Painting is just another way of keeping a diary ~Pablo Picasso

Monday, May 31, 2010

May 31

We went to Ocean Shores today, not that you can tell by this photo. I spent an hour taking photos of the ocean, which was very gray, it was so overcast today. I ended up not liking any of them. This flower was growing in the dunes on our walk out to the ocean. I only took the one photo of it, just for fun, and ended up really liking it. It's a tallish flower, and I used the widest aperture I could. At 55mm and focusing at the top of the flower, the lower petals fall out of focus quickly. Photos like this remind me that I'm still on my way up the learning curve. I had no idea how neat this effect would look!  f/5.6, 1/125, 55mm.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

May 30

This stellar's jay was in our woods when I walked Clover this morning. I see them fairly often, but always when I'm driving, so this is my first photo. It's sort of dark, but that's always the case in our woods. Plus my polarizer is still stuck on my lens. Anyway, I've cropped it so it shows up better on the blog. I like the crop; the branches fan out pretty nice. I have another with his head turned toward me so you can see his eye and lines on his forehead, but this profile shot with the crest just had more impact.
f/5.6, 1/5, 200mm

Saturday, May 29, 2010

May 29

Today we went to the Rocky Brook Falls on the Dosewallips River just north of Brinnen along the Hood Canal. The falls were really spectacular, dropping over 100 feet and fanning out at the base. The problem was that the trail let out right at the base of the falls so it was hard to get a good photo, plus the water was misting all over my camera lens. So I ended up having more success photographing the rapids at the base of the falls. The water coming out of the Olympic Mountains is so clear it's aqua blue. You can see that a little in the photo. Also the rocks had a little reddish tint, so it turned out to be a more colorful photo than I was imagining. Using the vivid setting also gave a deeper rock color to the rocks that the water was washing over. One thing that really bugs me is a small water spot on my lens; it's in the lower center. I kept drying off my lens while we were here, but I missed this one.
f/29, 3.0sec, 31mm, picture style more vivid.

Friday, May 28, 2010

May 28

Another rainy day here...
I was on a field trip to the Seattle Art Museum today so I decided to get a classic Pike Place Market rainy day photo. I did use the more vivid setting again, mainly because we were seeing an Andy Warhol exhibit so it seemed appropriate. I think it helps the shot, especially the market sign and cobblestones. I tried to get a low angle so the wet bricks could lead into the photo. Looking at the photo now, I think I should have been slightly to the left so the whole market sign is framed by the gray sky, and not overlapping the building to the left. Also, the histogram spikes on both ends, probably from glare off the street. My polarizer is stuck on my other lens though, so I couldn't use it. Maybe it would have helped. I'll have to try it some time.
f/8, 1/60, 18mm, picture style more vivid.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

May 27

This one is a nice change of pace. I planned to take a full moon photo. The moon should have been rising over Mt. Rainier tonight, but it's so cloudy you can't see Mt. Rainier or the moon, so I tried for a Capitol and harbor shot instead. I think the cloud and pavement patterns compliment each other. The colors came out extra saturated because I accidentally had my camera set on more vivid again from a reflection shot I've been working on but haven't perfected. Anyway I'm glad I had that setting because the colors came out really nice. f/8, 10sec., f18mm, picture style more vivid, WBcloudy.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May 26

Guess this is my biweekly wildflower photo. I don't know what this flower is either, but it was colorful. We've been in a rainy weather pattern for about a week now, and my color choices outside are either green or gray. I don't mind seeing it all the time, but I have to admit I do get tired of photographing green sometimes. These are pretty little flowers. They start out pink and end up blue before fading out.
I didn't realize I had my ISO set at 400. That wasn't necessary at all with a long exposure like 2.5 seconds. I was trying to get those water droplets in clear focus, and I think a lower ISO might have helped that. f/32, 2.5sec., ISO400

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

May 25

I can't keep away from the beaver pond this week with all the ducklings and goslings out there right now. This mallard duckling came up so close checking out all the lily pads. There are seven ducklings in this family! They're not as cute as the wood ducklings, but they're out more often. They move so fast over the water I have trouble getting a clear shot, but this one stood still for just long enough before scurrying on.
f/5.6, 1/50.

Monday, May 24, 2010

May 24

I went back out to McLane Creek because I was hoping to see the wood duck ducklings, but it was so quiet on the beaver pond this morning. It's really hard to get a feel for the rhythm of the pond. If I stay for long enough there is a cycle of activity that goes on, but I didn't have a lot of time today, and Clover was along too. I think this photo does convey the quietness of the morning. It's got a nice abstract feel to it. This pond is full of these old stumps left over from logging days; they make such interesting reflections. f/29, 1/4.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

May 23

This is a new family at McLane Creek. The male has been on the blog already on May 5th. He's very aggressive and was always around but I could never see the female or the nest. Today was the first time I saw her and the two goslings. They always swim in the middle like that. If they want to turn the goslings around, the front goose stops and the goslings run into it. Then they reroute in the other direction. f/5.6, 1/60.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

May 22

Andrew, Eric, and Ajjana at Discovery Park hill overlooking the Corp of Engineer Locks in Seattle. I tried this shot with different shutter speeds as they were playing around. 1/8 of a second is probably too slow, but I instinctively moved the camera while I took the shot and luckily it worked out because they were moving at about the same speed. Also my camera was set to a high saturation mode called "more vivid" so the colors are extra vibrant. I wish I'd been standing at a different angle so the tree in the background wasn't behind Eric. f/25, 1/8, picture style more vivid.

Friday, May 21, 2010

May 21

Another rainy day here. My polarizer really helped this shot. Without it the water is white and the tree branch is darker. I liked this photo because the lower branch reflection and the water ripples intersect, so that's the point where you distinguish between the actual branches and the reflected branches. I like the brightness of the branches on the top. I wanted a different angle so the bright green branch came lower in the photo while keeping the reflected branch there too, but I couldn't get that angle. f/4, 1/15.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

May 20

The Deschutes River rapids are just below Tumwater Falls. It's the final descent of the Deschutes River into before it enters Capitol Lake and then the Puget Sound (Budd Inlet). The old Olympia Brewery is located just downriver from here. We've had a change in weather pattern this week, and it's taken me a few days to get used to it. It's been pretty rainy with occasional bright sunbreaks. I think Tumwater Falls is a good overcast day location because I can get a really slow shutter speed in dark lighting, which really blurs the water. f/22, 0.62sec.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 19

Clover and I walk by this tree everyday in the woods near our house, and I've never noticed the face before! I think it looks cheery and animated like a Tolkien ent. It also reminds me a little of Sideshow Bob from the Simpsons. This is a brighter spot in the woods; I'm happy with the lighting on this one.
f/8, 0.5sec, ISO160, 200mm.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May 18

 I really love the simplicity of this shot. The light was awful today and I really struggled with it. I think this one works though because the water almost disappears from the photo. I chose this photo because the composition was so harmonious. This is the same pier as yesterday, so it's sort of a companion shot. I was checking on my nesting goose...she was still there as was her mate. The tide was going out and this heron was here to eat. It started raining so I got my umbrella out to keep my camera dry, and the sound of my umbrella opening scared the heron off; I only got one shot after this one, and then he was gone. f/32, 1/15, ISO250.

Monday, May 17, 2010

May 17

This old logging pier is on West Bay. I posted a photo from this location on April 28th, but the light was much different tonight. I thought this photo had some interesting things going on in it. First my new favorite nesting goose. She's at the far right corner of the pier, and she never leaves that nest. Second, sailing lessons are going on in the distant background. Those little boats just go around in circles all evening. I also like the vine growing out of the post in the foreground, and the texture of the post and water. I'm not wild about the lighting, and I don't know if f/10 gives a good focus thoughout, but if I used a larger depth of field I'd lose the reflection pattern in the water. f/10, 1/20.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

May 16

I went back to the field of blue camas flowers at Delphi School today. This shot is really more about the bee than the flowers though. I had my ISO set to 400 from earlier in the day and forgot about that, so I ended up with a super fast shot (1/1000 sec) which really froze the bee in action. I wish it was in a prettier patch of flowers, but it does show how quickly the flowers are fading. In fact I doubt I'll go back to photograph there again; I think the flowers will be gone in a day or two. Of the three shots I did at this location my favorite is the May 15th wide view shot with the dewy flowers and schoolhouse in the background. I tried that shot again today with the afternoon sun behind me but it didn't have the same depth. f/5.6 at 1/1000, 200mm, ISO400.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

May 15

This is the same field of blue camas flowers as my May 12th photo but this time I shot with my wide angle lens. This is also much earlier in the morning. That is the old Delphi School in the background. I think that having the school in the background puts the field in context. The photo has an early morning feel to it with the low backlighting and dew-covered flowers. I'd like to try this shot again later in the day when the sun is behind me. Also I wish I'd tried shooting in cloudy because the building looks a little blue. By the way, I photographed the May 12th twin flowers again, and they have continued to develop identically. f/22, 1/5, 18mm.

Friday, May 14, 2010

May 14

Today I was thinking I'd photograph a salmon- berry branch because there are lots of ripe berries as well as blossoms and every stage in between, and the colors are really nice. I'll have to save that for another day though because the photo didn't turn out like I wanted it. However as I was approaching the spot where the salmonberries are I saw this robin with a ripe salmonberry in its beak. It's a cute photo. This was as close as I could get with my lens. The robin is balanced by the shadows on the tree, which look like a face according to some. f/5.6, 1/250, ISO200, 200mm.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

May 13

I'm pretty sure this raccoon is part of the reason I haven't seen any goslings at Nisqually. Everytime I go I see new nests but they don't last. I saw a raccoon lurking in the reeds here a few weeks ago, and I thought he might sneak out and steal eggs. I didn't imagine that he would float across like a barge!
Technically I'm somewhat disappointed with this photo. The raccoon really caught me by surprise so my settings were all wrong. I had my camera set on aperture priority so I quickly switched to the largest aperture for a quicker shot, clicked the shutter release and my timer started going off. So I had to wait five seconds for the photo to take which is why I think the raccoon isn't in focus. Plus 1/30 isn't all that fast. I just didn't think fast enough to make the adjustments. But I had to post this because it was such a cool sight (even though I accuse him of eating the goose and duck eggs and babies). f/5.6, 1/30.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May 12

The field in front of Delphi School is full of these flowers. I think they're called camas. They're also at Mima Mounds Prairie, but actually thicker here. I liked this shot because these two flowers were whiter and really stood out. I think they are twins!  It never occured to me that this could happen with flowers!
f/5.6, 1/160.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

May 11

It's not that I set out to photograph geese all the time, it's just that they're always doing such interesting things. Today at Nisqually a group of geese were all vying for the top of the tree position. I worked for a while on this shot. It was overcast and I had trouble metering because the sky was a blown out white if the tree trunk detail was there. The clouds broke for just a minute and this was the best shot I got during that time.
f/11 at 1/60.

Monday, May 10, 2010

May 10

I have mixed feelings about this photo. I think I came close to a neat sort of painted woods effect, but I think I zoomed in just a little too much. I've tried this with darker trees and with bamboo and it hasn't worked. I don't know why this one worked (sort of). It's a birch grove on a trail in Capitol Forest. Was it the lighting? Or the white trunks? I'll have to keep working on this.  f/22 at 1/80, ISO200.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

May 9

I was really surprised to see this seal sunning itself at Port of Olympia today. There were about four boats docked at this pier for the Wooden Boat Festival and the owners were out having coffee about 20 feet from the seal. At first I thought it was their dog! Then this sail boat started up and passed in front of the seal about five feet from the pier. I thought the seal would leave then but it just watched. The boat circled around to head out toward the sound and the seal got up and turned to watch the boat leave. f/5.6, 1/160, 200mm.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

May 8

The green sailboat was part of the Wooden Boat Festival today at Percival Landing. The water was like glass there this morning, so all the photos came out nice. I wondered about posting this photo because it's so empty on the lower right side, but decided I liked it because of the gradient shades of blue. I like the boat reflection too. I don't like the antenna popping up in the lower center. This photo was taken not too far from the photo on May 4th. If you zoom in you'll see the Olympic Mountains in the distance this time. f/18 at 1/50, ISO250

Friday, May 7, 2010

May 7

This was just one of those days. I tried a lot of different shots but didn't really love anything I did. I guess this is my best shot. It's not exactly a nursing tree, but nice texture on the stump and some contextual idea of how big it is with the trees flanking it. f/22 at 1.6sec, ISO100, 55mm.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

May 6

Low-key day so I decided to photograph these wildflowers at the entrance to my subdivision. I've had my eye on them for just such a day. *Mom and Dad, you get to identify them for me again!* They grow right on the side of the road; they leaf out and send up flower shoots like dandelions. f/5.3 at 1/50, ISO100, 135mm.

*May 15th update on these flowers. I think they're called knapweed, which is a noxious weed and not wanted in the northwest. It sends out a poison from its roots and spreads. So I reported it to the county noxious weed control. Too bad, because they're really pretty!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

May 5

 I took Clover along to McLane Creek today, which means I wasn't looking to photograph birds or water. We took the back trail and I was wanting a nursing tree photo, but nothing I tried came out as well as this scene. We spotted this goose on the way back to the car. I don't know what that puffed-up posture means, but I was guessing it had something to do with Clover being along. Looks like I'm drawn to reflection photos now because of my class project. Tonight is my last class :(
f/25 at 0.5sec, ISO100, 55mm.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May 4

 So my camera sensor is clean! I just picked up the camera downtown (Don's Camera on Capital Blvd.) and was driving back when I saw the nice clouds and calm water at Percival Landing, so I stopped to take some photos. If the sky were clear, you'd be able to see the Olympic Mountains in the distance. It's usually cloudy there though. I chose this particular shot because I've been working on reflection photos, and I liked the reflection of the guy in the boat Windrush (front left). He was filling buckets of water and rinsing the front of the boat, which was causing the small wake in the foreground. You can't see him so well, but his refletion is great. f/29 at 1/20, ISO100, 42mm.

Monday, May 3, 2010

May 3

No photo today. My camera is in the shop. I try to be careful changing lenses, but somehow I got something on my sensor and spots were showing up in any photo with a longer exposure time, so I'm having the sensor cleaned. Hopefully I'll be able to get it back tomorrow. Wednesday by the latest.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

May 2

This trillium has been a perfect bloom for the last few weeks; I've been photographing its transition from white to pink. It's at the very end of its flower life here. I've used my macro filter for this closeup so the focal depth is very narrow and the edges of the flower really fall out of focus fast. The filter helped to defuse the spots on my sensor, which will be repaired this week. I might still post a new shot tomorrow, but then my camera will be "in the shop" until Wednesday, so maybe I'll post some older shots while I wait for the repair. f/4.8 at 1/4, ISO100, 38mm,  +10 macro filter.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May 1

This was our first try at clam-digging. We went to Potlatch State Park on the Hood Canal and found 18 clams and 4 oysters. We didn't keep the oysters. Bill will have the clams. This is yet another wide angle shot, but it just seemed right, especially with the clouds spreading out like they were. It's a low aperture because I have some spots on my sensor and they really show up (in the upper right hand part of the photo) with a longer exposure time. So I need to get the sensor cleaned this week!  f/5.6 at 1/320, ISO100, 18mm.