Thursday, May 29, 2008


Trains are pretty neat. I wish I had more access to them for photographing. I'd probably spend some time in a train yard doing just that. Last night, after work (you'll hear that frequently around here) I went back to try and get a better picture of the barn I shot on the 21st of May. It didn't turn out as well as I had planned. I just couldn't frame it as I remembered from the previous picture I took.

During my attempt at taking a better picture of the barn, a train came by. Unfortunately, I had mirror lockup turned on and a 2 second timer delay to minimize camera shake. That's not a good combination for shooting moving objects. Fortunately, I was able to get one decent shot in.

I did a little post processing work on this in RawStudio and The Gimp. Take a look at my Flickr Stream if you're interested in what I did and for a link to the original version.


I shot these guys Memorial Day evening. After it rained for a little bit, the sun came out and so did these guys.



Here's my Flickr Photo Stream.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day!

I wish I had some patriotic pictures to post for Memorial Day in honor of all the great men and women that have died serving our country. I'm eternally grateful for the freedom they have preserved and are preserving in this great country. Take a moment today to thank God for their service and to pray for the families and loved ones of soldiers serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and other parts of the world. We owe them so much for what they do for us!

I developed a new affection for these large, lumbering creatures. I couldn't help but fall in love with them.






I think these guys are the barnyard patrol. Look at the goose in front with his cronies following closely behind. It kind of reminds me of the penguins from the movie, Madagascar.


And a few landscape shots.





Yesterday, my wife and I were going to take the kids to the zoo. Lynn remembered her friend from Church who just acquired some kittens, baby chickens and turkeys. So, we went there instead. It turned out to be a great time. I wandered around their 56 acre property taking pictures of every interesting thing I could find. The above pictures are the results of yesterday's adventure. I'd have more, but I ran out of room on my 8gb memory card.

Getting Caught Up Part 2

I think God was thinking about me when He created squirrels. He must have known how much I would love them! Red Squirrels aren't my favorite kind, but they're a wonderful part of God's Creation, so here's a few shots of one stealing seeds from my patio.

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel

I guess they weren't actually stealing seeds. You can't steal what's being given to you!

I don't really like Blue Jays, but they are neat looking birds. They make some very annoying sounds. I don't know why they're classified as song birds... Perhaps the people that classify birds are not very musically inclined. This guy was stealing seeds.

Blue Jay

I took these on my way home from work that day. I don't particularly care for dandelions, but a field full of them makes for a pretty picture.



Getting Caught Up

WOW! It's been almost a week since I've made any posts! I had hoped to make a new post at least every couple of days. I guess I got a little behind.

Friday after work I stopped at Labrador Hollow and Tinker Falls to get some pictures. Unfortunately, I didn't get many that I liked. I was in a sour mood for some reason, so I didn't put a whole lot of effort into my pictures. Here's what I came up with.






Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Waiting for the Sun

Last night I decided I'd stop at a couple of places on my way home to get some pictures. There's a horse drawn wagon on a crossroad between routes 11 and 281 just south of Tully that I wanted to take some pictures of. Unfortunately, none of them turned out well enough to upload. I'll be back there when the sun is shining.

I did get this barn though. I wasn't paying attention to what was going on behind what I was shooting. I was more concentrated on the dirt than the barn, so I had to crop and rotate to get the image to appear straight.


I wandered up the railroad tracks to see if I could find anything of interest. I thought I found some interesting things, unfortunately, they weren't so interesting when I got home and looked at them on my computer.

I left, drove around Song Lake then up Maxon Road and Vern King Road. I saw a few opportunities a little ways up to get some shots, so I pulled over, got out of my truck and the sun disappeared! Ugh! I wasn't going to waste the opportunity, so I took a few pictures of the road, down the valley, the field and just as I began to pack up my stuff, the sun started peeking through the clouds. So I waited a few minutes and ended up with these.





After I shot those, I drove up Vern King Road a little ways and saw a couple of trees I had to shoot.




Despite the sun not being out for most of my trip, it turned out pretty good, I think. I'm going to drive up Vern King Rd. and Maxon Road one morning to catch the sun on the other side of the trees to see what I can get.

I'll leave you with this fun guy...


Monday, May 19, 2008

Getting Behind

I made the decision before I even bought my camera that I would shoot in RAW+JPEG mode. I want the most flexibility in getting the best possible image out of my camera. There is a trade-off in shooting RAW though. It requires a bit of work in processing the image before you can use it.

I knew it would take some time to figure out RAW so I'm capturing the JPEG images as well. I can use those, but I find that they come out a little flat, no matter what I do. Perhaps it's my lack of experience with my camera or just a limitation in the technology.

This weekend, as I was processing images, I came to the conclusion that my workflow wasn't very productive. I was opening each RAW file in UFRaw, setting the white balance, exposure and curves then saving them. I find that the settings for one image in a set can be used with minor tweaks in other images from the same set. UFRaw doesn't allow you to copy & paste settings, so I was finding myself tweaking each photo. That method is not very productive.

Knowing I needed something a little more efficient, I gave RawStudio another try. I was able to get some nice results from a few of my images, but no matter how hard I try, I cannot get good portraits out of RawStudio. I haven't figured out why yet. I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out RawStudio and how to get good images from it. The images look better from RawStudio than UFRaw, in my opinion, when I can get them to come out right, but I haven't quite figured that out.

This leaves me to where I'm at right now.... I have a handful of photos that I want to upload and post to this blog, but I'm way behind in my processing. I left my camera at home today so I wouldn't be tempted to take any more pictures until I'm caught up. I've only been at this for a few weeks and I'm already overhauling my workflow.

I'm having fun learning though! As frustrating as things can be, it's still fun. Here are a few shots I took Friday after work.




I don't include all my photos in this blog. I pick out a few from each set I take. There are more images in my Flickr Stream. Take a look around and always feel free to critique my photos.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Encounter On An Exit Ramp

I was planning on going out and taking some photos tonight after work, but it rained. I wanted the sun to be shining so I can get some Golden Hour shots. I guess God had different plans for me.

I stopped a couple times along I81. Once at a weigh station south of Nedrow Indian Reservation and again at the Tully exit. I pulled my truck over on the exit ramp and got out to take some pictures of an old barn and house. When I was about done shooting, I had noticed a car pulled over on the road and a lady walking toward my truck. I wasn't sure what to expect as I've read on some forums that people don't like cameras with big lenses. It makes them think you're a terrorist. I braced myself for the worst, hoping for the best.

I talked to Trish, the lady I met, for a few minutes. It turns out, she had taken a picture of the barn from the same spot I was taking a picture. Only, she had intended to paint it. I couldn't paint a mono-tone picture with a spray can. I'll have to stick to capturing images with my camera.

Here's the spot that we had both shot the barn from.


Thank you Trish for the conversation and not accusing me of terrorism! It was a pleasure meeting you. I hope you're able to read my blog address when you get home. I looked at the photos of the barn. I'm not sure they turned out that great. I have some more post processing work to do. I auto-bracketed a few shots in hopes of doing an HDR image.

Birds For Deb

Every day it seems I'm asking my coworkers "did you see my blog today?" I think they're going to start getting annoyed soon. Oh well.

I asked Deb a little while ago and she responded with "did you post any birds yet?", or something along those lines. So, that's what this post is for.

I have been meaning to post these for a while now anyways. I still have some that I haven't finished processing. Being that birds move around a lot, I take shots in bursts, so I end up with hundreds of pictures of just a small handful of birds that I have to sort through. It's worth it though. Birds are some of God's greatest Creation.

Here's the first part of my bird post. I'll try to get the rest this weekend and maybe even a picture of my "blind".

Rose Breasted Grosbeak

Rose Breasted Grosbeak


Gold Finch

House Finch

You gotta love this guy's expression... the way his head is cocked. "Who's that nut in the bathroom taking pictures of me?" It seems a little ironic. Most peeping toms are outside the bathroom window!

Mourning Dove

I hope this post is to your satisfaction, Deb... And remenber, you don't need to log in to leave comments on my blog!

Relieving Stress, Part 2

So I wrote last night that I had to take care to get this desk home safely. I declined opportunities to explore dirt roads with my camera last night because I didn't want to ruin the desk. I took mediocre pictures for the sake of this desk. I went home stressed and uninspired about my photography so that I could deliver this desk safely. All this for a desk.

So you know what kind of desk this is that I didn't want to ruin it, here is a picture of it.

Turns out, it didn't fit in my garage. All that for nothing! At least it was free.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Relieving Stress

I took my car to the shop yesterday morning to check out an oil leak. It turned out there's a leak somewhere in the transmission. They called me up and told me it would be around $800 to get in there and check things out and fix the problem. They said they could look into replacing the transmission with a used one. They found one with 42k miles on it for just under $1,500. I doubt my car is worth that much, even with a good transmission in it. Replacing the transmission is out of the question. My car has 136k miles on it. It's served me well for seven years. I was hoping to get another 60k miles out of it, or until my truck is paid off.

To make a long story less long, I was a little stressed tonight, so I decided I'd stop and take some pictures on my way home. I probably shouldn't have done that as I don't think I got that many decent shots.

One of the SUNY colleges owns a nice parcel of land between Tully and Truxton. There was a dirt road that went straight through it, but apparently the farmers land was getting abused around it, so they cut it off. You can still access parts of the road, but it doesn't go all the way through. I didn't make it that far, I had a desk on the back of my truck I needed to get home in one piece. I did make it to a couple of spots I had checked out before though. Here they are. (feel free to click the images to view them larger)

I thought this shot was kind of neat. I stuck my camera in the opening of the tank above. It was dark in there. I didn't expect to get anything. This was the first picture of two I took inside the tank. My camera did a fine job of metering the light and finding something to focus on. I couldn't see much of anything, except a few shadows, inside the tank.

Last night, I decided to give a try at playing around with some lighting. I'm using a few cheap work lights I picked up at Home Depot that I had clamped to a couple "Stick-in-a-Cans" from the Pro Photo Life blog. I found this flower that I bought for my wife as a Valentine's Day gift. I'm happy with the way it turned out. I'll be spending some rainy days shooting things in my basement.

If you're wondering, the background is a foam play mat we bought for our daughter when all we had was hard wood floors.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Marlin & Savage

Some time last year, I found that rodents made neat pets. I decided I really wanted a pet rat or two. Unfortunately, my wife was not so keen on the idea. She came close once to letting me get a rat, but that quickly faded. I discovered a neat alternative to rats that my wife could enjoy.

We found a breeder near us and acquired a couple of Degus. We named them Marlin and Savage. I'll let you figure out where the names come from.

This morning, I got up to make coffee and noticed the sun shining in through the window on Marlin & Savage. It was perfect. I got out my camera, set the tripod on top of the table and snapped a bunch of shots.