A Visit To Alberta Aug17

A Visit To Alberta

I decided to make a short visit to Alberta to see family and friends. Weather was good and I did some fishing, some hiking, and a lot of eating. On the way from the Edmonton airport, I stopped to take this photo of a lonely highway. There are many of these quiet secondary roads where you won’t see a car for ages.   My first destination was Saint Paul, the area has a lot of farmland with old and abandoned buildings. These make for great photos, especially at sunset.   One of the reasons I like shooting here is because the clouds are often interesting and completely change the composition. Montana is referred to as Big Sky...

Nikon D800 vs iPhone 4S Aug14

Nikon D800 vs iPhone 4S

I was at Newell Lake near Brooks, Alberta with my brother a few weeks ago and as the sun was setting I tried to capture a few photos.  It was a warm evening which would have otherwise been pleasant if it wasn’t for the swarm of mosquitoes.  I was literally getting destroyed by the things, but pushed on and got some shots.  The specific location for the shots was this small peninsula. First, the iPhone photo (showing the Nikon D800).   Next, the image from the Nikon D800 with Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8 lens. This is actually a 7 shot exposure bracket combined in an HDR image using Photomatix.   Both images scaled to 2048 on the long...

Antrodiaetus pacificus Trapdoor Spider Aug14

Antrodiaetus pacificus Trapdoor Spider

I was walking my dogs near the University of British Columbia (UBC) today and came across a spider I have not encountered before.  It looked like a small tarantula: similar body shape, hairy, black, and rather menacing.  I only had my iPhone 4S with me (wish I had the D800 and 105mm VR Micro) and took a few photos before moving on. It turns out this is a trapdoor spider (or folding-door spider) and fairly common in this area.  They are not often seen because they tend to stay in their burrow.  This one is specifically Antrodiaetus pacificus, and it is a type of tarantula.  It is likely a male out of his burrow in search of a mate. More info...

GGS LCD Screen Protector – Real vs Fake (Nikon D800) Aug11

GGS LCD Screen Protector – Real vs Fake...

UPDATE: It appears that both of my screen protectors may be legitimate GGS products, just different models. Several people have commented that the model I first received was the generation I, and the second (with plastic rim) was the generation II (BF). I have no way to confirm this. The GGS website shows only the gen I model: http://www.ggs020.com/en/product2.asp?bid=439 There is also the generation III which is a snap-on type similar to the stock Nikon one but in black. Regardless, the GGS gen II model I now have on the camera is NOT a good fit, it is too small for the LCD. For now, I’ll just deal with it. I recently ordered a GGS...

Tim Hortons Small Town Drive Through Jul24

Tim Hortons Small Town Drive Through

You know you’re in a small town when… In early July my wife and I were driving through Quesnel, BC and I noticed something out of the corner of my eye.  I made her turn around and go back so I could capture something you are only going to see in a small town.  Lucky for me I had my camera with me, and could take some photos of a guy in the drive through with his horse.  I took a second to talk with him, he was riding the horse at fist but decided to walk him through thinking he will get better service.  He was also having a hard time getting them to take his order, speculating his horse wasn’t setting off the sensors....

Nikon D800 Contrast and Phase Detect Autofocu...

Update April 1, 2013: Testing after the second repair attempt by Nikon is now online here: http://photokaz.com/2013/04/nikon-d800-autofocus-repair-testing-the-sequel/ Update January 20, 2013: Initial testing showed changes to the focus performance and I thought the slight softness in some shots could be fixed with fine tuning.  After more testing, I could not get consistently sharp results from fine tuning. I had to set my fine tuning for the Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 lens to +20 and that still didn’t result in good performance.  My AFS 50mm f/1.8 and AFD 80-200 f/2.8 lenses also had to have +20 of fine tuning.  I dropped off my camera and...

Siwash Rock at Sunset

  I was waiting for a nice sunny day in Vancouver as I wanted to get out to photograph Siwash Rock. This basalt stack is the only one of it’s kind in the Vancouver area, and I wanted to catch it when high tide was at or near sunset.  This is an HDR image created from several exposures. And a shot I took with my iPhone 4S as my D800 was taking the 7 bracketed shots for my HDR above.   And a few more shots from that evening including some fun with a neutral density filter for longer...

UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research Jul15

UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Res...

Last weekend, my wife and I paid a visit to the UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research (at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver).  Despite having lived in Vancouver a combined 35 years it was the first visit for both of us.  We were very fortunate because one of the volunteers, Dana, took us for a private tour as no one else was there for a tour when we arrived.  He spent several hours with us, taking us first on the Greenheart Canopy Walkway, which is a series of bridges and platforms in the trees.  It’s a bit wobbly, but fun at the same time.  Also, you get an interesting view from up there that you...

Shelter Dogs July 14 2012 Jul15

Shelter Dogs July 14 2012

When needed, I try to help out at the local animal shelter (Vancouver Animal Control) by taking photos of their dogs available for adoption.  I believe the quality of the photos makes a difference in the dogs adoption so I’m happy to help out when I can.  It helps me and helps the dogs.  You can see the animals they have available at PetFinder.com (not just dogs but rabbits, lizards, and at times even more strange things).  You can also see previous shelter dogs I photographed here. Such a cute...

Testing WordPress Carousel V2 (Jetpack)

I didn’t use the first version of Carousel for photo galleries on this blog, but the new and improved version seems worthy of a look.  It has some great features, as outlined at this blog post, and something I’m testing in this post for myself. Some of the features I really like: Ability to leave comments on individual photos. Ability to link directly to an image within a post. EXIF data displayed for each photo. Apple Retina support.  May not be needed that much right now but pixel density will be increasing in displays so this is a handy feature.  Also, users of some of the new Apple products can take advantage of the added...

Birds At Acadia Beach in Vancouver, BC Jul10

Birds At Acadia Beach in Vancouver, BC

Took a short walk with my dogs on Acadia Beach today.  The best time for birds, especially Great Blue Herons, seems to be on the rising tide early in the morning.  The Herons like to walk around in the shallow water and pick off smelt and other small fish who are too dumb to notice a three foot tall bird. I didn’t get any stellar shots today but did see a Bald Eagle, a few Great Blue Herons, Geese, and a few of the usual suspects as well.   Overall, a fun day and always nice when an eagle is around.  The birds were quite far away so these are crops from much bigger images shot with the Nikon D800 and 80-200 f/2.8D lens.  In cases like...

Shelter Dogs June 27 2012 Jun27

Shelter Dogs June 27 2012

When needed, I try to help out at the local animal shelter (Vancouver Animal Control) by taking photos of their dogs available for adoption.  I believe the quality of the photos makes a difference in the dogs adoption so I’m happy to help out when I can.  It helps me and helps the dogs.  You can see the animals they have available at PetFinder.com (not just dogs but rabbits, lizards, and at times even more strange things).  You can also see previous shelter dogs I photographed here. Another black lab, likely a mix.   A hyper but very cute little puppy.   This old guy really liked getting some attention.  Hopefully he finds a...

Shelter Dogs June 23 2012 Jun25

Shelter Dogs June 23 2012

When needed, I try to help out at the local animal shelter (Vancouver Animal Control) by taking photos of their dogs available for adoption.  I believe the quality of the photos makes a difference in the dogs adoption so I’m happy to help out when I can.  It helps me and helps the dogs.  You can see the animals they have available at PetFinder.com (not just dogs but rabbits, lizards, and at times even more strange things).  You can also see previous shelter dogs I photographed here. There were a few new faces on my most recent visit, some great dogs.  I started off with a cute beagle, very friendly and loves to play.  When he runs his...

Nikon D800 Macro and Focus Stack Jun23

Nikon D800 Macro and Focus Stack

When I was mowing the lawn, I came across a bee in the grass. I’m not sure what type of bee it is, but it could be one of the solitary ground dwelling types that can be found here. One of the wings was much shorter than the other and I don’t think it could fly. I put the bee in a safe place and took a few shots. The shots were taken with a Nikon D800 and AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED lens. I have another set of photos shot with the 105mm here (lower light, hand-held). Update: I found out this isn’t a bee after all, but a hoverfly (Narcissus fly).  It mimics bees as a defense against predators.  Very cool. This...

Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival 2012

Some shots from the 2012 Vancouver RioTinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival.  Saturday, June 16th was an absolutely miserable day with solid rain all day.  I didn’t even go down to the event as sitting in the rain watching is not much fun.  Sunday was much nicer, and I did get out to watch the racing and take a few photos.   Heading out to race Racing One of the racers, a dragon boat team, and me. Concord Pacific Flying Dragons One and Too (processed in the style of “300”)   The Gong Show that is the Guts and Glory race.  16 teams race 4 legs of 500m, which means they need to make a three turns.  These boats, with 22...

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