Stop and smell the roses…or daffodils. A word about my photography

Sometimes it is not all about the journey, but the stops and the moments of quiet you spend simply observing the world around you. That is what photography is for me. A blogger mentioned I should write something about my photography so here goes, I’m an amateur at all of this so be nice;)

I started with a kit camera from CostCo-a Rebel T4i which I enjoyed immensely after the old Canon 10D my husband bought for astronomy, I had inherited that when he moved onto video. The Rebel was wonderful, light, fairly easy to use, until a professional photographer loaned me one of his bodies, and lens for the afternoon. He had warned me I could never go back, he was soooo right! The clarity was beyond anything I had produced before and yes, it really got me hooked as I was pursuing the hummingbirds that migrated past the ranch in Baja.

So I started a search. I was also interested in pursuing some astro photography, mostly Milky Way and star trails so eventually I bought a Canon 6D body, and slowly saved for the lenses! a 24-105mm followed after the Canon IS100-400 zoom. Wow…the difference in good glass was astounding, the clarity. I was hooked. I’ve hung onto the Rebel for a back up, don’t have to go into withdrawal if something happens to the 6D which has been to the repair shop in San Diego already for a failed shutter. I do love my 6D but in retrospect if I’d known I would be drifting into bird photography I would have looked for a more frames per second body, but hey, still saving for that 2nd body and yes, more lens! Always seems there is something else to fix or pay off before they come around but that is life! I did have a spectacular present of a Manfrotto monopod and a 2nd tripod this week from Jennifer, who looks after our horses. They were her Dad’s and she gifted them to me (thanks so much!)


Star trails-Bulb setting, tripod, remote and dark skies needed! This is a two hour exposure

So that is what I shoot with. I have a set of filters, the UV ones stay on the front of my lenses and I use a Neutral Density (ND8) for shooting long exposures of water and hopefully clouds! I also use a Canon plug in remote for the long exposures well. I so wanted to do these, spent hours studying online to see how to do it and lot’s of practice to get that focus and F-stop right on as well as exposure!

And that is all of the stuff in my camera bag, other than a spare battery and charger.

My passion has grown from birds and animals, to landscapes as well. I’m not the best with people, but I think I would like to practice some more. I would love to do some courses someday, hands on stuff I think would best suit me, I learn by watching the best, books and videos are tougher for me! There is so much wonderful information online and my best advice is to get out and practice, practice, practice! For every satisfying hummingbird shot I have there are 1000 in the trash that didn’t make it;)

Do I use Photoshop? yes I do. Photoshop 2 , you can download it for free. Now there is where I would like to take a course! Holy crap it had a steep learning curve and I have not even begun to touch upon it’s abilities! I also like some plugin’s from Topaz, Clarity and Denoise, especially for the night time shots! Picassa is handy as well for cropping and lot’s of little things-signing the photo…etc.


Picassa, great for cropping-signing

Some of the most learning and stretching my imagination have come from the various theme photography groups on Facebook. I joined my first one in 2012, 4 RETO DE FOTOS, a marvelous Mexican group, it started me down the road of exploration and learning! It forced me to think about different themes, angles, street photography, objects, things I may not have looked at or thought about photographing. There are hundreds of online photo groups you can join to pursue this and learn from others, some of my favourites, Reto of course, Simply My WorldBirding-Arizona and the SW, Only Mother NaturePhoto Objects, and Rainbow. Whether it be objects, birds, colour themes or portraits there is really something for everyone! Don’t be afraid to ask questions, sometimes in a private message, I’ve found photographers to be sharing encouraging people for the most part and I am thankful when someone assists me in something I am trying to do!

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Repoussoir theme…yup-had to google that;)

So…look up, take shots, look down, take shots, just get out there and do it! Google stuff, learn all the angles, play with the light (probably the most important thing there is in photography). There is so much to see! Join a group and stick with it! it really is so rewarding! Just keep on doing it and you’ll see results in your practice in no time at all!

but be forewarned…it can consume you;) My husband has excellent braking skills probably due to my “STOP STOP STOP!!!” yells at the sight of something I MUST photograph as we are driving about the world at large;) and also back to the start, sit, be quiet, wait for nature to come to you…it never ceases to amaze me who can show up sometimes:) or just flyby:)


Saludos amigos, keep the shutters busy and shoot what you see:) especially those daffodils;)2017-05-13 089BS







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