Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Random shots

I bought this beautiful Osawa 60-300mm f5.6 macro focusing lens quite some time ago on ebay without knowing what mount it was. It turned out to be a Konica KO mount and unfortunately for me there was no Konica to 4/3 adapter that I could get so I could use it with my Olympus E-620 so I just stashed it away and thought, oh well. But all is not lost because there is a Konica to Micro 4/3 adapter and now that I own a PEN E-P3, I dug out the lens again and have just ordered the adapter from Amazon. Now I can't wait to try the lens out!

Early morning crop dusting on a farm field along California Highway 99. Picture shot through a rather dirty car window.

Grey morning sky on California State Route 43 on our way to the tiny farming town of Alpaugh.

Veterans Day celebration at a town hall in Alpaugh.

Drummers at a Cultural Faire at Shin Zen Japanese Garden in Fresno.

Ripples caused by a duck swimming away from me.

Freight train along California Highway 99.

Autumn colors reflected on a window of a limousine at Woodward Park, Fresno.

The canopied street that I live on - haze in the distance and bright morning sunshine.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Back to Bird Photography

I've been looking forward to the birds migrating south this time of year. I've already noticed the Oregon Juncos and the Yellow Rumped Warblers. The Norther Flickers are also back pecking at the utility pole in front of my house.

As previously mentioned, I bought myself the Olympus PEN E-P3, and I thought maybe I could use that with my telescope as well. My Olympus E-620 does a really good job with my telescope. I love this combo for bird photography. So, I went looking for a T-mount to Micro 4/3 adapter and I was happy to find one!

Here's how my PEN E-P3 looks attached to my telescope. I find focusing with the OLED screen not too difficult but I think I will get an electronic view finder for my PEN because I think that will do a far better job with the focusing.

Here's a picture of a Scrub Jay in a bush taken with the PEN and the telescope combo.

The utility pole is about 30 meters from where I was. I was hoping for a woodpecker but the woodpecker stopped on the pole for just a moment, not enough time for me to take a picture of it.

No, I did not use my telescope to take this picture of the warbler! :-) I used my E-620 with my 70-300mm lens.

I don't know what it was feeding on on the pumpkin leaves. But it stayed there for a quite a while and I was able to take several pictures of it.

The warblers are about the size of the sparrows and they are plentiful this time of the year. I don't normally see them during the summer. I am looking forward to the Western Blue Birds and the House Finches. I saw some finches just before autumn started but I have not seen them since. I have not seen the Western Blue Birds either.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Shin Zen Japanese Garden

On Veteran's Day weekend we had the opportunity to visit Shin Zen Japanese Garden in Fresno. The last two Japanese gardens that I'd visited this year were in Phoenix and San Francisco. This was the first that I'd visited a Japanese Garden in the autumn. The Japanese Maple and the Chinese Pistachio trees are beautiful this time of year, and I am really glad that we made that stop.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Dew Drops

I just love photographing the dew drops on flowers! Look at how beautiful they are!

Beads of dew on a dandelion.  Beautiful!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Fly

Bees and butterflies are not the only insects that love to settle on flowers. This is one fly that kept coming back to the daisy that I was looking at.

I remember one science test that I did. I wanted to write "hairy body" to describe a fly, but I ended up writing "hairy hair". The teacher told the class, "One of you wrote "hairy hair"", and I laughed along with the rest of the class. It was only when I looked at what I had written on my test paper that the I realized the last laugh was on me! :-) I will never forget Mr Peter Quek, my Science teacher in Form One!

Look at that hairy body! Disgusting looking!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

More Daisies

It was quite a chilly morning today and every where was wet with dew. Here are a series of pictures of the African Daisy with dew on its petals. All these pictures were shot with the Olympus PEN E-P3 coupled with the Panasonic 45-200mm lens and the Raynox DCR 250 macro filter fitted on the front of the lens.

I went back out after the sun was high overhead and most of the dew on the daisies had dried up and the ones that were curled like bowls earlier had opened up.

Monday, November 7, 2011

African Daisy

I took out three manual lenses yesterday and shot some pictures using my PEN E-P3 of the African Daisy in my front yard. The area was shaded, and I forgot to check the ISO setting of my camera. I was more focused on the aperture setting and forgot that the E-P3 over-compensates for the low light with high ISO. The pictures were all quite noisy and I cleaned up the noise as much as I could.

It's late in the season and the flowers are much smaller, and the petals seem to fold up into bowl shapes that I find very interesting.

The WB setting is not quite right and the whites seem overblown. But I like the effect, almost seems like a well-lit lantern! :-)

Looks like a well-lit bowl, doesn't it?

Interesting shape as seen from the top - like a bowl.

I need to take a few more shots of the daisies before they are all gone for the season. This time I will not forget to check the ISO setting on my camera!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Shooting macro with conversion lens

I dug up the three conversion lenses (macro filters) that I had so I could play with them on my PEN E-P3 kit 14-42mm lens. So far I am quite pleased with the results. The trick to macro shooting with the PEN, I have since discovered, which gives a good amount of detail of the subject is to turn off the noise reduction feature and to put the noise filter feature on to low on the camera setting.

This is a picture of the center of an African Daisy. I am amazed at how much detail is visible through the camera lens. I have received much praise for this shot from the PEN Lovers group at Facebook. In fact someone suggested I make a poster of this picture, and I just did! Doug will pick it up for me from Costco on his way back from work on Monday. I can't wait to see the result!

The morning glories in my front yard are looking a little forlorn now that summer is over. I love looking at the droplets of moisture from the dew on the petals of the morning glories.

On hot summer days, the morning glories don't normally close like this, and I was quite intrigued by the angular shape of the petals because this autumn was the first I'd noticed the petals closing in such an angular manner.

Another picture of a forlorn looking morning glory with droplets of moisture on its petals. I had hoped to see some ladybugs this morning too, but there was none.

The scabiosa continues to bloom even in autumn and there's always the occasional butterfly fluttering on the flowers.

The scabiosa pods also look quite forlorn compared to their size and vibrancy in the summer!