Sunday, March 16, 2014

An Eclectic Week

I know the word "Eclectic" is an adjective (well it could also be a noun...) but but I wonder if you can use it to describe a week! Oh well, I just did. So there.

I spent a lot of time this week on business and administrative tasks (especially with the new Camera Club) and it was nice when some friends came up and dug me out of my computer chair to go out and shoot some pictures. A day or two in Toronto and Uxbridge with family and spending some time with a friend who's a bit under the weather (me too, for what it's worth), then back home and at the keyboard again!

Although it's a nice day out, I don't feel like going outside. I think the most commonly heard greeting here lately has been, "so had enough of winter yet"? I have. Been a Hell of a year.

At least I have a ton of pictures to write up here. But before we get started...


Do you have a Nikon and an iPad? there's a free app out there called "Nikon Manual Viewer 2" that lets you download any Nikon manual and view it, formatted perfectly for the iPad. Very slick. The more you read your manual, the better you know your camera. Not only DSLR's, but also mirrorless and even P&S cameras, plus all the Nikon Speedlights. Thanks to Moose Peterson for the find.

Topaz DeNoise promotion

Topaz is running a 50% promotion on Topaz DeNoise until the end of March, their image noise reduction plug-in is designed to fix heavy image noise and grain.
"Other NR software tend to strike a good balance between processing speed and quality. By contrast, DeNoise focuses entirely on the quality of the results you get. (The trade-off is that it takes longer to process an image in order to get better results.) For example, notice below that the books stay sharp and that there's no soft edges or smudged details:"
This technology makes DeNoise useful for "tough" cases of image noise. It can save photos that photographers might otherwise throw away.
Use this link to go to the DeNoise page where there are great examples and even a tutorial at the bottom: 
To get the 50% discount, enter the coupon code 'mardenoise' when ordering. You can also do a 30 day free trial.

Here's a shot where I used Topaz DeNoise. Indoor hockey arenas are notoriously difficult to shoot in. This shot was taken at 1/800 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400.

In this shot I did NOT use DeNoise, I did the best I could with the Noise Reduction in Lightroom 5, which is generally very good, but not as good as DeNoise! By the way, the title of this picture is, "If Looks Could Kill". Coach not happy. 

So who takes photos of referees at hockey games? People whose grandsons ARE referees! He works really hard at it. And it's hard to be unbiased: he penalized the home team in this championship match with less than 3 minutes left in the game. Fans not happy!

By the way, Ryan PLAYS hockey too. He played in this game and 15 minutes later was refereeing in the other rink. 14 years old, almost 6' tall, work ethic... hmmm.

He promised me a goal. Didn't keep his word :( . Can't say he didn't give it a try, though!

Some wildlife

I actually shot this one last week.

I was asked whether I got these deer to pose for me. Of course I did. You don't think they'd line up perfectly like that without a little direction, do you? 

In almost the same spot, a week later. This wild turkey tom was a bit less cooperative, I couldn't get him to 'display'. In fairness, Maureen and Jon feed these critters in winter, so they do hang out around their house.

Myrtle and Joe came up for the day last week. We tried to get the deer but weren't successful, but we did get to shoot some other neat stuff. 

I've been away from skiing for many years so I shouldn't be shocked at innovation on the slopes. First of all, there are kids doing things on skis and snowboards (which didn't even exist when I skied) that aren't natural. These shots were all taken at Sir Sam's Ski and Bike (they do crazy stuff with bikes in the summer!) near Haliburton.

And I bet these kids never even HEARD of a rope tow! Now they have something called a "Magic Carpet" which they stand on like a moving sidewalk, sheltered from the weather, no less!

Everyone wears a helmet, some cooler than others!

I took my camera for a ride up the magic carpet, then Joe and Myrtle did too. 

In case you're wondering, I walked down that walkway on the right. I miss skiing, but my knees certainly do not! 

One more shot. This kid was too cute...

I have other 'keepers' but I don't want to bore you too much!

OK, that's enough for today! I have to save some stuff for next week, you know!

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