Monday, May 31, 2010

Can you see me now?

It's that time of the year that the newbies are starting to show up. These were taken with the Sigma 150-500mm.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

What's all the buzz about?

Yet another picture using the new Sigma 120 400 this time as a macro lens. Walking on the beach the other day I noticed near to the ground clouds of these beach flies. They must have been atracted to the seaweed and kelp that had washed up.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Birds that humm

Patiently I waited disguised as a lawn chair on the porch, lens at 400mm focused and ready to shoot... Sure enough the little birds were drawn to the bait (Humming bird feeder).
Here are the best two shots from this afternoon. Will try more in the coming days as time permits.

The new and the old

Guess what? I was out for a hike the other day . . .

That must be getting old to hear but I honestly go on a lot of hikes. I try to get out at least once and week and I really like to go two or three times if I can get away. This dead long surrounded by bright new flowers just caught my eye. This is one of those photos that looks better when the image is bigger.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Water on a lilly

I was playing around with the new lens and came across this water lilly with a big drop of water inside. I was curious about how much detail I would get and was really impressed. I was only about five feet away from the lilly, looking straight down, when I took the photo.
The dragon fly was on another lilly about fifteen feet away. Both images were taken with the Sigma 150-500mm lens.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Horsing around on the beach.

Horses in Port Hardy are an uncommon sight. Over the years a number of people have tried to keep horses on the Northern end of Vancouver Island but the weather here is too wet and causes problems for their feet. These horses were from Hyde Creek which enjoys much dryer conditions.
All pictures taken with the Sigma 120-400 at f9 and various focal lengths. Both beach shots were somewhat backlit but I was able to brighten them up some in PhotoShop.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

No Buffalo here just a Beaver

Actually this is a Dehaviland DHC-2 Beaver which dates back to August 16, 1947.

The Beaver was designed and built in response to the demands of Canadian bush operators. With its all-metal construction, high-lift wing, and flap configuration, the Beaver was a robust aircraft with excellent short take-off-and-landing capability even with heavy loads. In addition to its success in Canada, the Beaver found acceptance in other countries all over the world.

Although not ordered by the RCAF, some 980 served with distinction in the US Army and US Air Force.. 1,631 aircraft were built between 1947-67, with deliveries to 60 countries.

The Beaver was such a success that more were built than any other aircraft designed and manufactured in Canada. In 1951 it won both the US Air Force and US Army competitions for a utility aircraft. Many were used in Korea, where it was known as the "General's Jeep".


Wing Span: 48 ft (14.6 m)
Length: 30 ft 4 in (9.2 m)
Height: 9 ft (2.7 m)

Weight, Empty: 2,850 lb (1,293 kg)

Weight, Gross: 5,100 lb (2,313 kg)

Cruising Speed: 130 mph (209 km/h)
Max Speed: 160 mph (258 km/h)
Rate of Climb: 1,020 ft (311 m)/min

Service Ceiling: 18,000 ft (5,490 m)

Range: 470 mi (756 km)

Power Plant: one Pratt & Whitney R-985 AN-14B Wasp Jr., 450 hp, radial engine .

More from the D3000

Friday, May 21, 2010

A step (or two) down

My move to Oklahoma has given me the opportunity to do a lot more hiking but a lot of that hiking is in pursuit of something other than good photos. Even though I am adding to my lens inventory and doing some very serious shopping for a Nikon D700 full frame body I also bought a smaller and lighter DSLR body to take on my "non photography" hikes.

This photo was taken with a Nikon D3000 with a Nikon 18-135mm lens. The camera set up is a couple of pounds lighter than my D80 with battery grip and 18-250mm lens and several pounds lighter than the D80 with the Sigma 150-500mm. My backpack is usually weighing in between 25 and 40 pounds depending on the season and that's before I add the camera. With all of the stuff I carry when I'm hiking, even a few ounces makes a big difference so I decided to drop to the lightest DSLR I could find.

The options on the camera are definitely different and it doesn't shoot as fast as the D80 or buffer the shots anywhere near the speed of the D80 but it seems to take nice photos. All in all I think it will be a nice camera for hiking and I will always revert back to the D80 when I want to take some "serious" photos.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A couple more pics from the new lens.

This first picture is at 400mm f11 and as close as you can get (about 5 feet). The lens works good for macro type shots. Have to go looking for bees on flowers next.

This second picture is also at 400mm f10 and about 50 or 60 feet back. Several other pictures taken at similar distances at f5.6 came out "soft".

How many fingers am I holding up?

I came across this cactus today and thought I would try my hand at another photo. This one isn't so vivid that it hurts your eyes! Of course, it's not blooming yet either. Maybe I'll go back in a few days and try it again.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The new lens

The new lens arrived yesterday, a Sigma 150-500mm, and I think it's going to take some getting use to. The OS sure is nice even though I am going to have to get use to it doing it's thing. The one thing that is really throwing me is the zoom turns the opposite direction than I'm used to.

It definitely makes getting the close up shots easier and less dangerous!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bird on a weed...

I don't know what kind of bird it is and I don't know what kind of plant it is but the picture came out not bad! This is a crop of about 1/2 of the original picture. If I try to crop much more than this things start looking soft and fuzzy. (So far this seems to hold true with most of the pictures I have taken with the Sigma 120 400)

Super Vivid Blooming Cactus

I normally keep my camera set on the most vivid setting there is and this usually works well for me. In the case of this blooming cactus the blooms were already so vivid that the photos look like I have over worked them in photo shop but I haven't.
I guess I still have some things to learn!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A couple of pictures from Port Alberni

The Alberni Inlet is named after Don Pedro de Alberni, a captain in the Spanish Army. Alberni commanded a military outpost in Nootka Sound from 1790 to 1792. In 1860, a tall-masted schooner, the “Meg Merrilies” moored in the Alberni Inlet. The ship’s crew constructed the first saw mill in what was to become British Columbia.

The economic activity generated by the mill facilitated development of a local economy and an influx of European settlers. The first European settlers in the area were with the Anderson Company (a sawmilling company) from London, England in 1860. The original mill failed but several others were established in the 1880s. Port Alberni was incorporated in 1912.

(Above information shamelessly plagiarised from the internet).

Friday, May 14, 2010


Had a chance to play with the new lens for a few minutes this afternoon. Here are some of the better pictures. All of these pictures have been croped (some more than others), lightly sharpened and reduced in size. All pictures are handheld at 400mm. (Love that O.S.!)

No Zoom Needed

Although I'm really looking forward to seeing what type of photos I can get with a big zoom lens I didn't need one for this shot. My son-in-law and I were out for a hike about two weeks ago and were making our way through a heavily wooded area and this is what we ran into. We almost walked right past him even though he was less than ten feet from us, standing in a creek bed.

Needless to say, it startled my son-in-law, he was leading the way at the time (it's always nice to let somebody go in front of you to get rid of the spider webs! LoL) when he turned to see what the movement was and found a six foot tall buffalo staring him in the face.

We very slowly and gently made our way past the buffalo but I had to stop and take a couple of photos while I was there. He didn't look like he was going to mind and I couldn't resist! It's kind of like running outside with the camera when there is a tornado, it just isn't the wisest thing to do but sometimes you just do it anyway.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Another picture with the new lens.

This picture was taken just after sunset. Iso 1600, f5.6, 1/30sec, at 400mm, Handheld! I snapped off about 6 quick pictures of this swan and all of them were sharp like this. Another plug for the Sigma OS.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bit the bullett and bought the lens.

Haven't had much opportunity to play with the new Sigma 120-400 yet but here are a couple of hand held shots at 400mm from Vancouver Harbour. Suddenly several new factors come into play when using a lens with this long of focal length, heat waves and haze especially on the longer shots. The OS (optical stabilization) works far better than I expected. I am able to hand hold a shot at 400mm with 1/30sec shutter speed and get good sharp results.

Will post more pictures and impressions soon as I have time to play with this lens a little more.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

No Wake Zone

I came across this mother and her babies last weekend going for a little swim.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I couldn't help myself... While driving through a residential area of Port Hardy I spotted this very relaxed orange cat. So I stopped the truck, got my camera and took his picture! You may wonder why I can confidentially call this cat a him rather than a her. A little known fact is this: All orange cats are males. Female cats don't turn orange for whatever reason. Believe it or not!

More Yard Art with a grandson thrown in

This is some more of the sculpture work in Medicine Park, Oklahoma. My grandson is definitely not camera shy! He is standing in front of a life size sculpture of a buffalo that sits along one side of Medicine Creek that runs through the center of town.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Yard Art

I came across this piece of yard art while I was in a little town east of me. The town is called Medicine Park and is somewhat known for it's metal art throughout the town.

This eagle is fairly large, I would guess it is about twelve feet from wing tip to wing tip.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Feeling sluggish?

Slugs are invertebrates, that is to say they have no back bone. Interestingly enough slugs belong to the family of creatures called "Mollusks" which includes clams, oysters, mussels, squids, octopuses, and nautiluses, in addition to snails.

Yummm, calamari or clam chowder anyone?

Catching some rays

I came across this lizard yesterday getting a little sun. He wasn't too happy to see me and didn't stay around very long to have his photo taken.