New Ice Cream Place in Town
Who knew that a travel trailer could magically become an ice cream parlor and the best pizza place in town! :)
Photo Post: My Favorite Barn
What does photography have to do with being commuter cruisers? Lots of commuter cruisers are into learning more about photography, just because we cruise to such cool places!
I love the way the early morning's sun's rays play inside this old barn, lighting up the inside in contrast with the weathered exterior.
I haven't posted anything on this blog for awhile because we were traveling in Alaska. To say I learned a TON on that trip would be an understatement. Mostly about what I was doing wrong, but learning is learning. I was very disappointed in my Alaska photos overall. The photos are OK, but if you look closely (which you can't do online) the photos are not sharply in focus which is my primary objective right now.
I'll post more about what I learned and how I learned it on the Alaska trip over the next few days, but this morning the early morning sun's rays drew me back to my favorite barn.
The barn falls more and more into disrepair, abandoned and this year, the weeds are overtaking the area around the barn. In the past, the weeks have been cut a couple of times a year, but not this year.
I've been taking photos of this barn for several years and I really should do a photo essay through the years, it would be an interesting project ... but not today. :)
Today's learning curve involves using Photoshop Touch to learn to resize photos to post online. I was playing with manual focus on the long 120-400 lens to capture a goldfinch feasting upside down. I'm not sure what the focus focused on, but I do know that the goldfinch is not exactly in focus. I couldn't figure out quickly how to Photoshop the black pole out of the photo, but one step at a time.
If you're not familiar with Photoshop Touch for IOS (or Android too), it seems like it's going to be a really fun photo editing app for my IPad. But I've never used any version of Photoshop and the learning curve is substantial ... for Photoshop as well as the IPad itself. I still haven't figured out if I can import more than one photo at a time into PS Touch. Plus it doesn't help that I'm not willing to invest all day learning, I'm too busy having too much fun!
P.S. I have no idea why goldfinches eat upside down. But I can tell you it's absolutely hilarious to watch the other birds try to do the same and inevitably flutter or fall ... without getting any thistle!
All week I've been envisioning the dream shot of a crop duster pulling sharply up at the edge of a field. Unfortunately since I don't know a crop duster, I was relying on my ears, jumping in the truck, spotting the plane doing its acrobatics...but I could never get there from here.
Tonight while we were sitting on the deck waiting for the charcoal, the crop duster began swooping over a field just over the treeline behind us.
I ran for the camera & the truck keys. Unfortunately the camera battery was in the charger and by the time I got it in the camera, the opportunity was almost gone.
I have two batteries. Why didn't I put the charged one in when I took the other out? Yet another lesson. Like a Boy Scout, always be prepared!
So my crop duster shot falls far short of what's in my head. But tomorrow's another day...
Taking Photos Every Day
Busy days counting down to our next adventure! But this old barn always captures my interest and since I'm trying to take photos every day, it's my photo of the day. The photo is best about 9 AM, but I was a bit late for the "golden hour" when the sun has just peeped over the trees and dances through the barn's missing timbers creating the most interesting shadows.
But I'm busy trying to figure out how to blog from my IPad since my MacBook doesn't get to go to Alaska with us. I forgot how much time it took when I got a new computer - lately with TimeMachine, a new Mac is already set up like my old and I guess I haven't missed the frustration. The IOS operating system, is NOT a laptop! If you're considering getting one, be aware that it's a STEEP learning curve to make it do what you do with the laptop.
Step #1 to Improve My Photography
It doesn't get any more boring that this! But after trying to figure out how to remove the eyepiece on my Canon XSi to put on the new rainsleeve for the Alaska trip (somehow we planned a trip to Alaska in the rainiest month of the year, go figure!), as a last resort, I finally opened the camera manual.
I remember a friend years ago telling me not to bother with a DSLR class at the local community college. Literally all they did was read their camera manuals for weeks in class. She was disgusted. However, I'm beginning to think it's not a bad idea to read the camera manual from cover to cover and then keep it along as a reference.
While learning to remove the eyepiece and fit the rainsleeve over it and replace it, therefore keeping it mildly water resistant, I got sidetracked and read bits & pieces. I think I read the manual when I first bought the camera, but now that I've used it for awhile, I had many more "ah-ha"! moments when reading the manual. Hmmm..
If you're curious, this thing is like an oversized baggie, designed to accommodate my long 120-400 lens as well as my everyday lens. The only two parts that are open are the eyepiece and the lens, but it's easy to work all the controls through the baggie. It's an OP/TECH USA Rainsleeve and comes in a packet of 2 for $5.83 on Amazon. It should work equally well on my tripod or handheld, although it's a bit bulky to accommodate the longer lens when I'm using it with my regular 18-200 everyday lens.
Meantime, look what I downloaded onto the IPad -- a copy of the owners manual so I won't have to take the book separately. It's not big, but every ounce counts when you're trying to fit everything for a monthlong trip in a backpack!
Today It Rained ... All Day
Taking photos every day, I guess I need to learn a bit about taking photos in the rain. So I looked online for a guiding blog and every photo I took following online advice turned out black, not dark, black. :( So I started playing.
I had hoped the flower photo would show the rain falling but no rain. The drip is OK, although the entire photo is dark and I'm not sure what I should have done about that. Settings were: ISO100, manual focus, f8, 1/60 on Manual. And all were taken on evaluative metering and cloudy white balance. So I tried again...
This time I almost got a droplet splash - if you look really close in the middle you can see some splash and little spray coming up. But not a good shot, yet. I'm learning though with every failure! :)
Settings were ISO100, f6.3, 1/100, manual focus, -0.7 exposure compensation.
Look really close - you can almost see how hard it's been raining all day. But again, not a good photo, but I'm learning to blur the water. Settings were ISO100, f5.6 1/40, manual focus, TV and +0.7 exposure compensation.
I think maybe I learned something today ... I'm not sure exactly what, but hopefully it'll be an exercise to build on.
If anyone out there reading this has any idea of what I should have done better, please PLEASE leave a comment and help me learn!
Learning More About Photography
I've decided that I've always wanted to learn more about photography. I take photos, most of them get trashed. But I keep on trying. I've decided to use this "Daily Photos" blog on SailWinterlude.com to share stuff as I learn. If you're interested, please stick around!
First, in order to take better photos, I have to take more photos. Daily. Almost every blog I read has the same advice, so it must be true, right?
One blog, Digital Photography School has a newsletter with a weekly assignment. I've never participated (and still won't) - I know when I'm outclassed. But this week's assignment is "Vertical Lines". When we took our walk, we went looking for vertical lines.
Drum roll.... my favorite, although I'm not sure it's all about vertical lines ... my corn tunnel. The reason it's my favorite? I've been following another website, Moose Peterson, who is an AMAZING photographer, probably my very favorite. I've been paying attention to the settings he's using and he seems to shoot alot on AV (aperture value). I wanted most of the photo in focus and he says to use a higher f stop, so I used f22. I know if you're a "real" photographer, you'll say it's overexposed and other stuff, but I DID IT without being on "P" or auto! And it's not too dark to see down the corn tunnel, so I'm happy happy happy!!!
Bird Photo Practice
Hoping to get some good bird photos during our trip to the N. Cascades Nat'l Park and then Alaska ... practicing a bit on some of the birds sitting on my bird feeder. :)
As we're getting ready to spend a month in Alaska, this morning, a glacier appeared in our own back yard on the lake!