Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Cameras...Joys and Frustrations

Here are a few photographs taken with the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS that I so joyfully received last week.

The shot of the robin was taken through our tinted and none-too-clean patio door glass (unedited).

Black squirrel playing hide and seek with me (unedited).

Zoomed in a little closer on the shy guy (unedited)

Our Forsythia are blooming! (Unedited, except for cropping)

Eagles' Nest. Some zoom used.

A little more zoom shows the wrong end of an adult eagle in the nest.

A small portion of a heron rookery. This one has been brightened a little and cropped.

It was the wrong time of day for photographing the heron rookery. Most nests were occupied, but the lighting and distance made it very difficult to see the occupants. The nests are very far away. My former SX20 wouldn't have been able to show this much detail, even if the sun had been in the right position.

All in all, after only two days of shooting with my new camera, I was highly pleased with the quality of the photographs. But...and this is a big "but" for me...I found the viewfinder to be almost useless. On Sunday, a bald eagle was soaring overhead, well within reach of the SX50's capabilities; but I couldn't find it at all in the viewfinder. Frustrated, I handed the camera to Doug to see if he could do any better, but he had the same problem.

Since I'm a viewfinder kind of gal and since holding the camera against the face is almost a requirement at full zoom in order to reduce camera shake, I knew I'd find that limitation very frustrating in the long run. So, as much as it hurt me to return the camera, that's exactly what I did.

As you know, I'd already sold my SX20 to my friend, Pat. So I had to find another camera. I read reviews and considered different options and decided to play it safe and get another SX20. These are no longer available new, so I went to eBay, where I found what appears to be a gently used one for a decent price. It should be here by the end of the week.

When I told Pat about it, she said she would be glad to trade with me, returning my old camera to me and accepting the one I found on eBay in its place. Bless her heart.

So my SX20 is coming home. It has served me well in the past, and I expect it will continue to serve me well in the future...until Canon comes out with a new model that corrects the viewfinder issue. But, next time, I won't sell my SX20 until I've had time to try out the new one.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Like Chicken?

When I was going through my archived photos recently, I came across this set of images of a few roosters that were roaming around the "Pioneer Village" at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, near Cherokee, North Carolina.

These were shot in November, 2008, with my Kodak Z612 point and shoot camera. I found the colors on these birds most beautiful.

Isn't that tail gorgeous?

And this one had attitude.

My new Canon Powershot SX50 has arrived, but I haven't had much time to play around with it. I hope to be sharing some photos here real soon, though.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Changing Cameras

When I got my Canon Powershot SX20 IS in August of 2010, just before I started this blog, I thought (and Doug hoped) that it would be the last camera I'd ever need. It's an advanced point and shoot model, with lots of features and an amazing zoom, with a focal range from 28 mm to 560 mm.

But wouldn't you know...Canon wasn't going to let me remain satisfied too long. I resisted the models they introduced over the next couple of years. But then they came out with the Canon Powershot SX50 HS, with even more features and a focal range of 24 mm to 1200 mm. Now how was I supposed to resist that?

So...I have sold my SX20 to my good friend, Pat, and have ordered the SX50 from BH Photo.

Saying "goodbye" to my faithful SX20, prompted me to go back through my archives and pull a representative sampling of images it has a sort of farewell tribute post.

This hawk was drying its wings after a rain shower in Yellowstone National Park 10/04/2010.

Pronghorn Antelope somewhere in Wyoming 10/05/2010

Robin in our Backyard 04/14/11

Baltimore Oriole outside the window at Doug's step-mom's house 05/06/2011

Blackbird in our backyard 05/11/2011

Amish girl and draft horses 06/01/11

My favorite pizza. This was our 24th anniversary dinner 08/15/2011.

A very patient dragonfly, posing for several photos 08/16/2011

Chipmunk at Bryce Canyon, Utah 09/25/2011

Coyote at Yosemite National Park, California 10/05/2011

Sunset at Fred Howard Beach, Florida 02/06/2012

Black Bears along Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park 04/15/2012

Belted Kingfisher at Ouabache State Park, Indiana 06/16/2012

Bull Moose near Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming 09/23/2012

Robin on our lamppost 04/12/2013. The last photo taken before the SX20 went to its new owner.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Preplanning Funerals

Doug and I have seen the wisdom of preplanning our funerals for some time now. With rising funeral costs, it just made sense to get the arrangements made and the price locked in. It also makes life easier for the surviving family members to whom the responsibility might otherwise fall at our deaths.

A couple of years ago, we even sat down with a representative of one of the primary funeral providers in our area to discuss our options. We had a severe case of sticker shock when we walked out of that meeting and never did finalize a plan.

Recently, some friends of ours decided they needed to get serious about getting their funeral plans made. In doing their research, they contacted Northern Indiana Funeral Care (NIFC). Our friends were very impressed with the services and prices that NIFC offered and decided to let that organization have their business.

We met with a representative of NIFC on Tuesday, and we were equally pleased. They got our business, too.

Basically, they can offer less expensive funerals because they encourage people to have the funeral service and same-day visitation at a church or community center, eliminating the expense of the funeral home for those purposes.

They also are endorsed by the American Legion, Department of Indiana, for Veterans' Funeral Plans.

For those of you out there, especially here in Northern Indiana, if you're considering preplanning your funeral, you might want to include Northern Indiana Funeral Care in your investigation.

After all, not one of us is going to get out of here alive...unless we're blessed to still be alive when the Lord returns for His own.

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)

Friday, April 05, 2013


Although it's April, spring is not popping out all over. It's still quite barren looking in these parts. I looked back at pictures from last year at this time and was shocked at the difference between then and now.

This picture was taken on April 2, 2012. The crab apple tree was in full bloom.

This one was taken this morning. There's not even a bud on the crab apple tree.

The only thing "blooming" in our backyard is this pussy willow, and it's normally finished blooming by now.

The weather is warming now, though, and a few buds are appearing on our maple trees. It can't be long before spring arrives in all its glory.

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