Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Snowy owl

Seems that there is another Snowy Owl irruption occurring.  The owls are appearing all over the Northeastern US.  This one is in New York State.  This owl is very calm and cooperative.  She shows no signs of stress.

This utility pole seems to be her favorite perch.  

Until next time

Jim Borden

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Maine in the Fall

Mt Katahdin and the West Branch of Penobscot River as Seen from Abol Bridge
Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24b f2.8 @16MM f8, 1/400 ISO 100

Joan and I traveled to Maine with friends Kim and Gary Amatrudo to spend a week photographing scenery and moose.  Well, the moose were very uncooperative this trip and so we got lots of gorgeous fall pics.  We had a couple of days before the leaves started to fall that provided rich, saturated colors.  We arose early each morning to look for moose and to catch the sunrise on Mt Katahdin. Here is a sunrise on Katahdin as seen from Sunday Pond. 

Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24 f2.8 @16MM f8, 1/6, ISO100

We hiked about a mile back in to one of our favorite scenic and moose places and caught the golden light of early morning on the mountain.  Shortly after the golden light disappeared-we had a beautiful reflection of the mountain in the pond. 
Nikon D800, Nikon 24-120 f4 @ 24MM f8, 1/8 ISO 200

Nikon D800, Nikon 24-120 f4 @ 24MM f8 1/100 ISO 200

One day we had nice cloud cover so that we had filtered light to shoot some leaves up a back road without the distracting light shafts coming through the foliage.
Nikon D800, Nikon 24-120 f4 @66MM f8 1/6 ISO200

On teh way home we stopped at a couple of Lighthouses.  here is a view of Pemaquid from the rock ledges below the light house. 
Nikon D4, Nikon 14-24 f2.8 @17MM f8 1/200 ISO 200

Until next time

Jim Borden 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Pennsylvania Elk 2013

We visited Elk County in Pennsylvania the weekend of 9/13 with friends Gary and Kim Amatrudo. We saw a number of elk and we witnessed some pre-rut activity.  The bugling occurred in the morning and evening but it was pretty quiet during the day. 

This bull was quite vocal and seemed to be telling me to stay away from his lady friends.

Until next time

Jim Borden

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Adams Falls

I have been trying to get some good shots of falls at Ricketts Glen State Park this summer.  It has been difficult because when the light was good because of being cloudy the falls have been filled with people.  It was a pleasant surprise this morning as I was returning from Lock Haven to find teh parking lot at Ricketts empty!  I took the short hike down to Adams Falls and the nice full cloud cover we had this morning provided perfect lighting for doing teh falls without using neutral density filters.  

Shot with a D800 set at ISO200, f8, .6, _1 EC.  Shot live view with 2 second delay on tripod. 

Until Next Time

Jim Borden

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Shooting the Moon

Blue Moon August 20, 2013 as seen near Springville PA

I have often wondered why I see so many photos of the moon shot at apertures from f8 to f16.  It has not made sense to me.  Researching it on the internet turned up many sources all suggesting that since the moon is lit by the sun that daylight exposure is suggested.  The thing that those writing those "rules" have not taken into consideration is that the moon is hundreds of thousands of miles away and that the usual f8 to f16 setting for a landscape shot is not necessary to have enough depth of field to get a crisp shot of the moon.   The next reason I hear is that we need to shoot at least at f8 to hit the sweet spot of the lens.  At one time that would have made sense as most of us shot stopped down from wide open to get sharper images.  Little did we realize at the time that we were actually hiding the fact that our cameras and lenses were not calibrated to have the lenses actually focus on the focal plane of the sensor.   Using a program such as FoCal opens a whole new area of opportunity for us.  By shooting at wide open or almost wide open and still get sharp images we can now take advantage of higher shutter speeds.  The above image was taken with a 600MM lens at f4, ISO 400 and 1/1600 shutter speed.  It allowed capture of the fine detail on the moon surface as it essentially froze the rotation of the earth and movement of the moon with respect to the earth.  

Until next time

Jim Borden

Friday, July 26, 2013

Maine Moose in July

Bull Maine Moose in early morning light
We traveled to Maine the week of July 13 with our 10 year old grand daughter. We wanted her to have a wilderness experience at a young age to stimulate learning about the outdoors and to develop an appreciation of animals and natural beauty.  A portion of our trip was spent near the beach and then Baxter Park, but the wilderness experience was in a cabin in the North Maine Woods far from any traveled roads. here is a bull moose that she was able to photograph while sitting in a kayak.  This bull was very hungry and we were able to spend an hour with him three times that day. Once in early morning light, once during harsh afternoon light and finally in the Golden Light Hour in the evening. 

Taken by Ashtyn Mecca while in kayak with D80 and 70-300 lens

we spent most of our times kayaking a lake and the incoming stream and we were fortunate to see 40 plus moose. 

I found this bull at sunrise with three yearling moose not far from the cabin.  I could hear them in the water in the dark.  I got in the kayak and paddled upstream a short distance from the cabin to try to catch them at sunrise. the setting was backlit-but it achieved the effect I wanted. What a majestic animal and what a way to see one!
Sunrise Bull

Ashtyn enjoyed herself and is ready to go back for more!  Here is a shot she captured of a bull shaking the water off.

Here is sunset the first night.

We had a cow moose hanging around the cabin the entire time we were there and the second evening she decided to cross the entrance to the lake in front of the cabin at sunset.

Until next time

Jim Borden

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Scenics and Light

Nubble Lighthouse and High Tide as evening approaches

I just returned from a trip to Maine looking for Moose, birds and scenics.  It was cloudy and rainy for almost the entire trip-but that did not dampen my spirits.  My professional photographer friend Mark Picard once told me "there is no such thing as bad lighting-we just have to figure out how to use the light we have".   I got to experience much of that on this trip.  On my way to the North Woods I stopped at Nubble light and had planned on getting the moonrise over the light at 10 PM. The afternoon started with clear skies and there were a few other photographers there snapping away.  The tide was going out and the skies were almost cloudless.  this can make a good image-but not a stunning image for me.
As the afternoon wore on, the clouds started moving in and some photographers packed up and left.  I thought the clouds added "character" to the scene.  I expanded my view by using a wider setting on the lens so I could capture more of the interesting clouds.

By 7:30 in the evening all of the other photographers had packed up and gone and just prior to the rain, I thought the lighthouse had more character yet depicting why lighthouses existed.

I should have used more lens correction on this shot as the lighthouse looks slightly tipped due to the edge effects of the wide angle lens. 

The following afternoon found me photographing the "Cribworks" on the West Branch of the Penobscot River under stormy skies with friend Chris White.  I will make a separate blog entry describing the "flow" of the water in photographs. 

Thursday morning brought more fog and mist and this image of a moose in a misty pond shows moose life in reality.
The next morning we were in the North Maine Woods paddling a remote stream looking for moose.  It was a peaceful setting.

On the way out of the woods I stopped again in Millinocket for the night (I highly recommend the Big Moose Inn). The following morning I had intended to head for home but met  friend Lee Cordner at breakfast and decided to spend some time photographing with him. We stopped on the Abol Bridge over the West Branch of the Penobscot River to view Mt Katahdin. This image may lack a central, strong subject-but I liked the reflection of the clouds on the river.

I proceeded from Millinocket to the coast to visit a couple of lighthouses on the way home. The fog rolled in again as I approached Pemaquid Light and I decided to stop anyway. It was a beautiful afternoon there with the fog and the in rushing tide crashing on the rocks. 

My last evening in Maine was once again spent at Nubble light. The tide was at high mark as the "golden hour" approached and the skies had character. 

Until Next Time.

Jim Borden