Saturday, March 24, 2007

Birds And Their Big White Heads

I got a little closer to the eagles today. I had hoped that would result in a better picture, but instead, it just made the difference in exposure between their white heads and the dark background that much worse. I'm going to have to try and compensate for that next time.

Is That You, Stewie?

Somebody please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks this new bit of 'artwork' in Sarasota looks like Stewie Griffin. I mean, come on...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Oodles Of Doodles CCXVII

Here's a delightful doodle from an LP I found this evening. This harmonica couple hails from the flipside of Danny Welton Plays Harmonica HiJinx In High Fidelity (Spinorama MK 3018). I think the bit I like most is the Carmen Miranda fruit head-dress on the lady harmonica. That's just classic!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Ernie (Not MBert)

For the last time, it's Ernie (Not MBert)! Err, I mean Bert...

Two Down

Today marks the second anniversary of my life as a blogger. I started the blog on this day back in 2005, and it's been going strong ever since. It was started as a way to share the pictures I take, and it has grown with the addition of all sorts of interesting stuff that occupies the space around me. Big thanks go out to all the people who visit my site on both a regular basis and once in a while. Everyone is welcome to come by whenever they like. I hope you always find something that makes it worth your while. For the record, this is post number 1348, which means I'm pretty close to averaging two posts a day for these past two years. Sometimes I feel like I can't keep up that pace, but other times I want to share so much that I make 7 posts in a single sitting. Anyhow, I just want to say thanks for all the support, especially all the comments.

For the curious, I invite you to click through the archives of the blog. All those dates listed on the right side of the page link to week after week of stuff that I've posted in the past. And Google recently added a feature to Picasa that put all of the photos I've ever put on the blog available in a single online photo album. You should be able to access that here. (Unfortunately, the pictures don't link back to the applicable blog post, but nothing is perfect.) Actually, I just checked, and they haven't completed posting all the pictures. Looks like they only go back as far as December of last year. But they promise to get them all up there eventually. So if you're curious, have a look-see over there. And thanks again for looking!

The Goofy Cat

Here's another picture of my silly cat for you. Half an hour of shooting, and this was pretty much the only shot in which she was looking at the camera. It's as if she's trying to be difficult...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Run Spot Run

I've been saying for a while now that I need to clean the image sensor on my camera. And here's the shocking proof. The images above and below are shots taken of a plain white background with the aperture stopped way down, making it a long exposure with just a small amount of light entering the camera. It's also deliberately out of focus and handheld, so anything sharp on the final picture is internal to the camera. The black dots you see are pieces of dust, dirt or some unknown sort of crud on the image sensor in the heart of my camera. I suppose this is the price you pay for having a camera with a removable lens. Every time I change lenses, the interior of the camera is exposed to the elements for a few seconds. Over time, a mess builds up. I need to either learn to clean it myself, or get someone to do it. I'm reading up on the process here. FYI-looking at the image sensor doesn't reveal much of anything. I can't spot anything on the surface. I'm probably exposing it to more dust just by opening it and looking. What's the difference between these two shots? The one above is at a lower ISO setting (100). That means I should get a clearer picture with less noise in it. The shot below is at ISO 800, and I think it's a little rougher. Both shots were processed in Photoshop to highlight the defects. I find the dark corners interesting, too. I guess the better your lens, the less of that you get.

So, what effect is this dust having on my final pictures? Plenty. That big chunk at lower right shows up in just about every picture I take of the sky. It's there in all my pictures, but it's often mixed into the image such that it's hard to spot. But it's still making my images less sharp. I really blew the contrast out of the water, but the image below shows the spot. I see it on almost all of my shots, always in the same place. If I want to use the picture, I have to spend a few minutes in Photoshop trying to clone over it. It's a pain.

Living Color

Here is some pretty colored vinyl for your Tuesday enjoyment. I found these two 45's last week over in Holly Hill, which is the next little town north of Daytona Beach. As I mentioned in this earlier post, RCA first introduced the 45 in 1949, and they were color-coded. In the case of these two records, green was for country, and yellow was for kiddie records. The green single on top is one of the very first 45s ever released, Eddy Arnold-Then I Turned And Walked Slowly Away (RCA Victor 7" 45 RPM 48-0025, 1949). That '0025' in the catalog number marks this as the 25th record put out in this format. Prior to this, singles came out on 78. Look close and you'll see the printing on this record is gold. They changed that to silver pretty quickly as the gold tended to fade quickly. The yellow record is part of the Little Nipper series, designed to appeal to children. This particular one is Roy Rogers and The Sons Of The Pioneers-Pecos Bill (RCA Victor 7" 45 RPM 47-0201). I'm not sure if this one came out in '49 or '50, but it's pretty early. People think that colored vinyl came after the black stuff, but that's not true. The black became popular because it could hide a multitude of sins, like recycled records. Well, I suppose there were other reasons, but that sounds good...

Monday, March 19, 2007

More Of March

For your enjoyment this week, the calendar page features one black and two pink birds. Sometimes, you get real lucky when you are shooting. I stopped at a drainage pond on the way home because I saw the roseate spoonbills. The glossy ibis was just a bonus. I think the light was just right, too. I walked around the pond shooting for over an hour that night. I still go by that same pond fairly frequently, but I rarely see any birds there anymore.