Chasing the Wildlife

Normally, I shoot in aperture priority mode. However, I really wanted to capture a little movement without the blur. So, I put my camera on manual and set out again.

Fall in summer

I really need to get out more. These are the result of yet another outing in the apartment complex. This time I wanted to focus on some of the wildlife around the lake.

This was before I switched my camera to AF-C. Results were a little blurry.

This was before I switched my camera to AF-C. Results were a little blurry.

So far, I have had trouble catching action shots and maintaining a crystal clear focus. After reading a few things online, I found a couple tips that helped me along the way.

I wanted to practice quick shots while maintaining clear focused, photos.

I wanted to practice quick shots, while maintaining clear, focused photos.

I was pretty happy with a lot of the shots. I’m finally starting to gain confidence behind the camera. There have been a few times during my shoots, usually on the days above ninety-eight degrees, where I would rather just whip out my camera phone and be done with it.

He stood still for about twenty seconds.

He stood still for about twenty seconds.

I’m glad that I have kept trying.

I had to be quick but I loved the practice.

I had to be quick but I loved the practice.

Because finally, after sweating and getting eaten alive by bugs, I got a shot I could be proud of.

Movement stopped in not-so-blurry time.

Movement stopped in not-so-blurry time.

The next little project wasn’t as easy. I noticed a squirrel in a tree. Well, less “noticed” and more “got screamed at by” a squirrel in a tree. He was making so much noise I felt like it was an invitation to take a couple pictures. The sun was setting by this point. So, my light source, and knowledge on how to adapt to the situation, were failing.

He was building a nest and refusing to sit still.

He was building a nest and refusing to sit still.

I just felt like this was pretty sitting beside the water.

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This little thing flew by when I was on the ground trying to make this shell look as pretty on the screen as it did in real life.

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What kind of bug is this?

Before my camera battery died, I was able to snag this shot. This is the second time I have been left with a dead battery while out shooting. If anyone has any recommendations of off brand batteries that are reliable, I’d love to hear about them. I was looking into buying a couple of the Nikon brand ones for spares. But, I was unsure if there may be a cheaper option or if going with the Nikon ones are my best bet. Any suggestions?

This was taken from the little beach by the lake. Sometimes you just have to look up to make life more interesting.

This was taken from the little bench by the lake. Sometimes you just have to look up to make life a little more interesting.

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” 
― Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Secret Garden

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

Summers in Florida are hot.

This sentence has been repeated by so many people, from so many parts of the world, that it should pretty much be an unspoken thing by now. However, the heat is so intense that “hot” becomes the only way to express yourself after your brain boils from the tiny walk from your air conditioned home to the sauna that is now your car.

You know the wave of heat that comes blasting from your oven when you check to see if dinner is ready? I call that “the furry.” Imagine, instead of backing away from the furry, you hop right inside the oven and commute to work. This is a part of every Floridian’s summer week. 

Although I have just described a hell on Earth, there is an upside. The humidity of summer always brings these puffy white clouds that dot the crystal blue sky. They really make summer worth it. Beautiful days, and even more beautiful sunsets. 

So, in attempts to survive my commute by lowering my internal body temperate to a safe range, I always stop at Starbucks to get an iced green tea. Its my happy place. It cools the heat and allows me to enjoy the wonderful things about summer in Florida. Like my days off that take me to the beach

This is my Summer Lovin’ 

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“F” is for Friends that do stuff together.

Ninja picture of Chris

Ninja picture of Chris

During the past few weeks, while I have been messing with my camera, the people around me have fallen victim to my new, paparazzi-like state. The byproduct of their patients, and monumental exercise in self-control not to throw my camera and I into the lake, is a few pictures of the people I care about most.

Chris and Kity

Chris and Kitty

Before this, I took pictures of what they were doing. Whether it is something random, or things I find hilarious (even if they don’t feel like it is very funny, sorry guys). But, recently, I have started to really appreciate the value in portraits. It is hard to take a picture and capture the essence of a person. It is especially hard to capture that and make strangers care as much as you do.

Zach

Zach

So, in addition to practicing landscapes and other random bits, I want to focus on photographically representing the people around me. I would like to be able to capture less of what they are doing, and more of who they are. This is probably the goal of every portrait photographer, ever. But, if my friends have to put up with me snapping away, the least I can do is take the kind of pictures that will make you guys love them as much as I do.

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Micheal

Plus, it helps when they’re all gorgeous.

Lea

Lea

And for F.U.N, my first, and hopefully last, selfie with my new camera. Also, this will be the last time I refer to my camera as “new.” I think it and I have become well acquainted by now.

Me before our “White Trash” party. I wish I was this cool all the time.

Flailing Adventures in Macro

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I went for another adventure in the apartment complex. I am really focusing on trying to work with familiar settings in different times to take advantage of new lighting. It has been really interesting walking around and looking at things from a new perspective. I’m beginning to realize I need to plan my photos beforehand. But, right now, it works just trying to shoot the same things, while playing with different settings. However, I will plan to bring bug spray next time. I’m trying to avoid West Nile.

 

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Another focus I had this time was getting to know my new lens. I recently ordered a 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR DX AF-S ED Nikkor lens. One day I’ll try a prime lens, but for now, the zoom lens gives me the varying ranges of Super-Man-like vision I feel like I need. I can now creep on my dog from far away, and avoid the inevitable wet dog nose on my lens. I’m am very excited to continue to work on macro shots.

 

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Good news! As I have fully invested in my new hobby, I have a tripod on the way (I am a slave to the mail system). Thankfully this will eliminate the need to stand like a statue while holding my breath. That way, next time, when the man approaches me asking, “are you taking pictures of the lake,” I can articulately respond, as opposed to screaming and almost falling face first into the water. I may have been concentrating very hard or he could have been a ninja. Either was plausible.

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This is the Face of 6th Street

Powerful photography

Serpent Box

When I told her that she was beautiful she smiled like the Cheshire cat. She knew that I meant it too. I don’t think she’d heard that in awhile. You want to take my picture? She said. My picture? I told her that it would make my day. There was so much going on around her that wasn’t beautiful. The heroin touts were busy running back and forth from Natoma out to the cars idling on 6th Street, looking at me with Hyena smiles. I could feel a certain malice in the air, like a current in a wire. I said, All right, are you ready? I knew I didn’t have much time. A white man with a camera on 6th Street. She put her hands on her hips and looked up into my eyes. She couldn’t have been much over five feet tall. She had a story for sure…

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New Camera!

My yard glass bottles use5_Fotor use7_Fotor use9_Fotor use10_Fotor

After the longest two days of my life (gotta love Amazon prime shipping), I finally received my camera! I was very excited to unbox all the little goodies that came with it. I opted for a refurbished Nikon D5200. It did come with the normal 90 day warrnety from Nikon. So, hopefully, I get the most out of this camera. I have read really good reviews about Nikon’s refurbished products, but I will keep everyone posted about this.

It has been years since I have had the chance to play with a DSLR camera. So, I had almost no idea where to start after unboxing my new one. After charging the battery and reading the manual, I decided to play around with depth of field then try my luck outside. The rain made it an exceptionally gloomy day, even for Florida. But, I had a good first run, and the camera itself seems sound. Now I just have to account for user error and keep shooting. My next purchase will be a tripod so that I can try my hand at landscapes. There are a few spots in the area I’m very excited to explore.

Thank you 🙂

Anna Maria Island

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For the Fourth of July my boyfriend and I stayed with his family in Anna Maria Island. This was the first time since I was young that I did a proper “Florida Vacation.” It seemed a bit odd considering I currently live in Florida. However, it becomes very difficult to enjoy Florida things when life gets in the way. After a while, the twenty miles to the beach might as well be two hundred. And, when the smoke clears, papers settle, and time off does float around, the last thing you want to do is stay in the area. But, by the end of the vacation I had re-learned the appeal of “getting away from it all,” and sitting by the beach with nothing to do. So, with my phone on airplane mode, I played in the sun and took pictures of the most relaxing weekend I’ve had in a while.