Archive for January, 2015

NO NO NO, I am not talking about my totally innocent U-City Loop neighbor who was sweet enough to pose on the spur of an (intoxicated) late-night moment, but poor Johnny who can’t resist a bargain.  In this case I am shooting with a new used (err, pre-owned) Nikon D300 and a new pre-owned AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR lens that I could not refuse. Damn, if you can wait six years the greatest technology can be yours for a song. Now, can I wait for the uber sweet AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR? BTW, that is ISO 4500 @ 1/8 sec @ f3.8 @ 18mm.


eagle   eagle   IMG_6768

So you have a DSLR and you want to make pictures of birdies?  Ummm — best be prepared to spend a bundle on a 500mm lens and/or get a new Zen sense of patience. On a recent visit to Clarksville Missouri we watched as the “birders” watched and waited and waited and waited for the wild eagles, which winter near the Mississippi River, to entertain them. Of course, if you aren’t picky, you can get your avian snaps at the zoo or — where I got this close-up — at the World Bird Sanctuary.
World Bird Sanctuary

What to do when it is 15 degrees?  Look for  a discount inn.  In this case the Pere Marquette Lodge, built by hand (by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s) the facility features a 50ft limestone fireplace, a terrace overlooking the scenic Illinois River, an indoor pool, and a restaurant.
Of course for cheap-skate moi, the cost is what sold me. The Throwback Eagle Package included a room for two, dinner for two (including a glass of wine), breakfast for two and a guided tour of eagle watching by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Price – a sweet Franklin (plus tax).



Two lights and a gel and we get a wholly different version of the young person who initially graced my studio space for a “model shoot.'”  I love/dread these sessions. Forces me to think fast and I use it as an excuse to futz with controlled lighting, but nonetheless I have a sense of  dread…