It’s A White One Here! – Merry Christmas and Season’s Greetings
After all of the rain and overcast skies that we have had recently, the sky in Ottawa was cloudless for a good portion of today. I decided that all that sunshine shouldn’t be allowed to go to waste so I grabbed my camera and out I went for a whirlwind tour. For today’s outing I decided to use my Nikkor 28-105 f3.5 zoom lens and carried my Nikkor 16mm f2.8 fish-eye in my pocket.
First I stopped to photograph some scilla and puskinia in my own garden.
Then I headed over to Ottawa’s experimental farm where I found some yellow daffodils and some two-toned daffodils. I used the macro feature of the 28-105mm lens and then switched to the 16mm using the fish-eye’s field curvature to get a different look. A bumblebee just happened to come along while I was lying on the ground in the middle of a batch of daffodils.
I arrived at the parking lot and looked upstream on the Moose River and thought that the scenic value was wonderful but I could hear the loud noise of a substantial falls nearby and wasn’t disappointed.
Nikkor-H 28mm f3.5: I purchased another vintage lens today. It has definitely seen better days and has lots of wear but it still works, so I will find a place for it in my bag on those days when I don`t want to carry around the much newer, larger zoom lenses. Some days, I expect that this small, old, much lighter and less obtrusive MF lens will be just what I need.
The Great Orion Nebula
I’m just starting out in astrophotography so this is my official first Nebula photographed in any sort of clarity to accurately identify it. The Great Orion Nebula makes up part of Orion’s Sword (just below and to the left of the belt). Its the middle of the three brightest objects of the sword. Now the above picture is a B&W composition of the constellation as a whole, below is what it looks like in Infrared (658nm and up).
Christina and the Butterflies, Carleton University Butterfly Show
I don’t normally comment on people in my postings but today I met a special individual completely at ease with butterflies and they with her. In previous posts, I have commented on Chickadees landing on my hands for a seed or two A bird in the hand, but today was something different. Today, I watched in the Carleton University greenhouses as butterfly after butterfly would hover around Christina and perch upon her clothing and even on her nose. Butterflies that would be somewhat skittish around anyone else, would land on her and rest for significant periods of time without flinching even though cameras and flashes were within inches. She tells me that she has had the same effect/experience with the Carleton University Butterfly Show butterflies in the past. Must be something about her calm demeanor but for me, who spends quite a bit of time photographing butterflies and damselflies, today was something else. Fun to watch someone so at ease with the creatures around her.
Foxes – Irving Nature Park in St. John, New Brunswick (Nov 21, 2009 – from archived photos)
I started off the morning in overcast windy conditions photographing bridges. When I arrived at the Irving Nature Park late in the day, it was cloudy and the light available for photography was pretty diminished. Faced with two choices: photograph the beach or take a trail into the wooded hill region, I decided that I might as well take the trail even though I didn’t expect to have enough light for any decent photography.
As I walked out onto an upper level parking lot which was closed for the season I was really surprised to see a fox looking around the parking lot for some tidbits that humans might have left behind.
I had switched to my Nikon 70 – 200mm lens and grabbed a few shots when the parking lot fox decided that it was time to leave the parking lot and just ambled away to a nearby wooded area. Although the fox was ‘wild’ and somewhat skittish, it was not unduly frightened around humans so wasn’t in any big hurry. As it wandered off into the woods, I expected that my photographing of foxes was over for the evening. Boy, was I mistaken.
A short distance from the parking lot, there was an opening where I could sit on the cliff edge and look out over the waters below. I sat down on the edge and was photographing the shoreline when I looked up to see a fox stick its head out of a thicket and look me over before coming out into the open. At about the same time, there was a break in the cloud cover and I had near perfect lighting from a setting sun.
Up to this point in time, I was only aware of there being only one fox but when the first fox turned and snarled uphill, I was in for an added treat since there were actually two foxes, not just one. An interesting stare, another snarl, another stare, etc. and I just held my breath assuming that I might be in some danger but hoping that I wasn’t in any great danger. (Distance sometimes about 10 feet or less!)
From that point in time, and for a bit of time afterward, I had to keep my eyes on both foxes. One headed down the cliff edge and the other stayed nearer to me.
Eventually one of the foxes just wandered off along the face of the cliff, leaving me with just one fox to watch and photograph.
The amount of light that I had was highly variable. The sun continued to move in and out from behind a large bank of clouds that was moving in from the west but each time that I thought that my photographing would be over for the evening, the cloud would move a bit and I would get a few more golden rays coming through to highlight the colours of my pair of foxes.
I wasn’t really “ready to flee” but did hold my breath when this member of the duo poked its head out from under the lip of sod that overhung an eroded area of the bank (only a few feet from my feet) and then, just as quickly, returned to its search lower down on the bank.
The second fox watched its companion travel along the cliff edge, sat there for a bit and then headed uphill back into the bush and I got up and watched the first fox heading off into the distance and got ready to head back to my car.
Another surprise! After heading into the bush, this second fox had traveled through the parking lot and was now coming back out along a different route.
Picked this one to be the last of this fox series. I was only able to take this because the sun appeared from behind clouds for just a few moments before it dropped out of sight to end the day. The second fox in the pairing was a few hundred yards downhill at this point and this one was searching in the grass for something to eat. Fun to watch for awhile but soon not enough light to photograph so I just stood there a bit longer and watched before walking a couple of kilometers back to my car.
I will admit to having been a bit excited throughout this adventure.
It was definitely a good day!
Day 0 – European Inspiration – London Taxis and Big Cars
Although I didn’t take a London cab during this visit to London, there were a lot of them, and what stood out was all the colourful advertisements painted on the side, enough so that I took a few pictures. Continue reading
Blau Veradero, Cuba
I was down for a simple get-away week to relax and just have some fun (Location).
Of note: a hurricane hit the other half of the island while I was there so the weather was great for photography, less so for ocean and beach fun (I didn’t mind). I took my Nikon D80 and a Canon Digital P&S which I had borrowed from my brother:
Mud Lake Outing – Ottawa Flickr Group
Note: I was using a Nikon 10.5 mm lens quite often this day and the curvature in some of the shots was quite intentional.
What started out as a potentially very damp day, turned out to be just fine as the rain stopped shortly after we arrived at the Mud Lake parking lot. Every so often a breeze would whisk through the overhead branches and wet leaves would drop their burden on the photographers below.