New camera added…

My main lens (a Canon 24-105L mm zoom lens) after 5 years of use, stopped working a few weeks ago and was sent in for repairs.  Of course while it was in for repairs, all kinds of photo opportunities showed up and I found myself really missing not being able to use a lens in the normal range (about 90% of the photos I take).  As a result, I decided to get a “bridge” camera… something above the normal compact/consumer cameras, but not as expensive as professional DSLRs (which would break the budget).  I ended up getting the Panasonic Limux FZ1000.

First impressions of the new camera are very positive.  The camera starts up fast, focuses incredibly fast, has good resolution… and mot of all can take 4k video (30fps) where each and every frame can be extracted as an 8 Megapixel photograph.  For sports and wildlife photography, this is a godsend.  No more missed opportunities… well… for the most part.  The images extracted are surprisingly good quality and have none of the video degredation that is normally seen with video captures (I always found them to be exceptionally soft and with a look that the photo was taken through a plastic window).  I’ve put an example below… still learning the process (i.e. I could have used a higher shutter speed on the video)… but it should give you the idea.

It’s a sea-change that’s coming to photography.

- Charles

A 4k video clip (and cropped on top of that!) from the new camera.

A 4k video clip extract (and cropped on top of that!) from the new camera.

 

We’re still here!

Despite that there hasn’t been much posted in the last few weeks, it is not an indication of lack of new material… quite the opposite!  There’s been a tremendous amount of work done recently not only in photos, but in video.  I recently purchased the GoPro Hero 3+ system, and have been experimenting with this extensively. Video is a completely different environment than photos… and the learning process is steep.  Some fun footage is on the horizon… but for now, I’ll leave you with a recent photo of a visitor at our bird feeder…

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Overload on Spam…

Sorry to all of you who would like to post… but I’ve been getting way too much spam (hundreds per day) to keep up.  At first it was only a few, which was managable… but it quickly mushroomed to something that’s gotten out of hand.  I don’t want to ignore the real posts, but I can’t get through all of this and keep my day job.  I’ll look for some kind of spam filter I can use here, but in the meantime, the comments are off-line.  Those of you who would like reach me – please use the Contact page for now.  Thanks!

Best wishes to all,
Charles

Winter to Summer and back…

We were blessed with wonderful warm weather over the Easter weekend… sunny, temps well into the 70′s… almost 80 at one point…. Short sleeve shirts, shorts, bright sunshine and sunglasses.  Then the weather turned back to Winter again… snow in the hills, rain in the valley, cold weather jackets and windshield wipers running as fast as possible.  Spring weather always seems chaotic at best.  The photo below was taken on my way home from work this evening.  The Rogue Valley is a beautiful place to live, and this evening reminded me very much of that.IMG_8372

Springtime showers…

Some early Spring showers came our way in Southern Oregon early in the month… much needed as we’re still below normal by quite a bit as far as precipitation goes.  The snow in the mountains is almost nonexistent – very unusual for this time of year (April).  Mt Ashland had absolutely zero ski season this year… there was never enough snow to let people ski.  Still, with the rain, we’ll take what we can get… it’s a very beautiful time of year here.Spring Showers

Time Lapse (and it has nothing to do with alcohol)

I’ve added a GoPro Hero3+ to my list of cameras in the last few weeks.  It’s an amazing little device, and it’s going to take some time to learn the “ins-and-outs”.   For a trial, I set the camera to record one frame of video at every 10 seconds, and then post-processed to form a short video of a clearing storm that passed through a few days ago.  The raw footage is below (no sound).  Bonus points if you can see me and my neighbor trying to corral his dogs that got loose on the road below our house.  :-)

Spring already?

We’re getting seriously caught off-guard on the early Spring here in Oregon.  Compared to similar photos I took a year ago, it appears we’re running about 4 weeks ahead of last year.  With the deep freeze in December and the cold, dry January, this was certainly unexpected.  As such, we’re scrambling to get everything ready (we live on a small hay farm near Ashland).  Below is a Magnolia tree in our yard taken this afternoon (March 2)… last year it was April 2nd that the tree was like this.  Beautiful as ever, but its a little scary that its so early this year.

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Whooo’s there?

We had the pleasure of joining friends Paul and Goly for some bird watching activities on the east side of the Cascades last Sunday.  It was a blast, and I learned a lot about birds (especially migratory birds) in the process.  I also learned that Falcons are next to impossible to photograph when flying… they’re incredibly fast and you loose sight of them as soon as they appear.  The photograph below is I believe (as a bird-watching newbie) a Great Horned Owl.  Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

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