I keep trying shots of the orchids, because there are so many buds, and/or new blooms. These were shot in the evening in the window with a tungsten light and natural light. Should get lots of opportunities to practice.I used my 70-300 mm zoom lens with a narrow depth of field, probably f 4.5 or f 5.6.
It is a pleasure to go to this city pond, one of many, and see the young ducklings.Some are Lesser Scaups, some American Widgeons, and the Mallards.
Mother Scaup with her two balls of fluff.
No, I am not talking about a large size of bird species, I am referring to the large chunks of bread that was thrown to the birds at the park. The people were happily feeding their feathered friends but I wonder if they would have shown some restraint if they saw this one struggling with its bounty.This young Ring-billed gull got the prize but I am curious what it was thinking as it seemed uncomfortable with the morsel it caught.Bread is not good for birds, but tell that to the birds, or to the people who feed them.
This crow was by itself in the lower branches of the tree, observing the ducks, geese and myself. It was muttering under its breath, making all sorts of vocalizations as if talking to itself. Once in a while it cawed back and forth with its clan in nearby trees, even matching the number of caws, then there would be a lot of noise as they all excitedly called back and forth to each other.
I tried to capture this in these photos as I snapped happily away and it seemed quite obliging in the process.At one point when it was talking to itself, there was a scolding squirrel above it and the crow took this in stride but did did keep a series of mutterings going on with its head down and the eyelid semi-closed, perhaps protection from the debris that was coming from the squirrel.
On my way to the ponds I often pass through luscious fields of wild flowers and try to capture their presence in photos . Can’t say I know what they are, some may be clover or Alfalfa but I sure enjoy them up close and from a distance as a massive blanket of hues. I share them with you as best as I can, it was a little breezy.
I had no expectations of seeing this fellow but on this day had great luck with spotting the Ruddy Duck.He not only appeared, but also gave quite the show with splashing and sputtering , even coming closer than ever before.
I did not see the reason for this display until I looked at the photos after downloading them. It was then that I saw a female Mallard possibly on a nest.
See for yourself,as this male Ruddy gives quite the performance in this next sequence of photos.
Now that the hullabaloo over the fireworks has passed as has the opening night of the show of lights of the High Level bridge, I returned to a park where I could take some photos of both the High Level and the Menzies bridge which serves as a way fare for both pedestrian traffic and Light Rail transit. Usually I like my lights sparkling but not the moon. Will have to work on that.
I used my tripod, put settings on “Bulb” and kept the shutter open for 5-10 seconds with the ISO at 100.
When I go to a pool and wade in the water with a young friend, it reminds me that I am living in the days of summer. Cold refreshments to keep hydrated, wading pools to explore in and find leaves, the smell of the peonies in the garden, listening to live music by Asani. Life is Good.
Happy Birthday Canada! It was a great Day.
While I have posted some photos of blooms in other posts, I will try to post here what I have not included yet. I love the effort and creativity that people put into their lawns and gardens and enjoy capturing the shapes and colours.Timing is so important because so many of these blooms do not last long. I appreciate the planning that goes into a garden that continually has colour so that when one flower fades, another rises to take it’s place.
I find it a challenge to capture an image of flowers and blossoms, especially lilacs, and come up with a pleasing composition.This is dedicated to all the gardeners and all the people who appreciate them and their work. Maybe I should give back by helping with the weeding once in a while…
There has been a campaign in the city of Edmonton to donate money to light the high-level bridge after the waterfall proved too costly and full of flaws. There are 50,00 lights due to the generosity of the citizens of Edmonton and I do not think that it cost the tax-payers anything. While out on an evening walk I thought that I would take my camera and tripod and practise some shots for the fireworks and bridge display on Canada Day next Tuesday.The lights seem to move in lines from one end to the other, changing colour and rhythm.
Last year I got pretty good fireworks but black sky and was envious of the blue skies of my fellow photographers.I did some research on exposures and decided to try putting my speed on “bulb”, pressed the remote shutter down for 5, 6 and 7 seconds. I used manual mode and manual focus, and kept my ISO at 100 and tried f/8 to f/11.I used my zoom lens at 70mm up to 300mm and prefer the wider shots, and probably move the viewfinder up,which will be good for the fireworks. The blue bridge in the foreground is the pedestrian and LRT pathway. Here are the results:
It has the same magpie squawk, but with a smaller voice. It was outside my door this morning, the first day of summer. I suspected it was a baby and knew this for a fact when I could get so close to it. The feathers are still coming in. I snapped a few quick ones, obviously poor quality with big shadows but it is a cute sequence. I hope the little one can get back to the nest and/or survive.
Parent bird swept down and jammed the food down the young one’s throat so fast that I only caught the aftermath, then flew away and the baby ran for the cover of the bushes. Look at that iridescence!
Had a brief but refreshing respite from the city and enjoyed the company of a friend as we went on a photo-shooting and birding binge. Here are some of the things that we found in Central Alberta on our first rainy day.
Wolf Willow Bushes
Osprey Tending to Her Young
Male Yellow Warbler
Catbird Feeding the Other-fledgling perhaps?
Rainy Green Reflections
Ah, back again. I needed to take pause to pay respect to the events of yesterday’s funeral after the violence against the police resulting in their deaths and injuries. Hope lies in its midst, as a community of heart assembles to support one another in caring, healing and recovering.
My computer is full and since I cannot afford a new one, some images have got to go. It is enjoyable to revisit much of what I have forgotten, sometimes making me pause in reflection, sometimes making me groan with “What was I thinking?” or just plain laughing out loud. I like this one from April of last year, so am keeping it for now.
1/15 sec @f/6.3, ISO 100, 170 mm
I went on a bender of birding visits to local ponds and truly enjoyed my time. Now I am broke and staying put until the next pay check.Though the visits were not always successful in the way that I wanted, there was always something to discover. At one point, I heard a call that I knew was somewhat familiar, a kind of “witcha-witcha-witcha, whitcha” and I kept trying to spot whatever it was. The sound came from the thickets surrounding the marsh. This is what I captured-can anyone help me to ID it? I live in central Alberta, Canada. Not a great shot and not sure that the sound belongs to this particular bird. Any suggestions?
As I approached the pond , there were two photographers shooting away at something. Slowing down so I would not disturb them or their subject, I waited and watched for what they were focusing on. Oh yay, it was a Ruddy Duck! Aimed my lens and took a couple of shots-oh no, things in the way. Aim again. Better!
Checking the results later, the first couple were out of focus. My heart dropped. Then there were some more that were in focus. It sure gives me a lift to spot and capture the first images of this duck every year. Some of you may remember this was the duck that got me hooked on birding and I regularly went out with a friend, now passed, searching for our first look every spring.
He is a small duck but more than makes up for it with his machismo. When he got close to the Coot, his tail rose and he sputtered, which shook his whole body. At this pond there seems to be no mate but maybe she is nesting out of sight.
Shot in the late afternoon with a hand held camera.With so many patterns it is easy for the camera to go out of focus.
Yes, they have arrived. There they are in the puddles left from the melting snow amidst the heaps of earth dug up by graders and bulldozers. Behind fences. I stood on a picnic table to shoot over the fence to capture their images. I hear them as they fly over, honking in tandem and as they warn others to stay out of their territory on the water. With the digging and the the development of the pond for the games this summer I fear for the geese. They are resilient.
Admittedly it is a little dull right now with dirty snow and brown turf just before the onslaught of glorious Spring. I like colour in my life and I am sharing past images of gardens. Most are close-ups and I admire the skill it takes to first of all design a garden and secondly to take a good photo of one. Master gardener Donna from Garden Walk Garden Talk blog has inspired me with her knowledge and skill with designing as well as photography. It takes some thought and planning to take a good image of flowers and gardens.
Below are two photos from my friend Lindsay’s garden.
Here are some photos from the Alberta Legislature grounds.
Thank you Donna, for inspiring me, I want to make photographing gardens one of my projects for the upcoming year. It will be good for me to go for the walks , practice shooting and share the results. My other projects will include my passion for the birds and landscapes.That will keep me happy and busy.
I had some personal issues to deal with for a while, so felt quite panicked and absent for a while but taking a moment to post a cheery shot of a Black-capped Chickadee in a “log cabin” feeder.The weather has been crazy with temperatures of minus 30 Celsius but the good news is, by the end of this week, the temperatures should go above freezing to the “plus” side. I look forward to spring being around “one of these” corners.
After reading another blogger’s story about making a contract with a buyer, I thought , how does one like myself, a relative beginner, determine what to charge for my work? I had a woman buy a photo after endless bargaining for the right size and price. I was hesitant from the start. Originally she just wanted me to “give” her a copy, I was the one to suggest a price after asking a couple of friends what to do and they advised not to give something for nothing. I gave her an 8 x 11 image with my signature on it for $40, unframed. After a couple of weeks she contacted me and wanted a larger format in order to see the details that she wanted, promising to return the original image. I sent her the image via e-mail full size, unsigned,after haggling back and forth for a month or two.I have never heard from her again.
Personally I would rather have an image already done for people to buy. When I painted, I never did commissioned work because it is never going to turn out the way they expect. To me , it is not worth the hassle. Either like what I have done, or forget it.
Because I am a relative beginner, I checked what some pros charge for one image,then dropped it by 40 % but checking prices on websites reminded me to charge for shooting and travel time, not to mention editing. Also, behind one good photo may be a dozen rejects, a lot of time and practice, not to mention equipment. I would love feedback from my readers who are photographers about what and how they determined a price for their work. Thank you.
The first copy that I sent to her is below.The title will clue you in to what created her desire to have it in the first place. When a group of us were looking at slides, projected onto a large wall, I spotted images in the icicle. Burnt toast, anyone?
The Holy Family
While I was photographing the birds, I kept seeing this fella, or gal, approaching the feeder from all directions, stopping , starting, up the trees, then down again, weaving it’s way along the trails and alternate routes. Sometimes it was hiding, other times he/she came into full view. Of course I got the inevitable scolding while it was perched safely on a high branch. I must give the red squirrel its due.