Yikes! A vacation video: with a post title like that, I wouldn’t blame you if you ran in the opposite direction. If you suffer through it however, you’ll see my first attempt at video production using footage from the Sony DSC-RX10 iii camera. I’m impressed. Some clips are shot at ISO 1600 and you can’t really tell easily from the results. I obviously have to work on technique and get a bit better at editing but not too bad.
There are three things in common with the group of images below:
- All were shot in the Adirondacks of upstate New York State.
- All were shot of or from Hornbeck ultralight New Tricks double-paddle canoes. (On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HornbeckBoats/.)
- All are cropped frame grabs from video clips.
While on vacation we paddled a total of about 20 miles on 9 ponds and 2 rivers and thoroughly enjoyed our canoes. They’re easy to manage, very maneuverable, a pleasure to portage, and just right for the mix of ponds, lakes, and waterways in the Adirondack mountain area. We don’t miss our big heavy touring kayaks (although they handled camping and nasty weather beautifully).
I was a bit surprised how nicely the video frame grabs came out. You wouldn’t print large from the size but it has plenty of resolution for Web use. Video clips were shot from a Sony RX 10 III working out of a Pelican case sitting in my canoe. It worked out rather well although there are tweaks I’ll be trying in later efforts.
Outdoor photography on a cold winter day can be challenging trying to balance keeping hands warm but allowing the dexterity to work the seemingly-ever-shrinking controls on cameras and lenses. I picked up a couple rechargeable hand warmers to try and they’re working out great. I keep a warmer in a coat pocket along with a spare camera battery. Wearing light polypropylene glove liners, I can work the camera with little trouble and then just slip my hand in the coat pocket and grasp the warmer to get the fingers toasty in no time. Keeping the spare battery warm in the pocket keeps the camera battery viable when it needs to be switched into duty.
The MJ Gear warmers I picked up are rechargeable via USB. They have some extra features that are handy as well. You can use one as a source of power to recharge your cell phone or other USB-rechargeable device, it has two power settings for the warmer (I’ve found the low setting is all that’s needed most of the time), and it has a powerful little LED light that could come in handy. This combination of features makes these hand warmers more appealing than the chemical pack or lighter-fluid powered alternatives.
Frostbite and photography don’t work well together–hand warmers keep things comfortable on those cold outings.
I joined the throngs shooting pictures of the weekend’s supermoon eclipse. A so-called supermoon describes the full moon’s slightly larger appearance due to being at or near its perigee, the closest distance the moon reaches the earth in its elliptical orbit. The combination of a supermoon and lunar eclipse is unusual: the last one occurred in 1983 and the next will be in 2033.
The moonrise didn’t bode well with clouds on the horizon but the moon rose above it and stayed clear of clouds during the eclipse. This is fortunate as I’m not sure I’ll be around in 2033 to catch the next event.
The Tetons in Wyoming are effortlessly photogenic and the close proximity of the mountains to roads make for easy intimacy. I shot several panoramas, some hand-held, during our recent vacation trip. All came out well and could withstand large printing if desired. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.
These samples used anywhere from 4 to 12 images, shot vertically, and then stitched either with Adobe Lightroom or Kolor’s Autopano Pro. (The latter is far superior, for more challenging stitches.) Cylindrical projection suited my taste for these images.
Lori and I spent a vacation week split between Yellowstone National Park and Grand Tetons National Park in Wyoming. They both offer endless photography opportunities (and no doubt literally billions of pictures have been shot there). My photographic ambitions were modest, opting instead to put the emphasis on having a memorable experience with Lori. Nevertheless, it’s difficult to not get some worthwhile vacation pictures from these places of endless scenic beauty and natural wonder.
It’s been a very busy summer here in Newfield, both for us, and for all the wildlife resident in, or passing through, our yard. Of course that provides an opportunity to deploy the
toys tools required to photograph them. Everything from telephoto to macro to flash equipment finds a use to cover the variety of subjects.
We continue to learn about natural treasures around our area. Today we hiked through Fischer Old-Growth Forest, one of the Cornell Plantations Natural Areas. It just happens to be here in Newfield, a few minutes drive from our house.
A trail loops around the 42 acres over some rather steep and rugged terrain typical of the area. There’s an impressive diversity of trees and other plants here. Parts of the woods are quite open with a canopy over 100 feet above provided by large old trees. We will be back.
Lori and I enjoyed a beautiful hike up Bald Peak in the Adirondacks. The trail is among my favorites, the weather was ideal for hiking, and we had the place to ourselves before starting our descent.
Bald Peak is a modest hike at 8 miles round trip and it is a modest mountain. But those views! Several lookouts along the way are a treat as you make your way up the sometimes steep trail to the top with its spectacular unobstructed views in all directions.
One of my boots had its tread come loose on the descent but it stayed intact enough to complete the hike without need for emergency repairs. Those boots have a lot of miles on them including the Rockies, the Sierra Nevada, the Tetons, etc. But it’s the Adirondack trails that chew up boots and spit them out–mud, rocks, and roots take their toll like few other trails. Time for new boots; Lori’s eager to hit the trails again soon.
Lori and I took a break during a nice visit with family in Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks to hike up Haystack Mountain (the little one in Ray Brook, not the big one in the high peaks). The 3.3-mile hike starts off as an easy stroll through beautiful mature open hardwood forests. After the initial stretch, the trail runs parallel to Little Ray Brook, a classic little Adirondack stream that had plenty of water running through it from recent rains.
Eventually the trail gets serious and quickly steepens for the last mile of the hike. This is Adirondack style: no wimpy switchbacks here, just scramble up a beeline toward the summit.
Weather report to the contrary, the clouds had not cleared by the time we reached the top. As is often the case in the Adirondacks, we found ourselves taking in a panoramic view of the inside of a cumulus cloud.
After we munched on a snack and prepared to head back, the clouds started dissipating enough to give us a few glimpses of the summit view. Nearby McKenzie Mountain was partially revealed and the lakes around Saranac Lake could be seen through the wisps of cloud. We didn’t get to see the distant high peaks by the time we left the summit though.
Near the end of our return, the sun broke through the clearing clouds, taunting us with what no doubt would be a fine view from the summit for the few late hikers we encountered during our return.