Saturday, April 18, 2015

RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, LOVELACE PARK, EVANSTON, ILLINOIS, APRIL 17, 2015

Pentax K-3
Pentax-F* 300mm f4.5 plus Pentax HD 1.4x teleconverter (420mm)
1/640 sec. f8
ISO 400

I had just gotten up from a bench at the Lovelace Park pond after waiting fruitlessly for species other than Canada geese or mallards to show up when this fine specimen of a red-wing alighted a few feet in front of me. That long 420mm plus about 75 percent cropping of the frame yielded a satisfactory (to me) image.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Robin

AMERICAN ROBIN, CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN, GLENCOE, ILLINOIS, APRIL 15, 2015

Pentax K-3
Pentax F* 300mm f4.5 with Pentax-HD 1.4x converter (420mm)
1/1000 sec. f8
ISO 400

An hour on the hunt in the Botanic Garden this morning, and all I got was this robin. At least I learned that handholding a 420mm lens-and-converter combination is possible, and that the image quality is more than acceptable.



Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Pandora red poppy anemone

PANDORA RED POPPY ANEMONE, CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN, GLENCOE, ILLINOIS, APRIL 5, 2015

Pentax K-01
90mm Tamron f2.8 macro
1/20 sec. f8 on tripod
ISO 400

The first Sunday of April was too early for much to be photographable outside at the Botanic Garden, but there was a decent indoor floral arrangement that included this striking anemone. I used my trusty flower photo kit of a K-01 and Tamron macro lens atop a tripod for this one, and had to desaturate the intense red in Lightroom to make it more believable.


Monday, April 6, 2015

First mallard of the season




FEMALE MALLARD, LOVELACE PARK, EVANSTON, ILLINOIS, APRIL 5, 2015

Pentax K-3
Pentax F* 300mm f4.5
1/1600 sec. f8
ISO 800

I actually had to step back from the edge of Lovelace Park pond so the lens could focus on this specimen of duckhood, so close was it to the camera. I'd gone there with the camera ISO set at 800 so that if there was a chance to catch a bird in flight I'd be ready. Now perhaps on the next outing some rarer migratory species will stop for their portraits.

The glory of Gore Canyon

UPPER GORE CANYON, COLORADO, MARCH 19, 2015

Pentax K-3
Sigma 18-250 f3.5-6.3 at 31mm
1/2500 sec. f4
ISO 800

This is the last of the "railfan window" shots I'll post in this group of photographs. It shows one of the reasons why the California Zephyr route is considered Amtrak's most scenic. The two Gore Canyons—Upper and Lower—are, along with Glenwood Canyon, the most breathtaking sights of the ride. I wish, however, that I had been able to use a smaller aperture in order to get both near and far views tack sharp, but had to settle for nearly wide open in order to diffuse the dust on the window.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Rock fence

UNION PACIFIC R.R. NEAR UTALINE, UTAH, MARCH 19, 2015

Pentax K-3
Sigma 18-250 f3.5-6.3 at 22mm
1/3200 sec. f4
ISO 800

All along the route of the California Zephyr as it threads its way past beetling cliffs, rock fences protect the train from piles of fallen boulders on the tracks ahead. When a stone punches its way through a wire, a red signal is tripped so that the engineer will stop the train before it strikes the rock.


Saturday, April 4, 2015

Sunup near Winnemucca

ON THE UNION PACIFIC R.R. WEST OF WINNEMUCCA, NEVADA, MARCH 16, 2015

Pentax K-3
Sigma 18-250 f3.5-6.3 at 18mm
1/800 sec. f3.5
ISO 800

I can't tell whether that's mist rising from the desert at daybreak or just schmutz on the glass of the window in the last car of the California Zephyr. In either case, shooting with the lens wide open yielded a usable photograph.

Friday, April 3, 2015

The middle of nowhere

ON THE UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD NEAR THOMPSON SPRINGS, UTAH, MARCH 19, 2015

Pentax K-3
Sigma 18-250 f3.5-6.3 at 18mm
1/3200 sec. f4
ISO 400

This shot from the rear window of the last car of an eastbound California Zephyr was made with the lens nearly wide open in order to diffuse the dust and schmutz on the window glass. I also used a rubber lens hood to block out light reflected from behind.