Saturday, November 24, 2012

Where Are All The Bugs?

butterfly_puple_flowers Usually when I go out to take pictures, I try to avoid the bugs. Not today though. I was actively seeking them out .. then when I found some I was right down there on the ground with 'em.

It almost makes me feel like I'm 10 again. When I was a kid, I loved bugs, lizards, fish; pretty much anything I could find and capture. I had nets, tanks and terrariums .. and they were always full of something. The worst restriction I ever got as a kid was one time when my friends and I were trying to catch geckos, and we tore up the flowers lining the sidewalk of one of the neighbors houses. I wasn't allowed to play with bugs or any sort of wildlife for a week. It was torture!

Now, I like to "capture" most forms of wildlife in a different way ...

With my camera.

Which is what I was doing this morning. Out playing with a new toy. I'm not saying that life always works like this way (in fact more often than not it doesn't), but occasionally asking is the first step to receiving: I Really Want A Macro Lens (even if having someone else get it for me was totally not the intention behind writing that blog post)

Anyhow, I now have a Tamron 90mm Macro lens.

I definitely need some practice getting used to the very shallow depth of field. For all of the shots below, I actually stopped down to F6.3, lol and even then I still have quite a few more thow-away shots than normal. Wind and otherwise moving subjects are partially to blame though.

Anyhow, here are some of the 1st couple of "semi-keepers" that I was able to take with it:

big_red_ant_rocks

grasshopper_on_rocks

lizard_on_rocks

And if you really want to see some the detail this lens can capture, check out this Big Zoom of Lizard.

I'm sure I'll get out again later this evening, when the light's better, and hopefully run into a few more willing "models".

Til then, Keep havin FuN!
[todd-sig]
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Friday, November 23, 2012

Military Plane Spotting



I've always enjoyed watching planes take off and land; and being around the military my entire life, I've had plenty of opportunities to do just that. Apparently when I was a little kid, I used to be able tell people what type of aircraft was flying overhead ... oddly enough, the picture above is of a plane that's been around long enough that I remember it from my childhood.

Now let me just be clear about the title of my post. Technically, just seeing aircraft flying over and taking pictures is not really "plane spotting". There are people who take this stuff way more seriously than that: Aircraft Spotting. In fact, when I was a teenager in England, there used to be a small parking lot just outside the end of the runway that was jokingly referred to as "spy corner". At the time, the SR-71 was stationed at RAF Mildenhall, and it wasn't really much of an exaggeration to believe that some of the people who sat out there every day seemed to know the flying schedule probably better than most of the active duty guys who worked on the base.

When the parking lot was full, that was probably a good indicator that it might be worth stopping to try to catch an SR-71 takeoff or landing.

I didn't have a camera back then. But now, if I ever find myself around the runway, and have my camera handy, of course I'm going to try to capture the moment. Only potential downside in this day and age, is that it's easier if I'm actually in uniform. For some odd reason if people see you taking pictures (especially with a long lens) around a military base they tend to get suspicious. Understandable, but a shame none-the-less.

Let's end this with one more shot that I took the other day here at Fort Huachuca, AZ

huachuca_A10s

And a couple more from Iraq a few years ago:









Keep havin FuN!
[todd-sig]
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

The goal of giving Thanks

I was going to try to write something wise for Thanksgiving, then I realized that I really tend to benefit from just going back and reading stuff I've already written in the past. Here's an oldy but goody originally from Thanksgiving 2007.

Ok, so now that we're all done stuffing ourselves with turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie it's time for a little reflection. Did you take a few minutes today to think about the some of things you're truly thankful for?

If you're doing it right, today should not have been an abnormal day in the giving thanks department.

Giving thanks for all the good things you already have in your life is an integral part of successful goal setting. Every entry on my dreamboard starts with a list of the things I'm thankful for today. Not surprisingly, many of the same things tend to show up on a daily basis ... family, friends, health, etc..

Even when it comes building my home business; thinking back, the most success I've had sponsoring new people, always seemed to coincide with the times I was focusing most intensely on the people who were already in my group.

We tend to get more of what we think about most

So the next time you sit down to map out your goals, instead of making a long list of all the things that you really want, try spending a little extra time expressing gratefulness for the good stuff that you already have in your life.

To some extent, every day should be Thanksgiving.

Keep havin FuN!
[todd-sig]

p.s. my friend Dawn's blog also reminded me of another important element of giving thanks ... helping those who are less fortunate
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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I Really Want A Macro Lens

For as long as I've had a dSLR I've always wished I had a Macro lens. In fact, specifically, I really want the Tamron 90mm Macro lens. Funny thing is, as lenses go, it's not even that expensive so I'm not totally sure why I don't already have one.



I suppose it probably comes down to the fact that it's not a lens that I've ever really "needed" ... it's always been much more of a want. I've heard that in addition to macro use, the Tamron also works really well as a portrait lens. But between my Canon baby L 70-200, and a sharp Tamron 28-75, I think got portrait range pretty well covered.

Over the years, I've actually had relatively good luck shooting macro type scenes using a long zoom lens, such as my Sigma 50-500 "Bigma". But obviously it's not ideal. I want to be able to get right up there next to the bugs. ;-)

Here are a couple of shots I took today with my Canon 70-200 F4L. They're not bad, but don't quite have the level of detail I expect I'd be able to get with a real macro lens.

yellow_butterly

orange_butterfly

I don't think any new lenses are in my Christmas budget ... with 7 kids to buy for, there's rarely much left over for dad. But who knows, if I have a good spring, maybe by my birthday in March that 90mm will be in the cards.

Keep havin FuN!
[todd-sig]
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