Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lake Margaret…

The pond known as Lake Margaret is home to a large colony of turtles. They love to bask in the sun on a log that sticks out of the pond. I saw this Red-Bellied turtle enjoying a bit of solitude…

Later, from across the pond, I noticed that something appeared to be swimming near the log. What I observed were the heads of other turtles, and one of them decided that the first turtle had to make some room.

…and more feathered neighbors…

In Florida I happen upon a lot of birds, or they happen upon me. The other day there was a lot of activity in a tree outside our RV. A pair of birds had been building a nest…

This bird was in the tree, and I was pretty sure it was the nest builder.

…and then I saw this bird. It was in the shadow of the tree, and since it had a similar look I thought it was the mate.

But when I looked at the photos, the birds did not look alike at all. The top bird is a Tufted Titmouse (not sure about the sex) and the bottom is a female Northern Cardinal. So now I don't know which bird built the nest!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Only one photos to post today — and this week. This is a photo of a female Downy Woodpecker (the males have red on their heads) who sort of paid us a visit when were were staying at the Disney Fort Wilderness Campground 10 days ago.

I out riding my bicycle, and had just pulled up outside our RV, when I heard a thud and this little bird fell to the ground—on its back. She had flown right into one of the windows in our RV (you cannot see in the windows, and this has happened before). The people from the RV next to us came over, and all of us stood around, looking at this poor bird that appeared to be dead. After what seemed like a very long time the bird rolled over and just sat there. She must have been stunned, but she was alive and alert. After I took a series of photos I went back out on my bike. When I returned about a half hour lat, she had flown away, hopefully a wiser bird!

A bit on the workflow I use to digitally develop a photo. 

First, I import my photos into Adobe Lightroom;  sorting the photos, deleting the the unacceptable photos and selecting the ones I want to work with.
Next, I "develop" the photo in Lightroom, cropping if necessary and making adjustments to exposure, contrast, color casts, etc.
I then open the adjusted photo in Adobe Photoshop and "tweak" it with minor contrast adjustments to makes it "pop." I will also apply small amounts of sharpening, as needed.
Finally, I bring the image back into Lightroom for any final adjustments (in this case I cropped it a bit more). I do most of my printing in Lightroom, and from there I also export photos for uploading to the photo blog or my website.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Why my photos are behind schedule…

Last week I prepared a group of photos to post on the blog, but when I opened my MacBook Pro laptop did not want to cooperate — on the morning of February 26 it refused to wake-up. After a bit of troubleshooting I had to make a trip to the Genius Bar at an Apple Store where they confirmed that a repair was needed. And so I was without my trusty computer for a week, which put me behind schedule on my quest to post 365 photos over course of the year.

Besides this post, I uploaded two other posts tonight, and by the end of this week I expect I will be back on track. I hope you enjoy the photos.

Meet my neighbors…

We stay in a rural part of Florida, and some of our neighbors are of the four legged variety. These photos are of a calf, its mother, and a very friendly donkey.

More local wildlife…

These photos were taken at my local lakes, Lake Margaret and Vanishing Lake. Vanishing is so named because when the water table is low, as it was last year, the lake disappears. The Great Egret was wading in Vanishing Lake before it took flight.

The photos were shot using the Nikon 70mm – 300mm zoom lens. I shot at 640 ISO so that I could use a fast shutter speed and capture the bird in flight.

While I was following the Egret in the sky, I was also able to capture a photo of this hawk — although I am not sure what type of hawk.

Over at Lake Margaret, a flock, or gaggle, of White Ibises were wading in the shallows.

This little guy was also hanging around the shore, but he never went near the other birds. He looked like an Ibis, but he wasn't white. I did a bit of research, and it seems this is what an immature White Ibis looks like.