Monday, May 25, 2009

Why did the Woodcock Cross the Road?


Woodcock Crossing Road
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

Why did the Woodcock cross the road? I haven't the foggiest clue. But I thought I'd share a shot of this very elusive creature. I've been trying to get a shot of this goofy looking bird for several years now, not so much as for profit, but more just to prove that I had seen one. They're pretty rare in our area of the world, and even harder to photograph. They're small, flush quick, are perfectly camouflaged and faster than lightning. Needless to say, I'm pleased.

More Tree Swallows


Tree Swallow
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

To say the least I've had a ball over the past few months photographing several pairs of Tree Swallows in the area. This particular one is nesting adjacent to Nelle Chilton's pond. I spent most of the morning watching this pair go in and out of their box, catching bugs and just playing around in general like good Tree Swallows do.

The only goof that I made today was having the ISO range on my camera set way too high (1250). I had did some low light shooting the evening before, and had forgotten to set it back to a normal shooting range (400-800). Due to the glare of the mid day sun, I paid little attention to the shooing information in my view finder, and shot the entire day at that exaggerated ISO.

Thankfully, my new 5D MK2 has a pretty decent expandable ISO range, and very little noise can be seen in these shots. If I had made the same mistake with my 40D, then the entire day would have been a complete waste. Anything shot on the 40D over ISO 800 generates a tremendous amount of noise, and limits the usage of the shots taken beyond that point.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Red-winged Blackbird


Red-winged Blackbird - Female
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

I had a lot of fun today following a female Red-winged Blackbird flying around the pond for food. I kept hoping that it would get a little bit closer to me so that I could get a shot that showed large amounts of detail, but every time that I encroached on its territory, it would just fly a few cattails further down the pond. Regardless, I was able to get a few good shots, and have a lot of fun as well.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Sucker for Tree Swallows


Tree Swallow
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

What can I say, I'm just a sucker for Tree Swallows. I love watching their mannerisms and socialization. I was also able to get some cool HD video of them today going in and out of their boxes. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to aggravate some other birds over the weekend and give these guys a break.

Jessica Means Graduation


Jessica Means Graduation
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

My niece Jessica graduated from St. Albans High tonight. Naturally, I was glad to share in the joy and get a few pictures... but why, oh why, does everybody have to make a speech.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tree Swallow HD VID


Tree Swallow HD VID
Originally uploaded by Jason Means
I've put together a few pieces of video from the other day when I was shooting a pair of Tree Swallows nesting near Nelle Chilton's pond. In the second portion of the video I've slowed it down so that you can see the birds going in and out of the bird house in a bit more detail. I also love the long drawn out sounds the birds make while the video is in slow motion.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pink Lady's Slipper


Pink Lady's Slipper
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

Nelle Chilton turned me onto this wonderful little orchid, and I had a lot of fun playing around with a variety of angles capturing this beautiful flower. It was also a lot of fun trying out my new 5D MK2 and 100mm 2.8 macro lens for this particular shoot.

My First Stab at HD Video


Frog in Chilton Pond
Originally uploaded by Jason Means
I'm putting my new Canon 5D MK2 through the mill trying out all of its features. Being a stranger to video, I'm still learning my way around motion capture and movement.

Blocks and Rows


Block Steps
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

I'm a sucker for patterns of all sorts, and these rows of old concrete blocks really spoke to me.

Wide Angle Lenses and Lots of Brass


WVARNG
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

I don't shoot wide angle as often as I would like, but every once in a while I get a really good shot like this one that encourages me to shoot wide frame more often. For this particular shot I dug my camera down in the dirt next to the pile of spent brass in the foreground. From there I rolled the camera around snapping off shots at several angles and changing the aperture for varying levels of depth of field.