Friday, February 26, 2010

The best of plans...

Last night I was working on a series of photos to upload to my blog. My "darkroom" work was complete and I justed need to format the images for uploading to the blog, which I planned to do this morning. Only this morning, my computer would not turn on! I am taking it to Apple in a little while, and if it needs to be sent in for repair, then next week I will have a lot of photos to upload to make up for lost time. Such is life!

Friday, February 19, 2010

In the wild or in a wildlife park?

There are photographers think that wild animal photographs, like this tiger, are not worthy of being shown because it was not taken in the wild. I can understand that point of view, but, and it is a big but, I really enjoy photographing animals, and since visiting Africa is not in my future, I will have to make due with what I can. When I was young, many moons ago, a big cat like this would be behind bars pacing back and forth in a small cage. I took the photo of this tiger three weeks ago at Disney's Animal Kingdom, which is actually a wildlife park. The tiger compound is meant to recreate ancient Indian ruins.

I think there are a total of five tigers in the compound. While we were observing them we were treated to  seeing one tiger sharply reprimand one of the others by running up to him (or her) and growling fiercely. One of the attendants said that the tiger were raised together, and they generally get along well. Obviously, one of them is the "big cat" who keeps everyone else in line.

The Animal Kingdom also features a 100-acre savanna with free roaming native animals. We have been through the savanna many times, and we have seen elephants, but never such a large group.

At the building block of all photography is light — and light can make or break a picture. Most everyone has heard that the "magic hours," the hours around sunrise and sunset, when the light is best for nature photography. There are many reasons why it is not always possible to shoot when the light is best, one being that the Animal Kingdom is only open from 9 to 5.  To make up for the less then optimum lighting of mid-day, I cropped the photos of the elephants to cut out the washout sky, and I used Adobe Lightroom to make the photos more monochromatic, making for a more dreamatic image than the full color photo.

A creature that must be presented in full color is the Scarlet Macaw.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Spring tease…

With snow covering the northeast, and cold weather in Florida (Yes, we are cold again down here, and snow is predicted for the northern Florida panhandle.), I thought that it would be nice to post spring photos. I took these photos in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia last April 28 — in the mountain elevations spring comes late. All of the photos were taken with an aperture priority setting of f/8 at 200 ISO, using a 70-300 zoom lens.

The above photo was taken with the lens set at a 300mm focal length, but because of the 1.5 crop factor created by the digital sensor in my camera, the result is equivalent to a 450mm focal length.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Baby Gators…

I took the photos of these alligators last week. Eddie took me bike riding on the Van Fleet Trail (rails-to-trail) that runs through the Green Swamp. He has seen an alligator earlier in the week, and he thought that if it was still there, I would like taking some photographs. We were in luck, the alligator was in the same pond…

…and it had company.

The two small gators (they were around 2 1/2 feet long) basked in the sun,

seemingly without a care in the world. The pond is their's — at least until something bigger comes along!

Two more from last year…

The photo of the straw flowers and the Tinkerbell statue were also taken at the 2009 Flower and Garden Festival at EPCOT. The photos are not part of a story, but I like them.