March 17, 2018

Sunny, 33 Degrees, Calm Winds.

The slight increase in temperature this morning was enough to make the day feel a little more spring-like, but there’s still plenty of snow on the ground and I was in no way tempted to take off my jacket. I was able to go without hat or gloves once I warmed up from walking. There are high, thin cirrus clouds in the sky and it is deep blue where there are no clouds. There is no haze or moisture in the air at all.

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I like the tiny liken on this tree, but the bark’s not that great.

I took my Sony NEX-7 this morning and carried a tripod with the intent of trying to shoot some truly sharp bark images. Unfortunately, when I turned the camera on when I got to the woods, nothing happened. The battery was safely ensconced in its charger back home.

I kept the walk with Jamie short and worked with the camera when I returned home. I took out my 18-200mm zoom on the Sony and used the tripod to see if I could get truly sharp pictures. I found the long lens to work really well on the tripod. I was able to set up about four or five feet from the tree and pan up and down the tree looking for interesting passages in the bark.

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This tree has stunning bark, but something is lacking.

Unfortunately, when I got back and downloaded the pictures, I found they were really soft. They could sort of be salvaged with a lot of sharpening and a large radius, but they’re not great. The long lens really hangs out off the front of the camera–it has no mount ring that would eliminate this problem. I used a two second timer on the shutter and maybe there was still some residual vibration in the lens. Or maybe the lens is just not sharp.

I find it hard to believe the lens could be as bad as the images suggest. I’ll try a longer timer next time, but maybe even the shutter is enough to cause vibration with the lens hanging off of the front of the camera. The lens is so front heavy that I have to compose the shot almost an inch higher than I want, then lock down the ball head and watch the lens tilt the camera down.

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This one is pretty remarkable. Same tree as the one above. 

I don’t think there’s a lens ring for this lens, but maybe I could make something. It would help a lot.

Anyway, nothing wonderful today from my shooting. A few are interesting, but I’m not sure the light was at its best. It was a little late as I slept in a bit, it being Saturday.

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