Archive for February, 2011

Lake Bruin state park

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2011 by bayouphoto

I spent the weekend, camping, at Lake Bruin state park. I highly recommend this beautiful campground on the bank of the Mississippi oxbow lake. It is so close to Ol’ man river you can hear the tow boats as they push the barges up and down the river.

The staff was very friendly, courteous and helpful. The sites are very well maintained with fire rings, grills, water, electricity and tent pads. There are three bathroom houses, one shower facility and a laundry room. the sites that are more n the middle are better suited for warmer weather with more shade.

The birds and squirrels were abundant and the scenery was gorgeous.

Here are some photos from the park. It features playgrounds and a water park for the kids.

Click the photos to see them larger

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Camping

Posted in Rants, Travel with tags , , , , , on February 26, 2011 by bayouphoto

Beth and I left yesterday to  drive over to  Lake Bruin state park It is only about 35 miles from  my house and a beautiful place to camp. We usually don’t camp on the weekends but  since it was winter I figured we would be OK. Now, let me explain something, all my life I have been an idiot magnet. No matter how many people are around the idiots will always seek me out. Case in point, we set up camp at the farthertest point in the park. there are dozens of spots to camp in closer to the lake. But where does the idiot stop, you guessed it right across the road. Then he proceeds to come straight across to our fire and make himself at home. I thought I was going to have to ask him to leave. Then I got up this morning and was gathering some branches to re-start the fire and a guy stops gets out of his  truck and proceeds to help me then took it upon himself to show me how to do it properly. This to a guy that has hunted and camped all his life.

I digress and the rant is over. We did get out for some birding and I got  a photo of a red headed woodpecker. I can’t post any now as I left my portable card reader at home.

Signs of spring?

Posted in Nature and wildlife with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2011 by bayouphoto

Yeah I know, officially we still have a month of winter, However, right now it is 75 degrees, sun is shining and I am wearing shorts and crocs. We are supposed to experience this at least through next week. So for my snow bound readers a few north Louisiana signs of early spring.

Click any photo to see it larger

First bluebird of the year.

The flower photos were all taken with my Image Stabilized EF-S 55-250 lens. I am really liking this inexpensive mid range zoom lens.

What is the best camera for me?

Posted in Ramblings, Rants with tags , , , , , on February 21, 2011 by bayouphoto

How many of you have been asked this question or have asked it yourself?

As the local resident “expert” I an asked this question on a daily basis.

Now, before any of you think I am tooting my own horn remember I live in a town with a population of 50 in a very rural  area with not many photographers. As to answering the question I always tell them “The one you have with you when you need it” This tongue and cheek answer is also quite true. A $5,000 camera does you no good if it is not with you when a photo opportunity presents itself.

Case in point, yesterday evening the clouds to the east were showing an alpen glow that we don’t get often. If i had went inside, got the camera, changed lenses and  come back outside the moment would have been gone. I used my Palm Centro phone with it’s 1.3 megapixel camera to at least record the moment.However it does give me a record of the moment. I don’t claim these are very good photos and even for a cell phone they are not up to I Phone standards.I also need to clarify what I put in my last blog, about my phone. I should have said, a “new to me phone.” I am not anti technology I am just anti upgrading just to keep up with the latest and greatest. If it still works and serves the purpose why throw something away just for the newest whiz bang gadget. I drive a 1995 Mazda, use and old Canon 20D and used lenses. My cell phone is a 3 year old Palm. I still use knives and guns that are at least 20 years old. I have a zippo lighter that I bought in 1976. OK OK enough of the ranting and rambling.The next time someone wants to know what camera is best you know the answer

Shoot the moon

Posted in Nature and wildlife with tags , , , , , on February 18, 2011 by bayouphoto

when I was a kid it meant a whole different thing than it does now. Last night was such a clear and unusually warm night I decided to take a full moon shot. I used the 400 f5.6. The normal exposure for the moon goes by the “Moonie Rule” f11 and 1/ISO such as 1/125 for ISO 100. I used my Vivatar wireless remote and mirror lockup to minimize vibration.I like the one shot through the sycamore tree

Cell phones

Posted in Rants with tags , , , , , on February 15, 2011 by bayouphoto

I got a new cell phone today. It has more bells and whistles than I will ever use. The owners manual is pages long. I had to read half the book just to find out how to make a call. It was more about texting, using the web and the keyboard than making and receiving calls.

I remember when the big dinosaur bag(car) phones came out. You hand a regular handset and a touch tone pad just like at home. All it did was make and receive calls. Now phones are mini computers and there is no such thing a “Just” a phone.

Sometimes I think progressive technology is not helping us at all. Before cell phones if you couldn’t get them on a home phone, you drove around and found them. it got us out of the house a lot more. We also saw each other face to face instead of characters on a screen.

I do have one anti technology friend that doesn’t have a computer, cell phone or even a house phone. He did just get satellite TV so he could watch the Outdoor Channel. Up until just a few years ago he drove a 30 year old truck and a 20 year old motorcycle. He did upgrade to a 15 year old truck and a 10 year old motorcycle. He goes to work, goes hunting and fishing doesn’t have high cooling bills(no AC) uses wood heat. If he wants to see someone he gets on his bike and rides around till he finds them. He sure is behind the times, wait a minute maybe he is on to something. Maybe we should unplug and unwind, just slow down. Dang it that new phone is ringing.

B&W Friday

Posted in Photo Friday with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2011 by bayouphoto

I was reading the current issue of Outdoor Photographer magazine and came across an article on B&W . It was about Montana photographer Jay Wesler and titled Under the Big Sky. What struck me was the use of the deep red filter to make the skies go black. This really added drama especially with white clouds. When using a red filter, blues become darker and shades of red becomes lighter.

I thought about some of the fall foliage photos from the Smoky mountains. I pulled up that trip on Lightroom and proceeded to export them to Silver Efex Pro.

Click the photos to see them larger

The first one was a clear blue sky off Hwy 64 next to the Ocoee river. It just did not have the drama. I didn’t catch on at first.I thought about one with more fall foliage and this worked better. I did notice how the cloud stood out and I thought ” Ahh ha it is the white puffy clouds that drew me to Jay’s photos. I searched for one with just the right clouds and fall foliage.Now this was more like it. Anywhere there is a blue cast, as in shadows, turns darker.I tried one with more fall foliage but a more overcast sky and it just doesn’t have the oomph that the blue sky and white clouds.This one just didn’t have enough of the dark sky. It also exposes a problem with a polarizer filter and a wide angle lens. The effect of the lens is inconsistent across the photo.I chose this one not only for the even sky and clouds but the fact that a Texaco sign is red and you can see the way the filter reacts to it.Then I came across a couple of HDR photos I had done and VOILA there it was.

You may not like this effect and it doesn’t work in all cases. I, however, find it appealing and art is subjective. Afterall, that is what it is all about. If the creator is happy what else matters.