Ten years? How’d that happen?

On May 4th 2007, I wrote this blog’s first post:

A wonderful trip!!! San Francisco and Muir Woods

I don’t remember why I decided to start.  I think I was just playing around – excited about the trip and wanting to share.  There was no plan to continue, much less for 482 more posts!

The blog’s evolved over time – and I developed a purpose that I try to fulfill (described in the introduction on the Contents / Index page).  I hope people do find some  photographically useful info in each entry.  Although today might be an exception 🙂

You may not realize that this isn’t the most popular site on the internet.  There are 218 email subscribers, 21 more via WordPress.com, and an unknown number of regular readers via RSS.  About 30 – 60 more views per day come in outside of the subscriptions.  If I were selling adds or something else, I’d worry about increasing views, but I’m not.  So it’s a tiny corner of the web – and I’m very grateful for my regular readers and visitors and their interest.

Here’s a list of the posts / pages people viewed the most over the last year:

And here’s a list of the most common search terms leading to the blog over the past year:

  • photo opportunities in orlando fl
  • port orange camera club
  • sunflower field central florida
  • images of great blue heron in flight
  • animal kingdom florida
  • infrared post processing e-pl1
  • places to take pictures in st augustine fl
  • nikon d7000 vs d90 image samples
  • rectaflex
  • sunflower field near ocala florida
  • marl bed flats florida
  • oviedo camera club
  • central florida photo ops
  • photo oportunities in florida
  • lake jesup wildflowers
  • viera wetlands park update november 2016
  • wildlife photo opportuniites in floroda
  • blue cypress lake swallowtailed kites
  • infrared photography post processing
  • photographic areas in florida

Both of these seem to show that I’m coming close to meeting the blog’s purpose.

I enjoy the photography and writing.  And the weekly posts motivate me to keep going out and exploring. I also enjoy occasionally reading old posts.  I have no plans to retire Central Florida Photo Ops, although I don’t have any idea how much longer I’ll continue – I never imagined it would last this long!   I think it does probably need some refreshing.  If you have any ideas on that, let me know.

And just so we don’t have a post without a photo, here’s one from the archives.  Is it a metaphor?  A subtle message?  Only the blog knows.

Road Narrows?Road Narrows – On the way up to Mt. Evans, Colorado. July 2007.

As a reminder, you can use the “Archives” pulldown on the right (or in the menu on the mobile version) to browse older posts.  You can use the “Categories” pulldown to filter on specific locations.  And you can use the search box to find posts on any given subject.

Thank you so, so much for stopping by and reading my blog.  Now – go make some photos!

©2007 – 2017, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Blue Cypress Ospreys

May 12, 2017 update:  We’re far behind on rainfall here in Central Florida, so the water level in many lakes is very low.  It’s a good idea to call Middleton’s Fish camp (800-258-5002) and check on conditions at Blue Cypress Lake and whether rental boats / tours are available before you go down.

Here are a few more photos from our trip to Blue Cypress Lake.   Last week I only posted IR images, so this time I’ll use all color photos.

Joe Middleton's restJoe Middleton’s rest

It’s peaceful there.  Whenever our boat was still, the calling Ospreys and Whistling Ducks seemed very loud.  Occasionally we could also hear quiet voices from other boats carried across the water.

Many of the Osprey nests are in smaller trees out in the water.  The boats can maneuver for a good vantage point and standing up in the pontoon boats puts you almost at eye level with the wild birds – providing a wonderful view of their behaviors.

Breakfast timeBreakfast time – These chicks were very tiny.  The third one (low in front) shows how well they blend in.

Don told us that the younger chicks were probably from migratory birds, since they start nesting a bit later than the year round residents.  In this next photo,  two year round juvenile birds look almost ready to fledge.

Mama and two juvenile OspreyMama and two juvenile Osprey.

The Ospreys don’t have any trouble catching fish.  But getting a photo of one with a fresh whole catch is a challenge.  They almost always stop right away and consume the heads.

Osprey with fishOsprey with fish.

And then deliver the rest back to the nest for their mate and chicks.

Special deliverySpecial delivery

I have more photos from Blue Cypress Lake in this album on Flickr. And Kevin K. has posted his from last Friday in this folder.

I hope I’ve given you some sense of what a wonderful place this is.  You owe it to yourself to go and experience it.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.  Now – go make some photos!

©2017, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Beautiful Blue Cypress

May 12, 2017 update: We’re far behind on rainfall here in Central Florida, so the water level in many lakes is very low. It’s a good idea to call Middleton’s Fish camp (800-258-5002) and check on conditions at Blue Cypress Lake and whether rental boats / tours are available before you go down.

Lone cypress at dawnLone cypress at dawn  (IR, B&W, panorama).

The trees at Blue Cypress Lake are simply gorgeous.  Their shapes remind me of  Bonsai, although I think instead Bonsai should remind me of these trees.  The ones here are all completely natural, formed by nature into elegant sculptures.  I love the way my infrared camera renders them.  The bright needles and clouds against the darker sky and water is very appealing.

Lynn and I spent last Thursday night near Vero Beach and met Kevin K. at Middleton’s Fish Camp just before sunrise on Friday.  Middleton’s is the only camp and the only development at all on Blue cypress Lake.  The rest of the lake and shore is completely pristine and undisturbed – very rare in our state.  It’s also quiet.  And peaceful.  And just stunning.

Photographing Blue Cypress LakePhotographing Blue Cypress Lake  (IR, B&W).

I wrote about Blue Cypress Lake back in June of 2012, and that’s worth a read if you’re interested.  All of the info there is still current.

This place really is Florida unspoiled, and a photographic “target rich environment”.  We went on one of their pontoon boat tours at first light and Don (our guide) was knowledgable and skilled at navigating in and among the trees near the shore.   He mentioned that this lake and the surrounding swamp form the headwaters of the St. Johns River, which flows north to the ocean in Jacksonville – something I didn’t know.

Lone cypress and OspreyLone cypress and Osprey  (IR, B&W, panorama).

Blue Cypress Lake is also home to a large colony of Osprey.  There are 200+ breeding pairs with  eggs, hatchlings, and some almost fledged juveniles in nests in the Cypress trees.  The birds fish in the surrounding swamp and carry their catch  back for the young.  Many of these Osprey are migratory and leave for South America after raising their young – something else I didn’t realize.

Jeanne Middleton told me that prime nesting time starts around 10 April so we hit it just about right.  I made a lot of photos of the Osprey last Friday too.  I’ll finish processing them and post them soon.

I have more photos from Blue Cypress Lake in this album on Flickr. And Kevin K. has posted his from last Friday in this folder.

I should go down there and write about this place more often.  It deserves to be seen, photographed, and saved for the future.  Have you been?  If not, what are you waiting for?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.  Now – get some of your friends, head down to Blue Cypress Lake, and make some photos!

©2017, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Indisposed

… Interesting word.  dictionary.com shows two definitions:

  1. sick or ill, especially slightly:  to be indisposed with a cold.
  2. disinclined or unwilling; averse

Both applied to me last week.

Springtime colorSpringtime color – Flowers in a courtyard in St. Augustine, Florida

Lynn mentioned she’d like to spend a night or two in St. Augustine and I readily agreed.  It’s one of my favorite, must do photo ops.  She made reservations at a Bed and Breakfast (http://www.44spanishstreetinn.com) just behind the Columbia Restaurant and we headed up there last weekend.

I’d been feeling a little sick, although not bad enough to cancel the trip.  I was looking forward to going back to Marineland Beach (earlier posts here and here) and perhaps the Alligator Farm (many posts here).

We arrived mid-afternoon on Saturday and checked in.  It was a lovely place and extremely convenient.  Strolling around town before dinner, I warmed up my camera with a few photos including the one above.

I woke up feeling worse on Sunday morning and decided to sleep in.  We were staying one more night and I figured I could always do sunrise the next morning.  After a wonderful french toast breakfast and some cold medicine, we set out to explore on the Old Town Trolley.  We’d never done that before and I was glad we did this time.  Riding the entire route, we got to locations we hadn’t seen on previous trips.  It was also very nice to just sit there and still be able to make some images.  My energy was very low and I was indisposed to walking around.

Est. 1875Est. 1875

I had a small camera bag with me, and shot mostly with my infrared camera.  I like the way it rendered the old buildings.  It was out and ready when I noticed this fellow riding in front of the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument.

Infrared bicycle pirateInfrared bicycle pirate – commuting to work?

I tried searching for ‘infrared bicycle pirate’ photos on both Google and Flickr and didn’t find any.  Apparently they’re a very rare genre.  Perhaps I should specialize.

Monday morning came with my symptoms getting worse and once again I couldn’t get up for sunrise or even make it to the Alligator Farm.  I guess that means we’ll have to schedule another trip.  I’m feeling a better as I write this and hope I won’t have to go to the doctor tomorrow.

I’m happy I made a few images I like.  If you’re sick (indisposed) fight your lack of desire (indisposition) to make photos.  You can look at other photos from St. Augustine in this folder on Flickr.

Happy Easter and thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – don’t be or get indisposed – go make some photos!

©2017, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

By the bridge at daybreak

Sunrise in B&W is a bit unusual, but I like the geometry in this one and to me it conveys some of what I was feeling.  It’s very isolated under the bridge in the dark.

By the bridge at daybreak, alone, in black and whiteBy the bridge at daybreak, alone, in black and white

This spot is on the south-east side of the A. Max Brewer Causeway that leads into MINWR.  It’s a two frame panorama, made with the Olympus E-M1 MII in high res mode, stitched together in Photoshop and converted to B&W with the Macphun Tonality plug-in. Base exposure was four seconds at f/5.6, ISO 200, 12mm eq. focal length (2 frames).

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2017, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Photography related advice for April

Now that it’s the first day of April, I thought I’d pass on some information I’ve collected on photography related subjects.

But first, every post must have a photo.

Wood Stork in Flight?

Feel free to use all of this advice  and pass it on.  Or not.

Cameras and Settings:

  • Don’t make photographs in a sandstorm.  They’ll turn out grainy.
  • What’s wrong with most cameras that won’t take good pictures?  The nut behind the viewfinder!
  • Military photography:  Why is flying an F-16 better than flying an F-22?  It’s one stop faster!
  • Street photography;  Two photographers are walking down a street and pass a beggar. One keeps walking. The other stops. Later when they catch up with each other the first says to the second. “I saw you stop for that beggar. What did you give him?”.  ”Oh” says the first, “1/125th at f5.6”.
  • How to tell if someone is a real photographer: Ask them this question. Suppose you’re walking through the woods and come to a clearing.  In that clearing is a lake and in the lake is a man is obviously drowning. Now you only have time to do one of the following – save his life or take a photo.  Here’s the question: Which lens should you use?
  • How to make a photo at the North Pole?  Use a North Polaroid.
  • During the holidays: Shoot the kids, hang the family, and frame the wife.
  • What should Mozart do when his Olympus camera breaks?  Borrow Pachelbel’s Canon.
  • Photographic spirits:  A photojournalist was caught out in a rain shower when he saw a dark gloomy house. He was drying off in the house, heard scary sounds and saw a ghost coming towards him. He grabbed his camera to take pictures. The ghost asked him what he was doing, he said “I just want to take your picture for the newspaper.” The ghost was glad for the exposure and posed for the photographer. When his film was all done he thanked the ghost and rushed to his office to get the film developed. When he saw the results he was terribly disappointed: they all came out black – underexposed.  The moral of the story is: The spirit was willing but the flash was weak.
  • How many photographers does it take to change a light bulb?  50. One to change it, and 49 to say “I could have done that”.

Photography Safety

  • A photographer made a selfie in the park.  Since it was dark, he used the built-in flash on his camera.  He got arrested for flashing and exposing himself.
  • Two photographers are in the restroom. One uses Canon cameras  and the other uses Nikon.  Nikon finishes first and simply heads for the door.   Canon says “Excuse me, Canon photographers wash our hands when we’re finished”.
    Nikon replies: ” I understand, but Nikon photographers don’t pee on our hands”
  • Any photo of a chicken nibbling my butt has an unusual ass-pecked ratio.

Photography, business, and money:

  • The quickest way to make money at photography is to sell your camera.
  • How do you get a professional photographer off your front porch?
    Pay for the pizza.
  • What’s the difference between a frog hopping down the street and a photographer walking down the street?  The frog might be on the way to a job.
  • How do you make a small fortune in photography? Start with a large one.

Working with models:

  • If your model didn’t show up to the photo shoot because of acne…that’s a pore excuse.
  • Most photographers will pick a model with photographic mammaries.
  • Don’t pick these kind of models:  Two new models are waiting as the photographer sets up equipment.  One says to the other, ”What’s taking so long?”
    The other replies: “The photographer’s getting ready to focus”.
    To which the first model exclaims, ”FOCUS, we haven’t even been paid yet!”

April Fools!  I’m sorry for the poor humor.  I hope no one was too offended or groaned too much.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2017, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

It’s still that time of year!

And now it’s official – the vernal equinox was last Monday.  Kevin M., Tom M. and I headed for Viera Wetlands early on Friday morning to see how spring is going there.

I wrote about the bird nesting at Gatorland a couple of weeks ago (http://edrosack.com/2017/03/12/its-that-time-of-year-again/).  It turns out that there’s a lot of activity at Viera too.

We saw Sand Hill Crane families:

What's Momma doing?What’s Momma doing? Sand Hill Crane and chick foraging at Viera Wetlands.  The chick’s concentration is fascinating.

And Great Blew Heron families (Pun intended – Windy day?  Blew?  Blue? ):

Breezy Blue and babyBreezy Blue and baby – Mom guards the nest and chicks

And caught a brief glimpse of a family of River Otters before they disappeared into the reeds:

A family of River OttersRiver Otter family – 3 or 4 of them ran across the road and into the water

I have one more photo to show you.  Since I started using the Olympus E-M1 II camera, I’ve been on a quest to apply its ‘pro-capture’ mode to photograph a Red-winged Blackbird in flight.  Their shoulders are pretty and you can’t see them very well when they’re perched. This is my best attempt so far. I like it, but I’m going to keep trying.  I’d like to catch one in a little better light and it’d be nice to have the bird facing more toward the camera.  While we’re wishing, a catch light in the eyes would be wonderful too!

Red-winged Blackbird in flightRed-winged Blackbird in flight – 

We also looked for a different sunrise spot and stopped by a pasture on the way to Viera.  Unfortunately, nature didn’t cooperate – I ended with a few uninspiring photos.  You can look at one (if you must) on Flickr at this link.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some spring time photos!

©2017, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved