Month: November 2017

Happy (U.S.) Turkey Day!

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States or as all of you in the rest of the world call it “a couple of really quiet days in the office since those folks are all off stuffing their faces”. I am going to join the masses stuffing their faces, and then when they all head out to the malls for Black Friday, Laurie and I will (weather permitting) be heading out to the refuges with the cameras again. Business here in the blog will resume Monday once the turkey coma fades. Until then, if you’re celebrating Thanksgiving, I hope you have a great one and may that crazy uncle Jerry not corner you to try to get you selling vitamins for him again. And if you’re not celebrating the holiday, enjoy the quiet as we noisy Americans mostly unplug and relax for a few days and leave you alone for once. Take...

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New Binoculars: the Zeiss 8×42 Terra Roof Prism

Zeiss 8×42 Binoculars Buy on Amazon After about five years with my Vortex binoculars, I decided to upgrade. After doing a bunch of research, I picked up a pair of Zeiss 8×42 Terra Roof Prism Binocular. I was increasingly thinking I was missing detail while looking at birds in shadows. I ended up deciding to buy the Zeiss 8×42 Terra binoculars for about $350. That’s about $150 more than I paid for the Vortex about five years ago but still way less than you can spend for bins at the high end. Having used them for a almost two months including a couple of trips to Morro Bay and the refuges, I’ve decided the upgrade was worth it. There’s been a continuing improvement in optics in many areas, from cameras to binoculars, and it shows with these. The differences are somewhat subtle: I’m seeing more and better detail in bad light, and I’m seeing it with better contract and more color, and that makes ID of a bird easier. The focus mechanism is also faster, meaning I lose fewer birds to moving on while I’m trying to get them in focus. The more I use them, the more I really like the detail they bring out, especially in shadow and poor light. These are very nice binoculars are a really strong value price. On the last trip out to...

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Three Photography Podcasts to try

In my digging around for podcasts to listen to, I did get a few recommended to me that I wanted to pass along to others who are looking for interesting content. Here are three podcasts that I think you might be interested in listening to. On Taking Pictures On Taking Pictures is a weekly podcast featuring a discussion between photographers Jeffery Saddoris and Bill Wadman. The topics are wide ranging, and often this podcast feels more like it’s a discussion by two photographers than a chat about photography. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The discussions are wide ranging, recent episodes ranging from dissing the iPhone to whether museums are relevant in today’s world to the shift from digital to computational photography and what that might imply. This is the podcast I got the most suggestions to try, and I see why. At the same time, it sometimes feels like I’ve sat down at a table in a coffee shop and the two old guys talking loudly enough that the entire shop is the audience. The podcast is always high energy and the two hosts get along very well, and sometimes it’s a fascinating listen, and sometimes it veers off into get off my lawn cringeworthy, but I think I’m keeping it in my listening queue, but I won’t feel guilty if I decide not to finish a...

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why processing images for print is a smart thing to do — and a first look at Luminar 2018

When I got back from Morro Bay I posted a number of images from the trip including this one of a sea otter at dawn. it’s an image similar to one I took back in 2009 that I’ve been trying to reproduce ever since so I could get a higher quality version of it — and I finally did. I got a lot of really good feedback on the image and a few print requests, which confirmed my belief in the image, but I also knew that the image would need a lot of work to get ready for...

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Prints now available on FineArtAmerica

I’ve successfully set up the new print shop over on FineArtAmerica, so you can now buy prints and other gear including what I think is my new iPhone case. All of these images have been custom processed for printing and have been printed on my Epson p400 here before making them available to print via this service. I know they look great because they all exist on the walls of my office right now. Other images available include the black and white above from Sweet Springs Nature Preserves on the Morro Bay Estuary (also available in color) and this...

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