Photo taken at Bolsa Chica Wetlands by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D800.
Thurs 05.02.13 – While all the other photographers out and about late this afternoon at Bolsa Chica Wetlands had DSLRs with Big Big Big prime lenses mounted (400mm+), I cheekily went to photowalk around the wetlands with my Nikon D800 with the Nikon 50mm 1.4G lens. The high resolution of the D800 plus the sharpness of the 50mm allows me to crop the photo and still get a good clear picture of the egret and the sunlight through it’s wings.
I am sure if I stopped traveling and started buying 400mm+ prime lenses, that I would have a clear photo of the mites on the egret’s wings, but I do have my priorities. ;o)
This great (white) egret was in the most lovely direct sunlight / backlit pond and then it took off in flight, off it went, but not before I took a few photos.
Photo taken on Tues 03.12.13 in Huntington Beach by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D800 and a 85mm f1.8 lens.
Tues 03.12.13 – For the last few days, marine inversion mists permitting, I have gone to a west facing beach or cliff to look for Comet PANSTARRS in the 30-45 minutes after the sunset.
This evening was the first evening that I was able to get a photo of the Comet, above just to the left of the moon. I was so excited to see the comet clearly on the view screen of my Nikon, as the comet was not visible to the naked eye but only visible through binoculars.
Saturday evening, my Dad and I went to the Point Vincente Interpretive Center in Rancho Palos Verdes. While we saw a few whales through the binoculars, listened to a wedding reception in progress, we did not see the comet at all as its position on the low western horizon was right in the marine fog bank off the coast.
Sunday evening, two nights ago, my Dad and I drove down to the Huntington Cliffs just above Dog Beach in Huntington Beach, and waited for the comet to appear a bit higher on the horizon above the shipping lanes just between the northwest end of Catalina Island and Point Fermin in San Pedro. We were able to see the comet just above a big oil tanker and passed the binoculars around for others to find it. I had no luck with getting any pictures, as I had my Nokias’s with 26mm lenses and a sharp 50mm lens on my Nikon.
Last night, I was very tired and just walked out to the River’s End here in Seal Beach and did not see any comet at all due to the big fog bank sitting off the coast that extended about 20 degrees into the sky. I could barely see Sirius the dog star in the southern sky through the fog bank and Sirius is our brightest local star.
Tonight, after a long day at Lukas’s first birthday lunch party and a slog through the 405 southbound traffic, I decided to not go out as I could see how misty the ocean air was. But just as the sun set, I noticed the mist cleared up here in Seal Beach, so I loaded my gear into the car and drove as fast as possible down to the Huntington Cliffs.
As I arrived in the Dog Beach/Huntington Cliffs parking lot, I saw that a lot of other folks where already there with binoculars, cameras on tripods, and one guy with a large fat telescope. I parked myself at the end of the line up of folks at the cliff’s railing, looked out saw a beautiful crescent / new moon, lifted my binoculars and there she was: Comet PANSTARRS!
After struggling to set up my creaky, elderly tripod, I started taking photos with my Nikon 85mm f1.8D portrait lens, and a fine portrait of the comet I got. I passed my binoculars to a family next to me so that they and the kids could see the comet, while I took another six good photos of the moon, the comet, and the shipping lane with San Pedro on the far right.
The above photo is cropped and a bit corrected in Lightroom. The larger, non-cropped, non-corrected version is up on my flickr stream.
If you want to try to see Comet PANSTARRS, go out tonight through Friday, to a western facing vantage point just after sunset, take binoculars, look for the moon and there will be the comet.
Wed 02.17.13 – Photos of Lukas and the Duck were taken by Ms. Jen today at the Huntington Library and Gardens with her Nikon D800 and 85mm f1.8D lens.
I am in the last month of finishing up my apps and my blogging has fallen into a deep crevasse since April. I suck. Go look at my Flickr or Twitter for visual and textual updates. Will resume normal service once my apps are submitted.
In the meantime, a couple of thoughts from the weekend:
1) Auto-Focus Lens Calibration: Ever since I bought my Nikon D800 and a few new lenses, I have been surprised how my cheap, $120 nifty fifty Nikon 50mm 1.8D lens has repeatedly shot great, sharp photos but that my ‘good’, expensive lenses have been a little soft in their focus.
Last week over at The Mansurov’s photography, Bob V blogged on “Nikon D800 – Cavier, Sardines, or … Spam?“, of which I am not experiencing a soft left focus on my Nikon D800 but the article did bring to my attention that one could purchase a Datacolor Spyder LensCal and calibrate one’s lenses at home.
That is what I did today, as the Datacolor Spyder LensCal (link includes a how-to video) arrived on Friday afternoon. As I expected, my Nikon 50mm 1.8D lens was pretty close to spot on with only a tiny bit of Auto-Focus fine tuning needed (-2), but my other lenses needed between -4 and -12 in fine tuning their focus. I was very pleased with the sharpness of focus that my Nikon 17-35mm f2.8 lens was able to achieve after calibration, but my 50mm 1.4G and 85mm 1.8D remained a bit soft even with calibration and the 85mm has a chromatic aberration issue.
I will not bore you with the tiny details or with the photos that I took to complete the calibration, but I need to do some research to see if the 85mm 1.8D lens is known to have a color shift or does the lens need to go to Nikon servicing.
2) While I am a Sci-Fi/Fantasy book fan and have been so since my late childhood/early teens, I am not a big comic book person nor do I watch TV or Sci-Fi movies. When I first heard of ComicCon and found out that it was not for Sci-Fi book readers also but for comics and film fans, I was a bit sad but happy for my friends who do love comics and film to have their own Con to go to. Other than a few dips into Pern and Discworld Muus and Mudds in the early 90s, I have not found myself involved in any fanfiction, roleplaying, and Con worlds. I spent most of the 90s and early 2000s heavily immersed in music worlds.
Thus when I get asked every year around this time if I am going to ComicCon and I demure, I usually get nods from my friends who are vets of the Con and bewildered expressions from folks who only know about it from the evening news. The second group usually says, “But you like weird hair and dress, you are artsy, AND you are a geek, shouldn’t you go?”
I will leave it for my friends for whom it is the highlight of their year.
Speak of friends, BEST. PHOTO. EVER. of Christopher Schmitt taken by Arianne from this weekend at ComicCon 2012:
Sat 04.07.12 – Today my Mom, sister Allison, and I drove down to Palm Desert to have Easter Saturday lunch with my Mom’s cousins Lynn, Miriam, and Greg. Lynn’s house has a gorgeous Meyer’s Lemon tree and her next door neighbor had a front yard full of flowering cactus.
Lovely day and good company, excellent for taking photos. test test
Fri 04.06.12 – My new remote control cord arrived today, so I had to go out and test it in the light of the full moon this evening from the balcony of neighbor Bruce’s place.
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D800 and a Nikon 50mm f1.8D lens.
And why has Ms. Jen been so quiet here and relatively quiet on Twitter the last two weeks…
Pre-March 22, 2012 – Work, get lots done, be content.
[geek humor follows /]