Part 1 – “Black and White”
We have an albino squirrel in our neighborhood. He was worth getting some images of, and it allowed me a further look at my new Tamron zoom. So here goes.
While trying for the squirrel, my neighbor Roger showed up with Buster. Buster’s appearance scared the squirrels, so I pointed the D5000 at him. The ISO was bumped up to give me more speed because I was mostly in the shade.
A nice shot of Buster, but what’s remarkable here is I took this HAND HELD at 1/30th of a second at 300mm! Insane! The VC (Vibration Compensation) of that Tamron is simply fantastic.
After Roger and Buster left, the critters returned, so I was able to capture my primary subject. He’s on a tree in my backyard. The Tamron is showing us a very good, contrasty image here.
Nikon D5000 with a Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD lens shot at F/5.6 and 1/400 of a second shutter speed. ISO 500. Focal range: 300mm.
A full shot of the little guy. I’m assuming by now you caught the theme of my title; Buster is black and the squirrel is white.
A shot of the female squirrel that the albino male was showing a lot of attention to. I took all of these in Program mode (they were moving WAY too fast to shoot in Manual) and the camera over-exposed this by 1 stop. However, since I shoot in RAW, I was able to correct that in processing.
Part 2 – “Polishing a turd”
In the evening I stopped by Laddie Lake in Blaine; not far from my parents home. I had not taken any images there since 1986. When I arrived I was greatly dismayed; the area was not very photogenic. Nevertheless, I tried to make something out of it. At one point, a local, who had I spoken to earlier, asked how I was doing….“I’m trying to polish a turd” was my answer. Here are the results:
A perched Red-winged Blackbird made for a neat shot. This was my first image I took when I arrived. The colors are a bit muted (that’s the way it was) but that actually helps the evening mood of this image.
A close up of a mouthy Red-winged Blackbird. This image was cropped to magnify the little snot (I am not a big fan of birds; they are too noisy for me). I also changed the white balance as the camera picked one that was too orange. By the way, I didn’t know what kind of bird it was; I had to look it up on the Internet.
This is my “polish a turd” image. Dismayed at the lack of photo opportunities, but with sunset near, I decided to stick around to see if anything was worth shooting. Near the lake there is a scraggly, open field; mostly comprised of dirt and isolated trees. It looks VERY ugly. Adjacent to that are a row of houses, and the locals must have thought I was nutz to be scoping the area out for a photo. Had it not been a public park (and had I not been carrying all my gear), I’m certain the Police would have been called! Anyway, the image you see is the result of my efforts. Between finding this composition, and waiting for the right light, the total time into this shot was about 45 minutes.
all images © Scott Woelm – May 2012