting the gentleman who owned the lens. It was so interesting! Darwin came with me and we had a very nice visit. Best thing is they play bridge and perhaps we'll have a chance to get together and play cards. This lens is going to take a lot of practice to use. It needs a lot of light. Good thing I'm going on vacation soon, I think I'll take this along and see what interesting things I see.