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S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sail Club
April 18, 2008, 11:18 am

Our Homeschool Sail Club meets Fridays at the Key West Sail Club on Garrison Bight.

First off, we start with a bit of chalk talk, today we discussed starts.

It was a tad windy (20+ knots) so only a couple of the older kids went out in Optimas.

Marianna singlehanded for the very first time.

Will, showing her a few pointers.

I could use a few pointers myself on catching the photos though - these little boats are speedy! Between finding them in the telephoto and thinking about the sun's glare on the water washing out the faces, avoiding the power lines in Garrison Bight (not the most attractive of backgrounds) and getting their heads on the proper side of the sail for a good photo...phew! Lots to think about!

Fun though.

For both the photographer and the sailors, I believe!

April's Shower of Photos
Bird Portraits
April 17, 2008, 10:48 am

We had a totally cool visitor the other day. With animal photos I'm not generally up to speed with messing around with Manual Settings yet. I can't control their actions the way I can with a flower or a person you know! Gotta move fast to get the photo or I'll miss it.

So for this I set it up on Portrait hoping the background would blur into unobtrusiveness. Even if it didn't I liked the graphic feel of the repetitive rocks so I felt that it would be a win-win situation.

I was able to get a tad closer before he moved out of range. On this one I really like the play of colors, the blue of the eye against the brillance of his beak contrasting with the white of the feathers and the rocks definitely became a great background.

April's Shower of Photos
A Greasy Field Trip for the Nikon
April 16, 2008, 8:12 am

Every so often the D40x sneaks away for an afternoon and when next I check out the photos instead of a lovely food photo:

Pastries by Marianna.

I find this.

What is this?

The depth of field is stupendous! The clarity is amazing! Where was this taken? I've never seen anything like this days???

Alas, the silly camera just can't resist. I don't think it puts up a fight at all. Just look at this shot.

Oh dear.

April's Shower of Photos
Catch the Wave
April 15, 2008, 7:09 am

Hanging by the water again today, still playing with the Shutter Speed and Aperture. I know you're probably entirely, ultimately, indubitably tired of this conversation but I just don't feel like I've mastered it yet.

"Practice makes perfection which is what we want!"

Anyone else find that the most applicable quotes come from musicals? Can you identify the musical above? Family members can call with their answer since that quote is basically our Family Motto and must be recited in a certain tone of voice, etc... Everyone else feel free to leave the answer in the comment box - impersonating Grecian Urns while answering is entirely optional.

You know, it just dawned on me that my inability to walk away from these Faucets and Buckets and SeeSaws and the particular songs I'm humming might all be related!

I'll ponder that with my second cuppa joe while we check out the day's haul of photos. Don't worry, I trimmed down the selection to a pertinent few.

Let's start with the fast shutter speed and large aperture, basically the equivalent of the Sports Setting. The water droplets bouncing off the coral rock are frozen in mid-air.

Slowing the shutter speed down a little and tightening the aperture resulted in some nice contours on the water. I don't know if you can see this small, but blown up large you can see little ripples over the rocks below the water and there is a lovely line pointing up to the bottom of the rock on shore where a wave swept in.

Next step (ha! ha!) was a longer shutter speed and a smaller aperture yet. For this one I found that I had to turn my back to the sun. The previous two were basically facing west in the afternoon and that resulted in another completely washed out photo or two (umm...22? Deleted into oblivion now.) Facing east however gave the foam edge of the wave a nice blurry action.

So let's push it just a little farther, shall we? Granted this was a larger wave so we definitely have more water action but check out the droplets leaping off the rock top!

Tempus Fugit, Ladies, Tempus Fugit...

April's Shower of Photos
Rowing Exposed
April 14, 2008, 1:55 pm

Playing with the shutter speed again. It really turns out cool water effects with a tad slower of a shutter speed than the auto setting.

Ummm...too slow of a shutter speed will give an effect like this in the tropics however.

That intense white heat - aaack!

Now seriously, I really needed to read this analogy of Faucets and Buckets and then the Seesaw analogy regarding Apertures and Shutter Speed.

Totally helpful.

April's Shower of Photos
Bar Talk
April 13, 2008, 7:22 pm

Lost the power last night 15 minutes before closing.
(Welcome to Island Livin')

What a nightmare.

Everyone paid up in cash (Thank You!) but I sure didn't feel like kicking on the computer last night at 10 to run it on battery power and post this photo and then it was Sunday and back to work all day today.

I really do love this photo though.

My favorite Bar Back. He's especially cool when those awful Navy Divers show up. (They tip crappily, btw.) Something about an Army Master Diver/Initiated Chief Petty Officer (I had to ask just now to get the freakin' terms right) makes them shut their yaps and go soak their heads in the salt water for awhile.

April's Shower of Photos
Today's Guest Photographer
April 10, 2008, 6:50 am

Marcie has sent me two terrific photos she has taken and she couldn't have chosen a better day to share, Hal and I are off for a "consultation" with a new dentist today. Why do we have to have a "consultation" now that we're adults? Marianna can just waltz through the door and get a cleaning but we have to pay $$$ more for a "consultation"!

Hal tells me there is no escape this time either.

He's wrong though. I'll just keep these two lovely images in the forefront of my mind rather than whatever horrifiying poster the dentist has decided would be witty to pin up on the ceiling.

Now, you may have seen Marcie's work before in the Field Days at By Sun and Candlelight. She takes the most amazing nature photos, I was so happy to receive these two!

Thank you, Marcie, for brightening my day!

April's Shower of Photos
April 9, 2008, 7:16 am

To be honest these are not the most photogenic of photographs but the flag was what was in front of me when I had a moment to play around with the shutter speed.

So, I present to you a trio of flags.

First, the flag on auto.

Second, the flag on a mid-range setting.

Finally, the flag on a slow, slow shutter speed.

For more on how the shutter controls light and motion check out the Digital Short Course in the sidebar, in particular this link.

April's Shower of Photos
Shuttered Sugar
April 8, 2008, 11:26 am

Last week I played with the Aperture, today I tried messing with the Shutter Priority setting (the S setting on the dial). I can set the shutter anywhere from 30 seconds to 1/4000 second on my D40x.

Marianna and I were having a bit of fun in the galley, so I grabbed my camera and set the shutter speed high.

The resulting shot has the sugar grains crisply frozen in mid-fall.

I cranked the CMD dial the other way about and had Marianna pour the rest of the sugar into the bowl.

This time the sugar grains are streaming blurrily into the bowl. Her hand and the whisk are also a bit blurred as she was incorporating the sugar into the eggs, but I really like sense of motion the slower shutter speed gives.

Now, if only we had a waterfall around. That would be awesome to experiment on!

I could look for fountains, vehicles, the tide streaming through certain channels, I wonder if I could pan with and capture a bird flying? That would be incredible! Cormorants fly pretty fast, but level. The herons and the egrets are slower so they might be easier to keep up with. Pelicans glide but the blackbirds swoop, that'd be hard to capture!

April's Shower of Photos
da Vinci Glow, or lack thereof
April 7, 2008, 9:48 am

No luck with the da Vinci Glow tonight, but I did discover a new and wonderful feature on my camera!

Actually, to give credit where credit is due, Hal showed me the new and wonderful feature on my camera!

Think back, wa-a-ay back to when you had to actually go to a store and buy film if you wanted to take a photo. Remember the racks and racks of types of film from Fuji and Kodak all with different numbers on them? 100, 400, 800...

Each of the numbers were good for something, indoor light, outside activity, etc...I recall a soccer player kicking a ball on the cover of the one I used to purchase all the time.

My D40x can be set to correspond to the old film speeds/ASA/ISO numbers.

I have been taking photographs since December 25 on the equivalent of 100 speed film. Tonight, I set it for 1600.

Just look at the rose gilding on the topmost clouds.

April's Shower of Photos

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S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen
Who: Capt. Hal, Jennifer, and our daughter Marianna, a great photographer!
Port: Boca Chica
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