Grounded by Mother Nature.

Mother Nature has me stuck in the house and in quarantine again. I don’t mind the mask, keeping distance or the vaccines and booster. But this staying indoors is enough to drive me up a tree. We’re smoked in again, I’ll drag out my good old EM half mask and sit next to the air purifier.

I’m on the last segment of the photography course I am taking. It has hit on items that are new to me and I need to know. The latest is adjusting the white balance in an entirely new way. The instructor is an advocate of adjusting it towards the overexposure (+ side) by 1-1/2. It seems a lot to me, I’ve only gone as far as increasing it 1/2. His idea is over-exposure in dark places captures more detail then leaving it at zero.

It makes sense, I will use that method as soon as I have a day out in the wild blue. I’m more interested in nature photography but landscape is a close second. There is a lot to it, more than I thought when I first began the course. I can do 5 segments until it loses my attention and I begin to drift away. It contains a lot of information, that’s why I go through each course 3 times.

Composition is a large part of landscape photography, however it is every bit as important when taking wildlife images. In that course the instructor stated it’s important to set up the scenery while taking images of flying birds. Howdy Doody that is a tough task, when these guy’s are flying at breakneck speeds it’s tough enough to merely take a picture of them. He’s correct though, it takes a ton of practice. I have come a long way from the first “practice, practice, practice.” I am quite skilled at taking photos of medium and large sized birds in flight.

It’s often dependent upon a good dose of luck as in the photo above. I was able to take several of this Robin as it maneuvered in the wind. When I pressed the shutter button I thought the bird was on the left hand side of the frame; at least it was when I took it. But unfortunately it took the bird 1/1000 of a second to get to the right edge. No amount of editing is able to make this correct, it had to be right out of the camera. The bummer is most flying bird contest allow no cropping or editing other than light adjustments.

I actually was able to take two shots, the one above didn’t quite work out. If its wings were outstretched it would have made a better image, but as it is it appears the bird is taking a giant leap. No matter how badly I want to make something of this it remains less than desirable. On the positive side of the street I almost got the composition correct. The colors are excellent if that’s any relief. Speaking of colors.

I had mentioned in an earlier blog I have been asked to create an informational photo promoter for a man with weekend rentals. I’m starting now actually conjuring up ideas for how to accomplish it. I have bunches of ways to complete it. I’m thinking of a universal pamphlet, or perhaps several framed images or a combination of the two.

I have a gig building several bird houses as well for a guy several states away. He’s having a problem with Swifts using his fireplace chimney as a nesting roost. He defines himself as a conservationist, the only other person than myself who does that I know of.

I’m flattered people don’t think of my disabilities first then me, it’s quite the opposite. People are surprised when I tell them I am unable to walk further than 20 feet with a walker. I need help with my table saw cutting stuff to size, I simply cannot handle it alone. That is a job for Super-Grandkids, they like helping me, we get things done in the two hours I have until I run out of gas.

It’s good to be busy, real good.

Jacques Lebec Flutter Shutter

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