Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Nikographer 1h2009 - mid year update

I just worked on my mid-year review at my day job so I thought I'd look back on my photography from the first half of the year as well.

An easy first thing to do is look at what Scout found.

Here's what is currently in flickr Explorer:

That's 12 shots from 2009 currently in. 5 are fox photos - 3 from Bombay Hook and one from a 2009 secret osprey spot, and one from last year at Blackwater Refuge. Another is an Osprey from my secret osprey spot, a paddler at Great Falls, a Black-crowned Night Heron from the DC Zoo, Snow Geese from Bombay Hook, A GBH from Blackwater, Kibibi and Mandara from the DC Zoo and finally the rocket bus from the Patuxant Naval Air Station Air Show / Expo.

From those stats I'm happy that a couple of spots that are new to me in 2009 have resulted in some photos that were liked by others, and trickled up via's Explorer.

This is the secret osprey spot's Osprey shot:

And here's another from a new/secret spot of a mother fox - she was with her 4 kits pretty well hidden when I spotted them. She walked across a little road and then in to the field and stopped to look back at me a couple of times:

I am not happy about having "secret spots", but a crowd can ruin things. And I don't just mean that shots might not be unique because of other photographers. It is really not that at all- it is that when out alone at a nature/wildlife spot exploring or watching you can see more and disturb less.

When I run in to people that I know, or am about to get to know, it is natural to talk and shoot the breeze and pass the time. But at some point I often catch myself, and want to shoot more and talk less.

What else about 2009?

I shot the 4th of July in Washington D.C. for just the second time. I've been around DC now for over 10 years. Around 10am I met up with Clyde at Roosevelt Island. We wandered around DC all day and then around 5pm settled in to a spot along the Potomac River's VA side just up from the Memorial Bridge:
Happy Birthday America!

I took a ton of shots, and the day was too long, but I am super glad I went and made parking and the logistics a done deal by going so early. In 2006 when I shot before I got to the river late and was forced to a non-ideal spot down river from the airport/ DCA.
4th of July Fireworks - Washington DC (7/4/2006)

What else for 2009?

I got the grip for my D200/Fuji S5 and ALSO got a grip and uber battery for my D300. The grips add a nice chunk of weight which adds balance/inertia, and also make battery life on a single day a non issue if fully charged to start.

And I've sent my D300 back for repair of focusing/sharpness AGAIN. I had issues with focus going slow and not locking on birds, tried my d200 the next day and it performed much better so - realized that the d300 was acting up again.

This shot should really have been sharper, and other shots were missed due to trying to lock focus.
MD Osprey

This on the other hand shot with my D200 looks way better!
MD Osprey 6 of 6 - handheld D200

What else for the first half of 2009?

The BCNH's at the DC Zoo have a dark side.

A long drive on a snowy day is worth it if you plan and gamble right.

Left to Right is better than Right to Left - thanks Wayne ;).

I did finally get a good shot of a Baltimore Oriole!

I discovered this multipanel thing on flickr and posted some of my own multi-post images...

*Ok. I might come back and update this, but for now that's a good post.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Fav Photogs #1

There's no way I will include everyone.

I have like 1400+ contacts on flickr, and I added them because I like something they did or lots of somethings they did.

In no particular order here is my first pick-

These are some images from some folks photos on flickr that I really admire, like, wish to emulate, wish some of their work was mine, etc, etc, etc..........

James Neeley and his awesome HDR work:

Monday, July 06, 2009

Hawks take baths, who knew!

A Juvenile Red-Shouldered Hawk takes a quick bath...

In the past I've seen eagles taking a bath in the Potomac River:

Splish-Splash - Eagles take a bath in the Potomac @ Great Falls Maryland - 1 2 [3] 4

But I'd never seen a hawk take a bath...


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

New PC - AMD 3.0G QuadCore via

I had a little bit of trouble with my 4+ year old PC, and spent a few hours trying to fix things, and then just ordered a bunch of parts from to build a new, faster PC.

My old computer was a Pentium 4 2.8Ghz (single core, with hyper-threading). I have a ton of hard drives in it, and that was what went wrong, all but the OS drive seemed to fail. I've got backups of all the data, so nothing was lost, and I've gotten some of the hdds to work since but, it was time to build a new fast PC. I've spend thousands recently on cameras and lenses, and it was time to let my PC catch up.

The quick description of my new pc (order Saturday, parts arrived Tuesday, and it's now built already) is:
AMD Phenom II 3.0 GHz Quad-Core - uber fast, rocks!
4 GB RAM (I've already ordered another 4GB since it was just 50 bucks)
1 x 1TB HDD for OS install/C drive
RAIDMAX case with 500 watt powersupply - N82E16811156062
EVGA 512-P3-N841-AR GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
cpu gel

And finally the motherboard, that supports a bagillion USB and SATA connections:
GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

The above all cost under $700. I've since added 4GB more of RAM, plus now a DVD writer, 2 more 1.5TB HDDs, and a copy of Vista 64bit which came with a free upgrade to Windows 7 64bit.

This new computer is so friggin fast compared to my 4+ year old PC it is amazing.