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.

April 7, 2014

Spring Visitors

The spring birds have started showing up.  I even had to look up a couple of them to make sure I knew what I was looking at.

Fox Sparrow (always one of the first spring birds to arrive)

Song Sparrow (didn't see any last year)

Great Blue Heron...ice fishing (my feet got cold just watching him)

Male Sharp-shinned Hawk (just hanging around watching for a careless Junco)

March 31, 2014

Waiting For Spring

Like everyone else up here in Minnesota, I'm waiting for spring.  Like most years, spring just can't seem to make up its' mind if it wants to stay or not.  Some days the temp is sunny and in the upper 40's which gives us hope.  Then spring says it's not warm enough and leaves for a few days and winter decides we need some more snow..only an inch after 1/2" of rain.  Then a few days later the temp gets back in the 50's.

There has not been many new birds coming in yet, but it will pick up in the next couple of weeks.  So, foe pictures this week, I'm emptying out my unused file will a little of everything.

 Pileated Woodpecker
 Red (Pine) Squirrel with the white tail
 Sharp-shinned Hawk
 Spring clean-up crew Red-winged Blackbirds