The Roving Photographer

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Views of winter

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A last few photos from my winter hike, for which I arrived over prepared.  I set out with my Frog Tog waterproof pants on over my jeans, bundled up with my winter parka, thick socks in my old-style snow boots.  Within ten minutes two things were clear: there was a blazed, packed trail through the snow from all the other folks out enjoying the day, and I was overdressed and sweaty.

I followed the trail down to Kennedy Creek and would have been fine in hiking boots and bluejeans the whole way.  But what the hell, it was a good hike and well worth it.  And when I reached the creek – which was frozen over – I was able to go off trail for a few minutes.

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The end is nigh!

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The end of winter, that is.  And I present as evidence the little guy (or girl): the American Goldfinch.  Absent these past several months, the Goldfinches are returning north from their far southern wintering grounds.  They’re still dull-colored, their rich mating plumage still several weeks away at least.  Although in a few of the photos below, you can see that some of the yellow is starting to fill in around this guy’s head and breast. Read more »

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New Gear – Olympus TG-3

[Image credit: getolympus.com

[Image credit: getolympus.com]

Just a quick update on the gear front, I broke down and added a new camera to the stable.  My Olympus TG-3 arrived last week and I’ve yet to have the opportunity to put it through its paces, save for a few simple test shots around the house.

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Ice Fishing

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Last weekend, when the temperature finally rose above zero – and above freezing – I trekked out to the park for my annual “go stand on the ice” event.  It’s something I do each winter and, to be honest, it’s probably a little silly.  After all, I kayak these same waters eight months out of the year, so it’s not as if I’m standing someplace new.

Except that it’s different.  There is something novel about walking out across a frozen lake and physically standing in a place that you otherwise cannot the rest of the year.  So for the sake of novelty, there I was.

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Simple Clicks – takeoff

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A couple of neat finds from my hike on Sunday afternoon.  We’d had an inch or two of snowfall the night before and the woods were filled with birds.  How the two are connected, I’m not really sure; it seems much too early for any of the southern migrants to be returning.  Although I could swear that I came across a flock of American Robins down by Kennedy Creek – although I couldn’t get close enough to get a definitive look.

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Simple Clicks – Frosty

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Found this guy yesterday on the shores of Lackawanna Lake.  I was taking advantage of the sudden day-long heat wave (it got up to 37!) and hiked down to Kennedy Creek.  It was a popular day for hiking; the trail was well-blazed.  And someone stopped and built this guy right on the point by the creek’s inlet.  He had a good view of the lake (although one of his eyes seems to have fallen out).

He’ll do better than I will; the temperatures are diving back down below zero, and it may be another week or more before I can venture out again.  But it’s little things like this discovery that make a good day in the woods even better.

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Beaches appear in my dreams

Sunrise over the beach at Wildwood, NJ, on the morning of 14 April 2012.
Boat drinks, boys in the band ordered boat drinks
Visitors scored on the home rink
Everything seems to be wrong

Lately, newspaper mentions cheap airfare,
I’ve got to fly to Saint Somewhere,
I’m close to bodily harm.
– Jimmy Buffett, Boat Drinks

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A few thoughts on radio slaves

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I’m still using the Yongnuo RF-602 radio slaves that I purchased back in mid-2011.  I was still shooting with Canon gear then, so the 602s have survived not only 4 years of service, but also the transition to m4:3, and all without so much as a hiccup.  I depend on them and they’ve never let me down.

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Saturday Light – portraits with color gels

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In this edition of Saturday Light, we’re going to take a look at making studio portraits that are a bit different from the norm, utilizing colored gels to inject some color into the process.  This is a technique that I’ve been intrigued with for some time now, and which I’ve appreciated in the work of other photographers, and the time finally came to try it myself.

This isn’t a professional session, or even a personal-project session, although the results may lead to either of those end-points.  Rather, this is what I term a “proof of concept” session, an experimental test under controlled conditions and without external pressures, just so I can (try to) figure out what the hell I’m doing.  And staying true to that concept, I had some success and I had some failure, both of which I’ll share.

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Eagling frustrations

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The photo above appeared in my last post about my first eagling adventure of 2015.  It’s not a great photo and isn’t hardly one of my better examples of wildlife photography.  For starters, there was too much distance between me and the eagles to really get a good shot, and I had to crop from 16mp down to about 5mp to even get this.  That’s too much resolution loss; at that distance, the eagles are already taking up too few pixels in the image.

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