… a level at a time.

Posts tagged “Nature

Culmination of 2010.

Hmm… I’m not even sure where to start, it’s been so long since I last posted. I’ve taken a lot of photos since the last post. I hope all of you that read this blog have had enjoyable & safe holidays so far.

A few days after my last post I went to the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge with some friends. Unfortunately none of us got a picture of the deer that was there. No one saw it until it was bolting away, and by then it was too far away & moving too quick for a decent picture. We didn’t come across any other wildlife that day, but there were still some gorgeous scenes available for shots.

The sky was clear blue when we were at the refuge, which made for some wonderful light-play. Unfortunately the trees weren’t as vibrant as they were at Watkins Glen.

We ended up going on a few different trails at the refuge. I think my favorite trail ended up out on a floating pier with a great view of the surrounding marsh.

Unfortunately my little camera only had a 3x zoom, so I wasn’t able to get some shots that I would have liked. It was a little breezy, so the water wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked. I still got some wonderful pictures though. I’m definitely going to head back there in the spring/summer & hope there’s no breeze.

Thanksgiving was spent in Delaware at my Aunt & Uncle’s house. It was nice getting out of New York for a while. The weather was much more enjoyable down there. I got to talk to one of my cousins about photography, he’s an amateur photographer & has entered a few photo competitions [I think he’s won a few too, or at least gotten honorable mentions]. He was very encouraging when he was my work. I need to start keeping an eye out for competitions to enter my photos in.

We went to the Air Mobility Command Museum the Biggs Museum while we were down there. My little cousins contributed art to the Biggs Museum, there was a door that children were drawing on & each of them got a square.

A few weeks later I went to Buttermilk Falls with the same friends. My little point & shoot doesn’t have very many settings I could change… like the shutter speed or aperture. Without those settings, I can’t get waterfalls to have that silky look.

Luckily one of my friends had a spare point & shoot [he was using his DSLR] that did have those settings & I got to play with them a little bit.

As you can see [on the image to the right], I could use a little practice with the settings. The water is still a little overexposed… and that’s after toning it down a bit in Photoshop. I don’t think it’s too bad; considering it was the first time I’ve messed with those settings.

Even with the extra settings my buddy’s camera had, I think the macro on my camera was better. I took a few pictures using macro with his camera and didn’t like the way they came out. It might have helped that I’m used to my camera for macro, but the pictures I took with mine came out better.

After a good chunk of the day at Buttermilk Falls, we went to one of the top observation spots at Taughannock Falls. with the poor zoom on my camera, I wasn’t able to get any decent shots from the distance we were. And by this point my buddy’s camera battery had died.

Last month we went to Mendon Ponds Park to watch the sunset. Half the sky was over-cast, it was freezing, and it felt like it was going to snow any minute. In a way I was hoping it would snow. At the same time cold is bad enough; especially without gloves, which I had inconveniently forgotten that day.

The clouds continued to roll in, and I was starting to think we weren’t going to be able to see that sunset. Shortly before the sun was supposed to set, the wind picked up a bit & the clouds passed through.

My friends and I decided to move to higher ground with less trees covering the horizon, so we hiked up one of the hills near by. I’m glad we did because I wouldn’t have been able to get some of the shots I did from there.

Another batch of clouds approached and the wind died down a bit again, it left the perfect opportunity for photos. I should have probably cropped out a bit of the black on the bottom out of the picture on the left, but I wasn’t thinking when I uploaded it.

With December came a lot of snow & another drop in the temperature. I still can’t stand the cold. For the most part, I’ve secluded myself inside once again. This year though, I’m making a point to get out of the house on occasion. I’ve gone sledding, met friends at coffee shops, and gone on a few hikes. I haven’t taken many pictures this month… nothing in my excursions has really called out to me… at least not when I had my camera on me. I’ve gotten to the point that I almost hate myself when there’s a perfect photo-op but I forgot my camera at home.

Since I’ve gotten into photography this year, I’ve started looking more and more at DSLR cameras… planning on what I might get in the future. But… Christmas this year came with an awesome surprise. My dad got me a Nikon D3000 along with the Nikkor 55-200mm f4/5.6G IF-ED (3.6x) lens! It’s been a bit too cold out to go out and do any serious playing with the camera outdoors, but I’ve played with it indoors & reading the manuals that came with it. The weather is warming up this week, so I know I will be out with it.

Now I really need to learn how to get all the settings to work so that the pictures come out exactly how I want them. That’s one of my projects for this week.

So I never finished the post yesterday and managed to head out today to Mendon Ponds Park to take some pictures with my new camera. Wow there are a lot of settings I need to figure out. I got a lot of good pictures, and a lot of bad ones [from playing with the aperture, shutter speed, and some other settings just to see how they affect each other].

I had lots of fun and got some really nice shots of a few birds. There were a couple of people standing around holding bird seed waiting for birds to land on their hands and take the feed. I got a really good close up on one girl’s hand.I wish I had gotten their info so I could send the pictures their way, but I didn’t think about it until after they had left.

As I was leaving I stopped to take a few more pictures at an area that was highly populated by birds. After a few minutes I took my eye away from my camera and was startled by a small bird perched on top of my lens! I wish I had been able to get a picture of that [third person view of course]! It flew off and I got up, ready to leave… as I turned around I found myself face to face with a doe. Well, nearly face to face… she was about 10-15 feet from me. I slowly crouched down and managed to get a few pictures of her before she romped off into the trees.

At the beginning of 2010, I did away with the idea of resolutions. I have never kept them [no mater how insanely easy they were to keep], what would the point be of making more? So I could break more? No, it wasn’t worth the effort of making some.

Even though I didn’t make any resolutions; I made changes… some good, some not-so-good. It’s been an interesting year, full of self-realization and I’m sure 2011 won’t be much different [at least in that aspect].

I don’t plan on making any resolutions for 2011, but I know there will be many changes & improvements.

I hope everyone had a great New Year’s Eve. I was planning on posting this yesterday, but I ended up being busy all day and didn’t get a chance to finish it.

I was still up at 4:30am this morning when I started hearing sirens all over. It turns out there was a pretty big fire in the village by me. Around 5am I walked down to see if I could see anything. I managed to get a few decent pictures.

I was there for about an hour watching as five Fire Departments worked together to contain the fire. It makes me wonder if any of them had been up/out celebrating the new year just hours before.

After I was there for an hour or so and had taken a bunch of photos, I decided it was time to head home & go to bed. By the time I got home, transferred my photos & sent a few to the local news station it was 7:30am.


Walking the paths set before me.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I got caught up between school, gaming, and nurturing a new passion. What’s gone on the past two months you ask? I’ll tell you!

Since we last parted, I have made a little progression with Deathengine. He now has the Fiery Warhorse, as well as the Kingslayer title. I’m still running Zul’Gurub [still trying for the mounts] before Cataclysm is released… but I’m not getting my hopes up. I’m also in the process of farming gold & Emblems of Frost so I can continue on the Shadowmourne quest chain. I’m still on the first step [The Sacred and Corrupt], I need to get another 16 Primordial Saronite. At the very least, I want to complete this section of the chain so that I can get my hands on Shadow’s Edge.

I picked up Battlefiled: Bad Company 2 for the Xbox 360. I’ve unlocked almost everything; all I have left to unlock is the last weapon in the Assault class.  I enjoy the Recon class the most… give me a sniper rifle and I’ll go to town.

I also picked up Halo: Reach. I finished Legendary in co-op mode, & I have one mission left to complete in solo campaign. A few of my friends and I are really enjoying Firefight lately, we will set up a game that lasts hours. The last game we set up was 10 sets, I don’t remember what difficulty we played on… but it took almost 2 hours! [click here for my Reach stats]

I have continued with the photography, although I’ve taken a few breaks due to school & games. One of my best friends moved back from Florida a month or so ago. We haven’t gotten to hang out too much, but the last time we hung out; she brought her puppy over and I ended up taking quite a few photos of her.

Indiana is a beautiful dog. She has gorgeous eyes and no problem whoring herself to the camera! I’m sure I’ll get plenty more opportunities to take photos of her.

I went to Watkins Glen over the weekend for a hike. We hiked from the top of the gorge to the bottom and stopped for lunch. After lunch we went back up to the top and made one last trip back down to the bottom. We did about five miles total during the hike.

Normally five miles wouldn’t phase me, but that’s talking five miles on a flat surface. Damn, all those hills & steep inclines made things interesting! I was a little sore on Monday after the hike.

I want to get a better camera now, I would like a Digital SLR. I was looking at a few online… I found two that I want [one or the other], the Canon EOS 5D Mark II or the Canon EOS 60D. I just have to figure out where I’m going to get the extra $2500+ for the 5D Mark II or $1000 for the 60D. I’ll probably go for something more like the 60D for now… just have to find an “affordable” one!

Don’t get me wrong, I love my camera [Nikon Coolpix L18, for those of you that are wondering]. For being a basic point & click machine, it does a very good job. I just want to be able to mess with all the settings, not just the preset ones that came with mine. I can’t change the shutter speed on my camera… also, there is no manual focus, this makes me sad.

So far all I’ve done nature photography and some sets of domestic animals. I would like to do a bit of photography with people as well, nothing major… unless I’m mysteriously amazing at it. I’m not sure how I would go about photographing a person, model specifically. I prefer to capture the moment and not script something [IE – set up a photo-shoot with wardrobe/theme].

I was thinking about it last night [technically Wednesday morning, about 4am while lying in bed awake… again]. I got thinking about different friends that I think could model & one person jumped out to me.

So Wednesday morning after I woke up [around 11am] & mulled things over a bit, I sent her a message on Facebook running the idea by of her doing a photo-shoot with me. I know it wouldn’t be anything professional [obviously], but I let her know what I had thought about.

I can’t say I was really expecting her to jump at the idea, seeing as we haven’t really talked in about four years and it was out-of-the-blue. I was surprised by a very enthusiastic response!

She asked me why had thought of her before anyone else. Honestly, that’s a good question, I’m not even sure why. She just popped into my mind when I started thinking about who would be a good person to do a photo-shoot with, who I felt would be an ideal match for the step into the world of photographing models.

Anyways, we are now in the process of trying to decide more of the specifics of what kind of photo-shoot we want to do. In a way, I wish I had some sort of studio so I could practice the indoor “staged” shots. But at the same time I’m glad I don’t have a studio, I’d rather avoid the prefabricated look. We will probably end up doing our photo-shoot outside. It’s a great time of year to do an outdoor set, with the leaves changing and all… even though its freaking cold out.

As soon as we have everything decided and we have free time, we’ll do a set and see how things go. If we think there’s possibility there, we’ll probably set up future shoots to do. With the way things have gone lately, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if we did multiple sets.

I should ask around if any of my other friends wants to do a photo-shoot. Although, I’m not sure who I would ask. The biggest reason I mentioned it to my one friend is because of how she just popped into my head when I started thinking about it. If I do end up talking to more friends about doing a photo shoot… worst case scenario, we’ll end up with stupid pictures to post on Facebook. Who knows, maybe someone will even end up with a new profile picture!

I stopped in at school today to see an adviser about possibly changing my major. Because I went in without an appointment, I was only able to speak with one of the lowbie-advisers, oh well. Information Technology is seeming less and less desirable of a job lately. As much as I enjoy computers & technology, I don’t know if I want a career that’s focused on that. I’ve hated not knowing what I want to do for a career. Even when I finally chose IT, I wasn’t entirely thrilled about it. Yeah, it’s interesting… but all I’m interested in is stuff I’m planning on doing to my computer[s] & network[s]…

I have a meeting with the head career-adviser at school on Thursday. I’m thinking about switching my major over to something a bit more photography-oriented, possibly photo-journalism.

The more pictures I take [especially of nature], the more I think about photography as being a career… like working for National Geographic! That would rock!

Primordial Saronite