Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lavender Waxbill

This is another introduced species I found on Hawaii. The Lavender Waxbill is finch in the Estrilda family. It is native to Central Africa. This bird was introduced through the aviculture trade, presumable in the 1960s.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Two Lavender Waxbills preening after a bath in Kona.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fat floats, what are you going to do?

So you’re a Mute Swan with lots of fat and it’s bath time, what are you going to do?

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Why, you roll around on your back!

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Oh, yeah, that’s the ticket.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Fluffin’ it up.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Yup, let’s get those oils rubbed around.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Visit Watery Wednesday

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Bringing it indoors

Alright, I’ve been shooting out of doors for the last bazillion years. It is my forte. My very first roll of film shot through my first big boy camera was shot outside. It was a Minolta XE-7 with a 50mm lens. A few bodies later, I still find myself shooting my best when I am outdoors.

A couple of years ago, I read a piece written by a professional studio photographer that said (and I’m paraphrasing here), “Photographers that shoot natural light do so because they don’t understand how to use flash equipment.” That has been stuck in my craw for a few years, after all, I do everything in natural light and it ain’t always easy. From my point of view, any fool can set up a bank of soft boxes and shoot that all fricken day long and tweak and tweak and tweak until he’s blue in the face, midnight or noon. Now shooting untitled-2 February 22, 2012-188natural light comes with challenges. You gotta be fast on your feet and work with what comes. You have to be fearless with the light, my friend.

It has been in the back of my mind that I needed a more professional looking shot on my LinkedIn profile, and have been putting it of, and putting it off because I knew that I could shoot a good shot myself. Well it is time to fish or cut bait.

On top of this, I’ve been studying a bit on high key and low key shots, studio lighting and working with models. This is jut to expand my knowledge, I’m not going to get into portrait work. If I said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times, being an engineer is a lot easier for me than being a professional photographer.

So in my studies, I’m learning all the lingo and what fancy doodads and toys are needed to take a good portrait. Lights, umbrellas, strobes, reflectors, backdrops…hokey smoke Bullwinkle! Do you really need it all?

Well, no. If you’re not going to be professional, you don’t. In my management style, I have the concept of “Having to have before you can do”, which is an outpoint, or excuse if you will, for not doing something because you don’t have all of the doodads and toys you think you need.* Which is a big, fat consideration that will stop you in life. Let’s face it, if I bought all of the lights, umbrellas, strobes, reflectors, backdrops that I needed to do a professional job, I’d have to be an second job to fund the project anyway.

So, what you are being subjected to was done with one SB700 speed light and the flash on my Nikon D80. The backdrop for the low key shot was a dark blue cloth. The background for the high key shot was a cowslip yellow wall that I blew out with the SB700.

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Okay, these will do fine for a LinkedIn. The important point is that the old dog is learning new tricks.

*A prime example of not “Having to have before you can do”, a couple of years ago, I took a walk out on the breakwater. There were about 20 fishermen out there. I saw all sorts of fancy graphite poles, high-end rods and reels. Then I saw an old-timer out there with his monofilament line wrapped around a beer can. I watched him skillfully cast the line off the beer can and fish with as much pleasure as the others.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saturday Evening Creature Feature: Pacific Golden Plover

The Pacific Golden Plover is a winter visitor to the Hawaiian Island. Many of these birds come directly from Alaska across 4500km of open seas.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Think about that for a moment. The Hawaiian Islands are isolated. This is quite a feet of navigation.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

The Pacific Golden Plover is rather common in Hawaii. We found them in urban areas, on golf courses and on the lava flows at the edge of the ocean.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

I got an email from a SMU visitor stating that they stake out a territory and the locals in her area give them names.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

These plovers are in their winter plumage. From their northern Eurasia and Alaskan breeding grounds, they will migrate as far south as Capetown South Africa, Australia and New Zeeland.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Friday, February 24, 2012

Forgotten Photo Friday

It is getting to be that time of year when I start thinking about what it would be like if it were green again. For this Forgotten Photo Friday, I’m digging up a couple of unpublished dragonfly photos from the archive. First up is a Blue Dasher.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

Next is a Slaty Skimmer. It will be a few more months before we see them again.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The 4th Mildest Winter on Record

This is how we think of New England in the winter with snow and evergreens dominating the scenery. But not this year.

Appleton Farms 1-10-2009 3-15-14 PM

We had the fourth warmest January since record began in 1895. This was the first January that all of the 48 contiguous states were above average temperature. The February statistic hasn’t been released yet, but I would expect the same story will be coming forthwith.

untitled-8 February 19, 2012-183

It’s made it rather difficult to go out to get the good shots.  Everything is brown and black. One has to look for splashes of color.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Grassy Knoll

It’s 12:00 and you come across a scene like this. What do you do? You shoot it!

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Shoot with a bright, sunny sky at noon? Yes.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

In Massachusetts, the sun is not going to be all that high in the sky at noon.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Be fearless with the light.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Green Turtle Grazing

Here’s a few additional shots of the Green Turtle grazing in a shallow tide pool in Hawaii. ©2012 Steve Borichevsky

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Did you miss the last Saturday Evening Creature Feature?
 
Visit Watery Wednesday

Monday, February 20, 2012

Rembrandt Lighting

When shooting outdoors, you cannot always shoot with the sun on your back. Why not play with the light? This was taken at about 11:00 in the morning on a bright sunny day. Nice Rembrandt Lighting.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Only a madman would shoot white cow in the midday sun.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

I’m really impressed with his gray face.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Once again, nice Rembrandt lighting.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Be fearless with the light.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Turkey Tails

I happened upon a fallen log in Dogtown that was covered in Turkey Tail fungus. Just a few art shots.

 

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Evening Creature Feature, Green Sea Turtle

One of the coolest things about the Hawaii trip was the opportunity to photograph Green Turtles. We saw them on a few occasions. The Hawaiian name for this turtle is honu.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

The turtles I saw were of various colors. Hmmm, shouldn’t this Green Turtle be green?

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

It turns out that the color of the carapace has various color patterns that change over time. Hatchlings have mostly black carapaces, juveniles turn dark brown to olive while the adults are spotted brown or marbled.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Looking into this, the name comes from the greenish color of the turtles' fat, which is only found in a layer between their inner organs and their shell.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Green Sea Turtles live to as long as 80 years. It is thought that in their formative years, Green Turtles are omnivorous. In their adult years, they turn vegetarian. 

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

The Green Turtle is listed as endangered except in Hawaii where it is listed as threatened.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Forgotten Photo Friday, American Crow

Happy Friday. Today I’m going deep for crow shots. Tough birds to photograph, crows are. Here are five shots taken at different times. The first crow is from Carmel, California.

Crow 12-22-2010 1-45-57 PM

The second was taken at Eastern Point here in Gloucester.

American Crow 3-28-2010 11-39-21 AM

This crow is from Monterey, California.

American Crow 7-7-2009 5-04-30 PM

The same crow. Oddly enough, I was able to walk around to get a different background.

American Crow 7-7-2009 5-06-28 PM

Finally, a crow in Newport Beach, California.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

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