Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Iowa Eagles


     Every year during the winter, Bald Eagles migrate to the Mississippi river to find open water to fish.  While they also go to other rivers, the greatest concentrations, at least in the Mid-West, are along the Mississippi.
     Last year we went, and we saw many hundreds of them sitting in trees and fishing in the open water near the locks.


     A week and a half ago, we went and there were far fewer Eagles around the locks.  Make no mistake, we saw more than we would have than if we would have stayed home.  Nonetheless, the bird population was on the orders of 10's, rather then the hundreds we expected.
     There was some speculation about this, the main reason being the winter west of the Mississippi was mild, and the birds had no trouble finding food at home.



     The weather was also warm for the early part of February.  It was in the mid 40's the weekend we were there.  The warmer it is, the less the birds have to hunt, since they do not not need to expend as much energy.
 

     We saw other birds to photograph, including a flock of about 20 White Pelicans and various Sea Gulls.  That along with the usual landscape stuff and the chance to get away and concentrate on the camera for a weekend, made it a very pleasant time.

     Talking about next year, we will probably go in January.  I'm looking forward to it.

 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Show








     I'm a little remiss in posting this.  I'm part of a show hanging at the Frames Unlimited on 28th St. near Woodland Mall.  The show went on display the first week of January.  It will be up until the end of February.  I think it's a great looking show.

     We had an opening reception a week after the show went up.  We got a great response from people we know and people who were just interested.  It was a whirlwind of welcoming people, making sure they had drinks and just chatting to see what was going on.  The evening went by quick.
     The show is up until the end of the month.  The staff at Frames Unlimited are friendly and just all around good folks.  Please stop by to see the show, and let me know what you think.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!


As the year 2014 fades in the rear view mirror, and 2015 looms ahead, I hope everyone had a wonderful year.  May the next year be even better, full of wonderment and good photography.

Happy, Happy New Year everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Collected Links





I'm still collecting links.  Here are a few that have popped up lately.


A Kodak Instamatic commercial.  Film in a cartridge and flash cubes.  What more do you want?

Using a 8x10 film camera in the field.  Everyone should try this at least once.

 Mythbuster's Jamie Hyeman gets his photo taken.  A tintype.  Almost 7 minutes, but it is a good overview of the wet plate process.

Understanding curves in Photoshop.

Since it is the holiday season, here is the Avengers singing Christmas carols.

From DIY Photography.  20 Kickass projects from 2014.

Batch processing raw time-lapse images.


That's all for now.  I hope your day is going well.






Friday, December 5, 2014

Keywording my Photos


I'm really bad at keywording my photos.  While I know I should, it's usually a afterthought.  That can make it problematic sometimes when I want to find a specific photo.  It's something I keep meaning to go back and start building lists and keywording  the photos. 

One of the issue I have is coming up with a complete set of keywords for a photo.  Recently I found out that there are keyword list available to download.

If you are a Lightroom user, there is a list available at http://lightroom-keyword-list-project.blogspot.com/.  This one is free, but is just starting out.  Installation instructions are available on the site as well.

If you use more than just Lightroom, there are sets of lists available at http://www.controlledvocabulary.com/.  While these are not free, they are far more comprehensive.   There are also subscriptions so you can keep up to date.  If you need more info, look under the resources item for links to books and articles.

Another site is http://www.photo-keywords.com/index.php.  This is another list for sale, thought somewhat cheaper than the one above.  While they just mention Lightroom by name, they have instructions on importing the list into other programs.  They also have a set of free lists at http://www.photo-keywords.com/specialist-list-download.php, though they only have instructions on importing them into the list they sell.

There are other lists available, a simple Google search will bring them up.

Since I primarily using Lightroom, I'm downloading the free list.  I'm going to try to start using it on the next set of photos I import.  Hopefully, I can then go start keywording  all the rest of my files.

I'll let you know how it goes.




Monday, December 1, 2014

O'Neal Lake


O'Neal Lake was a man made lake on the southern end of  Wilderness Park in the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan.  Formed by damming a small stream, it was a place for canoeing, wildlife and especially birding.   It was a popular migrating bird stop and a Loon nesting area.



Access to the lake was a small two track dirt road that several people had issues with.  I was there for the first time in June, and found a beautiful area with a small ghost forest, and a quiet lake that was a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle.

Unfortunately, sometime in late summer, the dam failed.  The DNR ended up draining the lake while they figured out the issues.  It turns out the dam was ok, but some of the surrounding dirt berms had failed during heavy rains.  As of October of 2014, there was a promise to fix the berms and restore the lake.  Hopefully by the time I get up to that area early next year, that will have happened.   I would like to explore the area more.




Sunday, June 9, 2013

An excuse (again)

Sorry I haven't been on here for a while.  Even the last post was started in April and just posted, as you can probably tell.

Part of the problem is that I've changed my photographic workflow, and I don't have anything to post when I have the time to write.  The other problem is I've been busy.

I've been in 3 local shows put on by the West Michigan Photography Collective, of which I am a member.  I've entered two pieces in the Newago County Council for the Arts Statewide Photography Juried show.  Both pieces got accepted and one won an honorable mention.  I've also entered two pieces in the GR Festival of the Arts Juried Show and one piece got accepted.

Plus I've been trying with varied success to get some actual photography in.  Along with my personal life and work.  It's been an interesting time, as usual.

I'll get some photos up this week.  Plus I will be up north in a week, so I'm sure you'll see something then.

Take care.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Link Roundup





I haven't done one of these for a while, so I thought it might by time.  That is my faithful photo assistant above.  She hasn't got much praise here lately, so I thought it might be time....



It turns out this past Sunday was World Backup Day.  I didn't know that we needed such a day, but any way to remind people to back up their work is good.  This is specific to the Mac, but the advice is good for anyone.

World Backup Day from TUAW


If you still have Peeps left over from Easter, some science experiments you can do with them.

Make Magazines Annual Peeps roundup


Two juvenile Mountain Lions get harassed by five Coyotes.  I'm kind of surprised the Coyotes stood around for an hour while someone was standing by photographing.  A happy ending though!

https://secure.flickr.com/photos/usfwsmtnprairie/tags/standoff/


Using fire painting in a fashion shoot.  It's giving me ideas....  :)

http://www.vonwong.com/blog/pyrofashion/


A private island in Lake Superior put in trust as an Artists retreat.

http://www.artinfo.com/news/story/870086/alternatives-a-lake-superior-island-invites-artists-to-create


At times I run out of ideas on what to photograph.  Not sure if this will help, but it can't hurt.  I spent the money on it, but there are free versions as well.  For iPhones, a assignment generator.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/photography-assignment-generator/id588190464?mt=8


Monday, April 1, 2013

Catching Up







     Just getting out of the annual winter blahs and thinking hard about what I want to do with my photography this year.   More on that in a little bit.

     I did finally end up out with the Midwest Large Format Asylum a couple of weeks ago for their March outing.  It was the first time I was able to find to to take a Saturday to get out with a camera.  Since the outing was in the middle of Illinois, I drove down Friday eve and came back Saturday.  It was great to get out with the camera again, and just spend a day photographing with a group of like minded individuals.  A great group.

     I've also been in two shows so far this year, with two more in the planning stages.  They are both groups shows though.  I need to get a body of work together and have a solo show.

     I've been exploring bookmaking and alternative processes some more.  I want to combine the two and do a small book of alternative prints.  A small number of copies as well, either one or two to start.  If this goes well, I would try a somewhat larger edition.  I also want to learn some more historic processes.  Wet plate photography for one, as well as photogravure for another.

     I always tell myself I want to get out and photograph some more.  Hopefully this year I will.

     Sit and think about my work.  I really don't spend a lot of time just going through my old work, and seeing how I've changed over the years.  I also need to start organizing my photos better, and pruning out the rejects.

     So here is the list, in no particular order.


  • Shoot more.  Preferably film, since it slows me down, but anything.
  • Learn more.  If you're not learning, you're dying.
  • Publish more.  Whether it is here, in a book or a show.  Get my work out where people can see it.
  • Get a real website.  I need someplace where people can see my work and buy it.
  • Enter more juried shows.  I've been entering the regional art competition every year, but I need to enter more. 

     As a side note, I will be giving my Night Photography talk at the Big Rapids Camera club this month, as well as a talk about Backups for Photographers at the Grand Rapids Camera Club.  If you're around, stop by and say hi.

That's it for now.  I hope spring gets here soon, and things are going well for you.  Thanks for reading!!