My notes on Digital Photography and Video

  • Farm Animals


Dinner Time On The Farm

Farm Animals

Driving through the countryside is always fun. Why is it that we see the most fantastic things when we have no camera. We all know about the lesson there ….. bring the camera! One begins to wonder, however, if nature seems to know that you have it with you and hide themselves away.

I have the advantage of having a spotter. While driving, my wife is constantly looking for scenes. She spotted this one that I totally missed! After backing up I also saw this scene, hidden behind a farm fence and many trees. It was a cloudy day and very dark where they were eating. It would have gone unnoticed by most people passing by.

Being so dark I decided to try HDR. I am not that found of the process but it really brought out the colours and textures of this dark scene, without blowing out the snow and fence in the foreground.

There was one really annoying wire on the fence, that I couldn’t avoid without getting a lot closer, which would have disturbed them. It went across the front cow from the post on the left. Being thin, it was relatively easy to remove but I left a little “shadow” of it. I wanted it to look blurred due to depth of field rather than erasing it completely. If you look closely you can see it near the center, bottom area of the cow. The rest of the fence is in focus, as I liked the texture of the wood and rope.

So look in the shadows, have a spotter and bring your camera!

See on Google Earth:


Action at the beach

Taking action pictures at the beach or even IN the water can be disastrous. Sand and water puts your camera in peril. Deadly glare can also ruin your image.

Embrace the challenge. Take your camera to the beach.

Keep it protected by not taking off the lens while close to sand and water. Get into the boat or well off the ground. While not in use, keep the camera cool in a cooler. Don’t put ice in it. A dry cooler bag will keep the camera at a reasonable temperature and protect it from the evil sand.

When taking pictures at the beach a polarizing filter is nice, but if you watch the lighting, you can still take great pictures without it.

With the light coming from the side and slightly to the front, you get great sparkle in the water. If the lighting is from behind you, you will get less sparkle in the water.

Use a fast shutter speed. After all it is a sunny day, so boost it up.
Some people like a bur to show motion, so try a few at slower speeds or add the motion blur later.

Get Down!

Too often we take pictures of animals and small children while standing. Get down to their level. This is difficult at the beach because of the perils of the environment. Lie down on a dock or get in a small boat or on the beach, put your camera in the center of a large blanket to keep the sand away.

Have someone else keep your subject busy doing something. Soon they forget that you are taking pictures, or at least look more natural.

Getting Winter into position was easy as we just threw the stick so that she was where I wanted her to be. I couldn’t do that by myself, as she would be jumping away from me.

Photography is often a team effort!

This action picture was chosen for the Orillia SPCA 2011 calendar. They liked the action and the clarity for their theme, “Super Pets”.


Capturing a young loon


It is very important to leave loons alone.
The are shy birds that mate for life and have a limited territory.
It is easy for boaters to injure or upset them to the point where they become confused and leave their territory.

This young loon has not grown his adult coat and colours. He is mostly grey with a white chest.
Being young this one was particularly inexperienced. He wouldn’t dive when boats came close to him.

As I slowly got closer to him, a speed boat went between us.
Surprisingly, he did not dive and the boat came very close to hitting him.

By being gentle and quiet you can get very close to loons and get shots like this without high powered lenses.

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Up Close and Personal with a Chickadee


It is so important to these little creatures to be welcomed into a family. With care and respect they will tell you when they are hungry and drop in to say hello.