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What are you doing during the home isolation?


Being cooped in the house has made me creative when it comes to taking photos.  What are you doing?


There are some bushes and small trees just outside the window to my home office.  I have turned the window into a bird blind.  One problem is my 2FL window is a little hazy, which is not really much of an issue.  The bigger issue are the curtains reflecting off of the inside of the window, which creates a hazy type of look.  The LR Dehaze Tool cleans it up, but also reduces the sharpness.




That was shot on the first day, which was heavily overcast, and rainy.  It has been that way for weeks now.  I think I shot this one with the 1D Mark IV and the Sigma 150-600mm "C".  This is not a crop!  They are about 12-20 feet away.

"The right mouse button is your friend."

B&H had the 35mm Art as the daily special for under $600.  It is still on sale, but not for the one day sale price.  The addition of the Sigma 35mm changes things a little bit.  Or, maybe it makes sorting things out a little easier.


Last week, I had bought a used 1Ds Mark III in mint condition because I wanted a spare battery, spare charger, and an AC adapter.  Plus, my intent was to use it continue archiving old photos, instead of using the 1D Mark IV.  I am very high risk, so I have not been outdoors to shoot with the 1Ds Mark III, but some photos I have taken on my daily walks, when it is not raining, look pretty good.


This frees up the 1D Mark IV for sports and wildlife photography again.  I am still torn between it and the 7D Mark II as a second body for sports and wildlife.  For now, resolving that issue is pretty moot in the NYC tri-state area.  


However, the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art just might settle the issue.  It is going to live on one of those two bodies for now, most likely the 1D Mark IV.  The 7D Mark II has the much quieter shutter, which I like for wildlife.  


For reasons that cannot explain, I seem to have developed a knack for finding and photographing the little critters and smaller birds.  I'm blaming the fact that I like to fish, but now I find photography to be much cleaner..  I think the Sigma 35mm will find a good home with the 1D Mark IV, and a couple other fast primes, 50mm and 85mm, and I want to add the EF 135mm f/2L.




I am still evaluating the 1Ds Mark III for quirks and flaws.  So far, so good.  The camera works as it should, it is mint condition clean.  All of the camera accessories are still in the original wrappings.  It seems someone only used the camera with another 1D body.  The battery was inside of the camera, but everything was in what looked like original factory plastic bags.


The USB port works, card slots work, and the flash shoe works as it should.  The only quirk that I found so far is that the focusing screen is not the default CIV screen.  It is the D screen, instead, which I do not mind.  Seeing how I planned to use it to mainly sample photos, that screen will be more useful because of its' gridlines.  


The 1Ds Mark III is not quite a work-alike clone of the 1D Mark IV that I had expected, so I am still getting used to that.  Otherwise, the colors and images are just as good as the 1D Mark IV, and probably a bit better when it comes to casual stills.

"The right mouse button is your friend."

Home isolation  has caused me to do less photography and a lot more home work.  This afternoon I spent three hours with my Deere utility tractor's mid mount mower deck changing the belt and doing other basic maintenance (cleaned and replaced a zerk fitting on the deck PTO shaft and changed the deck gear box oil). I definitely prefer carrying heavy primes during a soccer gang to fighting with a very strong belt tension spring! 


Photography wise neither pets nor my daughter are safe from being subjects while sports are on hold 🙂









EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

Great moggie shots!

cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

Down under in NZ we are celebrating being possibly the most successful in the world in fighting COVID (we are competing with Iceland right now, but we are just ahead at the moment). Here is an official release from the NZ Govt. We have had no cases for 8 consecutive days now.
May 30th.png
The "go hard, go early" philosophy seems to have worked well for us and we are now arguably the most open country (as a whole) with gathering allowed up to 100; stores open, along with pubs and bars, and our tourist industry is coming to life again, powered by internal tourists - although we still hosting 50,000 foreign tourists throughout the lockdown.
The film industry is coming to life again, with the next two installments of AVATAR resuming filming, along with a bunch of other film and TV productions. Microsoft has announced they will have NZ host one of their data centres, based on our stable govt, economy, and health situation.
We now have to fully energize the economy and without doubt, like most other countries, there will be major economic and social impacts. International tourism (one of our big earners) is going to take a big hit for a long time, as we are still excluding all but essential foreign entries to NZ - although Australia, and Israel are keen to join our 'bubble', and they are not far off our own situation.

Our government still seems to have massive support - 88% approval for how the pandemic has been handled here, so there is not much dissent in the ranks. We have an election in 13 weeks, with the opposition polling at under 30%, it's the current party's election to lose I think.

On a more local scale, in Auckland (NZ's biggest city of 1.5 million), as we enter our winter season, we have been in drought for over 5 months now and are facing water restrictions as Auckland's reservoirs drop towards 40% - they are usually in the mid-70% range at this time.

This is our first long weekend since Easter and the last for the next 5 months. It is also the first holiday weekend since our lockdown restrictions were relaxed, so of course everyone wanted to get out of the city. However, in traditional fashion it is raining all weekend - not enough to ease our water problems (that will take weeks of solid rain) but it all helps. So we stayed home and have kept warm, dry and unstressed by traffic jams from holidaymakers.

I continue to look after my partner who is slowly losing her battle with her cancer, and she is less functional and sleeps a lot right now.  As the drugs get more powerful so do the side effects, and that means more drugs to counteract those - it gets more and more complicated...  It was her birthday on Thursday, with lots of love expressed by those who know her, I hope we get to celebrate at least one more.

Stay safe and well everyone...

cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

Well, I've been out walking in the golden hour of dawn.  

Not much activity these days in the parks.  

It is like people are playing hide and go seek.


EOS 6D and EF 35mm f/2 IS USM - I/1250, f/4, ISO 250 and lots of LR.




These are replicas of the Nina and the Pinta used by Christopher Columbus from two years ago.

The hulls of the ships were heavily oiled, and had a deep black color,.


Hard to believe that ships like these crossed the Atlantic, no wonder they had three of them.

Sadly, both of these ships were destroyed a couple of months later in a dock fire.

"The right mouse button is your friend."

Such a pity.  They look like well-constructed replicas.  I guess being heavily oiled they would have gone up like torches.  Sad though that is, they would have made amazing photos in their last moments.

cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

I've been busy with the improvised bird blind.  Small birds are jittery critters and easily spooked, but they are not very smart.  I set up a scarecrow on my 2FL deck, not to scare the birds away.  I wanted them to get used to seeing a human.


I can sit on the deck and practically take all the photos I want of birds 20-50 feet away.  This is great range for the 7D2 and the Sigma 150-600mm "C".


My FB friends tell me this one is called a Northern Flicker.  Basically, it's a woodpecker that digs into dirt to eat worms.




These are juveniles being fed by adults.  They're only about 25 feet away, if that far.



"The right mouse button is your friend."

Well, I'm definitely not a bird photographer, but I had occasion yesterday afternoon to wish I were. A hawk I hadn't seen before came by and flew around over our house, apparently interested in a nearby colony of crows. Two or three crows came out to intercept and harass him, and the skirmish went on for several minutes before the hawk gave up and moved on. They weren't very high above the house, so you guys with the 150-600's would probably have had a pretty successful shoot.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA



I am not a bird photographer, either.  If I were, I would rather be photographing hawks, eagles, and egrets.  But, I have trouble finding them.  And, the hikes to many of the larger predatory birds are commonly found are just too much for me now.  So, I go with what presents itself.


I bought the 150-600 because I am near lots of water bodies, both big and small.  Photographing wildlife reminds me a WHOLE LOT of fishing.  I have always loved fishing, but photography is much cleaner.  Much more expensive, so much more cleaner and neater.


My three easy access locations to photograph egrets have either been closed.  One was pond that it undergoing a year long dredging operation.  The others were in parks that have closed to the public for past 3-4 months.  No further comment needed about that.


These shots are backyard type of stuff.  I really liked the one of the juveniles being fed by the adult on the right.  I have been learning their habits.  They do not seem to mind a human sitting 20-50 feet away from them, anymore.  All I need to really do is keep my face hidden, and keep eye contact to a minimum.


"The right mouse button is your friend."


I've been shooting just about everything that's in my yard, both flora and fauna Smiley Wink With the exception of the tiny 1/8" purple flower, Baldwins Eryngo (purple form), which was taken using the 5D4 and 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro (hand held), they were taken with a 5D mark IV and EF 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS USM II. Hopefully, the EXIF info remains intact for those interested. I have a weird style Smiley Very Happy All of the imgaes have been cropped and reduced to save space.





-FDGiant Swallowtail


Red-shouldered Hawk juvenileBaldwins EryngoBee Fly (Chrysanthrax cypris)Great Created Flycatcher

EOS R5, R6, R6II. RF 15-35 f/2.8L, 50mm f/1.2L, 85mm f/1.2L, 100mm f/2.8L Macro, 100-400mm, 100-500mm L, 1.4X.