More landscape trials

Canon 1Ds evaluation continues. First two with the 50mm Super Takumar, second two with the 135mm Vivitar (which is not as sharp but is no slouch either).

Down the lake.
Across the lake.
Neighbors’ cabins.
Del & Diane’s.

Landscape trial

Camera Decision says the Canon 1Ds is no good for landscape photography. Their complaints are a lack of live view and low resolution sensor. Naturally I had to give it a try.

Snow-topped mountains.
Across the lake.
The next point over.

These were all taken with the 40mm EF lens, which is fairly sharp but not as good as the old Takumars.

What I found: There’s dirt on the sensor again! Yes, a higher resolution sensor would enhance landscape scenes and a live view LCD would be helpful for framing/composing. I would not call it a failure, though.

I intend to try some more shots, using the 50mm Super Takumar, when I can get to it. Once again the weather is about to turn on me and I’ve got about one more good day which I will use up getting a little work done around here.

Bleak week

The weather promises to be truly awful all week. I got in a day of wood harvest and shutting down the water system at the cabin. In light of the forecast, here’s some images in black and white – which is how it will look the next few days.

Raven on the wing. (Canon T100)

Northern flicker. (Fuji EXR)

Plane in flight. (Kodak P850)

Moon, of course. (Nikon P610)

Layers of trees. (Panasonic Lumix ZS60)

Ghost dog. (Tesco trail camera)

Pairs of pictures

It didn’t rain Tuesday (until after nightfall). So I ‘stole’ fifteen minutes of the day and walked around the woods. It confirmed my suspicion that some of the loud noises heard during the storms were trees giving up and going over.

Half fallen

This poplar broke about 20 feet off the ground and then the top got hung up in some other trees as it went down. Poplars often rot inside and are very unstable in that respect, so taking it down the rest of the way will be left to Mother Nature. Right now it spans the lane that goes over to the neighbours’, so I’m not worried about it.

Fallen fir

This old fir tree had a lot of fungal growth on it so it’s not surprising it came down. The surprising part is that it fell away from the road, not on to it. The bare patch in the lower right corner is the road.

Here’s another “why I like my Nikon” series:

The first image is a 100% crop of the second. For an inexpensive ‘bridge’ camera the old P610 really excels. The bad part? This was the third attempt to get it to take the picture. It is fraught with failed focusing and incorrect exposures. I still use it a lot because I like the camera so much, but the reality is it has gone from “90% success rate” to “33% success rate” and I suspect it will get worse before it quits altogether.

Dog toothed violet is neither dog nor toothed nor violet, but they are pretty flowers:

These are the same picture. The first is “as-is”, right out of the forest. The second I used the white balance adjustment in GIMP to alter the background colour to a more pleasant blue. It didn’t alter the flower itself much at all.

Wood stove base

There’s the start of it. It looks simple until you try to build it. Especially the part where you have to compensate for the floor slanting 1 ΒΌ” over 45″ while expecting it to handle 400 lbs. of stove. Good thing I’m an engineer. This will be topped with 2x to spread the load out and then tiled to make it fire resistant.

It’s Wednesday as I write this. I’ve driven back to town for more supplies and to mow the lawn at home. Busy, busy. Oh they graded the infamous road out to the 23 km mark. Some of it is even flat. That would be the parts that were already flat before. The old potholes simply reappear with every rain shower. Guess what’s in the forecast?

It’s now Thursday. Yesterday was overly busy. Time to publish this. The sky is overcast again. It’s going to rain.

Afternoon of a Fawn

Watch me frolic!
What’s that over there?
I can run fast!
Aren’t I cute?
Mama says it’s time to go home.

Not the only creature I’ve seen in the past couple of days, but the only one I managed to get pictures of!

Canon T100 struggling with overcast/bright sun in forest area. Rapidly changing light, rapidly moving deer. ISO 400 in program mode with a bit of attention to some shots to bring up the colour and contrast when needed.

Eventful two days

It would be nice if the events were all pleasant and consisted mainly of taking nice pictures of wildlife or something. But no. The events were about nipping back home to resupply and returning to work.

Starting with Wednesday and waiting for the rain to stop, or more accurately for the generator to finish recharging the batteries because there wasn’t any sun to do it. I loaded up what I needed to take back, and got soaked in the process. Once underway it stopped raining (of course) and a nice, sunny afternoon was spent running errands. That’s a lot of traveling for one day, and I felt it.

The second obstacle of the day was being met with this right at the chain gate:

Tree down

Yes that’s a tree down across the road. This is why I always carry a chainsaw. Luckily it wasn’t a big one (although quite tall) and three slices took care of it.

How much did it rain? On my way out part of the road collapsed from under me and tried to tip the Xterra over into the ditch. Suddenly finding yourself tilted at near 45 degrees while moving at 50 KPH is an experience I don’t recommend. But the vehicle is good and a quick twitch of the wheel got me back on what passes for solid road. That road needs serious repair. Again.

The town trip errands were the usual long time to get only some of the list. They had blocked off all the entrances to one of the shopping plazas, apparently trapping people in the parking lot from what I could see, while they did some repaving. Oh yes; all the roads in town are badly broken up and needing repair too. It was a harsh winter for roads. Anyway, skipped two stores there completely.

Thursday was run around and get ready to come back out here and work. Yes, a sunny morning wasted in travel. Along the way I noticed several red “SOLD” tags put up, right out to and on Marsik Road, which is a little disconcerting. They seem to be marking the route out to the property next door which has just been sold. What’s the point? Didn’t the people go and look at it before they bought? These days you can never tell.

I did encounter two trucks along the way, past the last vestige of civilization. First one was a Ford, and then several kilometers on a Chevy. Both driving slowly and carefully as though lost or looking for something. Like red “SOLD” signs perhaps? Also they were “pretty” trucks, not at all suited to grinding down unmaintained gravel roads at any speed. I passed each in turn, and wondered what they would do when they got to where the trees are blown down on the road. Maybe they gave up and went home. If you don’t know how to handle it, you shouldn’t be out here; this is not a safe place to be and I don’t mean because of the wild animals.

It was still before noon and bright and sunny when I got back, put things away, and got to work again. I managed quite a bit in the afternoon; primed the kitchen window frame and built a frame for under the kitchen cabinet as well as a few other, little chores.

Kitchen window

Last night it all went wahoonie-shaped as the mosquitoes got up after I’d gone to bed. They kept me awake ’til midnight with their antics and my swatting. Now this morning it is cool and rainy – and I’m still killing mosquitoes. Probably have to fire up the furnace (after needing the A/C yesterday) and the generator because there’s no sun.

What will I get done today? That’s a very good question.

Look! Up in the sky!

It’s strange because our airports are basically shut down, yet I keep seeing jets overhead.

Fed Ex
Atlas Air

When I’m at the cabin the view overhead is a bit different:

Bald Eagle

Of course we get water traffic as well:

Common Loon

In the woods you can hear lots of birds, but you usually can’t see them. Here’s one I did see:

American Robin

I got some work done while I was there, but didn’t quite finish the job. Oh well, at least the scenery is nice: