February 25, 2018

Mostly Cloudy, 40 Degrees, West Winds at 20 mph

It rained overnight, but by this morning there are patches of blue with low clouds scudding rapidly from West to East. The air temperature is not bad but the wind makes it feel like 30 degrees rather than 40. Not a bad day to walk really, but I’d rather it weren’t windy. Once you reach the woods, you are almost entirely sheltered from the wind so it’s not a big deal for most of my walk.

My eye was mostly still attracted by the contrast of trees and brush trunks against the distant forest and the heavy brush. The rain had darkened the trunks so they were darker than usual, although they had mostly dried by the time I got out there. My eye continues to find endless things to photograph. I’m beginning to doubt that I will ever run out of things to shoot here.

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The sun came out just as I was taking this shot. Might have preferred without?

I took a slightly different route along the marsh once I got down there and shot the trees and vines along the shore against the distant trees. I was off the trail for a while there. Just as I returned to the trail, the sun broke out for a moment. It transformed the scene. It looked great and I got off a few shots, though I didn’t have time to move and compose carefully. Still, I’m hopeful that I got something nice.

A chevron of geese flew overhead early in the walk and I tried to photograph them. The problem is that the camera focuses on the trees overhead rather than the geese, so who knows what I’ll have when I go to edit. It could work out, but who knows.

Though just two weeks ago I was wading through deep snow in frigid temperatures it feels now as though the winter is broken and spring is just around the corner. I forgot to mention yesterday that I think I saw a Robin flying into the brush. It was the right size and shape, though I couldn’t see enough detail to be sure. The first Robin is a classic sign of spring here.

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Interesting contrast between the different elements; big trunk, distant light trunk, brush.

I also heard a Sand Hill Crane call from down in the marsh. It was just a single call, so it must be an early arrival. There will be lots of calls from them as spring advances. It’s only a matter of time before the spring peepers start up, though I’m not sure when that might be.

As I was on my way out of the woods I realized that I had the auto-focus on my camera set to the wrong setting the whole time I was out there. It means that many of the shots I took will probably be focused incorrectly. I’d set the camera up to shoot Jamie and forgotten to re-set it for landscape shooting.

I frequently focus on one object and then re-frame the shot to the composition I want. In the wrong mode, the camera was probably re-focusing when I didn’t want it to. I’m not certain, but I’ll have to pay closer attention to the camera settings when I’m out there. Fortunately, I did a fair amount of manual focusing today. It allows me to pick out a specific subject when there are too many things overlapping and surrounding my intended subject—such as focusing on a tree trunk when there are a million vines in front of it.

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Slim pickings today. This one is okay, but not great I don’t think.

When you take a camera out of automatic mode and start making a lot of your own settings (and you must do this in order to make good photographs) you have to make frequent changes to settings. I constantly adjust aperture and exposure compensation. I also change ISO fairly frequently, though less often. I can make the changes quickly; it only takes a few seconds. This time I forgot about the auto focus.

I change auto focus modes less often. I usually want the camera to focus on one thing and keep that focus while I compose. But when I shoot Jamie running or moving, I need to use the mode that continually re-focuses while I fire away continuously.

That’s about it for today. Time to go download and edit my pictures to see what I got for the day.

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