Category Archives: 1DX
Righteous! My friend’s daughter keeps changing her mind from being a vet to an ornithologist and loves photography. From her love of birds, she’s already identified over 300 species. She’s 10. Go Bella!
I know there will be a huge number of March For Science and Earth Day blog posts out there, so just add mine to the fray. The premise of this march meant enough to me to actually join in – at age 56 – my first protest march ever.
Was it a “protest”? The March for Science was meant to be a bipartisan event, promoting the scientific method, fact-based approaches to the study of the environment and climate change, and the benefits to humanity which have resulted from science. As my friend’s daughter points out in the photo above: her little brother would not be alive were it not for the accomplishments of medical science. He was born 3-1/2 months early. He’s now a sweet, happy, laughing 15 months old (11-1/2 months adjusted – they do that for preemies).
So, back to the March. Was it a protest in addition to a celebration of all things and people scientific? Ultimately, yes. We probably should be having marches like this every year in celebration of scientists and all the things they’ve learned and created through science that aid us in our daily lives (Hubble telescope, space shuttles, internet, radio, iTunes, cell phones, velcro, medicine, photography, coffee makers, planes, trains, automobiles, etc). We should be doing this not just because of the current administration. It’s this current administration, however, that impelled these world-wide marches. I still find it mind-boggling there are people out there (including the elected president) who deny climate change and want to cut funds to health and other scientific research. America has been at the forefront of so many scientific discoveries, and now we should take a back seat?? I’m uncertain as to how this is “making America great”. Whenever I think about this, I become that “mad scientist” you’ll see in one of the signs below.
Ok, enough of politics. I leave you with images I captured during this very short, but very transformational march for me.
The number of marchers 10 minutes prior to the beginning of the event. And more people kept streaming in.
In all honesty, I’d be kinda lost without coffee, wine and beer. Just sayin’ 😉
A scientist who votes. Somebody in government should be getting a little nervous, I should think.
Marchers were there of all ages. Made me proud to know so many people care about fact-based research and the scientific method.
Let’s see … I was born in 1961 so the CO2 level was probably around 318 – 319 ppm, approximately.
My favorite sign was the “Mad Scientist” sign. The next time I reach that boiling point of anger, I’ll think of this sign.
The Planet Dress
The Brain Hat. I saw a number of them in varying colors during the march. And they all looked very neat, and very hot. While it was not particularly humid, it was quite warm and sunny (thankfully, since thunderstorms were predicted).
The march ended at the Houston City Hall. So many people! It’s estimated as many as 15,000 people participated in this event.
Let’s not forget that it was Earth Day, as well. This gentleman saw me with my camera and came up to me to tell me he’d worn this same shirt during the very first Earth Day march. I told him that definitely merited a photo.
For those of you interested, I used my Canon 1DX and 24-105mm lens to capture these images above. The 24-105 is the perfect walking-around lens with a good number of focal lengths from which to choose. All this, courtesy of science.
Your’s truly with a couple of friends she walked with at the march.
Twins? Triplets? The science of cloning? Nah – well, not really – actually it was the science of Photoshop!
HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYBODY
(yes, one day early – at least it’s not one day late as is my usual timing)
As I look back on 2016, I see a mix of good and bad, as is usual over the course of a year. The good stuff had to do with travel and photography and getting closer to what is left of my family. The bad stuff – well, let’s just say 2016 was marginally better than 2015, which was a horrible year.
Sooooo, I’m truly hoping that 2017 makes up for all the bad stuff. And I also hope the New Year 2017 is a start of many good things for all of you out there.
Now, for this photo: I had the great good fortune to stay in London over Christmas and New Year. It was my last hurrah to close out that horrible 2015 year I mentioned earlier. I deliberately chose that time of year to fly to London because I wanted to especially see the fireworks over the London Eye.
I remember joining the hordes to wait about 45 minutes for the security lines to open up so we could go find a spot around 7pm (nothing ever opens up exactly on time, you know). I went through 3 checkpoints before squeezing into a spot along the Thames in front of the Royal Horseguards Hotel and across from that great wheel on which one can get an amazing view of the surrounding land. It was a good thing I didn’t have to go to the toilet because we all stood there, cheek-by-jowl, for about 5 hours, waiting for the countdown to begin. I got acquainted with the family from the Midlands and the young lady from Dubai standing behind me who was there for some sort of news service.
It was worth the wait. The 10-minute display of fireworks was amazing and I alternated between having the camera up to my eye and then putting it down so I could just enjoy the fireworks without looking through a lens. It was such a neat feeling to realize I was actually standing there, in London, watching the New Years fireworks from a prime spot, surrounded by people from all over the world.
Again, Happy New Year! I hope everybody’s 2017 adventures far surpass those embarked upon in 2016.
I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to capture a good image of this neat bird. I know, blackbirds are blackbirds are blackbirds (aka ordinary), but those chevrons of bright orange-red are quite the eye-grabber. And these birds have such a pretty song.
This photo was taken out at the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, here in southeast Texas, not too far from where I live. I had my Canon 1DX attached to the 500mm prime lens. Thanks for my efforts at losing weight and building up some arm strength, I was able to hand-hold the camera/lens combo (IS turned On) and grab some shots of this red-wing blackbird.
My last post described my New Year’s Eve experience in London. This post shows you the results. The fireworks display lasted around 11 minutes. I used my Canon 1DX and 16-35mm f/4L IS lens, set the ISO to 5000, shutter to 1/50 of a second, aperture was f/4 and I just left it at that for these photos. I had to use some noiseware (Imagenomic) reduction software during the editing phase.
Some of these images bring to mind an abstract painting. All of these images bring to mind an incredible event.
I can’t remember if I mentioned this in a previous post or not (without going back and re-reading my posts), but the main reason I took a December vacation to London was because I saw a photo, earlier in the year, of the 2015 fireworks over the London Eye. I was so taken with that image that, as a photographer, I knew I had to be right there for the 2016 fireworks.
In case you aren’t aware, they now ticket this event (£10), and if you don’t have a ticket to present at the event, you don’t get in. After I’d purchased and received my ticket to the Embankment (blue) section, it turns out the hotel at which I stayed bestowed to its guests wrist bands to the same section, lol. I definitely was assured entrance to the event.
I spent about 45 minutes waiting my turn to go through security at the first checkpoint, and then went through a couple more checkpoints before being lucky enough to squeeze in between a Chinese tourist on one side and a family from the Midlands on the other. I then waited 4 hrs 15 minutes in that same spot (no, I never once felt like I had to pee, thank goodness). I could feel the press of the crowd behind me. I had a nice visit (should I say “chat” instead?) with the young lady behind me and the father of the family beside me.
During the long, chilly wait, a kaleidoscope of colors kept splashing against the London Eye and the buildings beside that iconic landmark.
At one point, to keep the crowd from getting too restless (remember, it was a 4-hour wait), the speaker challenged us all to turn on our smartphones and show the bright screen to the sky and the BBC helicopter. To the right of the London Eye in the image above is a line of bright smartphones all along Westminster Bridge.
And then, the countdown …
The show was INCREDIBLE! And I was right there in front, taking it all in. I can’t describe what a cool feeling that was – all I can say is that every time I stare into space and think about the fireworks, my smile gets wider and wider. When I do this at work, people wonder what the hell is going on with me (grin).
Oh, and that white semi-circle you see in the mid-left portion of the photos: that’s the waning gibbous moon.
I’d capture a series of photos with my Canon 1DX and 16-35mm f/4L IS lens, then take the camera away and drink the experience in with my eyes, then take some more photos. I did this for the next 10-11 minutes as the fireworks and music and cheers and ooohs and ahhs carried on around me. At one point, I remember looking down at the young son of the family next to me standing a little bit in front of me, who in turned looked up at me to see me with wide eyes and a silly grin on my face as I watched this spectacular pyrotechnic display.
These photos are just the start. I captured a gazillion different fireworks images that I’ll publish in the next blog post (ok, maybe not all gazillion of them, but a few).
Happy New Year, London and Everybody!
2015 was a horrible year. So I wanted to do something to send off the year end with a bang. I happened to see a photo of the 2014 NYE London fireworks over the London Eye, and I knew that was where I needed to be for the final days of 2015. To that end, I took a 10-day trip to Europe: 8 days in London and 2 days in Paris.
What did I take with me for this trip? Too much. I’ll have you know, however, that I used almost every single piece of photographic equipment I lugged with me. So there!
- 3 camera bodies, all Canon: 1DX, 5DSR, 5DS (in case one body didn’t work, I had two others – redundancy is a photographer’s friend)
- 1 small flash: Canon Speedlite 270EX II
- 3 different wireless shutter releases (that redundancy thing, again)
- 5 lenses, all Canon: 11-24, 16-35 f4L IS, 50mm f1.2L, 24-70mm f2.8L, 24-105mm (I used the 24-105 by far the most as it was the best walk-around lens)
- My Induro 8X CT-414 carbon fiber tripod and BHD3 ballhead
- A gazillion memory cards (8, 16, 32 and 64 GB)
- All of my spare camera batteries for both the 1DX and 5DS cameras
- A couple of polarizer filters (which I think I used only once, but at least I had them)
- Lens hoods for each of the lenses
Of course I took my laptop, 2 portable HDs of 1TB each, and 2 memory card readers. I made copies of the photos onto both HDs and the laptop itself, since – again – redundancy is a photographer’s best friend.
Day 1 (Dec 23)