Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Booby aloft

BROWN BOOBY,  NORTH PACIFIC OCEAN OFF PANAMA, MARCH 30, 2018

Pentax K-3
Pentax 55-300 at 120mm
1/800 sec. f9
ISO 400

Boobies, especially the brown subspecies, like to soar near and over the bows of cruise ships, accompanying them for miles and miles along the Pacific coast of Central America. It's hard to understand why, because they never get any table scraps. Maybe they just want to be companionable.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Interdiction

MEXICAN PATROL BOAT AND FISHING BOAT, CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO, APRIL 6, 2018

Pentax K-3
Pentax 55-300 at 150mm
1/1250 sec. f8
ISO 400

We had a front-row seat on our cruise ship when this Mexican coast guard vessel approached a fishing boat off Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to check for drug running, common in that area. The fishermen pointed to their lines and floats in the water, and after a brief interrogation the coast guardsmen sped away.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Dawn in the Caribbean

DAWN IN THE CARIBBEAN, MAY 26, 2018

Pentax K-3
Pentax 18-135mm
1/500 sec. f8
ISO 200

When I swept open the curtains of our verandah cabin on the Holland America Line's Westerdam, bound out of Fort Lauderdale for the Panama Canal, this sight greeted me, and I rushed back inside for the camera. The ship is the Norwegian Cruise Line's Epic, an aptly named 4,100-passenger behemoth with twice the capacity of our ship.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Out of the past

DEBORAH ABBOTT KISOR, JACKSON SQUARE, NEW ORLEANS, MAY 1968. PENTAX SPOTMATIC, 50mm f1.4, KODACHROME 25

I have been converting 40-plus years' worth of slides into digital files, and came across this shot of Debby taken during a tourist trip to New Orleans just eight months after we were married in June, 1967. The Kodachrome has held up well over half a century—and so, for that matter, has she. For the conversion I used a Wolverine Titan optical converter, which does remarkably well for its $135 price. A flatbed scanner might give marginally better results, but takes much longer to use. Click on the photo to see its fine detail.




Saturday, September 2, 2017

Harbinger

MAPLE LEAVES, GREEN, MICHIGAN, SEPTEMBER 1, 2017

Pentax K-3
Pentax-F* 300mm f4.5
1/400 f7.1
USO 400

The local prognosticators say that the unusually short summer in the Upper Peninsula means a harsher than usual winter, but the fall leaf colors seem to be right on time—spots of red here and there with slowly yellowing blankets.



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Solar eclipse

SOLAR ECLIPSE, GREEN, MICHIGAN, AUGUST 21, 2017

Canon PowerShot SX710HS
Canon Zoom 30x15 4.5-135mm lens at 135mm (760mm equivalent)
1/1250 sec. f6.5
ISO 160

I didn't want to use my go-to Pentax K-3 and 300mm lens for fear of burning out an eye gazing at the sun, so chose an inexpensive point-and-shoot camera, composing the image on its LCD screen. The result was not bad, thanks in great part to the camera's excellent shake reduction feature.

Latest red-bellied

RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, GREEN, MICHIGAN, AUGUST 21, 2017

Pentax K-3
Pentax-F* 300mm f4.5
1/250 sec. f4.5
ISO 1600

For some unknown reason scores of birds mobbed our feeders in the strange dusk at the height of the 71 percent solar eclipse yesterday. One of them was this male red-bellied woodpecker, a frequent visitor to our suet cages but a rare one at the seed feeders.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Hairy Woodpecker

MALE HAIRY WOODPECKER, GREEN, MICHIGAN, AUGUST 21, 2017

Pentax K-3
Pentax-F* 300mm f4.5
1/320 sec. f4.5
ISO 1600

Telling a Hairy from a Downy isn't easy, but the two markers are the long and heavy bill on the former as well as completely white, not spotted, under tail feathers. This photo was taken midway during the 71 percent eclipse of the sun August 21, requiring high ISO and a wide-open aperture.