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It has been a while since I have posted or written anything. Unfortunately, life gets in the way at times, and sometimes so many situations can engulf your daily life that you slowly make the decision to stop doing the things you love and enjoy. The last few weeks have proven challenging in completing my photography, however, I always tried to carry my camera with me and look for something to photograph.
At first I was desperate to find something to photograph that I began to close my mind and eyes to the very things I was looking for. I realized what I was doing and did my best to stop and reexamine everything around, working to look for something that is seen everyday by people but not carefully observed by people.
The first image of the aircraft was taken at a local park in Long Island City Queens. Since I was a child I can remember seeing these water planes landing, taking off and flying low in the sky. Just like other New Yorkers I became accustom to it, ignoring the roar of the engine, disregarding the amazing fact that this aircraft and others, was landing in the East River every ten to fifteen minutes while other types of water vessels and aircrafts occupy the same area. The first image shows one of the water planes landing parallel to a DEP vessel. I stood near the pier watching these aircrafts come and go while helicopters land and took off and all types of sea vessel, large and small sailed through. A chaotic yet perfectly orchestrated routine that many people fail to realize, let alone admire.
The next image of the couple captured my attention. I gravitated to these individuals not because of their style or the tattoos’ but the lack of attention given to the female while she spoke. The female was very animated while describing a specific event to the male. This animated conversation lasted at least three minutes. While the female spoke, smiled, used hand gesture, contorted her face while describing whatever it was she spoke about, the male never acknowledged the conversation, never looking up from his phone. Unfazed by the lack of attention being given, the female continued to speak, getting louder and louder with excitement only stopping when arriving at the corner. Even while crossing the street, the male never once looked up, never nodded in acknowledgement, never smiled—no reaction was given to this female and her story, they disappeared down the block in silence.
The images of the insects, the wasp, the dragon fly and the spider were all taken near my home. The wasp I first noticed a few days prior, every morning and every afternoon at the same time, this wasp and two others would hunt for food near my main entrance to my home. At first I was concerned since my child has allergies to insect bites, but I became intrigued and realized this was a great opportunity to practice my macro photography skills. This proved to be difficult since the wasp would not stay still long enough, plus, with the macro lens, I needed to be as close as possible in order to get the shot I wanted. Kneeling closer than I wanted to, I managed to capture a number of good shots of this wasp.
The photos of the dragon fly was such a great pleasure. While doing laundry with my wife and helping her hang the clothing, this dragon fly landed on the clothing line. I immediately took a photo with my phone figuring the dragon fly would eventually take off. However, it did not, the dragon fly stood on the line, did not move, when I approached it, it did not flinch or acknowledged my presence. I immediately told my wife I would be back, running to my home and grabbing my camera and attaching the macro lens. I was hoping that it had not flown away and to my great pleasure, it was still there. I took over fifty shots of the dragon fly who posed so perfectly still for me. I was impress with the design of the wings, the magnificent colors that reflected off this insect. I have always seen the dragon fly flying at high speeds, rarely staying still long enough to get a clear look. I was a mere few inches from this insect and it never flew away, moving or changing positions every few minutes. When I was done taking photos I decided to see how close I would be able to get, I slowly extended my hand and had my pointing finger extended, slowly moving towards the dragon fly. I began to wonder if it could see…it stood still as I advance, only reacting to my hand when I was close enough to touch it.
The final insect was this spider living in a pine tree near the main entrance of my building. My attention was brought to this tree due to a brief glint of the spider web reflecting in the sun. When I examined the tree closer, there was a massive web inside the tree that extended outward. I notice the spider when it moved to my presence, immediately I knew I had to photograph it.
No matter where you are and how many times you’ve been to a location, you will always find something new and different to photograph, that is, if you are willing to be unconventional, if you are willing to have an open mind and look at things as if it was the first time.
Recently purchased a new lens for my Canon, and I decided to purchase a 650-1300mm lens. I felt confident that the upgrade would be simple to use and should produce little or no difficulty. The lens that I am using is not automated, it is manual, so, it takes a bit more effort and patience in capturing the shot. One of the first things I noticed immediately was that the lens required higher ISO when encountering weak light conditions. Example, with the 300mm lens at max range, I may at times needed to increase the ISO from 100 to 200 depending how much light may be lost during a close up shot. With the 1300 mm lens, depending what mm setting you are using, the need to increase or decrease the ISO was necessary. The example of the NYPD helicopter, I did not need to increase the ISO while the lens was set at 650mm, however, as I increase the zoom the need to increase my ISO from 400 to 3200 was necessary, especially since the twilight sky was quickly being covered by cloud coverage. During a bright sunny day, the lens works wonderfully, the shots are crisp, the need to increase or decrease the ISO is minor or nonexistent while zooming in and out of objects.
Moon 1: F 5/6, 1/160, ISO 100 Moon 2: F 0, 1/60, ISO 400 (with tripod)
Helicopter 1: F 5/6, 1/60, ISO 200 Helicopter 2: F 2/8, 1/250, ISO 3200 (no tripod)