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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Through a New Lens

Okay, so the old camera started falling apart. (No, seriously ... the battery cover fell off.) So now it's time for a new camera. I'm not rich guy, nor am I highly adept at photography, so I didn't go for the more capable but more expensive SLR models. Still, the one I got has a 20X optical zoom with image stabilization that will make it even easier to get some of the shots I have tried for. So far, then, so good. Here are some of the pictures I've taken as I have started learning this new Canon.

Look closely. I know ... it looks like rocks. But look closely. It's a brand new Killdeer. Right next to this one is an unhatched sibling. This little baby was one of three born in the middle of a parking lot near where I work. I got to see his parents do the "I'm dying, chase me" dance that they do and then I got to see this little guy finally hatched.

This one is a long shot of a fairly common visitor to our yard. We've watched this cardinal grow up since he was a just a young kid. Now he is "married" (cardinals are monogamous for life, you know) and has had several groups of offspring come through. I just think it's odd to see such a brilliantly colored bird in the desert of Arizona, but, hey, I'm not complaining.

My wife invited a friend from work to come with your kids to enjoy the pool. Sure, it was a bit cold (we didn't even reach 100°), but the kids didn't mind. So I tried the camera out for action shots and caught Adrian in midair after I told him how to do a real cannon ball. Not a bad shot, if you ask me.

At the same time, I noticed that the clouds were quite lovely. (We really do get some spectacular cloud formations here, complete with remarkable colors.) I just thought I'd get a "picture of the day", so to speak. Sure, it was a chilly 95°, but it was a pretty day.

This shot was taken clear across the yard. My wife had filled the feeder and the birds came in to gorge themselves. So, let's see ... the darkest ones are brown-headed cowbirds. The light one above them is a female of the same variety. The one in flight is a male house finch and the one next to him perched there is a female. Just a test of a long-distance action shot. Not too bad, I think.

UPDATE: I apologize. The explanation for each picture doesn't line up with each picture. Please chalk it up to's difficulty of use and, obviously, to my ignorance of how to make it work.


Anonymous said...

Have fun with the new camera! Those are great shots. The cannonball shot is great. If you can capture motion that clearly it is a really good sign. I went the digital SLR route but only because photographing my daughter's ballets involves movement, low light and no flashes. Otherwise I'd just go with a point and shoot with a big zoom like you did. 20X is awesome!

Stan said...

Yeah, I'm just having a ball with this new toy. They tell me that it works great with no flash/low light/movement shots. Of course, I don't have a daughter in ballet to test it, so ...

Science PhD Mom said...

Great photos! So what model did you get? I want to see more bird photos please. And if you missed the brief video of the great horned owl in our back yard that I put up on Facebook, do check it out. Not much time nowadays for birding, but we did see some bats in our yard a few nights ago, and a red breasted sapsucker on the lane. There's always something around here.

Stan said...

Okay ... more to come.