50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Sign Says

According to these signs, we are in the middle of World War II:

These signs are taken from the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago where they have a German submarine, a U-505, on display.  This exhibit was really interesting, and I would highly recommend it.  I thought it was going to take us a half hour to walk through, it ended up taking closer to two.

Getting the photos of these signs was tough, the lighting was pretty dim overall, but then there were bright lights on the posters.  I used my lowest f-stop setting to let in as much light as possible, so f/1.8.  I also increased my ISO to 800.  The shutter speeds used were still pretty slow, so I braced myself against the wall to be as still as possible.  Looking at the photos now, I am thinking that I should have tried the ISO a little higher to see if I could get a faster shutter speed.

This post was written in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge at WordPress.  The theme this week is: The Sign Says.

Your comments are most welcome below.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photography

Stained Glass in Chicago

I was intrigued when I walked past The First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple and saw a series of stained glass windows at eye level.  This one in particular caught my eye, so I thought I would share it:

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/3.2 1/320

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/3.2 1/320

The story here is that the third building this church had that was at this location burned down in the Chicago Fire of 1871.  The other windows told of other parts of the church’s history.  I think this was the first time I have ever seen a fire like this in stained glass.

This post was written in response to Thursday Lingering Look at Windows.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Animals, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photography

Travel Theme: Pathways

When I went on a hike I had the theme of pathways on my mind.  I took this hike at Castlewood State Park in Missouri.  It is a nice day use area, but if you are planning a visit, I would recommend you bring bug spray.  This hike was about 3 miles and featured quite a bit of elevation considering that it was in Missouri.  Here is part of the path; it looked like several paths in a lot of spots:

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/20

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/20

If you did not look closely, you could lose the trail with markers like these:

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/60

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/60

Parts of the are were not very friendly looking:

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/125

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/125

And there was this little guy, making his own path:

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/3200

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/3200

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Who Is In The Backyard?

Maybe you don’t think too much about who living in your backyard.  It is perhaps, just the background for the main attraction, your house.  The most unattractive part of our backyard is the hedgerow.  It is really overgrown and full of all kinds of plants, vines, and weeds.  Despite its grubby looks though, it is home to a lot of animals and birds.

The other day when my youngest burst in the house, told me to not ask any questions and bring my camera, I should have known we were headed to the hedgerow.  This is what had been spotted:

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/400

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/400

This is a very young Brown Thrasher.  We have a few of pairs of adults living nearby this Spring, but I had not been aware that there was a nest in the hedgerow.  While I was taking pictures the adults returned. Here is one:

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/200

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/200

They encouraged their young one to come back to the hedgerow.  It took awhile, since the fledgling was not quite capable of flying yet, it had to hop back.

When I was taking these pictures it was quite bright out.  I put the ISO to 100 as one way of    darkening the image.  I knew though that I wanted an f-stop of 5.6 or so; I thought that would maintain enough detail in the close up shots of the fledgling.  In order to further eliminate some of the light, I used a fast shutter speed.  On the fledgling, which was in full direct sunlight, I put it even higher than the shots of the adult birds.  Since it worked out that I had several minutes to take photos of the fledgling, I did try different angles.  The sun was really strong and a lot of detail is missing in some of the other photos.  The one I used in this post was the one that had the most detail.  In post-editing, I just cropped the images.

This post was written in part as a response to the WordPress weekly photo challenge. The theme this week is background.

Questions and comments are most welcome below.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Photography

Some Very Small Chickens

The last time I posted about the chickens they were hatching and still in the incubator.  In these first two pictures it is two days later and they are out of the incubator but still spending most of their day under warming lamps.  This is what it looks like when the gang is all together:

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/100

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/100

They also spend short amounts of time out of the cage:

ISO 1000 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/20

ISO 1000 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/20

You can see that they are going to have to grow into their feet a bit.  They do grow fast.  Here are a few shots from the next day:

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5 1/640

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5 1/640

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5 1/40

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5 1/40

And two more from the day after that:

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/3.5 1/125

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/3.5 1/125

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5 1/160

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5 1/160

The chickens in this post are between 3 and 5 days old.  They are currently living in a second grade classroom where they are being observed as part of a life cycle unit.  If you would like to see what they looked like while they were developing, click here to see my post.  While they are is the classroom the children have been filling out chicken journals, keeping track of the chickens since they were eggs.  In a few days the chickens will be moving on to various local farms.  I will post again before they are moved just so you can see how fast they grow.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape

I went biking this past weekend and was thinking about this week’s photo challenge, escape.  I guess going biking was a way of escaping the housework.  Maybe this sounds crazy, but I think both being outside and cleaning the house are necessary things that I don’t want to escape.  Then I biked past this flower that had definitely escaped:

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/640

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/640

Escaped ideal growing spots anyway.  There is almost nowhere for this plant to spread.  It is a small beauty growing in an ugly space.  In case you are wondering, this plant is Squaw-weed, it is a native plant of Missouri and will grow quite well in your garden in you live this area.  I have some in my garden and it is a great spreader.

As for this particular photo, I was shooting pretty much in the middle of the day on a hazy day, so not great conditions.  I bracketed the exposure because I wanted to so an HDR image to get more detail.  I use Photomatix for my HDR images.  When it came to editing though, it turned out that I didn’t like the high detail version that came out.  I decided I liked a softer look instead.  So, while my HDR image still has detail in terms of the color, I decided against a super-sharp image, an escape from my usual method of editing.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photography

Looking through the Incubator Window

For the last few weeks I have been taking pictures of chickens as they developed.  Today’s first picture was taken while the eggs were on lock down.  That means that they are in this incubator until they hatch.  It is nice and warm in there:

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5 1/60

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5 1/60

These eggs were put in the incubator on a Saturday and by Monday they had started to hatch.  Here is one just out of it’s egg for a few minutes:

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/40

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/40

In this photo you can see that they don’t all hatch at once:

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5 1/60

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5 1/60

It takes a few days for all the eggs to hatch, and not all of them do.  Being born is a tough process for a chicken, if for whatever reason something goes wrong the chicken will not make it.  This particular group of chickens did well overall.  I will be updating you as they grow, and they do grow fast!

As the photographer, the biggest challenge in getting these pictures is the glare of the window.  I just had to move around and get the best angle I could.

This post was written as a response to the challenge, Thursday Lingering Look Through Windows.  Check it out, and feel free to participate.

Cheers!

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Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

When Nature gives you a Pattern, Wear It

I recently finished a series of 10 images for a photography class I was taking.  All of the images are of birds.  Here is a Eurasian Eagle-Owl:

ISO 200 300mm 0ev f/5.6 1/200

ISO 200 300mm 0ev f/5.6 1/200

The pattern of feathers help the owl blend in with its surroundings.

For this particular series of photos, I rented a 70-300mm lens.  I did also use a tripod for this image.  I used a bracketed exposure setting because I wanted to make an HDR image.  In this case I have three exposures, -1,0,1.  I used Photomatix to process the image into an HDR version.  Once the images were combined I used a “painterly” option that is available in Photomatix.  For this image I was interested in maintaining and highlighting the detail in the feathers.  After I was finished creating the HDR image I edited the photo in Photoshop.  I sharpened the image a bit by going to Filter-Other-High Pass.  In the layer panel, I chose blending mode “Hard Light”.  For my class I printed a 10×15 version that I matted.

Questions or comments about this image? Feel free to leave them below.

This post was written in response to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge which this week has pattern as its theme.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Nature, Photography

A Nest Update, Is there Enough Space?

When this nest was built, the first thing I noticed about it was that it was deeper than last year’s nest, but more narrow.  So, I was a bit concerned when I saw five eggs, I was wondering if there would be enough space for everyone.  It was amusing to see this photo when the adult robins were off the nest:

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/160

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/160

You could fit a few more in there the way they are all crowded together.  It is a good way to keep everyone warm while Mom is away though.  I took this with my Canon Powershot on May 7th.  A bit later with my 50D, I got this shot:

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/100

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/100

It looks like the food is being inserted directly into the baby’s stomach doesn’t it?  You can see a bit of leftover shell attached to the nest as well.  That is interesting to me because usually the adults get rid of all the shell pieces right away.

This next series of three shots were taken on May 8th, all with my 50D:

ISO 640 50mm 0 ev f/6.3 1/200

ISO 640 50mm 0 ev f/6.3 1/200

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/200

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/200

Looks like a tug of war there!

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/200

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/200

Looks like a couple of the babies are getting a bit squished.

Thanks to everyone who is following along, your comments are always appreciated.  If you are new to this story, here are some other installments: How I am getting these shots and some freshly hatched shots are here.  My first update is here.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photography

Travel Theme: Light

I didn’t travel too far this week’s theme, light, I just went to a local elementary school.  A friend of mine teaches there and they are doing a life cycles unit, which includes monitoring some chickens as they go from eggs to chicks.  At day seven I went in to take some pictures of candling.  Here is one of those from the series I took:

ISO 2500 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/10

ISO 2500 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/10

If you look at the lightest part of the image, you can see the head of the developing chicken.  How cool is that?

The challenge to getting this image is, as you can see, that I was  shooting in the dark.  I used my tripod and asked my friend to stand very still.  You will notice that the ISO is really high here.  I could have tried a lower f-stop to let in more light, but I really did want to preserve a good amount of depth in the photo, so that is why it is set to f/6.3.

Cheers!

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