14MAR2020 – Photography – Macro – Focus Stack – Hyacinth Shoot


As noted earlier I had a touch of cabin fever so I decided to try my first outdoor focus stack.  What this means is that I have to drag along a laptop computer and a tethering line in addition to the camera and tripod.  All of this is easy enough.  What isn’t easy is telling the wind to stop blowing for the requisite two or three minutes of exposure time.  And in fact, this picture is cropped as tightly as it is because some leaves were blowing around in the debris pile.  Looking at it now I also note that the left side shoot is a little over exposed.  So let us say as art it’s slightly underwhelming.  But as an experiment in field macrophotography technique it will be “required reading at the Academy.”

Sony Super-Telephotos Announced

Sony has just announced their new super telephoto prime (600mm f/4) and zoom (200 – 600mm f/5.-6.3).  Of course, the 600mm f/4 is completely outside of the budget of anyone except the wealthy or the dedicated professional photographer (~$13,000).  But the 200 – 600mm zoom is $2,000 which is possible.  What I’m thinking of doing is renting the 200 – 600 and the 100 – 400 zooms and using the Sony 1.4X and 2X teleconverters compare the quality of the images between the zooms.  After all, a 100 – 400mm zoom is a pretty useful thing whereas the 200 – 600 zoom is a beast.  Now, the 100 – 400 is actually $500 more expensive than the 200 – 600 so I wouldn’t be shocked to find out that the 100 – 400 could match the 200 – 600.  Either way it’ll be an interesting experiment.  The 200 – 600 comes out in August stay tuned.


After you’ve read enough sexbot articles on Drudge maybe switch to something interesting

Guest Contributor – TomD – 21APR2019 – Photo

Here’s a shot with a long lens of a roller coaster scene at a county fair.


Cell phones do a pretty good job for some shots but there are a lot of situations that are just beyond them. The shot below for instance was taken in an over 200′ long tunnel with one incandescent bulb in the foreground and the distant entry daylight backlit, that’s usually an impossible lighting situation.

16MAR2019 – Guest Contributor – TomD – B25 at US Naval Air Museum with the Zeiss 16 – 35 f\4

Here’s one I took today using my Zeiss 16-35 f4. The subject is a B25 at the US Naval Air Museum onboard NAS Pensacola.

Supposedly, this 16-35 is outclassed by the Sony f2.8 version. Maybe so but after a number of shoots with this lens, it’s hard to understand how the advantage could be more than barely detectable much less sufficient to account for the $1000 difference in price. My Zeiss 16-35 F4 G lens is probably my best lens in sharpness and consistency of results. And I have a couple of multi-thousand dollar Sony G Master lenses to compare it to.

I think that if given the constraint of having to use a single lens, this lens would be it. Several years ago, my ideal lens would have been “taller”, probably centered on around 50mm. But since then, one of my acquaintances has shot a stunningly good body of work using a fixed 25mm Zeiss Batis lens. My next lens will be a prime (fixed) in that range.

Using a short focal length lens in a museum environment has one big disadvantage, short focal length lenses tend to have a large depth of field, i.e., everything tends to be in focus. Good photography dictates isolating the subject but museums are so dense that oftentimes the intended subject is just one of several in the photo view.


The Goofiest Barred Owl Bar None

This has been a pretty weird winter weather-wise.  We have had fifty degrees and minus five so far in January.  I’ve had snow, rain, sleet and hurricane force winds all on the same day.  There have been torrential rains followed by bright sun.  Weird.  And now just to show you that I’m not the only one who’s confused our local Barred Owl has switched into a daytime critter.  This bugger was in a tree branch right outside my living room window and scarfing down mice right before my eyes.  Their ability to turn their heads one hundred eighty degrees is pretty bizarre.  But if staying up all day means he won’t be serenading me at two a.m. then count me in on the program.  These Barred Owls have one of the weirder sounding repertories among the “Children of the Night” in my neck of the woods.

I happened to have my camera there but it was equipped with the Sony 55mm f\1.8 lens.  I took a bunch of shots through a double glazed window and here they are cropped and resized out of all sanity.

Barred Owl with mouse; Sony A7 III; Sony 55mm f\1.8 lens

If you look real close you’ll see something hanging from his beak.  In the rest of the shots you’ll understand the whole story

Barred Owl with mouse; Sony A7 III; Sony 55mm f\1.8 lens




Barred Owl with mouse; Sony A7 III; Sony 55mm f\1.8 lens




Barred Owl with mouse; Sony A7 III; Sony 55mm f\1.8 lens

Later on in the day he showed up again and I got outside to try and take some shots with my 200mm macro. The effort was only partially successful but it will be the bulk of my photo of the day efforts for the next few days.  Now what accounts for this nocturnal pest suddenly becoming a diurnal pest is beyond my weak powers of deduction.  Just one more sign of the apocalypse I suppose.

An Example of Excellent Street Photography

One of the regulars here (Tom) was recently commenting on a post and attached a link to his street photography.  I was so impressed with this shot that I asked him if I could link to it.  I said I thought it was iconic and could inspire a book or a movie. Well, he reminded me of a song instead.  “Me and Bobby McGee.”  Perfect.   Anyway, enjoy and I recommend clicking on the link and checking out Tom’s gallery.  Lots of good stuff.