… a level at a time.

Posts tagged “New Years

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.

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