Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Another Day

We spent a bit of time in the house today, but with errands to run, we again found ourselves down in Santa Cruz. Due to this damned daylight savings time, before we knew it, the sun was setting.

Since we were already down in Santa Cruz,
we figured a visit to the wharf was in order.

Seagull hineys,
I love em.

There's something about the pose
this gull was striking . . .
Maybe he was stalking prey.

Good sunset tonight.

As the sun went down,
I couldn't resist the color
of the sun on the water.

I just kept shooting . . .

One final sunset.

Then I looked up
and saw this lovely sliver moon.
This is a SOOC shot with the new camera.
You can click to open
in a new window and see the detail.

When I put it in the computer,
I enhanced it just a bit.
I'm sure pleased with the
image stabilization of the new camera.
This was taken hand held.

This is for Russ and Donna.
You guys could stay right here . . .

Now that the sun was down,
we decided to head over to Carpo's,
our favorite restaurant.
While In the moving car,
I usually shoot with my iPhone.

It keeps me occupied . . .

Lately I've been playing
with an infrared setting on the phone.

I'll tell you,
I really need to get back on the road
so all I have to do is play with my cameras,
sight see
and have a good time.

Back to work tomorrow.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Living Beyond Limits

It wont come as a surprise to regular readers that we've been kind of stuck as far as clearing the house. I don't know how to explain it, we want to get it over with, but a strange paralysis seems to have afflicted us both.

So we continue to pretend it isn't happening and just go on with our lives like this giant elephant isn't in front of us.

But today, I came across this.

Several thoughts struck home.

"In order to move forward
you have to let go
and embrace the new."

"Borders and obstacles
only do two things.
They either stop us in our tracks
or force us to be creative."

"If my life were a book
and I were the author,
where would I want this story to go?"

And finally

"Rely on imagination
Believe in Possibility"

This really hit me over the head.

And today
we started working in the house again.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

More Photography

I'm continuing to play with the new camera, and I remain pleased.

Last night, I decided to test the low light capability of the SX40. This is often a problem with digital cameras, they seem to get confused when there isn't enough light and are prone to digital "noise". Noise can be seen in many digital photos as the pixelization you sometimes see in the darker areas.

Knowing this, I decided to try shooting well after dark. I found myself down near the Santa Cruz boat harbor and it seemed like the perfect place to try a night shot.

While it was well past dark, the harbor is flooded with a lot of lights. I shot using several different scene settings and found I got the best results using the "fireworks" setting.

This is my favorite shot of the night. The photo below is SOOC (straight out of the camera) except for resizing for posting on the internet. You might want to click it to enlarge it to see the detail.

By enlarging it, you can see some noise in the night sky, although it's not too severe.

Here's the same shot after I did a bit of manipulation. I sharpened it up a bit, cropped it and played with the detail and color. For a hand held shot taken at night, I'm quite pleased.

I believe the excellent quality I'm getting from this camera has to do with Canon's new software and the fact that they've changed the sensor type (BSI CMOS). So far, it seems like they've hit on a winning combination.

And for no reason at all,
I'm including these two shots.

- - - Red - - -

- - - Stripes - - -

That's it for today.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Adam Sandler and 667!

Not much to write about today so this will be a short post.

I will say I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. We stayed indoors, cooked goodies and watched movies.

But before I go any further, I have a confession to make.

I can't count.

Remember how I said that yesterday was my 500th post?

Duh, well, no it wasn't. Somewhere, I got that idea, but in reality it was my 667th post! I kind of know where the error was, but it's so confusing I can't explain it, just take my word for it.


Now, about Adam Sandler.

I've tried to watch several of his films, but I find him silly and often really gross. Then someone told me I should watch the Wedding Singer.

Starring Adam Sandler and the adorable Drew Barrymore, what a delight this film is! After watching it and checking reviews, others suggested another pairing of Sandler and Barrymore called 50 First Dates.

Another lighthearted and endearing movie!

If you like romantic comedies with bucket loads of charm, check out both these films.

And that's it for today.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving (500)

I'm busy cooking
(and taking pictures),
so for now, here's an old picture.

Today, I'm experimenting
with a new veggie dish,
so I'll try to post more pictures later
(check back if you care).

And the 500?
This is my half a thousandth post
on this blog, can you believe it?
Started in early 2007,
almost five years
and five hundred posts later.

And still,

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm Embarrassed to Admit It. . .

but I'm a tech junkie.

Like regular readers don't know this already.

So it might come as no surprise that I just got a new camera.

Let me back up a bit here.

I love my Canon 7D, but I do have a couple of issues with it.

It's big and heavy. Now, when I'm shooting, that's not such a huge deal, since I use my Cotton Carrier. The problem comes from the fact that I like to carry my camera with me wherever I go. This means that I have to carry a large bag, in which I carry the Canon 7D and my other "purse" items. This adds an additional four pounds or so to my daily load. That doesn't sound like a lot, but believe me it is.

Then there's the issue of changeable lenses. I love the shots I get with the various lenses, but unless I carry both of them, I always seem to have the wrong one. If I decide to carry both lenses, then I'm adding another one to two pounds.

Don't get me wrong, I really like my Canon 7D, but it isn't perfect.

So I've tried shooting with my old Panasonic FZ30, with its' wide to 18x optical zoom. I love the convenience of no extra lenses and the very light weight.

But it's slow. . .

And I like shooting with my iPhone 4s, but it also has it's limitations (mainly the zoom, which degrades photo quality pretty quickly). That said, it's a fantastic macro camera.

Then, while looking around the internet (a dangerous habit, I know) I saw some photos shot with a Canon SX40, and WOW . . .

So I got to thinking, why not give it a try? With Amazon's generous return period, I pressed the buy button.

Did I mention that the Canon SX40 has a 35x optical zoom?

So the photos I've been posting for the last few entries (except for the Los Gatos iPhone 4s series) have been shot with the Canon SX40.

Yep, that incredible hawk shot, handheld from some fifty feet away. And all the other beach pictures.

And the flower pictures from the arboretum? The first and last purple flowers were shot from at least fifteen feet away, handheld. They're actually very tiny blooms. Now, I did a bit of manipulation (mostly cropping and slight sharpening) but you can't work with what isn't there.

I have to tell you, I'm impressed with this camera.


So here's a few more shots, all handheld.

And because it's a new camera,
I screwed up and accidentally changed
the aspect ratio to 1x1.

I was several hundred yards away,
these pelicans were maybe 1/4 inch high
with the naked eye.

Here's a shot I took
from one of our favorite spots.
It's a small rock
off of West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz.
(Russ and Donna will remember this spot).

And standing in the same spot,
with the zoom fully extended,
here's the pelicans and cormorants,
lounging on the rock.
(Click to Enlarge.)

Here's a screenshot of the two, side by side.
The quality isn't great, (it's a screenshot after all)
but I thought it was the best way to show the zoom

Here's a shot of the sun going down
over West Cliff Drive.

I finally realized my aspect ratio error
and got this full shot of the sunset.
It was one of those yellow sunsets

I'm not sure of where this is all leading. After all, how many cameras does a girl need? I know I'm keeping the iPhone (because, you know, it's also a phone). The Canon 7D is an incredibly fast camera, perfect for capturing those birds in flight. Then there's the versatility (and relatively light weight ) of the Canon SX40. I have yet to test the speed of this camera, there just aren't a whole lot of birds to test the speed on (sure wish I was back at the Bosque).

But I'll keep shooting with it and let you know . . .

Monday, November 21, 2011


all I see is Patterns


Shades of Grey

Hues of Red

Decorations of Nature


Clean and Cool




Saturday, November 19, 2011

Los Gatos

Just a quick post.

I had a meeting this afternoon over in the village of Los Gatos. Russ and Donna talked about the crappy weather we had while they were visiting, so I thought I'd post a few pictures of what the area can be like.

I used to live in Los Gatos, and intend to go over there again to shoot some pictures.

As you can see, its quite picturesque.

I love this wall,
it was built in 1910
and I think it's wonderful
that it's still standing.

So much of silicone valley
has been torn down,
with new buildings replacing old.
It's hardly as I remember it
when I was a child.

It makes my appreciation
for places like Los Gatos
all the more dear.

Now I'm off to bed.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Five More

Lets see . . .

I'm feeling much better
(actually it turned into a one day event,
possibly allergies rather than a cold?).
Yesterday we went shooting
down at Elkhorn Slough.
Today we ran errands and gave blood.


So here's a few more shots from the Slough

Not as clear as I'd like.

Here's a full figure shot
of the fellow from yesterday.

I love the way these guys hang around
balancing on one leg.

And this one,
I just liked.

That's it for today.