Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Favorite photo of the week

One of the things I'm thinking about doing, starting with this post is to put up, what I think, is the best photo that I posted to Dogz on Walkz this past week.  There are quite a few that I have really liked, but I just like the look of this beagle called Obi.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

I could get used to this

Last month, I posted about Jaxson, who ended up being my third photo at Flickr to make In Explore.  As of this writing, he has over 1,000 views on Flickr and 33 faves.  Not bad numbers in reality, that is until today.

I came home from work and started processing photos for my next two shots on Dogz on Walkz.  Once I was done, I uploaded them to Flickr and discovered that my photo of Colt, the Belgian Malinois that I posted to Flickr last night had in invitation to join In Explore.  Not only that, he has over 3,000 views and 69 faves as of this writing.  Not bad for an iPhone shot I took as I was leaving a burger place down in Irvine.  

I'm still not sure why some of my shots seem to do so well and others don't.  If push came to shove, I'd say I have at least half a dozen shots that I think are technically better than this one.  Still, I could get used to it.  It's fun seeing your photo in that "best liked" gallery.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Changing equipment

For the past 30 years or so, I've been using either Minolta or Sony cameras.  My wife bought me a Minolta Maxxum SLR just about the time we got married and I used that camera for the longest time.  I liked the zoom lens on it and it focused quickly, which was very important to me. So when it started slowing down and showing wear and tear, I felt it was time to move into the digital age and get a DSLR.

I went back and forth between different brands, but what ended up swaying me to Sony at the time was the mounts for the lenses were the same as with Minolta.  It made sense since Sony had bought Minolta.  I figured if I bought a Sony camera, I'd end up being able to use the lenses from my Minolta with that.

I ended up at a camera store in Pasadena where I looked at the Sony Alpha 100 and ended up purchasing that with a nice zoom lens.  The guy who sold it to me said, I'd probably never use the Minolta lens, because the lens that came with my Sony was better and covered more ground, and he was absolutely right.  

I used that camera a lot over the years, but I've noticed, especially recently, that the lens and camera were moving much slower.  Auto focusing was becoming much slower to achieve and with me recently taking a lot more shots of moving subjects (Dogz on Walkz), I felt it was time to start exploring the possibility of getting a new camera.

So this week, I went out and went an entirely different way this way, opting to walk away from the Sony brand and look at other models.  Eventually, I settled on a Canon Eos 80D and I must say, I'm very pleased with it so far.  The auto focus on the camera is incredibly responsive and so far, the only problem I actually had focusing on my subject was the photo of the pyracantha berries I posted to this entry.  With so many berries in the shot, the camera had problems staying sharply in focus on any one particular berry, but eventually I was able to see what it was showing me in the viewfinder and I got the shot I wanted.

I'm hoping to have a long and happy relationship with this camera.  I expect this one will go with me on many travel adventures and family outings.  So far, I've only used the wide angle lens with the camera, so I'm looking forward to getting out to use the telephoto lens.  In the meantime, enjoy these two shots that were taken with the new camera.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

It's not all dogs

Last Sunday I wanted to do a hike up in the foothills, but the city of Claremont decided, due to the wind, to close Claremont Hills Wilderness Park (CHWP) down, because of possible fire danger.  I get it, but when connecting trails, both east and west of the park are open, it kind of defeats the purpose of keeping people out because you think a fire might start. 

So instead, I just decided to walk the Thompson Creek Trail, starting at Higgenbotham Park and walking all the way up to Mills to the parking area for the CHWP and then back down again all the way to Towne and then back to the park where my Jeep was parked.  

It was a good decision, as the dogs were out in force that day and I got many good dog photos that haven't even seen the light of day on my Instagram Dogz on Walkz account yet, but will in the near future.  But I also got a pretty good shot of this acorn woodpecker on a sycamore tree just off the bike path near Mountain Ave.  This one looks to be a juvenile, but the red cap is very obvious in this shot.  

So, needless to say, this is not going to always be about dogs.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Side effects

Whenever you take a new medicine, you usually have to worry about possible side effects.  This is also pretty much true when you try something new.  Running?  You're feet and legs are going to ache for awhile until you build up some stamina.  Ice skating?  You're going to fall until you become decent and then you'll still fall.  Yoga?  Yeah, I'm just not flexible enough to even attempt that one, but I'm sure others can tell you about some of the side effects there.

So why am I writing about side effects?  Well, I've encountered my own side effect from going out and deliberately talking to dogs and taking their photos.  Dog slobber.  Who knew that many different kinds of dogs could slobber so much?  I knew some dogs slobber, case in point, this bulldog I captured a couple of years ago.  

Today, I ended up walking along the Thompson Creek Trail, mainly because the foothill trails had been closed down by the city due to the winds and possible fire danger.  So I walked the bike trail and got lots of dog photos. And I also got lots of dog slobber too.  But it's the best kind of slobber, so I guess this is just a inconvenient side effect.

Friday, January 26, 2018


Every now and then, I'll post an image and not really think anything of it, that is until I get home the next day and I've seen all the faves the photo generates.  I regularly post to Flickr and they have a category called Explore.  Basically, it's the best photos that people post over there and it's by invitation only.  

The invitations are sent out to photographers after a photograph has reached either a certain threshold of faves, or comments or some such, as there seems to be no way of really knowing how many you really need, as I suspect they probably think that you might "stuff" the ballot boxes if you knew.  They also block you from getting back into Explore for a certain period of time afterward so that others can be seen without you becoming a dominant factor.

Up until today, I've two other photos in Explore.  My Death Valley photo, that I took in the spring of 2015 was the first.  I even blogged about that experience here.  That photo has almost 8000 views and 98 faves.  Interestingly, it used to have 99, but I guess someone decided they didn't like it quite as much as they previously thought.  The second photo that made it to Explore was a photo I took this summer in Yellowstone National Park of the Grand Prismatic Spring.

And now I have a third.  Jaxson, the Weimaraner is now in Explore.  If you click this link and hurry, you might see Jaxson near the top, but as new photos get added, he'll move further down and out of site, but even if you don't find him, check out some of the spectacular photos there.  You won't be disappointed.