This week I purchased a new camera lens, a Canon 70mm - 300mm IS Auto Focus. I have been trying it out, playing with it, finding the sweet spot, etc. The photo below of the train was taken with it, as was the photo of a hawk that I found sitting on my deck railing. I am also working with a new editing program, Adobe Lightroom 3. The vignetting on both photos were added by me. It's a feature in Lightroom that I don't know if I like or not, but I can play with it.
I have also been doing some work on my Kansas City Icons project and these three new photos to ad to the collection.
Last night I had the privilege of attending the Topeka West vs Hayden football game. My granddaughter Lacee preforms with the Westsiders Dance Team and I took lots of pictures. I am sharing three pictures here and the rest can be viewed at betterbill photography. While viewing the pictures keep in mind that Lacee is the prettiest one.
From my standpoint as a photographer this was a great learning experience. I had to continually change camera settings all night long as the sun went down and the day became night. I had to use a lot of combinations of aperture, shutter speed and ISO to get a good exposure and still stop most of the action. Towards the end of the game the shutter speed was slow enough as to blur some of the pom pom action, but I think this added interest to the shot.
I hope you enjoy the photos. You can see more of the dance team photos at my photo sight click on the Lacee 2010 album.
This past weekend I was able to indulge myself in two of my greatest passions, photography and cycling. Emporia, KS cyclist and photographer Eric Benjamin led a group of us on a tour of the Flint Hills and schooled us in photography as well. I had a great time cycling over the rocks and dirt/mud roads in the Flint Hills. This is not the type of cycling I usually do, but really enjoy the change of pace and scenery. I also picked up some things that will really help my photography. Below are some of the shots. You can find more of them at www.betterbill.smugmug.com, click on the Flint Hills 2010 album.
I canceled my planned bike ride for today due to gale force winds. Instead I got up early and went to The Nelson-Atkins Museum Of Art and took some photos. This may take another trip because I am not real happy with most of them.
Nelson-Atkins Museum with shuttlecocks
The Thinker by Rodin guards the entrance to Nelson-Atkins
I had some spare time this afternoon so I went downtown to scout out good places to take photos of some of Kansas City's icons. The sun was out wall to wall so not a very good light, but I did find some good vantage points to return to and also took some snaps that turned out not bad. I do think most of these will look better in early morning or twilight/nite.
After a three or four month absence from my photo blog I am back and will frequently be posting here. The reason for my absence is a Trans America bike ride. You can find out more about it at my TransAm Blog. I have posted all of my TransAm photos on my SmugMug site, click on the TransAm 2010 album.
I am going to spend more time on photography now and hopefully learn some new things like how to capture good HDR photos.
My first attempt at HDR an photo
One of my new projects is to photograph icons of Kansas City. Images that when you see them you will immediately thing of Kansas City especially if you have spent some time here.
I went to Shawnee Mission Park this morning to find something interesting to photograph. What to my wondering eye should appear but this big tom turkey in full strut. I did the best I could whith my 28-135mm kit lens, but oh how I wished I had a longer lens. I have a 70-300mm zoom on my Christmas list, so watch out next spring big guy 'cause I know where you hang out.
For some time now I have been looking for an internet/photo storage device to take with me on a cross country bicycle trip. I will be taking pictures as I go and wanted to back them up and to connect to the internet when I find a hot spot so I can update my TransAm Blog. I thought a netbook would be perfect for this. Small, lightweight, inexpensive and would do the job. Every sales person I talked to in every store I went to said no the processor would not handle the photos, then tried to upgrade me to a full size laptop at twice the size and weight and three time the price. I think stores do not want to sell the cheaper netbooks. I then Googled netbooks and photography and found several photo sites that use netbooks just as I intended to and they are very happy with them. They are not sufficient for photo editing: sluggish and small screen. I purchased this Acer Aspire One and am very pleased with the performance. I am writing and posting this blog using it. I think all the brands are about the same. This one has an 8 hour battery life, and wi-fi two important things to me. I will be able to use it for photo backups, connecting to the internet and updating my blog, writing a daily journal, and checking email. I'm sure I'll find other things to use it for, but I'm happy with this.
Today, Tuesday 3-30, I was working in west central Iowa and took a side trip to Elk Horn, Iowa. Elk Horn is a Danish community 6 miles north of I80. There I snapped these pictures of an old windmill and an old settlers home.
Today was a beautiful day: all over sunshine, little wind and 55 degrees. I went for a bike ride looking for signs of spring and did not have to look far. The trail was bustling with people of all ages and activities.
This past weekend I visited KC Strings, a music store in Mirriam, Kansas that is devoted to stringed instruments. I was there with my brother Bob, he dropped off a violin bow for restringing while we were on our way to the Home and Lawn and Garden Show at Bartle Hall in downtown Kansas City. I only had my little Olympus point and shoot camera with me, but I liked all the violins hanging down in neat rows.
I have been staying in Jefferson City, MO this past week and found this great brew pub called Prison Brews. As you might guess it has a prison decor and all the brews have a prison themed name. The one I am getting ready to enjoy is called "I've Gone A-Rye Pale Ale. If you are in the vicinity of Jeff. City, you should try it. Great atmosphere, great beer and great food - my kind of place!
Took my camera to Shawnee Mission Park this afternoon desperately looking for signs of Spring. It started snowing big huge flakes. No signs of Spring yet, winter still has its icy grip on us. Along with the snow I did see some paddle boats stored for the winter encrusted in ice and snow and plenty of deer. I put the pink roses together from a dozen of them that some nice man bought for my wife.
This weekend was the Affiliated Foods Midwest Spring Food Show at the Quest Center in Omaha. Attached are some photos I took at the event. Hope you enjoy them. The Tea Cup with Roses is the creation of Lisa Fokken - nice work Lisa.
Daughter Paige has informed me that I need a better picture of myself on Facebook. Sorry dear, my picture doesn't get better just different. I took this self portrait in a mirror and then flipped it in Photoshop. I may use it on Facebook.
The second photo is of my bike fenders.
Saturday I attended a High School dance contest that my grand daughter Lacee participated in and snapped the third picture. Lacee is the cute one!
It has been brutally cold this past week, but today the sun was out and temps were in the twenties. Good day for a run, right? The most running I have done lately is three miles at an indoor fitness center. Today I went out to Shawnee Mission Park and dodged snow, ice and slush, went up and down hills, challenged the winds and temps and played dodgem with cars for four miles. I was gassed when I finished, but boy was it great to be outside. I am going to increase my running mileage until the roads are safe for cycling again. My goal is to complete a 10K run on St Patricks day.
Well here it is, 2010 and I am now officially on Social Security! My actual retirement date will be April 2nd unless I get fed up and quit sooner. I have some great plans for this year which I will fill in on a later post. My only real resoloution is to be more dilligent about my posting.