Wayback Machine

One of the great things about photography is how it provides a way to travel back in time.

This is one of those blurry images that you have a love / hate relationship with. I loved the action in the capture. I hate all of the motion blur. The head was quite sharp, not tack sharp, but good enough for the web. The rest of the body however – way too blurry in my opinion.

The young bald eagle was captured in 2010 as it was landing on the pointy end of a snag. The location was the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.

Flash Forward

As I said, the image was captured in 2010. At that time I was shooting a Canon EOS 50D with a EF 100-400 f4.5/5.6 L IS USM zoom lens.

My exposure could have been better, but that’s the thing, everything we do could be better. That’s why we depend on our tool creators to pull our backside out of the fire. Here are the settings: 1/400 sec at f/8.0, ISO 400, 400mm

Jump eleven years to today. Apply the latest software from Topaz Labs – Sharpen AI to be precise. Move the slider to the left and you can see how much detail has been brought out of that old image.

Now I don’t claim this photo will be a prize winner. If you look closely you will see quite a few artifacts around the edge of the bird. But… It is now more useable than is was and quite good enough for story telling on a website such as this.

Another Oldie but Goodie

This Annas Hummingbird was hanging out in a dogwood tree in November of 2010. This photo did well in a photo club competition at the time. Check out how much Topaz DeNoise AI improves it.

Again, I was using my Canon EOS 50D with the EF 100-400 f4.5/5.6 L IS USM attached. The exposure was 1/500 sec at f/5.6. ISO was 800, the focal length was at 285mm. The image on the right is the Lightroom processed image. The image on the left is after being run through Topaz DeNoise AI.

A marked improvement in the background noise don’t you think?

New Gear

If I were to take these shots today, I would be using a Canon EOS R6 in place of the Canon EOS 50D. The R6 is much more forgiving than the 50D. I have no qualms about using a much higher ISO and the R6 has stunning focus tracking for people and animals. It locks onto the subject’s eyes and tracks them with astonishing accuracy but… The R6 hadn’t been invented yet. My technique was not what it is today.

Even so, I suspect I will be using these tools with the captures from my R6 in the future because I will continue to push the envelope. How else do we improve?

Continuing Evolution

November is drawing to a close. Turkey Day is behind us. Black Friday was profitable. Cyber Monday is upon us.

Liddy and I travelled to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks last month. I haven’t gotten around to posting the images because the previous web layout just didn’t speak to me. This one promises to be better so the evolution of this site continues.

New Theme

The new theme I have chosen presents well, I think. Well at least I think so right now 😁.

I searched the WordPress.org (WP) repository using the keywords photography and accessibility. I was rewarded with nine choices. This new theme, Visualize, by Nick Halsey, is what I have decided to move forward with. Several of the other theme choices were his. I was drawn to the big splashy header image on the home page, and the presentation of the featured image on blog posts and pages.

Continue reading Continuing Evolution

Too much innovation?

When I set up the previous home page for this site, I thought a huge hero image rotating across your screen would be a cool innovation. Trouble is it also comes with a butt load of maintenance just to set up a new slide. Run away! Run away!

In fact many of my designs – especially the places galleries require a bit more attention than I am willing to give them so… I am reworking them too.

Many of the issues arise out of how I have managed my photos in Lightroom. After giving the site a rest for a couple of months, I come back to it with fresh eyes.

I see that I have used multiple copies of the same photo in the site galleries. Instead of one file, there are multiple. Sometimes that might be good, but mostly, not.

Continue reading Too much innovation?
Harper Fishing Pier by David Scott.

Of Eagles, Herons and Exposure

On Friday, I was over in Seabeck attempting to shoot the eagles who are there in numbers, or were, (I think the midshipman fish migration on Hood Canal is done so the eagles have moved on.)

Anyway, on Friday, Liddy and I were over at Seabeck attempting to shoot bald eagles. The morning tide didn’t drop low enough to reveal all of oyster encrusted beach and the small tide pools that trap the fish making them easy prey for eagles and great blue herons.

The herons did all right. Their long legs allowed them to wade in the deeper water. Eagles. Not so much. The few that I saw were hanging out in the trees around Big Bear Creek waiting for the afternoon tide which would be the much lower tide.

Continue reading Of Eagles, Herons and Exposure

On to the Burr Trail – Outsiders Part 4

Our original plan was to leave Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park early enough to grab a campsite at Bryce Canyon NP. The plan was messed up because some bright spark neglected to check the gas gauge the previous day – having too much fun, I think. We had to go begging and a kind soul provided us enough to get to a gas station.

Anyway, because I thought our chances of snagging a campsite at Bryce were quite remote, we took a leisurely drive north on US89, and Utah SR12 with Deer Creek Campground on the Burr Trail as our goal.

Continue reading On to the Burr Trail – Outsiders Part 4

Slot Canyons and Sand Dunes – Outsiders Part 3

I had set myself the goal of visiting at least one slot canyon on this trip. I started out with the idea of going to the Wire Pass Trail which would take us in to Buckskin Gulch. Buckskin Gulch claims the title of world’s longest slot canyon at 31 miles.

As our ride is an unmodified Prius, Liddy and I were discouraged from driving the eight and a half miles down House Rock Valley Road. The locals were saying the road was a bit rough for a low-slung street vehicle. As I did want to make it home without trashing the Princess, we chose another location.

Continue reading Slot Canyons and Sand Dunes – Outsiders Part 3