Flora and Fauna group of galleries added

I have just added a Flora and Fauna group to my "all galleries" page, and have included two galleries within the group: Dragonflies and Butterflies. 

A couple of my favorites are below at the maximum blog size of 650 pixels wide and/or long.  The images will be somewhat larger in the galleries.

The dragonfly was taken with an Olympus E520 dSLR and 40-150mm Olympus zoom lens equipped with a Canon 500D closeup lens screwed into the filter threads.

The butterfly was taken with an Olympus E520 dSLR and 70-300mm zoom lens with a built-in macro feature.


Panasonic LX5: The 24mm wide angle on my first day out

My first day out with this fine little camera was in September, when my wife and I made a day trip to Mystic Seaport in Connecticut.  I even gritted my teeth and left my dSLR at home.

I have kept 40 images and they are here.  (Some are nice and all are worth having in my collection, but I doubt I will print any of them.)

In an earlier post I listed the features on the LX5 that impressed me for a small camera, compared with my even smaller Canon S90.  But in actual use I think the feature that I most enjoyed is the 24mm wide angle (it zooms from 24mm to 90mm).

I have never used anything wider than 28mm until Mystic. Now I don't think I can ever go anywhere again without a 24mm wide angle!  My guess is that I might even enjoy something wider (and am seriously considering the 18-36mm (equivalent field of view on a 35mm camera) zoom for my Olympus dSLR).

One reason I think 24mm will be so indespensible for me in the future is that I noticed that a full 25% of my images from this trip were taken at that focal length.  Perhaps this was because of the novelty; but I will bet that the percentage will remain high.

Like most compact digital cameras the 10 megapixel advertized sensor assumes use in a 4:3 aspect ratio (four units of measure wide for every 3 units of measure tall).  I mention this here because the examples below were all with the 4:3 aspect ratio adjustment.  But Panasonic has a unique multi-aspect ratio sensor that I will comment upon in an upcoming post.

Below are my first takes at 24mm using 4:3 aspect ratio. These are all out-of-camera jpegs. Some folks on web forums have commented that the images they have seen on the Internet generally show softness in the corners. Perhaps I have a good copy or maybe I am easily pleased, but I don't notice any corner softness unless I zoom in on my computer monitor to 300%.  And perhaps I only notice it at this magnification because of the suggestion that there might be softness.  At any rate, at normal viewing distance, no problems.

 Gallery of 40 images: http://www.peterfraileyphoto.com/mysticseaport2010


Quite a difference a year does make

It has been a disappointing year for fall colors.  The weather has been very strange, and recent rains and wind haven't helped.

Here in the Boston area we have had (I think I heard this from one of our local meterologists) the third driest summer in recorded history.  And I have also heard that nationwide we have experienced the warmest year-to-date in recorded history.  I am sure this has had an effect on our fall colors.

Below are two images taken 364 days apart.  I was very pleased a year ago (Oct 23, 2010) with the image below which I titled "Shade Maples".  I was buying a few things at the farm stand on the other side of the street when the sun broke through storm clouds to give some great lighting on the maple trees.

The second image was taken from the vantage point of the parking lot at the same farm stand.  I took the shot this afternoon, Oct. 22, 2010 just so I could compare it with last year's image.  But it wasn't until I got home and checked the information on my computer that I realized the pictures were taken almost exactly a year apart.


Sometimes you get surprised

I was going through some summer pictures I took at Tower Hill Botanic Gardens, and I was surprised to see this frog picture, which I had entirely forgotten about.  I do now recall that he was sitting in a small cement pond looking at me among a selection of waterlilies.

As it turns out, to my surprise, this is the only image I have decided to keep from the set I took that day! Amazing that I would spend a couple of hours shooting flowers and come away only with a frog shot.
I remember thinking about adding a polarizer at the time, but took the lazy way out.  With a polarizer it is very likely that it would appear that the frog was sitting on a floating lily pad.  But now that I look at the picture I think it is better this way, as the submerged lily pad is part of the story.  What better way to rest while staying cool and wet! 

Since I am told one shouldn't get too cute when naming a nature photograph, I think I will merely call this one "Frog Sitting On Submerged Lilypad".