April 21, 2014

Hermit Thrush & Fox Sparrow

Spring is here finally (I think)....you never know this time of year in Minnesota.

And with spring, new birds arrive and depart almost daily.  And occasionally, I get to see birds that I haven't seen in a while like the Hermit Thrush.  This little bird is extremely shy, normally staying in the bushes and not venturing out often.  But occasionally, I get lucky (if I wait long enough) as happened with this little bird.  This first two pictures are take at maximum long range.  Sorry they are a little fuzzy.

The night after the above pictures were taken, we got 6" of wet, heavy snow.  Kind of stressed the birds out a little but I triple feed them for a couple of days to make up for it. 

The Fox Sparrow is one of my favorite birds, so had to get a few snow pictures.

April 16, 2014

HD Pictures (Pt.1)

Still playing with the new camera and learning how to use it.  It has a setting for HD (High Definition) pictures that I have played with for a few days.

Personally, I can't tell that there is much difference from the other pictures.  What it does in the mode is to take a series of 3 scans in less then a 1/1oth of a second and then layers them into one shot.  It is a little slower to take pictures since you have to wait for the camera to process them and you can only take one picture at a time and you can't zoom out more then about 6-700 mm.  I normally like to set my camera in burst mode where I can take multiple pictures one right after another.  Another thing I found out about HD is that the pictures tend to be a little lighter but that is easily rectified by setting the camera down 1/3rd of a f-stop or just adjusting the lighting in Photoshop.  Another down side of HD pictures is that it takes forever to down load them.  These 6 pictures took over 20 minutes to add in Blogger.

Anyway, for the next three days I will just show you a bunch of HD pictures.

April 14, 2014

New Camera

I broke down and bought another camera.  Did I really need it...probably not.  Will I use it...most definitely.  I was tired of missing shots (Sandhill Cranes) when in the truck and not having a camera with me.

I got a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 16.1 MP Digital Camera with 60X Optical Image Stabilized Zoom.  The main reason I went with this one is because of the good luck I had with my other Panasonic.  It's over ten years old and still takes great pictures.  This new one turned out to be a big improvement especially with the 20-1200 mm zoom lens.

I knew when I got it that you always have some problems with that long of a zoom.  It's impossible to get a good picture if you try to hand hold it for pictures, but you can still get good pictures if the camera is on a tripod, monopod, or you rest it against something solid (tree, door frame, etc.)

So for the last week I have shot a bunch of pictures using auto setting just to get used to the camera and figure out it's capabilities and my shortcomings.  Here are seven pictures from my trial period.  The only thing I have done to them in Photoshop was to add a little detail (and I do mean little) for clarity.  No colors or cropping was adjusted on any of the pictures.

Now a couple of long range shots.  The Robin was about 150 foot away and of course the moon was 240,000 miles or so.  The Robin is a little blurred but that is due to long range zoom and hand held camera.  The moon was shot resting the camera against a door frame.

Guess it's now time to download the manual and really learn some of the new features.  And my old Panasonic is now in the truck.