End of March…and the end of winter I hope!

Wow…we have had some strange pre-spring weather.  Warm for a few days and then…BAM!….ol’ man winter stirs up the snow and ice pot. We had snow again earlier this week. Not much mind you, but it was snow nonetheless. I did manage to get a few images that I really likes this past week. One of them I actually took the time to write a little about the shot so I would have something here to say about it. Since that is the only one I wrote about…I’ll list it first.

Because of the snow falling that morning, I remember thinking that I wanted an image that reflected the fact that I wanted spring to sneak in past winter, but winter caught the sneaky season and ripped it a new one. I thought about the daffodils that had just bloomed, but were now covered in snow…..yeah, something like that. While sitting at a traffic light, as usual, I saw this person riding a bike in this blowing, cold bitter snow/sleet thing we had coming down on us. I posted it to my pbase account and made this comment, “Yeah…it snowed again today! Yippee…So glad I am able to own a car. I can only image what level of “suck” this must be during this weather.” That image was a good representation of the mood. and here it is:

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The previous day I posted an image of a carved bear from Big Sky Carvers that Tracey has positioned on either side of the fireplace. I posed the image as a happy bear looking up asking for spring to finally arrive…..and the next day was the biker in the snow…

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I think that we are finally in the spring season. It rained all weekend and the temps stayed in the mid to upper 30’s, it will be getting into the 60’s and 70’s this week. Soon, I am sure, we will be crying for cooler temps, but until then…bring it on. Sunshine and vitamin D. I pre-ordered a Tamron 150-600mm lens, which still has not been sent (back ordered, I’m told). I am excited about that lens, I might be able to get some good bird or other wildlife images this year!!! Yesterday I missed a great opportunity for a bald eagle enjoying some roadkill with the company of two turkey vultures. I made a u-turn (legally) on a four lane divided highway to go back and get some shots. As soon as my car was almost completely stopped on the opposite side of the roadway, the eagle takes flight. I did not have my camera set for that! I locked focus and he flew…out of the focus plane, single servo the camera did not try to change focus, but kept firing off the shutter, each one out of focus. Oh well, there will be other opportunities. 25 meters from me though. I only had the 85mm, but I had the 600mm, I could have stopped at a further distance and not disturbed them! Such is life. At any rate, here are the other images that I did not delete last week.

Don’t forget to check out my photo-a-day gallery:

http://www.pbase.com/ron_tracey/2014_another_attempt_at_a_pad

 

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Oh yeah, even though I’ve seen many shots using this technique/ lighting set-up. Tracey and I might be doing one this year, or very soon!
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Warm weather is on the way!!….at least Saturday felt that way.

One week left in the month of March! Why does it seem that when Winter arrives, it gets cold and stays cold, but when spring/summer arrives, it gets warm for a day, cold for 4 and then maybe another warms day. After a cycle or two of this, it is blazing hot….I know, I’m never fully happy with the weather. Most recently, Saturday was in the 70’s and today it made it to 48…!!! I took a lot of pictures Saturday, lots. I’ll add them all to this post as usual. I even met a celebrity, he goes by the name GCh Moongaze White Tie Affair. He’s a Whippet, Grand Champion.Image

Back to the weather…..last Monday we had snow, ice, cold, etc….this much:

Imageand this past Saturday I ate lunch outside with a cold brew and a glass of ice water…hahaImage

 

Oh, I did order that Tamron 150-600mm! Well, pre-ordered anyway. I read on Newegg and originally there was a note that stated the release date of 26 March, but recently it stated 1 april….sigh,…..it can’t get here soon enough!

 

I still have not been able to think of a functional way to document my daily images so that I can have something to say at these weekly blog posts. I’ll work on it. I’d also like to document all the gear I have/use as well as the stuff I’ve bought on impulse and my thoughts of each item. Some things I buy for a specific purpose, maybe for one or two shots, but I’ll buy the cheapo 3rd party flavor. I’ve got a few DIY things that actually work well. Maybe I’ll work on a post for that in addition to a weekly post. I know that I don’t have any readers, but I write this mostly for myself, to be quite honest. I’ve got a lot of stuff, stuff I rarely use (see why I buy inexpensive things?) studio strobes, back drops, reflectors, light stands, booms, softboxes, umbrellas….etc, etc, etc….Oh, and lenses current, past and future!

Coming up soon, I asked a local alpaca farm if I could come take pictures when they shear them. They said that they would love for me to take photos! So, in a couple of weeks…..there will be naked alpaca photo’s! Boudoir on the farm!

Ok…here are the images from this past week! Make sure to check out my PaD gallery! 

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Mid March!

At the beginning of this week,  I decided that I would make a conscious effort to document, or at least take some notes, of the pictures that I took each day. Not notes as in; aperture, shutter speed, etc, rather, why I took it, how I envisioned the final product, etc. How did I do? Complete failure…haha. It is not that easy as the majority of my daily images throughout the week are shot from red lights and stop signs. I am still managing to get my photo-a-day, but there is no substance to most of them. Not that I am disappointed in them, but that I would love to have a pre-determined goal, instead of looking for something that looks interesting at every stop. I have not updated my lens usage chart that I started at the beginning of this, but I think that I have not exceeded the number of images per lens. I also added a lens to the group and have sold two that were on the list! I sold my Tamron 180mm macro and my Tokina 11-16mm. I have used both of those lenses, but not a lot. I only used the macro lens a few times last year, but got some great images, like these Cicada images. The Tokina was a tough one to finally sell. I loved that lens, but I rarely use my D200 and on the FX body it was only usable at 16mm, at least in FX mode. I have some pretty cool truck images, which I also printed for framing, or gluing to foam core, neither of which has happened yet (don’t look at the dates on those..haha). I sold those lenses because I wanted a long lens, a prime, but the cost of newer lenses is ridiculous. Look up the price of a 300mm, or 400mm, or longer, in the F/2.8 range…..yeah, used car prices on those. But….there are plenty of manual focus lenses for reasonable prices, Tamron, Tokina, 300mm F/2.8’s for less than $1500! Oh, the one I almost snagged was a Nikon 400mm F/3.5 manual focus. So, I obsessed over these lenses horribly. What did I finally decide…..? Well, the new Tamron 150-600mm F/5-6.3, of course! You see, I finally decided, after reading tons of reviews on the manual focus lenses, that I might not enjoy them too much. I have a manual focus wide angle, 24mm, but my subjects are fairly close, or it’s a landscape image and not a small bird or other creature 100 yards away. I am not shooting indoor sports, or any sports so I’ll most likely be on a tripod, or monopod. I can crank up the ISO for those not so bright days. I figure that technology, vibration compensation, etc would make this lens good enough for my needs. It is prices at a tad over $1000, selling those two lenses financed that for me. I also sold a Really Right Stuff “L” bracket and might have a 2x teleconverter on the auction site soon as well. I feel that since I am not making money with this hobby, that I should sell to finance it.

In other news, it is snowing tonight…..yeah….snowing! I took this image right about noon today:

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Maybe I’ll have one with snow on these tomorrow….sigh….I am ready for warm days! We had a great and warm weekend otherwise, Saturday it was over 70 F. today it was 46 F today at the high.

My son’s car has been in a state of “not running” for a few months now and today he (we) started puting it back together. A 2002 Suburu does not have the easiest heads to remove or install!!! They are back on now, torqued, valve covers in place and ready for the rest of the motor to be pieced back together. He’s done a lot of tedious work and I think he is learning quite a bit in the process….here is the motor with the heads installed, notice that a lot of “stuff” has to come off to get the heads off…..

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So, that is last week as I can remember while typing tonight. If I can think of anything else to mention, add, delete, or change, I’ll update as needed.

Please check out my favorite links and my Photo-a-Day Gallery.

Here are the images from last week:

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Picked these up at an antique shop! Read about them here.

March 9th….

Rolling right along! We are slowly moving into spring! We’ve had a few warmer days this past week and they were welcomed! Of course, we had some pretty nasty snow last Monday, but I worked from home and snapped some great images of some cardinals feeing outside!

I’ve been drooling over some long lenses for some time now. I’ve lusted after a Nikkor 400mm F/3.5 manual focus lens as well as a Tamron 300mm F/2.8, also manual focus. Now, however, Tamron comes along with a 150-600mm F/5-6.3, which is considerably slower than the other two manual focus lenses, but the prices is the same. Plus, it’s new, has vibration comoensation and is 600mm!! So, I’ve sold a Tamron 180mm Macro and I am trying to sell my Tokina 11-16mm. I’ll almost have enough to get the 100-600….yeah, I want it. I’m not a pro with pro $$ who can afford super fast primes, but ohhhhh, would it be awesome to have those lenses! Here is a good review of the Tamron by GServo. I’m sure there are other reviews out there as well, but I followarticles here

I have not been out in town to take any street-style images, but warm weather should change that. I hope to use my 24mm (manual focus) for that type of shooting. I also picked up a 35-135mm a couple of months ago, I think I’ve mentioned that previously, but man,….I really dig that lens! Oh, that reminds me, I also need to put my Tamron 2x TC on ebay. More $$ towards the 100-600mm!!!

I should do reviews on older lenses..haha! I should show my DIY gear as well, strip light, etc…etc…

 

Don’t forget to check out my favorite links on to the left and my Photo-A-Day gallery is located here: PAD

 

Here all the images I kept from last week.

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2 months complete, 10 “mo to go”!

Believe it, another month has came and went. I can’t say that I am unhappy though, I long for warmer weather. I have always been one who enjoys the seasons, but this time around I want winter to go away. This past week of shooting was not so productive. I’ve learned some new Lightroom tips and tricks and am anxious to try them out. However, I need a few specifics images to work on.  I really would like to take some time to plan a fun image. I mean really plan it. From the location, wardrobe, pose, lighting, time of day…yadda, yadda, yadda. With a full time job doing that is not so easy and I am not about to quit working (where do ya think I scape my pennies for this photography stuff)? I also want to finish a roll of film in my Yashica TLR and get it off to be developed and I’ve only taken three shots with it! It’s a color roll and once I send it to the developers, they will advise me if the camera is functioning properly. Once I know the camera is working well, I’ll purchase some Black and white film for it. I had a bit of an oh Sh** last Thursday. I was leaving work and placing my camera bag on the passenger seat of my car. My D700 with Nikon 85mm F/1.8G attached fell to the asphalt!! The nausea was almost immediate. I picked it u and looked through the viewfinder. What I saw was a depth of field preview of about F/22…….no matter what I did, it was dark. I got in the car and took a deep breath. Changed the lens to my 50mm F/1.4G and everything worked! I looked at the 85mm and the aperture tab would move, but the blades stayed stopped all the way down. Once I arrived at home and had the time, I decided that if it was broken, what is it going to hurt if I take it apart..? So I did. I noticed why the blades were not moving, placed the “tab” back into position and…..viola! It went back together and so far, so good. I want to get a lens calibration kit just to make sure that the focus is still good to go.  Whew…..I cannot begin to explain the jaw drop on that one. We are in for some more nasty winter stuff tonight and Monday…..yay…..grumble…grumble….. At any rate, here are the images from last week. Most of them anyway. As always, check out my favorite links and blogs I follow, they are linked somewhere on this page…stay warm! My Photo-A-Day gallery: Here Feb 24th_1 Feb 24th_44 Feb 24th Feb 25th Feb 27th copy Feb 28th-2 Feb 28th-3 Feb 28th-4 Feb 28th Mar 1st_1 Mar 1st_2 Mar 1st Mar 2nd-2 Mar 2nd-3 Feb 26th Feb 26th_1